A folding bike truly lives up to its name. You can ride it to the bus-stop or subway station, fold it up and take it along with you on the bus or tube, and unfold it to commute to your final destination.
If you are looking for the best folding bike 2017 that can meet your specific needs and preferences, you’ve come to the right place. Below you will find a comparison table of the top models on the market and folding bike reviews with a guide.
- Dahon Mu P8
- Price: $$$
- Speed: 6
- Folded Size: 1.7 × 30.8 × 25.7 inches
- Folding Time: 15 seconds
- Vilano Urbana
- Price: $$$
- Speed: 1
- Folded Size: 12 x 32 x 25 inches
- Folding Time: 15 seconds
- Schwinn 20-Inch Loop
- Price: $$$
- Speed: 7
- Folded Size: 30 x 32 x 11 inches
- Folding Time: 10 seconds
- Dahon Mariner D7
- Price: $$$
- Speed: 6
- Folded Size: 34 x 9 x 23.2 inches
- Folding Time: 15 seconds
- Retrospec Bicycles
- Price: $$$
- Speed: 1
- Folded Size: 10 x 30 x 22 inches
- Folding Time: 10 seconds
6 Top Rated Folding Bike Reviews
1. Schwinn 20-Inch Loop
The Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike is designed for commuting, which is why it is lightweight and easy to fold and carry. Its total weight is 33 pounds, while the maximum weight of the rider is 230 lbs.
The bike is very easy to fold and when it’s done, you can take it with you anywhere as it takes very little space. In fact, the Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding bike’s size, when folded, is 16″ x 32.5″ x 26″. The bike comes with a practical nylon carrying bag.
The low stand over frame, as well as the rigid fork, is designed so that you can easily get on and off the bike. The bike is designed for both men and women, while the minimum recommended age for the rider is 12.
When it comes to gears, this bicycle has 7 of them, which makes it great for most of terrain types. Whether you need to ride over a small hill or you have a flat road ahead, you can use this bike to get to your destination. Read full review here.
2. Dahon Mariner D7
Those looking to buy the best folding bike should seriously look into possibility of purchasing the Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike. This bicycle might be a bit more expensive than other folding bikes, but there are a number of reasons for that.
The Dahon Mariner D7 is made mostly from aluminum, making it very light. The total weight of the bicycle is 26 pounds. The size is 33 x 11 x 22 inches, while you can fold it to a package of 11 × 31.9 × 25.7 inches.
The total weight of the Mariner is 11.8 kg. That makes it easy to carry around for most people. The bike is designed for both men and women of average height and weight. The maximum allowed weight is about 230 lbs. Read full review here.
3. Retrospec Bicycles Speck Folding Single-Speed
For commuters, the most important feature of a bike is its weight. That’s exactly the best attribute of the Retrospec Bicycles Speck Folding Single-Speed, which weighs only 23.5 lbs. When you fold it, you can carry it in your arms anywhere you go. You can bring it with you to a bus, train, or even a plane. When folded this bicycle doesn’t take too much room.
In fact, the dimensions of the folded bike are just 10″ x 30″ x 22″. With this bicycle you don’t have to worry someone will steal it – simply take it with you always.
It only takes about 10 seconds for the bike to be folded or unfolded, because of its unique, yet rather simple design. The bike doesn’t have any strings or cables that can make you problems while folding it, because the brake used for this model is a coaster, while the Speck is a single-speed bicycle.
The Retrospec Bicycles Speck Folding Single-Speed Bicycle is designed to give you a safe and comfortable ride on busy city streets. That is why the tires are specially designed for conditions in the city. Read full review here.
4. Vilano Urbana Single Speed
If you’re looking for a practical, yet affordable folding bike, you should seriously think about buying the Vilano Urbana Single Speed. The bicycle is one of the cheapest on the market, with some extremely good features that make him the perfect mean of transport in busy cities. It’s easy to fold and is light enough so almost anyone could carry it.
When it comes to the size of this bike, it’s only 12″ x 32″ x 25″, which means you can carry it with you even when traveling on other means of transport, such as train or bus, for example. It takes only a couple of seconds for you to turn the folded package into a real road bike and that’s what makes this bike a great ally in fighting traffic jams.
The design of the Vilano Urbana Single Speed is so simple that you don’t have to worry about it braking and even if it does, you’ll surely be able to fix it in no time. The brake on this bicycle is the coaster, which means there aren’t any cables to be worried about.
On top of that, the bike has only one speed, which sometimes can pose a problem, but if you’re using it only for commuting, you should be fine. Read full review here.
5. Dahon Mu P8
The Dahon Mu P8 Folding Cloud White Folding Bike has 8 speeds making it great for rides in the city. It can help you avoid high traffic, but you can also ride it on difficult terrain. It shouldn’t take too much effort for you to go over a small hill, when riding this folding bike.
Apart from amazing gear box, this bike is also equipped with superb brakes. You don’t have to worry about slipping or not stopping in time.
The main feature, of course, about this bike is that you can fold it and carry it with you, thus assuring no one can steal it from you. Apart from that reason, you can carry the pack with you when changing means of transport.
The weight of this bike is 11.2 kg (24.7 lbs), which means that adults should not have problems carrying it. Because of its relatively light weight, you might start thinking that the bike is easy to break. On the contrary, the Dahon Mu P8 is one of the most reliable folding bicycles on the market. Read full review here.
6. Columba 26″ w. Shimano 18 Speed Black (SP26S_BLK)
The Columba 26″ w. Shimano 18 Speed Black (SP26S_BLK) is manufactured in China at a very high standard. It’s made from highly durable materials and weighs only 34 lbs. The superb folding mechanism allows you to fold it into a package, which you can then put in the trunk of your car or even carry it around with you. The dimensions of folded bicycle are 38″x14″x29″.
The dimensions of unfolded bike are 52 x 8 x 27 inches, which makes it suitable for persons of average height, although even really tall people should have no problems riding it. When it comes to maximum allowed weight of the rider, it should be no more than 200 lbs.
When it comes to speed shifter, you can’t get better than Shimano, which is what this bicycle has. The shifter operates on 18 gears, which makes this bike superb regardless of the type of the road.
You can ride it up the hill or on a flat road – it won’t matter much, you’ll do it with ease. Same as the speed shifter, the brakes are also manufactured by Shimano. There are two brakes on the bike, alloy front and rear V-brake. Read full review here.
How to Choose the Best Folding Bike in 2017
Trying to find the right folding bike in 2017 can be a harrowing task as there are almost innumerable brands to choose from. That is why you should consider below things when choosing a folding bike.
1. Specific Uses
There’s no disputing the fact you should be able to put the best foldable bike to maximum possible use. In other words, the folding bike that you finally opt for should let you conveniently meander your way through the serpentine traffic, allow you to easily clamber up a steep or mountainous path, and make cruising on freeways or thoroughfares seem like child’s play. Simply put, you should be able to ride your bike through any type of terrain to reach your destination.
2. Rider’s Height and Weight
Riding a folding bike will be more convenient for you if you happen to be tall and slender. As your bike will need to support lesser weight, you’ll have greater momentum especially when cycling through craggy terrains or elevated paths.
Since you won’t be able to change your physique (in case you’re obese or overweight) on a short notice, you’d have to opt for a bike that is relatively lightweight, has multiple gear speeds, adaptable seat height, and smaller wheel size.
3. Ease of Folding and Unfolding
The convenience with which you can fold/unfold the equipment is undoubtedly the most vital attribute of your fancied best folding bike. After all, the product is delineated because of this feature (foldable or collapsible). Obviously, the faster you can fold a bike, the greater will be the ease or handiness of traveling with it.
The best brands of folding bikes can be made to collapse or fold in 10-20 seconds. A bike that dismantles quickly comes in handy especially when you’re in a tearing hurry to get to your destination. Go for a bike that comes equipped either with a split-fold or triangular-hinge system.
Bikes with split-fold mode fold exactly into half via a hinge built into the middle of the frame. This type of bike folds rapidly enough but takes up considerable storage space and are quite hefty in collapsed position.
On the other hand, the triangular hinge system makes use of both clasps and hinges rendering the task of disassembling or folding somewhat complicated. Nevertheless, a bike with a triangular hinge folding functionality is more compact in dismantled position and hence requires less room for storing.
4. Wheel Size
When it comes to zeroing down on the wheel size, bear in mind that greater the size of the wheel, the more relaxed and comforting the ride. If you’re going to use the bike mostly for leisurely rides or cycling short distances, go for one having 16” wheels. Bikes with 20” wheels are ideal for routine plying and hence the most in demand.
Bikes having 24” wheels certainly are steadier to ride but not quite portable. If you’re more of an outdoors person going on regular treks to mountains or backcountries, then a bike with 26” wheels would serve you well.
5. Frame Material
The framework of your best folding bicycle could be made of aluminium, steel, chromoloy, titanium or carbon fiber. Each and every material has its benefits and drawbacks. For instance, aluminum is lightweight and rustproof but are easily bendable not quite tough.
But then again, aluminum frames cost much less than frames made from titanium or carbon fiber. Steel is incredibly durable and resilient making the framework of your bike last for years. But on the flipside, steel makes the bike considerably heavy and is subject to rusting.
Folding bikes with chromoloy frames are fast becoming bestsellers and for good reasons. Chromoloy steel being an alloy of chromium and molybdenum is tougher than steel yet lighter. Therefore bikes made from chromoloy steel are easier to ride or carry and fairly affordable.
Folding bikes having frames constructed out of carbon fibers are more costly than bicycles with aluminum, chromoloy or steel frames. However, carbon fiber bikes offer good value for money as these are extraordinarily lightweight and hard-wearing. The noticeable drawback of carbon fiber is that it is brittle in nature and therefore, prone to cracking.
Bikes whose frames have been chiseled out of titanium occupy the premium slot, in terms of price but then these remain serviceable for years on end. Frameworks carved out of titanium are rock-solid without being bulky.
All folding bike brands either have derailleur gears, hub gears or single speed gears. The type you’ll settle for will yet again invariably depend upon your specific requirements. If you’re going to pedal mostly on flat roads or terrains, you should not look beyond a single-speed gear bike.
A single-speed bike comes with a single gear ratio which means it has a simple biking system doing away with issues of shifting chains or tripping gears. Folding bikes with single-gear mode also cost a whole lot cheaper. Bikes with more than one gear (typically 3-8 speed gears) are ideal for cycling on dirt roads, steep or precipitous inclines or elevated tracks.
This type of folding bike has a gear apparatus that is usually enveloped or enclosed within a shell. The setup of gears along with the lubricants is placed inside the shell thereby remaining secure from dirt, rain or mud. Folding bikes that are typically built for using on mountainous regions or high altitudes usually have a complex system of gears.
7. Bike Weight
The weight of your folding bike makes a significant difference to the degree or level of convenience with which you use it. The less heavy the bike, the easier it’ll be for you to ride it smoothly or fold it and haul it on public transport. Additionally, a lightweight bike means it is more compact thereby allowing you to store the equipment easily even in a place where space is at a premium.
Now what adds to the weight of a folding bike or conversely what are the attributes that makes this transport equipment lighter?
For a start, the material used for constructing the framework has the maximum bearing on what its overall weight will be. Bikes made of steel are the heaviest while aluminum and carbon fiber bikes happen to be relatively much lighter.
Apart from that the components from which the tire, chain, gear, spokes, and rim are designed also have an impact on the weightiness of the equipment.
A range of lightweight folding bikes models are available in the market and it is up to you to decide which model will serve you best. Select a brand in accordance with your height and weight because what is lightweight for others may feel like a burden for you.
8. Folded Size
If you had your way, you’d have folded the bike to a size that neatly go inside your pocket. Unfortunately for you, technology hasn’t yet graduated to a stage where your wish could be fulfilled anytime soon.
But if you’re willing to be a bit more practical, you’d be able to lay your hands on models that shrivel up like a shrimp giving you the leeway of taking your folder on bus or train and storing it easily beneath your desk or in one side of your study.
6 US Folding Bike Brands
Don’t judge the efficiency of a folding bike simply on the basis of its price tag and/ or appearance. While it is quite easy to get carried away by the façade of the different brands of folding bikes most of which appear similar at first sight, what you see is not always what you get.
Some models have a framework that’s lightweight; others come equipped with a structure that’s easily and quickly retractable, whilst quite a few brands have multiple-speed gears and offer greater stability.
If you’re going to be using your bike for commuting to office or traveling regularly, opt for one which retracts or folds-up easily letting you take it with you on various modes of public transportation. The following paragraphs review the top six US folding bike brands.
Talking about best folding bike, the first name that crosses the minds of most avid bikers is that of Dahon. Established in 1984, Dahon headquartered in California manufactures both entry-level and high-performance folding bikes that boast of a range of versatile features.
Not only are the models eminently compactable but also come with saddles that can be conveniently adapted in accordance with the biker’s height and weight. Some models even come with adjustable handlebars adding to the convenience of the bicyclist. Vitesse D7, Mariner, and MU Uno are a few of the most popular models of Dahon.
Schwinn has been involved in producing folding bikes for more than a century and its product line comprises of six distinct types of bicycles. ‘Cruisers’ are made for those intending to use their bike mostly for going around in the town or cruising along the beach. ‘Hybrids’ are perfect for those willing to get to their destinations on time as well as help themselves keep fighting fit.
‘Bike Paths’ are convenient for smooth and casual riding on any kind of road surface or terrain. ‘Mountain’ as the terminology clearly gives away is cut out especially for pedaling and speeding on hilly or mountainous terrains.
Urban is supremely suitable for the urbanites looking forward to using the folding bike as a viable and alternative transportation mode to their private vehicles. ‘Kids’ and ‘Smartstart’ are models exclusively catering to kids and children belonging to different age groups intending to pick up biking skills early on.
The Columba line of folding bikes by Shimano American Corporation established in 1961, has numerous aficionados and enthusiasts, and for good reasons.
The bikes are immaculately designed making these extraordinarily comfortable not only to when it comes to riding but also extremely compact which means minimal space is required for storage. The ‘Tempest’ is another model produced by Shimano that is a big hit with cyclists.
For years, Vilano has been coming up with ultra-compact folding bikes that are ideal for riding not only in the busy intersections of the city but also on rugged and mountainous terrains. The models come endowed with 6-speed Shimano gear derailleur that facilitate in quickly changing gears when cycling at various speeds.
The bikes have fenders on the front and back that protects the wheels from mud as well as prevents its squirting. There is also a rack at the rear that can be used for storing various necessary items.
Retrospec has been manufacturing folding bikes since 2008 that have fulfilled city commuters’ expectations with respect to travelling conveniently. The flagship brand of Retrospec-‘Speck’-allows the rider to cycle backwards quite comfortably especially when he or she needs to come to an enforced halt.
The Speck can be retracted down to a 10” x 30” x 22” size within the space of just 20 seconds letting you carry it along anywhere without any hassles.
Also, it’s extremely compacted size means it takes up minimum room for storing it. So you can tuck it safely beneath the train’s seats or underneath your office desk. It is a superlight bike that has a single-speed gear ratio and comes with a handlebar whose height can be adjusted accordingly.
6. Allen Sports
The Allen Sports bicycle company is a close-knit family owned business and both its models-the ‘Urbana’ and ‘Downtown’ feature a single-speed gear system making these perfect for cycling on city thoroughfares or hilly tracts.
The Urbana has a signature press-linkage folding frame along with headset allowing for convenient disassembling and storage. Other features include brakes on the front and rear and locking of the rear wheel in folded state.
9 Things Every Biker Should Have
As a seasoned biker you know what to wear, pack, and carry to make your rides successful and safe. Wearing a bike helmet is as essential as carrying a first-aid kit and you certainly wouldn’t consider cycling in pitch dark without a headlight strapped to the handlebar.
The following paragraphs offer a lowdown on the items that every biker should have.
1. Bike Helmet
Though this goes without saying but there are quite a large number of cyclists who consider wearing a helmet a sign of unchivalrous. To put it rather straightforwardly, there’s nothing chivalrous or chic about biking sans the helmet. So, many cyclists would have been turning in their graves now had it not been for the humble helmet.
Go for a bike helmet whose outer layer is made out of polypropylene with an inner lining of expanded polystyrene (EPS). See to it that the size that you choose fits over and around your head firmly yet comfortably. The helmet should come with a visor that protects your eyes from incoming sunlight and dust particles.
This helmet should also have sufficient vents built into the inner layer so that air circulation is proper that is essential for sucking up moisture or beads of perspiration. Thick padding on the interior acts as a shock absorber during your bumpy rides.
2. Protective Eyewear
It is because of your excellent vision that you’ve been able to complete all those joyrides so far. But you cannot afford to take chances, as even a simple injury or a harmless fall from the bike can adversely affect your vision.
Opting for a pair of affordable goggles offers a layer of safety to your eyes. A pair of quality goggles or safety glasses will protect you from nearly 90% of all optic injuries that are likely to happen during a bicycle ride.
Finding a pair is not a hassle nowadays as plenty of brands are available both offline and online. Don’t miss researching on the net thoroughly before you decide to buy one.
3. First Aid Kit
You’ll be on the safe side to permanently keep a first-aid kit or box either in your saddle bag or in the bike compartment. For most cyclists, the first-aid kit is nestled cozily beneath all over items but you never know when you may need it. Accidents or mishaps can and do happen, and so it is better to be safe than to be sorry.
Now, it does not imply that you should pack your kit with innumerable items making it resemble a dispensary on wheels. Just pack in the basic minimum like two or three rolls of cotton gauze pads, a pair of scissors, an antiseptic spray, steri-strips, band-aids, and so and so forth. Of course, you could squeeze in a lot more but you’d not want to be cycling around with things that you may need once in a blue moon.
4. Bike Headlight
There will of course be occasions when you’ll be cycling at nighttime or in pitch darkness. There’ll be times when you’ve left for a long ride and it’s evening by the time you arrive at your destination. It is during such instances when the headlamp strapped to the handlebar or your helmet will come to your aid.
Always opt for a bike headlight that is made up of tiny LED bulbs whose combined lumens capacity is powerful enough to illuminate the path ahead of you at least up to a distance of 150-200 yards. Also see to it that the headlight is fully waterproof and constructed out of material that can take the rough with the tumble.
5. Bike Pump
The bike pump is again one indispensible accessory that you cannot do without. You never know when you may become stranded with a flat tire when you yet have quite a distance to cover.
Since this is one item that you’d need to carry along with you, you’d naturally want to go for one that is very portable. In this context, going for a mini pump would be advisable as you’d be able to store it comfortably in a saddle bag or even in the small basket fastened to the handlebar.
Irrespective of whether you go for an extended ride or a short trip on your bicycle, you’ll surely be taking a break a couple of times either for rushing to the lavatory or purchasing sundry items from a store. Additionally, you’ll need to park your bike in a safe place if you’re going to be away for hours visiting a relative or attending office.
Locking up your bike would seem to be the most sensible thing to do to secure the same against the prying eyes of burglars or thieves. Naturally, investing in a bike lock to keep your bike firmly tethered as long as you’re out of sight would be necessary.
7. Saddle Bag
You’ll need to keep a saddle bag with you as well as it’ll come in handy for storing and carrying a host of essential items during your trip including the repair kit, mini pump, rainwear, and first-aid kit and so on. Always carry a saddle or seat bag that is waterproof and made of durable material enabling it weather wear-and-tear.
8. Waterproof Jacket
The weather can suddenly change, play spoilsport and may force you to cancel your journey or trip even if it’s perfectly sunny or pleasant when you start. Instead of relying on your instincts with regards to the state of the weather, make sure you carry a windcheater or raincoat.
9. Reflective Clothing
Apart from the headlight on your bike, reflective clothing will work as an additional precautionary measure enabling you to be clearly discernible or visible to motorists, particularly during evenings or nighttime. Cyclists in many towns and cities around the work are mandated by law to wear reflective clothing while riding at night.
Though folding bikes are available in a wide range of prices each having its distinct specifications, the one that you’ll finally pick will depend upon your nature and extent of use. To make sure you choose the best folding bike 2017, try follow our above advice.