I’ve been riding bikes around New York City for more than a decade and commuting regularly from Astoria to Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge to my job as a personal trainer and fitness instructor. In addition, I was formerly a staff writer for the Good Housekeeping Institute, where I was intimately involved with the scientific testing of all manner of products for the magazine and website.
Folding commuter bikes have never been more popular with workers keen on keeping fit and avoiding urban public transport. Where just a few years ago the choices were confined to a few heavy models that swung around a clunky hinge, there are now a range of appealing versions for many needs: full-sized, tiny, electric, sporty, cruisers... the choices are near endless.
The Moterra is Cannondale’s biggest and baddest e-mtb and just looking at this thing you can see that it’s built to withstand some wicked downhills and big drops. With 130mm of front and rear travel, paired up with 27.5-inch wheels and trail-grabbing 2.8-inch tires, along with a KS LEV Integra Dropper Post make this pedal-assist mountain bike a great option if you want to climb farther to shred longer, but don’t want to lug your bike uphill for ages. The 250w motor, placed slightly farther forward than most other bikes to optimize weight distribution and handling, will give you a nice boost so you can enjoy the ride up and not be too gassed when you get to the top. After all, it’s all about the ride down, right?
Because these bikes are foldable, they’re incredibly portable. This is one of the best features of folding electric bikes. Since your bike can fold, you can fit it into many tight spaces you wouldn’t normally be able to fit a bike, such as in a tiny studio apartment without space for a mounting rack, or in your truck without using a cumbersome bike rack.
Among other bike manufacturing brands, Ancheer is popular for its electric-powered bicycle manufacturing. First off, the detachable lithium battery gives you the opportunity to ride fast up to 50 km. The brushless gear motor offers high speed of 25 km per hour. Along with it, the frame is extremely lightweight, made of aluminum alloy material. This folding electric bicycle has got secure brakes with premium 7 speed Shimano transmission mechanism.
The Tern GSD is designed to carry up to 400 pounds, while keeping its footprint the same as a standard ebike. A stepthrough frame adds to the versatility and ease of use, especially for smaller riders, and a slightly longer wheelbase adds stability. Magura disc brakes provide confident stopping power, even when the bike is loaded. Tern also offers an assortment of accessories to customize your ride. Price not available.
In the event that you're going to be living somewhere for an abbreviated period of time, a folding bike might be a smarter choice than a car, as long as your daily commute isn't too far. For many city dwellers, there is simply no place to park a car where they don't have to worry about getting a parking ticket on random days. A folding bike is ideal if you're living in a dorm room or a temporary apartment. Another benefits besides the low upfront cost, is the tremendous resale value many have, which means that you can recoup a lot of the bike's original cost when it's time to sell.
Finally, Brompton bikes are customizable, which means you can choose the frame material (steel or a superlight combination of steel and titanium); the handlebar shape (four options); the number of gears (one, two, three, or six) and the gear ratios (three choices); the suspension type; the tire type; the saddle type and height; accessories such as the fenders, rack, front bags, and lights; and the paint color. A single-speed Brompton starts at about $1,200; the one we tested, the S6L, came outfitted with sport-style straight handlebars, six speeds ($220 more), fenders ($80 more), a front carrier block for attaching a bag and a front flap bag ($185 for both, bag not shown), and rechargeable battery-powered lights ($110, not shown), totaling about $1,795.
Pedelecs are much like conventional bicycles in use and function — the electric motor only provides assistance, for example, when the rider is climbing or struggling against a headwind. Pedelecs are therefore especially useful for people in hilly areas where riding a bike would prove too strenuous for many to consider taking up cycling as a daily means of transport. They are also useful for riders who more generally need some assistance, e.g. for people with heart, leg muscle or knee joint issues.
In 2012, two e-bike advocates completed the first 4,000-mile (6,400 km) transcontinental e-bike tour from New York to San Francisco to advocate for e-bikes in major cities across the U.S. Pedego Electric Bikes is the best selling brand in the U.S. Many e-bikes in the United States are standard bicycles converted using a kit. In general, the kits include the motor (the majority of which are hub motors built into the front or rear wheel), a speed controller, throttle (usually twist-grip or thumb throttle), necessary wiring and connectors, and a battery. Several U.S. companies offer conversion kits which also offer advanced lithium battery packs. Major manufacturers also offer complete e-bikes. Trek offers a line of e-bikes using the Bionx system in which the rider programs the controller to determine how much effort the motor will give in response to rider effort, from 25% up to 200% of the rider's power. This system ensures a minimum level of rider participation and is also used to comply with many European laws mandating partial human effort before the motor engages.
But in the moment, the Oyama didn’t seem to care what it was supposed to be designed for, it only cared about moving forward. And forward it went. Over the dirt, over the stumps, up the hills and through the gravel. It overcame nearly every obstacle and terrain I could find until I finally had to help lift it over a fallen log blocking the trail and under a vine waiting to clothesline me. Perhaps I could have hopped the log if I had really tried, but by that point I figured the Oyama had made its point.
Foldable bikes are a versatile and often-overlooked cycling option. Maybe your studio apartment has limited storage place, or perhaps your commute involves a train, several staircases, and a crowded elevator. A foldable bike is a cycling problem-solver and a bundle of fun packed into a tiny package. From lightweight singlespeeds and cruisers, to a fully-capable cargo bike, there is likely a foldable bike out there to suit your cycling needs. Here are some of our favorites.