Gallivant's Guide to Buying a Folding Bike.

Gallivant's Guide to Buying a Folding Bike.

Buying a folding bike can be mystifying for most... until now.

 The folding bike has garnered mass popularity in multiple cycling communities over the last decade, and the surge in demand for these nifty little bikes is set to continue. Granted, they’re not for everyone, and it’s really important to consider what you’re using the bike for prior to making a choice on whether to buy a folding bike; I mean would you really want to take something that folds in half on an off-road track?

In all seriousness though, these bikes are a great alternative to driving or commuting; can save you both time and money (have you seen the prices at the forecourt as of late?) and are also infinitely better for the environment than your petrol guzzler. Here are some important factors which are really important to consider when buying a folding bike:

Size - to suit the rider, but generally speaking, the more compact the fold the better
Gearing - the more gears, the easier to pedal but there’s a weight and folding size disadvantage
Weight - the lighter the better
Wheels - the bigger the better the ‘rolling resistance’ but size and weight blah blah
Tyres - the bigger the smoother the ride; size and weight penalty
Brakes - disc brakes are better, though come with a size & weight penalty
Pedals - great if they can fold in!
Lights - If they have built in lights that’s always handy (if needed you can always add more)

We’ve compiled our hand-picked selection of our favourite folding bikes for your perusal.

ECOSMO 16” Lightweight Alloy Folding City Bike Bicycle

The Good: A sturdy, well made, entry level folding bike with highly competitive pricing.
The Bad: Not the lightest frame and quite bulky even when folded.

Ecosmo City Bike Folding

Also available with 20inch alloys, the ECOSMO city bike offers great control with 6 speed Shimano gears and has front and rear disc brakes which offer additional control and comfort. The ECOSMO offers adjustable handlebar and seat height, which makes this a perfect folding bike for people of all heights, and its patented folding lock is not only convenient, but also exceptionally safe. What more could you want?

Available from Amazon and other retailers

OXYLANE Folding Bike 120

The Good: ‘Lifetime Warranty’ on frame, forks and handlebar, integral lights included at a competitive price
The Bad: Quite heavy at nearly 15kg

Oxylane Folding Bike
This is a great entry level bike for anyone who wants to dip their toes into the folding bike market. As far as folding bikes go, the OXYLANE bike is cheap at just a smidge under £250, has over 2200 reviews averaging 4.3 stars, and is available in two striking colours. It’s available from Decathlon amongst other retailers, and at Decathlon you’re able to go in and test ride the bike prior to committing to buy.

Available from Decathlon and other retailers

Decathlon and other retailers may even allow you to test-ride any bike you're interested in purchasing when visiting in-store

Brompton C-Line

The Good: Luxury, classic model, sealed gears protect from grit, water, and impact.
The Bad: You need a small mortgage to buy one.

Brompton City Bike

The Brompton C Line is a premium entry into the folding bike market, and does it not look stunning? Its beautiful (if not slightly subtle), curves really do make this bike stand out from the rest and it is also available in a number of striking colours, including this bold red variant which wouldn’t go amiss in a bustling cityscape. Handmade in London, the Brompton C Line is not cheap, but you’re paying for a tried, tested and trusted folding bike that will not disappoint.

Available direct from Brompton

Carrera Intercity Folding Bike

The Good: 8 speed gear system, with 20 inch alloys offering comfort and stability; rear rack as standard
The Bad: Not the best pedals ever, and a tad on the heavy side.

Carrera Inter City

The entry to mid-range Carrera Intercity folding bike is great for people who are looking for additional stability and comfort when buying a bike; maybe you’re new to city cycling or folding bikes? An 8 gear system allows for easy commuting across a range of terrains, and the integrated rear rack and mudguards are great for the everyday commuter; offering storage options on your bike with the added mudguard protecting your Sunday bests.

Available from Halfords and other retailers

TERN Link D8 Folding Bike 

The Good: 8 gear system, N fold technology, compatible with KLICfix bags.
The Bad: Security of the bike when folded, the chain is on the outside when folded which can be a risk to clean clothes!

tern citylink

The TERN Link D8, is another great mid range bike which is available at a number of independent bike shops or Amazon. Like many of the other bikes in this series, the TERN Link D8’s most notable benefit is the N Fold technology which makes folding this bike down so easy you could (almost) do it with one hand.

Available from Amazon and other retailers

Schwinn Unisex's Loop Adult Folding Bike

The Good: A retro inspired design, which is bundled with a number of accessories including a storage bag.
The Bad: A touch on the heavy side when folded, brakes can be difficult to adjust.

Schwinn City bike

Schwinn’s 7 speed folding bike has long been a cyclist favourite, and its design makes this bicycle visually iconic. Granted that for beginners, this bike may take some getting used to, with its less than user friendly brakes and folding can be a bit tricky at first. Ultimately however, Schwinn is a long established American brand which has been trusted by cyclists since 1985.

Available from Amazon and other retailers


Raleigh Evo-2 Folding Bike

The Good: Highly affordable bike with 20inch alloys and fully equipped rack.
The Bad: A bulky fold, and again bulky at 16kg. Some reports of flex in the fork.

The Raleigh Evo-2 far exceeds the performance expected of a model entering the market well under the £200 price point. Amongst other benefits, it offers a lively ride with a 7 gear system which allows users to reach a reasonable speed through the course of their ride. However, at 16kg, this is a hefty block of metal to carry around for extended periods, and whilst it can be wheeled around when folded, it's likely to be a consideration for people commuting in congested areas. 

Available from Halfords and other retailers


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