A folding bike is able to be folded into a smaller formation and is greatly convenient for storage or carriage on the go. The average time to fold a bike is less than 15-20 seconds. As a proud urban commuter, I can ride from home to bus stop or metro station, fold the bike away and hop on the public transportation with the bike compactly held in hands. How cool is that??
In this article, we'd introduce to your all best folding bike reviews based on different price ranges from even under $150 - which helps you easily make a purchase decision that fits your budget.
BEST FOLDING BIKES
The chart below gives an overview on all best-selling folding bikes currently available in the market.
- You can click the product name to read the detailed review of each product.
- The table below only shows estimated prices. Please click the button to check precise prices.
Best Choice Products
TOP FOLDING BIKES UNDER $300
With a bit extra budget in hand, you have a more variety of folding bicycles to choose from, not only small-wheeled bikes but also mountain folding ones. Below is our suggestion of 3 best foldable cycles under $300.
- Schwiin Loop 20" 7 Speed
- Columba 26" Shimano 18 Speed
- Hasa F2 Sram 6 Speed
Schwiin 20" Loop 7 Speed
- Schwiin is a renowned American brandname manufacturing fitness equipment and bicycles with good quality and high performance.
- Made very sturdy and long-lasting. It claims to have the age range of 7 to 9 years.
- Mhe frame is made with the low standover, making it convenient to hop on and off the bike.
- Comes with a heavy-gauge nylon bag for extra protection when being carried around.
- The handlebar is unadjustable.
- No locking mechanism to keep wheels held together when the bike is folded up.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Despite some shortcomings in its structure, thisSwchiin Loop is still an excellent option you could get for this budget. Made by a trusty brand, it has an affordable price, a beautiful curved design and a long-lasting age range.
Columba 26" Shimano 18 speed
- 26” wheel and 18 speed gear allow cyclists to ride on a variety of road surfaces, from paved to more rough ones.
- High-powered shifting gears and deraillerus made by the trustoworthy manufacturer Shimano makes the bike stable, under-control and operative on even up and down hills.
- It’s quite bulky even when folded, compared to other small-wheeled folding cycles.
THE BOTTOM LINE
For this price range, this is an outstandingly durable and robust folding bicycle made with a concept of mountain bike. This Columba 26” 18 speed bicycle is highly recommended for any type of riders from commuters to cycling travelers.
Hasa F2 Sram 6 Speed
- This is a versatile folding cycle that is accommodated with the cocept of one-size-fits-all in mind, counting in riders from 4’8” to 6’3” in height and up to 240lbs in weight.
- Made with good quality accessories and components from typical brands like Shimano, Sram and Weinmann.
- Solidly built frame and supreme Kenda 20” tires are two greatest features of this bike, making the ride fast and fluid without hindrance on both flat and up hills.
- Some components are cheap-made to cut down on costs such as pedals and fenders.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Hasa Sram 6 speed is compared as a dupe of Dafon Mariner D7 due to their resemblance in design and utility. However, this Hasa fold-up bike costs much less and still surely meets your riding satisfaction.
TOP FOLDING BIKES UNDER $200
With a minimal budget, there are quite a few options of folded bikes availed in the market. The three bikes we are going to introduce below might have some drawbacks in their features; however, they provide the best values for this price range.
- Stowabike V2 20" 6 Speed
- Vilano 20" Lightweight Aluminum
- Best Choice Products 20" 6 Speed
Stowabike V2 20" 6 Speed
- Made from steel, it is sturdy and can accomodate moderate weight of up to 200lbs.
- Built-in mudguards keep you away from mud and other dirts in wet weather.
- A rack on the back seat is availed for extra goods carriage.
- A fairly low price tag for a well-made folding bike.
- Handlebar is not able to be folded.
- The bike is not suitable to leave outside in wet weather since it is not made rust-resistant.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Being priced fairly low, the Stowabike is an appropriate choice for those who sticks with a minimal budget for a folding bike. You cannot really expect it to work like a beast, but in general, it is feasible for short or medium distance rides on a daily basis.
Vilano 20" Lightweight Aluminum
- Made from aluminum, this Vilano is the lightest one among three options.
- Front and rear fenders are installed.
- The innovative latching system secures riding safety.
- Functions smoothly with easily-shifted gears and confidently for riding on paved roads.
- Shifters and deraillerus are not from Shimano manufacturers, which might be noteworthy when being comparing to other folding bicycles.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Priced a bit higher than other two options of the low-price range, thisVilano 20” aluminum folding bike is anyway probably the best choice due to its durability, functionality, light weight and safety.
Best Choice Products 20" 6 Speed
- The seat height is easy to release and adjust from 24 to 42 inches.
- Also includes front and rear fenders.
- Both seat post and handlebars are adjustable to different heights.
- It is stated to handle maximum 250 lbs.
- The bike requires some tune-ups before putting in use. It means more cost is added to the original price.
THE BOTTOM LINE
With quite heavy weight compared to other bikes, this Best Choice Productsis an appropriate choice for those who look for an inexpensive folding bike to ride on easy roads and to store in small space.
TYPES OF FOLD-UP BIKES
There is a variety of folding bikes which are designed particularly for different types of bikers. It's better to choose the right kind that suits your needs. We categorize folding bikes into three main sections as following:
1/ Bike for Leisure Riders
Folding bikes in this class will suit riders who may want to use their bikes for short distant trips, such as getting to the local grocery store, or taking it around the subway system, but aren't likely to use it for their daily commute. Many students use leisure bicycles like this, whether to get to school or to cut the time between the bus stop and their place of work. There are a lot of options available for this type of cyclist.
It's not necessary for leisure bikes to be made to the very highest standards, but they do have to be comfortable and well-fitted. Buyers who live in hilly areas will want to buy a three-speed bike at minimum. In flatter areas, something like the no-gear bike shown to the left, with its simple, clean lines, could be a good choice. Bicycle gears work like pulleys and mean less force is needed to rotate the pedals. Being able to change gears to overcome tired legs is a nice option to have, even if the area isn't hilly.
2/ Bikes for Roadies
Cyclists who share the road with automobiles are sometimes nicknamed "roadies." Since many of these people use their bikes to get to work and may travel up to 20 miles each day, folding bikes ridden by roadies have to be well made, very comfortable, and easily customized. Commuter roadies will find folding bikes perfect, since there's no need to leave their bikes in public areas. After all, even locked bikes may eventually end up being stolen.
When choosing any bicycle, it's important to consider medical and body-size factors such as any ongoing back conditions, the ratio between leg and torso measurements, and inseam measurement. However, it's even more vital for roadies, given the mileage they do. A little discomfort can be ignored on one short journey, but not when a bike is used again and again for many years.
3/ Bikes for mountaineers
This covers off-road bicycles, usually known as mountain bikes. These are designed to be tough and - especially - durable, to enable them to cope with rough trails, and this gives them particular characteristics. The tires are usually large and fat, around 26 inches across and 1.75 inches thick; other types of bikes usually have one-inch tires. A mountain bike's extra width gives additional support when riding over rough ground. These tires also have deep tread, giving them better shock-absorbing ability.
Another component determining the anti-shock feature of mountain folding bike is the fork - known as where the bike frame and the front wheel are connected. This is also where protective suspension is fitted, which avoids damage to the frame. It's best to choose a bike with an only mildly curved fork, known as a low fork rake. In order to deal with shocks effectively, the prongs of the fork should be straight. With this type of bike, riders generally put a lot of weight on the handlebars, which leads to a lot of pressure being placed on the fork. For that reason, this section of the bike needs to be strong.
Finally, mountain folding bike has a rear suspension system at the back. This works in a very similar way to the fork suspension. Bad suspension can cause a very uncomfortable ride, just like in a car: every little bump and rut gets transferred to the rider. It's easy to imagine how unpleasant it would be to ride a mountain bike if it lacked these suspension systems.
Make sure to check out our list of best folding mountain bikes
USEFUL TIPS FOR CHOOSING A GREAT FOLD-UP BICYCLE
Now when you have decide the suitable type of folding bike for your own needs, it is time to look closer at technical features in choosing a folding bike.
If you are new to bicycle terms, check out the explanation of all commonly used specification terms over here!
1/ Choose the Right Folding Mechanism
When you're buying a bike, you can select from several folding mechanisms. These vary in a number of respects, notably the sturdiness of the mechanism and how easy the bike itself is to fold away.
- Break-away: Folding bikes can be made to rely on either partial disassembly or hinges for folding, but the break-away type combines elements of both. This makes bicycles that use this method extremely compact, but does have the drawback that you may need to use specialized tools to take the bike apart, which can be time-consuming. Only buy this sort of bike if it comes with the tools you need, and think about picking up a second set to keep in reserve.
- Half-fold: Bicycles that use this design generally have frames which are close to full size, with a clamp or hinge situated in the middle, allowing the bike to fold into halves. The major advantage of this option is that the bike will ride as well as a non-folding cycle; on the other hand, it will take up more space when folded. The disadvantage of the half-fold cycle's extra bulk makes this type of folding bike less suitable for using on your commute if that includes traveling on packed trains or buses. It is, however, a good option if you want a bike with a full frame but have limited storage space.
- Triangle-hinge: The majority of today's folding bikes are based on this design, which utilizes a set of clasps and hinges to allow the bike's parts to fold quite compactly. You won't get it to shrink quite as much as a bicycle with a break-away mechanism, but it's nevertheless a pretty convenient compromise that folds quickly and can be carried without too much effort
2/ Balance weight against cost
Whether you're riding your bike or carrying it, weight is going to matter. The more a bike weighs, the tougher it's going to be when you're pedaling. Climbing hills will be especially hard, so always consider weight. Generally, the weight of a bicycle, as well as its cost and overall quality, will be affected by what it's made from. Steel is heavier yet cheaper than aluminum.
3/ Make Sure The Bike Properly Adjusts to Your Height
Folding bikes don't come in the same range of shapes and sizes that conventional cycles do, so it's very important to check that you can adjust the height of the handlebars and seat to suit you. You should also be able to set the space between saddle and handlebars to a comfortable distance, otherwise you risk inefficient pedaling and personal discomfort. The taller you are, the more space you'll need. Look for bikes that allow you to move the seat forward or back, as these fit a wider variety of body shapes.
4/ Consider Gearing Options
Many folding bikes have gears, also known as speeds, but not all of them. With the simplest design of all, the single-gear bike, the chain runs from a small gear attached to the back wheel to a larger one that connects to the pedal shaft. These bikes can travel very fast on flat roads, but it takes a good deal of effort to get up speed in the first place.
Alternatively, you could consider a multiple-speed bike, which will allow you to pedal with less force. The downside of that is that you need to pedal faster to go at the same speed. The major advantage of a multi-gear cycle is that you have plenty of options; by changing gear, you can adjust your pedaling force to suit the terrain or road conditions. For that reason, most riders should look for a bike which has more than one speed, ideally three or more.
This article has covered all important knowledge you need to know in order to choose the best folding bike which fits your needs. In addition, through out the website we make more detailed reviews which help you to have a deep insight into each folding bike model.
If you have further questions about riding experiences with folding bikes, check out the FAQ section!