A folding bike often is the most handy mode of transportation on two wheels.
It could actually get you from level A to level B simply as readily as a full-size bike, however you’ll be able to stash it in a automotive trunk, tuck it underneath a desk, or retailer it in a closet, on a ship, or inside an RV or van.
To suss out which folding bike does all of it finest for many commuter riders and utilitarian customers, we pedaled and shifted, folded and unfolded, and carried and maneuvered 13 fashionable fashions from 9 producers.
After our 85-plus hours of analysis and testing, the well-designed Dahon Mariner D8 edged to the entrance of the pack, combining a snug trip and straightforward folding with good-enough parts, all for an inexpensive value.
Dahon Mariner D8
This eight-speed bike hits the excessive notes for a commuter folder: a clean trip, an easy-to-use folding mechanism, and a rear rack and fenders.
Shopping for Choices
*On the time of publishing, the worth was $1,000.
The eight-speed Dahon Mariner D8 gives the options and efficiency most commuter cyclists might want in a folding mannequin, all in a sensible, reasonably priced package deal. First, the Mariner D8 is comfy to trip, going easily over bumps and shifting fluidly up and down hills. Second, it folds and unfolds rapidly, and it latches securely into each modes.
Its design additionally addresses sensible issues: The Mariner D8 has fenders to thwart rainy-road splashes onto clothes, a rear rack to hold stuff, and the choice for a frame-mounted entrance bag. Lastly, though its value has gone up since we first examined it, this bike stays a good worth. As with full-size bikes, with folding fashions you typically get what you pay for. Priced at round $950, the Mariner D8 is a good-quality folding bike with the options you want.
Tall riders could particularly just like the Hyperlink D8’s adjustable handlebars—and everybody can respect its higher-end parts, such because the puncture-resistant tires. Not all of our testers preferred the way in which the bike folds, although.
Shopping for Choices
*On the time of publishing, the worth was $750.
The eight-speed Tern Hyperlink D8 offers a number of upgrades over the Mariner D8 which will swimsuit taller riders. And now that the Mariner D8 and the Hyperlink D8 are the identical value, you not must pay extra for the latter’s higher-end parts. Our take a look at riders raved in regards to the proprietary handlebar stem, which permits each peak and angle adjustment through two easy quick-release levers. One bike professional praised the design of the entrance brake, which is mounted near the body to scale back snagging, in addition to the “top-shelf” puncture-resistant tires.
Nonetheless, our testers’ critiques had been combined concerning the way in which the Hyperlink D8 folds, which positions the handlebars outdoors the folded package deal; some testers discovered this setup straightforward to handle, however others most well-liked the tighter package deal of the Dahon mannequin. The Hyperlink D8 additionally comes with the same rear rack and entrance bag-mounting possibility because the Mariner D8.
Brompton S6L 6-speed
If folding measurement trumps all, the notably compact Brompton leaves the competitors within the mud—as does its value.
For some buyers, the number-one criterion is how small a folding bike can get. The Brompton S6L elegantly transforms right into a package deal that shaves 3 inches off the peak, 2 inches off the width, and eight inches off the size of the folded Mariner D8 (and much more off the size of the Tern D8), making for a neater carry. Even so, a Brompton manages an “I’m virtually using a full-size bike” expertise on the street. The handlebars, gearing, body kind, equipment, cargo choices, and paint job are all customizable—for a value. The S6L, because it got here to us in 2017, retails for $1,590 on the Brompton web site. On the time of writing, the very related Brompton M6R that we examined in 2021 is priced at $1,690 from Intelligent Cycles, in Portland, Oregon, and at $1,730 on the Brompton web site.