Folding bikes have indeed come a long way since their launch in the 1890s. Initially crafted for military use owing to their convenience, the humble yet efficient folding bike has found rising popularity among the riders of today. Known for its ease-of-use, premium quality and the ability to carry your favourite ride wherever you go, here’s why your next ride should be a folding bike.
What is a folding bike?
A folding bike, much like its name, is a compact bike that can easily be folded to be carried anywhere you go. Being easily foldable makes it easier to store as well, thanks to its bendable and adjustable frame. This way, you can take your bike into buildings, public transportation and even on flights!
Folding bikes have multiple variants when it comes to the technical aspect of the fold itself. You can choose your preferred model based on a variety of factors, such as the ease of folding, weight, ride quality, folding speed, and more. There are over 150 models to choose from today, offering a broad spectrum of features along with comfort, efficiency, speed and space considerations.
What are the advantages of a folding bike?
The need for the innovation of folding bikes arose when bikers found it extremely difficult to carry their bicycles as they travelled across cities as well as countries. The initial models for folding bikes weren’t as flexible, either: heavy, difficult to fold and uncomfortable to ride, it wasn’t uncommon for folding bikes to go so far as to break down in a pile of wheels and frames whenever a rider attempted to fold them! However, in the 90s, railway as well as airport authorities made the regulations for carrying bikes while in transit stricter, making it crucial to invent a more convenient method for folding bikes. Luckily, the production of a highly compact folding bike would pass through these regulations and be lightweight enough to be carried by the rider, thus marking the beginning of the folding bikes we know and love today. They also offered travelling riders a smart and easy transport option.
Here are the top advantages of a folding bike as compared to its rigid counterpart:
1. Unrestricted entry on public transport
No matter how you commute: be it the bus, the train or taxi service - the folding bike has got your back! Simply fold it up next to you, sit back, and enjoy the ride. What’s more, carrying a folding bike on public transport is totally free!
2. Unique and Convenient
Well, for the most part. Since folding bikes aren’t as mainstream (yet), the chances of a bicycle thief knowing how to unlock a folding bike and running off with it are slim to none. What’s more, since you can carry it with you anywhere, it’ll most likely be right by your side, keeping your ride safe throughout your journey.
3. Saves space
Since it can be easily folded to fit anywhere, a folding bike saves the most space when it comes to taking your bicycle with you. Additionally, it also saves space at home wherever you choose to store it!
4. Saves money
Any layman would know that riding a bicycle saves money—especially in today’s world where fuel prices only seem to go up. However, a lot of everyday public transport facilities carry a hefty charge when it comes to letting your bicycle tag along with you for the trip. That’s where the convenience of folding bikes comes in: you can travel with them entirely free of cost, no matter where you go.
Today, with over model variants and as well as developments in tire technology and frame design, folding bikes rank just as high as their conventional counterparts when it comes to weight, quality of the ride and performance. Although improvements can still be made when it comes to folding mechanisms and the time that it takes to fold the bike, folding bikes have definitely seen a marked rise in their ease and efficiency, and have opened up a whole new avenue when it comes to riding your bicycle.
How do I pick the right folding bike for me?
A lighter bike will be heavier on your wallet—however, folding bikes are absolutely on point when it comes to providing features that do justice to the cost. The price markup is due to the high quality of frame materials used, such as titanium and/or carbon fibre.
Here are a few points to consider while buying a folding bike:
A. Size of the Folding Bikes
Folding bikes typically come in a free-for-all size, with a host of manoeuvres to adjust the comfort levels as you see fit when you unfold it. Check for simple yet effective adjustable features such as quick-release levers that ensure you have a good, well-fitted ride. Firefox Tern bikes are a great option when it comes to proper fitting along with lightweight frames.
If you end up climbing stairs more than you climb slopes or hills, it’s a good idea to go for a model that has fewer gears or is a single-speed. This helps reduce the weight of the bicycle even more, making it a ride you can carry with ease.
C. Folding Mechanisms
It’s always prudent to consider how long the bike will take to fold, especially if you’re someone who always makes it at the last minute! If you’re a commuter that mostly travels by car or train, any folding bike will do the job just as well. But if you’re a traveller that mostly travels by air, metro or bus, you’ll be better off with a bike that folds super quickly. In order for your folding bike to fold promptly and let you stay light enough to sprint past dense crowds to find your seat, the product should be lightweight and compact as well.
D. Wheel size
Drawing from the last point, small wheels are ideal when it comes to a quick fold. Although they add a lighter touch to the steering and can be a tad harsh when it comes to the ride quality, you can put to rest any rumours of unstable handling, low gears and extra effort—folding bikes with smaller wheels are easier to manoeuvre and much lighter to carry. Our Firefox Kompac range, with wheel sizes of 26” x 2.10” and 26” x 2.125” make the ideal choice for a super compact folding bike.
These folding bikes can snap into suitcase size in less than 20 seconds and can give you a ride of at least 80 to 160 kilometres. If you’re planning on an off-road #EverydayAdventure, going for a folding mountain bike with a tire size of 4 inches is the perfect option.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How to fold a folding bike?
Folding a folding bike is relatively easy. Here’s a quick guide to folding your bike:
- Lower the saddles as well as the handles
- Move onto the smaller parts such as the pedals and the stand
- Now, fold into half the entire bike frame
- Lastly, fold down the handlebar across the bike frame
What is the best folding bike for touring?
Here’s how to choose the perfect bike for touring:
A quick folding speed is ideal when you’re touring because you’re going to be folding and unfolding your bike multiple times through the day. Along with speed, folding size is crucial, too—that’s what lets you carry your folding bike into public spaces with total comfort.
High-quality folding bikes provide an efficient and stable ride—that’s why, while looking for an ideal folding bike ride, make sure it gives you a ride that lasts long and is comfortable.
What are the ideal accessories for a folding bike?
Folding bike accessories are just like any other bike—and always use a folding bike helmet no matter where your ride is taking you. Other than that, accessories such as a GPS navigator, head and tail LED lights are also a few additions you could make onto your bike. Make sure you add these components after unfolding the bike and removing them before folding them.
How to lock a folding bike?
You should always lock up your folding bike after it's been folded. Locks for folding bikes range from a chain, long shackle u-lock or a folding lock. These let you hold onto to a higher number of bike components, thus securing your bike in the process. Always remember to remove any accessories from your bike before folding and locking.
So there are you are: all the reasons you could need to let your next buy be a folding bike. Are you ready to unfold the #EverydayAdventure with your very own folding bike?