10 Best Folding Bikes Reviewed
The modern bicycle is one of the most impressive of mankind’s inventions. A masterpiece of engineering and design, this lightweight and streamlined device beautifully harnesses the power of a person’s strongest muscles, their legs, and uses it to power a much faster and more resilient mode of transportation than simple running. It’s energy efficient, capable of covering long distances in short times, and a terrific mode of exercise.
Although the standard bicycle design has maintained an enduring popularity, designers have tweaked it in small ways with varying degrees of success. Some popular variations include the recumbent bicycle, tricycles, and the more portable folding bike. For those who enjoy the pastime of cycling that lack the means to transport their bike, these are some of the best space-saving alternatives.
- EuroMini Urbano
- Ultra lightweight
- Columba 26"
- 18 Gears
- Montague Navigator
- Easily Folded
10 Best Folding Bikes
Weighing just shy of 25 pounds, this bike is very easy to transport and carry when not being used. This is further reinforced by its smaller wheels; this drastically reduces the size of the entire bicycle but comes at the cost of less power with each pedaling motion.
Eight Shimano gears allow for quick switching on the go, making this EuroMini Urbano folding bike an excellent option for off-road cycling. A magnet catcher helps to keep this bike held in place while folded, and several reinforcements have been added around key areas to ensure a high durability.
The secret to this bike’s lighter weight is its generous use of aluminum for its frame. The other secret for its lower profile is the reduction in size of its frame and tires, resulting in a height of around 20”. This may lead to some issues with larger cyclists, who may experience discomfort riding the Urbano as a result.
With roughly the same features as a low-end mountain bike, this folding bicycle is priced a bit higher. Part of the cost can be justified due to its foldable design; after all, it’s a given that this style of bike will come at a greater cost. The greatest value offered by this product is a relatively inexpensive assembly package that also provides guidance on maintenance.
- Extremely lightweight aluminum frame
- Folds and stores easily by taking up very little space
- Assembly package includes helpful maintenance tips
- Smaller frame and wheels results in less energy efficiency
- Higher price due to specialized design
This folding bike has an identical design to a non-folding bike with the one obvious difference. It weighs around 33 pounds, which isn’t the lightest but is also far from the heaviest. It also features multiple gear shifting that allows for versatile mountain biking.
In addition to being foldable in the middle, the Columba’s handlebars can be removed for extra space saving properties. It’s because of this small feature that a full-sized bicycle like this can be stowed comfortably in compact cars like the Toyota Prius.
This bike comes in two potential frame options. One is made from steel, making it more durable but heavier. The other is a more lightweight aluminum alloy that can only support about 200 pounds of weight. Both models come with an 18 gear Shimano switcher, making them viable for mountain biking.
A fantastic price is listed for this bicycle that is far lower than a folding bike usual comes at. This is in no way an indication of quality, since many verified customers have left reviews praising the Columba’s build quality.
- Option of steel or aluminum for the frame
- 18 gears allows for easy mountain biking
- Easily stored in compact cars like the Toyota Prius
- Aluminum frame only supports 200 pounds of weight
- Slightly smaller construction can cause discomfort for taller cyclists
This bike comes in frame sizes of 19” and 21”, offering just enough of a difference to cater to cyclists of a wider size range. It has been designed to fold easily without any tools and only weighs about 25 pounds, making it one of the most conveniently transported bikes on this list.
In order to meet the needs of cyclists interested in attacking multiple forms of terrain, 27 speeds are available through the Montague’s complicated gear switching system. As a nice cherry on top, all bikes come with a stainless steel water bottle that fits comfortably in the bike’s cup holder.
Although the manufacturer of this folding bike has not listed the material used to construct the Montague’s frame, their website states that it is made from aluminum. Fenders and a rear rack are included in the package, although they may require longer screws in order to safely secure them.
There’s no getting around the fact that this is an incredibly expensive folding bike. Even when putting aside the fact that bikes with a folding feature often cost more, the price for the Montague is still daunting and hard to justify.
- Lightweight and easily folded
- Includes a stainless steel water bottle
- 27 speeds from impressive gear shifting system
- Outrageously high price
- Rack installation requires extra tools
Dahon Mariner D8 Quicksilver
This folding bike offers a greater degree of portability due to its diminished stature in comparison to standard bicycle design. Although it is still capable of supporting cyclists in the same height and weight range, the smaller wheels mean less energy efficiency with each pedal.
Riders have the option to switch between eight speeds thanks to the gears added to this bicycle’s frame. While this does offer some convenience in maneuvering various environments, this gear count pales in comparison to that offered by other folding bikes on the market.
With a primarily aluminum construction, this bicycle is able to maintain a conveniently light weight of around 25 pounds. A rear rack allows for lighter runners to take advantage of the Dahon Mariner’s generous weight limit of around 240 pounds.
There are certainly attractive features provided by this product that justifies its higher price point, such as its foldability and multiple gear shifting. However, shoppers who are willing to spend more time searching can find a bike with similar features at a better price.
- Can support a generous amount of weight
- Rear attached rack allows for transporting other items
- Very lightweight and portable
- Smaller wheels results in diminished energy efficiency
- Doesn’t offer as many shiftable speeds as other folding bikes
This folding bicycle is designed at full size, with no compromises in terms of a smaller frame or smaller wheels. It’s weight is approximated to be in the area of 24 pounds and can be quickly condensed into a trunk-size portable state.
The Montague Boston was intended for use in urban environments, as can be seen by its tire design and gear implementation. A flip-flop hub has been added to its gear, allowing for the rider to switch between fixed-gear or freewheel motion.
In order to maintain such a low weight, this bicycle was constructed from aluminum to form its frame. The single gear allows for some versatility due to the added hub but pales in comparison to multi-geared options available in other folding bikes.
This is a bike with a hefty price tag attached. There are certainly other folding bicycles with a higher price, and it is to be expected that this type of bike should come at an inflated price, but it’s still tough to justify this purchase due to the lack of multiple gears for shifting.
- Very easy to fold and stow in a trunk or carrying case
- Designed to work well in urban environments
- Provides the option of either fixed-gear or freewheel pedaling
- Lack of gear shifting for increased torque
- Difficult to justify paying the exorbitant price
Dahon Speed D7 Street 20''
It’s going to be difficult for anyone riding this bicycle to be taken seriously. The smaller wheels and bizarrely tall seat cause this folding bike to resemble something that might be found in a circus. However, this strange design results in a lightweight and highly portable product.
To offset the loss of energy efficiency that comes with its smaller wheels, this Dahon folding bike was equipped with multiple gears that allow for shifting into eight different speeds. The seat has also been designed for the purpose of providing ergonomic comfort.
As is standard among lightweight folding bicycles, the Dahon Speed D7 is made primarily from aluminum. The wheels are smaller than what would be found on the average bicycle with a circumference of only 20”, but multiple shiftable gears help to offset this design decision.
For riders who can get over the somewhat tacky appearance of this mini-bike, this product is actually offered for a very reasonable price. Customers can expect to get their money’s worth out of the Dahon Speed D7 due to the quality of its construction and the bonus features in its design.
- Multiple speeds can be achieved through shifting gears
- Lightweight and highly portable due to a smaller size of frame and wheels
- Reasonable price with ample justification
- Smaller wheels cause diminished energy efficiency
- Silly looking design due to tinier frame and wheels
Dahon Qix D8
With an impressively sleek style, this bike emphasizes a style of cycling that attempts to minimize air resistance through an aerodynamic presence. On most cycling models, this style will result in a faster and easier ride; however, the smaller wheels and frame mean that this bike will perform in an average capacity at the very best.
Thanks to the slightly smaller wheels and frame, the Dahon Qix D8-Smoke can be stored in much smaller spaces when folded into its most portable state. A rear rack allows for transporting items and can also function as a guide for the wheels when folded, allowing for easier travel in its condensed form.
This bicycle is mostly made from aluminum and features a Dalloy Sonus Tubeset frame with a Hi-Ten Steel fork. Whether or not these are just buzzwords meant to entice gullible customers is up in the air but it certainly looks the part of a high-performance bicycle.
There’s no getting around the fact that this is a very pricey bicycle. Some customers will be hesitant to purchase a bike model with such small wheels, even if it comes with the benefit of folding into a portable state. However, even individuals who don’t mind riding something resembling a clown bike will likely be turned off by its exorbitant price.
- Easily folded into a portable state
- Aerodynamic design helps to offset size-related shortcomings
- Rear rack serves multiple convenient purposes
- Smaller wheels and frame limit energy efficiency and style
- Exorbitant price that is difficult to justify
Ford Taurus 1.0 by Dahon
In order to provide a sturdy and dependable ride, Dahon manufactured this Ford-brand bike from steel instead of the more common choice of aluminum. While this does greatly enhance the durability and weight capacity, it comes at the cost of added weight.
Seven speeds can be achieved with the use of Shimano gears and extra protection is provided to the rear with the aid of a fender. A rear rack allows for transporting items during a ride and the smaller frame ensures a more portable folding size for easy transportation.
As previously mentioned, this bike is made from steel instead of aluminum. This is very helpful to ensure increased durability but it does come at the cost of extra weight. This heaviness is offset through the use of smaller 20” wheels but that comes with its own set of problems.
This is one of the most affordable folding bike options available on the market and is certainly one of the most cost-effective models released by popular bicycle manufacturer Dahon. Although its smaller size may dissuade some customers, this is definitely a bike worth the price.
- Sturdy steel construction provides excellent durability
- Multiple speeds possible with Shimano gears
- Rear rack allows for transporting additional items
- Steel construction comes with extra weight
- Smaller wheels and frame inhibit energy efficiency
With bright teal and orange highlights, this small folding bicycle manages to look visually distinctive in an appealing way while also offering a modicum of safety to the rider. Reflective elements on the rims of each tire help to improve visibility in low light environments.
In addition to the aforementioned safety reflectors, this bike has a gear system that supports an impressive 16 possible speeds. A rear rack also allows for easy transportation and the entire package folds into a conveniently compact size that can fit in a decently-sized tote.
Being made from an alloy, this folding bicycle is a bit heavier than other brands but offers a much greater level of resilience against the elements. While the frame is quite sturdy, customers have complained about the cheap-feeling plastic pedals.
In addition to offering this bicycle at a decent rate, Camp also offers an affordable option for individuals looking to have their product assembled by an expert. This small fee guarantees a bike that is fine-tuned to perform at its best without needing to break the bank.
- Impressive amount of shiftable speeds through the gear system
- Reflective elements ensure safety in low light
- Affordable option for expert assembly
- Smaller frame and wheels can diminish energy efficiency
- Plastic used for the pedals feels cheap to some customers
Montague Paratrooper Pro
This folding bike from Montague is very well built, incorporating high functionality on varying terrains and an eye for style. A sleek black color scheme covers this portable 30 pound bicycle.
In addition to its ability to fold into a condensed state for easy transportation and storage, this Montague folding bike comes with a gear system that allows for 27 different speed settings. Additionally, a stainless steel water bottle is included with every purchase.
Although the manufacturers haven’t stated what material they used to make this bike, an educated guess based on the weight and price would be that it is made of steel. This allows for extra weight to be held on the bike, which should benefit heavier cyclists.
The price for this bicycle is very high, even when considering how well built the product is. However, the included stainless steel water bottle helps to justify this extra cost to a degree.
- 27 speeds through impressive gear shifter
- Exceptional build quality and style
- Bonus stainless steel water bottle
- Smaller wheels require more effort to pedal
- Astronomically high price
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Folding Bike
In order to narrow down our picks for the best folding bikes on the market, we considered a few universally important factors that helped us differentiate these ten products from the hundreds that can be found online. To find out what goes into a high-quality portable bike, check out the criteria we focused on to come to a decision:
In general, portable bikes will come in mostly the same shape. However, some models will have slight differences in their design that make them perform better or worse than competing brands. This category involves analyzing the weight and durability of each bicycle.
For the most part, the only features a bicycle needs is a seat, pedals, and handlebars. However, this section analyzes each product to evaluate whether they have any additional features and if they provide some extra benefit to the user. This may include gear shifting or a bonus pump.
This is the more specific section of the product review that covers what each bike is made of. The materials used for the frame, tires, seat, and handlebars are analyzed and evaluated based on their quality and utility.
While a value judgment on purchasing a given product can be subjective, we have done our best to make an objective analysis of each product’s value. This was accomplished by comparing the price of each item with others on the market and attempting to justify its cost based on its features and specs.
Other Important Factors to Consider
The criteria listed in the above section are sufficient for supplying the majority of interested customers with enough information to make an informed purchase. However, some special cases may require additional information that isn’t covered above. For the sake of these individuals, here are some additional factors worth considering:
In the case where one product offers a better warranty than another, it can come at a greater value to the customer even if it costs more for essentially the same package. This is the importance of a good warranty; in addition to providing peace of mind, it can save customers more money in the long run.
While this is often covered by a good warranty, there may be aspects of a bicycle’s construction that aren’t covered. With common bicycles, small parts can be easy to find and replace. However, these portable bikes often use very different parts that can often be proprietary and difficult to purchase separately for the purpose of making repairs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Will riding a bicycle help me lose weight?
A: Although not as effective as running, cycling can be a viable form of cardiovascular exercise for weight loss. In order for it to be effective, you will need to maintain a high heart rate for the majority of your cycling session.
Q: Why should I choose a folding bike over a regular bike?
A: Although full-size bicycles are easier and cheaper to repair than folding bikes, there are some benefits the latter holds over the former. This includes easier transport and a lighter weight.
Q: How long do folding bikes last?
A: For the most part, a folding bike will last the same amount of time as a regular bicycle that is made of the same materials. Some additional maintenance will often be required for folding bikes in order to reach the same lifespan, but it is definitely possible.
Q: How much air pressure should my bike tires have?
A: The manufacturer will usually offer a chart or guide with a suggested range of air pressure for their tires. In general, road tires require more pressure than mountain tires, and more pressure is needed for riders who weigh more.
Q: Do I need a helmet to ride my bicycle?
A: It is always recommended to wear a helmet while riding a bicycle in order to prevent serious head injuries. Some places even make it illegal to ride a bike without a helmet. A good general rule is to always require children to wear a helmet while riding while suggesting that adults wear a helmet at their own discretion and in accordance with local laws.