Folding Mountain Bikes for 2017
For bikers looking for portability and convenience, finding the best folding mountain bikes are key. As more bikers demand these two elements, folding mountain bikes have steadily increased in popularity. These models are lightweight, easy to use, and most importantly, easy to transport from one place to another.
Often called “folders,” these bikes have undergone extensive renovations and transformations. Folders used to be bulky, heavy, and awkward to ride. As biking technology increases and the demand for convenience rises, folders have become much more streamlined, aesthetically pleasing, and easy to operate.
A good part of these changes also stems from tightened airline restrictions on bringing bikes—those that could be compactly folded up could travel free of charge. During the early 90s, folders began to experience a revival in form, innovation, and convenience.
Today, there are over 150 different models and types of folding mountain bikes. Thanks to a few decades of innovation in materials and basic construction, the folding bikes of today are much more efficient than early models, offering higher performance, increased comfort, and lighter weights.
Uses for Folding Mountain Bikes
Folding mountain bikes are ideal for those traveling to rocky and rough terrain. Although they can be converted into compact packages, don’t let that quality fool you—these bikes are just as rugged and durable as traditional mountain bikes. The key advantage, of course, is their portability.
These bikes allow for easy carrying, whether off or on the trail. They also eliminate the need for a cumbersome and bulky bicycle rack, making car drives much easier. Their usefulness is not only limited to local or even national trails—their ease of transport makes airplane travel much easier, opening new possibilities for worldwide biking.
Not only are folding mountain bikes ideal for packing up and traveling to new and exciting mountain trails around the world, but they are also incredibly useful as a commuter bike.
Though a mountain bike might be a little more durable than necessary, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Folding mountain bikes often have reinforced tires, stronger components, and durable materials. City terrain can often be just as treacherous as mountain trails, with obstacles like curbs, glass, debris, and dips in the pavement.
Those who live in densely populated areas and who prefer to bike to work will find that these bikes are the best way to ensure a convenient and effortless commute. Their compact nature makes them easy to bring onto subways, buses, and other public transportation lines. Storage at the office is much easier, too, as they generally take up little space.
Investing in a folding mountain bike for a daily commute also eliminates the need to invest in heavy chain and lock systems, removing the threat of theft along with the added frustration of carrying extra weight.
Advantages of Using a Folding Mountain Bike
Compared to conventional bikes, folding mountain bikes come with a few key advantages. These benefits can create new possibilities for travel and road experience, allowing bikers to bring their rides along with them wherever their path may lead. These advantages are:
No booking restrictions
- With very few exceptions, folders don’t require any necessary booking arrangements to be brought along on public transportation systems. This includes ferries, subways, railways, buses, and airlines.
Enhanced protection against theft
- Of course, conventional bikes and folding mountain bikes alike all have the potential to be stolen, and for the most part, chains and locks help prevent that. Unfortunately, even the sturdiest lock can be broken. Folding mountain bikes allow for users to easily keep an eye on their bike, bringing it along to offices, stores, or restaurants.
Increased storage space
- Whether the bike is kept at home or elsewhere, there is no denying that a folding mountain bike is much easier to store than a conventional bike. They take up far less room, making for much more convenient and efficient storage.
In fact, when compared to conventional bikes, folding bikes only take up 30%-70% of storage space. Their compact nature is certainly their best feature, making it easy to store a bike in any environment.
Cheaper urban travel
- Getting from one place to another in a busy city is certainly not cheap. Parking is a nightmare, and driving is often much more hassle than it is worth. One of the best ways to save cash on a daily commute is to combine biking with another form of transportation, such as a train or a subway.
Of course, the issue with using city transportation is being in crowded, compact spaces. The thought of bringing a standard bike on a crowded subway is certainly not pleasant, and often prohibitive to biking at all. Luckily, folding mountain bikes make it much easier to use varied forms of transportation, since they can easily be broken down and carried from one place to the next.
High resale value
- With folders becoming increasingly advanced and efficient, the resale value for these bikes will continue to rise. Their convenience and ease of use is hard to beat, making them a unique and desirable item for any biker looking to increase their travel flexibility.
With so many important benefits, it’s difficult to deny the value that folding mountain bikes carry. Their unique design and configuration allow them to become solutions to a particular set of problems or riding requirements. For those who value space, transportability, efficiency, security, and flexibility, folding mountain bikes are the perfect solution.
The 5 Best Folding Mountain Bikes
With over 150 estimated makes and models of folding mountain bikes, it can certainly be difficult to determine which folder is right for you. No bike is made the same, and each foldable mountain bike will come with its own unique set of strengths and abilities.
To help you determine the best foldable mountain bike for your needs, this review will take an in-depth look at the best-selling models that are currently available. Each of the bikes on this list
1. Montague Paratrooper Folding Mountain Bike
- Wheel size
- Folding size: 26”x28”x12”
- Folding time: 20 seconds
- Weight: 32 pounds
This folding mountain bike from Montague is incredibly tough, rugged, and versatile. Whether using this folding mountain bike on rocky terrain or city streets, this bike is equipped to handle large amounts of wear and tear.
Folding the bike is a breeze, with a total of only 20 seconds needed to revert the bike into a compact, transportable form. Additionally, bikers won’t need to worry about damaging the bike during the folding process. Montague employs their patented Folding Integrated Technology to preserve the structural integrity of the bike, even in compact form. The seat tube folding system ensures that structural tubes aren’t cut in half, and hinges aren’t compromised.
Front suspension and two heavy duty cage aluminum pedals prepare this bike for treacherous mountain terrain, increasing strength and resisting corrosion. As an added benefit, the wheels and parts are all standard issue, meaning that servicing the bike can easily be done at any bike shop.
- Disc brake system
- Soft Tail full suspension
- 24-speed shifter
- Weight: 37 pounds
With a stunning black design and a powerful aluminum frame, the Cyrusher FR100 has been making tons of waves amongst mountain bikers. Perhaps the most notable quality is that this foldable mountain bike comes with an impressive selection of 24 different speeds, making traversing up and down hills and bumpy terrain into a customizable, interactive process.
The disc braking system is also a huge benefit, making for a safer and more efficient trip to the trails. Compared to linear pull, caliper, or cantilever brakes, disc brakes are much better equipped to handle changing terrain. The disc brake system is formatted to perform at optimum levels, even under wet or murky conditions.
Not only does this bike look like a beast, but it performs like one too, making it a prime option for those who plan on challenging their bike to stand up to extreme terrain, weather, and performance.
3. Stowabike MTB V2 Mountain Bike
- 26” steel folding frame
- 18-speed shifter
- Steel v-brake
- Dual suspension
This tough folding mountain bike from Stowabike is built to last through the toughest conditions. The dual suspension allows for smooth transitions between hills, bumps, and debris on mountain trails. It also provides sturdiness and reliability while out on the trail. With an impressive range of 18 different speeds, bikers will be able to quickly change gears to suit the terrain.
Breaking down the bike is a simple process, making for easier transport and storage. An added benefit is that this mountain bike comes with full-size wheels, which certainly can be a rarity amongst foldable bikes. This is especially so for the Stowabike model, as most bikes within this price range tend to have smaller, more compact wheels.
With a total weight of 38.5 pounds, this might be a heavier option, but the durability is certainly worth it. Stainless steel components not only provide tough protection to keep this folding mountain bike at optimum performance over time, but they also enhance protection against outdoor elements.
4. Columba SP26S Folding Mountain Bike
- 26” wheels
- Durable Kenda tires
- 18-speed shifter
- Steel kickstand and front/rear hub
At only 34 pounds, this is certainly one of the most lightweight options for a foldable mountain bike. Setup is incredibly easy, as most of the bike comes pre-assembled. Attaching the front wheel is a straightforward and quick process, making for a quicker transition from box to the trail.
Its ability to cruise through flat roads and hills makes the SP26S model ideally suited for both casual and adventurous trips. With 18 different speeds to choose from, riders will be well-equipped to handle a variety of different terrains and inclines. The Kenda tires come with increased thickness and reinforced rims to provide smooth, reliable riding.
This particular model is designed with convenience in mind. The cross-bar mount allows for easy and secure storage for a water bottle or even an air pump, adding to the versatility of the bike. With an extremely affordable price and a high level of value, this folding mountain bike is one of the most versatile models available.
5. Xspec 26” Folding Mountain Bike
- 21-speed shifter
- Front and rear shock absorbers
- High tensile frame & suspension fork
- Unique folding pedals
As an affordable and durable 21-speed full-size mountain bike, the
Part of this smooth transition comes from the comfort provided by the front and rear shock absorbers. This dual shock system reduces impact when riding on or off-road, making for a fluid transition for urban and adventurous riders. The large 26” wheels increase speed when riding on the road, and improve stability when riding on the trail.
At an estimated weight of 41 pounds, this is certainly the heaviest model on the list. A good part of the weight can be attributed to the large, heavy-duty tires. Still, for those looking for a more stable and balanced set of tires, the
No matter what unique specifications each folding mountain bike comes with, the common thread between these models is an extreme focus on convenience and versatility. This applies not only to an extremely compact, portable nature but to the variety of uses that these foldable bikes provide.
Whether you are looking for a folding mountain bike to tough it out on harsh hiking trails, or to provide a little extra durability for a city commute, these bikes are all well-equipped to handle a variety of challenges.
By using this review as a guide, riders will be perfectly equipped to choosing the right foldable mountain bike for their personal needs, style, and the environment.