Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Bikes for older people

In the Netherlands, older people are still active. The over 65s make 24% of their journeys by bicycle, not a very much smaller percentage than much younger people.

When you have a population which cycles right through life you need bikes available which suit all ages and fitnesses.

This is one of the designs that you occasionally see around the city.

It's not as upright as a normal Dutch utility bike, but has a lower saddle position so that you can get your feet flat on the ground. Ideal for people who have trouble on a "normal" bike.

Note that it has all the usual features of a practical bicycle including a chain case, skirt guard, mudguards (fenders), dynamo lights, kick stand, in-built lock and carrier rack.

A perfectly practical bike... but a little different.

Here's another bike designed to make it easy for people who can't lift their legs as they used to.

It has a very low step over frame which again makes it easier for a lot of people to get on their bike in the first place.

We sell many practical components for bicycles, including replacement handlebars and other items to improve comfort, in our web shop.

6 comments:

Karl McCracken said...

That semi-recumbent looks seriously cool. A bit like the Raleigh Choppers my friends used to ride when I was a kid, but for grown-ups. Hell, I'd ride one, and I'm not at all old. Maybe instead of 'old people', we could say 'people who want to ride in comfort'?

;-)

Anneke said...

:D There are also bikes with a very low frame, so you don't have to lift your leg to get on the bike.

Regular bike: http://moneymoney.web-log.nl/photos/uncategorized/708964_00_1001_nl52hkjpg_fiets_van_amand.jpg (sorry for the enormous links, but I don;t know how to shorten them.)

Lower frame:
http://www.lintech.nl/site/gfx/fietsen/linbike_LIelek_260.jpg

DrMekon said...

Wow - that looks like the only-just-announced Rans Fusion ST

http://www.ecovelo.info/2008/11/20/rans-fusion-st/

Any more info? I've love to try a crank-forward bike. My bakfiets has a layback post on it, which has a limited effect. It's useful to be able to be able to get proper extension whilst also being able to get your feet flat on the floor when you are pushing kids, shopping and 100lbs of bike.

David Hembrow said...

If you need this position in order to be comfortable on a bike then it makes sense. Otherwise, I don't see much point in this style of bike.

I've ridden such bikes as the Riese und Muller Equinox and Giant Revive, which have similar positions, and find them heavy and unresponsive. You can't get your weight on the pedals due to being laid back, but you can't push against the seat back due to the pedals being low compared with a recumbent. They're not performance machines.

For utility use I'd still prefer a proper upright bike, on which it is easy to put baskets on both the front and back, and for speed combined with comfort a proper recumbent with pedals slightly higher than the saddle works well are the way to go IMO.

DrMekon: There are shops in Cambridge which stock the Giant Revive so you could try that locally.

Anonymous said...

the bike with low step in isn't just for people who have trouble getting on their bike. Their for mothers, the dutch have a seat for their youngest children at their handle bars but this seat restricts space for your legs. This bike solves that problem (this way you won't hit your knee against the child's seat!)

christine clifford said...

We should not really divide folk like this. Some older people especially those who have cycled always, have different needs to new to cycling older folk. I haven't cycled for years. I have OA in my lower back, in my hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips. I like the low step over, comfy seat, need to keep pressure off my hands , arms upper body and lumbar region.
Young people wil certain conditions might need similar.
The big issue of course is also cost.