Choosing Seniors' Bicycle Accessories to Improve Your Ride

Gabrielle Applebury
Seniors wearing helmets having fun on bikes

Bicycling is a top choice for many people hoping to combine exercise with recreation, and with the right seniors' bicycle accessories, people over age 55 can get in on the fun. Finding appropriate bicycling accessories can make riding more comfortable, safe, and fun for active individuals.

Handlebar Accessories

It's a good idea to look into handlebar accessories if you ride your bike for long periods of time, have joint issues, tend to get shaky from overexerting yourself, or have arthritis. These accessories can make cycling feel a bit more comfortable.

Grips

Grips make holding on to the handlebars more comfortable, especially if you have issues with grasping or have arthritic joints. When selecting a grip, make sure to purchase something that notes an ergonomic style. This way, you'll feel more comfortable holding on as they are designed with the shape and movement of the hand in mind. Grips cost anywhere from about $15 to $80 depending on the style, brand, and level of cushioning you'd like to have. These can be purchased online or through your local bike store. Some great options include:

  • Meetlocks Bike Grips cost around $16 and work best with mountain bikes, road bikes, and commuter bikes.
  • Ergon offers tons of grip options that range from $30 to $90. Although mainly marketed for mountain and racing cyclists, these grips would work well for commuter bikes as well.

Extensions

Handlebar extensions can be installed on bikes in order to create more space for mounting phones, GPS devices, and lights. These safety features can come in handy if you plan on riding rough terrain or during non-daylight hours. Extensions can cost around $4 to $20 and may take some time to install. If purchased from your local bike shop, an employee can most likely assist you in installing the handlebar extension. These are also great products to have if you have experienced medical issues in the past and need to carry a phone with you during your rides for safety purposes. Some options include:

Bicycle Seats for Seniors

Finding a great bike seat can make cycling more comfortable and relieve some back pressure during your ride. If possible, test out a few seats to see which one works best for you. Look for a seat that relieves pressure, feels comfortable, and is wide enough to sit on for long periods of time. This will give you more options when it comes to using your bike. Bike seats can cost upwards of $30 so take your time finding one that feels the best to you. Some great ones for seniors include:

  • Bikeroo bike seat for seniors costs around $40, is set wide and has extra cushioning to relieve lower back pressure.
  • Cloud 9 Cruiser Select is a unisex option that costs around $32, is made with gel cushioning, and relieves lower back and tailbone pressure.

Appropriate Helmets

Riding with a helmet that fits properly can decrease your chances of injury by 50% making it a necessity when it comes to riding safely. Find a helmet that has good ventilation to keep you cool and is rated highly in terms of safety. Helmets can be fitted properly at your local bike shop. If you have an existing helmet, be sure that it fits snuggly and comfortably. Your helmet should not be loose enough to fall or fly off of you. Helmets can cost around $25 to $200 depending on the style you'd like. Some highly rated options include:

  • Bell Event Bike Helmet is highly rated, costs around $30 and comes in a variety of color choices.
  • Giro helmet costs around $50, is lightweight, and comes in several color options.
Senior man wearing bike helmet

Useful Water Bottle Holders

Having a water bottle holder is a great idea as many riders can experience dehydration on longer rides, or during warmer weather. Hydration is especially important for seniors as lack thereof can cause dizziness, confusion, cramping, and exhaustion. This can increase the risk for bike related accidents or hospitalization. Be sure to drink plenty of water prior to your bike ride and to take an adequate amount of water with you. Some great water bottle holders include:

  • Bontrager offers many water bottle accessories that fit a variety of water bottles. Prices vary from $20 to $80.
  • UShake water bottle cages come in a pack of two for only $10 and are super lightweight.

Pedal Accessories

Bike pedals can be removed and replaced with ease. Find a pedal that works best for you and focus on whether you'd like a wider bike pedal or need pedal extensions which move your pedals to wider positions. Pedal accessories or replacements work great for seniors that have wider set hips, experience knee discomfort, and have a wider foot. Finding an appropriate pedal replacement or accessory can help create more comfort during your ride and put less pressure on your knees. Some pedal replacements and accessory options include:

  • Sunlight Pedal Extenders which cost $15 to $22 depending on the size option selected.
  • Rock Bros Bike Pedals are wider than the average bike pedal and can be used to create a more comfortable platform for riding. They cost around $22.

Gloves

Gloves can help reduce slippage during your ride and increase your hand and wrist's comfort level by providing extra cushioning. They also can help reduce the impact of bumps on the road which is great for those who have sore hands or wrists, are prone to callouses, and even arthritis. Gloves can provide warmth during chillier rides and some will wick moisture away to ensure you've got a solid grip on the handlebars. Gloves can cost anywhere from $10 up to $60 depending on the brand and style selected. Some awesome options include:

  • Zookki Cycling Glove costs around $10 and has a very well cushioned palm area providing great protection from rough terrain. They are also moisture wicking and light reflecting.
  • Louis Garneau Biogel Gloves cost around $22 and provide the rider with comfort, shock absorption, grip, and breathability.
Senior woman wearing bike gloves

Framework Adjustments for a More Comfortable Ride

When you purchase a bike, you want to make sure the frame suits your body style. Keep in mind:

  • Most bikes have an adjustable bar that allows the saddle to move up or down for the right fit. When you sit on the bike, your leg should almost straighten on the downstroke, with a slight bend at the knee.
  • Generally, you want at least two inches of clearance between you and the bike's parallel bar (the crossbar that connects the handlebar to the seat stem).
  • If you have longer legs and a shorter torso, you need to make sure that you're not overextending to reach the handlebars. Your handlebar stem should be about one inch above the nose of your seat to avoid lower back strain. If the height isn't suiting your needs, you may want to consider handlebar extensions.
Senior couple on recumbent bicycles

Finding Seniors' Bicycle Accessories

Typically, searching online for the best price when it comes to bike accessories is your best bet. You can head to a brick and mortar store to learn about the best accessories and then purchase the items online if you hope to save a bit. These stores also offer proper bicycle clothing to keep you warm, cool, and dry as needed.

Local Bike Shop

If you haven't been in the saddle for a while, you'll appreciate the one-on-one attention extended to you by the avid riders manning the store. The trade off is that prices for seniors' bicycle accessories might be a bit higher than at the larger chain stores or online. These shops are also the best outlets for learning about biking clubs and get-togethers with other enthusiasts.

REI

A national store with biking advisors available to help you make the right selection of seniors' bicycle accessories. You can order both in-store and online. You can also ask about sales or discounts and time your purchase around then.

Choosing a Bicycle

Finding the right bike that suits your shifting needs as a senior can be tricky. Think about your comfort and what activities you plan on doing with your bike to help you make your selection. If you already own a bike, finding useful accessories can help make your current bike more comfortable whether you are mountain biking, commuting to work, off road biking, or just riding for a low impact cardio workout.

Finding Great Bike Accessories

Whether you are an avid rider or just ride a bit every so often, finding great accessories can make this sport much more enjoyable. Take your time finding the best bicycle accessories that suit your needs and enjoy this great, low impact exercise.

Choosing Seniors' Bicycle Accessories to Improve Your Ride