Picking up a cycling habit comes with a wealth of health benefits: It’s a powerful aerobic workout that doesn’t stress your joints, builds muscle, and even increases bone density. Everyone from children to older adults can pick it up — all you need is a bike and a helmet.
For all of biking’s advantages, some people still have difficulty making this workout fit into their life — literally. Bikes take up a lot of space and can be difficult to fit in small apartments or dorm rooms. That’s where folding bikes come to the rescue.
Folding bikes have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. They’re versatile and practical and are less expensive to maintain than cars. What’s not to love?
If you’re looking to get fit with cycling and want the advantages of a flexible ride, here are our picks for the top folding bikes on the market.
Best Overall: EuroMini ZiZZO Folding Bike
Weighing in at just 24 pounds, the EuroMini is a small but mighty choice for riders who need a folding bike that does it all. The bike’s super lightweight aluminum alloy frame folds up to roughly 2 feet by 3 feet, perfect for packing up and taking it with you on the bus or train during a long work commute.
The EuroMini isn’t just for urban commuters, though — the bike’s eight speeds also make it a great pick for easily traversing hilly areas during longer trips. With an adjustable height, the bike could also be used for RV camping trips with families.
With head-turning appearance, the frame’s easy folding, and the bike’s value for the price, it’s not just a great folding bike — it’s a great bike overall.
Best Budget: Schwinn 14 Hinge Folding Bike
Cyclists who want in on the growing popularity of folding bikes will love this versatile option from Schwinn, which has features of much pricier folding bikes for a bargain. Its low stand-over frame easily folds for quick storage. It’s great for weekend destination rides that require a car to get to the trail or for shorter commutes in the city.
This bike is a steal with its sturdy construction and classic design. Plus, there’s an included nylon bag that makes the bike much easier to carry around.
Best for Rugged Rides: Montague Paratrooper 18 Speed Folding Mountain Bike
Montague’s folding mountain bikes mean business: the Paratrooper was developed with the help of a government grant to create a non-electric bike for military use. The bike allowed actual paratroopers to jump out of an aircraft and unfold it in under 30 seconds. You might not be jumping out of planes anytime soon, but if this ride can handle military jumps it can definitely handle rocky trails and bike camping.
The Paratrooper features front and rear mechanical disc brakes, has 18 speeds, and is a favorite among commuters.
Best for Commuting: Dahon Speed D7 Street
Dahon is a brand known for using durable materials for bikes that last— and reliability is a top priority when you’re riding your folding bike to work. Their Speed D7 Street model is a comfortable ride that’s easy on the eyes and stands up to the bad weather and potholed streets you might encounter when you travel to the office every day.
The D7 Street has seven speeds that shift quickly and easily to maintain a comfortable pedaling speed on your commute, so you’re not exhausted when you show up for your morning meeting. It comes with a rear rack for toting your briefcase, and the included mudguards will protect your work clothes from dirty puddles after a rainstorm.
Best for Touring: Montague Crosstown Folding Hybrid Bike
Bicycle touring has seen an uptick in popularity over the last few years, and folding bikes can make your sightseeing expedition even easier. Montague is known for building bicycles that can withstand harsh conditions, but the Crosstown Folding Hybrid Bike is a sleeker, lighter ride that’s perfect for exploring.
The best touring bikes meet a handful of necessary criteria: wide tires, low gear speeds for climbing hills, and durability are key for a fun, safe ride. The Crosstown has all of these must-haves, and it goes above and beyond with an ergonomic saddle seat for premium comfort while you’re satisfying your wanderlust.
Fans of the bike love its diverse uses, whether you’re riding on trails or tooling around town. One reviewer also noted that the Crosstown can hold up to 20 pounds of gear in the handlebar basket alone — perfect for toting supplies during a tour.
Best for College: Stowabike 20” Folding City Bike
College is a great time to get back to cycling: many campuses are bike-friendly, riding a bike will save you money for textbooks or late-night pizza runs, and the exercise will fend off the dreaded freshman 15. The Stowabike Folding City Bike is an affordable, quality choice for young adults commuting on campus.
The bike’s built-in steel mudguards protect backpacks and books from splashes and storms, and there’s a built-in carrying rack to pack everything you need for class. It comes in eye-catching color combos, and it folds down to less than 3 feet by 2 feet for easy storage, protecting your investment from bike thieves or inclement weather.
Best for Tall Riders: Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike
At first glance, folding bikes’ lightweight materials, low-seated designs, and, well…foldability seem like a liability for the vertically-blessed. Fortunately, Dahon’s Speed Uno Folding Bike has all the specs a taller person needs in a folding bike.
The Uno’s dimensions make it great for taller people: tall riders need a saddle to pedal distance of at least 23 inches, and the Speed Uno is adjustable up to 26 inches. The seat post to handlebar distance is also adjustable up to 26 inches — perfect for cyclists with longer arms. Plus, the seat is specially designed for pressure relief, so heavier riders will be well-supported.
Taller Speed Uno fans enjoyed the bike’s great fit and loved the faster speeds they could achieve while riding.