Here is our guide to choosing the best folding bike, especially if you plan to use it for commuting. Browse our expert picks that will ensure value for money in your ultimate choice.
- 1 Why folding bikes are increasingly popular
- 2 Features of a folding bicycle
- 3 Which is the best folding bicycle in the U.S. market?
- 4 Best folding bike in Europe
- 5 Q&A
- 6 Things to consider before making a folding bike purchase
- 7 More cycling tips
Why folding bikes are increasingly popular
Bicycles are gradually invading our cities and are increasingly used as an economical and environmentally friendly means of transportation. Folding bikes are even more attractive due to the possibility of transporting them easily, on a train, on the subway or even in the trunk of a car.
But how to choose the best folding bike on the market?
You will have to make a very shrewd choice also because the prices are not low. Prices may vary significantly between the several folding electric bicycle or ultralight urban models.
Among the things you will have to consider are weight, the ease with which the bike can be closed or opened, handlebar configuration, brakes, bags and accessories, and many other important aspects.
Features of a folding bicycle
The folding bicycle is a compact and light two-wheeler. It is built in the same way as a traditional bicycle but folds at the frame. Its use is suitable for both men and women. Some manufacturers also offer mini folding bicycles for children.
These bicycles take up little space, are easier to park, and pedal like traditional bicycles.
Some models are also suitable for out-of-town excursions, and even for biking to work or commuting around town. This type is also widely used by commuters to get to work by also using the train and should never be chosen with little thought.
In fact, to make the best choice, you should always take into account all your real needs.
Folding bike: what are your real needs?
If you need a vehicle that is very easy to transport off-road, for example, you should choose models with wheels less than 24 inches long and a steel frame.
Also interesting are those equipped with real semi-rigid cases made specifically for transport.
What is your budget for a folding bike?
The purchase of a folding bike will be made according to the budget you are ready to allocate for the purchase.
Let’s say that for a basic model you start from a cost of at least 300 dollars to go up to about 2,000 dollars for Brompton models and even more for folding electric bike models.
If you are a truly passionate cyclist and want a top-of-the-line bike you will have to be willing to pay a high price even if it is lower than that of a road bike or a mountain bike. If, on the other hand, you are considering buying one as a backup bicycle, a mid-range offer could be the right one for you.
As for entry-level products, they are not suitable for frequent use, as they are heavy and not very easy to use on a daily basis.
Which is the best folding bicycle in the U.S. market?
Find below our value for money picks of the best folding bikes for commuters.
Brompton Folding Bikes
Brompton foldable city bikes are in our opinion the best folding bikes on the market. They stand out not only because of the precision of the mechanics and the limited weight but also because of the accurate design and the wide range of accessories.
The riding position may appear curious to those who have never ridden a Brompton, more similar to that of a racing bike than that of a city bike, but it’s actually a great value for money choice if you are looking for a foldable city bike. It can be used not only for commuting, but also for weekend road bike rides.
Bromptons are generally not available on Amazon, save for a few models: most of the times you will only find a few accessories such as panniers. You will have to search for the authorized retailers in your country/zone. Some of them also sell online on their sites.
For example, if you live in the U.S.A. you can choose four favorite Brompton bike here: Brompton US retailers
Dahon Folding Bike
Dahon is arguably the world’s largest manufacturer of folding bicycles and offers a wide range of cost-effective bikes. Our choice here is the Dahon Mariner D8: it is a both affordable and practical option.
This foldable bike is equipped with an eight-speed transmission, has a practical and elegant design and offers an array of desirable features and performance capabilities that cater to the needs of most commuter cyclists. The D8 provides a comfortable and smooth riding experience. Its folding and unfolding process is swift and secure, ensuring ease of transition between folded and unfolded modes.
Find more here: Dahon models and retailers
Best folding bike in Europe
Most manufacturers don’t have a global presence, so let’s see a few options you may like if you live outside the U.S.A. Here is our pick if you live in Europe.
FabricBike Folding Bike
If you live in Europe, a very good value for money option is provided by the Folding Fully Matte model. This foldable bike features an aluminum frame and wheels with 20″ rims. It has only one gear ratio and is available in two colors, gray and black. The weight of the bike is 26 pounds and when folded it has these dimensions: 34x26x13 inches. It is a very suitable bike for commuting and you can find it for sale online directly on Amazon or through their website: FabricBike official site
A low budget alternative: Decathlon folding bikes
This chain has a global presence, covering more than 70 markets at the time of writing (but not the US). Decathlon delivers great value in the retail sports industry by offering a wide range of cost-effective products. You will find several low budget foldable bikes that are just perfect for a urban use. They start from a minimum of 160 EUR up to around 800 EUR for folding pedal-assisted models.
These are relatively cheap models and quite popular in big cities. You can check out your Decathlon local site, where you can buy them directly or find the store nearest to you.
Here are now some answers to the questions you may have had while reading the selection of the best folding bikes.
What are the different types of folding bikes to know?
Here are the three types of folding bikes you need to know:
- Short Urban Routes: They are designed to provide fast urban transportation for commuters. They adapt to very short distances.
- For road use: these are models designed to go on the road alongside cars. They are more durable and stable.
- For more versatile use: these are models for those who ride rougher terrain and trails and are the most solid bikes on the market.
What are the Advantages of a Folding Bike?
There are many reasons to buy a folding bike. These pros will help you understand why they are so popular and widespread.
- Ease of carrying: foldable bikes can be easily stored in the trunk of a car and you can take them on the subway or train without any particular worries. This gives them a big advantage over traditional models especially if you use them every day
- These bikes are compact and take up little space: cycling to the office is a great way to combine sport, savings and fun. However, a traditional bike is not very convenient to park and you also run the risk of having it stolen in the city. Fortunately, foldable models are easier to manage and take up less space in both the office and home. Folding bikes are very popular with those who live in apartments and don’t have a basement or garage. So if you like cycling, you should get yourself a model that folds up to save space.
- Effectiveness in urban environments: thanks to their lightness and their configuration adapted to the asphalt, they are recognized as one of the best means of urban transport. In addition, the design has been fully engineered to match the busy streets of urban environments.
- Lightness and ease of maneuvering: folding bikes are light. The lightest and most resistant are those in stainless steel. Their weight allows these bicycles to travel faster, to be parked faster and to be transported on public transport.
- Folding bikes are not easy to steal. Thanks to their foldable configuration, they are easier to fix and secure in parking lots, or to take with you, directly to the office, under your desk or at home, so they are not the most common of stolen bikes. In addition, they have removable parts that can be removed when parking.
Last, they’re great fun: they combine the useful with the pleasant!
Our advice is never to forget to secure it with a chain and a safety lock. When you park your bicycle, even for a short while, secure it with a good bike lock.
Things to consider before making a folding bike purchase
Also remember the following points:
- Compatibility with different types of terrain. If you like to traverse extreme trails but also in the city, you should choose models compatible with different types of terrain.
- Travel models. Folding travel bicycles must be selected with great care. They should have tires that are thin enough and should be light enough to allow manual transport, if necessary.
- Basic model. If you do not necessarily want a high-performance bicycle, you can opt for a basic model. The basic configuration will allow you to make regular short trips in a short time.
- Folding Mechanisms. The folding mechanism of your bicycle should be easy to handle. Be sure to use a model that is easy to fold and unfold. This point is intended to save you time and avoid the risk of theft.
- Weight. The frame of these bicycles should be fairly light if you plan to carry them in a car or on the subway. Those who plan to take an off-road model should get a heavier and more solid model.
- Your size. Bicyclists should always choose their folding bicycle according to their size. An in-store setup could therefore be of great importance.
- The gearbox. The gearing of your folding bicycle should be well proportioned to its size. It should therefore allow you to enjoy stable pedaling power.
More cycling tips
Whether you are an urban cyclist or a bike enthusiast you will find more useful tips and information here: