Cheap folding bikes: The saying ‘you get what you pay for’ mostly rings true here. You can pick up a folding bike for under £200, and you can also spend well in excess of £2000. A cheap folding bike will do the job for you – but you can expect it to be heavier than more premium offerings thanks to lower end components and a more hefty frame. Finding the right option for you comes down to choosing which side of compromise to sit on.
You can find electric folding bikes with a number of different wheel sizes. Most folding bikes use smaller wheels than standard bicycles to keep the folded size as small as possible. 16”, 18”, 20” and 24” are the common wheel sizes that you will find. While a smaller wheel makes for a smaller folded bike, you need more power output to reach the same speed as on bigger wheels. Ultimately you need to consider your exact electric folding bike needs and how you will use it to make the right decision.
DAHON bikes unfold the world around you, with two wheels and all kinds of ingenious technology. Suddenly ‘too far’ or ‘too big’ is not the issue, and the question becomes ‘where to next?’ Go the extra mile, your way. Folding bikes come in all variations to fit right on into your lifestyle, be it the urban commute, where you fold right on up into the office, or a weekend away with bikes for the family all stashed in your trunk. We’ve got you covered. Filter and find your ride over on the Bikes page.
The Link D8 is outfitted with puncture-resistant, cushiony 20-inch Schwalbe Big Apple tires, which bike expert Strub pointed out as a highlight given the bike’s price. Those tires alone retail for around twice what the tires on the Mariner D8 would cost. Strub also told us he projects the Big Apples to last for 3,000 to 5,000 miles of use versus the Citizens’s 2,000 to 3,000 miles, and that they should be less prone to a sidewall puncture—a common mishap in city riding. Less obvious but just as noteworthy is the design of this Tern model’s Neos derailleur, which sits close to the frame—meaning you’re less likely to bang it going through doors. Fenders and a basic rack with a bungee come standard, and the frame also has a socket for attaching a bag (sold separately) to the front of the bike. The Link D8’s fold, too, is different from that of the Dahon Mariner D8 and the Tern Link B7, with the handlebars releasing to the outside; if you leave them up, you can push the bike when it’s folded, a nice feature if you don’t want to lug the folded bike, say, along a train platform. I also liked the ergonomic handlebar grips, which have a softer feel than the similarly shaped grips on the Mariner D8. The Link D8’s internally geared hub offers eight speeds, which probably sounds better than the seven on the Link B7 but likely won’t make much of a difference to most people.
DAHON bikes unfold the world around you, with two wheels and all kinds of ingenious technology. Suddenly ‘too far’ or ‘too big’ is not the issue, and the question becomes ‘where to next?’ Go the extra mile, your way. Folding bikes come in all variations to fit right on into your lifestyle, be it the urban commute, where you fold right on up into the office, or a weekend away with bikes for the family all stashed in your trunk. We’ve got you covered. Filter and find your ride over on the Bikes page.
The two most common types of hub motors used in electric bicycles are brushed and brushless. Many configurations are available, varying in cost and complexity; direct-drive and geared motor units are both used. An electric power-assist system may be added to almost any pedal cycle using chain drive, belt drive, hub motors or friction drive. BLDC hub motors are a common modern design. The motor is built into the wheel hub itself, and the stator fixed solidly to the axle, and the magnets attached to and rotating with the wheel. The bicycle wheel hub is the motor. The power levels of motors used are influenced by available legal categories and are often, but not always limited to under 750 watts.

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.
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.

Unlike many electric pedal-assist bikes, Mate bicycles are relatively affordable. The Mate X funding tiers on Indiegogo start at $799, plus $200 more for delivery anywhere on the planet. The maxed-out Mate X prototype I tested brought the price closer to $1,500, delivered, with the “Big Daddy” all-terrain tires, and optional items like a 48V 17Ah (816Wh) battery ($99), a more powerful 750W motor ($200), hydraulic brakes ($129), thumb throttle ($49), and rear mud guard ($49). Expensive, yes, but dirt cheap relative to many e-bikes, the best of which start at around $2,500 and are half as much fun.
Folding bikes are set apart from other machines on the market by one defining characteristic: they fold. The collapsable nature of these bikes means that they’re ideal for anyone who wants to cycle to a train station, and take their bike with them for the journey into the unknown on the other side (or the standard 2 mile radius from London Bridge).
We’ve updated the section on our upgrade pick, the Brompton S6L, to include information about Brompton’s recent voluntary recall. The company says that the recall is more of a safety precaution than a reaction to reported injuries or experiences of compromised quality. We’re still confident that the Brompton S6L is the best upgrade choice for a folding bike.

I then rode each bike on a test commute into Manhattan and schlepped it back on the N train, taking note of the shifting, steering, braking, and overall ride quality, as well as the ease of folding the bike and then carrying it down the subway stairs, through the turnstiles (not all fit), and onto the train—and then doing the reverse on the other end. I also evaluated any luggage-/cargo-carrying options, as well as how compactly and securely each bike folded for fitting under a desk or into a car trunk or closet.
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.

This is a very cute scooter! It has better features than some other scooters in this price range. It arrived in good shape. It had a small nick in the saddle and the rubber charge port cover was dangling down. The port cover doesn't stay in place on its own, had to tape it in place. First charge took two hours, just like the instructions said. The charger gets hot. The "horn" is very weak. The headlight is very nice. Good brake, cool brake light. About 20 people rode the scooter at a family party. Everyone liked it! Some wanted more rides. The scooter was going steady for about two hours before the juice finally ran out. Over all, we like this "dolphin!"
More powerful pedelecs which are not legally classed as bicycles are dubbed S-Pedelecs (short for Schnell-Pedelecs, i.e. Speedy-Pedelecs) in Germany. These have a motor more powerful than 250 watts and less limited, or unlimited, pedal-assist, i.e. the motor does not stop assisting the rider once 25 km/h has been reached. S-Pedelec class e-bikes are therefore usually classified as mopeds or motorcycles rather than as bicycles and therefore may (depending on the jurisdiction) need to be registered and insured, the rider may need some sort of driver's license (either car or motorcycle) and motorcycle helmets may have to be worn.[14] In the United States, many states have adopted S-Pedelecs into the Class 3 category. Class 3 ebikes are limited to <=750 watts of power and 28 mph.[15]

After evaluating the seven-speed Tern Link B7, I had to double-check that it in fact retailed for just $400. For starters, it rode great, an opinion that all nine of our cyclist testers shared—one tester, suspecting it was one of the pricier bikes of the group, said that even if it cost $500, he would buy it that day. (I don’t think he actually did buy it, but he was pretty pumped when I told him it came in under his estimated sticker price.) Bike expert Strub confirmed that “it’s a lot of bike” for the money, praising its “clean frame design” and pointing out that it had the same Shimano derailleurs and shifters and similar 20-inch Kenda tires as the Mariner D7, which usually retails for nearly $200 more; the updated Mariner D8, however, improves on the derailleur and shifter for the same D7 sticker price. I found the fold, which is like the Mariner’s, to be a cinch, and the magnet snapped tight every time. The Link B7 also has ergonomic handlebar grips similar to the ones we like on the Link D8.


Dahon builds the Boardwalk S1 with a single-speed drivetrain and 20-inch wheels to keep things simple. The Boardwalk S1 includes both a coaster brake and linear-pull front brake for easy stopping. Despite its sturdy steel frame, the whole package weighs in at just 27.6 pounds (about the same as a mountain bike). Stash it at your beach house or slide it into your apartment’s front closet for quick escapes. Price not available.
In 1941, during the Second World War, the British War Office called for a machine that weighed less than 23 lb (this was not achieved - the final weight was about 32 pounds) and would withstand being dropped by parachute. In response, the Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) developed a folding bicycle small enough to be taken in small gliders or on parachute jumps from aircraft.
A 24V Lithium Ion battery with Samsung cells powers a 250W motor on this entry level folder. The battery will take you about 30 miles, with a max speed of 15mph. There are 4 levels of assistance, all displayed on an LED screen. You get Shimano Tourney 7 speed shifting, and the whole bike folds – including the pedals which will be a handy feature for those commuting by train. The drawback? It does weigh in at 22kg so you do pay for the bargain with your carrying arm.
While folders are usually smaller in overall size than conventional bicycles, the distances among the center of bottom bracket, the top of the saddle, and the handlebars - the primary factors in determining whether or not a bicycle fits its rider - are usually similar to those of conventional bikes. The wheelbase of many folding designs is also very similar to that of conventional, non-folding, bicycles.
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.
Unlike many electric pedal-assist bikes, Mate bicycles are relatively affordable. The Mate X funding tiers on Indiegogo start at $799, plus $200 more for delivery anywhere on the planet. The maxed-out Mate X prototype I tested brought the price closer to $1,500, delivered, with the “Big Daddy” all-terrain tires, and optional items like a 48V 17Ah (816Wh) battery ($99), a more powerful 750W motor ($200), hydraulic brakes ($129), thumb throttle ($49), and rear mud guard ($49). Expensive, yes, but dirt cheap relative to many e-bikes, the best of which start at around $2,500 and are half as much fun.
But with prices ranging from a few hundred to many thousands of pounds, it pays to do your homework before choosing what’s best for your requirements. We took a range of folding bikes out in central London, on to commuter trains and into the depths of suburbia in order to ascertain which is best folding bike in each category. And if you'd prefer a little electric boost for your commute, have a look at our guide to the best electric bikes.
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.
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.

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

One of the biggest advantages of a folding electric bicycle is that they are operable completely manually – if you run out of power, you can just ride your bike as you would normally until you get a chance to charge up. This makes them extraordinarily versatile and allows you to take extended trips on your bike with no fear of being stranded when out of power.


An electric bicycle, also known as an e-bike, powerbike or booster bike, is a bicycle with an integrated electric motor which can be used for propulsion. Many kinds of e-bikes are available worldwide, from e-bikes that only have a small motor to assist the rider's pedal-power (i.e., pedelecs) to somewhat more powerful e-bikes which tend closer to moped-style functionality: all, however, retain the ability to be pedalled by the rider and are therefore not electric motorcycles.
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