Which folding exercise bikes are best?
Bicycling is a practical, multipurpose form of exercise, but some traditional bikes are cumbersome and difficult to transport. Folding exercise bikes offer a portable, more compact option for customers who value transport.
When choosing a folding exercise bike, there are many features to keep in mind. Ease of storage, material quality and price are just a few important considerations. For a fully featured option that doesn’t sacrifice quality for convenience, the Swagtron EB-7 Elite Plus Folding Electric Bike is a seven-speed model with a 19-mile electric battery and enhanced rear suspension.
What to know before you buy a folding exercise bike
Bicycling is a great means of transportation, and folding bikes help commuters by being incredibly portable. A folding bike’s weight determines how easy it is to transport and how much weight it can support. A bike with a heavier frame will be able to carry heavier riders, but a frame with more weight could make the bike difficult to fold and transport. However, a lighter bike will often be easier to fold and transport, although this comes with a sacrifice in sturdiness.
What a bike is made of is incredibly important. There are two materials commonly used in a bike’s frame: aluminum and steel. Aluminum is lightweight, convenient and cheaper than steel. In addition, the relatively low weight of an aluminum frame makes it easier to fold. The downside is that aluminum is less shock-absorbent than steel, meaning it will be necessary to consider suspension. On the other hand, steel is naturally shock-absorbent, allowing for smooth and easy rides. Sadly, steel frames are less common because they are heavier and typically more expensive.
Gearing is a key factor to consider when purchasing quality folding exercise bikes. Bikes with multiple gears help you adapt to different surfaces and trails with hills. A high gear is best for fast riding, while a low gear is best for ascending a steep surface. What’s more, some folding bikes are single gear, meaning that customers will not be able to change the gear, limiting where the bike can be used and leading to difficulty while pedaling.
What to look for in a quality folding exercise bike
Folding bikes typically have wheels with 16- or 20-inch diameters, though some come with 26-inch wheels. Bikes with larger wheels are higher performing and can withstand tough terrain, but larger wheels add to the bike’s size, making folding more difficult. The ease of folding and transport makes smaller, 16-inch wheels common in folding bikes. The drawback to a bike with smaller wheels is that it will be less stable on rough surfaces.
While the bike’s frame and wheels are what you see first, the pedals are an essential component. The best folding bikes will include folding pedals, making the product more compact and easy to store.
Be sure to also consider the material of the pedals, as some plastic pedals are seen as lacking in quality when compared to those made from sturdier material.
An advantage to biking is that it causes no joint strain the way running does. Still, be on the lookout for folding bikes with full suspension, as they will give you an even smoother ride. If a bike has a steel frame or large wheels, which are more shock-absorbent and allow for smoother control, suspension is less of a concern.
How much you can expect to spend on a folding exercise bike
Size, weight, suspension and additional features all factor into a folding exercise bike’s cost. Generally, you can expect most folding bikes to cost from $100-$600, though some high-end models cost up to $4,000.
Folding exercise bike FAQ
How do folding exercise bikes compare to standard bikes in terms of structural quality?
A. In order to properly fold, a folding bike will contain one or more hinges or joints, but this does not have to affect the quality of your folding bike. The vast majority of modern folding bikes are sturdy and safe, often matching the quality of standard bikes.
Are folding exercise bikes adjustable to suit users of different heights?
A. While weight and wheel size vary, most adult folding bikes are designed to be one-size-fits-all. Like traditional models, folding bikes have adjustable seats and handlebars that let you customize your riding experience. It is advised to physically test a folding bike before making a purchase.
Does a folding exercise bike require more pedaling?
A. Compared to other options on the market, folding bikes typically have smaller pedals and wheels. However, this does not mean that you will need to pedal faster. The front chain and gearing are designed to compensate for the smaller pedals, meaning that you will be able to pedal at a normal pace.
What are the best folding Exercise bikes to buy?
Top folding exercise bike
What you need to know: This seven-speed with electric pedaling assist ensures fun, smooth riding.
What you’ll love: Electric bikes help with exercise by letting you ride greater distances and tackle steep slopes. With a 19-mile electric range and enhanced rear suspension, this is one of the highest-performing folding bikes on the market. The electric battery is efficient, and the enhanced suspension is a huge plus.
What you should consider: This bike is on the more expensive side of the spectrum, and the pedal gearing has been a little too low for some customers.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top folding exercise bike for the money
What you need to know: This smartly-priced bike is simple and great for city use.
What you’ll love: This is an easy-to-fold bike with six-speed Shimano gears. The frame is steel yet lightweight, allowing for solid shock absorption. Together with the built-in rear rack, they make it perfect for commuters. Great for short distances.
What you should consider: The gears limit the speed to 15 miles per hour, and it’s not designed for rough or long-distance riding. Also, the pedals don’t fold into the frame.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This heavy-duty folding bike is ideal for off-road riding and longer trails.
What you’ll love: This 21-speed model adapts to rough terrain and comes with high-quality disc brakes and a Shimano derailleur for precision control while riding. With a high-tensile steel frame and 26-inch diamond wheels, this is a bike for those who need stability on serious trails.
What you should consider: The steel frame puts this model in the category of heavier folding bikes. Its size and minimal instructions may be daunting, and the plastic pedals could use some improvement.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Henry McKeand writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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