Everything You Need To Know About Folding Bikes
One of the most revolutionary changes in the bicycle design was the creation of the folding bike. No longer are you stuck with the large, unwieldy frame of a regular bike, but instead you’re able to fold it up so you can place it wherever you want to.
It sounds fantastic, but before you head down to your bike shop and buy one, you need to know if they’re really for you. Here’s everything you need to know about folding bikes, so you can make the right choice for your biking needs.
What Is A Folding Bike?
First of all, what is a folding bike? At the heart of it, it’s a bike that you can fold up when you’re not using it. Different models will fold up in different ways, which we will cover later on in this guide. As the bike folds down to a more compact size, it makes them very easy to store and keep when you need to put it away.
While folding bikes can be used for all kinds of riding, they’re considered to be a folding bike first. For example, the bike may be designed for mountain biking, but it will be a folding bike first. If you want to do some serious off roading, you’ll need a full mountain bike. If you want to take it with you hiking and use it as part of your gear though, it’s perfect.
While they’ve exploded in popularity recently, you’ll see that they actually date back to the late 1800’s. They were designed for use by the British army, even being used in parachute drops. After the war there wasn’t much done to the design until the 1980’s, when the folding bike was brought up to date.
What A Folding Bike Is Suitable For
If you’re in the market for a bike, would a folding bike be the best option for you? There’s plenty on the market, so what makes it so popular? Here are some times that a folding bike can be very handy:
Commuting: Many cyclists like using a folding bike for work. It’s easy to set most models up, and they make commuting a lot easier. For example, you can fold it up to get on the train, if that’s part of your journey. There are plenty of folding bikes designed for road biking and commuting, so you’ll find one perfect for you.
Leisure biking: Are you someone who likes to get out and about on the bike at the weekends? Then you’ll love a good folding bike. They’re great for getting around with family and friends and just having a good time. If you stop off anywhere and need to store the bike, you can simply fold it up and it’ll take up much less space.
Mountain biking: Yes, really. As mentioned above, folding bikes aren’t going to be able to take all the demands of a regular mountain bike. If you want to a good way to get across certain areas when hiking though, you’ll find a folding mountain bike perfect for your needs.
Different Types Of Folding Bike
When choosing a folding bike, you’ll see there’s a huge range of folding options that you can choose from. What can you expect to see when picking out a bike?
Half/mid folding: This is the option you’ve probably already seen out on the street. The bike has a solid hinge at the midway point, making it fold in on itself. With a quick release feature, these bikes will open up quickly, ready for use again.
Vertical folding: These bikes have a hinge on the main tube and or chain, and that allows the bike to fold vertically.
Triangle hinge: These hinges allow the rear triangle and wheel to fold down, and then put forward under the main tube. These are designed to make folding and set up faster.
Magnet folding: As the name suggests, a magnet with a rear shock absorber creates the folding mechanism. It folds back and locks the back wheel to the frame, so you can roll it along when folded up.
Breakaway: If the folding bike has a diamond frame, then it will need a breakaway folding method. The bike separates at the seat post, allowing the two halves to fold in on each other.
The Benefits Of A Folding Bike
So why get a folding bike? There’s all kinds of reasons why you may choose to get one and make your bike rides a lot easier for yourself:
Easier to store: It’s just so much easier to find a place for your folding bike. As they fold up smaller, you can store them in your home. That’s perfect if you don’t have outdoor space to store them in. You can also get some models under your desk at work, so you don’t have to worry about leaving them outside.
Deter thieves: Leaving your bike outside is leaving it vulnerable to thieves, even when you lock it up. Instead, you can get a folding bike and bring it indoors with you, safe and sound. If you do have to leave it out, leaving it folded makes it harder for thieves to take quickly, so it’s less likely to be taken.
Portability: Yes, bikes in general are portable by design, but that’s only when you’re riding it. Once you’re off the bike, it’s a heavy and cumbersome item to move around. A folding bike is much easier to carry, and they can go in your car boot or on the back seat when you take it further afield. No more having to tie a bike to the roof rack, and worry about it staying affixed.
Folding bikes are an excellent design for many commuters and bike fans out there. Their design is one that gives you increased portability and storage options, as well as keeping it more secure. If you’re looking for something a bit different in your bike, the folding bike could well be the right option for you.