Recently, there has been a surge in the demand for folding bikes due to the advancements made by bike manufacturers in producing high-quality folding bikes.
Market analysts predict that the folding bike sector will keep expanding until 2028, as more cyclists, particularly commuters, recognize the advantages of possessing a bike that can be folded up when not in use; with advancements in technology making folding bikes lighter, sturdier and more compact, their prevalence on the roads is expected to increase.
Is it worthwhile to invest in folding bikes?
Commuters find folding bikes to be an ideal option due to their functionality, which enables effortless transportation on public transit systems and eliminates the concern of theft as they can be carried along.
Moreover, they can be folded into a compact form, which facilitates their storage in your home or office, making folding bikes a valuable investment.
Within this article, I will examine:
- The Pros of Folding Bikes
- The cons of folding bikes are their biggest drawbacks.
- My recommended folding bikes
The most significant benefits of folding bikes are their portability and convenience. These bikes can be easily folded and stored in small spaces, making them ideal for commuters who need to take public transportation or have limited storage space at home or work. Additionally, folding bikes are often allowed on trains and buses, which can save time and money on transportation costs. Another advantage is that they are lightweight and easy to carry, making them perfect for those who need to navigate stairs or elevators. Overall, the portability and convenience of folding bikes make them a great option for urban commuters or anyone looking for a compact bike solution.
My Top Pick For A Folding Bike
Best Overall Folding Bike
The Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike is the best overall folding bike.
- Lightweight frame
- Can accommodate individuals as tall as 74 inches (6 feet 2 inches)
- The step-through frame of the bike is lightweight and can be easily folded for storage purposes. Additionally, the folding frame comes with 20-inch wheels that are suitable for riders ranging from 56 to 74 inches in height.
- 7-speed gears
- The folding bike includes a convenient carry-bag, making it perfect for commuting.
Best Budget Folding Bike
The IDS Home UnYOUSUAL U Transformer is the top choice for a budget folding bike.
- Weight is suitable for commuting purposes
The Advantages of a Folding Bike
Having their bicycle stolen is one of the most distressing experiences for a cyclist.
Several urban bikers buy several locks and devise a complex mechanism to safeguard their bike while it’s parked outside.
Many bike riders who commute don’t have the option of bringing a standard-sized cycle into their workplace to keep it secure while they are on the job.
Many individuals, including myself for a prolonged period, were compelled to leave their bicycle secured outside during the night due to insufficient indoor space, resulting in both of my stolen bicycles being located outdoors at the time of theft.
While a lock can discourage thieves, it does not provide a foolproof way to ensure the safety of your bike.
One of the major benefits of owning a folding bike is its portability. It can be easily stored in compact spaces, such as small apartments or cubicles, by simply tucking it away in a corner or placing it under a desk.
One of Brompton’s folding bikes measures 23″ x 22.2″ x 10.6″ when folded up. You won’t have to fret about your two wheeler being taken, since it can stay close to you.
Initially, I believed that folding bikes were just a marketing ploy.
Due to a businessman’s marketing strategy, I had a misconception that folding bikes were of low quality and designed solely for selling purposes.
My assumption was incorrect. Brompton, Dahon, and Montague are reputable bike makers that offer exceptional bicycles, including their folding models (Dahon specializes in folding bikes). The materials used for these folding bikes range from aluminum to Chromoly steel and titanium.
Easy to Fold
Folding bikes are specifically created to be folded, and although each manufacturer has their unique folding mechanism, they are all user-friendly and can be done quickly.
It is not necessary to possess magical abilities to fold and unfold folding bikes, as most of them can be folded in 30 seconds or less.
Although each bike manufacturer has its unique approach and style for folding their bikes, the ultimate goal is to create a compact and portable bicycle from a fully functional one.
The diminutive size of a folding bike makes it effortless to store when not in use. We wrote an entire article providing advice on how to store a full sized bike while at work since many commuters were having difficulty finding a place to securely keep their bike.
Folding bikes solve the issue of storage as they can be easily folded and stored in small spaces such as closets or under desks.
Easy to Transport
Folding bikes have enabled numerous individuals to consider biking as a viable commuting option.
For individuals who consider the distance or duration of their commute too great for traditional biking, folding bikes offer a solution by allowing riders to pedal to a nearby bus, train, or metro and then fold up the bike for easy transport on board.
While commuting to work, folding bikes are becoming a popular choice as they make it effortless to combine cycling with public transportation, which is otherwise inconvenient with a full-size bicycle.
Not only can you maneuver them by hand, but folding bikes are simple to move in a car boot or in an overhead compartment of an aircraft.
Are you planning to cycle during a business trip but unable to carry your regular-sized bike?
If you have a folding bike, you can easily take it with you on your travels and ride it whenever you want.
The Cons of a Foldable Bike
When I first picked up a folding bike, I was taken aback by their weight, as I had expected them to be much lighter due to their ability to fold into a compact size.
The weight of folding bikes typically varies between 18 lbs and 35 lbs.
Generally, folding bikes that are lighter in weight tend to be more costly. The reason behind this is that the lighter models are constructed using materials such as titanium and carbon fiber, whereas the heavier ones are made of aluminum.
The cost of folding cycles is usually higher than that of their non-collapsible equivalents. You’re shelling out extra money to possess a bicycle that can be folded up like a paper crane.
Folding bikes tend to provide a less smooth and more rigid riding experience when compared to non-folding bikes, primarily due to the difference in tire size.
Folding bicycles come with a diverse selection of wheel sizes, ranging from 10 inches to 26 inches, with the most commonly used tire sizes being 16, 20, and 24 inches.
These smaller wheels don’t manage bumps as well as larger ones and can provide a more jarring ride. If you’re searching for a journey that is as smooth as silk, then I would suggest avoiding folding bikes. It won’t be nearly as comfortable as your fat tire cruiser or your full suspension mountain bike.
The Folding Bikes I Recommend
Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike
Personally, I believe that Schwinn produces the top-notch folding bicycles for the middle to lower end of the market.
If you are in search of a folding bike that offers both smooth riding and easy folding, Schwinns can provide both.
The Schwinn bike boasts an exceptional braking mechanism that sets it apart from others. Additionally, it is adaptable to riders of varying sizes and is both robust and space-saving, making it a highly efficient option.
Additional benefits comprise:
- Suitable for cyclists who are as tall as 6 feet 2 inches
- Ligthweight frame
- 7 speed gears
- An easily detachable bag for convenient storage
Take a look at the Schwinn Adult Folding Bike available on Amazon here.
IDS Home unYOUsual U Transformer (Budget Friendly)
In my opinion, the IDS Home U Transformer is the top affordable folding bike available in the market.
This bicycle is light enough to make it a great choice for commuting, taking public transportation, and simply carrying it around when needed.
Despite being at the budget end of the market, this product is well-constructed, long-lasting, and meets all the necessary requirements.
Take a look at the current price on Amazon here
Is there a difference in speed between folding bikes and regular bikes? While folding bikes are not inherently slower than other bikes, they may feel slower due to the rider’s upright position, smaller wheel size, and gearing. The upright position causes wind resistance, and smaller tires create more tire resistance. Additionally, many folding bikes have wide-ranging gearing that makes hills easier but is not ideal for pedaling at top speeds.
Do folding bikes comply with public transportation regulations? It is necessary to check the rules of your local public transportation system, but generally, they permit folding bikes. However, you must ensure that your bike is folded before boarding, although they are typically permitted on buses, trains, metros, subways, and so on.
Is it safe to use folding bikes? Absolutely, as long as you adhere to the weight limitations. Each folding bike has a weight limit that should not be surpassed. Folding bikes are designed to be robust and structurally sound, and they are built to last. They are not prone to breaking unless overloaded with excessive weight.
Are folding bikes considered unattractive? Some people have joked that they make cyclists resemble clowns, but ultimately it’s up to personal opinion. In my view, if you’re wearing regular street clothes, riding a folding bike doesn’t look silly. However, I do find it amusing when cyclists in lycra ride upright on folding bikes – are they racing? Overall, I don’t believe riding a folding bike in normal attire makes you appear foolish or like a circus performer.
Best Folding Bike Under $500
Best Folding Electric Bike Under $1000
Best Folding Electric Bike
Folding Bike for Heavy Rider
Folding Bike for Backpacking
Best Folding Bike for College Students
Folding Bike Bags
How to Lock a Folding Bike: The Best Folding Bike Lock