Foldable bikes or foldies are having a moment. Combining the fun of two wheels with the convenience of being transportable, folding bikes provide a means to explore places near and far easily.
So, what should you look for if you are in the market for buy a foldable or folding bike? We ask the experts from two bike shops to weigh in.
What to Consider When Buying A Folding or Foldable Bike
1. What is the price range for a foldable bike?
Chew from Mobot: Foldable bikes can start from as low as $300. Some expensive foldable bikes can cost as much as $4000.
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Bob from 808 Cycles: At 808 Cycles, we sell high-end folding bicycles, namely Bromptons, Chedechs, and Hummingbirds. These ranging from $2,500 to $7,000.
2. What are the advantages of a foldable bike versus a regular bike?
Chew: Folding bikes are probably the only bicycle type that you can bring onboard public transport and they do not require specialised vehicles to transport around. In other words, it gives the rider a lot of flexibility. For example, if it rains while a rider is out cycling, he can fold it up and take it onboard the MRT to another destination.
Additionally, since the rider can always carry the bike with him, he does not have to leave the bike at the bicycle stand; this gives greater peace of mind and security.
Bob: The bicycle folds and you can bring it around on public transport or in your own vehicle.
3. Are foldable bikes suitable for kids?
Chew: We seldom use age as the main criterion to determine a bike fit. Rather, we use the kid’s inseam (i.e. leg length), height and reach to recommend a suitable bike. The best way to determine this is to visit a reputable bicycle shop and try out different models. A foldable bike can be suitable for both the parent and kid as some foldable bikes come with adjustable stem and seat posts.
Bob: Our folding bikes are suitable for those who are at least 1.6 metres in height.
4. What features should people look when choosing a folding bike?
Chew: The two main factors will be ease of folding and weight. Most foldable bike riders will want to use their bikes on public transport or to store them inside a car or taxi boot.
Therefore, they want to be able to fold the bike quickly and carry (or trolley) them around easily.
Some would also consider the size after folding. The reasons for this could be that:
- They want to carry more than one foldable bike in the car / taxi;
- They want to be able to store the bike under their desk (if they cycle to work); and
- They prefer to bring their bike into cafes or shopping malls.
Bob: Good build quality and reliable aftersales support.
5. What should people know about maintaining and storing folding bikes?
Chew: The maintenance and servicing of foldable bikes is just like that of any bicycle. Generally, we recommend riders to come back after one month so that we can do some fine tuning. This is because the new cables will stretch.
Subsequently, a bi-annually (normal) and annually (comprehensive) servicing is recommended.
Bob: Check tire pressure once every 2 weeks, lubricate the chain once a month and check that brakes are functioning well before every ride. Bring the bike back to the shop for a quick functional check once a year.