Top 8 Best Folding Bikes Under $500 (September 2020)
For bikers looking for portability and convenience, finding the best folding bikes under $500 is key. Folding models are lightweight, easy to use, and most importantly, easy to transport from one place to another. Often called “folders,” folding 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 foldable mountain bikes. Thanks to a few decades of innovation in materials and basic construction, the folding mechanism found in the bikes of today are much more efficient than early models, offering higher performance, increased comfort, and lighter weights.
Advantages Of Folding Bikes
Compared to conventional bikes, these 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 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. These bikes allow for users to easily keep an eye on their bike, bringing it along to offices, stores, or restaurants. Increased storage space
Folding Bikes Wheel Size
Consider wheel size when looking for your ideal folding bike. It makes a difference in the folded size as well as what kind of terrain the bike is best suited to. Most folding bikes use 20-inch wheels to ensure they fold down to a manageable size and stay relatively light when commuting or traveling on public transport. If you plan on riding longer distances, 700c wheels will offer a smooth ride and maximize your pedaling input—but at the expense of a smaller size when folded down, and a lower weight.
Alternatively, a folding e-bike offers some pedal assist to save energy and make sure you don’t show up to work with sweaty clothes. If you plan to ride off-road, then a folding fat bike with 4-inch tires can smooth out a bumpy trail. Most of these bikes come as “one size fits all” with a lot of adjustability as you unfold them. Check for quick-release levers or simple adjustments so that the bike fits and rides well. A model with a lot of versatility may even be suitable for more than one member of your family.
Full Sized Folding Bikes
Not all folding bicycles aim to pack down as small as possible. Some folders arrive with full-size wheels that offer exactly the same riding position as their non-collapsible brethren, but they might not be the best choice if you have to battle busy rail networks twice a day. So consider your specific needs before you buy. The good news is that many folding bikes come with luggage racks or fixings. Other essentials such as mudguards and lights are readily available, and while you might have to forgo that water bottle cage, that’s no great hardship for short urban journeys. Some brands, such as Brompton, even have their own range of luggage, accessories and clothing, and want you to think of the brand as a lifestyle rather than ‘just’ a mode of transport. Folding bikes certainly do cultivate a keen following.
Your body might be a little oversized and you think that you would look like a circus elephant riding a folding bike. That’s not true. There are a lot of heavy-duty folding bikes built for big and tall cyclists, so you can take advantage of all benefits of a folder.
The Price Of Folding Bikes
Folding bikes can be found at nearly every price point, from a couple of hundred pounds up to the multiple thousands. It’s almost certainly a false economy to buy the cheapest one out there: the components and folding mechanism will be lower quality and heavier, they’ll wear out faster and your purchase is more likely to end up unloved in the shed or on a skip. On the other hand, you don’t need to buy a carbon-framed wonder-bike to get something that’s light enough to carry up a flight of stairs, or carry you and your lunch to the office. We’re in the market for the best folding bikes under $500 on this particular article so we’ll be focusing on finding the best value for $500.
Folding Bike Features
Disc brakes are also beginning to appear on folding bicycle, and though usually heavier and more expensive, these will offer greater stopping power – especially in wet weather.
Many folding bicycles will have anything from 7 speed to 18 speed gearing systems. Some will be single speed models. It’s quite common to find the higher number of gears like the 18 speed model on the full size frame folded bikes. The best full size bikes often double up as a mountain bike. The folding frame is one of the best features of these particular bikes as it was unheard of being able to have a full sized mountain bike fold its frame down to a portable, light weight size.
Some of the smaller folding bikes on the market take their inspiration from Brompton bike models. Easily folding frame designs with speed and weight in mind. These small best folding bikes often have an aluminum frame, front and rear fenders and an adjustable stem. Many have limited gearings (7 speed is popular) and some even have a coaster brake to limit the need for cable management.
Although a folding bike with a coaster brake might sound strange it’s something that when you try, you’ll quickly see the appeal.
We’ve found as many of the best folding bikes under $500 that meet our standards for recommendation. We hope you enjoy!
Schwinn Adapt 1 Folding Bike
- ✔ 7 Speed Shimano Gearing System
- ✔ Shimano Twist Shifters
- ✔ Full Wrap Mudguard/Fenders
- ✔ Comes With Thick Storage Bag & Lifetime Warrenty
There are three versions of the Adapt, with 1 being the most affordable. The main difference between the three is the derailleur and number of speeds. This model has a 7-speed Shimano Tourney derailleur with Shimano Revo Twist Shifters. It includes front and rear fenders to keep the spray off your back and a rear rack for carrying small loads. A It comes with a nylon bag for storing.
It’s time for you to Adapt to the crazy world of morning commutes. The Schwinn Adapt is a convenient folding bike designed to make your morning a little less hectic. Easy to fold, easy to ride, and easy to store, the Adapt is here to make your day a little bit easier. The light frame and pedals fold into a compact shape that’s perfect for commuting – store it under your seat on the train or under your desk at the office. There’s even a heavy gauge nylon bag included for carrying convenience.
The Adapt offers the convenience of a commuter bike without the bulk and storage issues of a full size frame. Unfold the Adapt and ride to happy hour or back to the train. Refold again to easily fit in the trunk of your car or under your seat. The Schwinn Adapt goes inside with you for storage and security. No more pesky bike locks or professional bike thieves.
SwagCycle Pro Folding Electric Bike
- ✔ Up To 18Mph Top Speed
- ✔ Up To 15.5 Mile Radius
- ✔ Interactive Application To Track Trip, Speed, GPS & More
- ✔ USB Port To Act As A Battery For Your Phone And Other Gadgets
Swagcycle Pro is the ultimate ride. Featuring a strong, foldable frame that supports up to 264 pounds and 12-inch front and 10-inch rear air-filled tires, this cycle provides a smooth ride to every rider. Not only is the Pro zero emissions, it’s also pedal-free. Sit back and get ready for miles of smiles.
Races to work. Catching the early train. Exploring new cities. The Swagcycle Pro eBike packs enough power to get you there. Just place your feet on the built-in foot pegs and let the cycle do the work. While you ride, the indicator on the handlebars makes keeping an eye on battery life easy.
For the full array of features, download the app and get connected to your Swagcycle. The app lets you track speed, record travel time, and more. And if you’re phone’s low on power, the Swagcycle Pro includes a USB port so you can charge while you adventure. Additionally, the Pro’s battery features a hidden compartment for cable management.
Ride like a pro and explore your city all over again with the Swagcycle Pro.
This bike might not be for everyone, it’s got an Eve look to it (from Walli, for those not cool enough to get the reference) which we like. Pair that with the serious specs this bike is disc brakes, internal cable routing, built in lights, kickstand and front and rear mudguard/fenders. Wow!
If you like to stand out then this bike is perfect for you. Check it out!
Bike USA Ubike Rapido Folding Bike
- ✔ Single Speed Bike
- ✔ Strong Alloy Frame
- ✔ Front And Rear V-Brakes
- ✔ 20" Wheels For Great Ride Comfort
- Single Speed Alloy Frame 20″ Wheel Folding Bike
- Front and Rear Brake Handles
- Ergonomic Bike Seat with Adjustable Post with Quick Release. Fold Bike Partially and Push like a cart
- This Folding Bike is Great for Commuters or City living
- 250 pound weight capacity. Ideal folding size for car trunk, closets, and public transportation
One main problem with bikes is the fact that if you are going somewhere and you want to carry your bike somewhere, it becomes hard. Well, the Bike USA Ubike Rapido Single Speed Folding Bicycle is basically a foldable bike. In case you want to go somewhere and want to carry your bike, simply take off the hooks and fold it. Carry it where you want to and then unhook it and continue riding.
The Rapido is a bike with a lightweight frame. The frame is made from aluminum. The Rapido has many great features including the front and rear reflectors as well as the rear kick stand for when you’re stationary. The brakes are solid, firm and controlled. We must admit, none of us are crazy about the color but to each their own.
This bike is substantially cheaper than many mid-tier folding bikes so we’ll have to call it a budget folding bike however it really is on the borderline.
If you want a great ride without paying a great price, give the Ubike Rapido some consideration.
Addmotor Motan Folding Electric Bike
- ✔ Designed for both male and female riders
- ✔ 500W brushless motor
- ✔ Strong rear bike rack perfect for shopping
The Addmotor Motan has the right idea: Start by constructing an outstanding fat bike, ensuring it has the perfect parts and layout. When that’s done, determine a way to mount a motor in there.
This sensible technique results in a fat bike that destroys almost anything in its path, with the choice to switch the motor on when the times you need a little muscle, or wish to feel like you’re on a dirt bike for a little while.
The controller and battery pack offer the Motan a beefier look, with the assembly positioned under frame tube. The regular joe may simply presume you have some sort of large water bottle or storage case.
The Motan’s bike frame is made from light weight aluminum, and also has a remarkable front fork that helps to soak up bumps on the ride. The frame has some flexibility to it, and obviously the fat tires aid with the shock absorption as well.
Steering the Motan is very simple, many thanks to a properly designed saddle as well as handlebar mix, positioning the biker in an excellent position to both relax and also steer without placing added strain on their arms or back.
The Motan’s drivetrain consists of 7 different gears, with a ration spread that is perfect for the size and style of the bike. Shimano TX55 parts compose the drivetrain as well as the shifter, for a smooth speed changing feel that operates in perfect synchronisation with the electric motor.
Fat bikes require some additional braking power, which’s exactly what the TEKTRO disc brakes provide on each end. Not too delicate, yet not too much effort needed for an abrupt and sudden stop.
The tires of the Motan stand out. 26 x 4-inch Kenda tires offer it the right amount of traction, letting the bike conveniently ride over snow, sand, and any various other surface that smaller sized tires might not have the ability to deal with.
A 500W motor powers the Motan, whether you are requiring pedal aid, or want to allow the bike to propel itself while you merely guide it in the right direction. The motor is operated with a twist-shift throttle, and offers different speed as well as pedal support settings to completely match your riding atmosphere in any kind of scenario.
The Samsung lithium battery uses 48 volts, and also can power the bike for 30-55 miles, which is one of the longer distances you’ll see on an electrical bike. It’s not unusual to expect rates of around 23 miles per hour on flatter portions of roadway. The battery requires 4 hours for a complete recharge.
The Addmotor Motan is a true beast of a bike, allowing you ride even in harsh weather, loose soil or gravel, as well as pretty much anything else it can get grip on. The motor is a perfect companion for the bike’s grit and stature, providing all that’s required to navigate any place such as the roadway or trail paths.
Dahon Speed Uno Folding Bike
- ✔ Hi-Tensile Steel Frame
- ✔ Shimano Coaster Rear Brake
- ✔ Single Speed
- ✔ Cable Free Design
It’s fair to say that for the majority of those in the market for folding bike, city living means they aren’t looking for sport focused bikes that feature high performance components. They’re looknig for a durable, foldaway, lightweight bike that. The Dahon Speed Uni folding bike meets all these requirements and more.
The bike features a minimal design with no V-brakes, no brake levers and no cables. The Speed Uno is equipped with a coaster brake (also known as back pedal brake), so no need for messy cables running the length of the bike. To stop the bike, you will just need to pedal backwards a little bit and the wheels will be slowed down through friction. This might seem strange at first but when you get used to it you’ll appreciate the simplicities they bring. The brake requires less maintenance and performs better on wet roads.
Dahon Boardwalk 7 Classic Folding Bike
- ✔ Lovely Looking Bike - Great Summer Design
- ✔ Rear Kickstand
- ✔ Single Speed Gearing System
- ✔ Front And Rear V-Type Brakes
- Model Number : HC072
- Color: Classic Blue
- Frame weight : 11.8kg /26lbs
- Frame : Lightweight Dalloy sonus tube set, lattice forged hinge w/ V-clamp technology
- Fork : Smooth riding and stable Hi-Ten steel blades and steerer
- Handlepost : Forged alloy radius telescope w/ fusion technology, adjustable
- Rims : 20” aluminum double wall with wear indicator and machined sides
- Front Hub : DAHON Custom, alloy
- Rear Hub : Aluminum hub, 28 holes
- Spokes : Stainless steel
- Tires : City profile w reflex line (R88) 20” x 1.75
- Mud guards : plastic w secuclip system
- Cranks / chain cover : Alloy Arms, 52 teeth chainring w/ guard
- Bottom Bracket : Sealed bearing
- Chain : KMC rust buster
- Cassette : sprocket 12-28 7-speed
- Front Derailleur : n/a
- Rear Derailleur : 7-speed Shimano RD-TX35 rear derailleur
- Shifters : 7-speed Shimano twist shifter w indicator
- Handlebar : Dahon city style
- Handle bar clamp w safety closing : handle bar quick release, M6x48mm, RED
- Grips : double density , ergo shape
- Headset : Fusion, zero stack, cartridge bearing
- Brakes : alloy V-brakes, 110 mm
- Brake Levers : 3 finger aluminum lever
- Saddle : Ergo comfort city style
- Seatpost : DAHON 6061 aluminum 33.9 x 580 mm
- Pedals : Foldable
- Kickstand : alloy, side folded
Dahon Boardwalk 7 Classic Folding Bike Classic Blue: An absolute looker, a summer cruiser with its fresh colors and classic tubular frame, the Boardwalk D7 is indisputably one of the DAHON all-time best sellers. This delightful folder has classic style and comfortable features for riding on both roads and the promenade.
Dahon Boardwalk Folding bike is known for being one of the most popular bikes in Dahon’s collection and one of the best selling folding bikes available for sale these days. On the other hand, this model is known as one of the cheapest Dahon’s folding bikes.
If you’re looking for a mid-tier folding road bike, you have the budget to pay mid-tier prices and you want something a little different. A bike that has a positivity about it. A bikes that’s saddle, handlebars and frame colour makes your think of beach promenades and pristine stretches of sand then this bike might be the right fit for you.
KESPOR Venture Folding Bike
- ✔ 16 Speed Bike - 8 Speed Shimano Cassette Freewheel & 8 Speed Shimano Altus
- ✔ Front And Rear Mechanical Disc Brakes
- ✔ Arrives Fully Assembled With A Lifetime Frame Warranty
- ✔ Rear Storage Rack, Front And Rear Fenders And Rear Kick Stand
- 16 Speed folding bike disc brake with Shimano 8 Speed cassette freewheel, Shimano Altus 8 Speed rear derailleur, USA design
- Easy to fold, easy to store. The folded size is 29 inches by 29 inches by 19 inches
- The KESPOR Venture folding bicycle is great for commuting, camping, boating, traveling…
- Ready to ride, fully assembled, weight is 30 pounds, featuring rear carry rack, front and rear fenders, magnet catcher, white protector, folding pedals
- It fits a wide range of riders with a maximum rider weight of 230 pounds. The comfortable seat easily adjusts to most riders ranging from five feet to over six feet tall
Whether it is boating, commuting to and from work, traveling and even camping, this bike is perfect for any condition.
Weighing just 30 pounds, this bike is very lightweight and comes fully assembled. You don’t have to worry about putting it together and it supports a weight of up to 230 pounds. If you are 6 feet tall, you can buy this bike too however it is better suited for people who are under 6 feet tall. It has a very comfortable seat which can be adjusted depending on your height.
The Venture is light and easy to lift, it’s also very easy to fold and unfold. It arrives fully assembled so even with zero bike knowledge you should be ok getting up and running in no time. The Venture fits in the back of most cars, it’s small enough to store in cupboards, under the stairs or in the wardrobe if necessary. The bike has a very comfortable seat and comes with a cargo rack and fenders. The shift and brake cables are neat and tidy. The folding magnet that holds things in place is strong and sturdy.
The Pedals on the Venture fold away which is a nice touch and helps to make the folded size of this bike even smaller.
Overall we’re really impressed with the KESPOR Venture folding bike. It’s mid-tier price is well matched with the features you’re getting. Give it the consideration it deserves.
Dahon Speed D8 Folding Bike
- ✔ Easy Folding Mechanism - Fold In Under 20 Seconds
- ✔ Steel Frame Yes Surprisingly Lightweight
- ✔ Responsive V-Type Brakes
- ✔ Large 20" Wheels Give Added Comfort When Riding
The Speed D8 knows where it’s going and how to get there. Chase your victory with it’s true value in performance and style, the Speed D8’s stiff frame, rigid steering and comfy tires are uncompromising, even on the worst roads.
The Dahon’s simple and understated design. It’s not a bike to show off. It just looks neat, practical with a good attention to detail. It is relatively cheap, but without any obvious skimping on smaller details. The Dahon is good to ride. The 20” wheels make the ride a little twitchy compared to a normal road bike. We found it a little easier to ride than a Brompton, but there wasn’t much in it.
We like this bike a lot. It’s a strong contender against any of the mid-range folding bikes on the market. It’s like a budget Brompton, you get many of the features without the top tier price.
Why Choose A Folding Bike?
Bicycle is an integral part of life for many people nowadays. Being specifically designed for city cycling, a folding bicycle is even more so. On contrary to ordinary bicycles, folding bikes are much more space-saving and lightweight. Once folded, it’s easy to carry it along to the shops instead of leaving it locked outside or bring home.
Are All Folding Bikes Made Equal?
Just because a bike is a folding bike, it doesn’t automatically make it similar to other models. The folding aspect of the bike is unrelated to the other components and build, so don’t think that you can just purchase some random folding bike with good reviews and come out okay. Folding bikes are just like other types of bikes; they have their own characteristics and components that are suited for certain usages and styles of riding. So, if you end up purchasing a folding mountain bike, and you need it for commuting, you’re selling yourself short on your overall riding experience. For the most part, folding bikes are not inexpensive, so you need to be completely sure that you are getting the right one that is best for your needs, so you don’t end up getting half the value out of your $300.
Why Do You Need A Foldable Bike?
Commuting is by far the most popular reason that someone gets a folding bike. In most cases, riders seek out folding bikes if they regularly use multiple forms of transportation to get around their city.