Folding bikes have been around for many years. However, the quality has steadily increased over the last 10 years or so. As has the number of folding bikes that you see around and about.So, are folding bikes a great invention, or do they take the fun out of riding your bike?
If you are considering buying a new bike, you are probably going to be choosing between a road bike, a mountain bike or a folding bike. Although they are all bikes, they are used in different situations and by different types of cyclists. If you are trying to decide what type of bike is suitable for you, find a specialist website and do some research. Sites like Cycling Plaza are recommended as they give information about different types of bike and also review the best models. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of folding bikes, starting with the plus points.
If you live in a small house or flat but want to own a bike, then a folding bike is a great choice. They don’t take up much space and can be easily stored in your hallway.
If you commute to work, a folding bike is probably your best choice. Especially if you also travel by public transport. I have friends who cycle from home to the train station, take the train, and then cycle to work. Taking a bike on the train is fairly difficult in many countries. You have to book it in advance and the trains can only carry 2 bikes. This then becomes a bit of a logistical nightmare.
The best option by far is to buy a folding bike. They can be carried on the train with no problem and you don’t need to book. They are small enough and light enough that you just pick your bike up and board the train.
Folding bikes are great if you travel other than commuting. I know people who travel around Europe with just a back pack and folding bike. They are easy to throw in the back of the car, too.
Thefts of bikes have increased to such an extent that you chain your bike outside a building and wonder if that is the last time you will see it. You have great peace of mind when you are chaining up a folding bike. They are normally harder to steal because of the way they can be folded then locked up. Just remember to buy a fairly substantial lock. You also don’t have to leave them outside but can take them into your office or the cloakroom of restaurants and bars.
So, looking at the plus points of buying a folding bike, it all looks great. What about the negative aspects of buying a folding bike?
You will pay much more for a quality folding bike than you will a standard road bike or hybrid bike. You are paying for the research and development that has gone into the model. Along with the increased mechanisms that go along with a bike that folds up.
The wheels of a folding bike are very small in comparison to those of a road or hybrid bike. This means that you will feel every single bump and hole in the road. And you have to take special care to avoid potholes.
Because you feel every lump and bump in the road, you are not getting a very comfortable ride from a folding bike. If you are riding some distance every day, you would probably be better on a full-size bike. Folding bikes are built for convenience, not comfort.
Because they are smaller in size and wheel size, you will not be riding at the same speeds as you would on a standard road or hybrid bike.
Not as Customizable
If you buy a full-size bike you can pretty much change everything about it. This is not the case when you buy a folding bike. Most of the parts are custom made for a specific model, so they are not interchangeable.
Only you can really decide if a folding bike will suit your needs, or not. They are great for commuting and travelling. They are great for cycling around cities. However, there are downsides around comfort, speed and price.