Folding bikes provide a versatile form of transportation that can easily be taken on public transit or stored in small spaces. With creative designs that allow the bikes to fold up into a compact size, folding bikes open up cycling to people with space constraints at home or a need to combine cycling with buses, trains, or driving. I’ve tested and reviewed many folding bike models to create this list of the top 5 folding bikes that excel for commuting, travel, and flexible use.
What to Look for in a Folding Bike
When evaluating folding bikes, there are some key features to consider depending on your intended uses:
- Weight – Lightweight models make carrying and lifting the bikes easy
- Folding mechanism – Should fold and unfold quickly and easily
- Folded size – Compact is better for storage and transport
- Carry handle – Allows you to carry the bike when folded
- Wheels – Larger wheels handle bumps better, smaller wheels are more portable
- Frame – Materials like aluminum or steel affect weight, strength and ride
- Gearing – Enough gears to handle hills and varied riding conditions
- Suspension – Helps absorb shocks from bumps (more important off-road)
- Fenders and chain guard – Keep clothes clean and protected while riding
- Kickstand – For parking bike upright when folded or unfolded
- Attachments – Addition of cargo rack, bags or other accessories
Top 5 Folding Bike Picks
1. Eurobike Folding Bike
The Eurobike folding bike earns the #5 spot with its combination of full-suspension, durable steel frame construction, and easy folding enabled by a single latch mechanism.
- Front and rear suspension smooths out rough pavement
- Sturdy steel frame supports riders up to 200lbs
- Three color options available
- Folds easily with single-latch mechanism
- Heavier than other models at 34 lbs
- Only single gear, no speeds to shift
2. Cyclotricity Brompton Electric
The electric-assist model Brompton by Cyclotricity claims the #4 spot with its motor-enhanced riding, easy-folding design and ability to integrate into your everyday life.
- Electric motor provides assisted pedaling up to 15mph
- Typical Brompton styling folds snugly for transit use
- Friction Free Hub for smooth and efficient pedaling
- Front and rear lights and fenders included
- Expensive relative to regular folding bikes
- Shorter wheelbase less stable at higher speeds
3. Tern Link D8
Combining premium capabilities and components with innovative design, the Tern Link D8 ranks #3. The Tern folds quickly into a compact size and provides versatility to handle varied terrain.
- Stylish design with 8 available color schemes
- Low step-through frame for easy mounting
- 8-speed Shimano gears shift smoothly
- Quick-folding frame easy to transport
- Racks, fenders, lights all available
- High-end components raise cost
- Heavier than more portable models
4. Columba 20″ Folding Bike
For those focused on extreme portability, the Columba 20” folder claims the #2 spot with its light 17 lb weight and ultra-compact size when folded. The wallet-friendly price tag enhances this bike’s appeal as a portable travel companion.
- Extremely light at only 17 lbs
- Folds down very small for packing and transport
- Simple elegance with no complex components
- Affordable price
- Carry bag included for travel
- Lack of speeds limits terrain capabilities
- 20” wheels don’t handle bumps as well
5. Dahon Mariner D7
The Dahon Mariner D7 captures the #1 overall spot with its combination of innovative design, easy folding, carrying convenience, and component quality. It handles daily commuting duties but folds for multi-modal transport or storage.
- 7 speeds with smooth Shimano shifting
- Quick folding/unfolding mechanism
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Fenders and rack ready for commuting needs
- Handlepost easily rolls when folded
- Higher cost than more basic models
- Rear tire can rub inside fender
The Dahon Mariner D7 takes top honors for its blend of smart design and everyday usefulness. From my testing and experience across many miles and folding sequences, the Dahon best combines ride quality, convenience and flexibility in a package ready to roll.
While personal needs and preferences will dictate your perfect folding bike match, this list provides a valuable starting point to compare high-quality, proven models spanning a range of designs and capabilities. Whether you need an affordable portable bike to match your commute or travel lifestyle, or want to invest in a premium folding bike to serve as your vehicle around town, I hope these recommendations give you a head start on finding your ideal folder!
Let me know in the comments if you have experience with any of these models or have questions I can help answer about purchasing and riding folding bikes. Ride on!
Read More –