The 5 best folding bikes

best folding bikes

Bicycles of all shapes and sizes are great for urban travel; among all the various types of bikes, however, there is one that is particularly loved by commuters: the folding bicycle .

How to choose the best folding bike

One of the most important things to evaluate is the size of the folding bicycle, also indicated (incorrectly) as a size: choosing the right size means both buying a bike with which you pedal comfortably, either one that, when folded, has the desired dimensions. The dimensions of the different folding bicycles are quite varied, since the term size refers both to the size of the bike (and all its components) when it is open, and to its dimensions when folded. Although each manufacturer has different standards, we can still identify three main groups of folding bikes based on size:

  • Compact folding bicycles: this is the standard size for folding bicycles: in this group we find all the models that have smaller dimensions than a city bicycle or a mountain bike. Compact folding bikes almost always use 20″ wheels, the same ones used by most BMX bikes. the smaller wheels and streamlined frame design make the bike much smaller overall, especially when folded. The frames of compact folding bikes are generally one-size-fits-all, but the seat posts and handlebar stems have a large amount of adjustments to allow the rider to customize the riding experience drive according to your wishes.
  • Full size folding bicycles: this term indicates full-size folding bicycles, i.e. models that, when open, have the same dimensions as a non-folding bike. These bikes are pretty much the same frame size as their regular counterparts and also use standard wheel sizes. The dimensions of the wheels are usually 26″ or 28″ and the structure can be that of a MTB or a normal city bike.
  • Portable Folding Bikes: For those who want to save as much space as possible and don’t mind changing their riding style too much, there are folding bikes even smaller than the compact ones. In these folding bicycles we find wheels that can have a dimension less than 16 ″, a frame even lighter and smaller and almost always no particular add-ons. These bikes are much less efficient than full size folding bikes, but also compared to compact ones.

Closing mechanism

As we anticipated, there are different folding mechanisms for folding bikes, which vary by model and manufacturer. Below are the most common closing mechanisms:

  • Center Fold: this is the most popular folding mechanism. With this setup, the bike frame is folded roughly in half, using a solid hinge. The hinge will have a reinforced quick release clamp that will allow you to disassemble or assemble the bike relatively quickly.
  • Vertical folding : this mechanism is similar to the previous one, but instead of folding horizontally the bike will have one or two hinges on the main tube and / or on the chain and vertical tubes that allow the bike to fold vertically. Usually models with this type of closure are a little more compact, but they are also more difficult to close and reopen.
  • Rear folding: with this mechanism it will be possible to fold the rear triangle and the rear wheel, folding them forward so that they are positioned under the main tube of the frame.
  • Bending with magnet: this method is a little more complicated. We find a magnet combined with a rear shock that actually connects and locks the rear wheel section to the frame. The magnet allows you to rotate the rear wheel forward and fold the bike vertically. This allows the user to “walk” the folded bicycle on the rear wheel, instead of having to lift it.
  • “Detachable” folding: Some folding bikes use a diamond frame, which requires what is known as a “detachable” folding mechanism. In these bicycles, the pivot point is usually the seat post which, thanks to a hinge, allows the frame to separate and fold the various parts into each other.

Structural characteristics of folding bicycles

We have seen how, based on the method of closure, it is possible to identify different types of folding bicycles. However, these are groups that include very different products; to identify the folding bike that best suits your needs, it is therefore important to also evaluate the structural characteristics of each model.

As with all other types of bicycles, it is precisely the structural peculiarities that make a folding bike more or less light. Let’s see in detail what are the structural elements to observe before choosing the folding bicycle:

  • Weight: folding bicycles are made with the same materials as “classic” bicycles; also in this case, therefore, it is mainly the materials of the frame that determine its overall weight. In general the ideal maximum weight of a folding bike is 13 kg, but such a small value is not always possible, especially for cheaper folding bikes. More expensive folding bikes made of better materials can weigh as little as 9kg – a nice advantage that greatly reduces fatigue during transport.
  • Frame material: the frame is the main structural component even in folding bicycles, and as anticipated it is the frame material that plays a key role in its overall weight. The most popular materials for folding bike frames are: steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, titanium.

Adjustments

If in the main types of bikes the size of the frame is one of the most important aspects, in folding bicycles you almost never have the possibility to choose between different frame sizes; for this very reason it is important to make sure that the folding bike you want to buy has many adjustable elements. In general it can be said that the more adjustable elements there are, the easier it is to find the suitable configuration that allows you to pedal and steer comfortably. The seat post on a folding bike is almost always adjustable.

Another element that is very important to adjust is the handlebar: fixing the steering wheel at a height that allows the arms not to get tired is essential for having a correct posture and greater driving comfort.

Exchange

The transmission system is often the element in which folding bicycles differ most from their classic counterparts. For simplicity and to save weight, the vast majority of folding bikes offer only one gear.
Those looking for a folding bike with multiple gears, however, need not despair: thanks to consumer requests, there are more and more folding models with gears , especially folding mountain bikes and folding road. In these cases the gearbox can have 7, 10, 15 or 18 gears; however, remember that the higher the number of gears, the higher the weight and the higher the price.

Brakes

A folding bike can have different types of brakes. In most cases, the same type of brake is used for both the front and rear wheels. The cheaper folding bikes often have U or V brakes , which use pads to apply pressure to both sides of the rim. disc brakes can be found on the high-end models .

Saddle

Folding bikes try to offer maximum comfort despite their compact size, so the saddle is usually equipped with a waterproof cover, an ergonomic shape and an  internal padding exactly like in classic bicycles.

Wheels and tires

As mentioned above, the typical size of the wheel on a folding bike is 20″. Folding bike rims are often made of aluminum alloy and have a larger number of spokes to help prevent wheel flex when folding the bike. Folding road bikes have thinner tires, while folding mountain bikes have wider and more knobby tires.

Additional components

There are other components that allow you to increase the versatility of the folding bicycle: baskets, carter, mudguards, lights and bags are just some of the optional accessories that improve the convenience, safety and cleanliness of the bike, but they are not always included with the purchase.

What are the best folding bikes of 2022

Gunai MX01

Gunai MX01

The Gunai MX01 electric bicycle is assembled with high quality components. The electrical compartment is equipped with a 1000 Watt motor powered by a 48V (removable) lithium battery. In addition, you choose how to recharge it: feel free to plug it into the socket when it is combined with the frame, or take it out using the special key to take it wherever you want, even on the go. The overall range meets the needs of the most tireless cyclists: 70-90 kilometers in PAS (pedal assist) mode with a speed exceeding 45 km/h depending on the weight of the rider.

The quality of the tires is excellent: we are talking about wheels with an excellent grip, accompanied by a thickness of 4 inches. The “fat” variant of 26 inches Represents a cleverly balanced mix between usability and comfort, durability and manageability. The fact that the MX01 is not a 28 inch makes it unisex and strong in all weather conditions: thickened rubber withstands most impact forces.

Finally, a note of merit is bestowed on the four-arm cushioning system. An electric MTB must be performing: only in this way will it be able to give its best on any type of terrain. And so, the Gunai developer team has well thought of designing a rear support composed of four aluminum alloy bars to effectively filter the impurities of bumpy roads.

The quality of the tires is excellent: we are talking about wheels with an excellent grip , accompanied by a thickness of 4 inches. The “fat” variant of 26 inches Represents a cleverly balanced mix between usability and comfort, durability and manageability. The fact that the MX01 is not a 28 inch makes it unisex and strong in all weather conditions: thickened rubber withstands most impact forces.

Finally, a note of merit is bestowed on the four-arm cushioning system. An electric MTB must be performing: only in this way will it be able to give its best on any type of terrain. And so, the Gunai developer team has well thought of designing a rear support composed of four aluminum alloy bars to effectively filter the impurities of bumpy roads.

Buy it on Amazon at the best price

HITAWAY

HITWAY

A 16-inch folding ebike, particularly light and easy to handle, for adults and teenagers, which features a 250W motor and a range of 25 km. It is a high-end product equipped with many technologies and features capable of improving the driving experience, such as automatic speed adjustment, which is activated directly from the display after pressing the button on the Cruise Control for 8-10 seconds.

With this function, the bicycle will continue to work even once the accelerator is released, proceeding at the desired speed, allowing the cyclist to rest and enjoy the ride without the slightest effort. It is also very easy to fold and store, in just 4 steps, and once folded it measures 770x430x700 mm.

Made of low density aluminum-magnesium alloy, with a weight of 22.5 kg, it is also very easy to carry by hand. It is equipped with front LED lights, horns and front and rear double disc brakes that allow safe and comfortable driving even at night. It offers two different driving modes, the purely electric mode and the moped mode, with speed adjustment directly from the display. The handlebar and saddle are also adjustable according to the driver’s height.

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AmazeFan DYU D3F

AmazeFan DYU D3F

A folding electric bike for adults made of aluminum alloy, with a super modern and captivating design. AmazeFan DYU D3F is a particularly resistant electric folding e-bike suitable for long journeys, both in the city and in the countryside, thanks to its 10 Ah lithium battery. An intelligent management system allows to reduce consumption and increase battery life up to 5 years, avoiding overloads or short circuits. It recharges in just 6-8 hours , guaranteeing a range of 40/60 km, depending on speed, driving conditions and the weight of the driver.

Thanks to DTST technology , the bike can automatically detect the pedaling force, emitting an electric power appropriate to the type of ride. This allows you to drive more easily and with maximum comfort in any situation. The spring seat is adjustable and offers excellent resistance to vibrations and stresses. The bicycle closes easily, in a single gesture, can be lifted with one hand and takes up very little space, about 200 mm after folding, and is therefore ideal for transporting around town or traveling inside the boot.

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Hitway 14F005

Hitway 14F005

The Hitway 14F005 is a modern electric bicycle with a trendy design.

You can easily switch between 3 different driving modes; at start-up, the bicycle is in the assist position by default, with partial electrical assistance being provided. After a certain speed has been achieved, it will automatically switch to the all-electric mode. If desired, the electric mode can be turned off, allowing the device to be used as a regular bicycle.

The bicycle is equipped with a dashboard on the handlebars on which you can see both the mileage of the current ride and the total distance covered. You can also read the speed and battery level. In addition, error messages are displayed on the dashboard should a system error occur.

Safety has been given the highest priority in the design of the bicycle and the materials have been carefully selected. Of course, the headlight, taillight and bell are not missing, which can be activated with a button on the dashboard.

For optimum convenience, the cruise control can be switched on while riding, so that the bicycle automatically continues to drive at a constant speed.

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Nilox X0

Nilox X0

The Nilox X0 is a compact, foldable and economical bike, which allows everyone to have a comfortable, light and versatile product, to always carry with them. The closure is really very simple and once made compact it fits easily in the trunk of a car or can be loaded on public transport and then continue your journey with this ecological and intelligent ally.

This bike is well designed so that each piece is protected when closed, so the pedals, for example, fold back on themselves and are safe from any bumps. In addition, the handlebar and frame have a safety lock to prevent it from opening inadvertently and suddenly, risking to be damaged and put you in danger if it gets stuck somewhere.

Its great strength is certainly the r value for money , which allows with a little effort to have a nice folding bike, from a reliable brand like Nilox.

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