Folding bikes are becoming increasingly popular. Bike manufacturers are constantly hitting the drawing board to come up with the new best designs to satisfy customers looking for more convenient and environmentally friendly ways to get where they want to go.
There is now a wide variety of folding bikes on the market, from basic models to high-end performance bikes, making it somewhat overwhelming for people shopping around for a folding bike. This is why the list of the top 8 folding bikes of 2023 exists- to cut through the smoke and showcase 8 worthy bikes, helping shoppers to make a more informed decision.
The following will be broken down into two sections; Traditional and eBike versions. If you're considering buying a folding bike, here are the top 8 models to consider in 2023:
Traditional Folding Bikes
Due to the lack of all the bells and whistles that are packed into the eBike varieties, you’ll find that the traditional folding bikes are lighter and a bit more manageable in terms of hoisting them into different places.
Brompton C Line Explorer
This bike is on the list due to its simplicity in design, ease of folding and unfolding, and is among the oldest folding bike brands you’ll find. It weighs only 26.9 lbs., is equipped with 6 speeds, and has a compact folding size of 25.3” H x 23'' L x 10.6'‘ from pedal to pedal.
The Brompton C Line Explorer has the option to choose from three styles of handlebars and has an extended seat post to satisfy the comfort levels of any rider.
Tern Link C8
The Tern Link C8 is a versatile little bike that boasts an 8-speed gear system and can easily get up to desired riding speeds with little to no trouble. Where this bike sets itself apart from other foldables is the level of comfort enjoyed by the rider with the specially shaped handlebar grips and handlebar positioning. This offers a more enjoyable experience if you’re riding over long distances.
From wheel to wheel, the bike comes up shorter than others, which makes it perfect for making tight, sharp corners without having to get off and reposition the bike. The Tern weighs 28 lbs. and folds into a small package measuring 31.5” L × 28.7” H x 15.6” from pedal to pedal.
Among the selling points attached to the ZIZZO Urbano is its lightweight nature, weighing only 24.5 lbs. with a compact folded size of 27” H x 31” L x 12.5” from pedal to pedal. This is an easy bike to sling around in its folded position.
It comes equipped with 8 speeds, a Shimano Revo derailer, and magnet catches to help hold it all together. Users have made sure to note that the seat is especially comfortable when compared to other bikes they’ve experienced and has proven to be a great choice as a commuter bike.
The Origami Hawk comes with a 7-speed freehub and cassette, which helps to get up those steep hills and stay at a good clip out on the trails. The folded dimensions are 14” from pedal to pedal, 33” wide, and 24” tall, and weighs 31 lbs.
One thing about this bike that has helped to sustain its popularity is the fact that it is easily attainable. These can be purchased at a local Walmart, or ordered on the Walmart website. Riders have commented on the great ride these bikes offer and the comfortable positioning the design promotes.
Folding eBikes have motors, batteries, and frames designed to accommodate said equipment and other accessories. This makes them weigh a bit more but still maintain comparable folded size advantages.
Hovsco HovBeta 20” Foldable Fat Tire eBike
When unfolded and unleashed, you’ll have three choices open to you on how to use this bike. You can pedal it with straight-up leg power for those who are in the mood to get in a little cardio, you can choose to use any of the five levels of its pedal assist tech to regulate how much work you put into each pedal pump, or go throttle only to effortlessly get to where you want to go.
The HovBeta measures 33.5” long x 30.7” tall x 17.3” from pedal to pedal, and weighs in at about 66.4 lbs. Fat 4” thick x 20” Kenda tires offer all-terrain versatility, providing a smooth ride wherever you take it and its rugged frame is robust, not showing any signs that it’s a folding bike. The HovBeta is equipped with a toggle option to switch between a class 2 or a class 3 eBike through the use of the Hovsco app. This swap in class brings you from an assisted top speed of 20 mph to 28mph with a push of a button.
The 750W Upgraded Brushless Gear Hub Motor is powered by a powerful 48V 15Ah Samsung/LG Lithium-ion Battery. Using pedal assist, the battery will go 60 miles per charge, and around 40 miles on pure throttle mode.
Raleigh Evo Electric Folding Bike
The Raleigh is an 8-speed electric folding eBike with a pedal assist that can reach speeds of about 15.5 mph with a 50Wh capacity battery which can provide an achievable range of 30 miles per charge.
Where this choice might lack in speed it makes up for it in its lightweight design, weighing about 44 lbs. and when folded, measures 34.65” L x 31.5” H x 17.5” from pedal to pedal. This would be a good choice for shorter yet consistent commuter trips.
Heybike Mars Electric Bike
The Heybike Mars eBike offers a smooth, comfortable ride with its 4” x 20” puncture-resistant fat tires and its three pedal-assisted riding modes filtered through a Shimano 7-speed gear system. This model is equipped with a 500W brushless motor and a 48V 12.5Ah battery.
When folded, the bike measures 37” H x 15” L x 11” from pedal to pedal (making it the slimmest foldable eBike on the list), and weighs in at 66 lbs. Another comfort point for this ride is the adjustable front fork suspension, doing its job of absorbing the bangs and bumps of rough terrain.
Aventon Sinch Foldable eBike
When folded, the bike measures around 41” L x 31” H x 23” from pedal to pedal, and weighs in at about 68 lbs. What is unique about the Sinch Foldable eBike is that it can be ordered as a step-over or a step-thru body style, opening options for customers to choose a preferred frame shape.
With the 4” fat tires, no terrain is out of bounds, and the bike moves swiftly with its 500W motor. If you’re a larger person, this is a good choice as it can function properly with riders up to 300 lbs. Maxing out at 20 mph either through the throttle or assisted, this bike complies where “Class 2” restrictions apply.
What is the Point of a Folding Bike?
The point of owning a folding bike is to have the benefits of a bicycle while having a greater palette of options in terms of storage and transport.
Folding Bikes are Easier to Transport
They are easier to haul in and out of various forms of public transportation, and can easily fit into the back seat of an average-sized car or in its trunk, whereas you’d need an SUV with the seat down (at least) to transport regular traditional bikes.
There’s no need to waste any time pulling bike racks on and off your car either. In short, folding bikes can eliminate a lot of annoying issues when the bike itself needs to be transported.
Storage is Easier with Folding Bikes
If you live in an apartment building, a home with a small yard and tight storage, or simply don’t have the room to store a regular bike, the folding bikes take up a fraction of the space. Hauling a folding bike in and out of apartment buildings is more convenient than wheeling the bike down tight hallways, up and down flights of stairs, or in and out of elevators.
In some circumstances, they can be taken in with you to work (if that’s your mode of transportation) rather than leaving it out in the elements on a bike rack, also reducing the chances of theft.
Folding varieties of bikes are not for everybody. They look different enough to be less desirable than other bike designs, they’re typically a bit smaller, and some people simply wouldn’t have any need for this style of bike. You’d be hard-pressed to find any need for a folding bike in most rural areas where space and storage are a lot more ample.
That said, it’s easy to imagine how beneficial folding bikes would be in a cityscape-type setting, where biking to work is more doable and common than in many places inside the U.S., and space is likely more limited. Or for folks that would rather drive out to a park, trail opening, or wooded setting if they have no place enjoyable to ride to where they live. Fold the bike up and head out to wherever you’d be willing to unleash it.