Are Folding Bikes Good Enough? 12 Pros & Cons

Folding bicycles are versatile and ideal for recreational riding on flat terrain. And they fit perfectly in confined spaces, making them ideal for travel. However, the ride will be a little rougher with such little wheels.

Having had and often used one, I can attest to their greater adaptability.

However, are they the best option for everyone?

This post is all about an analysis that Are Folding Bikes Good for your daily commuting or not?

Can you have pleasure riding a foldable bicycle?

In a recreational setting, on well-maintained pavement or dirt/gravel paths, folding bikes are a lot of fun to ride. Having a bicycle you can take practically anyplace, even when a traditional bike wouldn’t be practical, is a lot of fun.

While convenient, riding a folding bike is not a lot of fun over rough terrain. Roots and stones become nearly impassable due to the poor rolling ability of the smaller wheels and their bodies can’t take a lot of punishment before breaking down.

Can you ride a long way with a folding bicycle?

When traveling far, a folding bike is a serviceable but not ideal mode of transportation. Touring cyclists, who need several hand positions for convenience and aerodynamics, seldom use them. To add insult to injury, tires on such vehicles will wear out rapidly due to the increased RPMs required by their smaller sizes.

As a result, when offered the option between a road/touring bike and a folding bicycle, almost all frequent bikers choose the latter. (Except if they have very specific transport/storage requirements.)

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Long-distance comfort:

The riding posture on most folding bikes is quite close to that of a hybrid or traveling cycle. That’s great because it strikes a balance between a sporty forward lean and a relaxed upright stance, making it ideal for extended rides.

However, drop handlebars (and other less popular varieties) are favored by touring riders because they allow for three distinct hand positions. Reallocate your body weight and assume a more aerodynamic or upright position when riding for long periods of time.

However, since straight bars take up less space, they are the standard on most foldable bicycles. The P-bars from Brompton and the drop-bar Pocket Rocket from Bicycle Friday are two notable outliers.

Tires wear out quicker:

Since the diameter of a folding bike’s wheels is only around two-thirds that of a standard set, they need to spin 3/2 as fast to get the same velocity. That’s twice as fast as their normal rate of wear and tear.

Tires on a folding cycle often have a shorter lifespan than those on a standard bike; for example, if you regularly get 3000 miles out of a set of full-size tires, you might only get 2000 miles out of the tires on a folding bike.

The difference is negligible in practical terms. This may necessitate replacing tires annually, rather than every 1.5 years as is now recommended. However, regular long-distance rides may necessitate a larger number of spare parts and possibly a little more upkeep.

Similarly, the expected lifespan of hubs should be lower. While all good ones should survive for thousands of kilometers, comparing the lifespans of different hub models is more difficult.

folding bikes tires

How long do folding bicycles last before they break?

Bikes that fold up are just as sturdy as their non-folding counterparts. In general, the weight restrictions of the frames are higher, but if you stick to them, they will serve you well for a long time.

Aside from the frames, the parts of a folding bike are indistinguishable from those of a standard bike. This article provides further information about the longevity of bicycles and concludes that their lifespans are comparable.

As a matter of fact, smaller-diameter wheels may be sturdier and less likely to have problems with bent rims or damaged spokes. This is due to the lower size allowing for even more spokes per inch of diameter and less leverage.

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The use of clamps on hinges requires caution:

Hinge clamps are the most vulnerable to breakage and premature wear, so replace them as soon as possible if your folding does suffer damage. You may prevent this by making sure they fit snugly. They’ll jiggle with the road’s vibrations if they’re too slack, and they won’t withstand the pressures intended for them if they’re too tight.

If, despite your best efforts, your hinge clamp develops play, you should be able to claim it under warranty. Perhaps the biggest drawback to buying a used bike is that only brand-new motorcycles come with warranties.

Is it safe for older citizens to use folding bicycles?

An excellent option for the physically active senior is a foldable bike. They may be put on and taken off quickly and easily, and they take up little space.

The top tube is low, making it simple to step over, just like on a “women’s” or “step-through” frame on a standard bike. If putting one’s leg over the saddle is usually a source of discomfort, you may find this a welcome adjustment.

The same holds true for those who spend a great deal of time on boats or in cars. Bikes that fold up are simple to transport and store in confined areas, such as the trunk of a vehicle or a boat’s hold.

Despite the fact that many of them weigh a few more pounds, their manageable size makes them far more convenient to work with than their bulkier counterparts.

In what ways do folding bicycles fall short?

The biggest drawbacks are the slightly rougher rides and higher pricing (for the same quality). Additionally, there are fewer alternatives for parts, accessories, and storage space, while they are sufficient for the majority of journeys.

Pros and cons of Folding Bikes

Pros of Folding Bikes:

  • There are many advantages of folding bikes over common bikes. Folding bikes are usually space-saving bikes as you can keep your bike under your desk, table, or under the stairs, because these bikes are easy to fold as compared to traditional bikes so that’s why they are more valuable these days.
  • Generally, folding bikes are easy to handle because of their light frame and smart technology. Because of its light frame, they can transport it easily through buses; Trains, or any kind of vehicle without any security issue. Folding bikes are also favorable because of their compact nature.  You wouldn’t need to worry about it being stolen.  You can carry it with you where you want to go, whereas you cannot transport a regular bike over public transportation.
  • Folding bikes are usually environmentally friendly over traditional bikes. As there is no need for fuel for it running these bikes are good for your health as well as for the environment.

Folding bikes are usually more durable because of their excellent quality and compact nature than traditional bikes. So, these bikes are not easily damaged.

You can buy a folding bike according to your need. You can take a cheaper quality folding bike or high-quality bike, it’s about your need.

Folding bikes are generally available with two types of wheel size as in 16 and 20 inches that’s all about your need. But you can buy a good quality folding bike at a reasonable price from the market. You can take it as a cost-effective bike.

Cons of Folding Bikes:

There are also some drawbacks of folding bikes as well.

  • Folding bikes are not as stable as traditional bikes. It generally happens because of smaller tires. These smaller tires usually create a little difficulty in their standing. So, on long-distance, these bikes may create a lot of fatigue for riders because of these smaller tires. So, these bikes are not appropriate for long distances.
  • Folding bikes are less stable than conventional bikes because of small wheels. These small wheels usually give a rough ride and slow ride on the long distance.
  • For buying Folding bikes you have to put more price than a traditional bike. Usually, you can take it between the range of $200 to $2000. But it depends on your needs. So, these bikes are a little more expensive than regular bikes. Although both bikes have the same functions and specifications.
  • One can use a folding bike for a ride just on paved roads because it doesn’t have front shock so it is not appropriate for you to ride on with folding bike on an uneven path.
  • One of the major drawbacks of a folding bike is that it can rust easily. You can’t wash it regularly. However, you can just wipe it with a clean cloth to prevent rust.
Pros and cons of Folding Bikes
  • Folding bikes are not much attractive as traditional bikes are because of their smaller size and structure. So, during your ride, it can be the cause of unwanted attention from other people.
  • Generally, due to being smaller in size, you have to put more energy. So folding bikes are less efficient than conventional bikes because these bikes take more potential for riding.
  • Another disadvantage of a folding bike is that it is a little expensive for its repairing because you can’t find its new components easily for replacement in the common market as compared to regular bikes.
  • Be sure you are getting your folding bike in the right proportion of weight and size.

Summary on Are Folding Bikes Good for you?

As long as you keep off of tough terrain and don’t do any crazy stunts, a folding bike may serve you well for both utilitarian and enjoyable riding. To avoid the hassle of locking a bicycle up outside, they are ideal for travelers who need to bring a bike on public transportation.

But smaller wheels can’t absorb the shock of bumps as bigger ones can. Although foldable bikes may be used for touring and lengthy rides, traditional bicycles are often more comfortable.

You’ve decided that a foldable bike may meet your needs, but you’re not sure which one to buy.

Dahon is an excellent option for those on a limited budget. Although they aren’t the cheapest option, they are among the few budget brands I feel comfortable using on a regular basis.

However, I have found that Brompton produces the finest folding bicycle overall. Although it may not be the cheapest or most feature-rich option, it is difficult to surpass for most everyday uses.

There are a few others to think about for specialized uses, but just two should be plenty for the vast majority of city dwellers.

Final Verdict on Are Folding Bikes Good Enough?

Does it make sense to invest in a foldable bike? True, they’re the best option for people who ride bikes to work. Due to their practical design, they are simple to move using common modes of transportation.

As they are portable, you may take comfort in knowing that your property is safe from theft. What’s more, they fold up into a little footprint, so they’re simple to keep on hand whether at the workplace or at home. You should get a folding bicycle.

We hope our team at tried their best to explain, “Are Folding Bikes Good Enough for you? please head over to the blog section and explore the world of biking.

Mark Webster is bike enthusiast and researcher in bike industry from last 15 years. Mark had been working in different bike manufacturing companies for research and development of new models. Mark has mission to make bike design safest for bikers. The dream of Mark is to make bikes too mainstream that we can reduce global carbon emissions.

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