In October 2014, Bridgestone Cycle Co., Ltd. launched the “Assista Uni Premier” as a simple motor-assisted bicycle that even the elderly can ride easily.
With the aging society in the domestic market, providing products that accurately address the needs of senior adults in Japan has become a major challenge for businesses.
In developing such products, a survey on motor-assisted bicycle usage among people aged 65 to 75 was conducted. The survey revealed that some senior adults avoid motor-assisted bicycles because they consider them “heavy, scary, and complicated,” even though they experience difficulties when riding normal bicycles due to weakened leg muscles.
In response to such survey results, Bridgestone Cycle designed a motor-assisted bicycle around the concept that it should be easy to ride, easy to use, and all-around simple. Specifically, the design goals were lighter weight, a lower floor, and simplicity. Bridgestone Cycle achieved a weight of 22.1kg, which is similar to normal bicycle,*1 enabling even those who are not confident in their physical strength to handle the bicycle comfortably. The frame employs small-diameter tires and a low-floor design that lets people 138.5cm and over straddle the bicycle with both feet on the ground*2 to ensure safety even during sudden stops. The motor-assistance switches that senior adults found complicated had their functionality simplified and buttons enlarged, resulting in a simpler and more user-friendly design. The design is also chic, with elegant coloring that does not suggest that this is a bicycle for senior citizens. “Assista Uni Premier” is a simple motor-assisted bicycle that incorporates the values and needs of senior adults.