Ease of transport, weight and dimensions together with versatility are the main technical characteristics that a buyer must pay attention to when choosing a folding bike. But the price? It is a consequence of these variables modulated based on the function and frequency of use as well as on the basis of customizations that everyone wants to adopt on their portable and resealable bike, not least also by the fact that you choose a traditional solution or a electric folding e-bike.
Why buy a folding bike
Folding bicycles are designed to meet the needs of a particular woman clientele that:
- often also uses other means of transport which, however, are not entirely suitable or comfortable: think of a commuter traveler who daily takes trains, metro, buses that leave him far from the final destination (office, university or home)
- has little space to admit and / or park a traditional vehicle such as a bicycle or a car in its area rather than an office or apartment; those who live in densely populated places or simply in an apartment in the city will surely have identified with this description
- has a "green" soul and eco-sustainable for which it rightly conceives mobility as a set of complementary and / or alternative solutions to motor vehicles or public transport
- look for a solution for short trips even on vacation but also a vehicle that is easy to transport and take with you on board your car, taking up minimal space
- it also seeks a certain comfort and versatility during all climatic seasons; it follows the search for a light but resistant vehicle and often equipped with accessories or improvements such as a multi-speed gearbox, a mudguard for bad weather days and integrated lights for the periods of the winter season that are typically less illuminated
The product features of a "folding"
For the reasons set out above, it becomes easy to make a shopping list of technical specifications that you must read before making the purchase:
- Wheel diameter
- Total weight
- Dimensions of the frame and / or space occupied by open / closed
- Construction materials
- Closing system and speed
On the market, the most common types of diameter are from 16”, 20” even up to 26Which correspond to approximately 41, 51 and 66 centimeters respectively.
Which is the one that's right for me? It depends on the route: a smaller diameter certainly offers smaller dimensions but in the moment of use you have to make many rides to develop meters traveled; so if you have to grind a route even up to a few km, a larger diameter with the same pedaling gives you a shorter travel time; if you have to make very short movements of a few hundred meters and very agile (such as stairs, lift or simply juggle traffic) a small diameter will give you that flexibility without losing too much time.
A parameter of choice for a folding bike is certainly the weight which is a function of the size of the vehicle as well as of the construction material and whether the bike is equipped with an electric motor or not; there is no "ideal" weight but the best weight based on the function of use. The average values for a classic 20 are bicycle between 8/10 and 15 kg; if the use you make of your folding is similar to that of a traditional city bike you can find solutions even up to 16/17 kg but if you use the bicycle in intensive mode by folding it and transporting it several times by hand or on other means, the lightness will be for you a strength that the less weight you carry the better your routine will be.
The diameter of the wheels has a decisive impact on the structure of the folding bikes themselves: just to give you an example, think that for example the diameter of bike sharing bikes starts from 26 "; in my opinion it is an excessive measure if you think of a folding frame for urban use where the extreme flexibility and the use of the vehicle in combination with public transport are the masters compared to a folding bike for leisure and in general outside the purely urban circuits.
Advice so about the size is to read the measurements well regarding length, height and width of the folding bike with particular reference to when it is in "Closed mode"; for excellent handling and transport on public transport (train or bus) for example a closed 20 ”bike usually measuring
- a length of around 78/80 cm
- a height of 65/66 cm
- a variable width between 38/48 cm
The more compact a bike is, the easier it will be to transport with the same weight, especially with reference to length measurements but even more width.
Traditionally, the construction materials that make up most of the folding bikes currently on the market are in alloy aluminum or steel; we also find folding in fiber of carbon but for the type of product the prices are higher and it must be evaluated if the extra expense is a real benefit.
Closing system and speed
The resealable bike has a structure divided into two parts and joined by an element that unites them so you have to pay attention to the materials so that they are robust and last over time to the "play" of the numerous closures and openings of the vehicle. Then there are multi-stage closing systems (for example 3 like the Brompton) or particular closures like the umbrella one (used by another well-known brand such as Strida).
Speed change and accessories
Folding bikes are increasingly versatile in use, as evidenced by the equipment of gear change with different speeds specific for different routes (there are relatively cheap models even with 6/7 gears) but also integrated lights and fenders for use with different weather and lighting situations. Everything as usual must be calibrated on the respective needs of those who use it. Some brands also offer the possibility of infinite customization of the frame and other components.
The price of a folding bike or "folding bike"
When we talk about purchases, price always has a relevant component but it is necessary to distinguish what we mean by the concept of "price" and adjust it to the purchase of a good and service, such as our new folding bike. As usual, we must emake a compromise or choose a different unit of measurement such as the value for money.
For example, no super cheap folding bike can guarantee you lightness and hyper compactness in terms of transport, but it may be that for the use you make of it it is still the best choice; It is also true that if you are a regular user you must necessarily have in mind to buy quality products with effective and long-lasting folding systems and resistant materials but it is obvious that few have substantial budgets to allow yourself a top of the range over a thousand euros . In fact, in the next chapter I will present useful ones tips and some of the brands and solutions on the folding bike market so that you can evaluate "the correct price" that you are willing to invest for your bike.
How to choose "your" best folding bike
Where and how much did you use it? For the concept of folding bike that belongs to me, which is that of an instrumental use in maximum comfort in an urban environment together with other public transport, I would evaluate products with a compactness and a weight reduced to a minimum in order to be able to transport and store it as a " suitcase ”of medium size.
Brands and models of folding bikes / fold bikes
This English brand is the forerunner of folding as it has been producing bicycles of this type for almost 40 years. The steel frame in one size, the 3-step locking system (with two joints on the rear side which makes it compact and short when closed) and the endless customizations possible are the pluses.
In the Anglo-Saxon world Brompton is synonymous with "foldable" such is its relevance at the brand level; great quality comes at a cost which is not prohibitively expensive in an absolute sense, but by doing the due proportions is a value comparable to the purchase of a medium quality racing bike. As those who begin to use apple electronics products often do not go back, it also applies to Brompton also because they guarantee an almost infinite duration.
Excellent and famous brand in the world of foldable bikes for over thirty years; has its strengths in extreme lightness and compactness. Offers a good range of both steel and aluminum models for urban use but also "touring" hence the extreme versatility of the proposals and accessories available.
This brand is the son of Dahon (in the literal sense of the term and those interested can search for the family history from which both originate). Divisions do not always generate problems and Tern is an example; proposes one very complete range with different price options and construction quality of materials but with very high standards. The strengths are certainly the reinforced joints (which make it excellent also for extra-urban stresses) and the quick closing system with a single folding movement; also of particular interest is the fact that it also has 24 ″ solutions in the range in addition to the traditional 16 wheels and the classic 20.
This brand is famous above all for its very innovative and unique design with a triangle shape that is almost more reminiscent of bicycles of the late nineteenth century than modern ones, especially due to the proximity of the body to the handlebars. I must admit that it is very attractive and other elements impress me such as the kevlar belt instead of the chain, as well as the use of disc brakes; for those who conceive more the concept of "closure" than of bike, here we are at the top because given this shape folding bike folds like an umbrella and therefore remains super compact. It is a beautiful design object and for those who are interested in standing out in the urban fabric, this is right for them; as well as the value for money. I have never tried a bicycle with these "geometries" and I must admit that it leaves me thinking about the handling in corners and on bumps, in fact I am afraid that a handlebar with a tube too far from the wheel needs a certain cunning driving that not everyone has.
Conclusions and latest indications
If you want to show us new ideas for reflection on the topic of "folding" and sustainable mobility, write to us and we will eventually integrate and develop new topics of interest. Finally, below I provide you with some links to better perform a targeted search on Amazon, the ecommerce site where you can also buy numerous folding bicycles that I have covered in this article at excellent prices and with the usual "satisfied or refunded" guarantee .
By following the links you will find an abundant assortment oftraditional and / or electric folding bikes of different brands, wheel sizes and diameters as well as bags and supports for storing and transporting them at their best so that you can evaluate the individual product sheets with all the features and prices.
Amazon shipments can take place within 24 hours and are often included in the price. And if you already have Amazon Prime you can take advantage of free and fast shipping for almost all items in the catalog. Here are the links:
- Foldable bike
- Electric folding bike
- Folding bike 20 ″
- Bags and Duffel Bags for folding bikes
- Electric scooters
Main brands: targeted research
- e-BIKE Foldable Moma
- e-BIKE Foldable Rich Bit
- e-BIKE Foldable Nilox
- Brompton folding bikes
- Dahon folding bikes
- Tern folding bikes
- Frejus folding bikes
- Strida folding bikes
- Ecosmo folding bicycles
Other related articles I wrote on IdeeGreen that may interest you are:
- Racing bike sizes: custom or standard
- Traffic code for cyclists: group fines
- Child bike seat: legislation and advice
- The choice of women's racing bike: sizes and geometries
- E-Bike, which electric bike to choose: E-Mtb, City E-bike or Corsa
- Cycling shoes for racing or mtb bikes: how to choose them
Curated by Tullio Grilli