Folding bikes offer a convenient portable solution for bike commuters who are tired of lugging around a full size bike frame on the train, up the stairs, into the office or wherever you may be. With hundreds of options for sale on BikeExchange, be sure to read our guide below to help narrow down your options and find what type of folding bike is best for you.
If you’re like many of us, you never have enough storage space. Our garages, sheds and closets fill up quickly with all sorts of clutter. A bike is a particularly difficult item to store. Despite being narrow, the pedals and handlebars mean you need a good amount of space to properly store your bicycle. The same goes when you’re trying to transport your bike, either in the car or on public transport.
To solve this problem, bike manufacturers offer great folding bikes. They come in many different types and sizes, so everyone can find one that suits their riding, storage and transportation needs.
If you haven’t checked out folding bicycles in a while, you should know that manufacturers have really started taking them seriously. Even if folding bikes have been around for a very long time, earlier models were usually compromised with extra weight, poor ride and handling characteristics, and clunky, unreliable locking mechanics. Check out BikeExchange, and you’ll find you have some excellent choices when it comes to:
Bike type - While general multi-purpose collapsible bikes are the most popular models, there are some dedicated models on the market. Bikes geared towards racing and off-road can be the ideal solution if you want the flexibility of a folding bike but don’t want to sacrifice performance.
Folding - Several different types of folding mechanisms exist. They allow you to fold your bike horizontally, vertically or bring the rear wheel up towards the front wheel. With some folding bikes, you need to remove the front wheel. Most offer quick and easy collapsing of the steering column and seat post. Always consider the portability factor when choosing your next bike.
Size - The goal of a folding bike is to make it as compact as possible when not in use, which is why manufacturers typically use small frames and wheels. To provide comfortable and ergonomic riding positions, they often include extended handlebars and seating posts that accommodate all sizes of riders.
Weight- Due to the hinges and locking mechanisms, folding bikes usually weigh more than an equivalent fixed bike. Some manufacturers provide lightweight alloys and materials in their collapsible bikes for easy carrying when the bike is folded. This can be a plus for air travel, where weight restrictions apply.
Cases/bags Depending on how often you plan to transport your bike and where you plan on taking it (in your car, on a plane, in public transit, etc.), you can choose different types of methods to store it. Hard cases offer excellent protection but add a bit of weight. A soft bag with padding makes it easy to fit your folding bike into small spaces, but you have to be careful not to damage it.
There is greater choice than you probably thought when it comes to folding bikes! As with any bike, the best thing to do is get out and try as many different models as you can. Time yourself to see how fast you can fold and unfold the bike. Make note of how well protected the brake cables, shifter cables and chain are when folded. Try lifting and carrying the bike to see how easily you can handle the size and weight. Then, make your choice and enjoy the convenience of a cool folding bicycle!
Check out BikeExchange for folding bikes, cases and more. Then, swing over to our editorial section, where you’ll find a plethora of useful information, from the latest reviews and news to interviews and more.