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.


I have been thoroughly pleased with my Blix Vika+. I bought it in March, and I commute to work, a 22-mile round trip. I will break my review into a few different components. - Speed and handling: The bike is a real pleasure to ride. I pedal, but I don't have to pedal very hard. Because I am short (5'2"), I find the smaller wheel size and the step-through frame very manageable. It can get quite some speed, too, which is great. - Battery: I can do my 22-mile commute on a single charge, but the bike does get a bit slower on the return journey. If I'd known this, I might have upgraded to the bigger battery. - Folding: The folding and unfolding is pretty straightforward. I have done it many times to throw the bike in the back of a Yaris, and it's pretty simple, even for someone like me who is not mechanically minded. - Weight: The bike is pretty heavy. If you think you might be able to carry it anywhere except to put it in the back of a vehicle, think again. It's just too heavy. But this generally doesn't affect the handling, except sometimes when taking off from being stopped. Nothing too noticeable, though. - Customer service: Blix's customer service is GREAT. They are extremely responsive (I have contacted them online a few times, and they get back to me within a matter of hours) and always answer my questions completely and to my satisfaction. This is a very big plus when you're spending a reasonable amount of money a bike. Overall, I am very happy with my purchase and would recommend a Blix bike to anyone who was looking for an electric bike.


Obviously, you shouldn’t ignore traffic rules and try to weave around cars – that’s dangerous, even for unpowered bicycles. However, folding electric bikes can fit places that cars can’t – alleyways, or even sidewalks – though again, you should follow all posted laws and regulations about where to ride them. Using your surroundings smartly in an urban environment can help you avoid traffic completely.
Want to read about more folding bikes? A buyer's guide to a wider selection of folding bikes appeared in A2B Magazine and is available here. Another more detailed buyer's guide is published by the Folding Society and is available here. The Folding Society is probably the single most detailed Web site on the subject of folding bikes and should be able to give you the answer to almost any question. Also take a look at
The Pacific Cycles Birdy Standard 9 Speed has a cool backstory: The bike was designed by a pair of German engineering students in the 1990s and is now manufactured by a Taiwanese firm. This model, a reintroduction of the original design, has no break in the frame. Instead, you fold it by rotating both tires underneath. This means that when it’s locked into the riding position, it has the structural integrity to handle heavier riders (up to 240 pounds). In our tests it offered a comfortable ride thanks to its integrated rear suspension, but given the bike’s limited distribution, its larger footprint when folded, and its high price—comparable with that of the Brompton—we chose the Brompton as our upgrade pick. Still, the Birdy could be a good option for larger riders.
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.
Dahon - a full 60% of all folding bikes sold in the U.S. are made by Dahon. A quick survey of NYC bike shops shows that just about everyone is selling them. One particular model seems to stand out: the aluminum-framed Presto that weighs in at just 20 pounds, making it the lightest production folding bike in the world. Its folded dimensions are 28" X 20" X 11" (with 16" wheels). The Piccolo (based on the Dahon Classic, a very popular older model) has similar dimensions but a steel frame that makes it weigh in at 26 pounds. In addition to other 16" models, Dahon also offers many other attractive models of folding bikes with 20" and 26" wheels that fold into larger packages and offer better performance and ride. Prices range from $200 for a simple 20" wheeled model to $900 for a full-size mountain bike. Dahons fold in about 15 seconds. www.dahon.com (Bikes can be ordered through many local bike shops or from B-Fold, www.bfold.com, 212 529-7247).
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.
If you have very little storage space and love to bring your bike on vacations, you should look at the Goplus Electric Folding Bike. It has a powerful battery that’s removable and allows you to go up to 30 km per charge. To fully charge the battery, you’d need about 5 to 6 hours. It charges easily, and its charger is UL approved for safety. The bike is made of aluminum alloy with the front fork made of high-strength carbon steel. It features a quick release clamp that allows you to fold the bike quickly and easily. The bike weighs 55lbs, and when folded, it measures 33’’x26’’x14’’ (LxHxW). Both front and rear brakes are reliable and guarantee safety. The seat height is adjustable, so you can go up or down a size if you’re maybe sharing the bike with someone else. The bike comes partially assembled, and if you’re not a professional, I suggest you have someone help you with tightening everything into place.
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.

Brompton - sometimes referred to as the "Jaguar" of folding bicycles, this British import folds smaller than any other model into a package that locks together and keeps the chain away from your clothes. It also can coast about in its folded state on suitcase-style casters (with optional rollerblade wheels for really covering distance). There is also an optional cover and saddle bag combo that turns this bike into a nondescript rolling black canvas object that cannot be identified as a bike (suitable for all "stealth" infiltrations of bike-unfriendly buildings). With its rear suspension, the Brompton is also known for its exceptional ride for a folding bike with 16" wheels. Price: about $700 for the simplest model, $1300 for a fully accessorized version with lights, fenders, a carrier, more gears, a cover, and a framed bag that attaches to the front of the bike. Its dimensions, when folded, are 22" X 22" X 10" and it ranges in weight from 24-28 pounds, depending on accessories. The Brompton folds in about 15 seconds. To see a demonstration of the folding process of the Brompton in animated .gif format, click here. Visit one of NYC's Brompton retailers at nycewheels.com.


The Pacific Cycles Birdy Standard 9 Speed has a cool backstory: The bike was designed by a pair of German engineering students in the 1990s and is now manufactured by a Taiwanese firm. This model, a reintroduction of the original design, has no break in the frame. Instead, you fold it by rotating both tires underneath. This means that when it’s locked into the riding position, it has the structural integrity to handle heavier riders (up to 240 pounds). In our tests it offered a comfortable ride thanks to its integrated rear suspension, but given the bike’s limited distribution, its larger footprint when folded, and its high price—comparable with that of the Brompton—we chose the Brompton as our upgrade pick. Still, the Birdy could be a good option for larger riders.
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.
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.
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