The Best Folding Bikes in 2017 – A Complete Buying Guide

Product Name & Award

Overall Score

Price Range

Frame

Type

Speeds

Top Pick​​​​: Montague Allston Folding Bike

$$$$$

Aluminum

Hybrid

11

$$$$

Aluminum

Folding

24

$$$$$

Aluminum

Electric

-

$$$

Aluminum

Commuter

7

$$$

Aluminum

Road

1

$$$$

Aluminum

Hybrid

21

$$

Aluminum

Commuter

7

$$$$$

Aluminum

Electric

-

$$$

Aluminum

Folding

24

$$

Aluminum

Road

1

After thoroughly reviewing 10 of the best folding bikes available today, we think the Montague Paratrooper Folding Bike  and Montague Allston Folding Bike are the best options available.

For those who may be unfamiliar, the prospect of buying a folding bike may seem a bit daunting at first.

After all, these bikes look a little strange at first, seem like they require some additional training, and then there’s the whole folding part.

Well, the truth is, folding bikes are just as much of a regular bike as any other, and they only require a few minutes to get used to in regards to breaking them down and setting them up.

So now for the next part of the equation. What’s the best folding bike for me?

While folding bikes are their own type, they also have plenty of variance among their own sub genres as well. There are folding bikes that are intended for certain uses, so picking the wrong one for what you intended to use it the most for can result in a bad experience overall.

We’d like to help you avoid that, and guide you along the path to finding the perfect folding bike that is best suited for your riding needs. We’ve broken everything down by separate categories, giving you two great choices for each one.

Listed below are our favorite folding bikes currently available, with more details on each bike further down, and also in our review section as well.

THE BEST FOLDING MOUNTAIN BIKE IN 2017

Folding mountain bikes have come a long way.

Today’s models offer all or most of the same characteristics you'll find on a standard mountain bike, only with the added advantage of maximum portability.

These two are easily our favorites.

If you’re going to rely on a folding mountain bike, you probably want it to be one that was co-developed by the U.S. Military.

The Montague Paratrooper, as its name implies, was originally designed for troops jumping out of planes, who needed a bike for the terrain when the reached the ground.

The bike is now available for civilians, who can enjoy all of its toughness and benefits.

MTB Folding Bike

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

As you may have noticed, the Paratrooper is a full size mountain bike instead of a compact. This makes it a legitimate mountain bike that is suited for singletrack trails and moderate to advanced off-road terrain.

The bike folds in the center using a quick release hinge, which also requires the front wheel be removed with a separate hinge. The folding time takes around 15 seconds, as there is nothing else to deal with in terms of compacting it. A strap is included to secure the wheels together for easier transport.

The frame is a beam-style design that looks like it’s full suspension, but it’s really just a hardtail, as the area where a shock would be is where the bike folds. A Suntour front fork offers plenty of travel on the shock to absorb impacts.

One of the bike’s best features is how solid it feels. The beam design is heavily reinforced using aluminum, while still keeping the bike’s weight around 29 pounds total. This gives it a astable, sturdy feel, without adding too much weight.

Folded Montague Paratrooper

The drivetrain offers a multitude of gears, with a total of 24. Deore derailleurs are used in both the front and back, and both are very responsive and precise. Disc brakes come standard with the Paratrooper, offering improved control with less maintenance.

Another notable aspect is the luggage rack on the back. The rack is very wide, and can be used to secure large loads with some strategic roping or bungee cord usage. When the bike is folded, the cage acts as a sort of stand to keep the bike upright on the ground.

The Montague Paratrooper is popular for a reason. It has an attractive price point, and offers noticeable toughness and performance that will give you more than enough reassurance to know the bike can handle whatever comes it’s way on the trail. While still being able to break down in a moment’s notice.

Read our in-depth review by clicking here.

RUNNER UP: CYRUSHER FR100

The idea of a full suspension folding mountain bike may seem a bit ambitious to some, but not to Cyrusher, who has been putting out the FR100 for years now.

This beast of a mountain bike is equipped to take on demanding trails with ease, and fold away in a matter of seconds.

Cyrusher has accomplished something truly remarkable with the FR100, creating a high quality full suspension folding mountain bike that keeps its price in a reasonable range. The bike’s aggressive look is a perfect match for its performance.

MTB Folding Bike

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

The frame of the FR100 is crafted from aluminum, and helps to keep the weight down somewhat. The overall weight is around 37 pounds however, so don't expect to be carrying this one around all day.

The folding mechanism is located in the center of the frame, and uses a full hinge to swing one side to the other. The hinge is reinforced with two separate latches for added security. The whole process can be done in under 30 seconds.

The suspension system on the FR100 is impressive. You get plenty of travel on the front and rear ends, and you also have the ability to lock out the front shock with the twist of a knob, giving it better pedal efficiency when the terrain is smoother.

Shimano components makes up the drivetrain, which boasts 24 total gears. This gives the rider an adequate of gear choices when encountering portions ot the ride with the most variation. The shifting is quick and precise thanks to the cohesive Shimano system.

The wheelset is one of our favorite parts of the FR100. 26-inch, 6-spoke magnesium alloy rims give the bike the perfect amount of durability, with some added quickness as well Kenda tires offer a good amount of tread on the front and back, while also taking lots of punishment and resisting flats.

Additional components such as the FR100’s disc brakes, ergonomic handlebars, and cut-away saddle all further add to its overall control and comfort during any riding setting.

The Cyrusher FR100 is not just a great folding mountain bike -- it’s a great mountain bike, period. Riders can purchase with confidence knowing they have a true workhorse built for daunting trails, with the added capability of a folding bike.

THE BEST FOLDING ROAD BIKE

Folding road bikes have come a long way. While you can opt for a full bike version that has all the features you’d find on a standard road bike, you can also get a much more simple version that is still very much a road bike. These two folding road bikes represent both of these types to the fullest.

Single speed road bikes can be a bit of a challenge for some manufactures, whether it’s a folding bike or not.

The Montague Boston succeeds on all accounts, resulting in a light, fast folding road bike that is perfect for getting around in a hurry on city streets.

The Boston is a full sized bike with 700c wheels, while incorporating Montague’s renown folding technology that is always easy to use, and reduces the bike’s size in a matter of seconds. The bike folds just under the seatpost by using an easy-lock, quick-release lever.

Road Folding Bike

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

The frame of the Boston is crafted from aluminum, giving the bike a light, nimble quickness. When fully set up, the bike weighs around 25 pounds, which is an excellent weight for its size and frame design.

The drivetrain is one of the Boston’s biggest strengths. The bike uses a single-speed setup that is very fast and responsive, with an ideal gearing that offers both quick acceleration, and a comfortable sustained speed.

For those that prefer a fixed gear, you’re in luck. The rear wheel can easily be flipped to instantly turn the bike into a fixie. This seemingly small inclusion adds a ton of versatility to the Boston, and will definitely be appreciated by fixed gear fans, or those who like being able to switch off.

The wheelset includes 32-spoke alloy rims that further decrease the bike’s weight, while still ensuring enough support for the wheels. Kenda semi-slick tires are an ideal width with just a hint of tread that makes them more than suitable for all sorts of urban riding environments.

The Boston’s stopping setup is composed of Dual Pivot Caliper brakes with locking quick releases. Durable steel cage trekking pedals, a gel-cushioned saddle, and riser style handlebars help to round out the bike’s impressive features.

The Montague Boston keeps things simple, all to its benefit. The optimized hearing setup is perfect for single speed road bikes, and the ability to switch to a fixed gear drivetrain can’t be commended enough. This is a serious folding road bike for serious riders.

If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.

Sometimes simple is better. Retrospec certainly thinks so, and their single speed folding bike is about as simple as it gets.

This bike personifies what a folding bike should be, combining a small, compact frame design with minimal components, all in a foldable frame that breaks down in several different areas for maximum compatibility.

The Retrospec folding bike is one of the smallest bikes on our list, making it a true compact folding bike that is incredibly easy to carry around or store when not in use. You’re definitely going to be asked about it by passersby on each ride.

Folding Bike By Retrospec

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

The frame of this bike is crafted from aluminum, helping it keep the weight down to a manageable level. The frame material gives it a very responsive ride, without making it feel to light or unstable. And of course, there’s the weight aspect, with this bike barely hitting the 22 pound mark.

The single speed gearing setup on this bike is surprisingly efficient. The larger sprocket gives the drivetrain a notable amount of power, letting you take off and gain speed quickly from a complete stop. The bike doesn’t excel at top speeds, but it’s not made for it.

The bike’s wheelset is sort of an understated feature that won’t draw a lot of attention, but you'll definitely feel it when you ride. The 20-inch wheels include Kenda Kwest commuter tires that have a smooth, rounded tread, that also deflects water with ease giving you added traction in wet conditions, if needed.

The brake system, or lack thereof, is what helps keep this bike simple. There are no handbrakes, but rather a coaster brake system, which many are familiar with from their childhood BMX bikes they first learned on.

The handlebars and seat add another dimension of comfort, helping improve the overall ride quality of this bike.

Although simple, this bike is designed to let you take it virtually anywhere, but being both lightweight, and very compactable. Combine that with a low price, and you have yourself one of the best folding bikes on the market, regardless of type.

THE BEST FOLDING COMMUTER BIKE

The commuter style is where it all starts for folding bikes. Simple, light, and quick to assemble, these two represent the best of what a folding commuter bike should be, on varying price levels.

When it comes to commuter bikes, you have basically two choices: you keep things simple, or you can go for a feature-rich version that has everything you could want on a commuter bike.

The Dahon Mariner D7 is the best-selling foldable bike in its class, and after riding one, we can see why.

The Mariner starts with a simple and convenient folding frame design, and then loads on extra features, along with very high-quality components, resulting in a superior ride.

Dahon Folding Bike

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

Everything starts with the Mariner’s frame. It’s made from a very tough aluminum alloy, giving the bike the added strength needed to support the major stress points, while keeping the weight at a very manageable 26 pounds. It seems light when you’re riding it as well, but not to the point of making it feel flimsy.

The fold point is in the center of the frame, which is secured by a single latch. The seatpost and handlebars collapse to save even more space, and the pedals collapse as well.

One of the more unique aspects of the Mariner is its 7 total gears. The majority of commuter bikes leave you with one gear, so having an array of gear choices makes a massive difference in terms of the Mariner’s versatility and ease of pedaling.

7 Total Gears

Dehon’s own Neos derailleur handles the gear switching, which is very crisp and decisive with each click of the shifter. The handlebar setup has the levers and shifter in the perfect position for convenient shifting without straining when needed.

As for stopping power, the Mariner has you covered. Caliper brakes are mounted at both the front and back, so you always have plenty of control over stopping when navigating your way around traffic and other obstacles.

The bike’s wheels used 20-spoke alloy wheels that are paired with 20-inch semi-slick tires.The smooth tread design ensures better grip on pavement, while also directing water away.

One of our favorite features is the included fenders. When you're commuting, the last thing you want to do is get wet or muddy when there is wet weather or puddle, but the fenders easily handle that. There’s also a convenient rear luggage rack for your stuff.

The Dahon Mariner D7 is the king of folding commuter bikes, and it’s not even close. The price, quality, and features all combine to create an extremely capable and versatile bike that will instantly upgrade your commute the first time you take it out.

If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.

The Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike is an excellent option for those who want a feature-rich commuter folding bike for a very economical price.

This bike is truly a deluxe commuter in every way, offering several additional components and aspects that go towards ensuring a smooth ride each time you take it out.

The bike uses a simple middle hinge that is located on the frame, just ahead of the cranks. A quick-release latch allows the bike to pivot on the hinge, which is followed by breaking down the seatpost and handlebars to move the bike to its most compact form.

Folding Bike By Schwinn

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

The frame itself is made from reinforced aluminum to give it some added strength and stability. The overall weight when fully assembled is 34 pounds, which may be a little high for some, but is part of the trade-off of the bike being so affordable.

The drivetrain on the Schwinn Loop supports 7 gears, not unlike the Dahon Mariner D7 listed above. This gives you some leeway in gear ratios when making steep climbs, getting a fast start, or cruising at higher speeds when able. If you’re used to single speed folding bikes, this is a very welcome feature.

Caliper brakes on both the front and rear wheels offer impressive stopping power. The seat is surprisingly comfortable, and the pedals are much more solid and durable than they look, with just enough foot coverage without feeling bulky.

The wheelset includes 20-inch alloy wheels with 30 spokes, providing lots of reinforcement to help prevent bent rims. Smooth tread street tires give the Loop a solid amount of grip on concrete and pavement, with just enough thickness to help absorb some of the shock.

Fenders on the front and back wheels help protect the rider from getting messy when riding over puddle, and the convenient luggage rack on the rear lets riders carry their gear in a much easier fashion.

The Schwinn Loop offers a lot for the money. You get multiple speeds, fast, compact folding ability, and some extra features that are beneficial in numerous ways. For around $300, it’s hard to ask for more out of a folding commuter bike.

Read our in-depth review by clicking here.

THE BEST FOLDING ELECTRIC BIKE

For those that need a little assistance with their travels from time to time, there are folding electric bikes. These two models combine efficient engines with all of the features you’d want on a folding bike.

Prodeco’s fifth edition of the Phantom X2 is better than ever, combining some stellar engineering with impressive design, and of course some very quality components as well.

The company is known for making numerous regular electric bikes, but the folding aspect takes it to a new level.

This full size bike is meant to be versatile, while also retaining some rugged aspects that allows it to handle some tougher terrains when needed too. It’s more or less a mountain bike with an engine, that just so happens to fold up.

Phantom Electric Folding Bike

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

While it is a folding bike, the electric engine and battery adds a good measure of extra weight, so be aware that you’re not going to want to take it with you on a bus, or any other public transport where you’ll have to bring it in and carry it.

The frame of the Phantom X2 is made from aluminum, with a magnesium suspension fork offering plenty of travel to help keep the ride as smooth as possible. The folding mechanism is located at the midway point of the frame, and utilizes a hinge to swing it into itself to compact.

Electric Folding Bike

The bike’s drivetrain features 8 total speeds, which are more than sufficient for urban riding, providing you with enough differential to maintain higher speeds, or climb up steep inclines, all with a few clicks of the shifter.

The wheelset includes an extra reinforced rear wheel to support the added weight from the battery and engine, and the Continental tires are thick and durable, supplying a high amount of traction on pavement surfaces.

Now for the exciting part. A 500 watt motor powers the bike when you don’t want to pedal, and engages whatever gear you have the bike in. In the highest gear, you can attain speeds of up to 20 mph, and travel up to 38 miles on a single charge of the lithium battery pack.

The motor itself is very quiet, and most won’t even know it’s on, or even notice that the bike has it when you pass them. For those that have ever ridden an obnoxious, loud electric bike, this is welcome news.

Overall, the Phantom X2 is a prime example of what an electric bike should be. It has an economical price, offers consistent performance with and without the motor, and also features a folding mechanism to help you save space when needed. Can’t ask for more than that.

If you'd like to read our in-depth review - click here.

The Greenbike USA GB5 is truly one of the most impressive electric folding bikes around.

Not only do you get a true compact folding with an electric motor, it also features full suspension for an extra-plush ride.

The design of the GB5 is pretty remarkable. The bike has a slew of components and features not found on basic folding bikes, yet still manages to compact down to an extremely small size that hardly takes up any space.

Electric Folding Bike

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

The bike’s frame comes in numerous colors and has a very unique look. It even has a matching battery pack to create a better overall aesthetic. Wideset handlebars offer better handling, and a plush, ergonomic seat is the exact opposite of the rigid, uncomfortable seats often found on road and mountain bikes.

A coil shock is used for the rear to help absorb the bumps that come your way, while a plush front fork helps take the brunt. This is very beneficial when traveling at higher speeds, and the fork can easily be locked out when you need more pedal efficiency.

The GB5 uses a side-hinge folding mechanism that is standard for this style of folding bike, and also includes the typical collapsable handlebars and seatpost. Set up and break down are both very simple and take under a minute.

The drivetrain on the GB5 is composed of Shimano parts, and offers riders 6 separate speeds for added versatility during variable conditions and riding situations. Disc brakes are included on both the front and back wheels.

The wheelset of the GB5 is very rugged and durable, complete with Kenda puncture-proof tires that are more than equipped to handle the demands of urban riding. Greenbike was also sure to include fenders to prevent getting splashed when you encounter puddles.

The GB5 has a few moe street-savvy features as well. A handlebar-mounted LCD display shows your current speed controls the front and rear lights, and also controls fully-functioning turn signals. There’s even an electronic horn when needed.

The 350 watt motor of the GB5 can take you up to 20 mph on its own, or 28 mph with pedal assistance. The high-capacity battery can sustain rides of up to 50 miles on a single charge.

Greenbike’s GB5 is definitely a hit. This bike makes commuting a breeze, and still offers a true compact size that you can store away in the smallest of spaces when not in use. If the size of the Phantom X2 is too big for your needs, consider the GB5 instead.

THE BEST FOLDING HYBRID BIKE

Hybrid bikes are a seamless meshing of road and mountain bikes, retaining their most useful characteristics to create an ideal commuter and travel bike that can also handle some light off-road trails. These two are our favorite folding models.

The Montague Allston represents the one of the most versatile classes of folding bikes, which are the hybrids. These go-anywhere bikes are equally suited for both paved and off-road riding, eagerly taking on whatever comes your way.

Add folding capability to an already great hybrid, and you have the Allston.

This bike showcases true innovation in a variety of ways, right down to its drivetrain.

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

The Allston is a full size bike in every way, but can still fold down to a fraction of its size thanks to a release mechanism located on the rear chainstays. Within about 30 seconds, you can have the bike fully broken down.

The Allston’s frame is crafted from aluminum, giving it a light overall weight that falls around 30 pounds when fully equipped. This is an ideal weight for a full sized hybrid, as it’s light enough to carry easily, but not so light to where the bike feels unstable or flimsy.

Shimano components make up the Allston’s 11 total speeds, giving you more than enough gears to navigate a variety of terrains and slopes. Shifting is effortless with Shimano’s Alfine Rapid Fire Shifters, which controls an oil-free belt drive instead of a chain.

The belt drive is paired with an internal gear hub that protects the assembly from dirt and moisture. This makes the Allston one of the cleanest bikes you can transport, as you’ll never have to worry about getting grease on anything the chain or cassette touches.

Stopping power comes via Shimano Deore series hydraulic brakes on both the front and back wheels. The Allston’s wheelset consists of 32 hole black alloy rims, coupled with Vee rubber trekking tires that are among the most versatile on the market.

As with most Montague bikes, their handy RackStand is included at the rear of the frame, which can function as a traditional cargo rack, kickstand, workstand, and folded bike stand all in one.

The Montague Allston is a workhorse hybrid bike that is taken to a top-tier level thanks to its quick folding ability. Heavy commuters and those that need a versatile bike for exercise and travel should set their sites on the Allston above all else.

Read our in-depth review by clicking here.

Montague’s Urban Folding Bike is a speed-oriented hybrid that gives riders plenty of efficient performance and durability for an economical price.

The Urban starts with the skinnier tire width of a road bike, and combines it with strategic components and some innovative features to create a true hybrid that is perfect for numerous riding situations.

The frame of the Urban is made from custom-drawn aluminum tubing, with extra reinforcement in high stress areas. This gives the bike the right amount of stability and control, while keeping the weight to around 29 pounds.

Hybrid Folding Bike

Click on the image to check the bike out on Amazon.

The bike uses the same folding style that many of the other Montague bikes employ, relying on a release lever on the rear chainstay under the seat, which is then rotated inwards. A second quick-release lever lets the front tire off, allowing the bike to be broken down under 20 seconds.

A Shimano drivetrain provides 21 speeds, giving the Urban the gear versatility of standard mountain and road bikes. Shimano Easy Fire Trigger Shifters provide quick and seamless shifting at any speed.

The wheelset includes 32-hole alloy rims, which are paired with 700c, 35mm wide tires that have a slight knobby tread for handling gravel and dirt trails when needed, but without taking away speed on the pavement.

Stopping power is supplied by a Tektro Dual Pivot Caliper side pull brake system with Quick Release. Montague’s RackStand adds more form and function to the Urban, serving as a kickstand, folding stand, and luggage carrier.

If you’re looking for a durable hybrid that prioritizes speed, along with true folding capabilities, the Montague Urban folding bike is an affordable choice that will give you endless years of use on a variety of riding environments.

WHY RIDE A FOLDING BIKE?

There are several reasons why one would want to use a folding bike, and the advantages are significant in most cases.

We’ve expanded upon a list of reasons elsewhere on the site, but I’ll quickly recap the core benefits that a folding bike offers.

PORTABILITY

Probably the most obvious benefit you get with a folding bike is its superior portability. Full sized bikes are not easy to bring with you, which is why so many have to rely on roof and trunk racks, along with having to lug their bikes around town when they are out and about.

Bike in The Bag

Folding bikes compact down to nearly 1/4th of the size of a full size bike, making them much easier to bring with you, whether it’s in the trunk of your car, or simply by carrying it.

If you’re someone that uses a bike as part of your commute, it can be difficult dealing with having to place your bike on a bus rack, or bringing it into a subway station with you. Folding bikes are practically the size of a bag or small luggage, avoiding this situation entirely.

The portable aspect gives you a way to bring you bike with you to places you normally wouldn’t be able to.

SAVES SPACE

Another downside to having a full size bike is having to use so much room to store it. If you live in an apartment or smaller home, you need all the space space you can get.

While there are some strategic ways you can store a bike at your home, it still takes up the same space.

Folding bikes can be compacted down and stored out of the way, whether it’s under a bed, in a closet, or simply placed in a corner.

There are solutions like ceiling bike mount, but do you really want having a flying bike in your apartment?​

Unusual Bike Storage

EFFICIENT

Due to the size of most basic folding bikes, the drivetrain has a certain gearing setup that is more conducive to urban riding. This means you have a quick burst of speed from a full stop, and can generate the same pedal power using shorter pedal revolutions.

LIGHT WEIGHT

Folding bikes are, for the most part, very lightweight when compared to many other kinds of bikes. This is due to the small amount of frame material needed, along with smaller components All of this works together to result in a bike that is not only compactable, but also easy to carry.

THEFT-PROOF

Bike theft is a huge problem, and remains a looming threat to many that live in large cities. If you are constantly on your bike, you know all the steps you have to take to properly lock and chain your bike up, while still hoping that any would-be thieves don’t walk away with at least some of your components.

Folding bikes allow you to simply carry your bike with you when you go inside somewhere, whether that means running inside a grocery store, or bringing it with you into your office for the day, where you can keep it secure and out of the way. Np worrying about what’s happening to it while chained outside.

Commuting With Folding Bike

FUN!

This may go without saying, but folding bikes are incredibly fun, and it never goes away. The ability to fold a fully-functioning bike down to a fraction of it’s size, and then easily transport it makes it one of the most fun bikes you can own, period.

You’re sure to get plenty of glances when you are out with the bike, along with lots of questions from passerbys.

WHY YOU NEED TO CHOOSE YOUR FOLDING BIKE CAREFULLY

Just because a bike is a folding bike, it doesn't automatically make it similar to other models. The folding aspect of the bike is unrelated to the other components and build, so don’t think that you can just purchase some random folding bike with good reviews and come out okay.

Folding bikes are just like other types of bikes; they have their own characteristics and components that are suited for certain usages and styles of riding. So, if you end up purchasing a folding mountain bike, and you need it for commuting, you’re selling yourself short on your overall riding experience.

For the most part, folding bikes are not inexpensive, so you need to be completely sure that you are getting the right one that is best for your needs, so you don’t end up getting half the value out of your money.

IMPORTANT ASPECTS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A FOLDING BIKE

We’ve identified some key characteristics that will help you narrow down the type of folding bike that you’ll get the most out of. This involves everything from the kind of riding you’re doing, to the way it folds, and more.

WHAT ARE YOU USING IT FOR?

The primary thing you need to cross off your checklist first is what your primary use and environment will be for your folding bike.

COMMUTING

Commuting is by far the most popular reason that someone gets a folding bike. In most cases, riders seek out folding bikes if they regularly use multiple forms of transportation to get around their city.

Commuter Friendly Bike

This could refer to someone who consistently rides from their home, and then to a bus, subway, or train station, where they board and arrive at their next destination. From there, they either walk or ride the rest of the way to get where they are going.

As you’ve probably guessed, this can be difficult if you are lugging around a full size bike that can’t fold. Commuters who primarily ride in an urban setting, and transfer between other travel types will be better off looking for commuter folding bikes.

MOUNTAINEERING/HIKING/MOUNTAIN BIKING

Prior to folding bikes, it was inconceivable to think that you could bring a mountain bike with you while you are hiking or making your way through mountains. However, this idea actually harkens back to the original folding bikes, which were designed for paratroopers to use during combat when they reached the ground.

Folding mountain bikes are simply folding versions of actual, legitimate mountain bikes. Initially, this really only meant a folding bike that had some knobby tires and a few gears, but you can now purchase actual full suspension folding mountain bikes that are just as capable of handling the trails.

Going To Hiking With Bike

So, if you are someone who would like to take a few shortcuts during your hikes when the opportunity presents itself, you can add a folding mountain bike to your gearset.

Or, you can simple use the bike for singletrack trail riding, and not have to worry about getting a roof rack, pickup truck, or other method what other riders have to employ to transport their mountain bikes to the trails.

ROAD BIKING/TRAVEL

We’ll use this time to again highlight the progression that has occurred in folding bikes over the last decade or so. Folding bikes used to be considered the opposite of a road bike, but you can now find folding versions of road bikes, in both compact and full sizes.

That means you can acquire a fully functional road bike, complete with skinny tires, drop down handlebars, and numerous gears, in a folding format.

Savvy road bikers and travelers who need a more portable way to transport their bike when not in use will definitely appreciate a folding road bike in more ways than one.

LEISURE

Sometimes you don’t really need a reason to enjoy a folding bike, other than for leisurely purposes. In fact, there are numerous road, mountain, and even BMX riders who purchase folding bikes to keep around for whenever they may need one, or just for fun.

Even if you're just using the bike for the occasional stroll around the neighborhood, or to run an errand or two when the weather is nice, you a still experience all of the many functional and convenient benefits that a folding bike offers.

In this case, you’ll only need a basic folding bike with a minimal setup, or perhaps a hybrid.

FOLDING MECHANISMS

The style of folding mechanism that’s used on the bike has a great effect on how it’s compacted, along with how quickly.

  • Half and mid-folding is the most widely-used folding mechanism. The frame folds at the midway point of the frame, and the remaining components collapse.
  • Vertical folds work almost the same way, but rather than swing from the side, the hinge goes upward instead.
  • ​Triangle folds are a little more complicated, but are actually intended to be quicker. These sometimes use folding front forks as well.
  • Magnet folds use a intricate magnet setup to aid in the collapsing of the bike, and also usually leave the back wheel on the ground so you can roll the bike on the ground after it’s compacted.
  • Breakaway folds are found on diamond-shaped frames, and usually employ a folding seat post in addition to a folding frame. These may or may not require the removal of the front wheel when folding.

WEIGHT

The weight of the bike is a crucial aspect, which figures into its overall portability. Ideally, it’s best to keep things under 30 pounds, with 20 pounds being the best weight range.

Man Folding a Bike In The Bag

If you are going to be carrying your bike for long distances on a consistent basis, it's’ best to pay the extra money for a lighter model. Aluminum is the most prevalent choice, with carbon fiber and titanium offering even more weight savings, albeit at a higher price.

Steel frames are the cheapest, but will typically weigh the most as well. Swapping out components such as seatposts, handlebars, and wheelsets can help you trim down the total weight if needed.

RIDER SIZE

For the most part, folding bikes are one-size-fits-all. However, there are a growing number of manufacturers that are making folding bikes in varying sizes, helping ensure a more ideal fit.

Most folding bike product listings will have a size chart included to help you make sure that it will fit you. The bike’s seatpost and handlebar stem are used to fine tune the fit once the bike is assembled

GEARING

Folding bikes that aren’t full sized will use smaller drivetrains with higher gear efficiencies to make up for the lack of size. This means that while the drivetrain may look like you have to pedal twice as much to go the same speed as a full sized bike, you are actually getting the same amount of power with each pedal rotation.

SIngle Gear Folding Bike

CONCLUSION

We hope this guide has helped to steer you in the right direction towards the folding bike that is the best for your riding style and needs. We fully endorse every bike on this list, and encourage you to check out our reviews section for a moe in-depth look at our favorites.

Before going through with a purchase, double check your riding needs and the bike’s capabilities one more time to make sure you are truly getting the bike that will give you the riding experience that’s needed.

We know that there are tons of other models out there aside from what we’ve covered. Have any folding bikes you’d like to recommend to us, or see us review? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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