Raleigh-ing call for electric bike study

Wednesday, 05 February 2014

E-Bike image

Raleigh UK is to support a pioneering study being led by Oxford Brookes University on the impact of electric bikes ('E-bikes') on older people's mobility and wellbeing.

With the electric bike market growing steadily in the UK, there is a growing awareness that assisted cycling can bring health and well-being benefits for thousands of inactive people. One of the issues that the industry faces is breaking down perception barriers and reaching out to people at different life stages.

The cycle BOOM study will investigate experience of using E-bikes amongst the over 50s. The study aims to inform industry on how E-bike technology could be improved. 

It also aims to inform policy makers on how the physical environment (i.e. towns, cities and countryside) could be developed to encourage more of the older population to take up cycling or to continue to cycle in older age. 

Richard Dobney, Raleigh’s electric bike product manager said: “We’re very excited to be working with Oxford Brookes and its partners on the cycle BOOM project. Seeing how our technology can be progressed, implemented and tailored to the non-cyclist is absolutely key to the future of electric bikes in the UK. Ultimately, we believe electric bikes are inclusive, and will contribute hugely to getting more people on two wheels in the coming years.”

Raleigh hopes to implement the findings in future product and marketing developments and will be working as a project partner over the lifespan of the study, which is expected to conclude in September 2016.

Tim Jones, Principal Investigator at Oxford Brookes University, added: "It's great to be working with an industry partner with such a proud heritage of British bicycle manufacture. With this study we hope to make a really important contribution in ensuring that future bicycle technology, as well as our towns and cities, are designed to support cycling in older age."

The study is currently looking for a diverse range of participants approaching later life (aged 50-59) and in later life (age 60+) living in the Oxford, Reading, Bristol and Cardiff areas.  

Researchers are especially interested in hearing from people who don’t regularly cycle anymore and will be in touch with those they would like to work with by the end of March 2014.

To find out more about the study, visit www.cycleboom.org/ where you can follow the link to participate.