Best Full Size Folding Bike: What Is a Folding Bicycle and How to Choose It?
Folding Full Size Bicycle: What Is It, and What Is It For?
The bicycles of our time are usually not very problematic in terms of transportation – in order to put your eco-vehicle in the car, you only need to remove one or both of its wheels. This simple machination is done without the use of special tools and takes no more than three or four minutes. But still in some situations, this bike is very uncomfortable – for example, if you do not have a car for the transportation of the bike. That’s where the folding touring bike comes in handy! The folding touring bikes not only fit in the trunk without having to remove the wheels, but they are also easy to store in small rooms. Thus, they are not only more convenient to transport, but also easier to store in a small apartment.
Carrying such a folding bicycle in the subway also will not give you any serious inconvenience. Although folding bicycles are inferior to “big” bikes on the road characteristics, they can also make both small and long bike rides. The main thing is to make your bike ride on paved roads.
Advantages of a Folding Bicycle
The compactness is perhaps the main advantage of such full size folding bikes. In addition to the fact that such bikes are smaller than usual ones, so they can also be folded, at least in half. This allows you to store the bike in the closet, under the table, not to mention the balcony. It also becomes available to transport it in a car (shuttle, streetcar, subway). It does not need any fasteners and covers.
This is probably the easiest type of bike to master. There is no great variety of frame sizes and complex geometries, no high top tube, a million speeds and complicated settings. On the same folding touring bike can a man, woman and child.
Disadvantages of Folding Touring Bikes
Limitation of Usage
This is the downside to the versatility of full size folding bikes. They are well suited for city riding, however it’s hard to use them anywhere else. It will not go into the woods or fishing, like mountain bikes can, it will not reach the high speeds just as road bikes do. Some people use folding bike touring for long distances, but mountain bikes are still the most universal class. To be honest, even in the city “folding” is not so good, as this bike is difficult to overcome the curbs.
Although there are folding bikes full size with 24-inch wheels, the most common models are bikes at 20 inches or less. This imposes terrible limitations on developing top speed. If you like to chase, or use the bike to develop muscle mass (quads, calves or myocardium), this type is definitely not for you.
Why Do You Need a Folding Road Bicycle?
The folding bikes full size are just perfect bikes for those who don’t have the ability to store a full-fledged bicycle at home. Are you living in a big city and a small apartment? A bike like this is just what you need.
Getting to Work
When folded, such a bike will pass in the subway, and it is easy to hide it in the office. Some models even fit under the desk. To know more about how to commute to work by bike, read our previous articles.
Suburban tourism for a folding bike is not the best option. But if you’re working in another city, it is better to ride and explore on the folding road bicycle. However, if you have good physical fitness, you can travel on a full size bike, too.
What Are the Most Popular Folding Systems?
Modern “folders” use a wide variety of folding systems based on the use of intricate loops and clips that allow you to fold and unfold the bike with one finger movement. However, despite the variety of transforming mechanisms, there are three basic principles of folding:
- In half – this is the most popular and simplest way. The folding algorithm is as follows: first lower the seat, then fold the handlebars and pedals, in the last turn – the frame. The simplest models use bolts, which require a special key and some physical effort to assemble. A more practical and convenient solution is the connection on the eccentric.
- Multi-folding design – here, in addition to the frame itself, which is transformed in half, the rear wheel is additionally folded. This solution provides minimal dimensions of the bike, and allows you to put it in a small shoulder bag.
- Decomposable design – the bike is only partly folded, the remaining elements are disassembled, thus achieving maximum compactness. But the multi-component frame construction loses rigidity, reduces ride quality and is less reliable. A large number of folding units increases the likelihood of failure and increases the resource-intensive repair.
What Are the Features of Folding Bike Touring Frames?
Any good bike starts with a quality frame. In the case of best full size folding bikes, it has a special role, as it is important that the bike is as strong as possible and at the same time lightweight. Modern manufacturers of folders in this matter give preference to several materials:
- high-alloy steel arms. High-carbon iron has the best tensile strength and minimizes the risk of cracking. The steel frame springs well on bumps, absorbing vibrations and shocks, which is a significant plus for folders, the vast majority of which have rigid forks. The repairability of the iron frame, which can be welded together, is an important advantage for owners of such bikes.
- frames made of chromium-molybdenum steel. The material retains all the advantages of high-carbon iron, but is several times stronger. This property allows the frame to be made of thinner tube, which has a positive effect on the weight of the best full size folding bike. Some bikes with chrome moly frames weigh less than aluminum models.
- aluminum alloy frames. This is the most common type of frame that equips the best full size folding bikes. The main advantage of this material is the low weight, invulnerability to corrosion, optimal rigidity. At the same time, models with aluminum frames are significantly more expensive in price and have limited maintainability. To improve the characteristics of the folding bike frame, developers use the so-called batting tubes, which have variable wall thickness. The metal is thicker on the edges of the tube, where the heavy load and the welding seam are located, and thinner in the center, which helps reduce the weight of the frame.
Our Top-5 Best Folding Bicycles
- Brompton M6R. The British brand Brompton is one of the world’s best full size folding bikes. The models have a classic design in a purely English style. But despite their outward conservatism, Brompton models are very progressive technologically.
- Dahon Espresso D24. American company Dahon – the largest manufacturer of folders on the world market. It was this brand that pioneered the mass popularity of folding bikes more than 30 years ago. Dahon developers have more than 220 patents. It is noteworthy that 98% of the technology used in all modern folding bikes, and even in usual full size bike patented by Dahon engineers.
- Moulton Speed. Moulton is another English brand with a reputation for elitism. It is original both from the design and technical point of view, the models belong to the inventor Alex Moulton, who patented the original frame design. The assembly of all Moulton bicycles is done by hand. The main disadvantage of these bikes, flawless in every respect, is the price. On average, they cost 10 times more than the popular Brompton or Dahon models.
- Strida LT – this bike, when assembled, can be rolled like a cart. The frame of the bike has a non-standard geometry, in which everything is thought out for the most comfortable landing. In their models, Strida developers completely abandoned the metal chain, instead of installing a drive belt, which has a service life of 60 thousand kilometers. With Strida bikes you can forget about systematic chain lubrication and soiled pants.
Friday- the brand, which makes its bicycles for long distance touring. Diamond Llama- the Friday folding bicycle, which is characterized by its lightweight, sturdy frame, good cross-country ability on difficult road sections. Quickly transforms to a compact volume in the frame and pedals. Good price/quality ratio.
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