German designers Heiko Müller and Markus Riese began working on the Birdy in 1992 for their university thesis – the first model comprised of parts of two old bicycles welded together. Fast forward 26 years and the Weiterstadt-based company have mastered the art of folding bikes. With 18-inch wheels for a more stable ride than the Brompton, the Birdy City offers impressive stability and comfort, and its aggressive, sporty geometry means it’s faster than many of its competitors. At 12.8kg, it’s not the lightest model around, but if you’re happy to take that hit in favour of a superior ride it won’t let you down. Eight-speed hub gear, front suspension/rear shocks, disc brakes adjustable-height handlebars and optional rear rollers all tick the right boxes, and although it’s not the smallest fold, it only takes 20 seconds or so to pack it down for the train or trunk.
We spent 44 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Today's folding bikes can offer the ride quality and durability of standard bicycles, but with the added benefit of total portability. The fact that they are foldable lets you take them places you could never reach by pedal power alone, as you can stash them in your vehicle’s trunk or carry them onto a bus or train. Some are even equipped with batteries to give you an even greater range. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best folding bike on Amazon.
Frame Ultralight 6061 T6 Aluminum Pedals Priority Alloy Platform, Sealed Fork Ultralight 6061 T6 Aluminum Front Light Priority fixed, 700lm, 3x CREE R4 led, wired to bike battery Rims WTB ST TCS 2.0 27.5"/650b - Tubeless Ready Rear Light Priority fixed, wired to bike battery Front Hub Priority 15mm Through Axle, Quick Release Seatpost 31.6 Alloy Micro-adjust, 300mm (17"), 350mm (19"/21") Rear Hub enviolo Trekking Group (n380) Belt Gates Carbon Drive with Centertrack CDX 122T Spokes Stainless Steel, Black, 14g front, 13g rear Saddle WTB Pure or Selle Royale Gel Shifter enviolo Trekking (c8) Handlebar Stem Alloy, 6 degree 80mm17", 90mm 17" and 19" OR 70mm, 35 degree Brakes Tektro HD-M285 Hydraulic Disc Dual Piston Handlebar Alloy, 31.8 clamp, 6 degree rise, 630mm Grips Velo, ergonomic dual density comfort Headset Alloy Sealed Crankset Priority Electric, 170mm (17"), 175mm (19"/21") Tires WTB Horizon 650B PLUS 47M/M Tubeless Ready Front Sprocket 50t Gates CDX Fenders Aluminum+Plastic Rear Cog 24t Gates CDX Kickstand Alloy Rear Mounted Kickstand Included! Motor Bosch Active Line Plus Color Gloss White or Gloss Charcoal Battery Bosch PowerPack 400 Sizes 17", 19" and 21" Display Bosch Purion Weight Approx. 45lbs
Folding bike adjustability: Most folding bikes will be ‘one size fits all’, with a great deal of adjustability – meaning that it’s easy to share the bike across members of your household. However, if you know this is an important consideration, it’s worth ensuring that the model you buy offers a wide range of adjustment that’s easy to use. Brompton bikes, for example, have a long seatpost that is adjusted via a simple quick release lever, making it easy to swap between riders.
It is not just the final size that is a factor here, but the time it takes to actually fold the bike. The quickest simply fold in half but have a larger folded size than models with a more complicated mechanism. If you will be folding your bicycle multiple times per day, a quick folding time may be better, as long as it does not take up too much space on the bus or in the office. If you live in a tiny apartment and only ride to work, then go for something that folds up really small.
I am 6'1" and weigh about 240. I got a bit over 6 plus continuous miles on a full charge on rolling hills. If you are using them as a form of transportation around towns as we are, I would do some experimenting on how much distance you get per charge in the type of terrain you are riding. Based on the load and terrain it is in line with what I expected. With a bit of planning they do the job. Maybe at some point they will add a conversion kit to ... full review
It’s hard to tell anyone to spend more money. But seriously—if you’re looking for a folding electric bike that can reliably replace your car, then it might be worth it to save up for a sturdier e-bike that can schlep just a little more. If you’re actually looking for a fun toy to get you from the subway to work without breaking a sweat, Jetson’s own Bolt is both lighter and cheaper, leaving the poor Metro between a rock and a hard place.
As electric bike options continue to expand, more brands are integrating the battery more seamlessly. That makes them look sleeker (and more like a real bike). Batteries are expensive, so make sure there's a good way lock the battery to your bike if you'll be keeping it outside. Overall weight is important. Some battery and motors can add 15 pounds or more to the bike. With assist, you won't feel that much when you're riding, but you will if you have to carry your bike up stairs or lift it onto a bike rack.
I unboxed, assembled (if needed), adjusted, and assessed each bike for my initial impressions, taking them all on a short first ride around my neighborhood in Queens. In a few cases, the bikes needed more extensive adjustments, for which I brought them to Nomad Cycle in Astoria; if you buy a bike online, you should bring it to a mechanic for a once-over, no matter what.
Another type of electric assist motor, often referred to as the mid-drive system, is increasing in popularity. With this system, the electric motor is not built into the wheel but is usually mounted near (often under) the bottom bracket shell. In more typical configurations, a cog or wheel on the motor drives a belt or chain that engages with a pulley or sprocket fixed to one of the arms of the bicycle's crankset. Thus the propulsion is provided at the pedals rather than at the wheel, being eventually applied to the wheel via the bicycle's standard drive train.
While the monetary savings of an electric or folding bike are a definite perk in this economic climate, it's potential to get people out of their cars will help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. As electric and folding bikes continue to grow in popularity, people will get out of the "car only" mind-set and into the cycling state of mind. Not only will you feel good about helping the environment but you will get exercise and have a blast doing it!
After you decide which style of e-bike you want, consider the class. In the US, there are three classes defined by the type of assist and how fast the motor will propel you. Most electric bikes sold are class 1 or 3. Class 1 bikes have a motor (max 750w) that assists while you're pedaling, up to 20 mph. Class 3, also known as “speed pedelec” can also have up to a 750w motor, but it can assist you up to 28mph. Both of those are allowed in most states and cities without license. Class 2 have throttles that don't require you to pedal to get a boost. They're allowed on most streets, bike lanes, and paths, but less popular than the other classes and not covered much here (because we still love to pedal and the greater distances pedal assist bikes can cover).
The Mariner D8 comes with fenders and a rear rack that has a nicely designed clip-on bungee cord so you don’t have to buy or hunt for something else to use; for my eight-block ride home, it held a 4-pound bag of dog food securely in place. If you plan to use panniers with the Mariner D8’s rear rack, Dahon recommends using front panniers, which are usually smaller, to avoid heel strike when you’re pedaling; if you want to try using larger panniers on the rack, we recommend taking the bike with you while shopping, or at least taking careful measurements. The D8 also has bolt holes for a front carrier attachment, should you prefer to outfit it with a so-designed front bag or basket.
There’s a reason the chunky, quirky Brompton is ubiquitous on today’s urban roads: it does the job remarkably well. Tough, easy to carry (the M6L weighs in at 11.7 kilograms) and well constructed, the London company’s bikes have barely changed since the early 1980s. Once you’ve mastered the tricksy folding process, the Brompton can be stowed into the smallest of nooks within 20 seconds. Its folded dimensions are an impressive 53cm x 59cm x 29cm – but being the tiniest folder also means tiny components – 16-inch wheels and narrow handlebars take some getting used to. Steering is super sensitive and you have to be on alert for potholes. But for those with space issues in their lives, a short-to-medium distance to cover and an appreciation of solid, reliable engineering, this remains the leader of the pack. We’ve chosen the raw, smokey 2018 Black Edition for its handsome industrial sheen, but Brompton offers a wide range of colourways and collabs, not to mention its impressive 2017-released Electric model, to suit all tastes.
Our test bike was a six-speed, Brompton’s most popular option, configured with a three-speed internally geared front hub (gears 1, 2, 3) and a rear derailleur that shifts between two external gears on the rear hub (called + and –). Though the internal gearing is certainly a higher-end feature, the shifting itself takes some getting used to—you aren’t supposed to pedal when changing the front gears, but you do need to pedal when changing the rear, so you have to remember which gear you’re in (or glance down really fast). And to go from, say, 2– to 1+ to climb a hill, you have to coast and drop way down to 1– using your front shifter and then pedal while shifting back up to 1+ using your rear derailleur (the alternative is to pedal really hard for a moment to go from 2– to 2+ in the rear, and then coast while shifting down to 1+). I also perceived a big difference between the gears, so I sometimes felt like Goldilocks, forever looking for the gear that was “just right.” This problem may have been remedied, though, with a custom gear ratio, which I didn’t get to select on the test bike.
My husband and I purchased a Vika + each. We have hip problems and I can't walk for any distance. But I CAN ride my new bike. I LOVE it. My husband had a hip replacement and wasn't riding very much anymore because of the hills. Now he has no problems with them and is really enjoying getting out riding again. I get around 34 miles to a charge and he gets double the mileage I get. When we ride I always have a smile on my face!!
And indeed, the company’s best seller, the Mariner, ranked as the first choice after our testing thanks to its features, as it ticks all the boxes on the list of what most commuter riders want in a folding bike. First and foremost, we found it smooth to ride and to shift—with the newest model, the D8, rigged with a Shimano trigger shifter, an upgrade to the twist shifters seen on the previous D7 and many other folders—and appropriately geared for pedaling up hills. (I rode up the Queensboro Bridge to Manhattan comfortably on the fourth-easiest of its eight gears.) It folds down quickly, in about a five-step process, and locks together with a magnet between the 20-inch wheels.
I just received my Swaggy Bike and was so exited, I had delusional grandeur thinking of all the places in proximity I can actually visit on Google map. It came packaged with instructions however, I used every curse word in the book trying to get the seat installed. Thanks to the video Jack posted on here, I was able to stop and restart watching 5+ times and see how he went about the whole process. I glared at it while it was charging and even thought I'd get on for my neice. Then...the moment of reality kicked in. I made sure to READ the manual front to back being that I spent an insane amount of money for this particular model...Took it for my first spin, and the rear tire popped off the real well??So.....I called the toll free number and was greeted by a less then concerned Rep in ... full review
This bike is named the GSD because with it you can Get Stuff Done. Twenty-inch wheels keep the center of gravity low so heavy payloads—it's rated up to 400lbs—are easy to balance and a short (for a cargo bike) 70-inch wheelbase, similar to a standard single bike, make the GSD easy to maneuver. Designed with the urban commuter in mind, the bike can easily break down to 60 percent of its original size to fit into the back of a car and the rear rack doubles as a stand that allows it to stand upright to minimize space inside tight apartments. Put two child seats on the back and take the family along, or drop the seat and let you kid take the bike out himself—anyone from 4'10" to 6'5" can ride this bike. Last but not least, the GSD gives you the option of adding a second battery to extend your range up to about 150 miles on a single charge.
The suspension works, but there isn’t any true dampening. That means you’re just riding around on springs. On a real full suspension e-bike (i.e. a few thousand dollars) you get actual oil-dampened shocks. Those absorb bumps and dampen the shock. With springs, the bike bounces a few times after bumps, with the energy dissipating through the spring stretching and compressing.