Folding Bike Guide
Becoming increasingly popular, folding bikes are very versatile as they fold neatly in half making them perfect to carry around with you and easy to store. Although they have light frames and small wheels, folding bikes are still as durable as their non-folding contemporaries and the range of brands, designs and styles is growing at a rapid rate.
Extremely popular with commuters, folding bikes solve the problem of cycling a very long distance as you can split the journey and just cycle part of it, taking the bike with you on the train, bus or in the car. The bike is also easy to carry around with you and will fit neatly under a desk or in a cupboard. Many people buy folding bikes to take on holiday as they take up less room and are easier to transport on airlines. If you are pushed for storage space at home, folding bikes are great alternatives to full sized bikes.
Folding Bike racing has become a cult event in the last few years with suited and booted riders competing in events such as the Annual Brompton Championships and the Folding Bike Race at the London Nocturne.
Folding bike specifications
Folding bikes typically have 20-inch wheels, small frames and long, adjustable, sometimes telescopic seatposts and handlebars. The frame usually folds in half with the seatpost and handlebars being lowered. To reduce the folding size and overall weight some manufacturers have deceased the wheel size to as small as 6 inches in some cases but this obviously has an effect on ride quality. Rear suspension and high pressure tyres enable certain Folding Bikes to be ridden over considerable distances.
‘Take-down’ bikes are full sized bikes split in half, but these involve a longer folding process and are not practical for commuting, due to their larger dimensions.
Choosing the right Folding Bike
When choosing a folding bike, it’s essential to have a go at folding it up! It won’t make life any easier if you miss your train because you’re busy grappling with a bike that’s refusing to pack away. The good news is that the latest folding bikes have simple folding mechanisms, although more expensive models have more details and features for speedier folding or to reduce weight. It’s also advisable to try lifting and carrying the bike, to see what the overall weight is like.
There’s a variety of folding bikes to choose from including hybrids, shoppers and even mountain bikes, so bear in mind the type of route you’ll be cycling. In terms of budget, if you’ll be using a folding bike for commuting, it’s worth spending a little more as you’ll be using it regularly.
Folding Bike Accessories
Folding bike bags are ideal for transporting your folding bike and are made of durable yet lightweight material with padded shoulder straps to make carrying easier.
Avenir Folding Bike Bag £29.69
Dawes Folding Bike Bag £25.49
Helmets are always a sensible option. Unfortunately French company Overade’s fantastic folding helmet is still at the production stage, but it’ll definitely be the ultimate folding bike accessory in years to come.
Recommended Folding Bikes
Dawes Kingpin 2012 Folding Bike £359.99
Dahon Mu Uno Folding Bike £431.99
Ridgeback Attache Folding Bike £599.99
July 5, 2012 Bike Guides