The folding bike is a particular bicycle built with the same accessories as normal bicycles, but with a particular frame that folds on itself and allows the cyclist to always carry the bike with him.
They have small wheels and special hinges that allow you to fold the bicycles to transport it as if it were a suitcase and take it with you on transport like the train or the buses in the baggage machine.
These particular folding bicycles have a unique frame that allows bicycles to adapt to the stature of any person using them and are particularly robust and with a very secure closing system, to prevent the bike from opening when folded. Very interesting is the transmission system that does not have a chain, but a drive shaft with a Cardan joint.
How can you choose the best folding bike?
If you are a lover of cycling tours through different places, but you are planning trips through various countries, you are probably looking for alternatives that allow you to continue enjoying your passion but this time in a more portable way, since we all know how uncomfortable it can be to transport our traditional equipment at the airport or in rented cars.
Before you decide to buy any model that seems striking, in this guide I will teach you to look at the things you should consider selecting the best folding bike for your bike tour.
The highest performance folding bicycles can feel as safe as a regular bicycle. This makes them an absolute pleasure when driving.
The best performance bikes tend to use 20″ wheels and more, but the fact that a bicycle has large wheels does not mean it is good. The different designs of the painting and each of its pieces, remain very variable.
Obviously the ideal would be to organize a couple of trips with some friends and interspersed their models so you can choose with greater certainty.
2. Sizing and adjustment
Folding bicycles rarely come in more than one frame size. This is great if you are of average proportions, and not too fussy.
However, anyone who is outside the range of average height will have to compromise significantly. The importance of size and fit will depend on how you plan to use your folding bike.
If you want to travel really long distances, you are going to want something that suits you. If you are sightseeing in the cities and covering short distances, the ‘fit’ is largely irrelevant, except for the height of the seat, as our bodies will commit for short periods.
3. Wheel size
Folding bikes usually come with wheels of 16, 20, 24, 26 and 27.5”
As they are so variable, it is best to select their size depending on how you plan to use it. For example, if you only combine your routes with the use of other public transport such as buses, it would be better if your equipment is smaller and more compact.
If what you are looking for is performance over long distances, it will be convenient to look for something with larger wheels and a wider range of speeds.
i). Gear ratio: Folding bicycles tend to have fewer gears than a normal bike. This will vary in importance according to the type of driving you are going to do.
For example, since not all places are flat, this vehicle must have some gears low enough to help you climb hills. For this we can measure the relationships of its transmission using inches of gear.
ii). Hubs with internal gears vs. diverters: A good way to simplify the transmission of a folding bike is to use a bushing with internal gears. With this mechanism located inside the rear wheel, you will be less susceptible to damage and require less maintenance in general.
The advantages and disadvantages are that there are larger spaces between the gears and they will add approximately one kilogram of weight to the vehicle. You should also be aware of the monetary investment, since a less expensive model will work less efficiently than a lateral transmission.
iii). Tires: One of the pieces that are usually more updated within this type of folding vehicles, are the tires. It is always advisable to opt for the most resistant to punctures. It will be a safe way to enjoy a tedious maintenance free ride wherever you go.
4. Folding mechanism
The market for folding-type bicycles has exploded in the last decade, resulting in an incredible abundance of options for potential buyers, who must also discuss a wide range of prices.
This quality will determine to a large extent how much effort you will require to ride a bicycle and if you can move or transport it easily. The key is to adapt it to the chosen activity and your physical capacity.
Also, for those who have a specific physical condition in the back — everything that is lifting heavy objects, is a rule that you should avoid. Therefore I suggest opting for versions that weigh less than 10 kilos; they will always be more comfortable and portable.
Most folding bikes are manufactured in aluminum or an alloy, so they do not absorb impacts in the same way as traditional steel frames.
Some do not offer any suspension at all, others have front or rear suspension built into their folding mechanism. There are also innovations in the field of industrial design to provide more demanding users, both types.
If you plan to drive on surfaces other than smooth asphalt, some form of suspension will be useful. Fully suspended models use elastomers in both the front and back.
This way you will absorb with your vehicle, the imperfections of the road and give you the impression of having larger wheels.
In the end, it is always better to find a store that allows you to take a test trip to have an experience and judge by it, how good your feeling has been on those two wheels.
7 benefits of folding bicycles
In general, a folding bike is very similar to any mountain bike, but its lightweight and compact design will allow you to take it with you anywhere. In addition, its performance is very good, perfect to go to work or to move around the city in peace.
1. Saves space
Saving a conventional bicycle in a closet or under a desk can be quite complicated, this type of bicycles are quite large, that is why folding bicycles stand out when it comes to saving space, since they only require between 30 and 60 per one hundred percent of common storage space.
A folding bike can be stored in the trunk of the car, in a closet, under a desk or you can even leave it in a corner and surely nobody will notice that it is there.
2. Easy to transport
If you go to work and it starts raining you have to take public transport for example: bus, train, or taxi in some places will allow you to enter with your standard bicycle, but it does not always happen that way, that’s why a folding bike is perfect to take it with you wherever you want.
You just have to fold it and load it. If you do not want anyone to see it, keep it in a bag and nobody will imagine that what you keep carries wheels.
3. Different sizes
You can get the size you want for your folding bike, you should consider the bicycle frame and the diameter of the wheel, you can choose between 14, 16, 18, 20 and 26 inches. Each model will allow you to fold it in a different way, keep in mind that before acquiring one you should feel comfortable driving it and folding it.
This type of bicycles is more comfortable than the standard size ones. You can handle them with any footwear, it is perfect to move around in cities and you can take it with you wherever you want.
Surely it has happened to you or you have seen how bicycles are stolen, despite placing a padlock there is no guarantee that when you return for it you will find it safe and sound.
The best way for your bike to be safe is to take it with you wherever you go. The folding bike is reduced about 1/3 of its size, you do not need tools or get your hands dirty to reduce it, so there’s no need to leave it outside the supermarket or at work. Another interesting point is that not being so common thieves do not care so much to take them.
6. They are ideal for all people
Despite having several sizes, folding bicycles are designed to fit most people regardless of their size, this is because their seat is elongated and the handlebars can be adjusted up and down. It does not matter if you measure 143 or 188 centimeters, just adjust the seat and the handlebars and go out to tour the city.
7. Low maintenance cost
One of the problems that occur with most standard-size bicycles is the high maintenance costs. Fortunately most of the mechanics specialized in folding bicycles are reliable and very economical.
For a good maintenance you just have to make sure that your tires have air and your chain is oiled, do not forget to check that your lights are charged.
So what’s the best folding bikes to buy?
Whether for urban use at the seaside or for leisure, the folding bike has many advantages. If you want to know how to choose the best folding bikes, the best would be to go through our comparison.
We present below a selection of products in this category so you know which is the best folding bike on the market.
1. Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike
If you are looking for a 26 inch folding bike, we present the Vilano Urbana model. It is a folding bike that can be used in city or urban areas. Thanks to these dimensions and its folding system, this model is able to enter without problems into a car trunk once folded.
Thanks to DoubleTruss technology, the Vilano Urbana allows the user to drive smoothly, but with the power needed.
Indeed, the bike offers 21 speeds to choose from, which are widely available at various intervals so that you can face the different types of terrain, from the bitumen of the city to the rocky paths of the countryside.
Moreover, for your safety, its tires are equipped with a puncture protection. So, this bike will not let you down on the road.
Side folding and mounting, the bike just bends in 30 seconds to place in the trunk. Its assembly requires the same number of seconds. Magnets allow you to lock the bike, once it is bent. Rigid construction, we consider this model Vilano Urbana as the best folding bike for adult 26 inches.
2. Schwinn Loop 20-Inch Folding Bike
Schwinn Loop falls into the category of ultra light folding bikes. Made with an aeronautical aluminum frame 7005 promising both rigidity and durability, the Schwinn Loop is also designed with 8-inch wheels reinforced with high pressure tires.
With this, the model is able to bend completely by eliminating any clutter and effort in the portage. The bike is very easy to carry thanks to this ingenious geometry and this special design of the device.
Moreover, it will take you only 20 seconds to fold and unfold this product in the standards and with ease.
Despite its small size (20 x 25 cm once folded), this bike will behave like any normal bike and can be used by both young and old. It can also be stored in any corner of the house.
To satisfy your desires for colors, the manufacturer offers this model in five different colors, including red and orange. You can also choose the bike with or without gears. Moreover, thanks to this system and thanks to these wheels and tire, the bike works with a ride identical to that of a classic bike.
3. ZiZZO by EuroMini Swiss Alps 26″ Foldable MTB
The ZiZZO by EuroMini Swiss Alps is the folding bike you need if you want to buy a cheap folding bike. Indeed, the bike is a nice little folding bike that has excellent value for money. It has 26-inch wheels and 24 × 1.75 tires with which you can easily ride almost like with a normal bike or a conventional bike.
In order to bring your personal belongings, the ZiZZO by EuroMini Swiss Alps has a sturdy luggage rack at the rear where you can attach personal belongings. Thanks to his good seat, his saddle is also comfortable.
As a folding bike, this model meets this criterion by offering an easily foldable bike that is lightweight to carry and does not clutter. Some users find it an excellent portable side for easy entry into any narrow entrance.
Made in Italy, this bike can be solid and of good quality. It is even more available in four colors for those who want choice in the colors.
4. URB-E Electric Folding Scooter
The URB-E e-bike folding bike is made of aluminum and 20 inches tall. Thanks to low entry, adjustable saddle and handlebar, the model is suitable for both men and women. The 250 Watt Bafang engine provides enough power to support you up to 25 km/h.
Since the battery has a capacity of 14 Ah, you can travel up to 70 kilometers with battery backup before it needs to be plugged in again.
The components used, such as brake system and circuit, are of high quality and left in the test little room for complaints. The model can be loaded up to 100 kilograms and thus easily carries an average adult. In addition, the bike does not collapse, but the engine output noticeably decreases.
Folded up, URB-E’s folding bike fits in a normal boot, so you can easily transport it even without a wagon. In terms of color, the bike is available in blue, silver and white, so that different tastes can be addressed here.
Compared to other folding wheels in the price range, the setting of the derailleur is a little more complicated, whereby the chain could occasionally fall from the first chainring in case of incorrect adjustment. But once you’ve got the hang of it, you can easily avoid this circumstance.
5. Retrospec Speck 20-Inch Folding Bike
The Retrospec Speck is a very cheap folding bike and therefore interesting especially for beginners. With a wheel size of 20 inches and deep-seated crossbar, it is a unisex model and therefore equally suitable for both sexes.
The frame is made of aluminum and extremely stable. Deformations and material defects did not occur in the test even with significant overloading. With a weight of about 15 kilograms, it is pretty much on average and is accordingly easy to transport.
The 6-speed derailleur could be used properly and offered no cause for complaint. With a twist grip mechanism on the handlebars, all gears could be effortlessly engaged. Front and rear V-brakes were installed, which are very grippy and have a good braking behavior to the day.
Some testers would have liked here also disc brakes, the braking power of the V-Brakes was completely sufficient, especially in city traffic. If you want to buy a cheap folding bike, the Retrospec Speck offers everything you need.
6. Montague Paratrooper Express Folding Bike
The particularly low entry level of the model also offers seniors the opportunity to easily climb on the saddle. With a maximum user weight of 120 kilograms, the model is slightly more robust than most models, so it is particularly interesting for slightly heavier people.
V-brakes in the front and a coaster brake at the back ensured a good and solid braking performance.
The very bright 15 Lux LED lighting provides good illumination and visibility in traffic. As a result, you will be noticed early enough by motorists and other road users at night and thus move safely away even at night or at dusk.
The model also has a luggage rack, so you can also transport your purchases without any problems. The scope of delivery includes a quick-start kit, tools and a user manual so that you can set up the bike immediately upon receipt and take a first trip.
Since it has no gear, the translation of the wheel is larger, which supports a fast driving, however, brings problems when starting up.
7. Dahon Mariner D8 Folding Bike
Dahon Mariner D8 Folding Bike is made of very lightweight aluminum and thus comes just on a weight of 11 kilograms, which is also very low for a folding bike.
The installed gearshift offers 8 individually shiftable gears, so that you can always choose the optimal gear ratio even in a hilly environment.
The chain is Teflon-coated, so that dust and dirt hardly have a chance to settle, which in turn reduces wear. On the gel comfort saddle, it can comfortably sit for a long time, which also confirmed heavier subjects. The maximum load limit is 100 kilograms.
An air pump integrated into the seat post serves to be able to adjust the tire pressure at any time. Unfortunately, some components showed more severe signs of wear after prolonged intensive use than usual.
So it came among other things to solve wheel spokes or the leaching of the chain. This should not happen considering the price.
If you use the model as an occasional bike, you will most likely never notice it. However, if used intensively, you will need to maintain and maintain the model more intensely to keep it in good condition.
The model is designed very stylish and sets itself by its fresh colors from the crowd. Anyone who values design and color and is willing to spend a little more money on a folding bike, should take a closer look at the model.
8. Stowabike Folding City V2 20-Inch Folding Bike
Stowabike Folding City V2 20-Inch Folding Bike is a light, folding bike that can be conveniently stored. The equipment folds and unfolds extremely quickly and easily.
The aluminum construction is very light, making it portable. In the set with the bike we will get a transport bag, which can be packed and transported, for example by public transport. In addition, the design of the device means that no special boot is required for transporting a car.
This model is equipped with 7 Shimano gears, which provide us with a comfortable ride even on uneven terrain. It also has a suspended saddle post, V-Brake front and rear brakes, parking foot, bell and reflective lighting. The wheel diameter is 20 inches and the maximum vehicle load is 100 kg.
People who have decided to purchase this means of transport agree that it is light, solid and very practical.
9. Cyrusher FR100 Full Suspension 26-Inch Folding Mountain Bike
This light folding bike at a good price is a one-speed model designed for occasional city driving.
Thanks to the special design and HI-TEN steel frame, this model can be folded and unfolded in just 30 seconds. The equipment is equipped with a frame locking system, ensuring easy handling and storage. Its one-speed drive does not require maintenance and provides decent performance.
An unquestionable advantage of the vehicle are its compact dimensions, which after folding are 78 cm x 66 cm x 41 cm.
Dimensions of the unfolded bike are 145 cm x 108 cm x 58.5 cm. They allow you to limit your occupied space not only at home, but also in the trunk of the car or in the office. It weighs only 13.2 kg, which means that it also does not cause problems.
The bike wheels have a diameter of 20 inches. It also has front and rear lighting for batteries, a comfortable foam seat and V-brakes. Consumers agree that it is agile and convenient equipment.
10. ORKAN 20″ Folding commuter Bike
ORKAN 20″ Folding commuter Bike is a light aluminum bike with a built-in generator that can be quickly folded and stored where there is little space.
The equipment is equipped with 3 gears and a suspended saddle post. It also has a trunk, the depth of which can be adjusted. Its Selle Royal saddle fits the body well and is soft and comfortable enough.
This model weighs only 14.2 kg, so you can comfortably carry it. Its dimensions after folding are 85 cm x 65 cm x 35 cm. It is therefore compact and easily fits, for example, in the trunk of a car. Its maximum load is 100 kg.
Customer feedback about this model is positive. They claim that the bike is ideal for city rides, as it is comfortable to use, light and maneuverable.
11. EuroMini ZiZZO Campo
If you want to buy a high-quality folding bike, the EuroMini ZiZZO Campo should appeal to you. It is an elegant and very durable product that is ideal for recreational trips, as well as help you get to work.
The presented product has a high-quality chromium-molybdenum frame, which guarantees a stable construction.
This element is fully folded. It is worth noting that this operation is simple and can be done in about 15 seconds. What’s more, the device is equipped with an innovative Shimano TX35 transmission, which has up to 7 gears.
It is worth noting that it will facilitate driving in both mountainous terrain and plains. The entire structure is maintained in place thanks to the Magnetix system. The diameter of the circle is 20 cm. The dimensions after folding are: 65 cm x 32 cm x 79, and the maximum user weight is 105 kg.
12. HASA Folding Foldable Bike
The HASA Folding Foldable Bike is a very elegant and modern folding bicycle, which is designed to move around the city. The greatest asset of the presented equipment is a stable and durable construction that ensures ride comfort.
What’s more, the steering wheel can be folded in less than 15 seconds, which makes it easy to transport and store the product.
The frame is made of aluminum, so you do not have to worry about the design of the model. In addition, the equipment has 7-speed gears that facilitate smooth driving after each type of terrain. It is worth adding that the adjustable steering wheel will help you better adapt the machine to your own needs.
This elegant folding bike Dahon at a good price when folded has dimensions: 67 cm x 34 cm x 72 cm, while the wheels have a diameter of 20 cm.
The weight of the model is 11.9 kg, which allows you to easily carry your bike. Spokes are made of stainless steel, which ensures their long life. This equipment is dedicated to people whose height is between 140 cm and 188 cm, and the weight does not exceed 105 kg.
13. Strida Folding Bicycle
Many people looking for a mobile means of transport, which will allow them to avoid traffic jams, decide to buy a folding bicycle. Strida Folding Bicycle is worth recommending.
The modern mechanism definitely facilitates the assembly and storage of the device. Because reducing its size takes less than 20 seconds. The dimensions of vehicles after folding are: 66 cm x 37 cm x 82 cm.
The diameter of the wheel is 20 cm, and the weight of the model is only 9.3 kg. This makes moving the device very easy. The high quality frame guarantees high stability.
Thanks to this, you do not have to worry about possible damage while driving. It has very sensitive brakes, both front and rear, guarantee safe driving and full control over the two-wheeler. It is worth noting that the 10-speed derailleur increases the comfort of use.
Consumers’ opinions about the presented bike are very positive. Many people have appreciated the fact that it is adapted to users whose height is between 140 cm and 192 cm, and the weight does not exceed 105 kg.
How to use a folding bike
The folding bike can be a better alternative for people who want to carry their equipment by car, on public transport, but also for those who lack storage space for their bicycles at home. The purchase of this kind of product should not be done by chance.
This requires looking at some selection criteria in order to benefit from optimal use. If you already have your equipment in hand and you still have doubts about its handling, we invite you to follow this article. It will aim to inform you about this subject.
Mount and dismount your equipment
Folding bikes have the distinction of being folded and dismounted according to the needs of the user. This action must be done in a few seconds for a practical gain of time. With some equipment this operation takes more than 20s.
This will also allow you to gain space if you miss for storage of your bicycle.
Take your equipment with you
In order to carry your gear with you when you travel, you will have to take a look at its weight. Indeed, this criterion does not have to worry about congestion. Make sure your model is light enough to perfectly fit the strength of your arms. This will reduce any fatigue.
You can turn to a reference of electric folding bike classified in the category of “ultralight”. Indeed, this type of equipment weighs only 10.6 kg.
Consider the practice area
Folding bikes have almost the same functionality as classic specimens except for a few small details. However, you will need to make sure that your reference corresponds to the type of land on which you will practice your activity.
For this, you will need to adapt your equipment if you plan to mount it in town, in the countryside or in the nature.
Remember to follow the safety instructions
When practicing your activity, do not forget to check the safety instructions. Be sure to wear your hard hat to minimize the risk of injury from falls or shocks. Also inspect the condition of your brakes so you do not have any unpleasant surprises during your exercises.
Check the battery life
If you have an electric folding bike in your possession, it is always necessary that you check the condition of the battery before each use. It is from this that you can estimate the distance you can travel with your bicycle.
A model of equipment equipped with a powerful 36V 10Ah lithium battery, operating at full speed, can take a distance of 40 to 70 km.
Position yourself comfortably
When practicing your activity, it is always necessary that you opt for a comfortable position. For this, adjust the height of the saddle and handlebars according to your morphology.