Cheap folding bikes are available on the internet, but what is the difference between one of these bikes and a folding bicycle in our store?
As a dealer of folding bikes, we often have customers who ask why the prices are higher on our bikes than some cheap folding bikes they find on the internet. Often times, when comparing our bikes with the competition online, it is difficult to see the differences between a higher quality folding bike and a lower quality folding bike. It's a good thing we get a lot of customers who are previous owners of these cheap bikes so we can hear the horror stories firsthand!
A folding bike that is under $200 is generally not a long-term investment. Most of the time, these bikes are not ready to ride upon arrival, and need to be tuned up by a professional bike shop. This could cost anywhere from 50% to 100% of the cost of the bike, depending on its condition. So before you've even ridden it, you've already paid an additional cost.
Folding bikes are designed with high quality components for a reason: they fold. Would you drive a car if you knew there was a chance the steering wheel would break off while driving? For the same reason, you don't want a folding bike that has a chance of coming apart in the middle of a ride. The hinges on our Dahon bikes and Brompton bikes have a double safety latch, ensuring that the hinges will never come loose, no matter how hard the ride.
We've talked to a lot of owners of these cheap folding bikes, and most of them are New York City commuters. If you've ridden a bike in Manhattan, you're well aware of the condition of the roads. Even the best quality bikes will need maintenance when they're ridden through these streets. The last customer we talked with spent three times the original cost of his cheap folding bike within one month of owning it. The costs never stop adding up either. Why not pay more up front and get a folding bike that is guaranteed to last for years, than waste money on a flimsy online bike that will need to be fixed three times a week? It's an obvious choice.