Folding bikes have grown in popularity over the past number of years. As time went on, manufacturers saw the need for folding bikes in the market.
And they kept on making folding bikes better with improved features.
As a cycling enthusiast, there is nothing better than riding a bike that feels perfect.
Be it for commuting or normal recreational activities, the joy you get from riding your bike is different.
Nothing beats the breezy feeling of wind gushing against your skin and your hair dancing around as you pedal onwards. The feeling cannot be matched by much.
There are questions about whether folding bikes give you just as pleasant an experience as traditional bikes.
People are reluctant to pick out a folding bike.
Traditional bikes are not the easiest to carry around easily.
Folding bikes thrive in such scenarios with great features that allow one to carry a folding bike anywhere conveniently.
According to market analysts, the folding bikes industry has been growing exponentially and will continue until 2024 – 2025.
There has been a decent amount of increase in cyclists’ purchasing a folding bike in recent times because folding bikes have been getting better and better.
Studies and numbers show that 20-inch folding bikes are expected to grow rapidly at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8% from 2019 to 2025.
Cyclists using their traditional bikes for commuting are realizing the great benefits of a folding bikes like great versatility, minimalistic design, and the ability to fold, hold, and store.
To answer the question of whether folding bikes are worth it, they are worth it.
Folding bikes are perfect for commuters who take their bike everywhere with them.
Their excellent features and functionality make folding bikes easy to transport on public transports such as buses and trains.
The ability to fold it and carry the bike with you everywhere eases the cyclists’ mind of the bike getting stolen.
Owning a bike has never been this easy as you can fold it into a compact shape and store them in your office or home without a fuss.
Everything has a good and a bad side. I am here today to share my knowledge of folding bikes with you.
Without further ado, let us get to it.
The Advantages of Folding Bikes
One of the biggest and crunching fears a cyclist has is having their bike stolen.
If you have been on this end of the spectrum, I feel you entirely.
It can be the most upsetting, infuriating, and devastating loss a cyclist can endure.
Not all bike commuters have the privilege of bringing their bike to their workplace or a coffee shop to keep their eye on them at all times.
Therefore, most traditional bike owners have to leave their bikes outside locked up.
If you travel to the train station by bike and the office by train, you know the feeling of locking your bike in the train station.
Not knowing the condition of the bike can weigh on your mind as you work.
Folding bikes hold a massive advantage in this matter as you can have them near you at all times.
As the name suggests, you can fold the bike and bring it inside your tiny studio apartment or your work and place it in the corner.
With folding bikes, you do not have to leave your bike outdoors in extreme conditions, have a GPS tracker installed on your bike, or get a heavy-duty padlock.
Folding bikes revolutionizes the security aspect of a bike.
Getting yourself a folding bike can help you cut down on your expenses as you can commute halfway by bike and the other half by your choice of mode of transportation.
You can ride your bike to the train station, fold your bike, and go about to work. Or you can take a bus instead. Whatever you choose, you will save half the cost.
Not just in travel, but you will save money on accessories as well.
Like I mentioned earlier, traditional bikes require you to buy expensive accessories. Heavy-duty padlock and GPS tracking systems are very expensive.
You can save a lot of money if you choose to get a folding bike instead.
Compact and Convenient
Folding bikes are manufactured to transform from a big, fully functional bike to a small, compact, modest-sized handheld bike.
The compactness of the folding bike makes it very convenient to store even in tight spaces. And, no, they are not transformers.
You might be surprised to know how easy it is to do so, and it takes only about 30 seconds.
As many folding bikes on the market are user-friendly, easy to fold and unfold, it makes using folding bikes the number one choice for commuting.
Thinking of going to the nearest shop, a day out to the beach, or hang out with your friends? Take your super convenient folding bike with you and save yourself some buck for later.
Quality of Bike
You might be surprised (as I was) to find that the quality of folding bikes is outstanding.
When I first saw a random stranger ride an eerie-looking bike, I thought they must have compromised on quality.
To my great surprise, folding bikes are pretty sturdy as traditional bikes.
But you should note that these depend on the folding bike themselves too.
Folding bikes, no different from traditional ones, are made of aluminum, high-quality premium steel, and titanium.
Easy to Transport
Sometimes people get tired of pedaling their bikes every day. So, they wish they could get on a taxi or train and get home.
Folding bikes have brought this possibility into existence.
A significant upside of owning a folding bike is that you can fold it and carry it with you from the nearest train station or bus station. Doing such with traditional bikes is a nuisance.
Most commuters are making the switch to folding bikes because of such a possibility.
Commuting halfway with your bike, folding and carrying it, and getting to the office by bus saves you some much-needed energy for work.
Not just carry by hand, you can also travel with them. Whether you are traveling to a different state to visit your sister via car or plane, you can take your bike with you.
Just fold and toss your bike in the back seat or trunk of the car or put it in an overhead bin of a plane. You can take your bike everywhere with you.
The Disadvantages of Folding Bikes
With significant advantages come some unwanted disadvantages as well. Let us look at them now.
There is an assumption that all folding bikes are lightweight. That is not the case.
The weight of the bike depends on the materials manufacturers use. The weight can become an issue when folding it up and carrying it by hand.
It is vital to do some research beforehand as some folding bikes are even heavier than others around.
Folding bikes weigh somewhere between 11 kilograms to 13 kilograms on average.
The reason being, lightweight folding bikes are made of titanium and carbon fiber, unlike heavier folding bikes that are made of aluminum and steel.
Most folding bikes that you see are considerably expensive than any other traditional mountain or road bike.
Not all folding bikes are costly, but some top brands sell their folding bikes starting from thousand of dollars and up.
You can also find cheaper folding bikes, but you would have to compromise on the quality of the bike and overall enjoyment.
The high price of any bike, be it traditional or folding, comes down to design, build quality, and functionality.
Folding bikes are mostly out there for commuters looking for convenient bikes to take with them everywhere, though they are not quite as fast as mountain bikes or any other road bikes.
They do not come equipped with gears for high-speed chases.
If you love to zoom out of places, you would have to compromise on speed.
Quality of Ride
One prominent misconception cyclists have that folding bikes are as comfortable as traditional bikes. It is not the case as the tires on folding bikes are small.
Compared to traditional bikes, folding bikes offer bumpy and stiff rides because of the small tires.
Folding bikes come up with tires ranging from 10 inches to 26 inches in wheel size. The most common tire sizes are 16, 20, and 24 inches.
Folding bikes are not able to handle rough terrain because of the smaller tire size.
Small-sized tires also make it difficult to control and handle folding bikes when riding downhill. It leads to a more turbulent and less smooth biking experience.
While folding and carrying your bike is very convenient, it can have a significant downside.
Not knowingly, you might be driving down damp or dry mud, water puddles, and other types of mess, and bringing your bike indoors to your workplace or home can leave an unpleasant odor.
You can also get your clothes dirty from the mud, dirt, or grease from the bike while working on folding your bike.
The odor can turn out to be a big issue in the long run unless you are very careful.
Are Folding Bikes Durable?
It is natural for someone considering buying a folding bike to question this, especially after reading about the pros and cons.
A folding bike is similar to a traditional one.
It is equally stable, made from the same material, and consists of almost all the same features. The durability of bikes comes down to the quality and the usage of the bike.
Like any traditional bike, it will eventually wear down with the potential to extreme damages if you use the bike very often.
There have been reported cases of folding bikes breaking in half as the purpose of the bike is to fold and unfold continuously. Eventually, all the folding will take a toll.
Getting a folding bike from a good brand with higher qualities and features will prolong its durability.
Are Folding Bikes Worth It for Exercising?
Cycling, be it a traditional bike or folding bike, has proven more efficient than running to keep oneself healthy as bikes engage your core, glutes, arms, and legs.
In a nutshell, bikes are fantastic for staying healthy and in shape.
Folding bikes, in general, are excellent for exercising as they are more compact than the traditional ones, making them feel sturdier.
Another factor of folding bikes making them great for exercise are the set of wheels of the bike.
As the set of wheels are smaller in them, you would have to pedal more to keep going. Doing so will keep your body constantly engaged, resulting in better exercise.
As I mentioned earlier, you can take the folding bike anywhere with you. It would mean you would get some more exercise anytime and anywhere.
Are Folding Bikes Worth It for Long Rides and Distances?
Generally speaking, folding bikes are produced for urban commuting. It does not mean that you cannot use your bike for long distances. A folding bike is ideal for all rides, short or long.
The quality you get from a folding bike is different from what you would find in a traditional bike. But that does depend on the brand too.
With a premium, high-quality folding bike, your riding experience would be just as enjoyable as they are great options for going long distances.
A folding bike is very convenient for long distances because:
The rider can choose to ride for as long as you want.
With folding bikes, the rider can decide to fold them and carry them along if you come across any impassable passageways or terrains.
It’s easy to fold and carry around if you wish to walk for a while.
Do not underestimate the performance of folding bikes.
As I mentioned earlier, they are excellent for exercise. As the wheels are smaller, you would have to pedal more than a traditional bike.
Doing so will prove beneficial for your overall health.
Folding bikes are highly versatile and agile; they feel great riding around no matter short or long distance.
Are Folding Bikes Worthy of Their Cost?
A high-quality folding bike does not come cheap. As a matter of fact, an excellent lightweight folding bike would cost you a minimum of 1000 dollars.
If you would like the folding bike to have extra features, the cost would add up.
With that being said, to justify whether folding bikes are worth it for their cost, you would have to look at your circumstance.
I have come with a list of why folding bikes are worth it for the cost. A folding bike is well worth their price for you if you align yourself with most of the points below.
- If you have to walk a lot to get to the nearest train station or bus station from your house or apartment.
- In case you do not own a vehicle and have to walk too far to get to the nearest train station or bus station.
- If you do not have a parking space for a traditional bicycle at work or home.
- In the condition when you cannot see yourself parking your bike outdoors.
- If you would not be able to get home on the folding bike from work.
- If you plan to commute with your bike for everyday purposes and sometimes take public transport.
Best Folding Bikes In The Market
To help save you some of your precious time, I have spent mine.
If you are looking to get yourself a folding bike, check the table below for the best six folding bikes in the market.
|SN||Product Brand||Wheel size (Inches)||Weight (Kg)||Price ($)|
|1||Tern BYB S11||20||12.7||$2495|
|2||Tern Link C8||20||12.8||$991|
|4||Dahon IOS D9||13||13||$1099|
|5||Raleigh Stowaway 7||20||13||$470|
Folding bikes are great for those commuting every day on a bike. They are quick, easy, versatile, and, most importantly, foldable.
There are several things to consider before going to the nearest bike store and grabbing yourself one.
But having stuck around for this long, you should be a master in picking the best folding bike by now.