When it comes to folding bikes, there is no one right option for everybody out there. What may be good for one person may not necessarily be good for another person.
That is why we have decided to put together this guide. We want to show you a few of the things that you will need to think about when in the market for a folding bike.
Hopefully, by the end of this page, you will know some of the things that you will need to be on the lookout for. This should make your decision a whole lot easier!
Obviously, a folding bike needs to be foldable. It is the whole purpose of them. There are two things that you will want to be on the lookout for here:
a) Folding speed: it is likely that you are going to be folding an unfolding the bike a lot. Therefore, you want a bike that is going to make this as easy as possible for you. According to FoldingBikeList.com, the best bikes should take about 10 seconds to sort out.
If you can, you are probably going to want to opt for a bike which requires no tools to fold up. It is going to make your life a lot easier.
b) Folded size: many people who are opting for folding bikes will be doing so because they want something that they can put into storage easily. This is going to be a very personal choice, to be perfectly honest!
The problem with many folding bikes on the market, at least at the cheaper end, is the fact that they do not have a sort of ‘stiffness’ in them. They rock about, which means that they are not going to be fun to cycle for long periods of time.
If you are going to be purchasing a folding bike, then you want it to be as close as possible to a ‘normal’ bike.
You should be opting for a bike which has 20” or larger wheels. You will also want to pay attention to the design of the frame and the like. All of this is important. You want to be able to cycle these bikes for long periods of time.
If it is at all possible, you may want to organize a quick test cycle on some bikes that you have selected. This will enable you to get a feel as to whether that bike is going to be right for you or not!
Most people report that lightness is not going to be that much of a factor if you are looking for a good folding bike for cycling long distances. You just want something that is going to be stable, and we are sure that you should have zero issues tracking one of those down!
3. Size of the bike
The problem with picking up a folding bike is the fact that they come in a single frame size. This is going to be fine if you are of a ‘normal’ size, but if you are taller (or even shorter!), than normal, then you are going to have issues.
This is why it is so important that you spend time looking for a decent bike to cycle on and why you test out as many bikes as you can.
This is not going to be so important if you are purchasing a folding bike to get you to and from work, but if you are planning on cycling long distances, then you are going to want to put a lot of effort in here. Choosing the wrong bicycle has the potential to cause injury!
4. Wheel Size
We have covered this to some extent already. If you are not planning on cycling long distances, then you should be fine with something that is compact. You are only going to be on it for a short period of time which means you are barely going to suffer from any issues.
However, if you are going to be touring on your bike, then you will want to opt for larger wheels on the folding bicycle. Not only are they going to be easier to cycle on, but you are going to find that it is going to be great deal easier cycling those longer distances due to the wider gear range that these bicycles boast.
Many people are not massive fans of folding bikes as they tend to have less gears than regular bikes. Sadly, this is something that you are probably going to need to put up with. The best method to work out whether the bicycle is going to be right for you or not is by looking at gear inches.
If you want something that is going to perform to a high standard, then you need 100 gear inches. There are several different ways in which you can calculate gear inches on a bike, and we do suggest that you put a bit of effort into researching here.
If you want a quality bike, then it is likely that you are going to need to spend at least $1000 on it. The more you spend, the better the bike. That being said, you probably can find a decent touring bike for slightly less than this.
At the very minimum, you should be spending at least $500 on the folding bicycle. Anything less than that and you are going to end up with a bike that just is not stable and, as we said, this is going to cause you all sorts of issues when you are out there cycling.
Finally; we suggest that you read as many reviews of folding bikes as possible before you make your purchase. The main reason is so that you can get an idea as to how other people are using their bicycle.
This will enable you to determine whether the bike is going to be right for you or not. For example; if somebody does not rate a folding bicycle for touring, then you probably do not want to use it for touring!