Best Folding Bikes – (2021) Review

Anthony
| Last Updated: March 19, 2021

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Folding bikes are a great solution to limited space. Whether you live in a small apartment, rent a room, ride public transportation with your bike, or just like to have a compact way to store and carry your bike, a folding bike is a great choice. 

There are many out there on the market. So which one should you choose? We’ve reviewed several of the top options out there and provided information on how to choose one for your usage. 

Our Top Picks for Folding Bikes

  • Step-through frame folds
  • 7-speed twist shifter
  • Linear pull brakes
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  • Lightweight
  • 7-speed derailleur
  • Adjustable stem
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  • Best for the Money
  • 20 inch
  • 6 speed shifter
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Comparison of the Best Folding Bikes

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Has lightweight step-through frame folds
  • Features a 7-speed twist shifter
  • Front and rear linear pull brakes
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  • Made from lightweight aluminum alloy
  • Shimano tourney 7-speed derailleur
  • Features an adjustable stem
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  • Best for the Money
  • 20 inch folding bicycle
  • Shimano 6 speed shifter and derailleur
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  • Best Folding Mountain Bike
  • Has a very fast and powerful stopping power
  • High tensile steel folding frame
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  • Best Full Size Folding Bike
  • Features 26 inch wheels
  • Quick removable front handle stem
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  • Best Folding Electric Bike Under $1000
  • Has an aluminum alloy frame
  • Has a 250 watt hub motor
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  • Best Folding Bike For Touring
  • Smooth riding and stable fork
  • Has an aluminum single-fork rim
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  • Best Lightweight Folding Bicycle
  • Folding electric mountain bike
  • 26 inch magnesium alloy integrated wheels
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  • Best Folding Exercise Bike
  • Has a space-saving design
  • Supports up to 300 pounds of weight
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What is a Folding Bike? 

A bike is a fast, convenient, and eco-friendly answer to your morning commute. If you are short on space, though, this can seem like a pipedream. Fortunately for you, folding bikes provide the ideal solution to this problem. 

Folding bikes are what they sound like: bicycles that fold for easy storage. They often take up little more space than a briefcase when collapsed. You get all the advantages of a bike without worrying about the weight, so there is no stress about lugging it up 15 flights of stairs or hanging it over the dinner table.

Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike

How Does a Folding Bike Work? 

Folding bikes are a convenient and portable cycling option. The days when folding bikes were a gimmick are long gone. There are now hundreds of good quality, innovative folding bikes on the market, catering to your every need.

The basic idea of a folding bike is that the frame, wheels, and handlebars collapse, making the bike easy to store or transport. 

The major types of folding mechanisms include triangle hinge, breakaway, and half-fold designs. The bike either disassembles in a few critical points or collapses down on a series of hinges for storage.

Quick Take - Best Folding Bikes

Skip the review - here's a snapshot of the best folding bikes:

  1. Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike
  2. EuroMini ZiZZO Via 27lb Folding Bike
  3. unYOUsual U Transformer 20" Folding City Bike

Review of the Best Folding Bikes

If you are tired of lugging your bike up the stairs or trying to squeeze past your bike in the doorway, never fear. A folding bike is one way to make your life easier.

There are hundreds of high-quality folding bikes on the market. We did the heavy lifting and put together a list of the best folding bikes out there.

Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike, 20-inch Wheels, 7-Speed Drivetrain, Rear Carry Rack, Carrying Bag, Multiple Colors

pros

  • Looks great
  • 20-inch frame
  • 7-speed shifter
  • Durable construction
  • Great folding mechanism

cons

  • No suspension
  • Heavy to carry for long distances

What Recent Buyers Report

As we expected, feedback for the Schwinn Loop is overwhelmingly positive. People are particularly impressed with the seven-speed shifter and the easy-to-fold design. Buyers have reported that this bike rides smoothly and comfortably for miles. In terms of value for money, everyone is impressed!

Why it Stands Out to Us

Initially, the Schwinn Loop folding bike stood out to us for its versatility, style, and size. It is one of the best looking bikes on the market, and its step-through frame makes it easy to mount. We loved the built in-rear rack, which makes carting home groceries so much easier.

This bike is a dream for a commuter. The Schwinn rides smoothly and gets excellent traction. Plus, the folding mechanism is one of the best that we have seen. When collapsed, the bike runs about 29.5” x 29” x 19”, making it very easy to stash away. 

Bottom Line

When all is said and done, the Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike is the best folding bike we reviewed. It is sleek, durable, portable, and very affordable. For us, the Schwinn is everything a foldable bicycle should be.

IDS Home unYOUsual U Transformer 20' Folding City Bike Bicycle 6 Speed Shimano Gear Steel Frame Mudguard Rear Carrier Front Rear Wheel Reflectors Silver

pros

  • Magnet catch
  • 240lb capacity
  • Adjustable stem
  • 20-inch frame size
  • Lightweight design 

cons

  • No suspension
  • Warranty is not great

What Recent Buyers Report

Buyer reports are very encouraging. Customer feedback indicates that this bike is lightweight and easy to fold. And, perhaps most important, it’s fun to ride. The one major downside? Some customers are unhappy with the warranty options.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This folding bike stands out because it has an impressive innovative design. The EuroMini has a seven-speed shifter. Plus, it features a stainless steel cassette to encourage effortless climbing and gliding.

Everything on this bike is streamlined, which makes for easy storage. The pedals even fold in on themselves to shave off those few extra inches of storage room. The rims and tires fold in, too, held in place with a reliable magnet clasp. 

This bike looks great, too. Its jet black and dark red finish make it a stunning rig. 

Bottom Line

This bike is fun to ride and has an innovative design that is quite impressive. The seven-speed shifter makes it an excellent choice for a variety of terrain. The one downside is the warranty. Make sure you read the fine print well before committing.

EuroMini ZiZZO Via 27lb Folding Bike-Lightweight Aluminum Frame Genuine Shimano 7-Speed 20-Inch Folding Bike with Fenders

pros

  • Rear v-brake
  • 6-speed shifter
  • 20-inch wheel size
  • Quick-release handlebars
  • Lightweight aluminum frame

cons

  • Weighs 32lbs
  • Does not clamp together when folded

What Recent Buyers Report

In general, the unYOUsual U Transformer receives high praise from reviewers. People like that it folds easily and is almost entirely pre-assembled. It is also very easily adjusted, allowing multiple riders to share the same bike. At 32 pounds, many buyers find the weight to be a little excessive. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

The value is what drew up to this bike. In this price range, the unYOUsual U Transformer is the best of the best. One of the only major drawbacks is its 32-pound weight. To be fair, only a few pounds more than the average folding bike. It is the best bike for the money, and a couple of pounds is a small price to pay. That said, a few pounds can feel like a lot more when carrying it up the stairs. 

The Transformer comes with six speeds, which is more than enough for day-to-day commuting. To top it off, it comes with a built-in rear rack and two solid fenders over the tires

Bottom Line

For the price point, you cannot do much better than the unYOUsual U Transformer. This bike is practical, easy to store, and comfortable. In terms of value for money, we believe that the Transformer is the best bike on the market. 

Best Folding Mountain Bike:
Xspec 21-Speed Folding Mountain Bike

Xspec 26' 21-Speed Folding Mountain Bike for Adult

pros

  • Steel frame
  • Disc brakes
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Front and rear suspension
  • Fully-featured mountain bike

cons

  • Large when folded
  • Weight capacity of 220lbs

What Recent Buyers Report

Reviews are very encouraging when it comes to the Xspec 21-Speed. As the name suggests, this bike has a full 21-speed gear system, which is as good as it sounds. Buyers loved ripping up trails.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This mountain bike wowed us. The steel frame is durable and rugged. We were concerned about the additional weight that such a solid frame could add, but our fears were unfounded. For all the features this bike packs in, it still weighs just 30 pounds. This one is a little heavier than your average folding bike. But, you have to remember that it has 21-speeds, front and rear suspension, disc brakes, and sturdy front and back fenders.

For the trail rider who needs to save on storage space or wants a little more portability, this bike is a find. 

Bottom Line

We loved this bike. It is a fully-featured mountain bike with front and rear suspension. But, it maintains portability due to its folding mechanism. Though it is a little bigger than some folding bikes, it is still far more compact than your average mountain bike.

Best Full-Size Folding Bike:
Columba 26 inch Folding Bike

Columba 26 inch Folding Bike w. 18 Speed Black (SP26S_BLK)

pros

  • Alloy front
  • Steel kickstand
  • 18-speed shifter
  • 26-inch wheel size
  • Sturdy steel frame

cons

  • 33lbs
  • Weight capacity 200lbs

What Recent Buyers Report

We read a lot of rave reviews for this bike. Most buyers chose it because they needed to save on storage space or had to lug their bike on public transit but did not want to give up a full-size frame. On all fronts, the Columba delivers. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

We set out looking for a full-sized bike that could deliver all of the advantages of a regular folding bike. We thought it was an impossible task. Then, we discovered the Columba 26-inch Folding Bike. 

As the name suggests, the Columba is a full 26-inch bike. It has 18 speeds, a steel frame, and v-brakes. When collapsed, it can fit into a 38” x 14” x 29” space, meaning it would easily fit into the trunk of a car. Though it weighs a little more than your average folding bike, it still comes in under 35 pounds. 

Bottom Line

This bike is top of the line. If you want a full-sized folding bike, look no further. The Columba is a powerhouse. With 18 speeds and 26-inch wheels, you might forget that you are riding a folding bike until you need to collapse it.

Best Folding Electric Bike Under 1000:
Jetson Bolt Full Throttle Folding E-Bike

Jetson Bolt Folding E-Bike Full Throttle Electric Bicycle with LCD Display

pros

  • 250-watt motor
  • Very affordable
  • 14-inch wheel size
  • Supports up to 250lbs
  • 5.2AH Lithium-Ion Battery

cons

  • 15.5mph max speed
  • 17-mile battery range

What Recent Buyers Report

Generally, buyers are very impressed with the Jetson Bolt Full Throttle. It is cheap, fun, and gets the job done. This bike is good quality, handles terrain well, and the charge seems to last longer than advertised. That said, some buyers reported concerns about the lifespan of the bike.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This folding bike stood out to us due to its great value and sturdy design. Despite the low price, this bike is a powerful little machine. Its 250-watt motor pairs with an easy-turn twist throttle and rear disc brakes.

We also love how compact this bike is. At 40" x 20" x 37" of lightweight aluminum, the e-bike retains its portability, which is assisted by a built-in carry handle. 

The bike looks phenomenal, too. Its gently curved motor casing and pipe frame with a matte black finish give it a unique style.

Bottom Line

The Jetson Bolt Full Throttle is the best folding e-bike under $1000 we came across. While not quite as impressive as top-shelf e-bikes, this is a great, compact, and powerful ride. At this price point, you will not find anything better.  

Best Folding Bike For Touring:
Dahon Folding Bikes MARINER

Dahon Folding Bikes 2019 MARINER, 20 In. Wheel Size

pros

  • Great value
  • 8-Speed Shifter
  • 20-inch wheel size
  • Folds up very small
  • Lightweight aluminum frame

cons

  • Difficult assembly
  • Can be touchy when adjusting

What Recent Buyers Report

For the most part, feedback is positive. People are particularly impressed with the folding mechanism and easy storage. Buyers also found the bike smooth and comfortable over long distances. The only major gripe is that the initial assembly can take some time!

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Dahon Mariner's touring capabilities caught our eye. These include a rear rack, eight-speed shifter, sturdy fenders, and lightweight aluminum frame. 

If you are on the road and need to carry your bike across a stream or through a ditch, then you will have no issues with the Mariner. This bike is quick to fold and takes up very little space. Despite its wide range of features, the bike is light and very portable.

What sold us on Dahon’s bike, though, is its smooth, comfortable feel, no matter the distance you are traveling. 

Bottom Line

The Mariner is a reliable and sturdy bike. It is portable, easy to store, and travels well over long distances. If you are looking for a bike to take on tour, we recommend checking out the Dahon Folding Mariner.

Best Lightweight Folding Bicycle:
ANCHEER Folding Electric Mountain Bike

ANCHEER Electric Bike Folding Electric Commuting Bike/Mountain Bike with 26' Magnesium Alloy Integrated Wheel, Premium Front and Rear Suspension and 21 Speed Gears

pros

  • Disc brakes
  • 3 mode system
  • 250-watt motor
  • Aluminum frame
  • 26-inch wheel size

cons

  • Weighs 53lbs
  • Not as compact 

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers are very impressed with this bike. In particular, buyers love that this bike includes 21-speed options on top of its electric capabilities. It has an impressive suspension, long battery life, and a comfortable saddle. Plus, it is super fun to ride.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bike jumped out to us initially because of its stylish appearance. The slim frame carries a little motor along the right side of the bike, which takes up very little space. The wheels feature wide, angled spokes that look awesome whether the bicycle is still or in motion. This bike is not all looks, though. The quality and construction are both top of the line. 

We also really loved the powerful motor. It reaches high speeds with ease and cruises comfortably along without losing momentum. Plus, it complements a full 21-speed shifter. That means that this bike can handle just about any hill or trail.

Bottom Line

Here is a fast, fun, and fully-featured bike. We love how slim and light it looks despite its 21 speeds and built-in electric motor. If you want a lightweight folding electric bike, we highly recommend the Ancheer mountain bike.

Exerpeutic Folding Magnetic Upright Exercise Bike with Pulse, 31.0' L x 19.0' W x 46.0' H (1200)

pros

  • LCD Display
  • 8-level tension
  • Space-saving design
  • Supports up to 300lbs
  • 55.5-inch maximum height

cons

  • Not entirely upright
  • Lengthy assemble process

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent buyers found this piece to be great on space and very simple to use. It is sturdy and durable with an easily adjustable height, meaning that the whole family can get active and fit. When folded, most buyers report that it stores neatly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This exercise bike stood out to us based upon its space-saving design, simplicity, and numerous features. We loved how small this bike is when folded. If you are short on space but want to start building up that home gym, this is where you should start!

With eight levels of tension, this bike lets you quickly adjust your workout for various intensities. The Exerpeutic also features a handy three crank system for smooth and consistent pedaling. Its LCD is easy to read and includes all of the vital information: heart rate, calories burned, distance, and speed.

Bottom Line

As far as folding exercises go, the Exerpeutic Magnetic Folding Bike is top of the line. With folded dimensions of 22” x 20” x 55.5”, this bike takes up very little space in your living room and is easy to store. This one is our top pick for an exercise bike!

Best Folding Electric Bike:
SWAGTRON Swagcycle EB5 Series

pros

  • 250-watt motor
  • Removable battery
  • Built-in carry handle
  • Pre-assembled for convenience
  • Very portable 14-inch wheel size

cons

  • 15-mile battery range
  • Extra battery sold separately

What Recent Buyers Report

For the most part, feedback from recent buyers is positive. As far as e-bikes go, this one is light and easy to carry, even for a smaller person. Although this bike is a single speed, riders are happy with its performance and the ease of their trips. Negative feedback focuses on the short battery life and tire pressure. 

Why it Stands Out to Us

With a sleek black finish and an aerodynamic design, this bike looks great. As advertised, it rides even better. 

Right away, the Swagtron SWAGCYCLE stood out to us for its portability. With an e-bike, the danger tends to be that the weight counteracts the compact nature of folding bikes. However, the SWAGCYCLE’s small size means that you get all the bonuses of an electric bike without losing the portability of a folding bike. To show just how portable it is, Swagtron even includes a built-in carry handle for convenience.

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that the Swagtron SWAGCYCLE is the best e-bike on the market. It is compact, powerful, and stylish. As far as we are concerned, this is the bike you should check out first if you want a folding e-bike.

How Do I Choose a Folding Bike? 

Choosing the right folding bike depends on several factors. First, you need to think about your needs. What are you likely to use the bike for? Do you need to take it on public transit? Do you need to store it under the bed? Here are a few factors to consider:

Size 

Size is likely one of the first things to think about when choosing a bike. There are two variables here: frame size and wheel size. Wheels range from 16 to 24 inches. Frames also vary considerably. But, most folding bikes have a one-size-fits-all mentality. Most are adjustable and feature telescopic seats.

unYOUsual U Transformer 20" Folding City Bike

Folding Method

Here is an essential factor for both storage and transportation. As we mentioned earlier, folding bikes feature a wide range of folding mechanisms. The primary methods are breakaway, horizontal fold, swivel fold, and triangle hinge. These all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Suspension

The suspension is not as important when it comes to storage. That said, make sure that your bike not only sits well but rides well, too. Think about where you plan to ride. Does your city have a lot of hills? How are the road conditions? 

Types of Folding Bikes 

These days, there are an almost endless amount of folding bikes available. To make things easier, we decided to do a quick breakdown of a few of the more popular folding styles for these bikes. 

Horizontal Fold

Horizontal folds usually feature a hinge in the middle of the frame that enables the rider to fold the bike in half horizontally. This style pairs the main fold with adjustable seats and handlebars.

Vertical Fold

The vertical fold usually features two hinges: one along with the mainframe and one on the seat stay. These hinges enable the rider to fold the bike in half vertically, leaving the wheels parallel. 

Triangle Hinge

This style features a hinge in the middle of the frame that allows the back of the bike to fold sideways, locking parallel to the front half. Some of these bikes also feature cable action folding.

Breakaway

This type of folding bike generally features couplets and clamps paired with folding mechanisms that quickly and easily disassemble for storage. The bicycle then locks together as a small, compact piece. 

Magnet

Magnet folding bikes are not as prevalent as the other models listed here.

These bikes fold vertically at a break-point somewhere along the frame. This point is secured by magnets, which lock the frame together when folded and unfolded.   

Jetson Bolt Full Throttle Folding E-Bike

Folding Bike vs Regular Bike - Comparison Overview 

In a lot of ways, folding bikes are not that different from regular bicycles. Instead, they provide a compact, portable alternative to a full-sized bicycle. There are some differences - both advantages and disadvantages - that are worth considering. 

We put together a quick overview and comparison of the two.

Folding Bike

The primary advantage of a folding bike is its portability and size. Folding bikes are compact, easy to store, and easy to carry. 

Another advantage of the folding bike is that you can take it on public transit. If you have a long stretch on your commute, it is no issue to fold your bike up and take it on the bus or train.

Many folding bikes also offer e-bike options, providing electric support to your ride!

Regular Bike

Though folding bikes are incredibly convenient, there are a few advantages to a good old fashioned bicycle. 

For one, a bike can be a simple thing. With fewer parts on the frame, there are fewer things that can go wrong. Sometimes it is nice not to worry about hinges or clamps. 

Regular bikes also offer a lot of options. Folding bikes come in a wide range of shapes and styles. But you might want to stick to a regular bicycle if you are tearing up mountain trails or racing across France.

Conclusion 

Folding bikes are convenient and portable. They have been around since the 80s, which gives them a good forty years of experience when it comes to making life a little easier. After surveying the market, we concluded that the Schwinn Loop is the best folding bike as of this writing.

People Also Ask

Most people have experience riding regular bikes. Folding bikes are unfamiliar to the majority of the population. As a result, it can be tricky to know who to turn to with questions. 

We are here to make things a little easier for you by answering a few common questions.

Are Folding Bikes Good for Long Rides?

Yes. Folding bikes are usually stable and comfortable. As mentioned, there is a wide range of folding bikes on the market. Some designs are short, quick commutes, and others for long hauls! Make sure to think about how far you plan to be ride when making your decision.

ANCHEER Folding Electric Mountain Bike

Can Folding Bikes Go Uphill?

Yes. Folding bikes can go uphill - they function much the same as a regular bicycle. Folding bikes that have a lot of speeds and gears are better suited to steep hills. There are even folding fat bikes for off-road trails! 

Are Foldable Bikes Safe?

Yes. Folding bikes are very safe, assuming they are from a reputable brand. These bikes go through the same kind of safety testing as any other bicycle. The hinges, clamps, and locks are all weight rated and tested for resistance to be sure that they will not fail while you ride!

How Do You Store a Folding Bike?

Storage is one of the big perks of folding bikes! These convenient little rigs fold up for easy storage. People stash their folding bikes in closets, sheds, under the bed, or even up against the wall. With their small size, it is not hard to find a place to put them.

How Much Weight Can a Folding Bike Support?

Once again, this depends upon the bike. Different models have different weight capacities. Take a look at the model you want to see its weight limit. That said, most of these bikes can carry the same weight as a regular bicycle. 

How Fast Can a Folding Bike Go?

The top speed on folding bikes varies. Generally, folding e-bikes cap out somewhere around 20mph because they run on a 250-watt motor. Manual bikes can come with a range of gears, meaning that you can often work up some pretty impressive speeds.

Anthony

"I'm Linda's husband. We got married in 2018 and are loving life together. We met in one of my many competitive races and hit it off right away. Our best dates are when we're riding down a trail enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Colorado weather. I enjoy writing about everything pertaining to bikes. "