Best Folding Bikes

For cyclists, biking is a passion and the main mode of transportation. Some ride to work, others for sport, others just to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors but one aspect of bicycles that can be an inconvenience is traveling with it, as most bikes are quite bulky and awkward to carry. This is why if you are a bicycle enthusiast on the go, the folding bike if your best friend. The folding bicycle is similar to the regular bicycle but has the extra feature of folding and being more portable so you can bring it with you without feeling the awkwardness and the bulkiness. So if you are a biker, that is always moving, the folding bike is a bike you want to take a look at.

So you have made the decision to trade in your old bicycle and upgrade to a folding bike, but where do you start in finding the perfect fit for you? Well, I am here to tell you, you have come to the right place! We have listed below the top ten folding bikes in the market today, and why they made our list. We have done the research and explained what to look at when looking into purchasing a folding bike, and what differs each from each other. So by the end of this, you will have a great idea of which bike fits your needs and appeals to your style.

Last Updated: August 23, 2018
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By Melissa Coleiro:

This list of folding bikes has been put together to show you the best researched and reviewed folding bikes to keep you mobile and riding in areas you never thought you could reach with your regular bicycle. A folding bike to keep your eye on is the Dahon Mariner D8. We love this addition, because it is highly rated, compact, easy to fold nd unfold, and has a lightweight frame.

Montague Allston
  • Montague Allston
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Carbon belt
  • Workstand equipped
  • Price: See Here
Procedo Phantom
  • Procedo Phantom
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Quiet motor
  • Great for most terrains
  • Price: See Here
Dahon Mariner
  • Dahon Mariner
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Fluid speed shift
  • Lightweight frame
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Folding Bike

Montague Allston

The price may wall you but rest assured, this bike is worth every penny that you spend on it. So many awesome design features are at play here, such as a grease-free carbon belt, an included cargo rack, and an internal gear hub that is protected from potential damage, that you will quickly forget about the price tag.
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Portability
When folded, this measures 36” X 28” X 12” and with a weight of only 30 pounds, it is fairly easy to transport.

Construction
Instead of a traditional chain that is used in most bikes, integrated here is a carbon belt which is grease-free and requires less maintenance than a chain. Plus, the 38mm tires provide comfort over the roughest of terrain.

The Gear Hub
The 11 different speeds would have been great enough but the gear hub is located inside the rear hub which protects is from moisture, dirt and any potential damages.

Safety and Convenience
Both the hydraulic braking system, which delivers a superb stopping power, and the RackStand, which allows you to attach cargo, deliver admirable safety and convenience when riding.

Max User Weight/Height
There are two different sizes available. One is the medium version (19”) and the other is the large version (21”). The medium is suitable for people between 5’ 3” and 5’ 10” while the large version is ideal for heights of 5’ 11” through 6’ 4”.

Overall
While you will lose some girth in your wallet with this investment, it is worth every single penny. Heck, if not for an odd downside (which could have easily been avoided) it could have been number one.
Pros
  • Great for all-weather riding on any terrain
  • Utilizes a carbon belt instead of a chain
  • Comes equipped with a kickstand, workstand and cargo rack
Cons
  • If you assemble this bike when the ground is wet, your seat will get wet
  • Very pricey bike

Prodeco V5 Phantom

As opposed to all other bikes on this list, the Phantom V5 X2 not only allows you to bike traditionally but it also has a built-in motor. Thus, giving you the capability of riding a bike without ever putting forth any effort. That is unless the lithium-ion battery needs charging.
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Portability
While this is a foldable bike, the weight can be an issue for people. Thanks in large part to its electric nature, it weighs in at 54 pounds, which is not light.

Construction
At its peak, this bike can deliver 720 watts of power, which resembles the strength of a high-end torque, direct-drive motor. Plus, the Samsung lithium-ion battery is able to last for a maximum range of 30 miles per charge.

The Gear Hub
The combination of its 8-speed shifter and 8-speed mid derailleur, even the pickiest of bikers should be pleased here. What makes this even better is the precise engineering of the drive train, which enables fluid shifting.

Safety and Convenience
Because the engine is not physically connected to the gear system, it does not matter what gear you are on your will be able to come to a full stop safely.

Max User Weight/Height
Procedo does not make it clear what the user specifications are here. With the manner in which this was designed, it should be durable enough to hold most people.

Overall
Clearly, this is significant because of its integrated battery-operated motor. As such, you can reach blaring speeds without exerting any effort. But, the downside here is the portability is questionable. While it will fold, you need to eat your vitamins to lug this beast around.
Pros
  • You can ride it as a traditional bike if preferred
  • The 26-inch tires and 32-mm rims are great on most terrains
  • When it is engaged, the motor is actually very quiet
Cons
  • At 54 pounds, this is not a light machine
  • The gear switch can take time to get used to as it is on the left handle

Dahon Mariner D8

Get ready to see Dahon a lot on this list and if you know anything about elite bicycles, this should not come as a surprise as they may be the kings. But, their Mariner D8 just so happens to be the best model they have ever released, which is saying something.
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Portability
When all is said and done, when you fold this down to its dimensions (25.6” X 31.1” X 12.6”) it is very easy to store in any compact space that you could imagine. Plus, at only 26 pounds it is not too heavy.

Construction
The frame of this bike is constructed from a lightweight Dalloy Sonus tubeset. Meanwhile, the wheels feature 20-inch aluminum single-wall rims.

The Gear Hub
There are eight different speeds that you can scroll through giving you a wide range of options for different terrains and slopes. Plus, shifting through the gears is done fluidly and you should not have to worry about the gears locking up.

Safety and Convenience
With the integration of fenders in both the front and the rear of the bike, it manages to block any road spray that comes up while riding. In addition, the brakes are made from a reliable Winzip aluminum.

Max User Weight/Height
Dahon recommends that no one over the weight of 230 pounds ride this bike. It is not as if the seat will fall through if you immediately sit on it but over time, you may risk your safety if you eclipse this weight. For height, they recommend between 4’ 9” and 6’ 3”.

Overall
Users have raved about the brilliance displayed here for Dahon and all the praise it rightfully deserved. Besides the fact that it combines portability and durability perfectly, there are even convenient features such as front and rear fenders.
Pros
  • It takes just under five minutes to fold and unfold
  • There are loads of different speeds and they all shift fluidly
  • The frame is both lightweight and incredibly durable
Cons
  • The included seat is not very comfortable but can be replaced
  • Initial assembly can be a slight hassle

Schwinn

Schwinn
This is sort of the stretch that turns from highly-priced models to more affordable models. But, make no mistake about it, affordability does not indicate that the bike is cheaply made. A great example that debunks that theory is this bike from Schwinn.
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Portability
This easily folded and can be taken with you practically anywhere with folded dimensions of 32.5” X 26” X 16” and a weight of 33 pounds. But, the included nylon bag is an utter joke.

Construction
Nothing over the top here but everything is still made of solid quality. For example, the alloy rims and adjustable seat. But, the 20-inch alloy wheels may not be the greatest over rugged terrain.

The Gear Hub
With seven speed changes and a rear derailleur, there are enough speed settings for most with a smooth transition between each gear.

Safety and Convenience
The brakes are hand-operated and work as well as you could ask. Meanwhile, the fenders will keep your clothes free from dirt and debris and the included rear rack is a great location for baggage.

Max User Weight/Height
Schwinn states their user weight capacity is 230 pounds, so ensure you are not far over that total.

Overall
For a cheaper bike, this sure does not seem like it. While it may not hold up to the bikes in the top five, simply due to limitations, it is a solid and wise choice.
Pros
  • The 20-inch alloy wheels are terrific for smooth streets
  • With the front and rear fenders, riding is easy in any weather
  • It is easy to get on and off this bike with the low frame
Cons
  • You will need a custom seat as the included one is unbearable after long distances
  • The front chain could have been larger for faster speeds

Vilano Urbana

Vilano Urbana
What is terrific about the Urbana Bike from Vilano is it weighs in at only 21.5 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight bikes you will find. Unfortunately, some of the design components are not as great as some of the higher end models but the portability is insanely good.
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Portability
Seriously, this is one of the lightest bikes in the world today, period. Weighing in at only 21.5 pounds, it is super compact.

Construction
The aluminum frame is nice as it is lightweight without sacrificing strength. But, overall, most of the components (while not bad) could have been made with superior material.

The Gear Hub
Again, only one speed is present here so there is no need to worry about the smoothness of shifting gears or how many there are.

Safety and Convenience
What is really nice is there are no brake cables or shifters; so, very little maintenance is required on your part.

Max User Weight/Height
At only 200 pounds capacity, this is not a bike for larger people.

Overall
Cheap is not the right word here, even though it may be what you are thinking. Actually, this is a highly competent bike, with obvious limitations, and an overall stellar design.
Pros
  • It compacts down very small
  • Comes with a rack/water bottle mounting system
  • No brake cables or shifters to worry about adjusting
Cons
  • Is limited to only one speed
  • Some of the design components could have been made with higher quality

Dahon Speed Uno

Dahon Speed Uno
Did you honestly think that you had seen the last of Dahon? They make exceptional models past their Mariner and the Vigor P9 is one of them. While it is not ideal for off-road biking, it will suffice for most everyday rides.
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Portability
As this is a horizontal folding frame, it is user-friendly in terms of packing it. Plus, the 25.8 pounds it weighs makes it suitable to carry around when need be.

Construction
Overall, the aggressive frame is very sturdy and is built of high-quality. Unfortunately, the handlebar’s height is not adjustable. Plus, the 20-inch wheels are not the best for off-road riding.

The Gear Hub
No matter if you need to climb hills or any moderate incline you approach, the nine speeds should adapt to the situation perfectly.

Safety and Convenience
As Dahon decided to utilize internal cables, there is no need to worry about maintaining them. In addition, the cable themselves are protected by metal rings. Thus, avoiding potential damage when you fold the bike.

Max User Weight/Height
Granted you are under 231 pounds and 6’ 5”, you will easily be able to fit on this bike and feel secure while you are riding.

Overall
Dahon just understands the essentials that are needed for bicycles, let alone folding bikes. Sure, the suspension and braking system could have delivered more power, but both will still more than suffice.
Pros
  • To protect against damages, the cables are protected by metal rings
  • The color combination is visually appealing and stands out
  • Overall, the frame is very sturdy
Cons
  • It is not ideal for off-road riding
  • The braking and suspension system are not great for speed demons

ORKAN Aomais

ORKAN Aomais
Now, we hit a trifecta of bikes that only feature one speed. While some may view this as a huge caveat, it may actually appeal to some people. After all, too many gears can overwhelm some. But, the one speed setting does come with extreme limitations.
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Portability
Not only does this easily fold down thanks to the press-linkage design, it also will roll like a cart with the patented rear wheel lock system.

Construction
This model, at least when on paved roads, offers a smooth and responsive ride. Plus, the 6061-aluminum frame is not only lightweight but also highly durable.

The Gear Hub
As previously mentioned, there is only one speed which means there really is not a gear hub. As such, riding up inclines can be a major hassle as you cannot shift to make the peddling easier.

Safety and Convenience
There are brakes on both the rear and the front that allow you to stop with power and safety.

Max User Weight/Height
Even though this is a cheaper model, it actually has a higher weight capacity than some other high-end models at 242 pounds. Also, users under at least 6’ 6” will find this suitable.

Overall
The single speed will either appall or appeal to you, it just depends on your preference. Even if you are not in love with the fact, the excellent portability and stellar design should make up for it.
Pros
  • You can fold the bike within 15 seconds
  • Features both front and rear hand brakes
  • The rear wheel lock system allows you to roll the bike like a cart when folded
Cons
  • The hubs are a little heavy and may succumb to rust
  • When folded, it can be a little bulky

Montague Paratrooper

Montague Paratrooper
To give you an idea of how impressive this next bike is, under a grant from DARPA, it has a patented folding design that was designed to allow soldiers a way to drop out of airplanes and onto the battlefield. Let’s just say that quality is of the essence here, no doubt.
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Portability
At just over 30 pounds and with a folded size of 36” X 28” X 12”, most should find that this bike will be fairly easy to transport around.

Construction
Integrated here is a front suspension system and what this allows is the bike to seemingly glide over all obstacles and off-road terrain that you travel on. But, one issue is that the front splash guard tends to rub against the wheel.

The Gear Hub
With so many speeds to mess around with, 24 in total, every single person will find an ideal speed for them. To be honest, 24 speeds may not be needed for some but it is nice to have.

Safety and Convenience
The mechanical disc brakes featured in the Paratrooper allows for a quick response with an exceptional amount of stopping power. In addition, a workstand and a cargo rack are included.

Max User Weight/Height
Three versions (small, medium and large) have been designed and all three adapt to different heights. In short, the small model is ideal for kids, the medium for average-height adults, and the large for tall adults.

Overall
On the surface, you would think this was developed in the 31st century. While this can be a little overwhelming at first, over time you will appreciate the brilliance at work here.
Pros
  • It is suitable for any terrain and weather conditions
  • Has a patented folding design that was developed under a grant from DARPA
  • It is equipped with mechanical disc brakes
Cons
  • Can be hard to assemble
  • The front splash guard scrubs against the wheel

Dahon Mariner D7

Dahon Mariner D7
Consider this the prequel to the Mariner D8 and this is nearly as impressive. The D8 has given fans a reason to completely forget about this model, but that should not be the case.
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Portability
The portability is highly impressive with only a weight of 26 pounds and a real compact frame when it is folded. Some have claimed that it has only taken them 15 seconds to fold it and that says it all.

Construction
What aids in the lightweight nature of this bike is its 7005-aluminum frame. Plus, it is rust-resistant and the handlebar height is adjustable.

The Gear Hub
The ability to switch through seven different speeds is fantastic, but the integrated rear derailleur is truly notable as it allows for fast and fluid shifting.

Safety and Convenience
With the rear stand that has been implemented into this bike, there is a convenient location to store your luggage and baggage.

Max User Weight/Height
Just like their D8 model, it is recommended by the manufacturer that the rider does not exceed 230 pounds. But, as far as height, it properly adapts for heights between 4’ 8” and 6’ 4”.

Overall
This truly is a masterful design and there is no real reason why you should not invest in it. Sure, the updated Mariner D8 model is superior but that certainly does not make this obsolete.
Pros
  • It is resistant to rust
  • Built with a rear derailleur for smooth shifting
  • Will fold within 15 real-time seconds
Cons
  • Still requires maintenance as it is not rustproof, just resistant

Dahon Qix D8-Smoke

Dahon Qix D8-Smoke
Dahon has made some extremely high-quality and technical bicycles, but this one is terrific for beginners and starters as it only has one speed. While the caveat to this is a bike that is only ideal for paved terrain, some may appreciate never having to concern themselves with the gear hub.
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Portability
Folding it is a piece of cake and can be done within seconds. However, some variations of this bike utilize a strap to hold the two wheels together which is not as great as a magnetic locking system.

Construction
The frame is crafted from steel, making it very durable but it is rather thin which could be a concern down the road (depending on what you put your bike through).

The Gear Hub
As there is only one speed, this is really suitable for paved roads and not rough and uneven terrain.

Safety and Convenience
Instead of individual braking handles, Dahon only designed one brake handle and it is connected to both the front and rear brakes.

Max User Weight/Height
As with their other models, Dahon suggests users who ride this are under 230 pounds and between 4’ 8” and 6’ 4”.
Pros
  • Includes both a rear rack and fenders
  • Combines a classy look and high-quality construction
  • Both the stem and seat post are adjustable
Cons
  • With only one speed, traveling uphill can be a pain
  • As it requires a strap to secure it, the folding time can be slow

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

How Portable They Are

The name of this product alone signifies that it is portable. But, from one folding bike to the next, they will differ in their portability. How so, you may ask. It is simple, it all comes down to the dimensions in which it is folded down into, the weight of the machine, and other factors such as simplicity and the folding design. Clearly, the smaller the dimensions of the bike, when folded, the less room it will take up when you store it in your car, house, hotel, etc.

Weight, just like the dimensions, is also self-explanatory as some folding bikes can be very light, while others significantly heavier. If you have no interest in lugging around a 50-pound beast, then ensure you pay close attention to the weight. Also, other design features will come into play with portability. For example, the simplicity and quickness to which you can fold the bike. With some of the bikes that secured a spot on this list, it literally takes less than 15 seconds to fold. Plus, you can also take note of the latching system to keep the bike folded. A magnetic system will work a little better than a strap system, for example.

The Overall Construction of the Bike

When it comes to the craftsmanship and design of a folding bike, a ton of factors come into play. There is the overall frame, the wheels and rims, the suspension system, and various other components. All in all, it can be a bit overwhelming but you do not necessarily have to keen in on every single area. Take, for example, the frame. With bikes, it has often been debated what material works better for a frame, steel or aluminum? Generally, the answer to this question would be steel as it is more durable and can retain its structural integrity even when dented and starched. But, aluminum is a lot lighter than steel (in a general sense). As such, you may see more aluminum frames utilized on folding bikes because they are meant to be as portable as possible.

But, past the frame, there are plenty of other areas you can assess. For example, the tires and rims. Are they big and rugged enough to handle uneven and rough terrain (if that is your intended use)? How about the chain, is it a traditional chain or a carbon belt (which requires less maintenance)? Or, is the handlebar height adjustable to adapt to shorter/taller people?

The Gear Hub

For those unfamiliar with bike lingo, the gear hub is what allows you to change speeds while you are riding. But, there are a few factors that determine if the gear hub is suitable for you. Of course, one of those factors is the number of speeds that are present on the hub. You may be someone who only needs two or three speeds to accommodate for uneven terrain and inclines. But, some of the more serious bikers out there, may need more in the ballpark of nine to ten. No matter, this is your preference but just know a bike with 24 speeds is not going to be necessary if you simply are looking to ride a bike to work and back on smooth terrain. Also, know that a one-speed bike is not ideal for inclines or rough roads.

Past the various speeds, the smoothness in which the bike shifts through them is also vital. The majority of bikes will have a rear derailleur, which is the gear-changing assembly that allows the chain to move from one sprocket to another. Granted that you shift when you are peddling, as long as it shifts without issue you should be good to go. But, no one wants to deal with a derailleur that is constantly getting caught or malfunctioning.

The Braking System and Convenient Features

Convenience will always be at the forefront when it comes to folding bikes. This can be featured such as front and rear fenders to block debris and dirt when you are riding, internal cables instead of external cables to lessen the worry of damage, and even a rear rack that allows you to carry excess items such as baggage. But, even though it is arguably, perhaps the single most important design integration for bikes is their braking system. You may not be aware of this, but during a bike ride, you are going to need to stop. Okay, so it is obvious but you may not know the complexity that goes into it.

Without going into too much detail, you should probably prioritize bikes that utilize disc brakes as they deliver a ridiculous amount of power for you to stop. As such, when you press down the brake on the handlebar, it takes less hand strength to fully stop. But, there are different kinds of disc brakes such as hydraulic and mechanical. Each has their upside, such as hydraulic disc brakes that reduce the amount of friction as both brake pads can freely move in and out. Meanwhile, mechanical disc brakes are nice as they work in conjunction with the rim brake shifters.

The Ideal Weight and Height for A Specific Bike

Most bikes will have a user capacity, in terms of weight and height, that you need to be under to be fully compatible with the bike. For instance, you may see some with a 250-pound limit. The bike is rated to hold up to 250 pounds and if you are over this amount, you will ride at your own discretion and the manufacturer cannot be held responsible. Height, on the other hand, is mainly for comfort concerns. If you are taller or shorter than the recommended height, the feel of the bike may be awkward to you.

FAQs

Q:   When Folded, Will These Bikes Fit as Checked Baggage?

Each separate airline that you go to and each bike are going to vary. But, in a general sense, most of the time, you should bank on not being able to take your bike as a checked baggage on airlines. Even if you could, to be honest, it is not something that you would necessarily want to take via airlines. During the travel, your bike may end up getting beat up and pushed around during the flight. However, you will most likely never have to make this decision because most folding bikes will still be too large (even when folded). An alternative you could use if you wanted the bike with you is to ship it ahead of time to the location you are traveling to.

Q:   How Do You Get Spare Parts for These Bikes?

During your tenure with your new folding bike, there may come an instance where you damage (even though no fault of your own) a specific part to the point where you need to replace it. Thankfully, if this happens, you can replace it (depending on what is broken) without trashing the entire back. Clearly, if the bike frame splits in half then you might as well invest in another bike. But, simple fixes such as a broken chain, rear derailleur, or a handlebar can be replaced. Wherever you buy the bike, whether online or at a local retailer, that should be your first contact point for both support and spare parts. From there, they will then contact the manufacturer to see if they can give you the replacement part that you need. In some cases, you may have to take it to a bike repair shop when you get the part.

Q:   Is It a Good Idea to Replace Your Bike Seat?

As great as these bikes are, some of them have unbearably, uncomfortable seats. If this happens to be the case with the bike that you are looking at, fear not as there is an incredibly easy fix. This also answers the question at hand because yes, it is recommended to replace your bike seat if it is uncomfortable. After all, do you really want to suffer for no reason at all? Replacing a bike seat is a lot easier than you might think it is and it is not as complicated as say, replacing the brakes. If you are near a bike shop, take a trip there and try out some bike seats. Eventually, you will find one that is suitable to your needs. Over time, also, when this seat becomes uncomfortable you can replace it. This process can be repeated as many times as you wish.

Q:   How Well Do Folding Bikes Hold Up to Saltwater?

One may ask why this is a concern as who would ride their bike near an ocean, or in an ocean for that matter? This is actually important if you plan on taking your bike on a boat. As the weather can be unpredictable when the wind starts howling and the waves get larger your bike may become exposed to saltwater. Even though you should do your best to protect it from these elements, the material that is utilized throughout the frame and the rest of the bike will answer this question for you. For example, a material such as aluminum, while not amazing against corrosion, has its own protective coating when oxidized which makes it somewhat suitable for saltwater. But, when you take a material like galvanized steel, which is the least resistant metal to corrosion, you will want to take great caution in allowing it to be exposed to saltwater.

Q:   Are Larger Wheels Faster Than Smaller Wheels?

Maybe it is a misconception or maybe you already know the answer to this but it may shock you to know that larger wheels are not faster than smaller wheels. While, in technicality, a smaller wheel will have a higher rolling resistance it actually aids when it comes to acceleration. In fact, as opposed to a larger wheel, smaller wheels accelerate quicker thanks to their lower moment of inertia. If you know anything about your history, in fact, for a bike ridden in an upright position, one of the fastest times of all-time came with relatively small wheels (only 18-inches).

Q:   How Often Should You Fine-Tune Your Bike?

One thing is for sure when it comes to folding bikes, not many aspects are going to chance including the frequency in which you fine tune your bike. Much like any other machine, you will need to update certain aspects of your bike. For example, over time, your chain will need to be cleaned, your brakes will need to be adjusted, and the rear derailleur may need to be adjusted. But, the question is how often should these tasks be accomplished. While this will vary depending on how often you ride your bike, Montague (which has a few bikes on this list) states that for a general rule of thumb you get a tune-up once every 90 days or so. Again, though, this will vary if you do not frequently use your bike.

Final Thoughts

Folding bikes are great for the biker that finds they will be not only on the move but will need to have their bike portable to get over obstacles, bring it in the office, on the bus, or anywhere where it would be inconvenient to bring their regular size bike. Now that we have gone through the top ten folding bikes  review and what makes each on special, you now will have a better idea of which one appeals to your needs and can make the best decision on your next bike purchase.

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