Folding bikes are compact and easy to store, but folding takes time. With the folding bike craze heating up, it’s important to know if folding a bike is worth your time or not. In this article, we explore some benefits of folding bikes as well as their drawbacks, so you can decide whether folding a bicycle is right for you!
Foldable bicycles have been around since 1869 when Pierre Michaux invented one that folded in half like an accordion. And while they were popular for about 20 years after that, new innovations such as automobiles made them less relevant and by 1900 most had disappeared. But with our car-centric society continuing on its destructive path today, people are clamoring for more space-efficient transportation, and folding bikes are back in vogue.
Pros of folding bikes
One of the advantages of folding bikes is their storage convenience. Most folding bikes also come with an integrated lock, making them easy to store at the office or in an apartment building without having to worry about getting them stolen.
Many folding bikes have a frame made of metal, aluminum, or carbon fiber. The folding process can take some time, but the payoff is worth it for those interested in commuting without driving- and without paying for expensive parking!
Easy to transport
Folding bikes are also extremely easy to transport. For folding bikes that do not have folding pedals, you can pop off the wheels with an Allen wrench and then use a bike bag or a cardboard box to transport it, making folding bikes easy to bring on public transportation or even fly with.
Efficient in crowded urban areas
Another advantage of folding bikes is that they are very efficient in crowded urban areas. With folding bikes, you can ride your bike on public transportation or carry it up to your apartment with ease thanks to its small size. They are also great for people who live in densely populated urban areas because they save space and can fit into the tightest parking spaces!
Convenience when the weather gets bad
Because folding bikes are compact when folded, they can fit into small openings when the weather is bad. Additionally, folding bicycle wheels have a diameter that’s smaller than regular bike wheels. This allows folding bikes to fit into places regular bikes can’t. As a result, people who ride folding bicycles don’t have to worry as much about the weather and can still get around in inclement weather without getting soaked or freezing.
Because folding bikes are easy to store and small when folded, many people discovered how convenient folding bikes are when going out. Folding bikes can easily fit into your trunk or back seat and can be stored in a closet, office, or locker. They also take up less space at the bar, club, concert venue or another people-packed event, so riders don’t have to worry about fighting for floor space. People who ride folding bikes can also bring them onto public transportation and store them on the train or bus, which is great for commuters!
Although folding bikes are not as safe to ride on trails or rough terrain, folding bikes are still very safe to ride in urban environments. Most folding bicycles have thick tires and an energy-absorbing frame that absorbs impact from bumps in the road, so folding bikes can be comfortable and safe for commuting.
Cons of Folding Bikes
Time-consuming folding process
One disadvantage of folding bikes is folding them. Some folding bicycles require you to remove the pedals and separate parts before folding. This process can take several minutes, so you can’t fold a folding bike on a whim like regular bikes. In fact, some folding bicycle designs are bulky when folded, so they aren’t very practical for casual folding.
Bulkiness when folded
Another disadvantage to folding bikes is that they can be bulky when folded. Expect at least a couple of inches in thickness, which means folding bicycles don’t fit into tiny spaces like folding picnic coolers or lawn chairs would. And while this may not seem like much, if you have a tiny car or are looking for full-time storage, folding bikes may not be the best choice.
Many folding bicycles are heavy because of all the extra features they have. While there are folding bicycles that only weigh 20 pounds, others weigh 34+ pounds. If you’re looking for an exercise bike or folding bicycle to commute with and plan on carrying it upstairs regularly, be mindful of the weight.
Not suitable for off-roading
Folding bicycles are not made to go off-roading, therefore their tires are narrower than traditional bikes. Because of this, folding bikes may not be as effective on steep slopes and folding bicycles may not be as suitable for all terrains.
No suspension system
Because folding bikes do not have suspensions made for off-roading, folding bicycles can be uncomfortable to ride on trails. However, folding bikes are perfect for commuting and the daily commute!
Not all folding bikes have padded seats, making them uncomfortable to ride if you’re going long distances. However, many folding bikes have padded seats or can be replaced with a padded seat cover if needed. If you are looking for a folding bicycle to commute with, it’s important to look for a folding bike with padding.
Expensive price tag
Folding bikes can be expensive! While folding bicycles can get expensive, they are so convenient for commuters or people who live in densely populated cities. If you’re looking for a folding bike that will suit your needs and cost less than one thousand dollars, check out folding bikes made by Dahon or Tern folding bikes.
We hope this post has given you a good overview of all the pros and cons of these convenient vehicles. If you’re interested in buying one for yourself or your family, make sure to do plenty of research before making a purchase decision so that you can find the model that’s perfect for your needs.