Study: E-Bikes Can Help Seniors and People With Disabilities — If They Can Overcome Barriers to Riding

  • Date: 11/15/2023

E-bikes can be a critical mobility aid for seniors or people with disabilities — but the first step is getting those populations to abandon their preconceptions that the mode just isn't built for them, a new report suggests.

A study published this month in Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives highlighted the potential of pedal-assist vehicles to get people with mobility challenges moving, but also stressed that we first have to “understand how these populations perceive e-bikes and identify the concerns and barriers they face."

To do that, the researchers at Texas A&M University looked at how adaptive e-bikes — such as tricycles and quadcycles for people with balance issues, recumbent bikes with a lower center of gravity, or bikes with handcranks to help people with lower body mobility issues — can serve the 32 percent of Americans who will develop travel-limiting disabilities by age 80.

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