We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read More...

Best Folding Bikes

Jeff Balton

Best Folding Bikes

The morning commute to work is the most dreaded part of the workday for many people. Losing valuable time every day by being stuck in traffic for hours is on nobody’s bucket list. That’s why commuting by bicycle is becoming more and more popular in cities around the world.

Folding bicycles are the choice of many people who have said “Enough!” to traffic jams. They’re small, lightweight, versatile, and extremely practical, especially if your commute also includes a train ride.

Depending on which mechanism you use, the best folding bikes out there can be folded in a matter of seconds and taken on trains in peak hours without any questions asked.

 

Different Fold Types

Finger up

Not all folding bikes are made the same. They feature different folding mechanisms, which riders will find more or less practical and suitable for their needs. Here are the three most common types.

  • Half/Mid Folding — This type features a hinge that allows the rider to fold the bike mid-way, horizontally. The hinge is usually operated with a quick-release mechanism which makes it possible to fold the bike very quickly. The other components on the bike often feature quick-release hinges as well so the bike ends up being very compact when folded.
  • Vertical Folding — This folding type also features a hinge midway on the bicycle, but the frame is folded vertically. The handlebar and seat post also have quick-release hinges. This is the most compact type.
  • Triangle Hinge — Triangle hinge bicycles are slightly less common than the first two types. These allow the rear triangle and the rear wheel to be folded forward, under the main tube. Often the handlebar can be folded as well.

 

Foldable Bikes Can Be Classified Into Two Additional Groups

  • Compact Folding Bikes — Compact folding bikes, as their name implies, are usually much smaller than regular bicycles. They feature 16″ or 20″ wheels and become very small when folded, which makes them popular among commuters and travelers.
  • Full-Size Folding Bikes — This type usually has 700c or 26″ wheels, so they are the same size as ordinary bikes. However, they can still be folded quite compactly using quick-release hinges and clamps.

 

Now that we’ve learned the basics, it’s time to choose one model that will fit your needs and make your life easier.

Keep in mind that we update these bikes from time to time. The bicycle market is everchanging (especially now) so some bikes might not be in stock. For example, this list could include a Brompton folding bike (or two), but if they haven’t been in stock for a while, they’re not going to be on this list.

Here are the 10 best foldable bikes of our choice in 2021!

 

Tern Verge D9

Best folding bike with gears

Tern Verge D9

MSRP: $1,149

Tern Verge D9 is a good-looking urban folding bike with numerous attractive features. It has multiple speeds, front and rear disc brakes, a very fast and easy-to-use folding mechanism, and a pretty attractive price. It’s perfect for everyday commuters or those with limited storage space.

  • Frame material: Aluminum/Steel
  • Wheel size: 20″
  • Folding type: Mid-fold
  • Weight: 28 lbs. 3.2 oz.
  • Folded dimensions: 17.3 × 31.5 × 29.1 in

Full review of Tern bikes

No matter if you are a commuter, a leisure rider, or just someone who loves cycling, you’ll definitely find value in Tern Verge D9. It’s reasonably lightweight considering it has an aluminum frame and a steel fork. It’s one of the best 20-inch folding bikes in this price range.

Tern Verge D9 offers exceptional value for urban cyclists who intend to commute on a daily basis and cover miles over a variety of terrains.

To fold the Tern Verge D9, all you need to do is unlock the quick-release on the main tube, fold the bike mid-way, fold the handlebar, and push the saddle downwards. You’ll end up with a folded bicycle that measures 17.3 × 31.5 × 29.1 in. That’s quite compact.

Verge D9 has 9 speeds and a Shimano Acera rear derailleur which makes it suitable for hilly terrain. You can feel free to go downhill on it as well since it comes with both front and rear Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.

The 37 mm wide tires and a Tern Porter saddle will make this bike extremely comfy even on long commutes.

So we can conclude that Tern Verge D9 is one of the best budget folding bikes for urban commuters who want the most value.

Get From REI

 

ZiZZO Campo

Most Affordable Model

Zizzo Campo folding bike

ZiZZO Campo is a fun little folding bike made completely out of aluminum. It weighs just 29 lbs and has a maximum weight capacity of 240 lbs, which makes it an excellent choice for heavier riders. Apart from great components, it offers some exciting extras as well that you won’t find on other choices in this price range.

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Wheel size: 20″
  • Folding type: Mid-fold
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Folded dimensions: H-27″ L-31″ W-12.5

 

ZiZZO Campo is a good-looking foldable bike with an attractive paint job that folds to a compact size of H-27″ x L-31″ x W-12.5″.

ZiZZO Campo is one of the cheapest folding bikes on this list, but it still provides a phenomenal all-around performance for commuters.

The bike can be adjusted to fit riders of different heights and is suitable for riders between 16-75 years of age, according to the company. Therefore, the whole family can ride it.

If you use your folding bike to run errands, you’ll chip the paint if you lean it against stuff all the time. That’s why ZiZZO comes with a kickstand, so you can stop anywhere.

This bike has a 1×7 drivetrain with a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur and a Shimano Revo grip style shifter. These are entry-level Shimano components, but they are lightyears ahead of no-brand components.

Another advantage of the ZiZZO Campo folding bike is front and rear V-brakes that are easy to adjust, maintain, and use. For added safety, there are also wheel-spoke reflectors that will improve your visibility at night.

This bike is the right choice for urban commuters with a focus on practicality!

Get From Amazon

 

Schwinn Loop

Best 20″ Folding Bike

Schwinn Loop

If you want to purchase a folding bicycle that you can quickly fold and easily carry around or store in your car trunk or home, Schwinn Loop is what you’re looking for.

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Wheel size: 20″
  • Folding type: Mid-fold
  • Weight: 33 lbs
  • Folded dimensions: 30 inches x 32 inches x 11 inches.

Full review of Schwinn Bikes

Compact folding bikes are very popular, so you can find many good models out there. This Schwinn folding bike has a compact frame with tiny 20″ wheels. Therefore, you will get a frame that can be folded into tiny dimensions.

Schwinn Loop is available with a folding frame that accommodates riders between 56 to 74 inches tall. Therefore, it is a bike intended for shorter riders who struggle to fit on regular folding bicycles.

Cyclists who have a limited budget but need a quality folding bike for commutes or to run errands will be happy with Schwinn Loop.

This model comes with a 7-speed drivetrain that’s easy to use and maintain. That’s more gears than you’ll ever need if you only ride on flat roads and moderate hills. It’s fitted with Shimano derailleurs which are an excellent entry-level choice.

Schwinn Loop is also perfect for quick urban rides thanks to its lightweight V-brakes. They bring the price down while still giving you great stopping power.

But this bike is practical as well. It sports front and rear fenders and a  rear rack that can carry your personal bags or some bike panniers.

If you want a big-boys’ folding bicycle for commuting or touring, with maximal functionality and decent extras, Schwinn Loop is a foolproof choice.

Get From Amazon

 

Tern GSD S00

One of the Best Folding Electric Bikes

Tern GSD S00

MSRP: $6,199

Tern GSD S00 is a compact electric folding cargo bicycle that doesn’t pack as small as other bikes on this list but it is definitely the most capable. It has an all-aluminum frame that guarantees comfort and a geometry that provides an upright position. Thus, you get the benefits of a full-sized bicycle on a bike with 20″ wheels.

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Wheel size: 20″
  • Folding type: Flat-Fold
  • Weight: 77 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 68.1 × 15.9 × 32.7 in

 

Tern GSD S00 is more expensive than all the other models so far, but it is worth the price, in our opinion.

Tern GSD S00 is equipped with a powerful 250W Bosch Performance Line CX motor with an impressive 75 Nm of torque. It’s paired up with a 500Wh battery, but there’s room for another battery as well, giving you a range of 120+ miles.

Tern GSD S00 is one of the best electric cargo folding bikes you can get if you want to save as much storage space but not sacrifice comfort and performance.

Tern GSD S00 has an Enviolo Cargo Groupset with a 380% continuously variable gear range. This bike has a 440 lbs. weight carrying capacity, so you can carry two kids, an adult passenger, or a lot of groceries.

GSD S00 runs on Schwalbe Super Moto-X tires, which are this company’s best-selling model when it comes to durability. They are 20″ in size, which is great for both speed and comfort.

With all of this in mind, Tern is the perfect choice for riders who want the smallest cargo bike possible but don’t want to sacrifice the experience of riding a full-sized bike.

Get From REI

 

Tern HSD P9

Best Electric Folding Bike

Tern HSD P9

MSRP: $3,499

Tern HSD P9 is the best electric folding bike money can buy. You can now commute farther than ever before and tackle hills you thought were impossible to cycle over.

Tern HSD P9 has a battery range of 29-69 miles, which is probably enough for a few days of cycling for most people between two charges.

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Wheel size: 20″
  • Folding type: Mid-fold
  • Weight: 56 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Folded dimensions: 64.2 × 15.9 × 33.9 in

 

Tern HSD P9 is made around a Hydroformed 6061 aluminum frame. It can be resized in a matter of seconds to fit riders between 4 ft. 11 in. and 6 ft. 5 in. tall. Therefore, the entire family can share this bike and be comfortable with it.

Tern HSD P9 is the ultimate urban commuter. You can quickly fold it and carry it on the train, and you don’t have to sweat and pant thanks to the electric components.

It comes with a 250W Bosch Active Line Plus motor that will assist you until you reach a speed of 20 mph. After that, you’re on your own. The battery has a capacity of 400 Wh and requires 1.5 to 3.5 hours to fully charge.

The other components are quite good as well. HSD P9 has a 1×9 drivetrain with a Shimano Alivio rear derailleur. It’s a high-quality mid-range choice.

Moreover, this is one of the best foldable bikes because of the hydraulic disc brakes. You’ll feel super-confident when riding in hectic traffic with these.

Read More: Best Electric Folding Bikes

Those who are willing to pay a bit more to get both the benefits of folding and electric bikes will find the Tern HSD P9 to be an excellent choice.

Get From REI

 

Tern Vektron D8

Excellent Bosch Electric Components

Tern Vektron D8

 

MSRP: $2,799

Tern Vektron D8 is the best lightweight folding electric bike that we could find. Tern bikes are premium products as they are made with quality materials and components, which guarantees top-level performance and justifies the higher price.

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Wheel size: 20″
  • Folding type: Mid-Fold
  • Weight: 50 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 16.1 × 33.9 × 26.8 in

 

Tern Vektron D8’s frame is made from lightweight aluminum material, whereas the fork is made from more durable steel. Therefore, you get a great balance of weight reduction, comfort, and durability. 

As a folding e-bike, Vektron D8 is powered by a Bafang 250W mid-drive motor that will assist you up to 20 mph. It’s paired with a 400Wh battery that provides a range of 25-56 miles. You’ll finally enjoy riding a bike uphill and against the headwind.

This bike rolls on 20” wheels which are wrapped in Schwalbe Big Apple tires that are 50mm wide. The wheel is as small as you can find on folding bikes and this tire width is pretty comfortable and grippy.

This model also features 8 gears with a Shimano Claris drivetrain and derailleur. The derailleur shifts pretty smoothly and precisely, so you can easily adjust your speed and pedaling cadence.

Riders willing to spend more money on a dependable, lightweight, and practical folding electric bicycle cannot go wrong with the Tern Vektron D8.

When it comes to stopping, you’ll be using a pair of Shimano hydraulic disc brakes which offer more than enough stopping power for casual riders and commuters. They’re also easy to adjust and maintain.

All in all, if you want a classy electric folding bicycle to last you a lifetime, Tern Vektron D8 is a very good choice.

Get From REI

 

Rad Power RadMini 4

Best Foldable Electric Fat Tire Bike

RadMini 4 & RadMini Step-Thru 2

MSRP: $1,499

Rad Power‘s RadMini 4 has it all! It is foldable, it is electric, and it has super-wide tires that can go anywhere. Therefore, it is the one bike on this list that gives you the most possibilities and the most freedom when you go out for a ride.

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Wheel size: 20″
  • Folding type: Mid-fold
  • Weight: 67 lbs
  • Folded dimensions: 41″ x 22″ x 28″

 

RadMini 4 is one of the models from Rad Power’s RadMini line of bikes. This is an electric aluminum model with a suspended fork and quite capable 20″ wheels. It can be folded very quickly by using the mid-fold quick release clamp and folding the handlebar.

Who says that folding bikes are toys that are only good for perfectly smooth city streets? This is a rad bike with a spring fork with 60 mm of travel that can tackle off-road terrain.

Rad Power RadMini 4 is proof that folding bicycles can be capable of much more than simple and short everyday commutes.

It has a powerful 750W geared hub motor and a 672 Wh battery. It charges in 5-6h and provides a range of 25-45+ miles. The motor is operated with a Twist Grip Throttle.

Related: All Best Mountain Bikes

RadMini 4 rolls on Kenda K-Rad tires that are 3.3″ wide, which is the widest we’ve seen so far.

The gearing is solved with a Shimano Altus drivetrain that shifts quite smoothly through all 7 gears. It’s a low-level groupset, but it offers decent performance for beginner riders.

Other noteworthy specs include mechanical disc brakes, a kickstand, and front and rear fenders.

The RadMini 4 is a complete package for anyone looking for the best folding bicycle.

Get From RadPowerBikes.com

 

Engwe EP-2 Pro

Best Cheap Folding E-BikeEngwe EP-2 Pro

Engwe EP-2 Pro is one of the most affordable folding electric models we could find out there. It’s by far one of the best folding bikes in 2021 if you’re looking for good components that don’t break the bank.

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Wheel size: 20″ x 4″
  • Folding type: 3-step
  • Weight capacity: 330 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 30″ x 32″

 

The Engwe EP-2 Pro folding bicycle is made around an aluminum frame that is extremely easy to fold and unfold. It features a 3-step folding design, so the folded dimensions are just 30″ x 32″.

Moreover, this folding e-bike has a 750W rear hub motor that will assist you up to 28 mph with a throttle or pedal assist. The 615Wh battery ensures a 45+ mile range, which is plenty for commuters and recreational rides.

Also, it features tiny 20cm wheels with grippy 4″ fat tires. The bike has a maximum weight capacity of 330 lbs., so it’s suitable for heavy riders as well.

Engwe EP-2 Pro has powerful electronics, fat tires, and a foldable aluminum frame, making it suitable for urban and off-road rides.

EP-2 Pro also boasts a 7-speed drivetrain, mechanical disc brakes, front suspension fork, lights, fenders, a rear rack, and a kickstand. Therefore, you get great value for your money with all of these accessories.

If style matters to you and you want a bike with the craziest design out there, we don’t see a better choice than Engwe EP-2 Pro.

Get From Engwe Bikes

 

Razor EcoSmart

Bonus! Best Electric Scooter

Razor EcoSmart

We’ve shown you 9 of the best folding bikes money can buy out there. It’s time for a bonus! An electric scooter, ideal for daily urban commutes to work, school, or to the shops. Even though it’s small, it has a maximum load capacity of 220 lbs!

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Wheel size: 16″
  • Folding Type: None
  • Weight: 65.3 lbs
  • Motor & Battery: 500W, 36V Lead-Acid, 12-mile range

 

The Razor EcoSmart electric scooter was invented to tackle the problem of rush hour traffic and carrying stuff around the town in a cheap and fun way.

This scooter has no pedals and cannot be operated by the power of your legs. All you need to do is engage the throttle and develop a speed of up to 18 mph.

Razor EcoSmart has a durable steel frame with a wooden platform that will support your feet and a large rear rack with a basket to carry all of your necessities.

This scooter has a 500W motor and a 36V battery that provides you with a range of 12 miles. It is fully charged in just a few hours and you can charge it in a standard power outlet at home or even at Starbucks if need be.

It’s hard to believe, but this tiny package also contains a rear disc brake that stops the 16″ wheels on a dime.

If you don’t feel like pedaling at all and just want to get from point A to point B while escaping heavy traffic, Razor EcoSmart will surely meet those needs.

Get From Amazon

 

B’Twin Tilt 500

Cheap Commuter

Tilt Folding Bike

MSRP: $349

B’Twin Tilt 500 is one of the best geared folding bicycles decathlon has to offer. It’s among the cheapest ones as well, with a price tag of just $350. It folds super-quickly and super-small.

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Wheel size: 20″
  • Folding type: Mid-fold
  • Weight: 28.7 lbs
  • Folded dimensions: L/H/W: 30.7″ x 26″ x 15″

 

B’Twin is a popular bike brand that is exclusively sold by Decathlon. They’ve made a name for themselves by making quality affordable bikes for casual riders. Tilt 500 is that type of bicycle as well.

B’Twin Tilt 500 packs a very powerful punch considering how affordable it is. It comes with a lightweight aluminum frame and fork available in elegant green or blue colors. The weight of the bike is 28.7 lbs, so it’s not the lightest, but you can still easily carry it in one hand and your suitcase in the other.

Tilt 500 is rolling on 20″ wheels, which is the most popular size for compact folding bikes and has semi-slick tires that are perfect for city streets.

The bike folds quickly thanks to quick release hinges on the main tube and the handlebar. Once folded, its dimensions are small, so you can easily fit it anywhere you want.

In addition to that, Tilt 500 also requires almost no complicated maintenance. It uses a 7-speed drivetrain and front and rear v-brakes to stop.

If you want a folding bike that’s as simple, lightweight, and as cheap as they get, B’Twin Tilt 500 is the right choice for you. You’ll halve your commute time without halving your budget.

Get From Decathlon

 

FAQ

Frequently asked questions Are foldable bikes worth it?

Foldable bikes are excellent for various types of riders and commuters. If you are using the train on your way to work or want to save on storage space at home, a folding bike will be perfect for you. They also make portability stress-free.

How do I choose a folding bike?

When choosing the best folding bike, you need to consider the different folding types mentioned above, like vertical folding mechanisms.

It’s also important to consider the weight, which is greatly determined by the wheels and frame, whether for ease when transporting. You should also consider the bike’s components in case you plan on upgrading in the future.

Can folding bikes go uphill?

You can tackle going up small hills if you have a folding bike with multiple speeds and large/hybrid tires.  Other factors that determine the ease of riding your folding bike uphill include the folding bike’s weight, the size of tires, and what shape you are in when cycling.

Are folding bikes fun to ride?

These bikes are fun to ride because they are lightweight, take up less space, and attract the right kind of attention when riding.  Folding bikes are easy to transport and acceptable in most places because they don’t take too much space.

Is a folding bike harder to ride?

Folding bikes are not harder to ride than regular bikes. They are just easier to store. Some folding bikes feature gears with better speed for various terrains, but you might have to spend more on these models.

Are folding bikes good for beginners?

Folding bikes are great for beginners as long as you understand the folding mechanism on the bike you choose. Beginners will find these bikes more practical, easy to transport, and store for their first bike than other standard models.

Are folding bikes heavy?

Most folding bikes are light because of their small wheels and frame. Their weight ranges between 18lbs to 35lbs, but this can also depend on the size of the wheels and the type of frame on your bike.

18 Comments

  • Aida says:

    Hi! I am Asian 162cm height. I’m 50 years and 165 kg weight. Looking for the best foldable bike for me to cycle every weekend for fitness. I will ride up and down the hills. What is the best bike for my size and the height for my seat. Please advise. Thx🥰

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Aida,
      Although Brompton and Tern are very popular these days, it really helps to get a bike that suits your needs as a rider. Get a bike that has gears. I would suggest a handlebar that encourages upright riding.

  • Paul Allred says:

    Hey Jeff,
    I really just have a question. A friend gave me a folding bike and I haven’t been able to find any information
    about this bike it’s a Genesis GCU Urban Utility Bike from genbikes.com. If you could help with any knowledge I
    would be most grateful.
    Thank You,
    Paul

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Paul,
      This is the first time I’ve heard this bike but upon Google search I found these:

      Is it a good bike brand? Answer: The Genesis V2100 is designed as a great choice not only for beginners but for skilled bikers as well. It was made of a variety of low-cost materials to keep costs down. In fact, it is considered one of the most affordable mountain bikes in its class.

      Manufacturer: Founded in 2006, Genesis is a UK bike brand manufacturing road, urban, youth and mountain models. Genesis is distributed by Sportline UK which is owned by H Young Holdings.

      I hope that helps.

  • K.Geen says:

    Can you do a special about full size (28 inch) folding bikes?

    • Jeff Balton says:

      hi K.Green,

      Unfortunately folding bikes belong to ‘one size fits all’ category. I will see what I can do in future posts 😉 Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Marc says:

    Why is Moulton not on the list for best folding bike

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Marc,
      Moulton is one of the best folding bikes in the market. But we can’t review something we haven’t tested yet. But be on the lookout for future reviews. Cheers!

  • Elysa says:

    I like Dahon and Brompton bike. Where can you test drive a Dahon in NYC. I know NY has an office store in the Village for Brompton so you can get A+ service, but I want to compare Dahon (or where can you find in NYC) a store that specializes in folding bikes. Recommendation appreciated as I want to test drive before purchasing. Female 5’3”

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Elysa,
      Dahon has a store locator. You can navigate the cursor and focus on NYC. They have many stores and you can choose one near you. Let me know if this is helpful.

  • Chris Van Dyke says:

    I went to the Decathlon website to look at the Twin Tilt 500, and the only one I saw had 14 inch wheels. It was the only one I could find.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Chris,
      There are things you need to consider:
      1. Smaller wheels means portability.
      2. They are too responsive and can be a problem with bumps.
      3. It doesn’t really matter because all folding bikes are meant to be portable anyway.

  • Mary Jordan says:

    Why did you not review DAHON foldable bikes ??? they are lighter than any of the bikes you mentioned and excellent value.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hi Mary, unfortunately, we can’t include every single bike brand out there as there are too many. We have to make a cut somewhere. But we’ll be updating these reviews in the future, so we’ll consider including them. 🙂

    • R says:

      They have non existent warranty and don’t give a f*** about their customers post-purchase. Avoid them

  • Deb says:

    Teresa
    I just got a Zizzo Via but they have other models too. I am your stature and I gotta tell you that I love how sitting on and handling the Via feels. It is a small frame and a blast to ride. Plus you can toss it in your car easily and ride anywhere. No bike rack needed. Check out their website. I had a Townie and it felt too big for me. Long and tall and took up a lot of room. Great bike but I am Zizzo hooked.

  • Teresa Maddox says:

    I am only 5’2″ I have fallen off several bikes, but I love riding. I am also older and overweight. I would love a bike I can get on and ride without being afraid of falling over. Do you have any suggestions? I don’t need anything fancy or too tall.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      Hey Teresa! It’s good that you’re not giving up, practice makes perfect! How about Electra Townie 7D? It has Townie’s Flat Foot Technology, which puts you lower on the bike and gives you more stability. 🙂

Leave a Reply


Name (required)

Email (required)

Website