We love biking. It affords freedom, exercise, and it's way faster than walking, especially if you have to get to the train or you need to do a short commute without public transportation. The problem occurs if you live in an apartment. Keeping full-sized bikes in your apartment is a challenge because they take up quite a bit of space (especially if your family owns more than one). Sure, there are probably bike racks or even a bike room in your apartment complex, but those aren't always practical. Weather can ruin your bike, it can get stolen, and you just have more peace of mind if your bicycle is close to you in your own apartment.
A folding bike provides the best of both worlds: the freedom of biking and the ease of storage in small spaces. They're also easy to transport up and down stairs and onto trains and into the back of cars due to their compact dimensions when folded. Folding them is typically a very simple operation that's safe and quick. Here are our five recommendations for the best folding bikes, both manual and electric, as well as compact and full-sized.
The RibasuBB is truly affordable at a mere $120, so it's easily attainable for most people. You can get a bonafide 7-speed bike with strong brakes, front and rear fenders, all-weather tires, and it weighs in at a manageable 28 pounds. Most importantly, the bike can be folded right in the middle of the top tube and at the handlebars so it can be carried and stored easily. Both the seatpost and the handlebar post can be quickly adjusted via quick release. This is the best no-nonsense folding bike you can find for the money, and it's rideable by just about anyone.
The Zizzo Via benefits from a lightweight aluminum frame that weighs just over 26 pounds. It easily folds in a matter seconds and is easy to carry up and down stairs thanks to the compact frame and wheels. The aluminum frame also resists corrosion better than steel, and it's more rigid for better energy transfer. The Zizzo Via also comes with convenient grip-shifters to operate its 7-speed gear system. The frame also comes with a slick Magnet Catcher that keeps the frame safely in the folded position. There are also folding pedals, a wide saddle, full front and rear fenders, and quick releases for the seatpost and handlebars. For $330, you get a great commuter bike that's ready to store in a jiffy.
If you prefer a full-sized bike that has actual large wheels but still want the benefit of a folding frame, the Vivi 26" is perfect. The fact that it has electric power and mountain bike tires makes it even more attractive. It has a 500W high-speed brushless motor for speeds up to 20 mph. It also benefits from an aluminum alloy frame that folds to fit into the trunk of most cars and easily into your apartment. The 374.4Wh lithium-lon battery provides a range of up to 50 miles per charge also charges up to 100% in a mere 4 hours. You can also remove the battery so you can take it up to your office when you lock it up. It comes with front and rear shocks, full fenders in front and rear, 21 speeds, and selectable riding modes. All this for a mere $559.
Vivi also makes this smaller version ($570) that has fat tires that are smaller for even easier storage. It's equipped with a 48V 500W high-speed motor and a removable lithium-ion battery that charges in only 4-6 hours and gets a range of up to 40 miles on a full charge. This model also has a corrosion-resistant aluminum frame, 20-inch tires, full suspension, dual disc brakes, a 7-speed gearing system, LED front headlight, taillight, and even a rear rack to strap your cargo down. Select one of the three ride modes using the display. You can pedal, use electric assist, or you can ride fully electric.
This high-end folding bike uses aerospace Japanese Torray Carbon Fiber Mesh for superior strength and lightness. The result is a folding bike that's even easier to transport than heavier steel and even aluminum frames. All cables are fully routed within the frame for minimal obstruction and great looks. It also has mechancial disc brakes, fast magnectic folding a Shimano 9-speed derailleur, and contoured seatpost, handlebars, and frame for cutting through the air with minimal resistance. Sure, it cost more at $1,229, but it's a premium folding bike that's sure to get looks as well as pretty up your apartment with a minimal footprint.