Publications on ebiking's impact on people with disabilities or health conditions that impact mobility or social functioning


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It's clear from hearing the personal experiences of people who have various health conditions or disabilities that impact mobility or social functioning that ebiking improves health, mood, and well-being.

This is a place to list research articles and reports on ebiking and its impacts on health and disability conditions. Ready, set, GO!
Last edited:
December 2014, 3:646| Cite as
Optimization of electric bicycle for youths with disabilities

  • Tobias Blumenstein
  • Hilar Zeitlmann
  • Ana Alves-Pinto
  • Varvara Turova
  • Renée Lampe
Cerebral palsy is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and to maintain balance and posture. People with cerebral palsy have also perception and space orientation deficits so that special assistance devices should be developed to compensate these handicaps. The objective was to optimize an adapted electric bicycle (E-bike) for youths with neurodevelopmental disorders. An adapted E-bike was provided with ultrasonic sensors that measure distances to objects. If the distance to other objects reduces, an acoustic signal is sent. Additionally, a self-created force plate was fixed on the pedal to evaluate the muscle performances during biking. An experiment with the ultrasound warning system confirmed that acoustic feedback was helpful in avoiding obstacles. The measurement of the blood pressure, the heart frequency and the pedaling force during biking approved that the training condition of the test person can be registered and enables tuning the power of the electric motor to individual requirements. The results demonstrate that an adapted E-bike can be improved to provide better space orientation for people with perceptual disorders and to measure training conditions of patients. Moreover, these enable individual adjustment of the electric motor power to optimize comfort and therapy effect.

Cerebral palsy Cycling Ultrasonic sensors Acoustic feedback Space orientation
Journal of Transport & Health
Volume 2, Issue 2, June 2015, Pages 276-283

Extending life on the bike: Electric bike use by older Australians
By Marilyn Johnson & Geoff Rose rights and content


•An online survey of older electric bike riders in Australia.
•Majority of electric bike owners rode weekly (88.0%) including daily riders (34.3%).
•Infrequent adult pedal cyclists used their e-bike frequently for all trip types.
•Encouraging e-bikes will help older people make active transport choices for longer.
•We recommend age exceptions to permit cycling on footpaths from 65 years.

Older age may bring physical limitations but for many people, the desire to remain active does not diminish. To remain active, and continue the physical and psychological benefits of physical fitness, people need options that support continued movement; one option is an electric bike. In this study we identified the characteristics of older people who own and ride an electric bike in Australian and understand their motivations for purchase, their electric bike use and safety issues. We conducted an online study of electric bike owners in Australia (n=529). In this analysis, we focused on responses from participants aged 65 years and older (n=69). Respondents were aged from 65 to 88 years (71 years), most were retired (73.9%) and had been regular cyclists prior to purchasing an electric bike (80.3%). Almost half (42.6%) purchased their electric bike in a specialist electric bike shop and the two most reported motivations for purchase were to ride with less effort and replace car trips. The majority of respondents rode their electric bike weekly (88.0%) including people who rode it daily (34.3%). The most frequently cited mode shift was from private motor vehicle (car) to electric bike across all trip purposes. Respondents typically felt safer riding an electric bike than a pedal bike and the majority had not experienced an electric bike crash (84.1%). This initial, exploratory study provides the first insights into older Australian electric bike riders. Electric bikes provide a fun, practical option for people to incorporate active travel into their most frequent trips. Mode shift from car trips suggest that electric bikes increase regular (weekly, daily) physical activity. Initiatives and public policies that support electric bike use may increase the uptake of electric bikes by older people in Australia.

Cycling and disability: A call for further research
William Clayton, JohnParkin, ChrisBillington rights and content


•We examine the adequacy of current inclusive cycle infrastructure in the UK.
•Review of current design guidance: UK lags behind best practice in inclusive design.•
Health and wellbeing benefits to participants: fitness, enjoyment, confidence.
•Significant barriers to disabled cycling remain. Additional needs not considered.
•Focus on both accessible primary infrastructure, but also supporting infrastructure.

Cycling can offer health benefits, and these benefits are relevant for disabled people. Few disabled people cycle, and disability is under-researched in cycling studies. This paper (i) reviews current research into disabled cycling, and provides a critique of inclusive cycle design guidance; and (ii) reports on a recent study which highlights some of the significant issues faced by disabled cyclists in accessing cycle infrastructure and using designated cycle networks. A semi-structured focus group was conducted with eight inclusive cycle scheme users, seven care providers supporting the majority of the cyclists, and the scheme organiser. We conclude that the needs of disabled cyclists are increasingly being taken into consideration in infrastructure design guidance, but there are many issues to be resolved before cycling is accessible to and usable by disabled people. There is little research on understanding the experiences of disabled cyclists, and hence there is a knowledge gap concerning the efficacy of current design guidance. The data presented in this paper provide a useful first insight into the experiences of a group of disabled cyclists, but these data are limited to the specific context of that group. Further research is needed.