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.
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.