When customers come into our store looking for a folding bike , one of the first questions that they ask us is "What's the best folding bike?" By and large, folding bikes are diverse in design, folding mechanisms, and purpose. As such, you can't compare them in such a way that you can point out the best folding bicycle of the group. More appropriate questions would be "What's the lightest folding bike?", "What's the quickest folding bike?", "What's the most inexpensive folding bike?", and "What's the most portable bike?" Every folding bike has its own virtues.
The best folding bike depends on your needs as a rider, and the best folding bike for you might not be the best folding bike for someone else.Our picks for the best folding bikes:
Best all around budget folding bike
The best folding bicycle when you're on a tight budget is the Tern Link D8. This bike has 8 gears, a rack, fenders, and folds up nice and compact for transport or storage. If you're short on space and don't have the cash to blow on one of the higher end models you'll love the Link D8. It's one of our most popular folding bicycles.
This is just one of the folding bicycles available from Tern Bikes. Tern is known for nice design and looks as well as quality manufacturing.
Best value commuter folding bicycle
To get the best commuter folding bike for your money, we recommend the Dahon Vitesse D7. This bike has all the features you want in a commuter: 7 gears in a low maintenance internal hub, a rack and fenders. This bike folds up nice and small for transport on trains and buses or in the trunk of your car. We've sold more Vitesse D7 bikes to commuters than any other.
The Vitesse is made by Dahon Bikes, the oldest folding bike manufacturer and most popular world wide.
Best compact and portable fold-up bicycle
The Brompton M3L is our most popular folding bicycle for city riding and also for travel. That's because if folds up smaller than any other folding bike in our shop! The small and portable size is thanks to the ingenious English design. Not only that, the Brompton is hand built in England making it the best quality construction of any bike in the shop.
We carry many stock Brompton bikes but you can also order one custom. In our experience, for portability and quality, nothing beats Brompton folding bikes.
Best performing, lightweight, and fast folding bike
The best fast and lightweight folding bike is the Tern Verge X10. This is a 10 gear, road bike style folding bicycle, that will have you flying. The Verge X10 weighs a feathery 21.3 lbs and can be lifted with just one hand with ease. It's prefect if you have to carry your bike up a lot of stairs or pick it up often.
If you're into the fancy and high end models and really want something extra special you should take a look at the Tern Verge bikes. This line from Tern has all the best parts, super light frames, and is performance tuned to be super light and fast.
Best regular size wheel folding bike
The best folding bike with wheels the same size as a normal bicycle would be the Montague Paratrooper. The Paratrooper is a front suspension mountain bicycle which also happens to fold in half. You get all the regular mountain bicycle features - 24 gears for climbing steep hills, 26" wheels, and powerful disc brakes.
Montague actually makes a whole range of full size folding bikes. There are some which are road bicycles and some which are mountain bikes but all of them fold up to a more portable size than a regular bicycle.
There's lots of good advice in our lightest folding bike article on picking a good light weight folding bicycle. Brompton's titanium models are nice - weighing as little as 19 lbs - and Dahon and also offers some of the lightest folding bikes on the market.
If you're looking for compactness, a bike that folds with great ease and forms a small package that can be taken anywhere. Remember that the smallest folding bike would be a Brompton. If you need a bike that you can take absolutely anywhere and brings folding bike travel into your daily routine effortlessly, Brompton would be the best folding bike for you.
If you're looking for the least expensive folding bike on the market, then for you the best folding bike would be one of Dahon's models. Dahon produces a wide variety of models, some better than others but all of good quality. They may not fold as compactly as some of the other folding bikes out there, but they offer a good folding bike for your dollar.
If you're looking for a folding bike that is simple and fun, for riding around the neighborhood and in the park, and that can be transported easily when folded, you'll want to look towards the Brompton. The Brompton folding bike can be rolled on little wheels attached to the frame even when in its folded position, making it easy to cart around.