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10 Best Folding Bikes For 2021

Best folding bikes for more portable cycling and daily commuting

best portable bicycle
  • The ultimate companion of today’s London commuters, the folding bike is an increasingly popular vehicle for those looking to make up the minutes from home to work without lugging around a traditional bicycle
  • Folding bikes are also popular amongst leisurely riders and holiday cyclists, as they allow you to slot a more portable, storable bicycle into your car boot, removing the need for scary roof racks
  • Folding bikes can be more easily transported on public transport or stored away indoors, making them much safer than keeping your bike looked up outside
  • Made with smaller wheels and foldable frames, handlebars and pedals, foldable bikes allow you to quickly dismantle and set up a working bicycle in no longer than a minute
  • To help you reap the benefits of a more portable bike, we’ve picked out a series of fabulous folders for every type of rider, with a focus on low-gear, compact designs for busy commuters, as well as sturdier more versatile options for rural cycle trips and leisure pleasure seekers

Our Top Portable Bicycles

The Best Folding Bikes For Commuting & Portability

A lot of praise gets thrown around for that sadly unknown caveperson who first came up with the wheel. But if you ask us, it’s the fella who came up with two wheels that deserves all the praise.

One of the world’s most simplistic and beloved vehicles, the bicycle is the easiest way to get around since we evolved two feet and learning to ride one is a rite of passage bestowed on every child since their creation.

But bloody hell, they aren’t half a pain to lug about.

If they weren’t so annoying to store away, people would have sacked off walking donkeys ago and we’d all be getting where we need to go a hell of a lot quicker!

Thankfully though, the innovation of the folding bike has changed all that in the last few years and reaping the benefits of a bicycle without the hassle is better than it’s ever been.

The best folding bikes are made by Brompton, as they offer the most compact, portable sizes, the lightest frames and a lower amount of gears that’s perfect for leisurely riding or intercity travel.

A good-quality foldable bike allows commuters to speed up their intermodal trips from the home to the office and gives leisurely cyclists more adaptability when it comes to storing their bike away, making them a handy mode of transport which doesn’t damage the planet!

However, not all folding bikes are created equal and with several weights, wheel sizes, frame materials and folding sizes to consider, deciding which kind of bike fits your specific purpose can be a little confusing.

To help you get a better idea of the best folding bikes for you, we’ve pedalled our way through dozens of traditional foldable bicycles sold from dozens of trustworthy marketplaces, including the likes of Halfords, Amazon and Decathlon.

From portable mountain bikes to speedy inner city racers, a quick cycle through our top ten is all you’ll need to spot the optimum option for you!

Folding Bike Buying Guide

Features To Look Out For


Prices for folding bikes vary wildly and how much you want to spend should probably depend on how much you’re looking to get out of it.

If you’re seeking a premium model which can be used as a road bike or even as an outdoors mountain bike, you’re going to want to spend a fair bit to ensure stability and quality.

However, if the bike is only going to be used 10 or so minutes a day from the train station to work etc. having every function known to man or looking like a million dollars is probably of way less importance!

As with standard bicycles, a brand new top of the range foldable model will easily set you back over £1000 or more.

Don’t let that worry you though, as there are plenty of models which cost much less, with the cheapest brands offering good quality bikes for the £200 to £500 range.


The gears your folding bike can offer are of crucial importance as they will determine how usable the bike is. Given they have such small wheels to make them more portable, folding bikes can sometimes require a little extra gusto to get going, particularly if you live in an area with lots of hills.

If you live in a flat area one-gear or two-gear systems will do just fine, but it’s often best to choose a bike with a more versatile range!

Racks/Bag Attachment

If you’re using your folding bike for a commute, chances are you’ll need to bring a few extras along with you that won’t always fit in a simple rucksack! Bag catches/attachment features or luggage racks attached to the front of the bike can help make carrying your loads a lot simpler!


Something that’s easily overlooked, but an item you don’t really want to have to purchase later or discover you need the hard way, mudguards are a vital component of any bike.

While mountain bikers expect to get mucky and kit up accordingly, you definitely don’t want track marks all up your back if you’re pedalling off to an important meeting.

Weight/Frame Material

Once your bike is folded up, unless you’ve got somewhere immediately at hand to store it, there may be occasional periods where you’ll have to carry the bike under your arm. It’s therefore quite important that it doesn’t weigh more than the Titanic and that you can easily pick it up!

How heavy the bike is will often be mostly down to it’s frame material.

Aluminium is the most common for cheaper to mid-range bikes when it comes to providing a lightweight frame, while titanium and carbon fibre models offer a stronger and even lighter frame.

If you’re planning to use the bike in more adventurous pursuits, a steel frame usually offers more weight and stability.

All in all, the minimum and maximum range for foldable bikes tends to be between 10 and 20Kg, so where they fall between those two numerals will give you a good idea of how heavy the bike will be.


While the idea is to whizz along as fast as you can, everybody has to make a stop once in a while and people ignore the quality of their brakes far too often when purchasing bikes!

Cheapest models have linear pull style callipers above the wheel which clamp down when pulling the brakes whereas more expensive brands use disc brakes which make them easier to fold. Beware though, disc brakes are slightly heavier!

Wheel Size

Folding bikes are easy to spot thanks to their unusual dinky wheels which make them ideal for storage and portability. However, they often come in two different sizes of 16” or 20”, which can have a big impact on the bike’s suitability for you!

The smaller the wheels, the smaller the overall size of the bike, meaning it will be far easier to store if you wish to lace the bike in train luggage racks or cupboards. This also impacts the ride though, and smaller wheels will often be less stable and smooth than larger ones.

For those who want to take their folding bike mountain biking, you’ll need a much larger wheel and some brands do make models for that specific cause with a rarer 26” wheel.


Pretty much all folding bikes have the same style of frame, one that is very low to the ground and reminiscent of a children’s bicycle. Naturally though, this would be very uncomfortable for adults and so every model should offer plenty of adjustment for handlebar and seat height, so that you can find the best possible seating position.

Always make sure they can be adjusted to a size which will match your height and build!


Suspension mechanisms add more weight to your bike and so are something to keep an eye on if you’ve got your sights set on the smallest, lightest bike possible.

Good suspension is crucial for these kinds of folding bikes, as otherwise, they’ll be virtually unrideable!

Folding Method

The whole point of a folding bike is that it should be easy to quickly store away your vehicle and get it out of the way! You therefore need to make sure that your folding model of choice is simple to operate and hassle free.

In general, foldable bicycles either come in half-fold, triangle-fold or break away styles.

Which style you pick can have an impact on how your bike feels when riding.

Half folds are easy to dismantle and set up, but by far the least sturdy.

Triangle folds are the sturdiest and still easy to fold, but can often be difficult to ride.

Breakaways are then the absolute easiest to fold but are more difficult to set back up.

They all have their pros and cons, and which one you choose is up to you!


Before buying any folding bike it’s always important to think about what you’re going to be using it for.

If it’s a simple commuting bike, you need it to be really compact on folding, lightweight, with small wheels. As you’ll only be using it for short bursts, it’s general riding capabilities are not so important – it’s just about getting from A-Z as quickly and efficiently as possible.

If however you like the portability of a folding bike but still plan on taking it on longer cycling trips and adventures, it’s absolutely vital you go with something with the biggest wheels and sturdiest riding capabilities, with storability and folding efficiency being less crucial.

Most Asked Questions About Folding Bikes

Can you take a folding bike on a train/bus?

Of course! That’s one of the main reasons why they’re so loved by commuters.

However, before you hedge your bets, you should probably always check the guidance from the bus or train company you plan on using, as they will often have rules and regulations about where you should store your folding bike when on board.

Some transport services may have certain rules in place where boarding is only allowed if the space permits it, as general guidance suggests your folding bike must be placed somewhere that isn’t blocking access points or seating.

Which folding bike is best?

The best folding bikes are undoubtedly made by Brompton, who have been designing and hand making innovative, lightweight bicycles for nearly 50 years.

Not only do their designs look the best, but they also provide low gears for less maintenance, the lightest frames by a country mile and fast, efficient side-folding action. This makes them the number one choice for commuters and city tourists.

If you’re looking for something more versatile for leisurely rides, ECOSMO bikes are often a better choice, as they will offer more gear speed range, larger tires and a bit more stability for more rural areas.