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The top bicycles for older riders revealed
Quick Answer: Rattan 350W Electric Mountain Bike
A friend of mine has just hit the BIG 5-0. This has triggered something of a mid-life crisis for him and he’s decided to throw himself into a fitness regime that would, frankly, kill most twenty-somethings. This seems to have consisted of 2+ trips to the gym per day and a diet that mainly involved a single lettuce leaf per day. How long did it last? Well, I think he just about made it through one day….
I had a word with him and told him (a) to calm down and take more of a sensible long-term approach to this and (2) to try a healthy eating plan (i.e. just cut down on the junk to begin with) and start cycling. There are so many benefits to cycling for riders of any age, but especially for us older riders. It’s low-impact and so puts less stress on our joints and ligaments. It also gets us out in the fresh air, away from the desk where (if you’re anything like me) you spend too long hunched over the computer.
Best Bicycle For 50 Year Old Man?
He was interested but concerned that his legs wouldn’t be up to it. So, I let him into a big cycling secret – Electric bikes!
eBikes are fantastic for older riders as they give a boost of power when your legs are tiring. They’re particularly good for the uphills, allowing you to cruise past cyclists huffing and puffing on their traditional non-powered bikes. They also make a great alternative to journeys where you’d otherwise take the car. That way you get double the benefit – less time slumped over the wheel, more time exercising and getting fit.
I did some research for him to find out what the best bikes for 50-year olds are, and I also found out the answers to some of his other questions. I figured all this might be useful to other people too, so I decided to write it all up in an article. Ready? Okay, so what’s the best bicycle for a 50-year-old man?
This is a fantastic electric bike for beginners through to intermediate older riders. Manufacturer, Rattan, have created a mountain bike that is masses of fun on the trails and takes on city commuting and bike touring with ease. The 350W motor is powerful and gives different levels of assistance, from maximum (i.e. you press the throttle to move) to minimum (you provide just about all the power through pedaling).
I want to start riding a bike for exercise!
Fantastic news! Okay, there’s a few things you need to do to make this happen:
- Decide you want to start bike riding – check!
- Get yourself a great bike – see some options below and pick the one that’s right for you
- Start off easy – this is an easy one to get wrong. Remember my friend who threw himself in at the deep end? It was never going to end well. Start small by going out a couple of times a week for a few miles. The aim should be to enjoy yourself first and foremost. Later on you can start working on fitness, shedding those excess pounds, and qualifying for the Tour de France. For now, think like a cycling acorn who, one day, will grow up to be a mighty (cyclist) oak tree
- Ride a few days a week – you want to try and get your brain and body into the habit of going out cycling. So, don’t start off with one 100-mile bike ride and then be too wiped out to cycle again for a month. You’re much better to do smaller rides more frequently
- Pick the bike routes carefully – remember that not all bike routes are created equal. In the early days, try and pick rides that are fairly flat and (if you’re going on bike trails) not too technical (steep, rocky, etc). If you try and start with tough routes, you’re only going to give up before you’ve even begun
- Recovery is just as important as exercising – after every bike ride make sure you take the time for your muscles to recover. This is key whatever age you are, but the older we get the more important it is to take longer to heal. Remember to eat healthy foods and keep your body moving on those recovery days to get yourself back to full fitness faster
- Some days will be good, some days will be not so good – it’s the same with anything that we do, you’ll have great days on the bike…and then you’ll have days when you just want to give it all up. When you’re having one of those days, remember the great times that you’ve had on the bike and this will help you push through to the good days again
- Keep Track of your performance – one great way to keep motivated (particularly when you’re having a tough day) is to look back over your past performances. Grab a notebook and keep it just for noting dates, routes, times, and how you were feeling on the bike. I’ve been keeping a workout diary like this for a few years and it’s really useful to look back on and see how far I’ve come in my riding journey
How to buy a bicycle for adults
Buying a bike can be an overwhelming experience, but there are a few things you can do to make it much easier and simpler:
Decide what sort of riding you’ll be doing
Put simply, if you plan on doing most of your riding in the summer on smooth roads, say for a few miles to work and back each day… then don’t buy a bike that is more at home in deep snow, like this one
Here’s a quick guide:
- For off-road trails, and general riding, go for a mountain bike like the Rattan above
- For commuting, or getting around town, go with a hybrid/urban bike like the Story bike below
- For beach cruising, the Onway below is awesome
- For looking awesome as you cruise along the city streets pretending you’re Steve McQueen? Well, that would have to be CIVI BIKES café Racer – see more on this gorgeous bike below
Check what size will be the best fit for you
Pop down to your local bike shop or big sports equipment store. Try a few bikes for size – sometimes they’ll even let you take them out for a test drive. For the ideal size you should be able to stand comfortably over the crossbar with 1” plus of clearance for a road bike and 2”-4” clearance for a mountain bike.
Decide on your budget
Remember that you don’t need to spend the earth to get a great bike. If you’re a beginner, then you likely won’t need a pro bike (at least not for a few years). Start with a good quality bike at an affordable bike. Then, in a few years’ time if (when!) you start to get more serious about your new hobby, you can start considering a trade-up.
Do you need a license to drive an electric bike
This depends on what country and/or state you live in. There’s a great resource here on Wikipedia that breaks it down by territory and gives you the details of what you need to do where: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_bicycle_laws
Bicycle training program over 50
Remember that you’ve already taken the most important step in your training plan, which is making the decision to start riding. What you need to do when you’re 50+ is to be a little smarter in your training than those youngsters are. So in your fifties, building strength, re-fuelling, and rest are more important than they used to be.
Have a check-up with your doctor before starting a serious training program. Allow 60-90 minutes for training, a few days a week. You might also need to plan in more frequent breaks (coffee and cake!) and rest periods than you might have done in your younger days. I’ve already mentioned a training journal and you can also keep a food journal that will be a useful reminder to eat more healthy and nutritious foods. These will help you feel better on the bike through better fuel, and they’ll also help you to go further and faster as you shed body fat.
Newbie training usually includes three to four days on a bicycle, long trips, training breaks and non-training days. In addition, perform strength training exercises two days a week to prevent loss of bone density and muscle mass with age. Perform at least one or two sets of at least three leg exercises, such as squats, lungs, tendons, and calf lifts, to help strengthen cycling legs. Also perform one or two sets of at least three upper body exercises, such as pulling, pushing, bench presses, biceps, and triceps curves. The two-week strength training is very effective for people over 50 years of age.
Since you’re probably juggling with the demands of a busy career and leisure time, set up a training schedule based on your free time available. One way to do this is to take a one to two-hour endurance test on Sunday. Monday, do your strength training. Tuesday, do 30-45 minute interval workouts to climb hills or a series of sprints that will allow you to increase your heart rate to 90% of your maximum heart rate and then recover. In the UK, the British Heart Foundation recommends using 30-second intervals, followed by a 30-second recovery cycle, repeating it for a total of 10 minutes in the middle of a 45-minute cycle. On Wednesday, have a rest. On Thursday, go for an easy 45 minute to 1-hour cycle. Train on Friday, and on Saturday, have another easy cycle. Repeat this for two weeks and then start adding five minutes to each tour per week for the next four weeks.
Intermediate training program
Rest is one of the key ingredients of successful training. If you feel slow, irritable or excessively tired during training, take a few days off. Take a full week off every six weeks to allow your body to recover before moving on. In the meantime, do similar training, but add more time. Instead of driving for an hour or two for resistance, lift it for two or three hours. Also, change one of your simple days to the next day’s break, this time by performing one-minute sprint/recovery phases for 20 minutes instead of 30-second sprints for 10 minutes. If you are preparing for an event, stop strength training a few weeks before the event and use those days to rest.
Remember, track your results and progress in a training journal so you’ll know how you’re doing and how far you’ve come.
Best bikes for older riders
Okay, let’s take a good look at some cool bicycles for guys.
ONWAY Electric Beach Cruiser
This electric beach cruiser from ONWAY is fantastic. It’s got a powerful 500W motor that whisks you along on those 26” wheels. The wheels are wrapped in chunky fat tires that will soak up any lumps and bumps in the road surface and give you a very smooth ride.
What I really love about cruiser bikes is that laidback style, you know you just have to ride one of these in your shorts, T-shirt, and flip flops.
A normal cruiser bike will tend to get a bit harder to cycle along when it’s laden down with beach gear, cooler of drinks, and surfboard. But this? Ha! Not a chance, you’ll coast along to your favorite sandy spot with ease.
CIVI BIKES have designed a vision of loveliness with their Café Racer. It has a whopping 750W motor that can take you up to 28mph. For me, though, it just looks so cool.
If the legendary Steve McQueen were jumping barbed wire fences these days (on the way to the beach, obviously) then surely he would be doing so on a bike like this…?
The Schwinn Vantage RXe is an ebike that can whisk you along at 28mph with its aerodynamic drop bars. It’s a great bike for bike touring or city commuting and is at home on the roads, yet can also handle the odd rough gravely trail with those knobbly tires.
It has a powerful Bosch 350W motor that can take you up to 60 miles and Tektro disc brakes that can bring you to a smooth stop at the end. 6 hours time to charge the battery will give you enough time to refuel over a long and leisurely lunch, before heading out for another spin in the afternoon (or evening, depending on the length of your lunch).
I’ve already mentioned this bike which I think is one of the best mountain bikes for older riders.
Rattan have produced a great bicycle, that’s at home on a wide variety of surfaces from paved roads, through gravel tracks, to gnarly mountain trails.
So, it’s a very practical choice if you’re just getting into cycling and aren’t sure yet what type of riding you’ll mostly be doing.
The Story hybrid electric bike is a fantastic choice for cruising around town, possibly with the grocery shopping on back attached to the useful pre-installed rear pannier rack.
Under the hood, it has a great specification: 350W motor, hidden lithium battery, USB phone charging port, and disc Brakes. It’s what you can’t see though that makes this bike so special. For every Story Bike sold, a special Buffalo Bicycle is given to a student, healthcare professional or entrepreneur in rural Africa, through their partnership with World Bicycle Relief.
Bikes for 50 year olds
If you’re like my friend and want to get into cycling, but find it a little intimidating to start…then try an electric bike. They’re a very practical option for people of any age, but especially as we move to our 6th decade and beyond.
Electric bikes are great for older riders as they give a boost of power when your legs are tiring. They’re particularly good for the uphills, allowing you to cruise past cyclists huffing and puffing on their traditional non-powered bikes. They also make a great alternative to journeys where you’d otherwise take the car. That way you get double the benefit – less time slumped over the wheel, more time exercising and getting fit.
Manufacturer, Rattan, have created a mountain bike that is masses of fun on the trails and takes on city commuting and bike touring with ease.
The 350W motor is powerful and gives different levels of assistance, from maximum (i.e. you press the throttle to move) to minimum (you provide just about all the power through pedaling).
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