Folding Bicycle Comparison
The market for folding bikes is divided into several segments and this is done by the size of the wheel. Let’s look at each of these segments, making note of the positive features (advantages) and negative features (disadvantages).
A. Folding Bikes with Full-Sized Wheel: The Dahon and Montague folding bikes are the main brands when it comes to full sized wheels. The Dahon Jack is one that is the most popular among consumers because of its low cost and an amazing component package.
1. These bikes feel like a regular bike because they are normal in appearance and features, but yet you can fold them in half.
2. These are smaller in size than the typical bike. This makes them easy to move around on.
3. They are fairly affordable in comparison to several models with smaller wheel.
4. These bikes utilize the normal parts. This makes it easier to upgrade or repair.
1. Even though, these bikes are smaller than the usually normal bike, they can still be large and bulky.
2. You should choose the right frame size in order to give it a good fit for your body. Therefore, buying this online may not be ideal.
3. These folding bikes are heavier than regular bikes and because of their folding feature.
B. 20 inch Wheel Folding Bike: The most popular brands of 20 inch wheel folding bike is the Dahon and Downtube. Between the two, though, the Downtube is more cost effective at only $299. However, you will get more bang for your bucks with the Downtube 9FS with nine speeds and full suspension.
1. These are small in size and so can fit on an airplane, RV or boat.
2. They are sold at a reasonable price with lots of possibilities.
3. Since they are smaller, these bikes are lighter in weight than regular bikes.
4. This bike tends to be faster when ridden on hills and flat surfaces because of its smaller wheels, which provides more efficiency than big wheels ridden under 16 mph.
1. Buyers can be confused by the low quality folders of 20 inch wheels.
2. These bikes tend to be slower when rider is descending down the hill.
3. Some of these bike models may have to be disassembled to be able to fit in luggage bins that have size regulations.
4. Some of these bike models use special parts, which are proprietary in nature.
C. 16 inch and 18 inch Wheel Folding Bikes: The most popular brands of 16 and 18 inch wheel folding bicycles are the Brompton and Downtube. The ideal choice may be the Brompton, but with a price tag of $1,200, we feel that the Downtube mini is a better option. Why? Well, it is much lighter in weight than the Brompton and it has a superior component package. It also cost less. In fact, the Brompton cost half as much.
1. Most of these brands are extremely compact and are able to fit in luggage compartments with size restrictions. In addition, you won’t have to disassemble it to fit. Some of them will even fit in the overhead luggage bins on the airplane.
2. These bikes are extremely light because of their miniature size.
3. If you are looking for a cool looking bike, this is the one. You will be the envy of your friends – guaranteed.
4. These bikes have smaller wheels and so this attributes to their efficiency and speed on hills and flat surfaces.
1. These bikes are pricier than the 20 inch wheel folding bikes.
2. The bike parts are difficult to replace because it is not the standard size.
3. The gearing is very complicated, especially to properly configure the small wheels.
4. There are fewer possibilities when it comes to upgrades because of the lack of parts. Particularly applicable is the deficiency of 16 inch wheel suspension forks.
5. You will have a stiffer ride on these bikes than you would on big-wheel bikes. Why? This is because of the smaller frames and smaller wheels, which both absorb less shock. For this reason, the rider will absorb most of the road shock.
In general, we have believe the Downtube 9FS full suspension bicycle as the best choice. It adds comfort to your ride. Moreover, it can fold compactly and has a fast quality drivetrain. But, more importantly, it is cost effect and affordable at only $550.