- Expect to spend between $250 and $1600 for a folding bike. If your bike budget is below $300, you should expect only single-speed folding bikes.
- Opt for the lightest model you feel comfortable riding and toting. Most folding bikes weigh between 20 and 30 pounds.
- The folding mechanism is crucial. Some are a breeze. Others are tricky. If you’re still struggling on the 5th try, take a pass and move on to another model.
- Most folding bikes in our list come with either a 6 or 7-speed drivetrain which is enough for most riders.
If you’re looking for a bike for your daily commute or some casual weekend exercise, the folding bike may be the right choice. We spent 50 hours filtering through nearly 40 options and concluded that the EuroMini ZiZZO Via ( Link to Amazon ) is the best folding bike for everyone. It provides a comfortable ride, an affordable price tag, and a best-in-class folding mechanism. Below we break down the best folding bikes in 2021. For more background information, see our comparison table and buying advice below the picks.
EuroMini ZiZZO Via
-Affordable, Reliable and Feature Rich-
Frame Material: Steel | Gears: 7-Speed | Weight: 27 lbs. | MSRP: $399
+ Ride atop double-wall rims
+ The magnet catcher holds the bike together snugly
+ Measures just 27(H)- x 31(L)- x 12.5(W)-inches when compacted
+ Accommodates riders up to 240 pounds
– Despite touting U.S. manufacture, this bike is made in China
The EuroMini ZiZZO Via is one in a large family of EuroMini ZiZZO folding bikes, but it stands out for myriad reasons.
At just 27 pounds and with a lightweight aluminum frame and seven speeds, one of the reasons shoppers don’t mind spending $300 for this efficient transportation has to do with exceptional reviews from fans and owners and the brand’s reputation has grown over time.
All Via folding bikes are crafted of aluminum alloy, including the frame, handlebar, stem, seat post, kickstand, headset, front and rear hub, crankset, V-style brakes, front and rear fenders.
Offering a Genuine Shimano Tourney 7-speed Derailleur, Shimano Revo 7-Speed Grip Style Shifter, and stainless steel gears, the adjustable stem allows a rider to customize height so whether you’re 5-feet or 6-feet, 4-inches tall, this bike gets you where you want to go.
-Best Women’s Folding Bike-
Frame Material: Aluminum | Gears: 7-Speed | Weight: 33 lbs. | MSRP: $379
+ Rivals full-size bike performance
+ Hand brakes are easy to use
+ Reliable folding mechanism
+ Equipped with rear cargo rack and fenders
– Could exceed max airline dimensions when folded down
– May not stay folded down without extra tethers
The brand name is iconic, and the price is less than the aforementioned Via if you buy the black one. Select the silver model and fork over around $360. This price spread doesn’t impact the bike’s essential features, however.
The Loop features front and rear fenders, 20-inch wheels, a kickstand, rear carry rack, and a nylon carry bag. Schwinn recommends taking this bike for service before your first ride.
Large enough to accommodate a rider up to 6-feet tall, the Loop folds down to 29.5(H)- x 29(L)- x 19(W)-inches, so it becomes slightly smaller than the aforementioned Via.
Weighing 33-pounds, the Loop comes with a pant guard that, in concert with front and rear fenders, can keep your clothing from getting dirty or ripped during your commute.
The 7-speed Shimano RevoShift Twist Shifter and Shimano Tourney rear derailleur both get high marks, so as long as you don’t opt for the pricey silver model, you’ll enjoy value and performance.
-Best Folding Single-speed-
Frame Material: Aluminum | Gears: Single Speed | Weight: 23.5 lbs. | MSRP: $294
+ Shipped almost completely assembled
+ Sturdy, lightweight, and won’t rust if left outside
+ Coaster brakes are easy to apply
+ Even if you drive a Mini, this bike will fit!
– No fenders and rack
– Not suitable for hilly areas
This sleek folding bike sells out fast, so if you see it, grab it. Comparably priced at between $290 and $295 (there’s a color differential), the Speck isn’t your bells and whistles commuter bike, but it’s ideal for routes that include small hills, and aluminum construction makes it around 30-percent lighter than comparable steel and Chromoly competitors.
The 20-inch Kenda Kwest commuter tires feature smooth, rounded tread and large water dispersion grooves. Measuring 10(W)- x 30(L)- x 22(H)-inches, this folding bike weighs only 22 pounds, so carrying it up the stairs shouldn’t be burdensome, even if you’re not fit. This is the quintessential “stripped down” folding bike at a price that doesn’t disappoint.
-Affordable and Nimble-
Frame Material: Aluminum | Gears: Single Speed | Weight: 21.5 lbs. | MSRP: $269
+ Both the handlebars and the seat can be extended/raised
+ Set-up out of the box isn’t complicated
+ The center of gravity is low and the ride is surprisingly fast
+ Supports riders up to 225 pounds
– Tall riders complain about discomfort
– Made in China, not all parts are high-quality.
This single-speed folding bike may not be the smartest fold-down on the market, but if you’ve only got $220 and need reliability for your commute, keep reading.
There is no color price differential, so you can go for grey, black, or white without paying an extra penny.
At just 21.5-pounds, it’s the lightest in this review, so if the weight has been an issue for you in the past, this streamlined model should win your heart.
Crafted of lightweight aluminum throughout, this bike is engineered to tackle flat surfaces, so if you need to make it over hills or rugged trails, the Urbana may not be your best choice.
Folding and unfolding is easy say folks who have purchased this bike. The compact unit measures just 12(W)- x 32(L)- x 25(H)-inches when folded down.
Riders find the saddle to be comfortable and like the rack/water bottle mounts not usually included in a basic bike.
Vilano has been around for more than a decade, so you can count on the brand to perform for you at the most modest price of all.
-Low-Maintenance, Fully Loaded-
Frame Material: Aluminum | Gears: 7-Speed | Weight: 33 lbs. | MSRP: $1299
+ Includes integrated Freelance™ Fenders and Freight™ Rack
+ Schwalbe Big Apple tires offer riders Kevlar puncture protection
+ Best-in-class internal gear hub
+ Integrated lighting with an electricity-generating hub
+ Silent and efficient belt drive-bike
– At 31 pounds, lifting could be problematic
Prepare your heart and plastic for the Tern Node D71 if you’ve been shopping the $300 and under market for a folding bike.
This sexy machine is so exclusive, you won’t find it on Amazon or eBay—and don’t look for sales that take the price below its $1099 retail tag.
In return for this price, “the Node D7i is optimized for commuting in the city.” Not built; optimized.
A versatile, 7-speed bike with an internal hub for low-maintenance riding, this model offers full fenders, an integrated rear rack, swept-back handlebars, and adjustability is a breeze.
There are lots to love about this bike once you get past the sticker shock. It’s engineered to sail through potholes, rainstorms, and most everything Mother Nature throws at you.
To make sure this model outperforms its cousins, Tern has produced a low-maintenance ride featuring a versatile, internal gear hub plus a FreeDrive™ chain cover that protects your work clothes from grease and dirt.
This is one bad boy (or girl) that deserves a second look if you’re in the market for excellence. Specs include 24-inch wheels, and it weighs 31 pounds.
–Premium Ride, Legendary Brand-
Frame Material: Steel | Gears: 6-Speed | Weight: 26.2 lbs. | MSRP: $1590
+ Faster and more fastidiously-made than competitor models
+ Despite the small wheels, riders enjoy excellent balance, security, and stability
+ Fasten any load to the bike front, yet you won’t compromise balance
+ The rear triangle morphs into a bike stand
+ Fits into a checkable suitcase if you’re a frequent flyer.
– Eye-watering price tag
Having already introduced the brand name to you earlier, it’s time for the skinny on the folding bike that will make the cost of the Tern mentioned above downright affordable.
Priced at around $1525, this British wonder bike is handcrafted in London.
The M6L’s neutral riding position makes both commuting and exercising comfortable, and you’ll get around town nicely thanks to the bike’s 6-speed gearing range.
Like other folding bikes in its class, this bike comes with rain-, mud- and soil-repelling bumpers. Once folded down, the M6L measures a tidy 23(L)- x 22.2(H)- x 10.6(W)-inches.
At 26 pounds and offering a 16-inch wheel, this isn’t the lightest bike on this list, but neither is it the heaviest.
Reasons to fall for this prestigious brand and bike?
The M6L is manufactured of hand-brazed Chromoly steel guaranteed to survive any number of run-ins. In sum, this bike is made for discriminating commuters obsessed with detail for whom money is no object.
-Great Value and Performance-
Frame Material: Aluminum | Gears: 8-Speed | Weight: 26 lbs. | MSRP: $588
+ Easy to lift, carry and stow
+ Frame welds get universal high marks
+ Fenders and rear rack included
+ Good folding mechanism
– The framework is easily scratched
– The seat may not be comfortable for long commutes
Cyclists looking for a bike that’s got style, prestige, great pedigree, and a price tag that fits into the middle of this category’s range deserve a second look at the Mariner priced at around $645.
But you’ll have to do a little detective work to find one since they sell out fast and retailers don’t always know when stock will be available.
That stated, the 2019 Mariner features 20-inch wheels, weighs 26 pounds, and the frame is composed of a lightweight alloy Sonus tube set.
This commuter bike offers riders eight smooth gears and a compact design, but you’re going to have to foot the bill for a carry bag since one isn’t included in the deal.
Folks tend to be enthusiastic about Dahon’s outstanding customer service and support and rave about the sturdy packaging that keeps this product from getting scratched, bumped, and otherwise damaged in transit.
The Mariner’s fold-down mechanism is unique, and while requiring practice, the red dot on the handlebar stem does a great job of closing the latch and re-seating the plastic guard.
The price isn’t overwhelming, so if you’re looking for a folding bike offering value, check the Mariner (if you can find one, that is!).
–Tough, Rugged, and Ready for Anything–
Frame Material: Aluminum | Gears: 24-Speed | Weight: 32 lbs. | MSRP: $1075
+ Enjoy precision steering on the fly
+ Quick-release latches detach both the rear chain and the front wheel fast
+ The fold-down process takes around 30 seconds
+ Shimano trigger shifters give riders access to 24 gears with a click of a lever
+ 26-inch alloy rims with 32 holes guard against bending
– The rugged design may be overkill for ordinary commuters
– Weight could be a deal-breaker ( 32 lbs. )
Reviewers of the Montague Paratrooper folding bike usually include photos of military sorts astride this cleverly designed product designed with deployment in mind.
Retailing for around $900, this sturdy, durable mountain bike weighs a hefty 32 pounds despite the aluminum frame.
It comes with mechanical disc brakes, Shimano 24 speed shifters, and measures an impressive 36(L)- x28(H-) x12(W)-inches. The rack stand feature is especially handy for commuters who haul gear.
Because the Paratrooper was engineered to be tossed out of helicopters with their riders, it would be no understatement to say that toughness and sturdiness are this folding bike’s hallmarks, yet it retains the characteristics of “true folding bikes.”
The frame is crafted of reinforced aluminum, and shock absorption is handled by an SR Suntour XCT fork with 80mm of suspension.
Because the shocks are adjustable, riders can adapt them to flat terrain. This is not your run-of-the-mill mountain bike for obvious reasons, but if you need a workhorse that folds, this one should do the job nicely.
-Subtle, All-Around Folding Bike-
Frame Material: Aluminum | Gears: 24-Speed | Weight: 37.5 lbs. | MSRP: $1099
+ 26-inch wheels with ultra-thick tires cushion every ride
+ Comes standard with a 31.8 aluminum pro handlebar
+ Hefty and sturdy for a folding bike
+ Takes just 20 minutes to assemble
– Very heavy at 37.5 lbs.
– Design is an overkill
One look at this beast with its tech vibe tells you plenty about the folding mountain bike with a distinctly powerful look.
Priced at around $600, the Cyrusher FR100 packs a punch thanks to the 24-speed Shimono shifter, but for some reason, the company insists that this model is designed just for men.
Manufactured of aluminum alloy and featuring disc brakes, the FR100 has 26-inch wheels that, in concert with a superior suspension fork, deliver a smooth, easy ride-—even if that ride happens to include mud, sand, soil, and rugged terrain.
Use the quick-release clamp to get your bike open and closed quickly and expect to be delighted by how snugly this bike fits into even the tightest spaces once it’s been compacted.
But what may impress you the most are the “fat tires” that tackle every road surface on the planet. And since changing gears is a piece of cake, you’re likely to arrive at your destinations in good humor.
Weight, Size, and Folding Mechanism
Opt for the lightest model you feel comfortable riding and toting. There is a surprising weight range in today’s market that ranges from 20- to more than 30-pounds. The lightest model on our list is
Verify each bike’s dimensions when folded down. Just because it’s lightweight, that does not mean it isn’t “clunky” or bulky, making it hard to handle during a commute. In terms of dimensions when folded down, the
Audition folding mechanisms. Some are a breeze. Others are tricky. If you’re still struggling on the 5th try, take a pass, and move on to another model, even if the price fits your budget. Try to find the most straightforward folding mechanism out there.
Check each bike to see how it’s secured once it’s folded down. If there’s no mechanism built into the frame, but you love everything else about the model, prepare to buy straps and bungee cords to do the job.
When we talk about prices, we always have in mind the MSRP ( manufacturer’s suggested retail price ), which is the price manufacturer recommends. Often MSRP is different from retail prices due to supply/demand and other factors. The folding bikes we’ve selected cost between $269 and $1590. If your bike budget is below $300, you should expect only single-speed folding bikes like Vilano Urbana or Retrospec Speck. If you can spend a little bit more ( $350+ ), you can get a good commuter folding bike like, for example, our top pick, the EuroMini ZiZZO Via, or maybe the Schwinn Loop.
You can find premium folding bikes with better components and a high-quality build at the upper end of the price range. Our favorite high-end folding bikes are Tern Node D7i and Brompton M6L Black Edition.
Here is how much you should spend on a brand new bike, plus some average prices of bikes.
To gear or not to gear? Yes, folding bikes come with gears, and you’ll have your pick of up to 24 when you shop. On the other hand, if your commute is as flatter than a pancake, just a single-speed folding bike make do. Most folding bikes in our list come with either a 6 or 7-speed drivetrain, which is more than enough for most terrains.
Tires and Wheels
Yes, wheel size matters. Wheels can measure between 16- and 26-inches. It’s no secret that the larger the wheel, the more comfortable the ride, so if your commute is long, make sure the wheel size is adequate.
Are they any electric folding bikes?
Yes, today we have even folding e-bikes. You can find some of the best models on our dedicated page for the best electric bikes for commuting.
Why It’s Hard to Find a Bike Right Now
Whether you rely upon mystery books or films to stay entertained — or you’re just curious about the strange disappearance of what was once an endless supply of bicycles — there’s no denying the pandemic’s impact on the market. The 2020 bicycle boom was probably the biggest one in our recent history, and you can see it even in Google Trends. Now at the beginning of 2021, most of the bikes online are still sold out.
Suppliers and distributors were hit as hard as consumers, resulting in production shortfalls and broken links between manufacturers and other bicycle-related businesses. Despite this confounding situation, there is light at the end of this long tunnel: Manufacturers are ramping up production of both components and bikes as the commercial world rebounds from circumstances that could not have been foreseen.