We can answer this question really quickly with another question: do you live or work in or around the city? If you do then yes, folding bikes really are worth it. Folding bikes make sacrifices to their design in order to be as compact as possible. They are not the comfiest option for riding down a mountain for instance, but if you need a bike for your commute, or you are short on space where you live, you won’t find any more convenient than a folding bike. We’re going to break down some of the pros and cons of this style of bike and explore the most ideal environment for folding bikes.
What’s The Point?
A lot of cities around the world are improving public transport to synergise with the cycling commute. Have you seen the bike racks at the front of buses? The combination of cycling and public transport makes your commute quicker and more active. The point of the folding bike is to make this combination even more convenient. Even if cities are making strides to accommodate riders on public transport, regular push bikes are still big and a pain to carry around. The folding bike is not only easier to carry onto public transport, it’s also easier to store at either end of your journey, making this a dream come true for any apartment dwelling folk.
How do They Work?
Foldable bikes hinge at the middle of the frame to basically reduce the length of the bike by half. Your long, cumbersome frame folds down into a compact, easier to carry and store package. Pedals and handlebars can also sometimes fold down to further decrease the footprint of the bike. Check your local public transport rules and regulations. Most folding bikes should fold down small enough that you can carry them onto a bus or train with you. Storing at home or work is also made a breeze with this low space mode of transport.
The pros are really simple here. The convenience factor of the folding bicycle is the entire reason for getting one. Take the Nomad for instance. Once you’ve folded it up you can take it just about anywhere with you. On a bus or train on your daily commute. In the back of your car to take it to a trail for a leisurely ride. Even take it on a flight so you have something to ride around once you leave the terminal. They’re compact, so it’s easier to store at home and in the office as well which is perfect for apartment living, and much easier to take up and down the stairs or in the elevator.
For a standard folding bike the main con is the same as the pro. It was built to be compact and easier to store and carry. This can mean sacrificing higher end specs in order to make the bike lighter and slimmer so that it can be more easily transported. In this case it’s not an ideal bike for competitive mountain biking or traveling over longer distances. There are, however, exceptions to this rule. The Rover was built specifically for mountain biking with dual suspension and disc brakes making it exceptional for easy transport to the mountain and a safe, comfortable ride down. The E-Glide with its pedal assist motor and lithium ion battery makes traveling long distances a breeze.
So as you can see, there really isn’t a good reason not to get a folding bike. The question is only how much you value convenience. This is the perfect bike for city riding and apartment living and even the simplest folding bike makes your daily commute so much quicker. If your cycling needs are more particular, chances are there’s still a folding bike that will suit you - check out our full range here.