The 1970s saw increased interest in the folding bike, and the popular Raleigh Twenty and Bickerton Portable have become the iconic folders of their decade. It was, however, the early 1980s that can be said to have marked the birth of the modern, compact folding bicycle, with competing tiny-footprint models from Brompton and Dahon.[7] Founded in 1982, by inventor and physicist Dr. David Hon and his brother Henry Hon, Dahon has grown to become the world's largest manufacturer of folding bikes,[8] with a two-thirds marketshare in 2006.[9]
Unfortunately, not even this great bike is perfect. The otherwise great performance is somewhat let down by the weak disc brakes. Stopping time could be improved with an upgrade. The relatively high weight of 59 lbs is also a disadvantage, and lots of the weight is on the rear wheel, making the GB5 500 prone to accidental wheelies if you accelerate too hard in throttle mode.
Founded in 1962 by Alex Moulton, a key member of the Mini design team, Moulton has been honing its pylon-style “spaceframe” since 1977. Fast forward to 2018 and its stiff, strong frame and handsome geometry still looks utterly unique. Disclaimer: this bike doesn’t actually fold, but Moultons can be dismantled into two stowable pieces within a minute, thanks to a central “kingpin”, making it suitable for car boots and train journeys. Alfine 11-speed internal hub gearing, narrow 20in tyres, a rear disc brake, Brooks titanium saddle and Deda Speciale classic drop handlebars further boost its urban credentials. And if you really want to stand out from the crowd, there’s also the ultra-specced Moulton Speed Unique: only 30 models have been produced – but with a price tag of £14,995, it costs the same as a family car.
The Allen Sports Urban X was a lot of fun to ride; I was able to get up some decent speed. It was lighter than many other models we tested, despite its larger wheel size (451 mm)—likely because it lacked fenders and a rack (a surprising omission, considering that Allen Sports is known for its bike racks for cars). It also had a nice secure wheel lock when folded, and a very easy fold and unfold process. However, its no-name Chinese components gave our bike expert pause, and I quickly noticed that the plastic chain guard was breaking. Furthermore, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to stay balanced upright when folded, and it took up a lot of space—it also wouldn’t fit through the subway turnstiles. Since our testing, Allen Sports has discontinued its folding-bike line and some of its other models have been recalled. We’re confident you’d be better off with one of our picks.
In September 2017, Brompton announced that it was enacting a voluntary recall. Bikes with the third-party-manufactured FAG Bottom Bracket axle have been largely reported to fail—at a higher-than-expected rate. Any model (S, M, P, or H) with a serial number from 1403284144 to 1705150001 that was manufactured between April 2014 and May 2017 could be affected. Although the failure isn’t life threatening and doesn’t compromise the quality of how the bike rides—at most the faulty axle would disrupt the ability to pedal—Brompton has issued an apology and is offering free bottom-bracket cartridge replacements. You can find out if your bike is affected by checking the serial number, which is imprinted on either a silver sticker or a curved plate attached to the bike frame.
I also know people. To research this guide, I consulted with David Lam, owner of Bfold, a folding-bike shop in Manhattan that carries Bike Friday, Birdy, Brompton, Dahon, and Tern, among other brands; Steven Huang, a consultant for Birdy and Brompton and the owner of Foldie Foodie Brommie Yummie riding food tours, also based in New York City; Stephen Cuomo, a folding-bike industry consultant in Connecticut and founder of Biketube; general bike expert Damon Strub, owner of the Astoria, New York-based Nomad Cycle (which carries Dahon), who answered all my annoying technical questions about derailleurs and hubs; and our very own Mike Berk, executive editor of The Wirecutter and a longtime folding-bike enthusiast. I also recruited eight cyclists—ranging from recreational to competitive, and including males and females of various heights—to test-ride the bikes and provide their thoughtful feedback.
You see, I’m not really a cyclist. It’s not that I’m lazy or out of shape. I run between 3 to 5 miles a day and could pedal if I wanted to. It’s just that I generally think of electric bicycles more like little electric motorcycles that don’t require me to get a motorcycle license or pay for insurance or registration. They’re for getting around quickly and effortlessly.
MIT graduate David Montague launched his folding-bike business in 1987 and counts the US Marines among its previous clients. The Massachusetts-based company offers a wide range of full-sized folders, but we went for this entry-level model for its stripped-back simplicity. The smart choice for commuters with longer journeys to the station (or those who simply have issues with smaller bikes), the 10.8-kilogram Boston comes in 17- or 19-inch frame options, with 700c alloy wheels, which allow for steady, speedy riding over medium distances. The folding system – essentially a bi-fold but for full-sized bikes – does a great job crunching the size down to a reasonable 90cm x 48cm x 30cm for stowing on trains or car boots, but the front wheel needs to be removed – albeit via a quick-release system – which delays the process by a few seconds.
The other standout feature is the front luggage system, which allows you to clip a number of well-designed bags from Brompton and other makers to the front of the bike; the bags can even hang out there (albeit a bit awkwardly) when the bike is folded. (This last feature, which allows you to roll the bike when it’s half-folded and use it as a shopping cart, works better if you have Brompton’s basket bag attached, rather than a touring-style bag.) We’ll look more closely at both Tern’s and Dahon’s front-carrier options for a future update.
The E-mazing Innovations e-bike goes about 15 miles per hour and has both throttle and pedal assist modes. It features instant fold option that allows you to fold the bike into a compact size in just a few seconds. Because it’s lightweight, you can easily bring it upstairs, in your car trunk, or wherever you need. With its unusual design, you’ll attract attention anywhere you go. The bike is one of the most stable models on the market, and it’s because of its tires and maximum speed. If the bike were to go faster, it probably wouldn’t be as stable. The motor and battery that power the bike are the 8Fun front-mounted geared hub motor, and a 9ah, 324wh Samsung 36V lithium-ion battery. You can go about 30 miles once you fully charge the battery for which you’ll need 5 hours. This folding electric bike features an LCD that shows battery life, a kickstand, and fenders to keep your pants clean and dry. Keep in mind, though, that the bike features some unusual parts that are much different than those you find in standard models. This isn’t a deal breaker, but keep in mind that for this reason, some parts may be hard to replace if need be. All in all, it’s attractive, modern and well-made to last you a long time.
"[My Bike Friday] represents the pinnacle of 31 years of cycling for me. It is incredibly well designed and features excellent, predictable road manners consistent with high end road bikes. Steering response is very quick due to the lack of gyroscopic force in the front end. Low wheel mass makes for excellent acceleration and climbing. A delight to ride and own."
Specializing in the sales of electric bikes and folding bikes since 1996. Offering a wide range of brands and models and a dedicated service department. We are here to help you find the right bike for your needs and to support you with confidence and competence. Come in for free test rides and experience all that electric bikes and folding bikes can do for you!
Folding bikes weren't sold to the public until the early 1970s. Revenues were sluggish at first. Eventually though, these bikes caught on, thanks in large part to a competitive rivalry between Brompton, Raleigh, and Dahon. These three manufacturers, in particular, increased their advertising budgets, thereby creating awareness and an eventual uptick in profitability.
I liked everything but I have two concerns. 1) I bought two bikes. One for me and one for my friend and already on the first week both biked got problems with the brake handle. One of them broke without any reason. But both are really bad and doesnt work properly. 2) we need to buy an extra battery and it is always sold out. We really need it and we can't find. But overall the bike is excellent. I don't know how to replace the brake handle.
Let's start with the obvious; you prefer a folding bike because you don't have space. Maybe you lack a lot of space at work, or you live in a tiny apartment. In fact, if you live in a tiny apartment that is located in a walk-up, then you probably know just how insane it is to lug a bike up and down several flights of stairs. If any of these conditions apply, you should probably own a folding bike.
The other standout feature is the front luggage system, which allows you to clip a number of well-designed bags from Brompton and other makers to the front of the bike; the bags can even hang out there (albeit a bit awkwardly) when the bike is folded. (This last feature, which allows you to roll the bike when it’s half-folded and use it as a shopping cart, works better if you have Brompton’s basket bag attached, rather than a touring-style bag.) We’ll look more closely at both Tern’s and Dahon’s front-carrier options for a future update.
Batteries are the core part of a folding electric bike and if chosen poorly can turn your expensive e-bike into a waste. There are many batteries with different properties. But the most recommended battery for your folding e-bike is the lithium manganese battery. They are the best and are used even more than the lithium-ion ones. They generate high power and do not require a lot of maintenance.
Many folding bikes feature internal hub gears – this means that the shifting system is entirely sealed, cutting down on maintenance dramatically. Shifting on hub gears is often easier for beginners, as there is no chain tension to worry about. In addition, there’s no chance of the system being bent or damaged –  a risk when left unattended on a busy train. If you want multiple chainrings and a wide spread of gears, you will need to opt for a derailleur system.
The 20-inch Schwinn Loop, Amazon’s best-selling folding bike at around $200 currently, isn’t really designed for commuting (despite the Amazon verbiage). It has a bulky step-through frame, and in our tests it offered a heavy, sluggish ride—Citi Bikes (those blue three-speed bike-share behemoths) often passed me on the bridge, and I had no hope of fitting it through the subway turnstiles. If you plan to use your folding bike regularly, do yourself a favor and spend more.
In September 2017, Brompton announced that it was enacting a voluntary recall. Bikes with the third-party-manufactured FAG Bottom Bracket axle have been largely reported to fail—at a higher-than-expected rate. Any model (S, M, P, or H) with a serial number from 1403284144 to 1705150001 that was manufactured between April 2014 and May 2017 could be affected. Although the failure isn’t life threatening and doesn’t compromise the quality of how the bike rides—at most the faulty axle would disrupt the ability to pedal—Brompton has issued an apology and is offering free bottom-bracket cartridge replacements. You can find out if your bike is affected by checking the serial number, which is imprinted on either a silver sticker or a curved plate attached to the bike frame.
Your long bicycle commute to work means you are a sweaty mess before the day even begins, and you have never felt at ease leaving the bike locked outside the building all day, but now that you have a folding electric bike, both of these problems are solved. The electric bike assists you at the hardest parts of your ride and keeps you flying safely down the road at up to 20 miles per hour or faster, without pedaling. Its folding design then makes the bicycle so compact, you can fit it in a corner of the office without disturbing anyone. The large selection on eBay includes folding electric mountain bikes as well, for easily traversing more rugged terrain and in less than perfect weather. Folding electric bikes are safe, efficient, and fully rechargeable. Some brake systems turn the motor off automatically, which saves power. Brushless, gearless motors function quietly, which is more pleasant both for the rider and nearby pedestrians. Electric bike conversion kits are also available to help you install an electric bike motor onto a compatible standard bicycle.

While you are looking at foldable electric bikes you must keep in mind not to rush. Stay calm and make sure that you test ride every electric bike that catches your eye. Testing a ride is very important. It gives you the idea of each and every part, the noise of the motor, the power the engine takes, the speed it can reach up to, the weight of the bike, folding time, folding convenience, tools required for folding, paddling force etc. All these properties are very important to acknowledge as you can choose the right one for yourself.
Brussels-based Ahooga picked up a prestigious Red Dot design award earlier in 2018 for this hybrid bike, which pairs design simplicity with a little added oomph from a 250W rear hub electric motor. Weighing in at 13kg including battery, it’s light enough ride as normal but with the electrical assistance as an luxury extra. The Style+ model comes with leather anatomical Saddle, Wolfy pedals, puncture-resistant Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres and a pair of rather natty roll-open mudguards. But perhaps the biggest draw with this handsome model is its colour options – there are 215 to choose from, in matt or glossy finish.

I also had long discussions with my editors about price versus value. A number of companies sell very inexpensive folding bikes on Amazon and at big-box stores such as Target and Walmart. However, because a rider’s life could quite literally be at stake should their bike suffer a mechanical failure mid-ride, we suspected that most people would prefer to spend a little more for a known brand with a reputation to maintain. We did call in Amazon’s best seller, a $200 Schwinn, as well as a couple of other mass-market bikes that had good reviews from other editorial outlets. On the other end, we considered a few pricier picks for more serious riders who are willing to shell out for higher quality or extra features. Finally, with the established producers (Dahon, Schwinn, and Tern), we looked at both an entry-level model and an upgrade version. Our final list:


Beach cruiser fans rejoice with the Raleigh Retroglide iE Step Thru. Cruise the boardwalk with maximum style and minimum effort as you enjoy the perks of a 350 watt motor and a top pedal-assisted speed of 20mph. Enjoy the comfort of an upright riding position thanks to the backswept handlebar and take advantage of the cargo-carrying capacity, thanks to the rear rack, to run errands around town or commute to work. With a claimed range of 35 miles, the Raleigh Retroglide is a great choice for anyone who wants to add a little speed to daily cruise.
Traditionally folding bikes are made with small wheels to make their foldability easy. Of course, models with small wheels tend to be lighter and gives you more portability. However, they may lack the ability to speed up. Foldable bikes with conventional size tires are much faster with rolling but their heavy load will give you a tough time while traveling through public transport.
Folding bikes have long been popular among commuters who need to store their bicycle in a small space at home or in the office. Thanks to their small folded size, they are easy to get onto trains and buses, or even a taxi. With the rise in popularity of electric bikes in recent years, it is no surprise that folding electric bikes have come onto the market as well.
E-bikes use rechargeable batteries, electric motors and some form of control. Battery systems in use include sealed lead-acid (SLA), nickel-cadmium (NiCad), nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) or lithium-ion polymer (Li-ion). Batteries vary according to the voltage, total charge capacity (amp hours), weight, the number of charging cycles before performance degrades, and ability to handle over-voltage charging conditions. The energy costs of operating e-bikes are small, but there can be considerable battery replacement costs. The lifespan of a battery pack varies depending on the type of usage. Shallow discharge/recharge cycles will help extend the overall battery life.
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