E bike solution for a VERY old person

JoeT

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We took the car keys away from my 94-year-old dad last week. For his age he is very active and currently is able to ride a two wheeler with good balance. He was devastated that we took his keys away but it was due to doctors orders. He will occasionally take a two wheeler on errands which might involve a 3 mile round-trip. He cannot ride the two wheeler when it’s hot outside and doesn’t have the endurance to do these trips regularly. Now that we took the car keys away I was hoping to find an Ebike solution which would allow him to run his errands whenever he wants to without getting worn out or affected by heat. I was thinking getting a lower power front wheel conversion kit might be a possibility.

Maybe this is just an all-around bad idea. Anything which would allow him to go faster than he normally does would increase the likelihood of an accident or injury.

Am I foolish to think there is way to limit the maximum speed at which the E bike assist motor would function? I am no expert but it seems like this technically this might involve a speed sensor and some kind of a motor cut off or power limiter. Please be merciful on flaming me for asking a dumb question. I am a complete newbie.

Thank you
 
My own personal opinion would be to avoid biking in general at that age. Falls are just so dangerous with the elderly (just tripping on something at home, let alone falling off of a bicycle).

I guess it comes down to risk tolerance and how experienced and passionate the individual is about biking, but in my opinion it is rather dangerous at that age.

Have you thought about a tricycle? At least they are more stable, and more suitable for errands.
 
Thank you for your thoughts.

Yes I bought him a Schwinn meridian a few days after we took his keys away. I rode it over to his house and he said “ I don’t want it and I don’t need it “ and did not even take it for a test ride. My initial plan was to put the motor on the front wheel of the trike. I am not sure if putting a motor on the trike is really a good idea either unless there is a way to limit the speed.
BB523E03-A51E-47CC-86DD-9B2E0D8FC4B9.jpeg
 
Would he consider a three wheel recumbent bike......they look sportier then the old fashion trikes......tell him all the young folks are riding them these days.......good luck......taking care of older parents is tough....been there.
 
Prior to the pandemic, I bought my FIL (80 y-o) a cheap, step-thru, fat tire ebike.
He used to ride it to his favorite fishing spot few miles from home and take short grocery runs.
Now he's 82, even though still 150 lb., he's been riding less and less.

Very difficult to make suggestions for 94 y-o without knowing the physical abilities.
I'd imagine a trike would be the safer option.
If rider is capable operating a trike but

My 80 y-o MIL had a minor stroke few years back, her balance on 2-wheel has never been so good since.
I also got her a micro, folding ebike to play around, I think she's still scared of using it on her own.
Basically, she's been using it with both her feet off the pedals & near the ground and just propel forward with the throttle,
450w motor, top speed of 25 kmh, but most of the time she keeps it under 15 kmh:
WQNqtb1.jpg
 
Trikes are the most dangerous bikes out there, same as the 3 wheeled ATV's that were outlawed. I live in a active adult community and at least once a month, someone takes a header on their trike because they took a turn too fast and went arse over teakettle, sometimes getting seriously injured. The trikes instill a false sense of confidence that can lead to problem. A recumbent is much better since the center of gravity is so low but someone with hit and knee replacements probably isn't going to be able to get in and out of a recumbent.
 
Would he consider a three wheel recumbent bike......they look sportier then the old fashion trikes......tell him all the young folks are riding them these days.......good luck......taking care of older parents is tough....been there.
JoeT,

You might give some consideration to a recumbent tadpole trike for your father. I do not like the delta trikes, due to the possibility of a braking/turning tip-over. I would still seek out some speed-limiting options, either electronic and/or by low gearing.

A helmet is a sportin' choice at any age. A light downhill biker full helmet would do the job there. You can also get impact-stiffening armor clothing using viscoelastic armor such as D30 and similar.; it works like magic. As armor, it is normally soft and flexible, until it is impacted by a hammer or the ground. Then it instantly becomes rigid armor protection. The motorcycle crew has some amazing protective gear lately, without dressing up like a Storm Trooper of the Star Wars Empire. Prolly good for any rider, really. :cool:
 
Yeah that non-Newtonian fluid based "armor" stuff is astounding. Soft and flexible until impact and then it dissipates a ton of impact energy over a wider area.
 
I know a older lady that had a stroke that bought a three wheel ebike with a big basket in the back and she takes it everywhere and just loves it!
 
Trikes are the most dangerous bikes out there, same as the 3 wheeled ATV's that were outlawed. I live in a active adult community and at least once a month, someone takes a header on their trike because they took a turn too fast and went arse over teakettle, sometimes getting seriously injured. The trikes instill a false sense of confidence that can lead to problem. A recumbent is much better since the center of gravity is so low but someone with hit and knee replacements probably isn't going to be able to get in and out of a recumbent.
I disagree with the flat out statement that trikes are the most dangerous bikes out there.

This is the only research study that I could find on the subject:

Unfortunately, it merely provides an analysis of what happened in the crashes, i.e., 35.3% of the incidents involved a motor vehicle. It provides no context for comparison, i.e., are crashes any more or less frequent on trikes than bikes.

There are tons of opinions on the internet, including anecdotal experiences such as yours. However, the majority of them say that trikes are safer to operate than bikes.

P.S. I own a motor trike. For me, it is much safer than riding a motorcycle for two main reasons. 1. It is so much more stable. I'm never worried about dropping my trike. I'm never worried about overturning my trike. There's a greater risk of me flying off the seat of the trike if I take a turn too fast than of the trike tipping over. 2. My greatest safety concern while riding on the road is inattentive motorists. Sometimes, they see right THROUGH me when I'm riding a motorcycle. This hasn't been the case when I'm riding my trike. I'd estimate my trike's target value to be ten fold that of a motorcycle, its out-of-the-ordinary form just catches drivers' attention.

While I have no experience riding a regular trike, I'd imagine that riding a regular trike would be safer than riding a regular bicycle for the same reasons.
 
We took the car keys away from my 94-year-old dad last week. For his age he is very active and currently is able to ride a two wheeler with good balance. He was devastated that we took his keys away but it was due to doctors orders. He will occasionally take a two wheeler on errands which might involve a 3 mile round-trip. He cannot ride the two wheeler when it’s hot outside and doesn’t have the endurance to do these trips regularly. Now that we took the car keys away I was hoping to find an Ebike solution which would allow him to run his errands whenever he wants to without getting worn out or affected by heat. I was thinking getting a lower power front wheel conversion kit might be a possibility.

Maybe this is just an all-around bad idea. Anything which would allow him to go faster than he normally does would increase the likelihood of an accident or injury.

Am I foolish to think there is way to limit the maximum speed at which the E bike assist motor would function? I am no expert but it seems like this technically this might involve a speed sensor and some kind of a motor cut off or power limiter. Please be merciful on flaming me for asking a dumb question. I am a complete newbie.

Thank you

Maybe something like one of these two models would work for him:

I'm partial toward the Addmotor Triketan. If you choose this one, I'd suggest picking up a pair of handlebar turn signal indicators + pair of rear view mirrors. (There are no front turn signal indicators and the rear ones look miniscule.)

The Jolta Gio Regal goes 20mph. The Addmotor's speed isn't listed, but with a 750W Bafang hub motor it might be able to push 20mph, too. Don't know if that is too fast or too slow for your dad.

Otherwise, continue your search by googling "e-trikes".
 
It's a zombie thread. Seems like the OP hasn't been around since July 2022. Too bad, as it seems like a hub motor on the front wheel would've been a good choice. (along with leaving it in Class 2 mode)

His dad shot it down without even trying it, with motor or without.

I hope the OP comes back and lets us know what happened or didn't happen.
 
Putting a Bafang motor kit on s trike would be ideal, its fully programmable for speed limit, amount of assist provided. All via a cable and your laptop
 
A Class III bike feels like riding a standard bike as the motor only assists the pedaling. This also makes for less effort for the rider but no increase in speed over what they would otherwise do.

I would buy one the excellent e-bikes sold by REI and these use standard bike tires so no issues with a flat.

An alternative would be to change the gearing for his current bike with a small front chainring or larger cassette cogs. There are advantages to having a bike that weighs 30 lbs less than an e-bike.
 
My own personal opinion would be to avoid biking in general at that age. Falls are just so dangerous with the elderly (just tripping on something at home, let alone falling off of a bicycle).

I guess it comes down to risk tolerance and how experienced and passionate the individual is about biking, but in my opinion it is rather dangerous at that age.

Have you thought about a tricycle? At least they are more stable, and more suitable for errands.
I totally agree and think irresponsible of family to encourage it. Use Uber or some other ride sharing service.
 
Last month, I just ordered a Lectric Trike for my in-laws.
They are in their mid to late 80's.
FIL used to ride his own fat tire ebike to go fishing prior to the pandemic, last year he had a health scare that had him in the hospital & rehab for nearly 2 months; he's lost some weight and strength to keep himself motivated to try the ebike again.
But cooped up indoor really isn't helping his recovery.
Last fall I got them an indoor recumbent with arm exercise extension, he really got into it and seems to want to venture outdoors when the weather gets warm.
I figure the Lectric Trike would be a good start, $1499 isn't that much of an investment to keep the in-laws interested in outdoor activities.
15 mph top speed is more than they will ever need.
I look forward to receive the Lectric Trike and have them try it out in April or May.
 
Last month, I just ordered a Lectric Trike for my in-laws.
They are in their mid to late 80's.
FIL used to ride his own fat tire ebike to go fishing prior to the pandemic, last year he had a health scare that had him in the hospital & rehab for nearly 2 months; he's lost some weight and strength to keep himself motivated to try the ebike again.
But cooped up indoor really isn't helping his recovery.
Last fall I got them an indoor recumbent with arm exercise extension, he really got into it and seems to want to venture outdoors when the weather gets warm.
I figure the Lectric Trike would be a good start, $1499 isn't that much of an investment to keep the in-laws interested in outdoor activities.
15 mph top speed is more than they will ever need.
I look forward to receive the Lectric Trike and have them try it out in April or May.
You're a good Human @"A"
Much Love :love:
 
I've worked in hospitals enough to know that some folks just need some motivation to get them back on track to recovery.
Older folks are much like children, sometime they can get scared after getting sick, need some handholding to regain their confidence to engage in activities, outdoor or indoor. But surely they need to stay active to get healthy, physically and mentally.

Advocating for older folks to stay active is like a fulltime job, most family members have hard time navigating the system in the US to get the proper help they need; take on too much on their own and get frustrated to care for the elders on their own. In the end the old folks don't get the help they really need.
I don't have children of my own, so helping out the in-laws prepare me for time when I get older and in need to help myself.
 
Electra internal gear step thru. I highly recommend as a safe and comfortable ride. I‘m 85 and ride almost every day.
 
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