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You may be surprised to hear that folding bikes have been around since the 1890s when the French army needed a flexible form of transit that was easy to carry. The recent upsurge in interest has coincided with the growing global consciousness regarding fossil fuels and reducing carbon footprints on the environment.
Folding bikes are uber handy for travel and can be taken on a plane or a taxi and are an ideal way to explore countrysides and tourist destinations without paying for transport or bicycle hire. You may seamlessly transition from road to bus to train without the problem of storing your bicycle.
Folding bikes are also more secure as you may keep your bike about your person when commuting or traveling in unfamiliar destinations. Adapting vehicles with racks for bikes is costly and looks cumbersome and may not be ideal for those who would like to use their bicycles in urban areas. If you are seeking a folding bike for touring, here are 8 of the best options.
Editor’s Choice – Dahon Vitesse i7 Folding Bike
1. Goplus 20” Folding Bike 7 Speed
32.5” L x 12.5” W x 24” H
2. Schwinn Loop Adult Folding Bike
29.5’’ x 29’’ x 19’’
3. Xspec 20’’ 7 Speed City Folding Compact Bike
29” L x 24’’ H x 13’’ W
4. Dahon Mariner Folding bike 20’’
25’’ L x 12” W x 31” H
High Tensile Steel
5. Dahon SUV D6 Folding Bike
26.4’’ x 13.4’’ x 33.’’
VYBE Dalloy aluminum
6, unYOUsua-l U Folding City Bike
32’’ x 13’’ x 23”
7. Dahon Vitesse i7 Folding Bike
31.2’’ x 11.3’’ x 25.7’’
8. Schwinn Adapt 3 9 Speed Foldable Bike
The lightweight Goplus 20’’ folding bike has an impressive seven-speed for easy navigation of inclines on your touring route. The bike adapts easily to fit your dimensions with adjustable handlebars (40.5’’ to 47.5’’) and seat (26.5’’ to 36.5’’) at the flip of a button.
The aluminum-alloy rims are lightweight but durable, and the tires are non-slip and wear-resistant for a safer ride. The 32lbs folded weight provides portability, and the comfortable slip-proof handle adds comfort when carrying. For added safety, the bike has reflectors embedded in the pedals and wheels for riding at night or dim conditions.
Goplus 20’’ Features at a Glance
- 7-speed Shimano transmission handle
- 7-speed rear derailleur
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Flexible double brakes for safety
- 19.5” anti-skid and age resistant tires
- Durable aluminum alloy rims
- Shock cushioning front fork
- Anti-skid handles
- 178lbs weight capacity
- Kit includes a Phillips head screwdriver, porous spanner, Allen wrench, and user’s manual.
Although some customers found the Goplus folding bike a bit heavier than expected, most of the verified purchasers were happy with the quality and design of the bike. The assembly was uniformly praised for its ease and speed, even those admitted to being rather non-savvy regarding mechanical assemblies.
The users did express some reservations with the size adjustability, those over 6 feet tall in particular felt the bike far too cramped even at full seat and handlebar extension. This problem can be remedied by the purchase of a handlebar riser extension or seat post extension.
The Goplus is sturdy and has the features one needs to tour or commute in comfort. The dimension of the Goplus is not suitable to those over the standard heights and may pose a problem for that above 6ft to navigate comfortably. The Goplus is a good value product for its category.
The Schwinn loop folding bike is perfect for a commute or touring with a 7-speed twist shifter, and Shimano derailleur forms smooth gear changes on variable terrain. The Schwinn is lightweight and easy to fold into the compact dimensions needed for storage with limited space.
The steel frame is durable, and the bike includes a handy rear carrier and a heavy-duty nylon bag to store your bike. The Schwinn comes with a limited lifetime warranty and is made to the company’s high-quality standards. The 20’’ alloy wheels are hardy and yet deliver a smooth-riding operation.
Schwinn Loop Folding Bike Features at a Glance
- A low stand-over frame for easy mount/dismount
- 7-speed Shimano RevoShift twist shifter
- Shimano tourney rear derailleur
- Alloy linear front and rear brakes for safety
- 1 to 3-inch clearance between the rider’s crotch and the top tube of the bike frame
- Rear carrier with heavy-duty nylon storage bag
- Kickstand with durable steel hinges
- Max carry weight 230lbs
- Limited lifetime warranty
The verified users of the Schwinn seemed very happy with the quality of the bike and found it flexible to various terrains. The assembly was rated very easy, and the action of the bike on the road was very highly rated. Commuters enjoyed the carrier to free up their body during commutes and rides.
There were some issues mentioned relatively regularly about the insecure folding action of the bike, with various parts of the bike flapping open and potentially scratching car surfaces. Some users had to resort to Velcro and bungee cord to strap the bike into a folded position,
It seems a shame that a high-quality constructed bike is let down by poorly designed functionality. The laxness of the folding mechanism brings down the ratings on this reliable and versatile folding bike.
A great 7-speed all-rounder that folds into the compact dimensions suited for commutes to the office or hopping on a train while touring. The frame is made with high tensile steel, which is hardy, and the Xspec folding bike comes with a nifty fold in the right pedal for easier storage.
The handlebars and seat can accommodate taller framed riders of up to 6 feet without feeling cramped. The Xspec has convenient latches to keep the bike neatly folded when not in use.
The Xspec 20’’ Compact City Folding Bike Features at a GlanceHigh tensile steel folding frame
- Folded-pedal design for storage
- SL-TX30 Shifter and RD- TZ50 rear derailleur
- 7 speed fixed freewheel
- Alloy wheels with high-grade road tires of 20’’ x 1.75″
- Steel V brakes
- Chainring of 48T and alloy handlebars
- Latches for easier folding
- 36 lbs in total weight
- Adjustable seats suit most sizes
- User weight maximum of 220 lbs
- 30-day manufacturer warranty
The customers who bought the Xspec 20’’ were happy with the quality of the product, and quite a few 6 foot plus reviewers were impressed by the comfortable dimensions of the bike. The Xspec performed well on most road surfaces and fitted well into people’s vehicles and storage areas.
There was almost unanimous displeasure with the assembly of the Exspec 20’’. The instructions and video were unclear and confusing, and the assembly kit did not provide the tools suitable for the job. Some users serpent hours on assembly and eventually took the Exspec into a shop to be assembled by the professionals,
The Xspec (learn more) is not the lightest foldable bike in its category, but its dimensions when folded are quite impressive. Its sturdy design and extendable seat and handlebar heights make it accessible to both short and tall users.
The manufacturer really should pay some attention to providing adequate instructions and the tools suited to perform the assembly in the delivery package. It seems a less significant complaint, but it reflects poorly on the overall product.
The Dahon Mariner D8 foldable bike has all of the features you would look for in a compact and high-quality foldable bike. With 8-speed Shimano FT35 Rear Derailleur, the Dahon delivers smooth performance on any incline.
The dual-folding pedals the foldable handlebars are great features and make for an elegant and portable shape while not in use. The brushed steel is perfect for a seaside holiday or using in an ocean environment because the frame is treated against corrosion.
The Dahon Mariner D8 Folding Bike Features at a Glance
- The frame is built from a Dalloy Sonus Tubeset and lattice forged hinge with Visegrip handlebar covers
- The Riding fork is made of high tensile steel
- High-grade alloy V brakes of 110mm
- Lightweight Aluminum rims of 20’’
- Folds in under 15 seconds
- Made for multi-modal urban transport
- Folding pedals for neat storage
- Adjustable seat and handlebar length for up to 6ft 3” users
- Citizen Touring tires
- Maximum user weight 220 lbs
Customers rated the Dahon most highly of the foldable bikes on this list. The overall quality and smooth functioning of the bike were praised most highly in its class. Users loved the addition to their sailing life, and both seaside tours and commuters had excellent things to say about this bike.
The only real negative point aired was that the Dahon is a tad heavy for long carrying sessions, and it does weigh in as one of the heavier foldable bikes in its class.
The Dahon D8 mariner is a stylish and versatile addition to our eight best foldable bike list. The quality of the construction is hard to beat, and all the add-ins like a carrier with ties and the corrosion-resistant coating all make this bike stand out in its class.
The Dahon SUV D6 (show now) is a stylish matt black foldable bike that looks the part in a busy city street. The 6-speed Shimano gears and derailleurs make the bike adaptable to the various gradients in the city or country roads.
The extendable handlebars and seat post make the Dahon SUV D6 appropriate for 4’9’’ to 6’3’’ users. The high-tensile steel frame is hardy with powerful alloy brakes that are a must for commuting in the city. The secure fold system can be done easily and quickly once you are used to the folding system.
The Dahon SUV D6 Features at a Glance
- Easy fold and compact for portability
- Sturdy High tensile steel Dalloy Sonus tubeset
- 6 Speed Shimano RD-TY21 rear derailleurs and twist shifter Shimano TX-30
- 110mm Alloy V-brake
- Stable fork of high tensile steel
- High-quality anti-skid Kenda tires
- 20’’ aluminum single-wall rims
- Suitable for most heights up to 6’3’’
- Seat and handle posts with forged alloy Radius Telescope T bar to adjust the height easily
- Quick fold binodal handlebars
- SD Latch design
- Max user weight 231 lbs
The Dahon SUV D6 is well-reviewed as exceptionally well suited to city commutes and not too strenuous rides. The users felt that the bike was sturdy and well designed and rode well on the city road surfaces. Taller uses enjoyed the quick release to adjust the bike from folded to accommodate their height.
Some reviewers felt the narrow handlebars and shaft took some getting used to, but that is common for those who are new to the compact structures of foldable bikes.
The Dahon SUV D6 is a good value, foldable bike from the iconic Dahon range, and although it might not impress dramatically with any outstanding features, it is well made and well suited to the urban landscape. As an entry-level bike, it is a reliable and hardy addition to your daily commute.
The unYousual U Transformer is an excellent value for money entry-level foldable bike to begin your journey to 0-carbon emissions. Great to nip around a city without any worries about whether it will be there when you come back because you can take it with you.
The six gears are more than enough to make it up hills, and your 20’’ x 1.75 WANDA tires will deliver you to your destination smoothly.
The unYOUsual U Transformer 20’’ Folding City Bike Features at a Glance
- 20’’ TIG welded steel frame
- Folds in 5 easy steps
- Pedals with ball and reflector
- Alloy rims 20’’ x 1.5’’ single wall
- Gear sets: Shimano 6-speed SLRS36-6R/ RD-TZ50
- Steel kickstand
- Front and rear reflectors and wheel reflector for safety
- Quickly removable front handle stem
- Rear carrier, mudguards, and bell
Customers felt that the unYOUsual U foldable bike was an excellent value for money purchase. The product was rated very easy to assemble, and even taller riders gave the bike good ratings. The users remarked on the quality of the product and enjoyed riding the bike on the city roads.
Some users found fault with the heavy carry weight of the portable unYOUsual foldable bike.
The unYOUsual Transformer foldable bike comes in much lower than most other foldable bikes in its class yet has still retained a positive rating. The frills like the multiple reflectors, the rear carrier, and the bicycle bell are cute touches to the overall product.
The diminutive and lightweight Dahon Vitesse performs well on all road surfaces and has excellent tires and braking systems. The Dahon Vitesse weighs in under the other foldable of its class at an impressive 29 lbs, which makes it perfect for a commute or a bike to take traveling with you and explore the world.
The transition from use to folded dimensions is well designed and user friendly and can be accomplished with little hassle, which is essential if you are using other forms of transport as well.
The Dahon Vitesse i7 Features at a Glance
- Foldable in less than 10 seconds
- 7 Speed Shimano Nexus derailleur
- High-quality V brake for safety
- Durable aluminum frame with Dalloy Sonus Tubeset and ViceGrip technology
- 20’’ aluminum single-wall rims
- Foldable pedals for better storage
- Ant-skid tires
- Low maintenance internal gear hub
- Rear carry rack
- Fits rider from 4’9’’ to 6’2’’
- Maximum rider weight of 230lbs
- Kickstand included
The customers rated the Dahon Vitesse i7 highly and most remarked on the smooth-folding action and high-quality design of the bike. The users rated the Dahon Vitesse particularly good with variable terrain and relatively low on vibration when riding.
There were very few users who were unhappy with their purchase, and most of the lower ratings were concerning damage in shipment and other external factors.
The Dahon Vitesse i7 combines a low carry weight with an impressive performance on the roads. The weather-resistant Vitesse is not just for a commute but is rugged enough to take on those camping trips or tours as well.
The flex adjust system is a stand out feature that allows riders to adapt to different terrains by changing their seating position. Once again, Dahon ranks highly in its class.
The Schwinn is a great little bike to take the hassle out of your day to day commute. With nine gears, Shimano Twist Shifters, and Shimano Tourney rear derailleur, you can make those inclines with ease. Unfortunately, Schwinn’s entry-level alternative is not the most versatile of foldable bikes, and it has no kickstand or height-adjustable handlebars and seat, which might make it an awkward fit for the taller folks.
The Schwinn Adapt 3 Folding Bike Features at a glance:
- 9 gears, Shimano Twist shifters, and Shimano Tourney rear derailleur
- Lightweight aluminum alloy frame
- Easy to fold and store
- Full-wrap fenders
- Reflective sidewalls for visibility
- Rear carrier with a heavy-duty Nylon carry case
- 20’’ alloy wheels
- Limited lifetime warranty from Schwinn
- Perfect for commuting and recreational riding
- Compact 13’’ frame with lengthened seat post
The customer reviews were mixed with this Schwinn product. Most felt the bike was a quality item but thought that the features were really basic, and the bike had nothing to justify its above-average price for its niche.
Some users felt that the bike was not very secure when folded and tended to move about a bit, so they needed to use Velcro to tie the bike together. There were also lighter riders who felt the bike was too heavy to carry for long distances.
The Schwinn Adapt 3 is a sturdy and functional bike that is made with good quality materials. The bike functions well for commutes, but despite their claims, the bike might not handle too well on rough terrain.
What should a Buyer Look out for When Purchasing a Foldable Bike for Touring?
Determine your needs first
There are so many varieties of folding bikes on the market with a wide range of prices. Some bikes are great for a short start and stop commuting and other foldable bikes that can be used on more rugged terrain. If you need to travel long distances or a seeking a foldable bike for touring, you should make sure that you have at least 20’’ wheels. Smaller wheels are not ideal for long distances.
It is a strange fact, but foldable bikes generally tend to weigh more than their non-folding counterparts. This is mostly due to the increased weight of the folding, mechanisms added onto the bike frame. It is essential to match the weight that you can carry, with the distance you intend to travel.
Unfortunately, the lighter the foldable bike, the more it costs as a rule of thumb and be aware that the lighter bikes do have a reduced weight carrying capacity.
Make sure that the dimensions of your foldable bike suit your intended purpose for the purpose. There is no point in purchasing a foldable bike that does not meet the size protocols of an airport if you intend to use your bike while traveling. Likewise, if you travel on public transport, to make sure that the dimensions of your bike will not preclude your entry or annoy other passengers.
Although smaller wheels may make your foldable bike more compact, smaller wheels don’t lend themselves to long-distance travel. If you are planning to use your foldable bike on long-distance journeys, you would need a 20’’ wheel at least or a 26’’ for ultimate comfort (not necessarily affordability.)
What mechanisms does the folding bike have to keep it folded?
If you transition from bike to on foot and particularly if you are moving between different modes of transport, your foldable bike must fold securely. Foldable wheels and handlebars can neaten up a foldable bike and save space, especially on public transport. It is always best to check that mechanisms are in place to keep your foldable bike foldable.
Compare Foldable bike accessories
Look for features that protect the foldable bike or make your life easier in handling the bike yourself. A Durable cover will be ideal for users who use public transport, and a kickstand is a must if you wish to keep your bike protected from falls.
Good quality materials
Make sure that your folding bike is made up of durable materials and that the folding mechanisms are of sound construction. Some frames are even treated with high-quality corrosion-resistant coatings that will make a world of difference if you plan to sail with your bike or live in a marine environment.
Review your intended locations
If you are only planning to ride on a relatively flat route to work and back then a standard small-wheeled foldable with a few gears will suit you fine. If you plan to do longer and variable routes or your intended routes are hilly, you should think of getting at least seven gears to adapt to the terrain.