Best Folding Bikes Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
When making a bike, the design is everything. It determines how aerodynamic it is, how fast it can go at top speed, how easy it is to stop, how convenient it is, and in the case of folding bikes, how compact it is when folded. Some models have only slight differences, that only an expert on the subject would be able to see, that in fact change the way the entire machine operates, improving on problems that the last model’s manufacturers likely didn’t even know were there at all. So, when you go looking for a folding bike, ask yourself what you need your bike to do in terms of design, and then look for that in the design. Having a friend who knows more about bikes than you will also help tremendously with this.
What do we mean by features? Well, we certainly don’t mean simple things like pedals, handlebars, spokes, etc. that’s what we expected to work just fine. No, we meant multiple speeds for the bike. There’s a very good chance that you’ll be riding uphill, and single-speed bikes do not do hills. Not to say that there isn’t a place for single speed bikes, especially if you live in cities like London or New York, where hills and inclines are very rare.
This also includes things like electric motors. Yes, we came down hard on how they can just heap on the hundred to the price tag, but there’s a good reason as to why they do that: they work really well. They add dozens of more mph to your bike’s speed which is really important if you need to be somewhere fast. So, while they do make the bikes in question that much more expensive (especially since folding bikes are already pretty expensive in their own right), but for those who need that extra bit of speed, the price is more than worth it for the dividends it pays out in. Also, they typically come with really good warranties, so there’s that.
We’ve been pretty subtle about this, so in case you haven’t figured it out yet: bikes, in general, are really expensive. If you want a professionally made bike for adults, whether normal or foldable, then you have to save up and then some, because it’s going to cost you quite the pretty penny. Do they need to cost so much? Generally speaking, yes, because these bikes are not cheap to make, at least, not the best ones, and definitely not the ones that made it onto this list. It gets even more expensive when you take into account certain adaptations made to the bike itself, such as motors and GPS compatibility.
When it comes to price, the big secret tends to be to save up for the bike that you need. Since it’s going to be super expensive one way or the other, then there’s no need to feel so much pressure about it.
10 Best Folding Bikes
1. The EuroMini ZiZZO
Starting off our list right, with the EuroMini ZiZZO Folding Bike. EuroMini is pretty much the go-to brand in Europe when you want a good folding bike. They’re known for their compact design, quality construction, and reasonable prices (as reasonable as you can be with these bikes). Does the ZiZZO live up to that pedigree? Let’s find out
High class equipment
These things are expensive, so it’s fair to expect this bike to be outfitted with nothing short of the best equipment money can buy. Fortunately, that’s exactly what you get with the ZiZZO. Outfitted with a Shimano Tourney 7-speed derailleur, a Shimano Revo 7-speed Grip Style Shifter, and all topped off with the top of the line, stainless steel 11-28T7-Speed Cassette Gears, this folding bike is a monster on the bike trail.
Hearing that something is made of aluminum doesn’t inspire the most confidence in people only aware of aluminum in its easily tearable foil form. However, this is a very different kind of aluminum. Very sturdy, not to mention incredibly lightweight, folding this bike up and carrying it on the train with you is nothing short of a breeze.
Cost and value
As we said, these things do not come cheap. At all. Expect triple digits, easy, with these bikes, EuroMini in particular. However, rest assured that they are more than worth the price of admission.
2. EuroMini Urbano
In the second place spot, we stay with our friends at EuroMini for one more bike. In this case, the Urbano. Considered by many to be just as good, if not superior, to the ZiZZO, this bike may charge much more, but do not let that make you think it isn’t worth the money.
When people are discussing the Urbano as if it’s superior to the ZiZZO, you’d better believe that they’re referring to the specs. And in that instance, it isn’t hard to see what they mean. The ZiZZO could only go so far as 7-speed, but the Urbano’s Atlus Derailleur and its Revo Grip style shifter go up to 8 speeds. In layman’s terms, this thing runs circles around the previous entry if you know what you’re doing.
Multi terrain tires
Using the super lightweight Kenda multi-terrain tires, this bike can go almost anywhere. While that in no way means that this bike is ready to split the gravel with the offroad crowd, this bike will more than see you through to whatever city destination you have to get to.
Cost and value
What put the ZiZZO ahead of the Urbano is the lower price. This bike has the superior gear and tech, to be sure, but in general retail value, you’ll often find yourself a hundred dollars poorer for going with this one as opposed to the ZiZZO.
3. Schwinn Loop
Finishing up our top 3 section, we have the Schwinn Loop Folding Bicycle. Some may scoff at the downright silly design of this bike, particularly its downward dip middle, but rest assured, this here is a bike that knows exactly what it’s doing. How is that? Let’s find out.
Easy storage, no bike rack needed
You read that right, this bike folds up so well, that you do not need a bike rack of any kind in order to use it. Going camping? Pack it into the trunk of your car, no fuss at all. And if you’re worried about the steps needed to fold it, don’t worry about that either. Folding is a breeze, and able to be done in just a few easy steps.
While this may add a few more pounds to carrying it, and really 33 lbs. isn’t all that bad, the durability of this bike speaks for itself. The design means it can hold even more weight through better weight distribution, and overall the whole construction of this bike is ingenious.
Cost and value
The best part is the price. While the last two bikes were in the very high triple-digit ballpark, this one goes for the lowball, being incredibly affordable. Sure, it doesn’t have the incredibly advanced specs of the last two entries, but it more than makes up for it in other areas.
4. Dahon Speed Uno
In our #4 spot, we have the Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike. Dahon is a Chinese company, but don’t let that fool you into thinking these are any less quality. Dahon, in fact, are renowned worldwide for the quality and features that go into every one of their bikes. And if you’re a city slicker, they’re the perfect folding bike for you.
Perfect for the city
If you live in the city, where everything is flat, easy to traverse, and you need to get to places fast, then this bike is for you. True, this bike won’t last you very long when you have to navigate, say, a decently steep incline, but for a flat city street? This bike will do the job just fine.
This folding bike redefines the term compact. It’s small when unfolded, it’s somehow smaller when folded. You could carry this thing under your arm if you wanted, so if your train commute is a tight one, then you can rest assured that your extra bit of luggage won’t disturb the other commuters.
Cost and value
Now for the downer, this bike is more expensive than any of the other three we’ve covered so far. Not combined, mind you, no bike on this list is that expensive unless it includes a back massage and lounge music. However, it is more expensive than the already very pricey #2 spot. And considering it isn’t nearly as powerful as #2, that cost it the top 3.
5. Vilano Urbana
For the middle of our list, our #5 pick is the Vilano Urbana Single Speed Folding Bike. This bike may seem simple, and it is, but that’s the beauty of it. If you have a folding bike, then it’s likely that your default state of being is in a hurry. If that describes you, then this is exactly what your life needs right now. This bike will more than keep up with your lifestyle.
Lightest weight on the list
This is easily the most lightweight entry on this list, weighing only around 21 lbs. or less. Meaning that once you fold it up, there’s no adjustment period to carrying it around, just pick it up and start walking. And if you’re wondering about the folding speed.
Fastest fold on the list
Okay, you made it on the train bound for work, and you got there fast enough that you got a seat all to yourself. But is your folding bike small enough to fit into the overhead compartments? If your bike is the Vilano Urbana then yes. And don’t worry about the folding speed, it’s just a little over three steps, which won’t take much of your time at all.
Cost and value
The best part about this bike is the price. The simplicity of this bike may be turning some of you off, but what if we told you that you'd usually find this bike for less than half of what the other bikes will cost you? Yeah, we figured you’d be interested then.
6. Retrospec Speck
In our #6 spot, we have the Retrospec Speck Folding Bike. Retrospec is a relative newcomer compared to the other players in this list, having started only in 2008. However, they’ve quickly made a name for themselves for offering high-quality folding bikes at reasonable prices. Is the speck an exception to this rule? Let’s find out.
The design of this bike is minimalistic and sleek, made of lightweight aluminum that only weighs around 23 ½ lbs. Making this bike not only fashionable but functional as well. And on top of that, despite being made of aluminum, you’ll find this bike to be incredibly durable.
The features of this bike include a rear coaster brake that allows for quick, easy braking when riding. And the wheels are a pair of 20-inch Kenda Kwest Commuter Tires, which allow for a comfortable, easy ride down the streets of your town on those morning commutes to work.
Cost and value
While not as cheap as the previous entry, you’ll still find this bike put at a very reasonable price, for what’s being offered. You’ll often find this bike for $50 cheaper or less than the pricier entries on this list.
7. Prodeco Phantom X2
In the #7 spot, we have one of the only electric folding bikes on this list, the Prodeco Phantom X2. The reasons as to why there aren’t many other electric folding bikes on this list is something we’ll get into in a bit. But first off, the pleasant bits. This is a top of the line bike, especially a folding bike, if ever there was one.
Electric motor assist
While the motor may add hundreds to the price tag, let it not be said that it isn’t warranted. Utilizing the motor-assist gets you an added 30-mile range and a speed of about 20 mph. And if those hills are worrying you, don’t be, as this bike comes equipped with an SRAM X7 Twist 8 Speed Shifter, that will more than help you get over those particularly steep inclines.
Harkening back to regular and even mountain bikes for its design, the Phantom X2 has a great, sleek, sturdy design that is easily adjustable from its 8 different speeds. And it’s more rugged design makes it easier to deal with when riding on slightly rougher terrain.
Cost and value
This is easily the most expensive entry on this list. Forget triple digits, you will be lucky to find a retailer that sells this bike in the low 4-digits. That has everything to do, of course, with the electric motor. But considering the 2-year warranty it comes with, as well as the general high-quality performance it offers, you can’t say it doesn’t earn that price.
8. Dahon Vybe D7
Starting off our final 3 with our #8 pick, our friends from Dahon return with the Dahon Vybe D7 Folding Bike. This is a very high-performance 7-speed cycle well regarded for its rugged construction and high-quality performance. What does that mean for it in more specific terms? Well, to give you an idea.
Despite looking like its flimsy brethren, this bike has received top marks for its durability, so it must be doing something right. And indeed, if you have an eye for quality, you’ll notice the little details that make this bike more durable and more powerful in its construction than its cousins. Add onto that an easy to lift weight of around 30 lbs. and a carrying capacity of 230 lbs., and you have an easy recipe for success.
Great weight capacity
We all need to ride a bike, even those of us who may be on the heftier side of things. Fortunate, then, that this bike comes with a 230-pound carry capacity, meaning even those of us who may be heavier than we’d like can still make the morning commute.
Cost and value
The main problem with this bike is its price. No, it’s not as expensive as the last entry, not even close. However, for what little is being offered, the price you’ll typically find the Vube D7 at isn’t really worth it when there are other, more affordable bikes out there that offer the same thing
9. Swagcycle Pro
In our 2nd to last place entry, we have our #9 pick, the Swagcycle Pro Folding Electric Bike, the only other electric bike on this list. While not as advanced as its competitor, it has quite a few other things going for it that just might attract you to it instead.
By optimizing this bike with your app, this bike’s zero-emission motor can handle speeds of up to 18 mph and ascend inclines as steep as 12 degrees. Not as fast as the last electric motor, yes, but definitely more environmentally friendly and with better torque.
We should probably explain what’s up with that app we mentioned, eh? This bike comes with its own app for iOS and Android, which you can use to keep track of your speed, trip, and your GPS location.
Cost and value
The main thing that will drive you to seek out this instead of the other electric bike on this list is the cost. Being generous, this bike costs less than half than what its more advanced rival will cost you. So, if you want a good electric folding bike, then this is definitely the bike for you.
10. Retrospec Mantra V2
In our final entry, we have the #10 spot, with the Retrospec Mantra V2. Despite getting a late start to the game, compared to its peers, Retrospec has garnered enough respect to earn two places on the top 10 best list of the best folding bikes, and there is a very good reason for that.
Simple, compact folding
When you fold up your bike, you likely need to carry it somewhere, or you need to put it somewhere because you’ve made it onto the bus. So obviously you need your bike to fold up fast, and you need it to be compact when you do. Which is why this bike’s main selling point is the speed in which you can fold this bike and the small size into which it folds.
This isn’t really something we think about, but yeah, handlebars can sometimes be really inconveniently placed for some people, especially really short or really tall guys. So, this bike made sure to come with a fully adjustable handlebar.
Cost and value
This bike comes in either single or seven-speed, with the price varying depending on which one you pick. If you go with the single speed, you’ll get a moderately affordable price, but if you go with the seven-speed, you’ll get an actually rather average price for this list. Either way, it’s a good deal.