Buying Guide

Best Folding Bike

Written by: Dave NartinMarch 14, 2020Updated: March 14, 2020

If you use a bike as your main form of transportation to get around your city, you might’ve gotten pressed for parking space more than once or get constantly worried that someone might steal it. 

Folding bikes are an excellent solution to these situations. This bicycle type is an incredibly efficient and convenient alternative to the standard road or city bikes that are more commonly used. If you’re looking to buy a good folding bike, we put together some things for you to consider as well as a short list of the best folding bicycles that we can’t help but recommend.

Why Get a Folding Bike?

The folding mechanisms in these bikes are more than just cool party tricks; it actually gives the classic bike design an extra dimension of utility in the form of portability. A portable bike is a safe bike—not only will you no longer be forced to pay for parking, but you’ll also no longer have to worry about whether or not your bike is still where you left it after you finish your business.

You can simply collapse a folding bicycle into its more compact form and to take it indoors, so long as it’s permitted, of course. You can store your bike in your hotel room, inside your office, or even under a bus seat. This feature also makes folding bikes very attractive for commuters who use other forms of mass transportation to get to and from work. 

Where to Take Them

Folding bikes make for great city bikes thanks to their portability, and are great alternatives for road bikes. However, the frames of fold up bikes are a little different from their traditional counterparts. They won’t be able to go as fast as road bikes and they might be a little uncomfortable to some riders, but their small size, even when fully extended, makes folding bikes a solid option for navigating through traffic and tight city streets.

What to Look for in a Folding Bike

Size & Weight

The dimensions of a folding bike differ from model to model, and the size of a collapsible bike is commonly referred to by its wheel size. Folding bike wheel sizes can be as small as 10 inches or as large as 26 inches, with the size of the bike frame directly proportionate to the size of its wheel.  

The most popular wheel size for folding bikes is 16 inches. Bikes of this size strike the most balance between portability and functionality in urban environments. Larger bikes are usually more comfortable to ride thanks to the larger wheels, but they may be more difficult to pack up and carry around because of the extra weight.

On the other hand, the weight of a folding bike is directly proportionate to its size as a whole. Foldable bikes can weigh upwards of 30 pounds. Thankfully, large bikes are big enough to be pushed around like roller bags, but heavy bikes may inconvenience some users who have to go up flights of stairs during their commute.

These two factors will heavily affect your experience with folding bikes, so it’s best to find a bike with a size and weight that you’re most comfortable with. 

Folding Mechanism

Different folding bikes have different folding mechanisms, and how these mechanisms act is important because they directly affect a bike’s ease of use. More ergonomic folding bikes require less time and effort to collapse. 

While the decision on what type of folding bike you get should be based on your personal preference, it’s interesting to note that folding bikes that use a single lateral pivot design are scientifically proven to be the most comfortable and ergonomic of bike designs. This type of design is easier to fold and unfold and manufacturers are urged by experts to follow this type of design. 

Speed Levels

Folding bikes also come in single-speed and multi-speed variants. If you aren’t familiar with what this means, the main difference between the two types lies in the gears. 

Single-speed bikes have only one gear setting, meaning the bike’s tension remains the same as you pedal it. Single-speed bikes are popular because their overall feel is more consistent and reliable. 

On the other hand, multi-speed bikes have many different gear settings. This allows riders to conserve more of their energy by shifting gears according to their immediate needs. If you need to achieve higher speeds without exerting more effort than necessary, then multi-speed bikes are for you.

The type of folding bike you get is up to you—just keep in mind that a bike’s speed settings can and will affect your comfort of level as you ride.

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In a hurry? Checkout the winner

Vilano - Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike

Vilano – Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike

Why it's better?

  • The Urbana’s incredibly light weight makes it perfect for commuters who take multiple forms of public transportation when travelling around cities.
  • Its compact size and weight also add to the bike’s overall handling. The Urbana is very comfortable to maneuver, which is especially handy for those tight turns and crowded streets in cities.
  • The 20-inch wheels on this folding bike add even more comfort for its users. It doesn’t feel as wobbly as smaller foldable bikes, yet it isn’t as cumbersome as other bikes in its archetype when folded.
  • The bike carefully balances out usability and comfort in a package that’s designed for urban environments. The single-speed gear, though not suited for fast speeds, provides excellent traction and gives users a better sense of control.
Rank
Image
Name
Raiting
Shops
1
Dahon - Folding Bikes Launch D 8
8.5/10
2
Schwinn - Adapt 1,2,3 Folding Bike
9/10
3
Vilano - Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike
9/10
4
Goplus - 20'' Folding Bike
8.5/10
5
Xspec - 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike
8.5/10
6
EuroMini - ZiZZO Campo Folding Bike
9/10
7
IDS - unYOUsual U Transformer Folding Bike
8.5/10

Best Folding Bikes

IDS – unYOUsual U Transformer Folding BikeIDS - unYOUsual U Transformer Folding Bike

Pros:

  • Excellent tire strength
  • Removable handlebar stem
  • Equipped with mudguards and reflectors
  • Simple and easy to use

Cons:

  • Not suitable for very long rides
  • Excellent tire strength
  • Removable handlebar stem
  • Equipped with mudguards and reflectors
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Not suitable for very long rides

As far as foldable city bikes go, the UnYOUsual Transformer is a great option for short-medium distance commutes. While it’s quite standard in overall look and feel, there’s a certain charm to it that makes its simplicity stand out from the rest of the folding bikes in the market.

Upon first glance, you’ll immediately notice the features that make this an urban bike. It has reflectors to help with visibility in low-light areas and it has a bell for alerting pedestrians and motorists. Its 6-speed system is complete with durable Shimano parts and a simple twist grip shifter that makes shifting speeds quick and easy.

The bike uses 20 x 1.75” WANDA wheels that are thick and strong enough to be used on rugged terrain without sacrificing much in terms of comfort. They’re puncture-resistant and are viable for most terrain types so long as the road is flat. The rear V-brakes complements its terrain viability well by providing a reliable safety net for when things get bumpy.

The adjustable seat and handlebar height are great for making small adjustments to the bike to really make it yours. 

The Transformer can be folded in five easy steps, and it’s relatively easy to carry when collapsed. Weighing in at 32 lbs., it remains relatively light considering its heavy-duty frame. Although the seat may be a bit uncomfortable to some, especially during very long rides, this foldable bike remains as a good option for commuters who prefer to bike around town.

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EuroMini – ZiZZO Campo Folding BikeEuroMini - ZiZZO Campo Folding Bike

Pros:

  • Easy to fold and secure
  • Good for most types of terrain
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable handlebar height
  • Easy to fold and secure
  • Good for most types of terrain
  • Lightweight
  • Non-adjustable handlebar height

Sleek, stylish, and versatile; these would be the three words to best describe the ZiZZO Campo by EuroMini. This bike is designed for easy folding and unfolding and it has a few extra features that make storage even more convenient. The Campo isn’t too shabby when it comes to durability and performance either. 

This foldable bicycle can be collapsed like any other bike of its kind, but this one features a strong magnetic frame catch to help keep it secure when it’s folded. The foldable pedals are also a nice touch, reducing the max footprint that the bike takes up when stored. When folded, the bike’s seat post doubles as a tripod along with the wheels to keep it steady in an upright position. 

The Campo uses 20-inch multi-terrain wheels that make riding over various types of road comfortable for riders. It also has a 7-speed system that uses high-quality Shimano parts as well as stainless steel cassette gears for maximum durability.

This bike weighs only 28 lbs, which is fairly light for its size. The seat post’s height can be adjusted to accommodate riders of various heights. Overall, the Campo is a very versatile back that’s good for most types of terrain you can find across cities, and its quality of life features make it very easy to store indoors or inside public transportation.

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Xspec – 21 Speed Folding Mountain BikeXspec - 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike

Pros:

  • Extremely comfortable to ride on
  • Strong and reliable brakes
  • Excellent for mountain trails

Cons:

  • Less suited for urban environments
  • Extremely comfortable to ride on
  • Strong and reliable brakes
  • Excellent for mountain trails
  • Less suited for urban environments

The foldable bicycle manufactured by Xspec is actually a mountain bike that received the same treatment that the smaller city bikes got. This heavy-duty folding bike comes with a complete set of features that make it a viable option for off-road biking.

Xspec equipped this foldable mountain bike with shock absorbers on its front and rear wheels to more easily handle rugged terrain. The frame of the bike is made of high-tensile steel that can withstand serious punishment without much issue. It is also loaded with sturdy Shimano shifters and derailleurs to maximize its durability in high-stress activities. 

The bike’s 21-speed function allows for a wide range of gear settings that makes the bike versatile across many scenarios. This along with its 26-inch wheels and 48T chain ring makes it an excellent candidate for mountain bikers who want a folding bike that’s easier to store inside a vehicle. Not to mention, the bike has very strong brakes that outperforms the traditional V-Brake systems in almost every way. 

The size and weight of this bike accurately reflect its purpose as a mountain bike, weighing approximately 42 lbs. and measuring 32”L x 22” W x 41” H when folded. It’s perfect for biking in the great outdoors, but keep in mind that it may be too big or too heavy when it comes to traversing through urban areas.

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Goplus – 20” Folding BikeGoplus - 20'' Folding Bike

Pros:

  • High-strength frame
  • Adjustable seats and handlebars
  • Easy to assemble
  • Remains comfortable over long rides

Cons:

  • Not suited for rough or hilly terrain
  • Relatively heavy
  • High-strength frame
  • Adjustable seats and handlebars
  • Easy to assemble
  • Remains comfortable over long rides
  • Not suited for rough or hilly terrain
  • Relatively heavy

If you’re familiar with GoPlus, then you’d know that the company sells a wide range of products, from tools, exercise machines, gardening supplies, and even luggage bags. It isn’t completely surprising to know that they offer folding bikes too, but don’t let their reputation fool you. The GoPlus Folding Bike is a competitive option among its counterparts.

The quality of this 20-inch folding bike is surprisingly high. The iron frame is well-built, giving it a long service life while the ergonomic folding mechanism also makes it easy to store and unfold. 

The bike has a number of features that hold the users’ comfort in high regard. The 7-speed gear makes the bike comfortable to use when pedaling over long distances, and its handles have anti-slip grips to make sure your hands are in control even during prolonged rides.

On top of these, the GoPlus Folding Bike also has adjustable posts for the seat and the handlebars. You can easily change the height of both to make the bike more comfortable for your own use, but this feature also comes in handy for when you want to share the bike with a friend or family member.

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Vilano – Urbana Single Speed Folding BikeVilano - Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike

Pros:

  • Super lightweight
  • Easy to handle
  • Surprisingly compact
  • Comfortable to ride

Cons:

  • Not as good for rough terrain
  • Super lightweight
  • Easy to handle
  • Surprisingly compact
  • Comfortable to ride
  • Not as good for rough terrain

Don’t let its simplistic design fool you; the Vilano Urbana stands proud as one of the best folding bicycles in the market today. Its sleek and elegant finish is complemented by its ridiculously light weight, superior handling, and ultra-compact design. All these factors make it great for the city dweller in need of a good folding bike.

The Urbana features a fixed gear for single-speed traversal; those who are fond of single-speed bikes will be immediately familiar with how this foldable bike feels. This paired with 20-inch wheels provides riders with a very smooth and comfortable cycling experience over flat terrain. 

The bike is made mostly out of aluminum and it has a few mounts for water bottles and rear rack attachments. The aluminum construction makes it very light when compared to other 20-inch folding bikes. The Urbana only weights 21.5 lbs., and when folded, its dimensions are 12” x 32” x 25”, making this bike a prime candidate for those looking for a small, light, yet comfortable manual commute option.

People weighing up to 220 lbs. can safely ride on the Urbana and riders up to six feet tall will be able to ride this bike with only little discomfort. If you’re looking for a simple folding bike that still provides a comfortable ride, then this one should be on the top of your list.

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Schwinn – Adapt 1,2,3 Folding BikeSchwinn - Adapt 1,2,3 Folding Bike

Pros:

  • Very easy to fold and unfold
  • Ergonomic design
  • Practical and stylish aesthetic
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Non-adjustable seat post and handlebars
  • Very easy to fold and unfold
  • Ergonomic design
  • Practical and stylish aesthetic
  • Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • Non-adjustable seat post and handlebars

Despite being slightly larger than other 16-inch folding bike models, the Schwinn Adapt 3 nails design when it comes to user comfort and convenience. This 9-speed bike makes for an excellent city bike that rides very smoothly over smooth roads, providing urbanites an excellent alternative mode of transportation.

The Schwinn Adapt 3 features a very ergonomic foldable design and an aesthetic that is both practical and stylish. Swapping modes with this foldable bike is quick and hassle-free, and it has reflective walls and fully-wrapped fenders to help increase visibility during night rides through darker areas. 

The bike uses 20-inch wheels and has in inseam length of 15 inches, which should be enough to accommodate most riders. The size of the bike means it’s heavier than its more compact counterparts (it weighs around 30 lbs.), but it is still quite maneuverable, especially in tight streets.

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Dahon – Folding Bikes Launch D 8Dahon - Folding Bikes Launch D 8

Pros:

  • Very solid construction
  • Comfortable to ride
  • Stable speed

Cons:

  • A little on the heavy side
  • Very solid construction
  • Comfortable to ride
  • Stable speed
  • A little on the heavy side

This 8-speed folding bike model from Dahon uses high-quality materials for its frame to ensure maximum durability. This is especially important for this type of bike due to the sheer amount of moving parts, allowing the Dahon Launch D8 to offer top-quality performance without sacrificing the integrity of its frame. 

The bike is solidly built with most of its parts made out of aluminum and forged alloy metals. It has a Launch Dalloy frame and a Jaws-clamped forged hinge, both signature features of Dahon bikes. These sturdy parts guarantee that the bike won’t break down easily, giving you extra peace of mind about the bike’s lifespan. 

The Launch D8 has a wheel size of 20 inches. When folded, it has an overall size of 16” x 25.7” x 30.4”. This size is small enough for commuters, but some may find it slightly more cumbersome when compared to 16-inch wheel size bikes, considering that it also weighs 27 lbs. 

The bike is well-suited for riders of all sizes. It’s designed to comfortably accommodate people up to 6’5” tall and can safely handle a rider weight of up to 250 lbs. 

Overall, the Launch D8 is easy to fold, comfortable to ride, and can last for a very long time so long as it is properly maintained.

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Dave Nartin
Dave grew up in rural Australia. Having no other mode of transport, he restored to riding his BMX everywhere. This necessity quickly became into an obsession. Which has seen him cycle across Australia. You can find him now riding along the beach in Ipanema, Rio De Janeiro.