Bicycling as our bodies age can become a challenge, but there are clear benefits to cycling? The solution could be 3 wheel bikes for seniors.
Two-thirds of individuals over the age of 65 have mobility issues making it difficult to walk to climb. These disabilities make it more difficult to get adequate exercise to maintain strength and balance as we age.
Biking can be the ideal sport for seniors. When you are on a bike, all your weight is centered in your pelvis, and therefore there is no weight on your legs. Seniors suffering from joint pain or other issues will find biking an easier exercise than walking. Biking is an aerobic activity. It is an excellent activity for the brain, blood vessels, and heart. Aerobic exercise also releases endorphins, which reduce depression and improves cognitive function among individuals with mild Alzheimer’s disease.
As you push the pedals down, the motion increases muscle mass in the gluteus, quadriceps, gastrocnemius, and soleus muscles. These muscles are used when climbing stairs too. As you raise your legs, you also use your hamstrings and flexor muscles. Abdominal muscles keep your balance, and shoulder and arm muscles are needed to hold the handlebars and steer.
The benefits trickle down even further. The resistance of pushing on the pedals causes the muscles to pull on the bones, which increases their density, something we tend to lose as we age.
Selecting Three-Wheeled Bikes for Seniors
Because of balance issues, many seniors feel insecure on a traditional bike. Three-wheeled bicycles are an excellent alternative. Let’s take a look at some features to consider when selecting three-wheeled bicycles for seniors.
Number of Gears
Take the terrain into consideration when choosing a tricycle. If the roads are flat, you can probably get by with just a single gear. However, if there are hills or the senior who will be riding has inadequate muscles to pedal, choose a tricycle with more than one gear. Three-wheeled bikes are quite a bit heavier than traditional bikes, so having an option to reduce the force needed to move forward is a great option.
Make sure the saddle has enough padding to support your bones. Look for saddles designed to relieve pressure on the perineum where arteries and nerves to the lower body lie. Too much pressure here, and you may experience leg tingling or numbness. These pressure-relieves seats often come in a horseshoe design.
Weight Capacity and Adjustability
Check the weight capacity for the particular bike you are interested in. Typically, tricycles that have bigger wheels can support more weight. Adjustability is another feature to look for. To get the most out of your biking, make sure the handlebars and seat height are not too high or too low.
A tandem styled tricycle might be exactly what you need if solo biking is unsafe or impossible. Tandem bikes come in a variety of designs. There are recumbent and upright side-by-side three-wheeled models. There are also linear models where one person rides in front and the other behind.
The advantages of this type of bike are numerous. Each rider can pedal at his or her own speed. Only one person steers. Some models even have handicapped accessible seats. Visually and deaf and hard of hearing individuals can ride with others for safety. Tandem biking makes biking more accessible for those that need a caretaker.
When you ride an electric tricycle, you have the option to switch between pedal and electric power. If a hill is a little too steep or you are just a little too tired to continue, then flip and switch, and away you go! Many electric three-wheeled bicycles have cargo baskets, perfect for shopping. The heavier design prevents tipping as well.
Recumbent bikes come in two different models. When two wheels are at the back, this is a delta recumbent bike. If two wheels are in the front, then it is called a tadpole recumbent bike. The saddle is more like a chair, so it is more comfortable than a traditional upright bike for many. It also has a low center of gravity, so balance isn’t an issue.
Certain health conditions can be impacted by the type of bicycle you choose. Spinal stenosis pain is reduced using a recumbent bike because your spine is in a flexed position. However, a herniated disk can be aggravated using a recumbent bike.
Best 3 Wheel Bikes for Seniors in 2021
Now that you know what to look for when selecting three-wheeled bicycles for seniors, take a look at our top recommendations.
The Schwinn Meridian Adult Trike comes in single, 3, and 7-speeds in various attractive colors. It is a good fit for those between 5’4″ and 6’2″ in height. The wide handlebars ensure a stable ride. The saddle is padded and adjustable. The aluminum frame is low for easy mounting and dismounting. It comes with a handy rear cargo basket and a limited lifetime warranty.
The Mobo Triton Pro Adult Tricycle comes in orange, red, silver, and blue. Its low center means balance is never an issue. The design reduces stress on your back and knees. The seat is slightly reclined and cushioned for comfort. It adjusts to fit heights 4’2” to 6’3” and can bear up to 250 pounds. Maneuverability is easily managed with dual-joystick steering.
Trailmate JoyRider 24″ Side-by-Side Adult Recumbent Tandem Trike is our choice for the best shared experience. Each rider can adjust the handlebars to best suit them. The seats are cushioned for maximum comfort. You have your choice of independent or synchronized pedaling models. It comes in either single or three-speeds. Baskets and seat harnesses are optional. Best of all, it can even be motorized.
The Addmotor Motan Electric Tricycle is designed for individuals between 5’2″ and 6’6 and weighing less than 350 pounds. It has a step-over frame for easy on and off. The front and rear baskets will keep all your things in place as you go. The 750-watt hub motor reaches speeds up to 22 mph. A single charge will go for about 50 miles in distance. The half grip twist throttle makes it easy to switch from pedal to motor.
Whichever style you choose, 3 wheel bikes for seniors are a blast! They get you outside and keep you active. Happy trails!