Bikes

Electric Bikes for Disabled Adults: Top 7 Adaptive E-Cycles

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Electric bikes are increasingly popular as a way to get around. Having an extra boost can help with riding longer distances, tackling hills and carrying cargo. For disabled people, e-bikes can also be used as mobility aids which enable riders to travel, exercise and relax.

16% of the world’s population, or 1 in 6 of us, will experience some form of disability in our lifetime. This equates to an estimated 1.3 billion people worldwide.

From physical impairments to mental health conditions, there are many different disabilities which affect people in a wide variety of ways. Thankfully there are also lots of non-standard cycles to cater for a range of needs. In this article, we’ll be exploring the best adaptive e-cycles for disabled adults.

Best Adaptive E-Cycles for Disabled People

  1. RadTrike in white background

    Comfortable and balanced

    RadTrike

    A well designed, stylish and comfortable electric tricycle with foldable features, storage capacity and more.

  2. Tern NBD in white background

    Low step frame

    Tern NBD

    Easy to share, use and adjust, an ultra low step and accessible e-bike for all ages, shapes and sizes.

  3. E Helios in white background

    High quality tandem

    E Helios

    Fully kitted out with Shimano components, this tandem is a reliable way to get two people from A to B.

  4. Jorvik Elite Folding tricycle in white background

    Capable and practical trike

    Jorvik Elite Folding Tricycle

    Customisable and comfortable, this is a trustworthy trike from leading brand Jorvik.

  5. OPair Wheelchair bike in white background

    Enabling wheelchair users to ride

    OPair Wheelchair Bike

    A well designed bike to support wheelchair users to cycle accompanied by a rider.

  6. ICE Adventure in white background

    Lightweight recumbent

    ICE Adventure HD

    A highly adaptable and versatile adventure recumbent bike with an accessible seat set up.

  7. DaVinci Veloce in white background

    Clip on hand cycle

    DaVinci Veloce

    Convert your wheelchair to a cycle in minutes with this compact hand cycle.

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Are Electric Bikes Good for Disabled People?

Increased fitness, improved wellbeing and the wider positive environmental impact means the benefits of electric bikes are universal. However, depending on the nature of the disability, electric bikes can be particularly good for disabled people as they offer assistance that makes cycling possible.

As an example, this is the case for me as due to my conditions without electric assistance I would not be able to ride a standard cycle. Even though my bike is electric and supporting me to ride, I am still able to be active. As we investigated in this article, you can get fit and even lose weight using an electric bike.

On top of the positive physical impact, the advantages for wellbeing of being out and about cycling are significant especially as disabled people are more likely to be socially isolated and experience loneliness.

Types of Electric Cycles for Disabled People

There are many forms of electric cycles for both able-bodied and disabled people. As we identified in this post, there are two main categories: pedal assist and throttle. Pedal assist means the rider needs to pedal to activate the motor, whereas the throttle system controls the motor so these cycles can be powered without pedalling.

I explored the types of cycles for disabled people covering tricycles, hand cycles, mobility bikes, tandems, side by side cycles and recumbent cycles. These cycles are often available with and without electric assistance, and there can also be pedal assist and throttle options.

We’ve also compiled this useful list of bikes that are designed and built to accommodate riders carrying additional weight, some of which are e-bikes.

Best Adaptive E-Bikes for Disabled Riders (Top 7)

1. RadTrike

RadTrike in blue background
RadTrike in use
RadTrike
  • UK Flag £2,075
  • US Flag $2,500
  • EU Flag €2,355

Prices are approximate

Weight: 37kg (82lb)

Wattage: 750w

Range: 32-88km (20-55 miles)

Gears: N/A

Step through design

Fold down features

Cushioned saddle and backrest

Described as ‘The Unexpected Joyride”, this electric trike is jam packed full of useful features to make your ride smooth, comfortable and balanced. Its ergonomic design and plush seat set up means you can cycle in style, plus you can fold the handlebars down for transportation and storage. It can even go in reverse and has a parking brake!

Pros

  • Upright seating position
  • Significant carrying capacity
  • Available in curated kits for different needs

Cons

  • It is so popular that it may be out of stock!
  • No gears available


2. Tern NBD

Tern NBD in blue background
Tern NBD in use
Tern NBD on the road
  • UK Flag £4,700
  • US Flag $5,660
  • EU Flag €5,335

Prices are approximate

Weight: 23.4kg (52lb)

Wattage: 500w

Range: 51-118km (32-73 miles)

Gears: 5-speed

Ultra low step through frame

Easy to balance

Adjustable handlebars and seatpost

NBD stands for No Big Deal and that’s exactly how this bike is designed to make you feel. Cycling is simple, easy and comfortable thanks to a slick and accessible frame shape, easily adjustable seat and handlebars and powerful and quality electric assistance. 

Pros

  • Suitable for a wide range of sizes, shapes and situations
  • Designed to carry cargo too
  • Comfortable and ergonomic

Cons

  • May be more suited for cargo carrying than general riding


3. E Helios

E Helios in blue background
E Helios
E Helios
  • UK Flag £4,700
  • US Flag $5,660
  • EU Flag €5,340

Prices are approximate

Weight: 24.5kg (54lb)

Wattage: 418w

Gears: 8-speed

Low step over frame

Easy size adjustment

Quality Shimano assist & disc brakes

Built to a very high specification with Shimano STEPS electric assist and hydraulic disc brakes, the Helios is designed to transport both passengers reliably and efficiently. With many customisable options such as automatic shifting and different configurations, it is suitable for a wide range of needs. 

Pros

  • Can carry two passengers
  • Particularly suited for visually impaired riders
  • High quality components

Cons

  • May be harder to store due to longer size


4. Jorvik Elite Folding Tricycle Jet E

Jorvik Elite Folding Tricycle in blue background
Jorvik Elite Folding Tricycle in use
Jorvik Elite Folding Tricycle
Jorvik Elite Folding Tricycle different colours
  • UK Flag £2,000
  • US Flag $2,400
  • EU Flag €2,280

Prices are approximate

Wattage: 250w

Range: 40-55km (25 miles electric only/35 miles pedal assist)

Gears: 3-speed

Front and rear storage racks

Throttle for walk mode

Puncture resistant tyres

Available in six different colours and two wheel sizes (20″ and 24″), this low step through folding frame tricycle from the reputable Jorvik brand prides itself on on being capable and practical. With high quality components and an accessible design, it is an excellent trike.

Pros

  • Plenty of built in storage capacity
  • Throttle and motor support
  • Anti-theft lockable battery

Cons

  • Limited range


5. OPair Wheelchair Bike

opair wheelchair bike in blue background
OPair Wheelchair bike in use
OPair wheelchair bike
  • UK Flag £7,895
  • US Flag $9,500
  • EU Flag €8,990

Prices are approximate

Weight: 58kg (127lb) – without electric battery

Range: 57km (35 miles)

Gears: 8-speed

Adjustable seat

Detachable front part can be used as wheelchair

Optimal seating position for driver

This excellent cycle allows wheelchair users who cannot ride independently to enjoy the experience of cycling. The design facilitates an easy transfer, and also comfortable riding positions for both users. With a wide range of customisable adjustments, the electric assist version even comes with an app.

Pros

  • Modern and stylish design
  • Easily adjustable
  • Pleasant riding experience for everyone

Cons

  • Electric assist model is very expensive


6. ICE Adventure HD

ICE Adventure HD in blue background
ICE Adventure HD
ICE Adventure HD in use
ICE Adventure HD colours
  • UK Flag £3,250
  • US Flag $3,920
  • EU Flag €3,700

Prices are approximate

Weight: from 16.7kg (36.7lb)

Wattage: 250w

Easily foldable

Handlebar clamping system

Ergo-Luxe seat

This adventure recumbent trike has an accessible seating position, durable design and can be fitted with a choice of two models of the Shimano STEPS E-Assist system. Suitable for roads, trails and more, the integrated pocket, mudguards, reflective detailing and light mounts will keep you and your possessions safe and secure while riding.

Pros

  • Choice of two E-assist options
  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for different terrains

Cons

  • Need to enquire to establish price of e-models


7. DaVinci Veloce

DaVinci Veloce in blue background
DaVinci Veloce in use
DaVinci Veloce in use
  • UK Flag £1,895
  • US Flag $2,290
  • EU Flag €2,160

Prices are approximate

Weight: 2.3kg (5lb)

Gears: 9-speed

Fits to most rigid frame wheelchairs

LCD Cycle Computer

Easy docking system

This hand cycle will transform your wheelchair in a matter of minutes. Boasting a compact yet powerful battery, as well as an advanced gear, brake and assist system, the DaVinci Veloce is available in a range of colours with further options such as additional gears, mudguards and extensions to the crank or axle.

Pros

  • Can attach to wheelchair
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Requires wheelchair


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