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Thursday July 18, 2024

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Balance Friendly Electric Cycling Options

I would like to know more about electric trikes. I used to cycle in my younger years but as I have gotten older, I have some balance issues and do not trust myself on a two-wheeler anymore. I have read that electric powered trikes are a good option but could use some help choosing one.

Electric powered adult tricycles – also known as e-trikes – are a great cycling option for adults with balance or stamina issues because they are safe, fun to ride and easy on the body. Here is what you should know, along with some tips to help you shop for one.

Safer Cycling

If you are interested in cycling, but worry about falling or injuring yourself, e-trikes are a great choice because of the three-wheeled stability they provide. With a trike you can ride as slow as you want without ever losing your balance, which is very reassuring for most older riders.

E-trikes come with a small electric powered motor to enhance the riding experience. When you apply the throttle, the motor can either give you a boost when pedaling or it can do all the work for you. This makes it much easier to go up hills and ride into headwinds without exhausting yourself or taxing your knee joints.

In addition, most adult e-trikes are also made with a low "step through" design making mounting and dismounting easier. They typically come with big tires that ensure a smooth ride; have ergonomic handlebars that are easy to reach and grip; and offer oversize seats (some even have backrests) for comfort and support.

There are many different types of adult e-trikes to choose from with prices ranging anywhere from $2,000 up to $7,000. To shop for one, contact bike shops in your area to see what they offer or look online for additional options.

When shopping for an e-trike, pay special attention to the motor and the battery.

Most e-trikes can reach speeds of anywhere between 15 and 28 miles per hour, and typically go somewhere between 20 and 55 miles on a single charge, depending on how much pedaling you do. Battery charge times will also vary, ranging anywhere from 3 to 8 hours.

How to Choose

To help you figure out what type of e-trike is right for you, ask yourself how and where you plan to ride it. If you are primarily interested in a leisurely ride around the neighborhood for pleasure, fitness or running errands, an upright cruiser e-trike with a rear cargo basket would be a good choice.

If you are looking to take longer road rides, a recumbent e-trike may be a better option. These are aerodynamic, low-to-the-ground stretched-out frame trikes that allow you to recline with your legs positioned in front of you.

There are also folding e-trikes, which are practical if you have limited home storage space or would like to take your trike with you when traveling. Once you know the kind of bike you are interested in purchasing, use your favorite online search engine to find the option that best suits your needs.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published July 8, 2022
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