The Best Folding Bikes of 2022: Options for Every Budget

Folding Bike


Lightweight and compact, the best folding bikes are able to be stowed away with ease. With electric models getting lighter, and hybrid types more ubiquitous—think off-road, cargo, and the like— folding bikes are becoming the go-to get-around for more kinds of adventure. These bikes hold a tight niche in the lives of commuters, campers, van-lifers, and urbanites who still live with four roommates in a two-bedroom apartment.

So, if you’re looking to get into biking but don’t have space to store a more robust model, you might be in the market for a folding bike. But, every bike differs in terms of size, weight, folding mechanism, and the type of ride offered. To help you find the best folding bike for you, we rounded up our 10 favorites and compiled them in this handy guide.

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The Best Folding Bikes - Our Top Picks

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Benefits of a Folding Bike

Folding bikes function like normal bikes but their major benefit is their compact size. With a few clicks and snaps, you can fold the bike into the tight corners of your apartment, RV, or boat. That's why they appeal to the business commuter just as much as the rugged adventurer.

Fans of folding bikes also like the fact that they can just take them up to the office rather than finding a surefire theft-proof bike lock. And, for those who want to squeeze more utility out of an electric bike, why not get one that folds?

What to Look for in a Folding Bike


Size and Weight

Small sizes usually fit most budgets, but weight is something you pay for. Size is especially important if you live in a compact space like a boat, RV, or shoebox apartment. And if you want to be unobtrusive on the rush hour train, or tuck it neatly under your desk at work, it's an important factor to consider too. If you're going small, there are plenty of options with 16-inch wheels and some so compact they could fit in a plane's overhead compartment.

If you're going light, there are state-of-the-art titanium and carbon fiber options available, though they are typically more expensive. But, if you have the money (and several daily flights of stairs), they may be well worth the price tag.

Ride and Type

Do you want the feel of an urban single-speed bike and the momentum that only larger wheels carry? Or, do you want a compact off-roader with gears galore?

The same goes for accessories. Do you want a bike that comes standard with wheel guards to keep your work pants free of splatter? Or, do you like to have a cargo option for the day's grocery run?

It’s also important to consider whether you want a bike that’s powered or not. Electric folding bikes have made strides in recent years, getting lighter and more compact. But, that only mitigates the fact that they are inevitably heavier and a bit bulkier. However, if you're keen on commuting sweat-free and have more hills than stairs to climb, electric options are more attractive.

Folding Mechanism

While folding bikes often sport several folding mechanisms, what most riders care about is compactness, folding speed, and reliability. Most bikes on this list feature a fold at the frame as well as a fold at the handlebars. Some sport folding pedals, too. These features, combined with handlebar width and quick-release stems, can make for a tight pretzel of a bike.

Photos and dimensions can also give you a good idea, and videos certainly help. But, if you're keen on trying it yourself, nothing beats a visit to a bike dealer.

Best Overall Folding Bike - Brompton C Line Explore High Folding Bike

Brompton C Line Explore High Folding Bike

SPECS

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Weight: 24 lbs. / 11 kg
  • Folded dimensions: 25.3"L x 23''T x 10.6''W
  • Suspension: None
  • Gears: 6-speed
  • Wheel size: 16"
  • Handlebar style: Low (straight), mid-rise, and high-rise options
  • Seat style: Standard

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If we had one word to describe the Brompton C Line, it would be elegant. Founded, designed, and assembled in London, its streamlined simplicity makes the Brompton such a class act. The six-gear drive chain features an internal gear hub, which takes a lot of the bulk out of the build.

Athletes, commuters, and day-shoppers alike are sure to appreciate the built-in rear cargo rack. Plus, we like how you can stow this bike in an airplane's overhead bin. With its 16-inch wheels and compact fold, it’s easier than ever to pack along or keep in a closet or storage room.

What We Like

  • Streamlined design
  • Classic design
  • Can fit in an airplane overhead bin
  • Mini-wheels for rolling onto the train or office
  • Discreet and reliable internal shifting hub

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Could be lighter for the size and price

BUY: Brompton C Line Explore

Best Folding Electric Bike - Brompton C Line Electric Explore Mid Folding Bike

Brompton C Line Electric Explore Mid Folding Bike

SPECS

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Weight: 38 lbs. / 17 kg
  • Folded dimensions: 25.3"L x 23''T x 10.6''W
  • Suspension: Rigid
  • Gears: 6
  • Wheel Size: 16"
  • Handlebar style: Low (straight), mid-rise, and high-rise options
  • Seat style: Standard

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Brompton also brought their signature elegance to an e-bike. How? By housing and disguising the battery in a detachable backpack housed at the front. This ensures the bike impossibly folds to the same dimensions as its mechanical brother, once you remove the pack.

Carrying one more thing in your hand is a small consideration for the ease of zipping around without breaking a sweat. The price, though, just might make you wince.

What We Like

  • Very compact
  • 40 lux integrated headlight
  • Discreet and reliable internal shifting hub

What We Don't Like

  • Higher price point
  • Saddle might be too sporty for some

BUY: Brompton C Line Electric Explore Mid Folding Bike

Best Budget Folding Bike - Schwinn Loop Folding Bike

Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike

SPECS

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 34 lbs. / 15 kgs
  • Folded dimensions: ‎30.5"L x 27.25"T x 17"W
  • Suspension: Rigid
  • Gears: 7-speed with twist shifters
  • Wheel size: 20"
  • Handlebar style: Riser
  • Seat style: Comfort

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The best folding bike doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. Schwinn lives up to its trusted name with the "Loop", featuring a fun step-through design that pairs nicely with a leisurely ride to the pier. It may be a budget bike, but it can fold into a footprint that's less than three feet around.

Its seven speeds will get you up and down hills with ease and its built-in rear cargo rack is just the right size for securing a box of fresh groceries. We don't think you'll sacrifice much at this price point, except weight, which may be a deal-breaker for some commuters.

What We Like

  • Comes with wheel guards to stay clean
  • Built-in cargo rack
  • Trusted brand with reliable, replaceable parts

What We Don't Like

  • Quite heavy
  • The beachy shape may not suit some users

BUY: Schwinn Loop Folding Bike

Best Budget Folding Mountain Bike - Eurobike YX 27.5 Folding Mountain Bike

Eurobike YX Folding Mountain Bike

SPECS

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Weight: 42 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 40"L x 35"T x 18"W
  • Suspension: Back and front
  • Gears: 21 speed
  • Wheel size: 27.5"
  • Handlebar style: Straight
  • Seat style: Standard

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For the offroader on a budget who just needs something compact to fit in a boat or a hatchback, we think the Eurobike YX is a great starter bike. You won't find it on the cover of Outdoor magazine but you will find it snuggly folded in a hatchback. And, if home assembly sounds intimidating, don't be thrown off. It comes 85% assembled and dialed in: You'll just install the front wheel, pedals, handlebars, and seat; secure the chain with tools included and you're done in under an hour.

Who would have thought that a full shock 21-speed mountain bike with standard wheels, disk brakes, and Shimano components could also fold into a pretzel. The only thing to bemoan here is the weight.

What We Like

  • Fits in most hatchbacks
  • Front, rear, and handlebar shocks
  • Decent disk brakes for the price

What We Don't Like

  • Heavy, even for a mountain bike

BUY: Eurobike YX 27.5 Folding Mountain Bike

Best Folding Electric Bike Under 1000: Gyroor C3 Folding Electric Bike

Gyroor C3 Folding Electric Bike

SPECS

  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 48 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 30.7"L x 26.18"T
  • Suspension: Rear
  • Number of Gears: 3 speed modes (low, medium, and high)
  • Wheel Size: 14"
  • Handlebar style: Straight
  • Seat style: Comfort

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The Gyroor C3 Folding Bike might look like a gadget, but this fully electric bike zips you around town at speeds up to 18 mph. Unlike the rest of the bikes on this list, it doesn't fold at the frame but the handlebar fold and the tiny wheels make up for that. We wouldn't recommend off-roading but the tires are thick enough to instill confidence on the street, even on rainy days.

We also like the built-in headlight. And, with a range of 28 miles, we think it'll suit most urban and suburban adventures.

What We Like

  • Fun, gadget-like style
  • Rear shocks for a smoother ride
  • Fast top speed and decent range

What We Don't Like

  • May fit small for some
  • Doesn't fold at the frame

BUY: Gyroor C3 Folding Electric Bike

Best Folding Stationary Bike - Ativafit Indoor Cycling Bike

Ativafit Indoor Cycling Bike

SPECS

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 34.2 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 53.5"L x 6.7"W
  • Suspension: Rigid
  • Gears: 8 resistances
  • Resistance mechanism: Magnetic
  • Wheel size: N/A
  • Handlebar style: Exercise comfort frame
  • Seat style: Comfort

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This bike may not take you places, but it will give you a solid low-impact workout and then tuck away again. The Ativafit recumbent exercise bike keeps you upright and spares your back so you can get your cardio in from home. Its simple, lean design and folding mechanism make this much less of a space hog than typical exercise equipment.

We also like that it's relatively light and comes with rollers which means you can switch rooms easily—a plus for anyone sharing hybrid spaces with others. And, fourth-floor dwellers will like that its magnetic resistance ensures a practically silent rotation.

What We Like

  • Small footprint
  • Quiet mechanism
  • Simple design

What We Don't Like

  • Might not give a true cycling feel
  • Lacks programmed workouts

BUY: Ativafit Indoor Cycling Bike

Best Lightweight Folding Bike - Zizzo Ferro Lightweight Folding Bike

Zizzo Ferro Lightweight Folding Bike

SPECS

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Weight: 29 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions:‎ 29"L x 24"T x 13"W
  • Suspension: Rigid
  • Gears: 7 speed
  • Wheel size: 20"
  • Handlebar style: Straight
  • Seat style: Standard

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The Zizzo Ferro is as fun as it looks. This bike will zip you around and it's relatively light for its very low price. Its seven-speed Shimano drivetrain is enough to get you up and down hills with ease and it comes standard with 20-inch multi-terrain tires which provide a happy medium on roads as well as light trails.

What We Like

  • Simple look and design
  • Versatile tires and drivetrain
  • Compact fold

What We Don't Like

  • Not light enough to carry for some commuters
  • Magnet catch and folding pedals sold separately

BUY: Zizzo Ferro Lightweight Folding Bike

Best Folding Bike for Travel - Brompton M6L Black Edition

Brompton M6L Black Edition

SPECS

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Weight:25 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 24"L x 24"T x 12"W
  • Suspension: Rigid
  • Gears: 6 gears, 6 speeds
  • Wheel size: 16"
  • Handlebar style: Riser
  • Seat style: Standard

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Brompton folding bikes are renowned for folding within 20 seconds into a shape you could easily stow in an overhead compartment. The Black Edition makes no exceptions and adds a hand-brazed finish that perfectly matches your suit on the way to the conference.

6 speeds can get you up any hill with ease and the fenders work to keep dirt off your pants. Its effortless and thoughtfully-designed folding mechanism along with the mini roller wheels makes multimodal travel feel like second nature.

What We Like

  • Elegant design
  • Reliable and discreet internal shifting hub
  • Effortless, compact folding

What We Don't Like

  • Price-point might be too high for some
  • The small wheels make longer trips tedious

BUY: Brompton M6L Black Edition

Best Performing Folding Bike - Heybik Mars Electric Folding Bike

Heybik Mars Electric Folding Bike

SPECS

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 66 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 69"L x 24"T x 52"W
  • Suspension: Front and seat
  • Number of Gears: 7 speeds
  • Wheel Size: 20"
  • Handlebar Style: Riser
  • Seat Style: Comfort

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The Heybik Mars Electric Folding Bike is a stout tank on motorized wheels that can take you far and also happens to fold. Its 48v 500W electric battery takes you almost 50 miles through dirt, snow, and sand with 3 levels of pedal assist.

We also like that it's quite compact for what it does thanks to its thick tires yet medium-sized wheels. And, with built-in front and rear lights and a cargo rack, it has what any adventurous spirit would need right out of the box.

What We Like

  • Rugged all-trail capability
  • Long range
  • Compact design

What We Don't Like

  • Heavier than other options
  • The crank wheel might get scuffed and bent in a folded position

BUY: Heybik Mars Electric Folding Bike

Best Design Folding Bike: Brompton C Line Explore Mid Black Edition

Brompton C Line Explore Mid Black Edition

SPECS

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 27 lbs.
  • Folded dimensions: 24"L x 24"T x 12"W
  • Suspension: Rigid
  • Gears: 6 gears, 6 speeds
  • Wheel size: 16"
  • Handlebar style: High riser
  • Seat style: Standard

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With its Black Edition and Flame Lacquer frame, Brompton just cannot be beaten style-wise. When you combine that with its streamlined shape and balanced proportions you get something that rises leagues above the toy-like folding bikes on the market.

It's also great to know that it's not just surface-level. Brompton is known for its great longevity and customer service, and a bike whose folding mechanism seems thoughtfully designed rather than treated like an afterthought.

What We Like

  • Beautiful color pairs with a streamlined design
  • Reliable and smooth internal shifting hub
  • Mini-roller wheels for easy porting

What We Don't Like

  • High-rise bars look a bit less stylish
  • Small wheels won't hold momentum on longer rides

BUY: Brompton C Line Explore Mid Black Edition

FAQs About Folding Bikes


Are folding bikes practical?

Folding bikes can truly defy what a bicycle can do. But practical depends on what you'll use it for and how often. The best folding bikes fold easily and are light enough to climb stairs or metro platforms. But, if you need it for offroading and only plan on folding it on occasion, then weight may be something you're willing to sacrifice.

How much should you spend on a folding bike?

You can get a bike that fits your needs well under $1000. As you see here on our list, there are options far lower than that. In our opinion, money buys you reliability, better customer service, more robust warranties, and better quality components. And, most importantly, it buys you better folding designs and lighter builds. So, it can be worth it to spend a little more if you plan on getting some serious use out of your bike.

Is it harder to pedal on a folding bike?

It's not harder to pedal, per se. In fact, their smaller wheels accelerate faster so you could argue it's actually easier. But, smaller wheels don't hold momentum as well. Normal bikes have large wheels because they essentially store your legs' energy as forward motion for longer. This simply means that on longer rides, you might tire out faster.

This usually isn’t an issue on shorter commutes, for people who enjoy the exercise, or for models with larger wheels or electric assist. It's something best tested on your own, so see if you can take a folding bike for a test ride to gauge the pedaling effort for yourself.

Can a folding bike be as fast as a road bike?

As speed is a function of input, it's more about the rider. But, like the last question, wheel momentum is the largest factor for efficient momentum and that effect is greater the longer the trip. For short distances on a light folding bike, you'll likely feel fast and nimble

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