Which folding bike is best?
There’s nothing like riding a bike on a sunny day, but if you want to switch up the scenery and head out to a faraway mountain trail or lakeside path, you might not be able to fit your bike inside your car.
A folding bike can be excellent for commuting to work or storing in your car trunk. If you want a high-quality folding bike, the Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike has a durable build, delivers a smooth ride and folds quickly without tools for easy storage.
What to know before you buy a folding bike
Advantages of owning a folding bike
Folding bikes don’t offer the same performance as road or mountain bikes, but owning one has many advantages. A folding bike is easy to take on the train or bus if you commute to work, and storage is easy once you get there. If you want to travel to a location outside your neighborhood to ride your bike, you can easily fold it and toss it in the trunk.
They’re also great if you live in a small space such as an apartment or don’t want your bike to take up too much room in your home or storage area.
Size, weight and wheel size
The size and weight of a folding bike should depend on the rider’s height. Bikes with 16- to 20-inch wheels are ideal for most, but anything over 22 inches is better suited for taller riders. It would help to consider the frame weight and compactness when folded up. If the frame is too heavy for you or the bike retains an awkward or large shape when folded, it wouldn’t be very convenient for traveling on a bus or train.
Most folding bikes have frames made of sturdy aluminum. It’s an affordable metal that’s durable and lightweight, but some bikes have steel frames. Steel frames are more rigid than aluminum frames, but they’re also heavier, making them ideal for riding on rugged surfaces.
What to look for in a quality folding bike
Multiple speeds and gear-shifting
If you plan on riding your bike on uneven surfaces or roads with lots of hills, it’s a good idea to get a bike with multiple speeds. Shifting gears to different speeds will make it easier to pedal and control your velocity if you’re riding uphill or downhill. Most folding bikes don’t offer as many speed options as traditional bikes, but the best ones offer up to six.
Having a suspension system isn’t crucial if you do most of your riding on smooth surfaces, but you’re going to want shock absorbers at both ends for riding on rockier trails. Bikes with large wheels provide a smoother ride than bikes with smaller ones, but going over bumps can be uncomfortable and painful without a suspension system.
Folding bikes are usually available in several frame colors. The most common are black and silver, but you can get one in a color that suits your style and preference. Some bikes also have flashy designs or patterns on the frame.
How much you can expect to spend on a folding bike
You can find a high-quality folding bike for $200-$400, but if you want something more durable with more features, you can expect to pay up to $500.
Folding bike FAQ
Do folding bikes require assembly?
A. Most folding bikes come pre-assembled and ready to go out of the box, but some come 85%-90% assembled. It’s usually straightforward, but some sporting goods stores offer additional services to complete the assembly if you don’t want to do it.
Do folding bikes stay folded on their own?
A. Folding bikes do not stay in their folded position on their own, so they can quickly unfold if you’re not careful. Some bikes come with straps for holding them together, but you can also use a bungee cord if your bike doesn’t come with any.
What’s the best folding bike to buy?
Top folding bike
What you need to know: This folding bike has a sturdy frame and is perfect for those who want something durable for traveling.
What you’ll love: It has a lightweight folding frame optimized for easy storage and is ideal for riders measuring 54-76 inches tall. It has 20-inch alloy wheels that deliver a smooth riding experience, front and rear pull brakes and a seven-speed twist shifter. Plus, it comes with a nylon storage bag.
What you should consider: It doesn’t have any straps for holding the bike together while it’s folded, and the handlebars aren’t adjustable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top folding bike for the money
What you need to know: This compact folding bike looks fantastic and offers excellent performance in urban environments.
What you’ll love: It has a durable steel welded frame and a reliable set of front and rear V-brakes. It has 20-inch wheels and adjustable handlebars. Plus, riders can switch between six Shimano speeds using the simple twist grip shifter. It requires minimal assembly and comes in three frame colors.
What you should consider: Although folding it for storage is easy, the frame is heavier than it looks.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This folding bike has a stylish look and delivers outstanding performance on rugged trails.
What you’ll love: It has a high tense folding frame, 26-inch double-wall rimmed wheels and uses a high-quality Shimano derailleur and gear shifters. The front and rear shock absorbers make traveling over uneven surfaces a breeze, and folding it for storage is quick and easy.
What you should consider: The pedals are low-quality, and many customers report that the instructions aren’t helpful, making assembly challenging and time-consuming.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Kevin Luna writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.