Ultimate Review: Best Folding Bikes To Ride in 2018

Ultimate Review: Best Folding Bikes To Ride in 2018

Are you constantly having problems with your regular bike? Do you think it’s massive to carry and you fear that someone can steal it? Wishing the best folding bike exist and be affordable to get?

As commuters, we use buses and trains on a regular basis. On top of that, we also have to use bikes to get around in the big city; they do help a lot with costs, and of course, it will make you get fit.

Regular bikes are relatively heavy, so we cannot take them with us to the office. It would be ridiculous, and the boss might not appreciate having 50 bikes all around the hallway. What do we do? We chain them outside and hope they will not get stolen, but it does happen more often than people think.

This is when a foldable bike comes in handy. It is a real invention. Not only it works just as perfect as a regular one, but you can also take it with you inside, and nobody will ever know. You don’t have to spend a fortune for a folding bike either because you can buy a cheap folding bike.

Before you start browsing the web for the best folding bike around, let us spare you the hours of research. We have already done the homework for you and picked the best folding models on the market.

Whether you are looking for the lightest folding bike or the smallest folding bike, this review can help you. Read on.

At A Glance: Our Choices for Best Folding Bikes

The Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike, Brushed will fold in only about 15 seconds, giving you more time to focus on more important things. This model is the perfect one to take with you on a trip, by bus, car or train. The Dahon Neos rear derailleur will prevent any potential incidents.

And then we have the Camp 20" Alloy 16 Speed Folding Bike Disc Brake Thunderbolt from K7S another good option to consider. This 20-inch folding bike with a Shimano Altus speed rear derailleur has an Alloy Hub seal bearing and multiple other features that will help in making your ride extremely comfortable.

The Ford by Dahon Convertible 7 Speed Folding Bicycle is also a model beloved by many. With seven speeds, this urban utility bike is easily foldable and light to carry, making it a perfect choice for keeping in a smaller apartment.

Columba’s 26" Folding Bike w. Shimano 18 Speed is also worth to check, especially if you are keen on a darker color palette. Its 26-inch Kenda wheels and Shimano 18 speed shifter and derailleur are perfect for making your trip comfortable and extremely secure. No room for accidents here.

The Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike is a light aluminum folding bike that is perfect for many commuters, especially smaller ones (it weighs only 21.5 pounds). It has a good, modern design and comes with a high-performance coaster break, making your daily bike rides both safe and comfortable.

Specially designed with commuters in mind, the Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike comes with a low standover frame and a 7-speed drivetrain. Can be easily used for uphill and downhill ride. Provided with additional nylon carrying bag.

2017’s Reviews of the Best Folding Bikes

Rankings

Brands

Features

Color

Editor's Raitings

#1

Dahon

Dahon Neos rear derailleur 7005 aluminum frame complete with a custom-drawn Sonus tubing

Brushed

#2

K7S

Shimano Altus 16 speed rear derailleur, cassette 12-32T, dual disc brakes

Grey, Blue, Orange, Yellow

#3

Ford

Shimano 7-speed gears, Heavy duty alloy V-Breaks, rear rack, and fenders

Black, White, Yellow

#4

Columba

Shimano 18 speed shifter and derailleur, alloy front and rear V-brake, Kenda 26 tires

Black

#5

Vilano

Coaster break

Matte Black, Grey, White

#1. Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike

Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike

Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike

This particular model from Dahon is a great one to have, especially if time and space limit you. It does fold in just a few seconds as advertised and it is relatively easy to carry around with you. We find this bike extremely handy if you have to hop on a train on a regular basis (we do, and we found the Dahon is compact and easy to deal with).

Comes equipped with a Dahon Neos rear derailleur, offering a fairly crisp and fast shifting ensuring you will be able to avoid potential accident quite easily. Its overall brushed color and elegant design are not that bad either, and you will especially like the 7005 aluminum frame with custom-drawn Sonus tubing complete with six patented technologies.

This model weighs only 26 pounds. The 20-inch wheels are also helpful if you are mainly using this model as a public aid.

On the downside, the fenders are just plastic, albeit a high-quality one, and we cannot help but wish it had metal ones.

However, most people who have bought the Dahon say it does deserve all the hype surrounding it. The gears and everything else works smoothly, and most of the users confirmed to have a very enjoyable ride.

Some users say that, when folded, the wheels are not ‘even,' so the whole structure will tip over, but we didn’t even notice this. It might have something to do with how you stabilize it? As a plus, this Dahon bike is one of the lightest folding bikes out of the bunch, and if size is a deal-breaker for you, you should definitely check it out.

What We Like

  • Very easy to fold (only a few seconds needed)
  • Quite light and easily carried around
  • Fits beautifully in cramped spaces
  • High-quality
  • Comes with a high-functioning Dahon Neos rear derailleur

What We Didn't Like

  • The fenders are made out of plastic

#2. Camp 20" Alloy 16 Speed Folding Bike

Camp 20" Alloy 16 Speed Folding Bike

Camp 20" Alloy 16 Speed Folding Bike

This 20-inch folding bike from K7S is also worth to check. The Shimano Altus 16 speed rear derailleur does work beautifully, and you will feel safer while riding the bike even on the most traveled roads.

On that note, the alloy hub seal bearing, cassette 12-32T, and dual disc brake are high-quality. We especially like the magnet folding mechanism, very easy to use and somewhat ingenious. The rubber protector to use when your bike is folded is also an excellent addition, no room for any scratches here.

This model is a bit heavier, weighing in at 29 pounds, but we do like it overall and do not have a problem with this aspect. However, if you are a smaller person and want something lighter you ought to look somewhere else.

Some users do have an issue with the fact that the pedals look a bit cheap. They are made of plastic after all. However, most of the people who have used it, love it especially since there is no need for a bike rack.

Overall we find it a good option, very stable and we feel that the 20’’ wheels make no difference whatsoever.

What We Like

  • Easily foldable
  • Comes with rubber protection to use when folded
  • Alloy Hub seal bearing
  • Cassette 12-32T
  • Dual disc brake
  • High-quality

What We Didn't Like

  • Cheap looking plastic pedals

#3. Ford by Dahon Convertible 7 Speed Folding Bicycle

Ford by Dahon Convertible 7 Speed Folding Bicycle

Ford by Dahon Convertible Folding Bicycle

This seven-speed aluminum bike is a good option for the average urban commuter. We do find it pretty perfect for either taking it on a bus or a train. It is relatively easy to fold and carry around, even if it is about 40 pounds.

We like it overall, mainly thanks to great features like the Genuine Shimano 7-speed gears, heavy duty alloy V-Breaks, rear rack, and fenders. All in all, it is really high-quality folding bike, and although commercialized by Ford, it is in fact made by Dahon, so, no surprise here.

What came as a pleasant surprise for us was the fact that the stem is easily adjustable, so people between 5’’ and 6’’ should not have any issues using it.

Most individuals who have used this for a relatively long amount of time are quite pleased with the engineering and overall quality of the bike. The seat is also a bit hard for some, but that depends on personal taste, and we do not mind it.

However, some do say it does take a bit of time adjusting to it, especially if you are used to riding a regular model. We have to agree with this as we also needed a bit of time actually to enjoy it, but in the end, there was no hassle or drama.

All in all, this folding bike is a beautiful, polished model, perfect as a public aid.

What We Like

  • Seven speeds
  • It folds in only a few seconds
  • Easy to carry around
  • Adjustable rod – great for people from 5’ to 6’ tall
  • Genuine Shimano 7-speed gears
  • Heavy duty alloy V-Breaks, rear rack, and fenders

What We Didn't Like

  • The seat can be a bit hard for some
  • A bit on the heavy side

#4. Columba 26" Folding Bike

Columba 26

Columba 26" Folding Bike

The first thing that is important is actual weight of this bike as it is quite heavy – 35 pounds. It might not be the best option for many, especially if you are smaller than the average consumer.

We do consider this 26-inch bike a good option, mainly thanks to the Shimano 18 speed shifter and derailleur. The alloy front and rear V-brake are not bad either.

We especially like the quick, removable front handle stem, a nice option in our book. This model also comes with 18 speeds so you might appreciate that fact.

While most users do find this urban, foldable bike very helpful and easy to fold, some take issue with the fact that they have to take the handle bars off each time they put it in the car. We do not have a problem with this and believe it comes down to the type of car you own. If you use the bus or train, you will not have to bother with this fact either.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the paint does not hold very well – we tried the black version – and it will tear off fairly quickly, depending on how often you use it and your overall daily lifestyle, etc.

On that note, one user did say that the bell it comes with died after a while, but again, we didn’t experience this problem. However, it might be something to take into account.

All in all, we like it but only for an on the road use, mainly in an urban environment. The fact that it does not have a shock system will make it somewhat ineffective for other environments, no backcountry biking happening with this model.

What We Like

  • Kenda 26’’ wheels
  • Shimano 18 speed shifter and derailleur
  • Alloy front and rear V-brake
  • Easy to fold and use

What We Didn't Like

  • No shock system
  • The paint will wear off fairly quickly
  • A bit on the heavier side for smaller people
  • Potential problems with the bell

#5. Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike

Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike

Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike

This model from Vilano is perhaps the cheapest folding bike on the market, among the high-quality ones of course. If the price is something you need to consider, we suggest you check this bike out. On that note, this model is also the lightest folding bike, another thing many people will appreciate, we are sure.

After trying it out, we have to say that it is pretty easy to both use and fold. And while we find it best for using on a flat surface, you could give it a try both up and downhill.

Overall, it has pretty good quality, and most users agree with us here. On the downside, if you consider yourself to be a heavier rider, you might consider changing the pedals as they cannot withstand a higher weight/ applied pressure.

Also, if you are over 6 feet tall, this might not be the bike for you, as it opens up mostly about the size of a kid’s bike. We do recommend it but only for people closer to 5 feet. Some users do feel like this model is geared quite high and they like this particular feature. We share this opinion.

All in all, a pretty high-quality bike for its price and we do recommend it, albeit for shorter buyers.

What We Like

  • Very light
  • Easy to fold and carry around
  • It is geared quite high
  • Work well on flat surfaces

What We Didn't Like

  • Not for taller people (around and over 6’)
  • Heavier riders might need to replace the pedals

#6. Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike

Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike

Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike

This model from Schwinn is also a 20-inch folding bike. It is designed primarly for commuters, and it has a low standover frame, as well as an easy fork. As a plus, when compared to other models its kind, this one works beautifully while going uphill.

You might also like the fact that it comes with an included nylon carrying bag, a good added feature in our book. This will allow you to carry the bike indoors with you easily and never worry about a stolen bike again.

It does provide a 7-speed feature, and we find it quite easy to shift among them. Another thing to keep in mind is that the seat is adjustable, so even if you are closer to 5’ you will not experience any issues.

On the downside, some users do have a problem with the structure holding together when folded, and we have to second that. Also, the handlebars are not adjustable, and while we do not have a problem with where they are, some people might need an inch or two more to play with.

Overall, we find this a pretty solid bike to have on hand.

What We Like

  • Easily foldable
  • Carrying back included, albeit a nylon one
  • 7-speed feature, easy to change speeds
  • Good when riding uphill
  • Adjustable seat, good at accommodating shorter people

What We Didn't Like

  • The handlebars are not adjustable
  • The structure does not hold well when the bike is folded

Rankings

Best Overall

2nd choice

3rd choice

4th choice

5th choice

Top-Rated Folding Bikes

Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike
Camp 20" Alloy 16 Speed Folding Bike
Ford by Dahon Convertible 7 Speed Folding Bicycle
Columba 26" Folding Bike
Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike

Brand

Dahon

K7S

Ford

Columba

Vilano

Weight

26 pounds

29 pounds

40 pounds

35 pounds

21.5 pounds

Frame material

Aluminum

Aluminum

Aluminum

Steel

Aluminum

Get Started

What are the Benefits of Folding Bikes?

If you are concerned about being cool, you might be a little bit fearful in actually investing in a folding bike, no matter how awesome they might be. We understand this. We’ve been there.

However, after countless years of constantly feeling annoyed because of our regular bikes, we decided enough is enough. So, after asking folding bike aficionados about what they think the best perks are, we were convinced.

Here is what we found out:

  • You can easily take it with you – buses, trains, coffee shops, the office, you name it. You can just fold the bike up, carry it with you and nobody will say anything. Most models are so compact they will virtually become almost invisible, and they could easily fit most spaces, no matter how cramped. Also, their actual weight beat up having to carry an almost 50-pound chain and lock with you every single day of the week.
  • They will make you look cooler – no matter what you might be thinking, they are cool. And with the increase of environmentally conscious people and gadget lovers, you will be asked quite a lot “What is that? Where did you buy it from?”. Trust us – all the stigma surrounding folding bikes has disappeared for quite a few years now. You will look like a boss when you fold up your bike in front of the office and carry it up the stairs while your colleagues still fumble about with heavy chains and locks.
  • They are very practical – even if it suddenly start raining cats and dogs, you will have no problem. Just stop, fold your bike up and enter a Starbuck for a well-deserved boost of energy. Also, catching the train or bus will not be an issue even if it is packed. A folding bike only needs a bit of space, sometimes, even less than most women’s bags…yes, we are looking at you Saint Laurent shopping totes!
  • You will go faster – while this might sound a bit off to you, it doesn’t make it any less true. Because of the smaller wheels, a folding bike does require a lot less effort to pedal. You will feel amazing as you, in your perfectly ironed suit, leave behind all those spandex-clad biking ‘pros.’ Let us tell you; it is the best feeling in the world.
  • They are very practical – this might be a no-brainer, but, if you have to combine multiple means of transportation on a daily basis, they are definitely worth the investment. You will find them helpful especially during rush hours, morning and afternoon when buses and trains tend to be packed up to the brim with commuters. There is no need to wait for the next bus/ train just because your bike will not fit in. Just fold your new toy up and be home just in time for dinner.
  • They are extremely low maintenance – just be sure your tires are filled with just enough air, the lights are working, and the chain is oiled and be on your way. A folding bike does not require much else. You will be glad there is no need to find a free parking spot, buy gas or have a mechanic on hand. No matter what brand or variety of folding bike you choose, the investment will pan out in the long run.
  • They make for good exercise – yes, your car is probably a lot more comfortable. However, a bike is far better for you. Not only will you get to work faster and without the added hassles of finding a parking spot, but you will also be healthier. Why not make working out part of your daily routine? Do you not have enough time to go to the gym? No problem – exercise on your way to and from work. Kill two birds with one stone so to speak.
  • Meet new, interesting people – every single time you either fold or unfold your bike people will take notice. Some will even muster up the courage to come and ask you all about your new toy. Face it; some people have probably never heard of a folding bike. This is your moment to be knowledgeable. One thing is sure – you will never be bored.
  • They are very easy to use – most folding bike varieties can even be folded in just a few seconds. And even if you are new to the concept, with a little practice you will be able to fold it in no time. Here is a tip though – do not learn to use it the first time at the subway entrance. You will both get frustrated at your skills and the side glances of many passers-by.

How to Choose the Best Folding Bikes?

Though they are all compact and fairly easy to use, there is more than brand and price when it comes to choosing the best folding bike. Considering your size, lifestyle, and all things along the line, here is what you should look out for:

  • The weight issue

Yes, folding bikes are all lighter than regular ones. This is a well-known fact. However, they do not all weight the same. Depending on your actual size and strength, you might have different needs than most.

Some people might have an issue with carrying a lot of weight, so we suggest you opt for a good model made out of aluminum. Steel bikes, though amazing, do tend to be on the heavier side.

There is no need to worry though, as there are a few pretty good, lighter models, some only weighing around 20 pounds. No need to get one reaching 40 pounds.

  • The height variable

Depending on your personal height you might not be able to use certain folding bike models, no matter how great they are. Some are only intended for people who are closer to 5-feet tall, maybe 5'5.'’.

This is mainly because they tend to unfold at around the same size that kid’s bike would be. This is why, if you are around 6-feet tall, we suggest you do your research before actually buying one.

On that note, you have to know that heavier models, those coming to 40 pounds, tend to accommodate larger people fairly easily. So there is no need to worry.

There are quite a few models, equipped with adjustable features, which can be used by both shorter and taller customers. Regardless of your height, you might want to check those out.

  • The speed variable

This is also an important factor for many potential buyers. Do folding bikes come with different speeds? The answer is yes. Most of them have just a few, albeit easy to shift. However, if this is something really important to you, some of the higher-quality models have a larger number to accommodate every single need and taste better.

  • Uphill? Downhill? No hill?

This is something we are keen on. You should keep in mind that not all folding bike are meant to be used on all kinds of terrain. They are mostly advertised as a commuter, urban aid, after all.

They are intended to be used on a flat surface. Iff this is something to bother you, take note that some models work perfectly well both uphill and downhill, so there is no need to worry.

  • Good breaks

Finally, let’s talk about one of the key elements of any bike or mean of transportation for that matter– the breaks. Probably a no brainer, they should be of high-quality and responsive to the most delicate of touches. You will ride it in crowded, well-traveled environment in the end.

There is no need to panic though as all models on our shortlist fall in this category. So just pick one that you like and be safe while riding it.

Conclusion

In the end, we have to say that this folding bike review was not as easy to come up with as we initially imagined. This might have something to do with the fact that we are mostly used to riding regular bikes. Please understand us here. You might also experience a certain feeling of inadequacy at first.

However, the learning curve was really steep, and we quickly adapted. And although all the folding bikes that landed on our shortlist are really good options, we cannot help but be partial to the lovely Dahon Mariner D7 Folding Bike.

Not only does this model tick all the boxes regarding weight (only 26 pounds), foldability (it is compact and easy to fold) and ease of use, its elegant design and high–quality is also something to rave about.

Dahon Neos rear derailleur will prevent you from entering in any accidents and will ensure your ride is smooth and comfortable. And though we do have an issue with the plastic fenders, even though they are high-quality, we find that the 7005 aluminum frame with custom-drawn Sonus tubing more than makes up for that drawback.

And, even though we were a bit suspicious about all the hype surrounding this particular model from Dahon, we now understand it and are also fans of the bike.

If this was also your favorite model be sure to show it off on your next trip to the office. You will be the envy of all your colleagues. If, however, you preferred another one, no biggie, just have a safe trip. Whichever the case might be, practice with folding/unfolding your bike at home, so you do look like a pro in public!

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