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Published by Zerina Djulic

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Folding Lightweight Bike – Your Modern Alternative

Folding bicycle is a bicycle designed so that it can be folded into a much more compact size. It is ideal for campers, students , city dwellers and everyone who has problem with space.

Folding bikes can easily be packed down, so you can carry them into buildings and any kind of public transportation.  They fit into the smallest apartments and you can easily store them in a car, a plane or a boat.

Folding bikes are the holy grail for mixed-mode commuters. They are highly recommended by people who are against dependence on cars as the major mode of ground transportation.

Main cons you need to consider, if you want to be a proud owner of this ingenious product, is its speed and stability. Most of the bicycles have 20″ wheels, and this is more or less the “standard” size for a folding bike. However, the size varies from 16 inches to 26 inches. Smaller wheels are great for long-distance carrying  and larger are for a faster and more stable ride. One of the main things you want to pay attention to is weight.

Every folding bike is meant to be a light folding bike. Average weight of these bikes is from 18lbs to 26 lbs. The material has a big role when it comes to weight and price. Some customers prefer titanium bikes while carrying them. Others think that the difference between steel and titanium is insignificant. Your selection depends upon your anatomy and the frequency of your use. Whatever you choose, all bikes on the market are particularly light so you’ll have no problem with that. You have to know that weight plays a big role in the price. Price will be much higher if you want to consolidate all the good sides of folding bikes.

Most people search for the best folding bike.  Bikes differ in many ways, and it is hard to compare them. You should search for something that fits you, for example, if you are a commuter and you want your bike to be easily foldable, you will search for portable bikes. Every bike has its own incomparable performances.

Some of the advantages are:

You can take it anywhere – more mobility

Folding bike is small enough that you can put it under your desk and no one will notice it’s actually there.  Another great thing is that you don’t have to worry about thieves.

Save money

By being a mixed-commuter, you can save a lot of money. Say no to expensive fuel, parking fees and high auto maintenance.

Be fashionable

Many people avoid folding bikes because they think they are too complicated and too much 70s looking. Recent folding bikes are designed so fashionable and innovative that everyone looks great riding it. It takes you 10-15 seconds to unfold it. Not as complicated as it seems.

Exercise

Replacing car with bike is an effective way to lose weight and be healthy. The recommended daily physical activity time for adults is 30 minutes a day. This way you don’t have to go to the gym. You are saving money and getting in shape at the same time. Jackpot.

Low maintenance

You have to worry about:

  1. air in your tires
  2. charging the lights
  3. oiling the chain

and that’s it.

Even if you need to visit a mechanic, you’ll find they are waaay cheaper and more trustworthy.

Ice breaker

This one may sound weird, but every time you do your magic and open your bike, people will be interested and ask questions. It is fun and never gets boring.


What’s it like to ride a folding bicycle?

Folding bikes are very easy to use. All you need to do is practice. The most complicated thing is learning how to fold them, and that’s not hard.  You may notice it’s a little different than a regular bicycle when you first try it out.  Turning is a little more responsive because of the smaller wheels. This means you can quickly turn if you need to.  If you live in a hilly area, don’t worry! – many bikes have multiple gears, so you will be just as fast at hill climbing as with a regular bicycle.

How much do I need to spend? 

The prices vary from 150$ do 2500$. I recommend  to invest in a good bike, even if it is a little pricey. If you go for the cheapest one, you have to know that it’ll wear out faster. You can find a good bike for a reasonable price. Check out our buying guide so you can find a perfect match.

UNDER 500$

Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike

71c7d7ebrl-_sl1500_

Design – 80%

Functionality – 74%

Durability – 70%

Mobility – 65%

Price – 85%

Simplicity is the key. Vilano Urbana isn’t the worst folding bike around. For the money, it works totally fine but it seems to be below par in most departments. However, at this price point, you can’t expect something extraordinary. The bike weighs 21.4lbs and is a 20” one. If you want a folding bike and you have a tight budget, this is the bike for you.


 Rockefeller Integral 26-Inch Folding Mountain Bicycle

Design – 95%

Functionality – 85%

Durability – 90%

Mobility -80%

Price – 80%

This bike can handle the roughest terrain because of a full suspension soft-tail system and a double disc. This bike does it all – it looks good, it is super easy to fold and extra cheap. You want to have this bike!

Category Folding Bike, Mountain Bike
Speed 21 Speed
GENDER Men’s
Bicycle Wheel Size 26 Inch/700CC
Dimension (CM) 172*105*40
Bike length (CM) 170
Material Aluminium Alloy
Frame Material Aluminium Alloy
Fork Material Aluminium Alloy
Wheel Material Magnesium Alloy
Cassette Superwin-13-T28
Spokes 6
Shift Lever SHINING SYS
Rear Derailleur SHIMANO SIS TOURNEY
Front Derailleur SHIMANO TZ50
Fork Type Springer Fork
Frame Type Soft-tail Frame
Brake system Double Disc Brake
Pedals Type Ordinary/Standard
Is there a suspension fork? Yes
If Folding or Not Yes
Rider Height (CM) 155-180cm
Rider Weight (KG) <=100kg
Color White, Yellow, Orange, Red
Brand# Rockefeller ™
Net Weight(kg) 17
Package Weight (kg) 22

 RT-20 Folding Bike

orange

Design – 80%

Functionality – 75%

Durability – 80%

Mobility -70%

Price – 70%

 The 7 gears give a good speed. The weight of this foldable bicycle is 27.56 pounds with a dimension of 45.28 x 7.87 x 59.84 inches. It looks good in white and orange color.

  • 7 Gears Shimano
  • 20 in Mini Folding Bike
  • 12.5 KG Only
  • 7005 Aluminum Frame
  • Mechanical Brakes

Product Description

Weight:12.5kg
Size: 20 in
Color: White, Black, Orange, Yellow
Speeds: 7 Gears
Frame: 7005 Aluminum
Fork: Carbon Steel (Foldable)
Headset: Pro Integrated Model
Hand bar: 25.4 MM 7005 Aluminum
Stem: Quick Release 7005 Aluminum
Seat: Pro Saddle Seat
Post/Clamp: 33.9 mm 7005 Aluminum
Shifter Lever: SHIMANO –TX50-7 Rear
Derailleur: SHIMANO –TX50-7
Paddle: HS Brakes: Yinxing Mechanical Brakes
Chain Wheel: 52 T 7005 Aluminum
BB: TW Zhingqing
Chian: KMC
Freewheel: Shimano 14T-28T 7 Speeds
Tire: Chaoyang 20X1.5
Hubs: Pro Hubs Quick Release 7005 Aluminum
Rim: 40MM Double Layers 7005 Aluminum
Spokes: 14 #

Bike Type Road Sport Touring
Brake Style dual-disc-brakes
Color White Orange
Frame Material Type aluminum
Item Dimensions 45.28 x 7.87 x 59.84 inches
Item Weight 28.66 pounds

 

Rim Size 20 inches
Shipping Weight 39.68 pounds
Size 20 in
Suspension Type no-suspension
Wheel Size 20 inches


Dahon Jack D7 Folding Bike

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Design – 94%

Functionality – 96%

Durability – 97%

Mobility – 88%

Price – 85%

The Dahon Jack D7 folding bike is a model for city riding. It belongs in the 26-inch wheel category and is produced by Dahon, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of folding bikes.

This Dahon Jack D7 model is super light and it quickly folds for carrying and transportation. The Jack folds to 13 x 37 x 31 inches taking less than 10 seconds. The pedals also fold in. Therewith being a folding model, the Dahon Jack D7  is comfortable and has 7-speed Derailleur gear system, alloy handle bars and high quality seat. Its brother, the D8,  is almost the same, but with 8 gears and different paint job.

Specifications

  • Colors – Shadow
  • Frame Material – Aluminium
  • Bike Weight – 35.1lbs
  • Standover Height –  24″
  • Wheel Size – 26″
  • Speeds – 7
  • Folded Size – 27″ x 9″ x 54″
  • Maximum rider weight – 110 kg (240 lbs)

    Dahon Speed Uno

Design – 90%

Functionality – 88%

Durability – 85%

Mobility – 85%

Price – 90%

Dahon have provided a low-budget bike that can compete with the more expensive models.  The tires on the Speed Uno are designed and manufactured by Dahon , and those are high functioning Dahon Rotolo 20” tires. Each of them is pumped up to a total of 65 psi and has a thickness of 1.5 inches. The benefit of these wheels being large is that there is considerably more capacity to absorb shocks when traversing bumpy terrain.

Specification

Folded Size: 11.6″ x 29.9″ x 24.9″

Folded Time: 15 seconds or less

Weight: 24.1lbs

Speeds / Gears: 1

Wheel Size: 20″

Frame Type: K Series – SuperLite 4130 with ViseGrip technology

Brakes: Rear Caliper

Saddle: VL3057A

Max Rider Weight: 240lbs


Allen Sports Downtown

allen-sports-downtown-review

Design – 78%

Functionality – 81%

Durability – 80%

Mobility – 75%

Price – 82%

This is not the most aesthetically pleasing folding bike, but for this amount of money, this bike offers much.  Allen Sports is a company that has been producing excellent folding bikes for several years now. It has one issue, as with all single speed bikes, and that is, it does struggle up steep hills. I would not recommend this bike if you are planning on using it in regions with lots of hills.

Specification

Color: White, Red and Blue

Folded Size: 15.3″ x 33.4″ x 27.9″ (38cm x 84cm x 70cm)

Weight: 25.9lbs (11.7kg)

Speeds / Gears: 1

Wheel Size: 20″

Max Rider Weight: 240lbs (120kg)


Schwinn Loop 7-Speed

 

schwinn-loop-11

Design – 74%

Functionality – 70%

Mobility – 73%

Durability – 65%

Price – 80%

The Schwinn Loop 7-Speed folding bike is very popular among  those who are looking for a cheap, but quality bike, because they are known for making relatively inexpensive but good bikes.  The company was established in 1895 by Ignaz Schwinn who originated from Germany, and after relocating to America began developing Schwinn Bicycles.

Specification

Shipping Weight – 21.3Kg (46.9lbs)

Breaks – Long-lasting front and back linear pull breaks.

Gear Shift – 7-Speed Shimano grip shifting.

Frame – Low stand-over folding alloy frame. (For easier folding and storage)

Maximum Rider Weight – 104Kg (229.3 lbs.)

Additional Features – Comes with a nylon bag used to store the folded bike.

Weight – 15kg (33lbs.)

Folded Size – 40cm x 82cm x 66cm (16” x 32.5” x 26”)

Colors – Black and Green.

Wheels – 20-inch alloys.

Crank – 3-piece single crank set.

Box Dimensions – 72cm x 43cm x 77cm (26.9” x 16.9” x 29.9”)

Road spray protection added the front and back of the bike.

Built-in carrier at the rear of the bike. (For carrying items whilst travelling)


UNDER 1000$

Montague Crosstown Folding Bike

montague-crosstown-folding-road-bike

Design – 95%

Functionality – 90%

Durability – 90%

Mobility – 89%

Price – 95%
This bike is different because of its full 26” wheels and 7-speed components. However it can be folded down into a relatively small size for easy transportation. The Montague Crosstown can be folded down in under 20 seconds. That is not bad, but it could be better. The bike wheels are a bit of an issue to carry due to their size but the bike is incredibly light so once you get used to holding it, it really is effortless.

Specification

Color Boulder Gray
Frame Custom drawn 7005 Series, Aluminum tubing with DirectConnect™ folding system.
Fork Rigid Unicrown, with CLIX™ Wheel Release System ramped dropout.
Rims 700c  Alloy. 32 hole, Silver.
Tires Kenda semi-slick.  700c x 35mm.
Hubset Formula. Alloy CLIX™ front quick release.
Spokes 14 Gauge Stainless
Saddle Gel with Elastomer Comfort System
Seatpost 30.0 X 300mm Alloy with Montague logo
Handlebars Riser style 30mm rise. 600mm wide. Alloy, Black.
Stem Octagon™ height adjustable stem. No tools required.
Shifters Shimano 7-Speed RevoShift.
Front Derailleur NA
Rear Derailleur Shimano Altus, 7-Speed.
Crankset 42T chainring. Alloy 170mm crank arm with chain guard
Cassette Shimano MegaRange 14-34T
Speeds 7
Brakeset Tektro dual pivot caliper. Side pull with Quick Release.
Pedals Trekking pedal with all-weather non-slip tread.
Bottom Bracket Semi-Sealed Cartridge.
Frame Sizes 17”, 19”, 21”
Folded Size 36” x 28” x 12”
Approx Weight 28lbs
MSRP $659.95

Dahon Mariner D7

dahon-mariner-d7

Design – 93%

Functionality – 96%

Durability – 98%

Mobility – 93%

Price – 91%
The Dahon Mariner D7 has managed to become the best-selling adult folding bike in the U.S. for years. The success is not undeserved. The bike is an ideal if you travel in a boat, as it is water and rust resistant. People love this bike because of its quality and slick design.  The bike has a sleek design in a polished silver color. This bike is not the lightest, but it has everything – a rear rack, mudguards, and 7 speeds.

Specification

Folded Size: 10.9″ x 32″ x 25.6″ (27cm x 80cm x 65cm)

Weight: 25.9lbs (11.7kg)

Speeds / Gears: 7 (36″ to 84″)

Gear Shifter: 7 Speed, SRAM – Facilitates rapid shifting

Wheel Size: 20″

Frame Type: KM Series, 7005 Alloy, ViseGrip technology

Brakes: DHV-107

Saddle: VL3057A

Max Rider Weight: 230lbs (105kg)


 STRiDA SX

strida5_opphl_5784

Design – 70%

Functionality – 69%

Durability – 77%

Mobility – 72%

Price – 68%

The STRiDA SX is truly in its own class when it comes to design with ‘umbrella-fold’ mechanism and has actually been going for more than 20 years. It takes a while before you set. It can last up to 30 minutes. One of the biggest advantages of this bike is that it could be folded under 10 seconds. Some people say it could be folded under 5 seconds with some practice. The STRiDA SX has slightly larger 18″ wheels than the 16″ wheels that are typically associated with their bikes – however, these are still smaller than the 20″ wheels that can be found on most folding bikes. Pros of this bike are that it is uncomfortable over large distances and slow due to having a single gear. Depending on the taste, this bike is aesthetically unappealing.

Age Range Description Adult
Color Black
Frame Material Type Aluminum
Item Dimensions 20 x 43 x 47 inches
Item Weight 24 pounds
Number Of Speeds 1
Shipping Weight 29.55 pounds
Size 16-Inch
Wheel Size 16 inches

OVER 1000$

We’re getting to the point where standards are high. You can expect lightweight, quick and portable bikes with disc brakes, carbon frames, suspension forks and slick gearing. The fact these bikes fold down can be considered a bonus rather than their primary function.

SOGAR Two-wheeled Electric Bicycle

electric

Design – 93%

Functionality – 84%

Durability – 80%

Mobility -90%

Price – 73%
  • Mechanical shock, comfortable ride, effectively guarantee the long ride comfort
  • Within the triangle component of the cavity, the triangle structure formation cavity suspension, effectively eliminate part away
  • Removable battery, long life, the use of mainstream battery level supercar, movement of the “gas station”
  • Comfortable damping cushion, accord with human body structural cushion, comfort breathable shock absorption

Bilateral lock locking device, more reliable, more convenient fold


Allen Sports XWay Aluminum 20 Speed Folding Bicycle

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Design – 80%

Functionality – 75%

Durability – 85%

Mobility -80%

Price – 70%
  • 6061 Aluminum Frame and top end components deliver a light folding bicycle (11 KG/24 LB) that is great for long distance treks or urban commutes
  • 20 Speeds provides wide gear range designed for high speeds on flat terrain, climbing hills and everything in between
  • 451 MM Wheels deliver improved performance and handling over the standard 20″ or 16″ found on most folding bicycles
  • Patented frame release levers allow quick and easy folding of bicycle in less than 8 seconds
  • Patented wheel lock system secures the bicycle when folded and allows the bicycle to be rolled like a cart

 

Allen Sports XWay Aluminum 20 Speed Folding Bicycle received a full rating on Amazon. This lightweight bike is designed for urban environments.

Brake Style Mechanical Rim
Color Stone
Frame Material Type Aluminum
Item Dimensions 33.5 x 14 x 27.5 inches
Item Display Weight 88 pounds
Item Weight 24 pounds

 

Number Of Speeds 20
Package Quantity 1
Shipping Weight 32.85 pounds
Size 12-Inch/One Size
Wheel Size 45.1 inches

Montague Paratrooper Pro 27 Speed Folding Bike

m1000

Design – 88%

Functionality – 85%

Durability – 90%

Mobility -70%

Price – 70%
 Montague Paratrooper Pro 27 Speed Folding Bike is also a worth considering. It is comfortable and good-looking. Black color adds to the charm of this gorgeous bicycle.
  • Weight: 29 lbs.
  • Folded size: 36″ x 28″ x 12″
  • Wheel size: 26″
  • Frame sizes: 18-inch and 20-inch frame.
  • Speeds: 27
  • CLIX system: The clever integration of the CLIX system into the Paratrooper Pro makes it possible to fold this bike in a little under 20 seconds without using any special tools. Folding this bike is as easy as flipping a CLIX quick release lever on the top tube to ensure it fits in small compartments like car trunks and on board buses or trains.
  • Paratrooper Pro Frame: This technology eliminates the need to break the frame in order to fold it. That makes the bicycle stronger while the use of the FIT (Folding Integrated Technology) makes the folding easier.
  • “LockOut” feature: The suspension has the ‘LockOut’ feature which allows one to turn on or off the suspension system depending on the type of road.
  • Faster tires: The CST Critter Knobby tires are faster on the streets and still good for dirt trails.
  • Speed: The 27 Speed feature gives you more gears and easier shifters for quicker shifting and responsiveness.
  • Front Derailleur: Top Swing Dual Pull. Shimano Acera.
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano SLX 9-Speed.
  • Chain set: Alloy 170mm crank arm, SR Suntour XCM. Matte Black
  • Frame: custom drawn 7005 Series Aluminum with FIT System.
  • Shifters: Shimano RAPIDFIRE Plus Trigger Shifters
  • Stem: Alloy, K-alloy Direct Connect. 105 millimeters with 7 degree rise
  • Fork: Disc Compatible. 100 mm travel. Alloy one piece lower. SR Suntour XCM HLO with hydraulic lockout.

Pros

  • Powerful on and off-road riding because it has strong suspension and braking system that can control it when it is running at a high speed.
  • It is quick and easy to fold and release.
  • Montague Pro Folding Matte Black Bike can handle rugged mountain terrains.
  • It is a bike that can be carried and packed with ease.
  • The bike has 27 gear speed.

Cons

  • It is not ideal for commuter riding
  • It is a bit heavy and bulky to carry even after being folded.

The Montague 20-Inch Paratrooper Pro Folding Bike is ideal for off-road riding. This is a perfect folding mountain bike that will not disappoint in handling steep climbs or rugged downhill sections. Cyclists can comfortably roam in any place with this bike version since, it can maneuver those technical single tracks with ease and precision while letting you experience the comfort of riding on a folding bike. This bike is great for anyone looking to combine the joy of mountain biking and the luxury and convenience of owning a folding bike.


SOON

VEKTRON

vektron

 

 

Tern Bicycles and leading electric drivetrain manufacturer Bosch are collaborating to create a compact and powerful folding e-bike. It folds under 10 seconds.

The Vektron is built around the German-engineered Bosch Active drivetrain. It includes a 400Wh Bosch battery for a range of between 50 and 100+ kilometers. The powerful Bosch motor has been adapted from Bosch’s automotive applications. Bosch’s batteries boast leading power density, while sophisticated Bosch electronics manage critical matters such as fast charging and auto shut-off in extreme temperatures. The Elektron also features Deore hydraulic disc brakes, for all-weather stopping power, an integrated 150 lumen Valo 2 light, for 24 hour visibility, and a cargo rack.

Vektron launched on Kickstarter in October 2016.  Pricing is expected to be between 2,999€ and 3,300€ in Europe and 3,500 USD in North America.


 

The Hummingbird

hummingbird-folding-bike

The Hummingbird is the lightest folding bike in the world.  It weighs 6.5 KG (or 14,3 lbs). It’s a carbon fiber bike for commuters and mixed-commuters and it’s almost on the market. The Humingbird Bike Company is based in the UK. The Hummingbird utilizes a patented folding system that keeps the chain in tension when folded. It was entirely designed and made in Britain. The Hummingbird will be offered in two versions: with 16″ wheels or 20″ wheels.  The Hummingbird will be available either as single speed or 5-speed with 4 color choices: yellow, red, black and raw carbon fiber. Discounted Kickstarter pricing begins at £990 ($1500USD) with expected retail pricing starting at £1550 ($2360USD).


A-bike Redux – Electric Version

a-bike-electric-sir-clive-sinclair_dezeen_468_3
The A-bike was invented by  Sir Clive Sinclair in the United Kingdom and introduced to the market in 2006.  It was a very compact folder that weighed only 5.5 kg (12 lbs).  Due to its small 6″ wheels, it had a fairly rough ride on uneven terrain.  Fast forward to today and a Kickstarter campaign has been launched to bring an electric version of the A-bike to market in the fall of 2015.  It will feature a detachable lithium battery and a brushless DC motor that is said to give a 15 mile (25 km) range and a top speed of 12.5mph (20km/h).  Touted as the “the world’s lightest and most compact electric folding bike” it weighs 26lbs (12kg) and has a folded dimension of 8.3″ x 15.8″ x 27.6″ (21cm x 40cm x 70cm).  Retail pricing of the A-bike Electric is projected to be £699 / $1089.

History of Folding Bikes

There are many companies that claim they are inventors of the first folding bike.  The truth is that the folding bike has been around for considerably longer than one might imagine and most claims of being the first are erroneous. When the military interests in bicycles arose in 1980s, French army deployed folding bikes for bicycle infantry use. The 1970s saw increased interest in the folding bike, and the popular Raleigh Twenty and Bickerton Portable have become the iconic folders of their decade. It was, however, the early 1980s that can be said to have marked the birth of the modern, compact folding bicycle, with competing tiny-footprint models from Brompton and Dahon. Founded in 1982, by inventor and physicist Dr. David Hon and his brother Henry Hon, Dahon has grown to become the world’s largest manufacturer of folding bikes, with a two-thirds marketshare in 2006.


Conclusion

There is an enormous number of folding bikes on the market. Folding bikes have come a long way in the past few decades. If you want to pick one for you, the key is to know what you’ll use it for and how far you plan to ride it. Folding bikes with larger wheels are good for long distanced trips and you will be more familiar with them, although the smaller-wheeled versions are also very impressive. If you decide to buy one, remember that folding bikes don’t depreciate in value. That means if you want to resell it, you could always find a costumer and give it for a very decent price.

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