HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR FOLDING BIKE?
Folding bikes have become increasingly popular in the urban cycling market and for travel purposes. Major manufacturers are continuously developing more sophisticated models, while smaller brands offer niche options.
As a versatile mode of everyday transportation, folding bikes allow riders to easily switch from cycling to other modes of transportation such as buses and trains. They are also ideal for travelers who want to explore beyond their point of origin, whether by boat, car, train, or motorhome.
Choosing the right folding bike can be a daunting task, given the wide range of options available in stores, supermarkets, and online. To make the best decision, one should consider the intended purpose of the bike, how often it will be used, and how often it will be folded and unfolded.
Ultimately, the decision should be based on personal needs and preferences, and potential buyers should take the time to test out different models before making a purchase.
If you’re considering a folding bike purchase, it’s important to understand the key criteria that will help you choose the best model for your needs. Since folding bikes cannot excel at every type of riding, it’s essential to find a bike that strikes the right balance for your intended use.
To help you choose, we’ve identified several key criteria that you should consider:
By assessing your riding needs and comparing them against these criteria, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect folding bike to suit your needs.
Folding bikes have come a long way since their invention in the 1970s, with significant advances in functionality and technology. Modern folding bikes feature improved folding systems, greater compactness, and enhanced rider comfort.
As with any bicycle purchase, it’s important to test ride one or more folding bike models before making a commitment. Trying out at least two different models allows you to assess the position, performance, and comfort under normal riding conditions.
Additionally, you can further improve comfort and ergonomics by making specific adjustments or swapping out certain components, such as the saddle or stem. By doing so, you can customize your folding bike to your specific needs and preferences.
The folding bike has been in existence since the late 1800s and has continued to evolve with each passing year. Some well-established brands like Brompton have been in the industry for decades, while newer ones have utilized the patents and techniques of other manufacturers to create their own product ranges.
Many of these brands continue to file patents to safeguard the inventions of their research and development departments. While some brands still manufacture their bikes on the European continent, most have outsourced production to factories in Asia.
Choosing between a folding mini-bike or a larger 24-inch folding bike will result in different qualities and suitability for specific purposes.
Compactness is influenced by the frame size and wheel diameter, which can range from 12 to 26 inches depending on the model. Smaller wheels offer greater compactness but can compromise stability and rider comfort. The risk of steering issues and instability increases as the wheel size decreases.
Choosing the appropriate transmission for a folding bike depends on the intended use. Available options for folding bike transmissions include external derailleur, integrated hub gears, a combination of external derailleur and integrated rear hub gears, and an integrated hub with continuous gear change.
Specialist bicycle operators can modify the initial transmission to best suit the user’s needs.
After defining the selection criteria and positioning the cursor to meet the cyclist’s expectations, other questions arise: where to purchase a folding bike and what budget to allocate for the purchase?
The average budget for a folding bike in the USA was $300 in 2016, which is similar to the price of a standard city bike. However, it’s important to note that bikes in this price range may not be very durable.
Investing in a folding bike that costs less than $800 is not recommended for daily use. A higher budget allows for a more sustainable and durable bike that can withstand wear and tear over time. Reputable brands also offer better warranties and keep essential spare parts in stock for easy repairs.
Specialist bicycle shops are experiencing strong growth in sales of folding bikes, which suggests that consumers are willing to invest in higher-quality products.
Folding bikes can be purchased from different sources such as specialized bicycle dealers, supermarkets, the internet, and even from second-hand markets. Each source has its advantages and disadvantages.
Buying a folding bike from a bicycle shop provides the advantage of a wide selection of folding bike models to choose from, personalized advice, the opportunity to test one or more bikes, training on folding and unfolding, a maintenance and repair shop, availability of spare parts, and long-term customer support.
The internet has become a popular source for buying folding bikes, as logistics are simplified compared to traditional bicycles. However, there is a risk of receiving a bike with technical problems that were not identified by the seller. Before buying, it is important to research the seller’s reputation and return policies.
Large sports stores also sell folding bikes. While handling is often possible, it may not be possible to test ride the bike, and after-sales service may be limited. Therefore, it is crucial to inspect the quality of the components and the bending points.
Classified ad websites and bicycle fairs can be good sources for buying used folding bikes. Bicycle associations often organize such fairs, and they may offer to assess the bike’s condition beforehand to ensure that the price is reasonable.
Overall, it is important to research and evaluate all available options before buying a folding bike.
We reviewed 10 models and 8 brands of folding bikes including Brompton, Dahon, Giant, Strida, BTwin, Riese & Muller, Mobiky, and Gitane to compare all the essential criteria for making a choice.
All the relevant criteria for folding bikes were considered, and each bike was tested based on these different aspects. This testing revealed that there is no one perfect folding bike: each model has its own strengths and weaknesses, making it important to clearly define your needs before making a purchase. This will enable you to choose the best folding bike for your specific use.
Furthermore, it’s beneficial to have all the necessary documents of the bicycle, such as the invoice, warranty certificate, instructions, and guidelines for using the bicycle and its various technological components, to ensure optimal value.