As more and more of us ride to work on our bicycles and have the problem of where to store them once we’ve arrived, purchasing a folding bike seems to be the natural option.
They might not feel as stable and sturdy as a normal bike, but they are far more versatile and a great way to get around. Unlike normal bikes, folding bikes are lighter and smaller which means you can carry them up a flight of stairs, or take onto a bus or train.
If you are looking to buy a folding bike you should know that they come in a variety of wheel sizes; 16-inch, 20-inch or 26-inch wheels. It is easier to carry folding bikes that have smaller wheels but larger wheels allow for a faster ride.
Here are our recommendations for the ten best folding bikes:
Many people are put off by folding bikes because of the size of the wheel. For those who prefer a larger wheel to the typically smaller ones you tend to get on folding bikes, this mountain bike from Panana has 26-inch wheels. It also comes with 18 gears, V-Type brakes at the front and back, front suspension and an 18” frame size. Not the lightest of folding bikes as it weighs 16.5kg.
The main reason this bike is so popular is because it is so easy to fold up thanks to a special folding mechanism. Features include 20-inch wheels, Shimano 3 speed Nexus internal hub gears, kickstand, mudguards and even a rear pannier rack. You get smooth braking via the front and rear linear action V brakes and the whole bike weighs just 13kgs.
Another bike that is super easy to fold away, and ideal for your daily commute to work or even if you have no space in a small apartment. Features include 20-inch wheels, a really lightweight alloy frame that is robust and sturdy, alloy V-brakes, and 7 speed Shimano gears for a smoother ride. You also get a lovely soft seat to sit on and dual density grips.
Customers who have purchased this bike say that it provides a really stable ride that is smooth and comfortable. It has 20-inch wheels, folds down quickly and easily, features a three-speed Sturmey Archer hub gear, telescopic handlebar stem, alloy V-brakes, and an alloy frame. It also includes a kickstand, mudguards and even a bell.
Dahon is a leading name in the folding bike industry and has a great reputation. This one has 20-inch wheels, nine gears, a clever folding mechanism which folds the bike down in seconds, and a stiff hydroformed frame. It also features alloy parts including alloy V-brakes for smoother braking, and weighs in at a light 11.2kg.
Bobbin is a company that only started in 2007 but their bikes give a real feel of nostalgia with an affectionate nod back to Sixties London with colours reminiscent of illustrator Dick Bruna. This folding bike has 20-inch wheels, seven gears, V-brakes, and is available in three different colours, black (shown), blue and pink. It has all the standard Bobbin features, including cream tyres, cork grips, matching brown saddle and gorgeous colours. It weighs 13.5kg so it is not the lightest but it folds fold into a really compact size.
You get the latest technology with a Bickerton bike, all wrapped up in a classic-looking bike. Features include 20-inch wheels, Shimano 7 speed gears with rotational shifters to make smooth transitions through the gears, alloy V Style brakes, and rear carrier and mudguards. Weight is 12kg and available in a lovely rich brown and matching saddle.
A sturdy and butch bike here that is scaled down with features that include narrow flat bar handlebars, a stiff hydroformed Verge frame, 8-speed Shimano gears and 1 × 8 Claris drivetrain. Weighs in at 11.00kg and folds down quickly and easily.
If you are after a folding bike that folds down quicker than you can say folding bike then the Brompton S1E 2017 is your man. A sleek design that includes Brompton’s S type handlebar, a super soft saddle and a stripped down design that excludes racks or mudguards, allowing a faster fold down time. Weighs in at 11.00kg so very easy to carry around.