BIKING

Best Folding Bike: A Guide To Portable Fun

Daniel Carraway
Written by Daniel Carraway

Biking to work solves two problems: getting the workout you need to keep trim and healthy, and saving gas money. Biking to work also prevents you from getting stuck in rush-hour traffic. These benefits are just some of the reasons why many people are looking for the best folding bike to take to work with them.

Ordinary bikes are great for commuting to work too. However, if you want something that is easy to stow or transport from pavement to the train, you need a foldable bike to make your daily commute easier. Buying a foldable bike is different from buying a regular bike.

girl on a folding bike

Buyers of traditional bikes need to consider features like frame type and wheel size because they affect ride-ability and comfort. Folding bikes are built a bit differently. Here are features you need to consider before buying a foldable bike.

Features of a Folding Bike

There are a number of features you need to check before buying a foldable bike that you don’t normally consider when buying a traditional bike. Think about these features before making a purchase.

Ease of Folding

This is why you’re buying a folding bike. You want something that is easy to fold and unfold when you transition from bike to train or bus. For ease of folding, check out the hinge and latching mechanism. There are bikes that latch close so that users can carry them without a case.

folded bike

It is also best to check if the saddle and handlebars are telescopic so that the bike can be folded into a more compact size. It is important that the adjustment latches are easy to collapse so that the bike can be folded or unfolded with ease.

Most manufacturers advertise their bike with a “folding time”. It is best to take this figure with a grain of salt since folding or unfolding the bike can take practice especially if you’re unfamiliar with the latching mechanism. Check out various designs to compare which are easier to fold.

Size and Weight

How small and how heavy is the bike when folded and stored? This feature is very important, especially for commuters who have to carry or stow their bike along the way or need to store them inside their lockers. Some commuter buses for example have a limit on how big a bike you can carry inside.

man packing folding bike

Also check if the chains are covered when folded. Greasy chains can stain clothing and are hard to remove. You also need to consider carry-bags. They answer the greasy chain problem but add additional steps to the setup or folding process.

Find a folding bike that is lightweight especially if you’re going to carry it along the way. Remember you might have other accessories like a backpack or briefcase that you need to carry too.

Ride Quality

Folding bikes do not offer the same ride quality that their standard cousins do. This is usually the feature that goes out the window first for folding bikes in order to give way to the portability. Generally, folding bikes with bigger wheels (26-28 inches) have better ride quality because they are more responsive to bumps and potholes.

couple riding folding bikes

Also, the bigger the wheel, the greater the distance it can travel quickly. However, most standard folding bikes come with 20-inch tires, so check if the bike has shock absorbers to make the ride smoother and more comfortable.

Adjustability

Folding bikes are manufactured to “one size fits all”. However, most of them have a limit to weight and height of the user. Also, most folding bikes have a limit to the adjustability of the saddle, handlebars. Ideally the rider’s toes should be able to support the bike when seated on the saddle since it affects pedaling ability.

adjustability on filding bike

Before buying a foldable bike, make sure that it can handle your weight and height. It is also a good idea to find one that has adjustable seats and handlebars to for efficient pedaling.

Folding Bike Reviews

Designers of folding bikes often have to compromise features to make the bike foldable. Before buying a bike, try out several models so that you can get a feel of the ride quality and the ease of folding and unfolding. Here are some foldable bike reviews to make your choice easier.

Camp Thundelbolt Bike

Camp Thunderbolt

Price: $399.00 – $599.00

Specific Features: 16 speed, Folded Dimensions: 33 x 14 x 26 inches, Weight: 29 lbs., Adjustable Quick Release Stem, Quick Release Handlebar 24″, Foldable Pedals with Reflectors, Dual Disc Brakes, Adjustable Kickstand

Best Used For: City commutes, recreational biking, storing in tight spaces

The Camp Thunderbolt is a good choice for people who want a bike that is easy to fold, unfold and store in tight spaces. The frame of this bike is very sturdy and easy to maneuver. The pedals in some folding bikes are hard to store in some folding bikes making them hard to store in tight places, but not the Thunderbolt. The pedals are foldable so they won’t hinder you from storing the bike in tight places.

The bike features magnets which keep the bike folded and convenient to carry or store. With 16 speeds, the bike is very smooth and easy to drive. It can handle hills very easily thanks to its solid construction. The dual disk brakes make riders feel secure. It gives riders great stopping power in all weather conditions. This folding bike is a bit on the expensive side but it has great features and construction.

Related: The Camp 14 Folding Bike Alloy Single Speed Q2 is a lightweight folding bike featuring 14-inch wheels. It is a 1-speed compact folding bike that can hold up to 210 lbs.

Check the price on Amazon

Montague Paratrooper Pro Folding Bike

Montague 20-Inch Paratrooper Pro Folding Bike

Price: $995.00- $1299.99

Specific Features: Folding Integrated Technology (FIT), folds in 20 seconds without the use of tools, strong disk brakes, CST Critter tires, adjustable seat

Best Used For: Mountain biking, daily commute, trail riding

The Montague Paratrooper Pro Folding Bike looks strange at first but let’s not forget that it is a full-sized mountain bike that is foldable to boot. The Paratrooper lives up to its name and is built with military precision. The bike was designed by the military to withstand the impact of being dropped from a plane through a parachute. It can carry a full-sized fully equipped soldier in mountainous terrain.

Buyers pay a high price to own the Paratrooper but its features live up to its price. The folding and disassembly can be completed in 20 seconds without the use of tools. The patented (Folding Integrated Technology (F.I.T.) technology eliminates the need to breakdown the mainframe so it does not have hinges or weak points.

This model is a full sized mountain bike with 20-inch frame. This folding bike is perfect for people who want to commute straight to work or for those who want to do some serious biking while keeping the bike stowed in their car when the mood strikes. The Paratrooper is built for off-road and down-hill cycling and is fitted with Tekto Novels disk brakes.

Related: The Montague SwissBike X90 30 Speed Bike is a 30-speed folding mountain bike with a stiff frame for performance and portability. It is built to last, carry gear and handle any terrain.

Check the price on Amazon

Columba Alloy Folding Bike

Price: $249.48- $349.99

Specific Features: 26″ wheels, folding alloy frame & suspension fork. Shimano 18 speed shifter and derailleur, foldable bearing pedals. Quick removable front handle stem, rear alloy body spring suspension

Best Used For: City riding, daily commute

Ride with style and convenience with the Columba Alloy Folding Bike. The bike is lightweight, weighing at only 34 lbs. The bike can be fully folded in just 10 seconds, making it portable and easy to store. It folds to a small size so it can fit the trunk of small cars like the Honda Civic or Toyota Prius.

It can be used for daily commute, recreational riding or take with you when camping. Manufacturers recommend a maximum weight of 200 lbs. The price range for the bike is excellent given that the bike has a lot of alloy components making it durable and a worthy investment.

Related: The Columba PR20S Folding Bike Gold features 20-inch wheels, folding steel frame & steel fork, alloy rims and foldable pedals. It is best suited for short-distance travel and city cycling.

Check the price on Amazon

Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike

Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike

Price: $399.00- $499.00

Specific Features: folds and unfolds in 15 seconds, single speed, Folding size: 11.7″ x 30″ x 25″, Weight: 24.2 pounds, K-series frame, aluminum rims, Dahon Rotolo, 20″ x 1.75 tires, folding and non-slip Suntour pedals

Best Used For: City Cycling, Daily commute

The simple design is what makes the Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike popular with consumers. The design reminds your childhood bike but the minimal design also resulted in a lightweight bike. The bike is single speed but not fixed gear so you can still coast without pedaling.

This easy to ride and unfold bike is the perfect choice for daily commuters who want something simple and compact to go around in the city. The Speed Uno is lightweight but very sturdy thanks to two mechanisms that lock everything in place. The feature that sets this folding bike from others is the rear coaster brake which can help prevent bikers from losing control of their bikes.

Another notable feature is the aluminum kickstand which enables the bike to be stood upright through the utilization of the tripod mechanism. The bike can be customized, so buyers can check out upgrades such as seats, pedals and handlebar grips.

Related: The Dahon Vybe D7 Folding Bike features a lightweight aluminum design. It promises convenience and true riding comfort with compact folding features perfect for busy people.

Check the price on Amazon

Ford by Dahon Convertible Bike

Ford by Dahon Convertible 7 Speed Folding Bicycle

Price: $335 – $345.17

Specific Features: 7-speed, Weight: 32 lbs, Folded dimensions: 34″ x 25″ x 13″, alloy seat post, adjustable stem, Shimano thumb-index shifter, frame integrated rear rack 230 lbs (105 kg) max rider weight

Best Used For: City riding, daily commute

The Ford by Dahon Convertible Bike has an outstanding mechanism, making it shine as a folding bike. It has been designed so that the rider can get off the bike and get walking almost immediately. According to some testers, they can get it folded in around 10 seconds, making it a perfect folding bike for people in a hurry.

Dahon also did a great job in ensuring that when folded the bike takes up only the most minimal spaces. Commuters won’t find themselves struggling to fold this bike in a hurry while the train is about to leave. The bike’s aesthetic features are also pleasing to the eyes and can tell that the Ford by Dahon is a premium bike at first glance.

The price point is under $400 making it a good investment for people looking for their first folding bike or those looking for value for their money.

Related: The Ford by Dahon C-Max 7-Speed Folding Bicycle folds in seconds so you can carry it anywhere. It is loaded with 7 speeds so you can take it where you want to go.

Check the price on Amazon

Stowabike V2 Compact Foldable Bike

Stowabike 20" Folding City V2 Compact Foldable Bike

Price: $119.99-$130.00

Specific Features: Weight: 35 lbs, Folded Dimensions: 24 x 34 x 32 inches, Durable and sturdy 20” steel folding frame, steel 20-inch fork, Adjustable seat and height, microshift 6-speed, Built in with steel mudguard and rack, Easy folding and storage, max weight: 280 lbs

Best Used For: City biking, urban commute

If you live in a hilly city with some difficult terrain, the Stowabike V2 Compact Foldable Bike could be your folding bike of choice. The Shimano shifters only need minimal adjustments to make sure it works properly. The brakes have good stopping power and can be dependable in most conditions.

The bike is small but its size makes it easy to store and transport. One of the best things about this bike is the price. It is very affordable but does not look cheap. It looks good and is ideal for people who are looking for an easy to fold and stow bike that they can use on daily commutes. In fact, owners have the option of carrying the bike on their shoulder by using a belt strap since it is lightweight.

Related: The Stowabike MTB V2 Folding Bike uses the same folding mechanism as the City V2 and is its mountain bike counterpart. The dual suspension makes it tough and it is built to last while looking good.

Check the price on Amazon

Enzo eBikes Electric Folding Aluminum Bicycle

Enzo eBikes Electric Folding Aluminum Bicycle

Price: $1,679.18 – $1,699

Specific Features: Marine ready lightweight and compact, 36Volt 8amp lithium-Ion battery and 350 watt SAMSUNG motor, cruising distances: 30 – 50 miles, speeds up to 20mph, Shimano 6 speed derailleur that enables you to pedal like a bike, magnesium-cast wheels, quiet motor, responsive disk brakes, integrated LED lights

Best Used For: City commutes, designed for yachts and RVs

With the Enzo eBikes Electric Folding Aluminum Bicycle, riders get style and an easy ride. It is a good e-bike with multiple features. First of all it is foldable making it easy to transport and store. The battery lock is well-concealed making the bike stealthy.

The full-length fenders are very handy during wet conditions and the integrated LED lights makes driving in low-light safer. The seat post has a handy pump which can be very useful in the event of a flat. E-bikes don’t usually support a lot of weight but the magnesium wheels give this bike more strength.

The entire bike is made from titanium, rubber, plastic, aluminum and magnesium materials making it easy to clean and maintain. The rear rack is useful while the glow-in-the dark paint is unique and an added safety feature.

Related: The Enzo eBikes 2016 Electric Folding Bike Bicycle is street legal in most places. It has speeds up to 20mph, lightweight, marine ready compact in its own free bag able to easily fit in your car trunk, boat, office and home.

Check the price on Amazon

Stowabike MTB V2 Folding Mountain Bike

Stowabike 26" MTB V2 Folding Mountain Bike

Price: $139.99 – $224.95

Specific Features: steel Stowabike folding frame, 26 inch wheels, 18-speed, Folded size: 39″ x 35″ x 23.5″, Weight: 36 lbs, Wanda 26×1.95″ tires

Best Used For: City commute, mountain biking, trail biking

The Stowabike MTB V2 Folding Dual Suspension Bike is not just a mountain bike; it can be used in the city as well. The bike has components from Shimano so that consumers have a folding bike and a mountain bike. It has a wide selection of gears so that riders can easily shift from pavement to off-road adventures.

The frame is sturdy and made from industrial-grade steel with folding functionality. The bike can be folded easily and stowed in your car or apartment. At its price range, it is hard to find a good quality foldable mountain bike.

However, Stowabike gives you a foldable mountain bike that is both affordable and durable. It is a decent bike that you can ride in the city during weekdays and off-trail during weekends.

Related: The Stowabike Pro Folding Bike is a city foldable city bike that is made from strong aluminum alloy. It is lightweight for easy carrying to trains, the bus or up your apartment steps.

Check the price on Amazon

Best Choice Products Shimano 6 Speed Folding Bike

Best Choice Products Shimano 6 Speed Folding Bike

Price: $129.95-$134.00

Specific Features: Shimano RS35 shifters, 20” Folding Bike Hi-Tensile Steel frame, Retro Alloy Handlebar, One Piece Steel Chrome Plated Crank set, Shimano RDTZ 50 rear Derailleur, Heavy Duty Kick Stand

Best Used For: Daily commute, city cycling

Fold the bike and you can easily store it in your car or storage space. You get value when you buy the Best Choice Products Folding Bike. The bike is of good quality made from high-tensile steel frame with retro alloy handlebar and chrome plated crank set.

This bike from Best Choice has good breaking capabilities for rider safety. The bike is affordable and is a good choice for city commute. Shifting is also smooth thanks to the Shimano RS35 shifters. This is a practical choice for people who want a foldable bike that will get them from point A to point B without a lot of fuss and hassle.

Check the price on Amazon

Conclusion

Now you don’t have to waste time getting stuck in traffic anymore. The best folding bike is a form of non-polluting transportation, provides good workout to keep healthy while helping you save money which you can put to better use. Are you ready to join the folding bike revolution?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Carraway
Daniel Carraway

Daniel Carraway joined our team last year. He is a gear freak when it comes to hiking, climbing and camping. He went to REI Outdoor School to meet new people and learn best practices. Don’t even try to argue with him about the latest backpack or ice axe, he tried most of them. Daniel’s dream is to climb Mount Everest.

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