With summer here and fall right around the corner, a lot of us are thinking about bikes.
Maybe you’re thinking about the best accessories, like bike trailers for kids and pets. Maybe you’re wondering if it’s time to pull the trigger on that carbon fiber bike.
For some people, the bike question boils down to space. They ask reasonable things, such as, “How do I fit a bike into this efficiency apartment or dorm room and still have room to sleep?”
If that sounds like you, take heart! The answer to your question is the technological marvel known as folding bikes.
“Great,” you think. “But which folding bikes are good bikes?”
Keep reading to see our…
Top 7 Choices for Folding Bikes
As with all things, there is a balance to strike between price and features. Even so, if it’s on our list, it means that you’re looking at a quality product. So let’s jump into it.
7. Vilano Urbana
Starting our list is the Vilano Urbana.
This bike is extremely lightweight. It tips the scale at 21 pounds and some change. That makes it light enough for you to take with you on a bus or a subway with getting a second workout.
It has a modest, 12 x 32 x 25-inch footprint when folded. Good for storing in a closet or tucking into a corner.
As a single speed machine, you don’t need to worry about brake or shift cables. That does mean the Urbana really is just for light cruising on flats or gentle inclines. Unless you’ve got quads of steel.
It also needs some minor assembly, but nothing that can’t be done at home.
6. Schwinn Loop
The Schwinn 20-inch Loop takes our number six slot.
Built as a commuter bike, it features a 7-speed derailleur to let you traverse those hills with ease. You also get a rear storage rack for some light duty transport.
The Loop comes in at a surprising 35 pounds despite its aluminum frame. It’s not unmanageable, but you won’t want to be lugging it very far.
You’ll also face a heftier footprint at around 33 x 26 x 16 inches. It still fits in many closets, but it’s snug.
What you get for this tradeoff is a lifetime guarantee and carrying case. Valuable features for any folding bikes.
5. Stowabike 26″ MTB V2 Folding Dual Suspension Mountain Bike
The Stowabike V2 is one of two mountain bikes to make our list of folding bikes.
The V2 is an economical choice. It’s one of one of the least expensive bikes you’ll find here.
It’s an 18-speed machine, which ought to help on ever shifting terrain. The steel frame will also stand up to some serious abuse, but that steel comes at a price.
The V2 weighs 38.5 pounds and sports a 38 x 13 x 30-inch footprint. You also can’t fold the handlebars.
Still, it’s no more expensive than a basic, traditional mountain bike that won’t fold at all.
4. HASA F2 Sram
The HASA F2 comes to us from the shores of fair Taiwan.
Weighing in around 33 pounds, it’s lighter than the Loop but nowhere near as light as Urbana. It’s also a shade smaller than the Loop at 33 x 25 x 13 inches when folded.
You’ll get an aluminum alloy frame and wheels. The bike also offers six speeds for those inevitable hills.
The F2 also sports a rear rack.
If this bike has a major pitfall, it’s that it’s not recommended for anyone over 240 pounds.
3. Montague Paratrooper Pro
The Paratrooper Pro is the second mountain bike to make the folding bikes list.
Unlike the Stowabike V2, the Paratrooper Pro is not an economy bike. It’s built for the serious rider who’s ready to make a serious investment.
Originally designed for US special forces, this mountain bike features an aluminum frame and 27 speeds. You also get disc brakes for better braking. Odds are very good that this bike can handle whatever terrain you throw at it.
It comes in at 31 pounds and has a footprint of 36 x 28 x 12 inches.
In the end, the price is the biggest pitfall to this bike. It’s anywhere from twice to five times as much as the rest of the bikes on the list.
2. Camp Thunderbolt
Snagging our number 2 slot is the Camp Thunderbolt.
As folding bikes go, the Thunderbolt is great. The bike takes advantage of that aluminum frame. At 29 pounds, it’s not too heavy.
Like the Paratrooper Pro, it’s got those higher performing disc brakes.
What really makes the Thunderbolt stand out is that it’s a 16-speed bike. That makes it a rarity among folding bikes. That also means you won’t be working quite so hard to clear those hills on your morning commute.
The biggest pitfall, and it’s pretty minor, is that cables are poorly controlled on the front of the bike. While some slack is necessary for folding, there is a small risk of the cables getting snagged on something.
The 33 x 14 x 26-inch footprint isn’t stellar, but it’s not unforgivable.
1. Dahon Mariner D7
No great surprise here as the Dahon Mariner D7 takes our top spot.
Consistently one of — if not the — best-selling folding bikes, the D7 may be the perfect blend of features. At 26 pounds it’s quite easy to carry without killing yourself.
It has an earned reputation for durability and water resistance. It was designed to be taken on boats, after all.
It’s 26 x 13 x 31-inch footprint makes it nearly as storable as the Urbana. Who are we kidding, though? The D7 had us at 15 seconds of folding time.
The big pitfall with this bike is that the brushed aluminum frame scratches quite easily.
There you have it. Seven folding bikes that cover all the riding bases.
Need a one-speed cruiser for the park? A bike that can take the abuse of a day in the mountains?
There’s a folding bike that meets your needs.
Inflation Zone is all about bikes and helping you find the right one. Got questions or need a bit of extra input on your next bike purchase? Pedal over to the contact us page and drop a line.