Whether you’re an urban commuter looking to combine comfort, chic styling and easy portability to make your daily commute less labour intensive, or a sporting enthusiast looking for the best folding bike you can take anywhere.
The collapsible bike market offers a range of solid choices to help you achieve your goals. Below, we look at the top 5 fold up bicycle picks on the market.
What makes the best folding bike?
Firstly, your folding bike needs to be fit for purpose. Whether that’s heading off-road, packing into the tiniest trunk, or providing comfortable day-to-day urban commuter rides, make sure you are looking at fold up bikes that can do what you need them to most.
After that, you need to give careful consideration to the ease of folding. It’s not much point in selling it as a collapsible bike if it takes forever to get it down and up! Most good fold up bikes can be collapsed by a skilled hand in half a minute to a minute.
Some frames need the frame to be lifted, and others can do it with ground contact. Next, give some consideration to how easy to carry or move the folded bike is.
If you need to use it on transit, for example, it needs to be either easy carry or easy roll. This might be of less importance off road.
Once you’ve established these basics, you can look to other things, such as whether the rack and luggage carrying requirements match your needs, whether racks come as standard or after market, the number of gears available to you, the reliability of the frame and clamping systems and the security of the folding mechanism.
Chain drives can be unideal in folding bicycles as they may leave stains on surfaces they come into contact with, so if you have the budget available opt for a belt or direct drive option.
Once you’ve narrowed down the field of options to what you need, it’s time to start shopping. Below, we look at 5 best folding bike options and what it is about them that consumers like.
Dahon Mariner D8 folding bike
This bike is a small, lightweight bicycle that can be easily transported. For people who have limited space for transportation or storage, this bike may be the perfect option.
The versatility of being able to fold and unfold in seconds allows you to store it anywhere with ease. You’ll also find that there are plenty of color options so your ride will always match your style! Whether you live in a condo or an apartment, this could give you more freedom than ever before when choosing how to get around town on two wheels.
With its lightweight aluminum frame, comfortable seat and ergonomic handlebars, the Mariner D8 can be folded in seconds without tools or disassembly. It’s also equipped with Shimano Nexus gears which make riding a breeze!
This is the perfect alternative to a traditional bike. It’s lightweight, provides good traction, and looks good in addition to being easy on the back.
Vilano Urbana Single speed Folding Bike
This is a great bike for people who are looking for an easy-to-use, affordable bike that can be used for transportation and recreation.
These single speed models can be easily folded down for easy storage and portability. These aspects make them a great option for people who live in an apartment or house with little property to work with.
The sturdy construction and tight folding process make this bike easy to store in small spaces, so you’ll never have to worry about running out of storage space or biking space in your house.
It comes with a steel frame with aluminum alloy wheels to provide good stability and durability. It also features quick-release levers on the wheels so riders can easily take them off when they need to fold up their bike in tight spaces or when they want to store it away.
This folding bike is also extraordinarily lightweight and compact at just 21.5 lbs so you can store it easily in the trunk of your car or carry it onto a bus without any problems.
The price tag makes Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike attractive to anyone on any type of budget.
Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike
Schwinn have a decent name in the bike market, and the Schwinn loop folding bike carries the reputation forward quite nicely. It features a rigid ATB fork, linear pull brakes and comes with a rear rack as well as a few adjustable elements to make the ride more comfortable across the board. It has a 20” wheel set.
As a whole, it doesn’t stack up totally to some of Dahon’s better offerings, but offers a perfectly serviceable collapsible bike option that’s nothing to sneer at.
Some clients aren’t entirely happy with the plastic parts of the bike- but mainly for peace of mind rather than for actual breaks in the frame, which none reported.
It’s not a geared bike, so not perfect for hilly terrain use, but perfectly serviceable in the typical urban terrain. Overall, it leaves a trail of happy customer’s who’ve enjoyed their bikes and earns a solid 4.5 stars on Amazon.
Dahon Vybe D7 Folding Bike
It’s unsurprising that several Dahon bikes make this list, given their dominance in the folding bicycle market. The Vybe D7 is designed with a retro look, and incorporates a standard 7 speeds. Users praise its brakes, a feature often lacking on folding bikes, its light, shifts gears easily and folds away quickly when you need it to.
Some consumers warn against relying on it for heavy use, although others were perfectly happy. Given a lower end price tag, most consumers feel this one comes in as a far better product then the price and it earns a stunning 4.5 on Amazon.
Montague 20-Inch Paratrooper Pro Folding Bike, Matte Black
The styling on this slightly clunky folding bike is a call back to the original army issue collapsible bikes. Whether you like it or loathe it will depend on personal preference.
Unusual among the other offerings on this list, however, the Montague Paratrooper is designed for -and even targeted too- those wishing to take their fold up bike off-road, not just the average city-slicker. It’s durable, load bearing and comes with a great shock absorbing system.
It claims to be fold-able in under 20 seconds, although consumers find it takes a little longer than that and makes for an easily portable off road fold up bike option.
Customers rate it a thoroughly respectable 4.3 starts on Amazon, and like it for its light and nimble handling, durable construction and delivery on promises. It may not be the prettiest on our list but it’s a solid favourite with users.
Columba 26 inch folding bike
For a new-name company on a list full of heavy-hitting brand names, this humble collapsible bike doesn’t stand up too poorly at all. In fact, it earns itself a thoroughly credible 4.6 Amazon stars. Despite the 26” wheel base, it will easily fit a compact boot- think Honda Civic- and will accommodate most rider frames too.
It’s cheap in comparison to most of the others on this list, and while it weighs in a little heavy- just under 15kg- then most, it presents a thoroughly acceptable low-budget option for fold up bikes.
It does have a few issues, though. Paint isn’t durable and there’s no shock absorption at all. It is, however, a surprisingly quick fold.
Dahon Briza D8 fold up bike
Ah, Dahon. The industry leader of the fold up bike world is an unsurprising add to our list. The Briza is built on the lines of the classic Dutch bicycle, unfolding to full size and designed for the urban landscape.
It’s a step through frame designed to be ridden upright. It’s a very easy-fold choice, offers 8 speeds and while not specifically designed for off-road will hold up surprisingly well.
The seat is slightly hard for the Dahon range but comfortable enough for daily commuting. It earns itself a thoroughly impressive 5 stars on Amazon, and consumers love it.
The best folding bike out there are easy to collapse and reassemble, comfortable to use and well adapted for the landscape around them. These top 5 picks from across the budget range off all this and more to satisfied fold up bike consumers globally.