Folding Bike Brand Comparison

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Folding Bike Brand Comparison

We carry a lot of bikes. We also record a lot of information about them here on the website--tons of reviews of different folding and electric bike models, tips on how to pick the right size of folding bike, tips on how to fold your bike as quickly as possible, tips on how to install an electric conversion kit on your can get pretty overwhelming for someone trying to compare their options.

When you start your search for the perfect folding bike, probably the first hurdle you will run into is deciding which bicycle brand is right for you. We get a lot of questions about the different folding bike brands that we carry here at NYCeWheels: "What's the difference between Dahon and Brompton?", "Why should I pick a Tern as opposed to a Montague?", "What is the difference between the 2012 and 2013 Bromptons?" To make life a little bit easier, here is an overview of the differences between each of the folding bike brands that we carry.

BromptonBrompton folding bike

  • Small 16-inch wheels
  • Innovative folding design allows bike to roll while folded
  • Fully customizable
  • Rear suspension smooths out ride


Brompton folding bikes are probably our most popular product. They fold smaller than anything else in the shop (short of a kick scooter), and they are extremely well made from high quality, durable materials. In contrast to the rest of the folding bike brands we carry, Brompton does not manufacture a range of models featuring an "entry level" low end and a "performance level" high end. Instead, every Brompton features the same high quality steel frame, with the same folding mechanisms and same basic components. The price varies as you customize additional options. For example, you can buy a 1-, 2-, 3-, or 6-speed Brompton, and add fenders, racks, luggage blocks, change the tires and paint scheme, or opt for titanium upgrades. However, a lightweight 2-speed folding bicycle will be as high quality as a 6-speed touring setup. From time to time, Brompton introduces limited-run models with custom paint jobs and matching accessories, such as the Barcelona Brompton we are currently carrying. These models are a great deal, as they offer a unique, beautiful bike without costing any extra.

Barcelona Brompton

Currently, we have a large number of Brompton stock from 2012 as well as 2013. The price between two otherwise equivalent models differs by about $70. The 2013 Bromptons have a couple of upgrades: more durable rims and more responsive brake levers. Most of the 2013 folding bikes also feature a 2-piece crank that makes it easier to make gear modifications by changing the chainwheel.

Brompton also offers a variety of handlebar configurations from which to choose, with each being designed for a different style of biking: speed, touring, comfort, or cruising. All Bromptons are outfitted with a rear suspension system, which is more or less a byproduct of the bikes' folding mechanism. It is a useful byproduct, however, as the suspension does a great deal to absorb any unevenness under the tires. By switching out the suspension to an extra-firm variant, one can also get a stiffer, faster ride.


Brompton designs and manufactures all their folding bicycles in a West London factory. A few components are bought from third party manufacturers, but none of the unique custom parts are the result of outsourced labor. Instead, Brompton relies on a host of in-house craftspeople who pride themselves on maintaining tight quality control to create extremely high quality components.


Brompton provides a 5 year warranty on their frames, and 2 years for the other components.

Why should I buy a Brompton bike?

Brompton is THE bike for anyone looking for a folding bike with the smallest possible footprint. The fact that it can roll while folded, and that luggage need not be removed in order to fold it, means this is also the perfect commuting bicycle for anyone looking to combine multiple modes of transportation in their travel plans. Finally, these bikes can be built to your specifications from the ground up using our Brompton customization tool, making the Brompton easily the most customizable bike we carry.

DahonDahon carbon folding bicycle

  • Full range of models from entry level to super-high performance
  • Oldest, most established folding bicycle brand
  • Adjustable handlebar height on most models


As one of most recognizable names in the business and the largest current manufacturer of folding bikes, Dahon is a reliable company, producing a huge range of bicycles to fill practically every niche out there. Many of their designs have become industry standards. Their entry level bikes are some of the most affordable options available for someone looking to get their toes wet in the world of folding bikes, but do not underestimate them. Dahon's performance bikes are some of the most amazing folding bikes ever conceived--consider the 30 year anniversary carbon racer, which incorporates top shelf components and an extremely light and rigid carbon fiber frame.

Many of Dahon's folding commuter and city bikes, including the popular Mariner and Vitesse D7, share several common features. Generally these folding bikes come with medium-wide saddles that gives them a hybrid-like, rather upright feel. However, because the handleposts on these Dahons are adjustable, by altering the height of the handlebars, you can change to overall feel of the ride to anything from a road-racing crouch to completely upright. Another fun and handy feature included in many Dahon models is an emergency pump that hides away inside the seatpost.

Dahon Vitesse folding bikeManufacturing

Though Dahon is headquartered in California, most of its manufacturing for worldwide markets is done in Shenzhen, China. The company also maintains a Bulgarian factory to provide stock for European countries, while a Beijing campus produces folding bikes destined for mainland China.


Dahon provides a 2 year warranty on their frames and most of their original components. However, registering on Dahon's website will upgrade your frame and fork warranty to 5 years.

Why should I buy a Dahon bike?

Dahons offer some of the most affordable folding bikes out there, as well as some of the nicest. Because they are one of the most venerable brands in the business, they are also one of the easiest for which to find accessories and replacement parts. Anyone looking for a reliable, highly adjustable bike need look no further.

TernTern folding bike

  • High-grade folding bikes
  • Fast and easy to fold
  • Some of the lightest folding bikes available
  • Innovative, cutting-edge technology


Tern focuses its energies on building folding bikes with an excellent ride. So even though a Tern bike may have small wheels and fold quickly, you don?t have to compromise on ride quality.

Building quality products that are fully serviceable is part of Tern?s design ethos. Every hinge, for example, features integrated bearings. Not only do these make the fold buttery smooth, but they are incredibly easy for us to service. And Tern?s Los Angeles service center has a full stock of replacement parts for every bike they?ve ever made.

Tern makes bikes for 3 types of riding - Around Town, Performance, and Touring - in a range of wheel sizes so there?s a Tern for almost every type of rider. The Verge S8i, with a belt drive, internal hub gear, integrated dynamo lighting, and super stealthy looks is probably the best commuting bike in the shop. Another one of our favorites is the Eclipse X22, an amazing speed machine that is very likely the fastest riding folding bike on the market.

Design + Manufacturing

Tern?s design team is spread across Europe (the Chief of Product Design is based in Finland), the US, and Taiwan. All parts are modeled in 3D and prototyped using CNC machining or 3D printing and refined through multiple cycles. Tern utilizes sophisticated technologies like 3D forging and hydroforming to produce their bikes. Tern bikes are made in Vietnam, China, and the Czech Republic.


Tern offers a standard 5 year warranty on their frame, handlepost, and fork, and a 1 year warranty on all other parts. Registration for their Tern Care program is free and doubles the warranty on frame, handlepost and fork to 10 years.

Why should I buy a Tern bike?

Because you want the portability of a folding bike but don?t want to sacrifice ride quality. You want a bike that rides well and is designed for getting around in the city, carrying your stuff, keeping you safe and most of all, is fun to ride!,/p>

Pacific CyclesIF Mode full size folding bike

  • Elegant, unusual designs
  • Bikes can be rolled when folded
  • Some of the most innovative technology available


Pacific Cycles is a company known for their beautiful, functional, and unique designs. Probably the most eye-catching bike in our shop, the 2-speed IF Mode, exemplifies their products--this full-sized bike is made to fold to a slim silhouette, but is still able to be wheeled along the ground. Another Pacific bike, the IF Reach, folds in a similar manner to the Mode, but performs as a fast 18-speed road bike even on its 20 inch wheels. In typical fashion, Pacific could not resist outfitting this bike with an unusual super-stiff dual suspension system, which makes it one of the smoothest, quickest rides in the shop.

IF Reach folding bikeManufacturing

Based in Taipei, Pacific has some of the most unique designs--and thus unique custom parts--of any folding bike manufacturer. As a company composed as much of designers as mechanics and engineers, Pacific has a long history of using cutting edge technology in their production techniques. In the '80s they were one of the first bike companies to use AutoCAD, and today they utilize 3D scanning and printing technology in their prototyping process.


Pacific offers a 5-year warranty on their frames.

Why should I buy a Pacific Cycles bike?

Pacific Cycles is the way to go when you are looking for a folding bike that is visually stunning as well as useful. Also, because most of their designs roll when folded, this is a good choice for anyone who knows they will be walking their bike a fair amount. Finally, from the minuscule Carry All trike, to full suspension IF Reach, all the way up to the unique elegance of the IF Mode, Pacific has built a business out of manufacturing bikes for extremely specific niches. If most folding bikes are too generic for your needs, Pacific Cycles might have exactly what you need.

MontagueMontague Paratrooper full size folding mountain bike

  • Affordable, full-sized folding bikes
  • Military spec toughness
  • Several models for mountain biking
  • Lifetime warranty on frames


The brainchild of an MIT engineer, Montague manufactures extremely durable and functional full-sized bikes. All Montagues are based on the same single-fold design--when fully compacted by removing the front wheel and folding the frame at the bottom of the seatpost, these bicycles are able to cut their footprint in half. With a range of impressively affordable models spanning all bike riding styles, from around town and commuting to performance mountain biking, Montague can provide a ride for almost biker's needs.

Montagues are not really designed to fold and unfold many times a day, the way the Bromptons, Terns, and Dahons are. Rather, the folding technology on Montagues is designed to allow the bike to be stored easily in a closet or transported in a car trunk, without the need for bulky bike racks.

The Paratrooper mountain bike, probably Montague's most recognizable design, was initially designed for military use. The strength and versatility built into that frame is also found throughout the company's wide-ranging line, which includes everything from the single-speed Boston, to the road racing Fit.

Folded Montague Paratrooper folding bikeManufacturing

Montague has stayed true to their Boston roots--they are still headquartered in Cambridge, MA. Primary production is done in Taiwan, but because all their bikes use a lot of standard parts, many of their components come from third party manufacturers based around the world.


Montague's frames come with a lifetime limited warranty, while their components are covered for a year.

Why should I buy a Montague bike?

For those who need a folding bike but refuse to ride anything with small wheels, Montague is the perfect solution. These bikes ride exactly like a traditional setup, but with the added functionality of folding. In fact, dollar for dollar, you get an incredible deal with Montague bikes--their cost is pretty equivalent to similar non-folding bikes. Anyone looking for a folder that gives them great bang for their buck need look no further.