There are lots of excellent reasons to invest in a folding bike! Whether you're a commuter looking to zip from the station to the office, or a camper in need of something to buzz around the caravan site, foldable bikes are a fun and practical choice.
They might not be as fast or slick as a full-size bike, but they're infinitely more versatile, less likely to be stolen and easier to manage whether you're bringing them on the train, in your caravan or wherever your next adventure takes you.
But what's the best folding bike on the market now? There are several great companies with so many choices, it can be hard to decide what to buy. That's why we've undertaken a folding bikes review, to let you in on some of the best options that combine style, quality and manageability.
It's important to remember that not every lightweight folding bike is the same. With different wheel sizes, weights and styles, some even look like a standard bicycle until you fold them in half! What they all have in common is their portability and practicality.
Outstanding Bromptons and Bobbins
The British manufacturer, Brompton, makes some of the best folding bikes on the market today. They feature outstanding overall craftsmanship and an incredibly clever, simple folding mechanism. Best of all, most Bromptons fold up so compactly they will slide right under your desk while you're at work, ready for the commute.
Brompton are also renowned for their many customisation options, including a choice of handlebars, gears, saddles and more that cyclists can choose from to make their ride truly their own.
Brompton Folding Bikes. Image courtesy of www.aikatrading.com.
Bobbin, another popular British bike maker, crafts folding bikes as stylish as the rest of their cycling range, with cool 1960s aesthetics, outstanding quality and gorgeous colours. Designed to fit in small spaces, whether your office or the corner of a bijou city flat, while Bobbin's folding bikes aren't as feather light as some, they're still very manageable. It's not hard to see why Bobbin has developed such a cult following, though they've only been around since 2007.
In The Independent's Top 10s
The Independent recently released a list of their 10 favourite folding bikes, and it's no wonder manufacturers like Triton, Raleigh, Dawes, Montague and Tern all made the list.
Triton, in particular, manufactures versatile folding bikes that are tremendously powerful, lightweight and easy to ride on hills or flat surfaces. Most notably, even their larger-wheeled models still only weigh approximately 11kg, making them easy to fold up and carry wherever you're at.
And, if you're someone who likes the practical notion of a folding bike but not the easily recognisable styling, you might appreciate the "best of both worlds" Montague Crosstown. While heavier and bulkier than other models, it does fold neatly in half with the front wheel removed and when assembled, looks just like a standard bike.
With full size wheels and a light frame, the Montague Crosstown is a good choice for someone who doesn't require ultra compactness but still appreciates being able to tuck their bike out of the way in a moment's notice.
Dahon Folding Bikes
Perhaps the world leader in folding bikes, Dahon is a name synonymous with common sense and quality. We especially like the Dahon Speed7, which boasts sporty performance and exceptional value.
The D7's light cromoly frame, 20" aluminum rims and 7 speed Shimano RDTX35 derailleur make it a stylish and dependable choice for commuters worldwide. This is a stable, smooth riding bike that won't let you down when you hop on it day after day.
And it's no wonder; originally from Taiwan, Dahon has been based in California for some time now and in operation for over 30 years. During that time, they've devoted themselves to innovative technology and ingenious engineering in the quest to produce the ultimate quality, quirky folding bike.
Citizen Bikes For Humans
With a democratic approach to bike manufacturing, the Citizen folding bike company is dedicated to producing exceptional cycles at accessible prices. Citizen is perfect for anyone new to folding bikes; they come pre-assembled and folded up, saving proud owners the time and expense in putting their fun new rides together.
With model names like Miami, Rio and Barcelona, it's not hard to see that Citizen bikes are as funky, fresh and colourful as the cities they're named after. These little bikes aren't just practical – they're truly appealing.
The Citizen Tokyo folding bike. Image courtesy of www.citizenbike.com.
Citizen appeals to folding bike enthusiasts by cutting out the middleman; bikes are ordered directly from them, keeping costs down and service quality high. In seconds, they can be folded down and packed into a stylish, coordinating bag for lightweight travel or storage.
Citizen also offers a host of coordinating accessories, from baskets to smartphone stands, that work perfectly with their cycles and offer added fun and convenience. These little bikes are big on style and value; while commuter friendly, they're also a lifestyle ride for cruising around town on a sunny day.
While perhaps less stylish and popular than a Brompton, Dahon or Citizen, the Columba folding bike still deserves recognition for being practical and affordable. Columbia models are as easy to purchase as they are to ride, even available to order online!
Columba bikes are lightweight, durable and feature quality components. Great for camping, riding to the office or just the benefit of saving space at home, they may not be as trendy as a Citizen or a Bobbin but they are worth looking into.
Finally, the folding mountain bike also deserves a nod for being an innovative solution. Several manufacturers offer such an model, which is great for travelers who may want to hop on for a ride during their next adventure. Hardcore mountain bike enthusiasts might scoff at the notion, but they're becoming popular amongst cross-medium outdoorsy people for good reason.
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