The market in folding bikes is just crammed with choices. A good way to narrow your range of choice down to make it easier to come upon a buying decision would be to just decide beforehand what your budget is. With that in mind, you can begin to make sense of the bewildering range of choice available.
Most brands and choices in folding bikes are easily available online. You would do well to go down to a local store to actually check a model that you like out. It’s hard to describe user experience like on the Internet – unless there are other owners who helpfully point problems out in complaints.
Wherever you buy, online or off, how do you know how to compare one model against the next? What features do you compare them by? Well, when it comes to folding bikes, you can’t compare models the way you compare regular bicycles.
For instance, folding bikes are all about portability. You want to be able to fold your bike up and carry it with you on the subway or to work or up the stairs in your walk up or something. When it comes to folding bikes, the cheaper they are, the more they tend to weigh. The cheaper models can actually weigh you down at 35 pounds. So you do need to think about this.
Some budget folding bikes are light indeed – except that they’ve somehow compromised on quality. You’ll find that very lightweight bikes, when they are poorly made, can be quite unstable. Basically, it needs to be kind of a trade-off among stability, quality and weight.
Folding bikes have to be tiny. They can’t be as full-sized as regular bicycles. For this reason, you need to check out if you can actually fit on it. This shouldn’t usually be a problem though unless you’re more than a couple of inches over 6 feet or 175 pounds.
Some folding bicycles tend to have a very annoying kind of folding mechanism. And when you do fold them, there’s nothing effective in place to keep the whole thing together. You need to either have such a mechanism, or you need them to give you a convenient carry bag. In fact, the bag would always be good idea. Some transportation authorities don’t allow folding bikes onboard unless you have them completely covered in a bag.
Brompton, the British folding bicycle company, at $2000, happens to be one of the classiest brands around. You even get a six speed gear changing system. It’s light, it’s stable, and it’s high-quality. If your budget doesn’t quite go that far, Strida’s LT model at $600 can be a great choice. Of course, at that price, there certainly have been some compromises made. But most users claim that the compromises have been sensible ones.