Find out the best folding bikes of 2020 out there that can be folded in a matter of seconds.
Folding bikes, also known as collapsible commuter bikes, are more than just a gimmick. Being able to fold your bike up and carry it along side you like a briefcase is incredibly useful in big cities and bustling downtown areas.
If it’s impractical for you to bike all the way to work, for example, you can ride your folding bike part way, then hop on a train or a bus for the rest of the commute. Also, they take up a lot less space if you’re in a smaller apartment, another fixture of urban life.
There are many considerations to keep in mind when you’re choosing best folding bikes, so stick around and we’ll get you all caught up.
In a hurry? The test winner after 17 hours of research:
Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike
Why is it better?
Last Updated: 16 July 2020
By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding folding bikes available for those who are interested in lightweight and portable bikes. The best 8 available have changed, and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best folding bicycles currently available on the market. The FAQ has also been updated.
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Our Top Folding Mountain Bike Picks For 2020
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.
1. Folding Mountain Bike 26in 21 Speed Bicycle Full Suspension MTB Bikes
Folding Mountain Bike 26in 21 Speed Bicycle Full Suspension MTB Bikes
This is one of the best folding bikes on our list. If you’re going to rely on a lightweight folding mountain bike, you probably want it to be one that is durable enough to give you the best performance to take the rough terrains like a pro.
The Folding Mountain Bike 26in 21 Speed Bicycle Full Suspension MTB Bikes, as its name implies, is fashionable and a full suspension bike.
The high carbon steel frame is a design that looks like it’s full suspension, the area where a shock would be is where the bike folds. A 31.8 bold front fork offers plenty of travel on the shock to absorb impacts.
Shimanos Derailleurs and shifters are used and both are very responsive and precise. Tolan Disc brakes come standard this bikes, offering improved control with less maintenance.
Another notable aspect is the 3 spoke Magnesium wheels with a wide tires that are lightweight and more durable.
Folding Mountain Bike 26in 21 Speed Bicycle Full Suspension MTB Bikes 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.
You can read more about the similar bike's durability and performance in our Montague Paratrooper in-depth review.
2. YOUEN FOLDING MOUNTAIN BIKE
Youen has accomplished something truly remarkable, 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.
Youen Folding MOUNTAIN Bike
The frame is crafted from carbon-steel and helps to keep the weight down somewhat. The overall weight is around 20kg however, so don't expect to be carrying this one around all day.
It comes with 21-speed gears rear derailleur for smooth gear changes on every ride and 26 Inches 6-spoke fashion rims are used for safe and fastness.
The suspension system on the Youen is impressive. Shimano components make up the drivetrain, which boasts 21 total gears. This gives the rider an adequate of gear choices when encountering portions to 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 26-inch, 6-spoke magnesium alloy rims give the bike the perfect amount of durability.
Additional components such as the Tolan’s disc brakes, ergonomic handlebars, and cut-away saddle all further add to its overall control and comfort during any riding setting.
The Youen is not just a best folding 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.
Best Folding Road Bikes
Foldable 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.
1. Tern Folding Bike
TERN FOLDING BIKE
Single speed road bikes can be a bit of a challenge for some manufactures, whether it’s a folding bike or not.
The Tern Folding Bike 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 Tern Folding Bike is a full sized bike with 20in wheels, while incorporating its renown folding technology that is always easy to use, and reduces the bike’s size in a matter of seconds. The bike uses Magnetix 2.0 which uses powerful magnets to keep your bike folded.
The frame of the Link C8 is crafted from aluminum, giving the bike a light, nimble quickness.
The 8 speed gearing is one of the biggest strengths. The bike uses a wide 8-speed gearing which helps you climb hills and race through the city. With its best cycle chain it offers quick acceleration, and a comfortable sustained speed.
The wheelset includes aluminium rims that further decrease the bike’s weight, while still ensuring enough support for the wheels. Impac BigPac tires are an ideal width with Big Apple tire design that makes them more than suitable for all sorts of urban riding environments and for the worst roads.
Five patented technologies and unique manufacturing technology add up to the strongest, stiffest folding handlepost available.
The bikes setup is composed of five technologies that gives strongest and stiffest folding handlepost. Another notable aspect is the rack and fenders provided to carry your gear.
The Tern Folding Bike keeps things simple, all to its benefit. The bike is perfect for single speed road bikes, and the ability to fold the bike in 10 seconds can’t be commended enough. This is a best folding bike for serious riders.
In our in-depth review of the Montague Boston 19" we take a close look at all the details and features of this bike, including the lightweight 32-spoke wheelset.
2. RETROSPEC FOLDING SINGLE-SPEED
- Folding single-speed bike with rear coaster brake perfect for riding around the city, easy to carry and store in small spaces
- Ideal for commuting or exercise on paths that are mostly flat or smaller hills
- Lightweight Aluminum frame is up to 30% lighter than steel or chromoly
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, by being both lightweight, and very compactable. Combine that with a low price, and you have yourself the best folding exercise bike, regardless of type.
Best folding commuter bikes
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.
1. schwinn adapt folding bike
SCHWINN ADAPT FOLDING BIKE
The best way to own a commuter folding bike is to keep everything simple and to opt for the best feature bike version that consists of everything you need in a commuter bike.
The Schwinn Adapt 1, 2, and 3 Folding Bike is a fast speed folding bike. The bike easily abandons the city traffic and works efficiently with 9-speed folding including a rear carrying rack.
Schwinn Adapt has aced the specialty of the foldable bike and will take you to the last stop without any headache.
Extraordinarily smooth, simple to overlap, tires prepared for the rigors of the street. This lightweight bike folds into an unfathomably convenient bundle that is perfect for easy transportation in the city.
You can also fold the bike and can easily be placed under your seat in bus or train or under the desk of your office.
There is a gauge nylon bag provided with the bike to carry it with convenience. Schwinn Adapt gives you an amazing breeze with its 9 gears. Hence it is a good option due to its major versatility and ease of pedaling.
Schwinn Adapt's Shimano Tourney rear Derailleur handles the gear switching, which is very crisp and decisive with each click of the shifter. It also has Shimano twist shifter in the perfect position for convenient shifting without straining when needed.
Coaster style 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. The smooth tread design ensures a better grip on pavement, while also directing water away. The bike weighs 32.6 pounds.
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, the full wrap fenders, and reflective side-walls are an effective part of the bike.
In our in-depth review of the Dahon Mariner 7 we have a look at the price, quality, and features, from the luxury luggage rack, to the very capable fenders.
2. SCHWINN 20-INCH LOOP FOLDING BIKE
- Discover the convenience and utility of the schwinn loop adult folding bicycle; in just a few easy steps, this brilliant device folds out to a...
- Great for camping or RV this durable steel bike packs up so small that no bike rack is required; The folded size is 29.5 inches by 29 inches by...
- Tackle Small hills and cut through brisk winds easily, thanks to a seven speed Shimano Revoshift twist Shifter and Shimano tourney rear...
When it comes to best folding bikes portability and convenience, have to rule above performance and aesthetics. The Schwinn folding bike recognizes that which is why their frame folds down into a compact area only a little larger than the rear wheel.
If you’re commuting or just don’t have space to store a full bike, the Schwinn folding bike is an ideal choice because of its size. But just as important is how quickly and easily you can fold it down and reassemble.
Unlike many of the cheaper folding bikes which require you to pull apart components, this is indeed effortless. Reviewers consistently mention how easy it is to fold and unfold.
Perhaps one of its most appealing features, when compared to other folding bikes, is its low stand over the frame. For most the tip of the structure will only come up to your mid-thigh, making it incredibly easy to get on and off quickly on your commute.
When you are cycling in traffic, as many of us do on commutes, it’s convenient to be able to put your feet on the ground without an issue so that you can be more careful around traffic.
To keep fold up bikes lightweight you’ll often find that they sacrifice brake quality, but this Schwinn model features “sure stopping” alloy linear pull brakes. This style of brake gives you greater control for a safer ride.
It also has a seven-speed drivetrain which is vital for versatility. You’ll need those lower gears for climbing hills more efficiently on a folding bike which isn’t going to be as nimble and speedy as a road or fixed gear bike.
Conveniently, you’ll receive a nylon carrying bag when you order this bag which while probably not useful for an everyday commute, is helpful for transporting in your car or on a long journey.
Schwinn recognized that most of their customers would be wearing work clothes, which is why this model features a pant guard and front and rear fenders to keep dirt and scratches away. Plus, it has a sizable rear rack which you can mount your bag onto.
With all these features there must be something wrong? Well, no and if there were chances are it would be covered by their limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own the bike.
In the in-depth review of the Schwinn Loop we take a look at the a 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain, along with the rest of its many great features.
For those that need a little assistance with their travels from time to time, there are folding electric bikes.
If you want to get better idea of which folding electric bike is best for you, be sure to also look at our E-bike buyers guide. We review Ancheer and Cyrusher's folding e-bikes, in addition to the Prodeco Phantom which we reviewed below.
1. Tern Vektron S10 Gen 2 Folding Electric Bike
Tern Vektron S10 Gen 2 Folding Electric Bike
Tern Vektron S10 Gen 2 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 folding 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 allow it to handle some tougher terrains when needed too.
The frame of the Tern Vektron S10 Gen 2 is made from Hydroformed 7005 aluminum, with a Hydroformed 6061 aluminum suspension fork offering plenty of travel to help keep the ride as smooth as possible.
The bike’s drivetrain features Bosch Active Line Plus electric drivetrain with 10 total speeds shifters, 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 Schwalbe Big Apple with puncture resistance, Reflex tires are thick and durable, supplying a high amount of traction on pavement surfaces.
Now for the exciting part. A 400 watt-hours 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 31-62 miles on a single charge of the lithium-ion 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, this bike is a prime example of what an electric bike should be. It has an economical price and also offers consistent performance.
We explore the Phantom X2 features, such as the collapsable mechanism that helps you save space, in our in-depth review of the Phantom X2.
best folding hybrid bikes
The best 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 best folding bikes models.
1. montague allston pavement Folding Bike
The Montague Allston represents the one of the most versatile classes of best 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.
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.
In our Montague Allston review we go over all the features. From cargo racks to belt drives to frames.
2. MONTAGUE URBAN FOLDING HYBRID BIKE
- FRAME SIZES: Large – 21": For riders 5'11" – 6'4". Standover height is 28.25". Montague Urban 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike, Folding...
- THE ESSENTIALS: Speeds: 21, Wheel Size: 700c, Folded Size: 36"x28"x12", Approx Weight: 29lbs
- GREAT FOR: Cruising city streets, Commuting, Grocery runs, Train rides. 21 SPEEDS: The Urban is equipped with a 21 speed Shimano drivetrain. A...
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.
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 best folding bikes 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 you need to choose your Best Folding bikes 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 Before you Buy Best Folding Bikes
We’ve identified some key characteristics that will help you narrow down the type of collapsable 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 with a folding bike
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.
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.
Prior to best 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.
Foldable mountain bikes are simply folding versions of actual, legitimate entry level 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.
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.
We’ll use this time to again highlight the progression that has occurred in best 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.
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.
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.
The weight of the best folding bikes 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.
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.
For the most part, fold up bikes are one-size-fits-all. However, there are a growing number of manufacturers that are making best 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
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.
We hope this best folding bikes 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!
Last update on 2020-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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