Best Folding Bicycle Reviews
Before purchasing a folding bike, you must first determine what you’re going to use it most for. For instance, if you need a bike that can handle long distance commuting, you’ll automatically want the most comfortable and easiest to fold model.
Alternatively, if you live in a small apartment, you should keep a lookout for the lightest and most portable folding bike.
Finding the bike that best meets your needs can therefore be a challenge due to the diverse designs and various features every folding bike comes with.
Best Folding Bikes At A Glance
- Dahon Mariner D7 ($588*)
- Columba 26″ ($265*)
- Schwinn Loop ($290*)
- Dahon Vybe D7 ($399*)
- Xspec Trail Commuter ($290*)
* Price correct as of 30th October 2015
The following list of top 5 folding bicycles should make your search so much easier.
#1 – Dahon Mariner D7 – Best Folding Bike
Although not as cheap as the other bikes in this list, the Dahon Mariner D7 Folding bike delivers value for every dollar spent. Designed for the average boater, this aluminum folding bike makes the perfect choice for all port commuting whether it’s running errands or taking a casual ride.
The best features of the Dahon Mariner D7 include:
High Quality Body
The ocean breeze is known to wreak havoc on metals. This Dahon folding bike, however, can be used to travel to and from a port day after day for years without losing its luster or functionality.
This is made possible by the bike’s high quality body, which is coated with an effective rust resistant coating that keeps the bike safe from the corrosive effect of ocean breeze.
Quick and Easy Folding
Another perfect commuting feature of the Dahon Mariner D7 is a fast and easy folding process. This bike folds in under 15 seconds allowing you to spend less time folding and unfolding the bike and more time enjoying your rides.
7 In-Built Speeds
To ensure versatility in use, this folding road bike is fitted with 7 speeds that can handle all sorts of terrain including the biggest of grade hills. The bike also allows split second gearshifts that provide you the pleasure of being able to change speeds smoothly whenever you want to.
- Has a max rider weight of 230 pounds
- Rear rack and fenders are included
- Features a light weight frame that makes carrying the bike easy
- Fits perfectly into small spaces such as underneath a standard desk or inside the smallest storage compartments on boats
- Lightest folding bike at 26 lbs
- Smallest folding bike (22 x 11 x 33 inches)
- A few users have complained about the hardness of the seat
This bike’s lightweight structure, 7-speed gearbox, and corrosion resistant coating make it the perfect bike for anyone who travels by sea a lot. Thanks to these features, the bike not only thrives in sea conditions, but also provides easy storage and transportation.
Best of all, this bicycle covers all port commuting purposes ranging from traversing the surrounding terrain to taking leisurely rides to the nearest café.
Mariner D7 Folding Bike Video Review
#2 – Columba 26” Folding Bike SP26S_BLK
The Columba 26″ 18-speed Folding bike is ideal for people who need a folding bike but are tight on money and space.
All of this is made possible by:
At 26 inches, the wheels of this Shimano 18-speed folding bike are much larger than the wheels of other bikes. This attribute enhances the bike’s stability thereby ensuring comfortable rides at all times.
Another unique attribute of the Columba 26” full size folding bike is an 18-speed gearbox. It allows trouble-free uphill and downhill riding as well as easy and speedy gear alterations.
Small Fold Size
Another plus for the Columba 26 inch folding bike is that it fold into a small size that can easily fit inside the trunk of a car. This makes it highly portable and easy to store.
- Once you master the bike’s folding system, you can complete folding it in as little as 10 to 15 seconds
- Handle stem has a quick removing front
- Can be used for all sorts of purposes ranging from riding in parks, to commuting to work/school, to exploring scenic terrains
- Features an alloy kickstand that helps prevent chipping off of paint and protects the bike’s body from damage
- Doesn’t feature a locking mechanism for use when folded
If you’re looking for a light and comfortable folding bike that can easily handle both smooth tarmac surfaces and hilly terrains, this is the bike to go for. Its features were designed with the intention of delivering a tough but comfortable bike. It is also the best folding mountain bike.
Columba 26″ Folding Bike (Blue) Video
#3 – Schwinn Loop – Best Selling Folding Bike
The first thing that will attract you to the Schwinn 20-inch Loop Folding Bike is its beautiful loop-frame design and glossy finish. However, this Schwinn 7-speed model is more than a pretty bike.
Not only is it durable and solidly built, it’s also one of the best performing folding bikes in the budget price range.
Features of the Schwinn 20″ Loop
One of the highlights of the Schwinn Loop folding bike is a sturdy, step-though 25-pound frame that adds on to the aesthetics, performance, and user-friendliness of the bike.
The frame’s heaviness provides you with all the stability you’ll need to enjoy smooth, comfortable rides, while its loop design makes it easy for anyone to climb on and off the bike.
This bike also features a 7-gear mechanism that allows you to use the bike in all sorts of areas.
Other features of this Schwinn folding bike include a built-in carrier on the back for transporting more stuff, alloy front and rear linear pull brakes, front and rear fenders, and 20″ smooth rolling street tires that are perfect for commuting.
- Has a beautiful design
- Includes a nylon carrying bag in its packaging
- Bike can last for more than 10 years due to sturdy construction
- Seat adjusts to your height
- Has fenders and built-in carrier
- Has no locking mechanism
- Is heavy and therefore tiring to carry
Featuring a solid build, the Schwinn 20″ Loop is a beautifully designed, durable, high performer that’s easy and fun to ride. This features coupled with its pocket-friendly price makes the bike a great catch for any regular rider. Read my full review of the Schwinn Loop.
Schwinn Loop 7-Speed Folding Bike Review
#4 – Dahon Vybe D7 Folding Bike
The Dahon Vybe D7 combines style, comfort, and several useful features to deliver a sleek looking and versatile city bike that will help make your busy life a little simpler.
The versatility of this bicycle is brought out by a 7-gear system that allows smooth gear shifting that doesn’t require much effort on your part. With this gear system, you’ll get to enjoy reliable performance that allows you to move through the city with ease.
And to ensure you get to enjoy a pleasurable user experience, the bike is fitted with a lightweight frame made of high quality custom drawn aluminum.
The lightweight feature of the frame ensures you won’t have to put in a lot of effort when riding. The frame also folds easily into a compact size that’s easy to store, carry, and transport.
Other features of the bike include:
- An upright riding position that enhances comfort and allows you to maintain a clear view of the road and surrounding scenery.
- High standard brakes from Dahon’s Promax V Range.
- A rust and corrosion resistant build.
- Lightweight folding bike at 33.5 lbs
- The bike’s wheels have clicks which bind together when the bike is folded to help keep the fold shape intact
- Takes seconds to fold
- Fenders and mudguards included
- Doesn’t require much maintenance
- Seat height cannot be adjusted to your preference
- Bike must be reviewed by an authorized mechanic for warranty to be activated
The Dahon is a bang-for-your-money type of bike. Despite its affordable price, it provides easy carrying and storage, an awesome ride experience, effortless mobility, and excellent versatility. This is pretty much everything you need, making Dahon folding bikes fun to ride and stress-free.
Dahon Vybe D7 Folding Bicycle Review Video
#5 – Xspec Trail Commuter Review
When looking for a folding bike to ride on adventurous expeditions or on rough terrains, the 21-Speed Trail Commuter Folding Mountain Bike from Xspec would make a perfect fit.
As the name suggests, this bike is designed for trail commuting and is therefore fitted with features that enable it to excel in tough conditions.
21-Speed Shimano Gear System
The best feature of this Xspec folding mountain bike is a 21-speed gear system that gives the bike the versatility of being able to effortlessly ride on flat, bumpy, hilly, and steep areas. Additionally, this speed function also gives you the freedom of slowly cruising or speeding through these terrains.
Fitted with front and rear shock absorbers, the Xspec trail commuter protects you from the bumps and stress that come with riding on less-than-ideal terrains. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about back and leg muscle/joint injuries when using this bike.
- Folds and unfolds in less than a minute
- Has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds
- Brakes react quickly
- High tensile steel folding frame provides adequate stability
- Some users have found the bike to be too heavy for them
Powerful, versatile, and safe, the Xspec 21-speed trail commuter is without a doubt a great bike. If performance and reliability are things you want from your bike, then you won’t go wrong with this model.
Folding bikes come with many different features and are available in a wide variety of prices. This can make it somewhat difficult to find the right one that will meet your needs. The top 5 folding bikes in this list, however, will help to simplify your search.
All of these bikes are affordable, come in a variety of prices to fit different budgets, and perform reliably well in their respective areas of use. Therefore, you’ll more than likely be able to find the folding bikes review for the one that best suits your needs.
Folding Bicycle Buyer’s Guide
It may be hard to imagine but folding bikes were initially created for military purposes. In fact, French foot soldiers were the first to use these two wheelers as a flexible mode of transport. Over the years, however, folding bikes have lost their military usefulness and have found their way into our homes and everyday lives.
These days, people are increasingly using folding bikes for a variety of purposes. You can find cyclists using these bikes to commute to and from work or even when running daily errands such as grocery shopping.
Purchasing a folding bike is very different from buying a regular bike. With a regular bicycle, all you have to do is simply find a good quality bike that’s comfortable and just the right size. Selecting a folding bike is a little more complicated than that.
When buying a folding bike, you have to look at several other aspects such as method of assembly/disassembly, ease of folding, and folded size (among other things).
With all the numerous folding bike options that are on the market, choosing the best one can indeed seem like a daunting task. Fortunately, this folding bike buyer’s guide will provide all the details that you need to make the right decisions.
Should You Buy a Folding Bike?
If you like to cycle a lot when commuting, then you would definitely benefit from owning a folding bike.
Unlike regular bicycles, folding bikes can be taken everywhere you go. Their portability eliminates the anxiety that comes with parking your bicycle somewhere outside and leaving it unattended.
Once folded, a folding bike takes on a small, compact form that can be easily carried into buildings, offices, and even public transportation automobiles such as trains and buses. Therefore, these bikes make an ideal buy for anyone who cycles regularly to get from place to place.
What to Consider When Buying a Folding Bike
The most important factor to consider when buying a folding bike is the intended use of the bicycle. This is because certain features of folding bikes are naturally better suited for specific purposes.
Once you’ve determined the use of your folding bike, you’ll find it easier to choose features that will best suit your needs.
For instance, if you will be using your folding bike to commute to work/school, a bike with a quick folding mechanism is the best way to go.
With quick folding, you’ll be able to make it to a bus/train station and fold up your bike in good time to catch your ride. In contrast, when buying a folding bike for touring purposes, ride comfort is the most important feature to go for.
Another important factor to consider when buying a folding bike is your accommodations. Some people buy folding bikes for the sole purpose of making it easy to carry their bikes into their apartments.
Apartments are known for their shortage of space and endless staircases, so the folding size of a bike should play a major role in the final folding bike you choose.
The smaller the folded size, the more convenient it will be. A compact size will provide easy storage and make it possible to carry the bike up a flight of stairs without straining.
9 Things to Look for When Buying a Folding Bike
After determining what you want in a folding bike, the next step is to find and compare different models and brands. Folding bikes offer a ton of features to choose from and they come in all sizes, shapes, and levels of durability.
Therefore, even if you have a shortlist of the vital features you need in a folding bike, you will still have to decide on which additional features to go for and which ones you can do without.
To save you a lot of time and headache, here’s a list of the most important features to go for in a folding bike:
1) Ease of Folding
Folding bikes generally feature three common fold designs. These include:
– Mid Fold
This design allows the bicycle to fold in the middle of the frame. Mid Fold bikes are usually robust and compact, which makes them easy to carry.
– Triangle Hinge
Bikes featuring the triangle hinge design of folding can be folded either in the middle of the frame or at the rack. The upside to these types of folding bikes is that they can be folded more than once. This helps to deliver an extremely compact pack that can be stored in just about any place including inside your work cubicle.
– Breakaway Bike
Designed to collapse down, breakaway folding bikes aim at making the folding process as convenient as possible. These bikes are also smaller in size and therefore make an ideal buy for someone who is pressed for space. Unfortunately, the collapsing process of these bikes usually takes more time than the folding process of the other folding bikes.
Selecting a folding bike’s design of folding comes down to personal preference, as all folding mechanisms can be mastered with time. However, the ease and speed of setting up folding bikes varies from one model to the next. Regardless of the folding mechanism you chose to go with, it’s important that you ensure the bike provides the easiest and fastest folding process possible.
Manufactures usually indicate the amount of time needed to bring a folding bike to its folded form. These numbers should however not be taken too literary as they arrived at by experts working in ideal conditions without any form of outward interference. In the real world, however, you can be faced with several less than ideal conditions when folding your bike.
For instance, you may have to fold the bike under heavy downpour or in a poorly lit area. Therefore, instead of relying on the indicated “time of folding,” you should look at the specifics of a bike’s design. A few indications that a bike will provide easy and fast folding include:
– Presence Of A Latching Mechanism
Some folding bikes latch closed when folded making it easy to carry them without a case or carry bag. Others require a carrying bag, which helps hold the bike closed once it is folded.
These bags usually feature zips or other fasteners that take some time to close and open, which further adds on to the folding time of the bike.
As far as ease of folding is concerned, folding bikes that feature a latching mechanism are a better option compared to those that come with their own carrying bags.
– Telescopic Design
Folding bikes that feature a telescoping frame, saddle, or handlebar are usually very easy to fold. What’s more, these types of folding bikes collapse into very small sizes that are easy to carry and store.
– Zero Component Removal
Some folding bikes require the front wheel, carry basket, or other part/accessory to be removed when folding. Not only does this add on to the folding time of the bike, but it also makes carrying the bike a little complicated as you’ll have another separate piece to carry with you wherever you go.
For this reason, such models should be avoided when ease of folding is a feature you want in your folding bike.
2) Folded Size
If you live in a large house that is not accessed through a flight of stairs, the packed size of a folding bike should not factor in your buying decision. However, if you live in a small apartment or have to store or carry your bike into a small area during the course of using it, it’s advisable to go for bikes with the smallest fold size you can find.
All you have to do is simply compare the dimensions quoted on the features sheet of different models to determine the best size for your needs.
3) Ease of Carrying When Folded
The ease of carrying a folding bike can be determined by how small the bike is once its folded and the design of the bike. A small fold-size makes carrying the bike from one place to another easy.
However, the design of the bike can interfere with the ease of carrying. Therefore, you should always consider the design when choosing a folding bike model.
Ask yourself: Is the bike easy to grab when folded? Does the bike’s frame make a convenient handle for one-handed carrying? Does the bike fold in such a way that it can be wheeled along on its own wheels?
A model with one or more of these great design features would make carrying less of a chore.
Another thing to watch out for when buying a folding bike is whether the chain is left exposed or covered when folded. Bike chains are often greasy and can therefore stain your clothes as you carry your bike if they are left exposed.
The only way to get around an exposed chain is to try to carry the bike while extending your arm away from your clothes. This can make for an awkward not to mention tiring carrying process.
Therefore, make sure to go for a folding bike whose chain ends up on the inside of the fold when the bike is folded. This is especially important if you’re using your folding bike to commute to school or work.
With a chain that remains covered, you’ll not only have an easier time carrying the bike, but you’ll also be able to get to your destination with no unsightly stains on your clothing.
5) Weight of Folded Bike
If part of using your folding bike includes carrying it up a few bus steps, into a building, or up a flight of stairs on a regular basis, you should make sure the bike is light enough for you to lift.
Aside from making it easy to carry, a light folding bike is easy to ride uphill as well as fast to accelerate.
6) Bike Quality
While there’s no sure way of determining if a folding bike will be reliable and durable for years to come, there are several things that can give a hint of the bike’s quality. For instance, a long warranty is a good indicator of quality for any product.
Other key indicators of good quality in a folding bike include:
- Strong frame build
- Quality finishing
- High spoke count on wheels
- Well-built rims
Another way of ensuring you end up with a good quality folding-bike is by shopping from reputable brands that have good customer ratings. Brands with no reviews come with unknown risks as there’s just no way of knowing how good or how bad the product will be.
Leading bike brands, on the other hand, have a reputation to uphold and therefore often make higher quality bikes.
7) Ride Quality
Good ride quality is another important feature to look for in a folding bike especially if you’ll be spending a lot of time riding the bike. Generally, the larger the tire size the greater the ride quality.
This is because larger tires tend to handle rough terrain as well as muddy and sandy conditions better than small ones. What’s more, large tires are less quick to respond to small movements of the handlebars, which means they provide a smooth ride.
Another good indication that a folding bike has excellent ride quality is the presence of shock absorbers. Not only do shock absorbers provide a comfortable ride, they help protect your leg muscles and joints from injury.
8) Luggage Compartment
Since folding bikes are mostly used for commuting, exercising, shopping, and touring, a luggage compartment is a good feature to have.
It makes it easy to carry all sorts of items including briefcases, books, food, water bottle, and even repair tools. For ease of use, make sure the bike’s compartment allows for easy and quick fitting in and removing of items.
Best Folding Bike Reviews Conclusion
The most important aspects of a folding bike are ease of folding, ride comfort, ease of carrying, and durability.
Any folding bicycle that has these features will make a great buy for you regardless of whether you’ll be using the bike as a means of transportation, an instrument for getting some much-needed exercise, or a tool for accomplishing everyday tasks.
Following our Dahon folding bike review, we have awarded the best folding bicycle award to the Dahon Mariner D7.
Other useful qualities to look out for in a folding bike include multiple gears, adjustable seat and handlebar, inclusion of accessories (e.g. repair kit, pump, etc.), presence of mudguards, and safety features such as lights and reflectors.
Just remember that all these bells and whistles often come with an additional cost.
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