- Folding bikes offer riders the chance for recreation and exercise even if they have limited storage space around their home, place of work, or at school.
- This style of bike does tend to be more expensive than standard frame bicycles but they can also be stored much more securely, thus minimizing loss via theft.
- Some brands offer electric versions of folding bikes capable of cruising at speeds around 20 MPH and that have ranges reaching nearly 50 miles between charges, making them ideal for urban commuting.
- Our top pick, the Tern Node D7i Folding Bike, feels like a standard framed bike, offers a smooth ride, and even has a built-in light that makes it great for night riding.
Over the years, folding bikes have grown from a small niche part of the greater bicycle market into an established, respected category. Though manufacturers have produced this type of bike for well over a century (and even issued them in limited numbers to troops during both World Wars), folding bicycles are only now gaining mass-market appeal as more health- and eco-conscious consumers turn to cycling as a better way to commute, run errands, and recreate.
This growth in popularity means that there are more and better folding bike options available than ever before, making them worth more than just a passing consideration. Even Connor Swegle, co-founder of Priority Bicycles in Manhattan, NY, has long been a fan of folding bikes, despite Priority not offering any in its lineup.
“[Folding bikes are] a great solution for so many commuters,” Swegle told Insider. “They’re perfect for people storing a bike at work or who have limited storage space at home. If they don’t have a bike room at work or a garage, a bike they’re able to just carry or tuck away is ideal. As people look to cut down on the amount of other transportation they use, folding bikes are one of the best options.”
To help those in the market for a folding bike, we tested models from brands like Tern, Brompton, and GoCycle to find the best currently available for a variety of use cases. At the end of this guide, we’ve also included some tips on how to shop for a folding bike and the other models that almost made the cut, as well as insight into our testing methodology.
Here are the best folding bikes:
Updated on 1/5/2021 by Rick Stella: Updated the sections on how to shop for a folding bike and the testing methodology we used, checked the availability of each recommended bike, and updated the prices and links where necessary.