Best Folding Bikes

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Dahon Mariner D8
Test Winner: Dahon Mariner D8
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Have you ever tried to bring your bike on a crowded train? Or to stuff your metal bike in the trunk of a car, only to find out you’ll have to remove the wheels to close the trunk? The answer to all of these issues is the folding bike. These bikes can be folded down (sometimes) as small as the two wheels together. They are great for travel and easy to store. Whether you are using the bike as a mode of transportation, enjoyment, or sport, being able to bring it with you everywhere, despite its size, is a joyful convenience.

Standout Picks

Dahon Mariner D8
Get ready to see Dahon a lot on this list and if you know anything about elite bicycles, this should not come as a surprise as they may be the kings. But, their Mariner D8 just so happens to be the best model they have ever released, which is saying something.
Amazon Link
Montague Allston
The price may wall you but rest assured, this bike is worth every penny that you spend on it. So many awesome design features are at play here, such as a grease-free carbon belt, an included cargo rack, and an internal gear hub that is protected from potential damage, that you will quickly forget about the price tag.
Amazon Link
Nakto Electric
As opposed to all other bikes on this list, the Nakto Electric Bike not only allows you to bike traditionally but it also has a built-in motor. Thus, giving you the capability of riding a bike without ever putting forth any effort. That is unless the lithium-ion battery needs charging.
Amazon Link
$658.98
Montague Paratrooper
To give you an idea of how impressive this next bike is, under a grant from DARPA, it has a patented folding design that was designed to allow soldiers a way to drop out of airplanes and onto the battlefield. Let’s just say that quality is of the essence here, no doubt.
Amazon Link
Vilano Urbana
What is terrific about the Urbana Bike from Vilano is it weighs in at only 21.5 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight bikes you will find. Unfortunately, some of the design components are not as great as some of the higher end models but the portability is insanely good.
Amazon Link
Dahon Mariner D7
Consider this the prequel to the Mariner D8 and this is nearly as impressive. The D8 has given fans a reason to completely forget about this model, but that should not be the case.
Amazon Link
EuroMini ZiZZO Campo
The Campo is one of the most affordable folding bikes on our list. It is available in three different colors and weighs only 28.5-pounds. With strong Shimano components and adjustable features, and seven speeds, there was no way our list would be complete without this addition.
Amazon Link
Dahon Speed Uno
Did you honestly think that you had seen the last of Dahon? They make exceptional models past their Mariner and the Vigor P9 is one of them. While it is not ideal for off-road biking, it will suffice for most everyday rides.
Amazon Link
Schwinn
This is sort of the stretch that turns from highly-priced models to more affordable models. But, make no mistake about it, affordability does not indicate that the bike is cheaply made. A great example that debunks that theory is this bike from Schwinn.
Amazon Link
$429.99
Dahon Qix D8-Smoke
Dahon has made some extremely high-quality and technical bicycles, but this one is terrific for beginners and starters as it only has one speed. While the caveat to this is a bike that is only ideal for paved terrain, some may appreciate never having to concern themselves with the gear hub.
Amazon Link

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Ease of Use

The name of this product alone signifies that it is portable. But, from one folding bike to the next, they will differ in their portability. How so, you may ask. It is simple, it all comes down to the dimensions in which it is folded down into, the weight of the machine, and other factors such as simplicity and the folding design. Clearly, the smaller the dimensions of the bike, when folded, the less room it will take up when you store it in your car, house, hotel, etc.

Weight, just like the dimensions, is also self-explanatory as some folding bikes can be very light, while others are significantly heavier. If you have no interest in lugging around a 50-pound beast, then ensure you pay close attention to the weight. Also, other design features will come into play with portability. For example, the simplicity and quickness to which you can fold the bike. With some of the bikes that secured a spot on this list, it literally takes less than 15 seconds to fold. Plus, you can also take note of the latching system to keep the bike folded. A magnetic system will work a little better than a strap system, for example.

Materials

When it comes to the craftsmanship and design of a folding bike, a ton of factors come into play. There is the overall frame, the wheels and rims, the suspension system, and various other components. All in all, it can be a bit overwhelming but you do not necessarily have to keen in on every single area. Take, for example, the frame. With bikes, it has often been debated what material works better for a frame, steel or aluminum? Generally, the answer to this question would be steel as it is more durable and can retain its structural integrity even when dented and scratched. But, aluminum is a lot lighter than steel (in a general sense). As such, you may see more aluminum frames utilized on folding bikes because they are meant to be as portable as possible.

But, past the frame, there are plenty of other areas you can assess. For example, the tires and rims. Are they big and rugged enough to handle uneven and rough terrain (if that is your intended use)? How about the chain, is it a traditional chain or a carbon belt (which requires less maintenance)? Or, is the handlebar height adjustable to adapt to shorter/taller people?

Features

The Gear Hub
For those unfamiliar with bike lingo, the gear hub is what allows you to change speeds while you are riding. But, there are a few factors that determine if the gear hub is suitable for you. Of course, one of those factors is the number of speeds that are present on the hub. You may be someone who only needs two or three speeds to accommodate for uneven terrain and inclines. But, some of the more serious bikers out there, may need more in the ballpark of nine to ten. No matter, this is your preference but just know a bike with 24 speeds is not going to be necessary if you simply are looking to ride a bike to work and back on smooth terrain. Also, know that a one-speed bike is not ideal for inclines or rough roads.

Past the various speeds, the smoothness in which the bike shifts through them is also vital. The majority of bikes will have a rear derailleur, which is the gear-changing assembly that allows the chain to move from one sprocket to another. Granted that you shift when you are peddling, as long as it shifts without issue you should be good to go. But, no one wants to deal with a derailleur that is constantly getting caught or malfunctioning.

The Braking System and Convenient Features
Convenience will always be at the forefront when it comes to folding bikes. This can be featured such as front and rear fenders to block debris and dirt when you are riding, internal cables instead of external cables to lessen the worry of damage, and even a rear rack that allows you to carry excess items such as baggage. But, even though it is arguably, perhaps the single most important design integration for bikes is their braking system. You may not be aware of this, but during a bike ride, you are going to need to stop. Okay, so it is obvious but you may not know the complexity that goes into it.

Without going into too much detail, you should probably prioritize bikes that utilize disc brakes as they deliver a ridiculous amount of power for you to stop. As such, when you press down the brake on the handlebar, it takes less hand strength to fully stop. But, there are different kinds of disc brakes such as hydraulic and mechanical. Each has their upside, such as hydraulic disc brakes that reduce the amount of friction as both brake pads can freely move in and out. Meanwhile, mechanical disc brakes are nice as they work in conjunction with the rim brake shifters.

Capacity

Most bikes will have a user capacity, in terms of weight and height, that you need to be under to be fully compatible with the bike. For instance, you may see some with a 250-pound limit. The bike is rated to hold up to 250 pounds and if you are over this amount, you will ride at your own discretion and the manufacturer cannot be held responsible. Height, on the other hand, is mainly for comfort concerns. If you are taller or shorter than the recommended height, the feel of the bike may be awkward to you.

Top 10 Picks

1. Dahon Mariner D8

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Dahon Mariner D8
Amazon Link

Get ready to see Dahon a lot on this list and if you know anything about elite bicycles, this should not come as a surprise as they may be the kings. But, their Mariner D8 just so happens to be the best model they have ever released, which is saying something.

Read more

Ease of Use
When all is said and done, when you fold this down to its dimensions (25.6” X 31.1” X 12.6”) it is very easy to store in any compact space that you could imagine. Plus, at only 26 pounds it is not too heavy.

Materials
The frame of this bike is constructed from a lightweight Dalloy Sonus tubeset. Meanwhile, the wheels feature 20-inch aluminum single-wall rims.

Features
There are eight different speeds that you can scroll through giving you a wide range of options for different terrains and slopes. Plus, shifting through the gears is done fluidly and you should not have to worry about the gears locking up.

With the integration of fenders in both the front and the rear of the bike, it manages to block any road spray that comes up while riding. In addition, the brakes are made from a reliable Winzip aluminum.

Capacity
Dahon recommends that no one over the weight of 230 pounds ride this bike. It is not as if the seat will fall through if you immediately sit on it but over time, you may risk your safety if you eclipse this weight. For height, they recommend between 4’ 9” and 6’ 3”.

Amazon Link

2. Montague Allston

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Montague Allston
Amazon Link

The price may wall you but rest assured, this bike is worth every penny that you spend on it. So many awesome design features are at play here, such as a grease-free carbon belt, an included cargo rack, and an internal gear hub that is protected from potential damage, that you will quickly forget about the price tag.

Read more

Ease of Use
When folded, this measures 36” X 28” X 12” and with a weight of only 30 pounds, it is fairly easy to transport.

Materials
Instead of a traditional chain that is used in most bikes, integrated here is a carbon belt which is grease-free and requires less maintenance than a chain. Plus, the 38mm tires provide comfort over the roughest of terrain.

Features
The 11 different speeds would have been great enough but the gear hub is located inside the rear hub which protects is from moisture, dirt and any potential damages.

Both the hydraulic braking system, which delivers a superb stopping power, and the RackStand, which allows you to attach cargo, deliver admirable safety and convenience when riding.

Capacity
There are two different sizes available. One is the medium version (19”) and the other is the large version (21”). The medium is suitable for people between 5’ 3” and 5’ 10” while the large version is ideal for heights of 5’ 11” through 6’ 4”.

Amazon Link

3. Nakto Electric

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$658.98
Nakto Electric
Amazon Link

As opposed to all other bikes on this list, the Nakto Electric Bike not only allows you to bike traditionally but it also has a built-in motor. Thus, giving you the capability of riding a bike without ever putting forth any effort. That is unless the lithium-ion battery needs charging.

Read more

Ease of Use
While this is a foldable bike, the weight can be an issue for people. Thanks in large part to its electric nature, it weighs in at 76 pounds, which is the heaviest bike on our list.
This Shimano 6-gear shifter makes going up or downhill a breeze.

Materials
The frame of this bike is made from iron and aluminum alloy. At its peak, this bike can deliver 300 watts of power, which is great for lightweight people, or women. If you are heavier, or a larger person in general, you may prefer a stronger motor. Additionally, the 36V Lithium battery is able to last for a maximum range of up to 25 miles per charge.

Features
This bike features a bell and an electric horn to keep you safe on the roads. Additionally, the maximum speed of this bike is about 30mph, so you shouldn’t have issues controlling the bike. The battery of this bike is removable, but the ignition key needs to be in the correct position to remove it, as an added safety feature. Clearly, this is significant because of its integrated battery-operated motor. As such, you can reach decent speeds without exerting any effort. But, the downside here is the portability is questionable. While it will fold, you need to eat your vitamins to lug this beast around.

Capacity
This bike is recommended for people between 4’9 and 6’6. As for the weight limit, it is between 250-300 pounds.

Amazon Link
$658.98

4. Montague Paratrooper

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Montague Paratrooper
Amazon Link

To give you an idea of how impressive this next bike is, under a grant from DARPA, it has a patented folding design that was designed to allow soldiers a way to drop out of airplanes and onto the battlefield. Let’s just say that quality is of the essence here, no doubt.

Read more

Ease of Use
At just over 30 pounds and with a folded size of 36” X 28” X 12”, most should find that this bike will be fairly easy to transport around.

Materials
Integrated here is a front suspension system and what this allows is the bike to seemingly glide over all obstacles and off-road terrain that you travel on. But, one issue is that the front splash guard tends to rub against the wheel.

Features
With so many speeds to mess around with, 24 in total, every single person will find an ideal speed for them. To be honest, 24 speeds may not be needed for some but it is nice to have.

Additionally, the mechanical disc brakes featured in the Paratrooper allows for a quick response with an exceptional amount of stopping power. In addition, a work stand and a cargo rack are included.

Capacity
Three versions (small, medium and large) have been designed and all three adapt to different heights. In short, the small model is ideal for kids, the medium for average-height adults, and the large for tall adults.

Amazon Link

5. Vilano Urbana

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Vilano Urbana
Amazon Link

What is terrific about the Urbana Bike from Vilano is it weighs in at only 21.5 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight bikes you will find. Unfortunately, some of the design components are not as great as some of the higher end models but the portability is insanely good.

Read more

Ease of Use
Seriously, this is one of the lightest bikes in the world today, period. Weighing in at only 21.5 pounds, it is super compact. Reviewers claim that this bike is also incredibly easy to assemble.

Materials
The aluminum frame is nice as it is lightweight without sacrificing strength. But, overall, most of the components (while not bad) could have been made with superior material.

Features
Again, only one speed is present here so there is no need to worry about the smoothness of shifting gears or how many there are.

What is really nice is there are no brake cables or shifters; so, very little maintenance is required on your part.

Capacity
At only 200 pounds capacity, this is not a bike for larger people.

Amazon Link

6. Dahon Mariner D7

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Dahon Mariner D7
Amazon Link

Consider this the prequel to the Mariner D8 and this is nearly as impressive. The D8 has given fans a reason to completely forget about this model, but that should not be the case.

Read more

Ease of Use
The portability is highly impressive with only a weight of 26 pounds and a real compact frame when it is folded. Some have claimed that it has only taken them 15 seconds to fold it and that says it all.

Materials
What aids in the lightweight nature of this bike is its 7005-aluminum frame. Plus, it is rust-resistant and the handlebar height is adjustable.

Features
The ability to switch through seven different speeds is fantastic, but the integrated rear derailleur is truly notable as it allows for fast and fluid shifting.

With the rear stand that has been implemented into this bike, there is a convenient location to store your luggage and baggage.

Capacity
Just like their D8 model, it is recommended by the manufacturer that the rider does not exceed 230 pounds. But, as far as height, it properly adapts for heights between 4’ 8” and 6’ 4”.

Amazon Link

7. EuroMini ZiZZO Campo

Where to buy
Amazon Link
EuroMini ZiZZO Campo
Amazon Link

The Campo is one of the most affordable folding bikes on our list. It is available in three different colors and weighs only 28.5-pounds. With strong Shimano components and adjustable features, and seven speeds, there was no way our list would be complete without this addition.

Read more

Ease of Use
After a few practice runs, this bike is very easy to fold and unfold. The frame bends in half and the stem folds down to create a small portable bike package. There s a magnetic catch that ensures the bike stays folded. The overall weight of the bike is 28.5-pounds.

As far as the initial set up, there is no need to purchase the expert assembly. This bike is totally assembled, with the exception of one pedal. The tool to attach this pedal is included.

Materials
This lightweight and compact bike is made from strong aluminum metal. The multi-terrain tires are two inches wide and have received a bit of criticism from dedicated cyclists. Reviewers have said that if you plan to bike over ten miles at a time, you’ll want to replace the tires. They have not proven to be as durable as desired.

Features
The Campo is outfitted with Shimano components, including a seven-speed tourney derailleur and Revoshift grip style shifter. The front and rear alloy V-brakes are strong and work well. For comfort, the handlebars and the seat are both adjustable.

The bike also includes a kickstand, reflectors, and water bottle mount.

Capacity
The capacity of this bike is up to 240-pounds. There is no specific height capacity. Reviewers over six feet tall have said that with a few adjustments of the handlebars and seat, the bike is comfortable.

Amazon Link

8. Dahon Speed Uno

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Dahon Speed Uno
Amazon Link

Did you honestly think that you had seen the last of Dahon? They make exceptional models past their Mariner and the Vigor P9 is one of them. While it is not ideal for off-road biking, it will suffice for most everyday rides.

Read more

Ease of Use
As this is a horizontal folding frame, it is user-friendly in terms of packing it. Plus, the 25.8 pounds it weighs makes it suitable to carry around when need be.

Materials
Overall, the aggressive frame is very sturdy and is built of high-quality. Unfortunately, the handlebar’s height is not adjustable. Plus, the 20-inch wheels are not the best for off-road riding.

Features
No matter if you need to climb hills or any moderate incline you approach, the nine speeds should adapt to the situation perfectly.

As Dahon decided to utilize internal cables, there is no need to worry about maintaining them. In addition, the cable themselves are protected by metal rings. Thus, avoiding potential damage when you fold the bike.

Capacity
Granted you are under 231 pounds and 6’ 5”, you will easily be able to fit on this bike and feel secure while you are riding.

Amazon Link

9. Schwinn

Where to buy
Amazon Link
$429.99
Schwinn
Amazon Link

This is sort of the stretch that turns from highly-priced models to more affordable models. But, make no mistake about it, affordability does not indicate that the bike is cheaply made. A great example that debunks that theory is this bike from Schwinn.

Read more

Ease of Use
This easily folded and can be taken with you practically anywhere with folded dimensions of 32.5” x 26” x 16” and a weight of 33 pounds. But, the included nylon bag is an utter joke.

Materials
Nothing over the top here but everything is still made of solid quality. For example, the alloy rims and the adjustable seat. But, the 20-inch alloy wheels may not be the greatest over rugged terrain.

Features
With seven speed changes and a rear derailleur, there are enough speed settings for most with a smooth transition between each gear.

The brakes are hand-operated and work as well as you could ask. Meanwhile, the fenders will keep your clothes free from dirt and debris and the included rear rack is a great location for baggage.

Capacity
Schwinn states their user weight capacity is 230 pounds, so ensure you are not far over that total.

Amazon Link
$429.99

10. Dahon Qix D8-Smoke

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Dahon Qix D8-Smoke
Amazon Link

Dahon has made some extremely high-quality and technical bicycles, but this one is terrific for beginners and starters as it only has one speed. While the caveat to this is a bike that is only ideal for paved terrain, some may appreciate never having to concern themselves with the gear hub.

Read more

Ease of Use
Folding this bike is a piece of cake and can be done within seconds. However, some variations of this bike utilize a strap to hold the two wheels together which is not as great as a magnetic locking system.

Materials
The frame is crafted from steel, making it very durable but it is rather thin which could be a concern down the road (depending on what you put your bike through).

Features
As there is only one speed, this is really suitable for paved roads and not rough and uneven terrain.
Instead of individual braking handles, Dahon only designed one brake handle and it is connected to both the front and rear brakes.

Capacity
As with their other models, Dahon suggests users who ride this are under 230 pounds and between 4’ 8” and 6’ 4”.

Amazon Link

Sources

  1. Amy Roberts, The Best Folding Bike, Best of Guide
  2. John Stevenson, 5 of the best folding bikes, Buying Guide