Updated: May 29, 2015

Folding Bike Reviews:

I live in Portland, Oregon so riding a bike to work or school is commonplace. Many surveys show that Portland is the most bike friendly city in the world and if you stand downtown on a work day you might see why. Locking up a bicycle once you are at work can be a problem, especially with so many bike thieves out there. The latest folding bikes are eliminating the need to worry and helping those that commute on bicycles. A folding bike is not a new concept, but the new models are definitely better than ever. With brand names like Dahon, Montague, Pico, Citizen, Strida, Columba, Kent, Trek, and more, you have a huge variety to choose from. The big drawback is price and that still can be a negative when buying a folding bicycle. Many of the high end models still sell for over $600, although we did find some fold up bikes that are under $300.
folding bike


Choosing a folding bike - The entire design process is different for folding bikes versus conventional mountain bikes or road bikes. Just what should you look for when buying a bike that folds up? We researched a wide source of expert opinions and owner reviews to come up with a buying guide and our top picks (see below). The Wall Street Journal recently had an article on folding bikes that was informative and Popular Mechanics did a review on 3 top collapsible bikes (Dahon Mu SL, Tikit 2 Ride, SwissBike TX). Other websites like Bicycling.com, Roadbikereview.com, and Epinions offer up folding bike reviews from actual owners. Perhaps the important feature is sturdiness and durability. Since these bikes breakdown and come apart for storage, they have to have quality build technology. There is added stress to the parts since the frame is not one unit. Also, consider how lightweight the bike is. Even though it collapses down when not being ridden, you still want the bike to be easy to lift and transport (onto buses, into cars, etc.). Handling - With conventional bikes maneuverability is not that big an issue, but with folding bikes it can be something that is lacking. Some reviews pointed out that those bikes with smaller tires are tougher to maneuver. Frame Size - As with all bikes, you can choose on a frame size that makes sense for you - 16", 18", 20", 26". Speeds - If traveling mostly on flat, city streets then a 3 speed folding bike probably should do. For those with hillier commutes or riding demands, then perhaps the 6 speeds models will work better. Price - Don't be surprised to see $1000+ folding bikes in your search. The Trek and Dahon folding bikes are regularly priced over $1000. Ease of Use - No sense in buying a fold up bike if it takes an hour to break it down or build it up. We saw some models that break down in less than 30 seconds - that's impressive. They are truly meant to be no hassle commute bikes for those in city areas. Keep in mind that some bikes don't work as well for those that are taller or heavier. We saw several folding bikes that offer longer seat posts (if you are over 6 feet 2 inches). Also, many had weight limitations. You can browse the best selling folding bikes online here.

Best Folding Bike:

Dahon is perhaps the most reputable name in folding bicycles and their Dahon Eco 3 is a top selling model. This 20" wheel bike is a folding small wheel bike which makes perfect sense for commuting or riding on public transportation. Able to be folded up in 15 seconds, the bike is lightweight and easily transportable. The aluminum frames adjusts so that different size riders can sit comfortably. There are 7 speeds and you get a 5 year warranty. See all Dahon bikes here. Schwinn has always been in the mix no matter what size or type of bike. Their collapsible bicycles are definitely cheaper than most other brands, but it's not like you have to sacrifice anything in terms of quality. The Schwinn Loop 7-Speed Folding Bike sells for just over $200. You get frond and rear fenders, 7 speeds, built in rear carrier, allow rims, and good brakes. The bad is the weight - heavier than most folding bikes, and several owners say the folding quality and time involved could be better.


Folding Mountain Bike:

Riding on dirt trails is what makes bikes fun and keeps things interesting. Folding bikes can be taken on offroad trails if they are designed for that. The Columba 26" Mountain Bike is just one of many folding mountain bikes on the market. The 26" wheels and suspension fork help this bike out on the dirt. The folding allow frame keep it lightweight but sturdy. The Shimano 18 speed shifter and derailleur add quality parts that make this an overall winner. Owner reviews are positive as they say the bike can fit into trunks of even small cars. No need for a bike rack when the bike folds up nicely. Other brands to consider are Dahon, Trek, and Montague. Many of the mountain bikes that fold up are pricey, but convenience is a huge bonus.