On the streets of modern Russian cities, you can increasingly meet people moving on bicycles that are not quite familiar – they have small wheels, whose diameter is only about 16-24 inches. The seatposts are very high. These are the original folding bikes, products that have been gaining more and more popularity lately, as they are an almost ideal means of transportation in urban conditions. Small diameter wheels provide excellent maneuverability, which is very important on city roads. On such a bike, you can easily overcome a decent distance, go around any traffic jam.
The design of the device is equipped with an original folding mechanism, thanks to which the bike can be easily transported in any public transport, or placed in the trunk of a car. In addition, the product can be stored in the apartment, as it practically does not take up free space. The bike does not need a parking space as it is easy to carry around with you all the time. Almost all models are equipped with wings. But not all people know what to look for when buying such a vehicle. It is for them that we decided to rank the best folding bikes in 2022. Before we begin the analysis of the useful characteristics of specific models, let’s deal with the question of the competent purchase of such a device.
How to choose the right folding bike?
The folding mechanisms of modern models are reliable and simple, so that the product can be folded within a few seconds. In this regard, at the moment, special attention should be paid, especially since the safety of the rider will also depend on it. Today, folding bikes are equipped with one of several such mechanisms.
The most common is the V-clamp. It is characterized by excellent strength, the clamping area is large enough, due to which the bike is securely held in the assembled state. There is also the EEZZ vertical folding system. It provides almost instantaneous folding of the structure.
Be sure to find out what material the frame is made of. Standard bikes are mostly made of steel, but this element has a significant mass, and the weight for a folding bike is one of the key indicators. You can give preference to an aluminum frame, but the level of its strength leaves much to be desired. Much more reliable will be the construction of a special aluminum alloy or high carbon steel. Such materials have a decent level of strength, wear out slowly and do not weigh very much.
The diameter of the wheels also plays an important role in choosing a folding bike. The smaller this indicator, the greater the maneuverability and compactness of the design. The bike can be single or multi-speed. On the latter, it will be much easier to overcome the climbs.
When choosing models to include in our review, we mainly relied on the above points, but some other factors were also taken into account: value for money, user reviews. We tried to include not the most expensive models in the rating so that our readers could afford them.
For urban conditions
6. STELS PILOT 430 20
A very reliable and compact model that will allow you to experience the fullness of positive emotions from driving. Occupies a minimum of free space, equipped with a three-speed planetary type transmission. The mechanism responsible for gear shifting is located in the rear hub, well hidden in a protective casing, so that dirt will not get into it. It is characterized by stable operation, does not jam during the entire service life, and speeds can be switched even while standing still. The products are equipped with wide tires and a special reinforced tread that allows you to drive on asphalt, gravel and even on the ground. Aluminum rims reinforced with patented technology are installed. The bicycle is made on the basis of a steel frame. The front fork is pretty stiff here. The brake system here is also very interesting: the front brake is manual, the system is completely mechanical. Rear foot brake – pedal.
The steering wheel is adjustable in both height and angle. The saddle is quite soft, with high orthopedic qualities, which allows you to spend quite a lot of time on the bike. It is equipped with several springs, so even quite serious bumps and pits will hardly be felt by the rider. This bike comes with steel fenders, rack, chain protection system, bell, rearview mirror, and a kickstand. Wheel diameter is 20 inches.
- Everything you need for a comfortable ride comes with the model;
- Quite acceptable cost;
- Three-speed transmission;
- Relatively simple assembly of the structure;
- It can be used absolutely in any weather and climatic conditions;
- The handlebar and seat are height adjustable.
- Because of the steel frame, it weighs a lot.
STELS PILOT 430 20
5. FORWARD TRACER 1.0
It has a very easy to use folding mechanism. In the unfolded state, all elements are fixed very securely, they do not begin to loosen even after several years of active use. According to users, the bike is designed for all occasions. It is optimally suited for driving on urban asphalt roads in a sporty style. The products have two modifications, which differ from each other only in the diameter of the wheels – 17 or 19 inches. The product will be suitable for both men and women. The kit comes with full-length fenders made of lightweight aluminum. They will protect the rider well from dirt or water from under the wheels of the bike. The device is also equipped with a footrest. Manufacturers have equipped their products with technological holes that allow you to install a flask and a pump.
The design has a transmission from the Japanese company Shimano, which has long been known for its reliability. First of all, it works flawlessly, the gear shifts smoothly, no jerks were found during testing of the bike. The wheels are equipped with reinforced Weinmann rims. They are double, capable of withstanding a significant load, do not bend under physical influences, including quite strong blows. The frame is made of high-quality 6061 aluminum alloy. The fork here is rigid, it absorbs well, shaking is not felt during the ride.
- Original and quite attractive appearance;
- High-quality manufacturing and assembly of products;
- Acceptable cost;
- For a city bike, it has good cross-country ability;
- Can be assembled by yourself.
- After a while, the brakes begin to creak – it is eliminated by their lubrication.
FORWARD TRACER 1.0
4. STARK JAM 20.1 SV (2017)
The bike is equipped with a frame with carefully thought out geometry. It is made of reliable aluminum, so such a bike should be handled with the utmost care so as not to damage its main element. The fork is rigid, the wheel diameter is 20 inches. The rim brakes work almost instantly. This product is a great outdoor option, and it is also well suited for regular use, say, for commuting. The folding mechanism is very simple, easy to use, when folded the bike takes up little space, and you can purchase a special bag for its transportation. The transmission here is the simplest – single-speed, so you will have to make a lot of effort to climb the mountain.
According to users, the design is well suited for any coatings, has excellent cross-country ability. This device comes with a fairly large trunk, an ergonomic footrest and wide plastic fenders. The saddle of the model is spring-loaded, which eliminates the discomfort from pits and other road irregularities. The developers of the bike paid special attention to the removal of the steering wheel, making it as convenient as possible for a person of any height.
- original design;
- Excellent build quality;
- Attractive cost;
- The geometry and ergonomics of the frame are carefully thought out;
- A comfortable saddle in which you can comfortably spend more than one hour;
- Good splash protection.
- The manufacturer installed only a single-speed transmission;
- The frame is made of aluminum;
- Plastic wings should be handled with the utmost care.
STARK JAM 20.1 SV (2017)
3. SHULZ KRABI COASTER
When folded, it is a design that is slightly larger than one wheel of this bike – it has a diameter of 24 inches. The model occupies a minimum of free space with its overall dimensions of 88x41x71 cm. Despite the fact that the product looks a little bulky, it is quite light – only 14.5 kg. It is equipped with a wide and comfortable saddle. Its manufacturer fitted it with high-quality leatherette, which withstands the effects of water, low temperatures well, and practically does not wear out during operation. The bike is equipped with a three-speed transmission. The speed picks up pretty quickly, uphill rises steadily and without jerks. They switch gears exclusively while driving, no special efforts are required for this. The pedals here are also folding, made of plastic. Feet do not slip off them even in wet weather. The folding mechanism is simple and reliable, does not break during the entire life of the model.
The frame is made of high-quality aluminum alloy, is not sensitive to corrosion processes and physical impacts. The transmission bushing is made by the Japanese company Shimano. The bike is well suited even for long walks. He behaves well both in urban conditions and outside the city on the ground. The kit comes with a special case for easy storage and transportation of the bike. This modification is equipped with a reliable foot brake at the rear wheel, the front one has a hand brake.
- Convenient folding mechanism;
- Wheels with double rims;
- The kit has everything you need for a comfortable ride;
- Three position transmission.
- Weak chain guard.
SHULZ KRABI COASTER
2. STRIDA SX
It is a rather unusual design. At first glance, it may seem that the model is something between a wheelchair and a large scooter. The product has an original geometry, in particular, a triangular frame is taken as the basis here. There is no chain drive here; a Kevlar belt is used as a drive. The transmission consists of only one speed, but the bike is equipped with disc brakes. Initially, these products were developed for people who daily have to overcome significant distances in urban areas. The design is simple and light enough, it can be transformed into a working state within a few seconds. On this bike, you can quickly maneuver between vehicles or pedestrians. The products are equipped with fairly large wheels – their diameter is 18 inches.
Largely due to this structural element, it was possible to achieve the most comfortable driving conditions. The mass of the unit is 11.6 kg, so you can carry it with you all the time. This device does not require special maintenance. Despite the fact that it is unlikely that it will be possible to accelerate on such a bike to high speeds, people are acquiring it more and more often, since this is an almost ideal design for the city. The saddle here is small, although very comfortable: you can spend a couple of hours in it without a break.
- Frame made of lightweight materials;
- A Kevlar belt instead of a standard metal chain also has a positive effect on the weight of the device;
- Original and attractive appearance;
- Easy to fold and unfold;
- Trunk provided.
1. SHULZ LENTUS
Another model from the German manufacturer has got to the first line of this part of our today’s rating. This is the most reliable folding bike on the market, it has an aluminum alloy frame. It has wheels with wide treads, which greatly increase the stability of the unit. In addition, thanks to them, such a bike can be ridden not only on asphalt or other even surface, but also on dirt roads. The brakes are installed disc, work stably. This bike was originally designed for heavy loads and difficult operating conditions. The frame has properties that are not quite typical for it, in particular, due to the original qualities of the alloy, it will additionally dampen vibrations and soften even strong shocks.
The design is equipped with a rigid fork of increased rigidity. It works much more efficiently than depreciation, it is easier to manage. The part does not have vertical swing, which greatly facilitates the movement uphill. The chain is reliably protected by a special casing, which will not allow clothes to be wound on it, dirt, water, dust and other foreign objects. The saddle is quite wide, has high orthopedic performance. There is no discomfort even with prolonged skating. The bike also has reflective elements that make it quite noticeable at night.
- Very comfortable and reliable design;
- Folds and unfolds quite quickly and easily;
- Planetary gear installed;
- Disc brakes work within fractions of a second;
- Roll forward is excellent;
- Everything you need is included in the kit – there is no need to buy anything extra.
- Not detected.
4. STELS PILOT 950 MD 26 V010
Here is one of the cheapest full-length folding bikes designed and manufactured by the domestic company Stels. It is produced in two versions. There are no fundamental differences between them, the only difference is the size of the frame – 17.5 and 19 inches. The product has perfect maneuverability. The mass is also not too large – the model weighs about 15 kg, but a person up to 100 kg can ride it. The bike is characterized by a multi-position transmission, which includes 21 speeds. It has a mechanical disc brake system. According to users, the products turned out to be very practical. In particular, it is perfect for driving on any roads, from asphalt to dirt, including off-road. The bike is designed for people from 162 to 190 cm tall and weighing no more than 120 kg.
The device has a transmission from Microshift. Gear shifts smoothly, without jerks. The weight of the bike itself is 15.5 kg, so it will not be too difficult to carry it with you all the time. The frame is made of high-quality aluminum alloy, resistant to serious physical impacts. The suspension fork has a stroke of 60 mm. The wheels have double rims made of aluminium. The braking system uses both wheels, it is mechanical and very reliable – there is no need to fear that the brakes will fail at the most important moment.
- Sufficiently rich bike equipment;
- Acceptable cost;
- Reliable folding mechanism;
- Low weight and overall dimensions, especially when folded;
- The system of disc mechanical brakes has ideal reliability.
- The seat has to be adjusted for a long time to the anatomical features of the rider.
STELS PILOT 950 MD 26 V010
3. DAHON JET D9
This bike is made by a well-known Taiwanese company, which used only the most advanced technologies in the development. Initially, engineers created these products specifically for mountainous terrain. The transmission here is 9-position, and the design is characterized by users as very maneuverable. Although the frame is made of aluminum, it has excellent strength and endurance, due to which it is able to withstand a person’s weight up to 105 kg. The unit itself weighs about 12 kg. The folding mechanism is simple, reliable and easy to use. In the assembled state, the bike is convenient to store, as it practically does not take up free space.
The brake system is produced using V-Brake technology, which is not only durable, but also virtually maintenance-free. The bike has two-suspension shock absorption, thanks to which pits and potholes are practically not felt. The seat does not have springs, however, it does not create excessive stress on the back. You can ride this bike with great comfort.
- Excellent production and assembly quality;
- Convenient and easy to use folding mechanism;
- High level of strength and endurance;
- Attractive appearance;
- Small weight of the bike;
- The presence of a two-suspension depreciation system;
- Perfect maneuverability, which is very useful in cross-country or dirt road conditions.
- Quite an expensive product.
DAHON JET D9
2. STARK COBRA 26.3 HD
A fairly fast bike that allows you to accelerate on a flat road and go very fast, it practically does not make noise while riding, despite the fact that it is equipped with fairly wide reinforced treads. The bundle is relatively poor, all additional elements will have to be purchased separately. There is not too much clearance between the bike stand and the road surface. The capabilities of such a unit allow you to ride on various types of terrain. The folding mechanism is convenient and easy to use, so there is no need to install the bike on the roof of the car when transporting it. Attached equipment is amateur, but its capabilities are quite enough to ensure a comfortable ride.
The transmission includes 24 speeds. Lightweight frame made of aluminum alloy. The Easing ES-451 MLO suspension fork has 100mm of travel, making it easy to get through even tough obstacles. The fork itself is springy, the bike does not have a rear shock absorber, but the spring-loaded seat makes it easy to do without this element. Brake system of disk type, hydraulic. It is assembled reliably, so it does not need special maintenance during operation. The pedals are plastic, have a special rubberized coating, due to which the feet will not slip off them even in wet weather.
- The optimum ratio of price and quality;
- Manufacturers have selected the ideal protectors for this design;
- Compact overall dimensions and low weight;
- Good permeability of the unit;
- The presence of a rubber coating on the pedals;
- Large travel front suspension fork.
- The paint layer is not anodized;
- Minimum equipment – you will have to additionally purchase the necessary elements such as wings, chain protection, and so on.
STARK COBRA 26.3 HD
1. STARK Cobra 27.2 D
Not too expensive, but at the same time a very attractive model that is able to maintain its original appearance throughout its entire service life. According to the manufacturers, they developed the device for movement exclusively on asphalt roads, but users say that this is a real mountain model. It is able to withstand steep climbs, off-road, and is characterized by high strength treads, which, at the same time, regardless of weather conditions, reliably adhere to the road surface. The frame here is aluminum AL-6061 folding MTB, only high-tech materials are used in production that can resist significant physical impact well. In addition, the ergonomic Prowheel MA-AC43 system is used in this bike.
It is worth saying that this is a fairly large product that has wheels with a diameter of over 27 inches, so even when folded it is a very large device. The transmission includes 21 speeds, a Shimano Tourney RD TY300D derailleur is installed here. It smoothly switches positions depending on driving conditions. The wheels are equipped with Wanda P1226 27.5×2.35 tires, they are characterized by high rolling. The brakes of the bicycle are mechanical disc type. With their help, you can stop at any time and under any driving conditions – including on a steep descent, regardless of the road surface.
- Small mass for a mountain bike;
- Excellent cross;
- High reliability of the braking system;
- The presence of a folding mechanism;
- Excellent rolling;
- Rigidly fixed forks;
- Frame made of aluminum alloys.
- Sometimes it is problematic to fix in the folded state.
STARK Cobra 27.2D
In conclusion, a useful video
Our roundup of the best folding bikes for 2022 has come to a close. We tried to describe each model in as much detail as possible so that you have an accurate idea of the product, and you can conclude whether you need it or whether it is better to choose something more suitable. If you have any questions, you can always ask us in the comments to this article. We will promptly respond to each message and provide all the necessary information.