Top 4 Best Folding Bikes Under $500 (April 2021)
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.
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.
SDU SDREAM X750S Folding Electric Mountain Bike
- ✔ Aluminum Frame With Front And Rear Tektro Disc Brakes
- ✔ 750W Electric Motor Offers A Top Speed Of 20Mph
- ✔ 7-Speed Gear System With Twist Grip Throttle
- ✔ Ride Up To 50 Miles On A Single Charge Of The Removable In Frame Battery
- 750 watt electric motor
- 7-Speed Gear Shifter and maximum 20Mph speed
- Up to 50 miles on a single charge
- 48V/10.4Ah 500Wh lithium removable battery
- 3 steps easy folding
- Front and Rear Suspensions
SDREAM X750S is styled in an integrated streamlined shape, presenting the spirit of a leaping antelope. The aesthetically pleasing is contributed to its manufacturing process, which involves the hydro-forming technique – a technology that is widely used in the automotive industry, making use of the complex shapes made possible by hydroforming to produce stronger, lighter, and more rigid unibody structures for vehicles.
SDREAM X750S is equipped with 750W high speed brushless motor, providing more than enough to power your daily commute, a cruise on the beach or mountain. With max 20 mph speed and up to 50 miles range, it will get you so much fun.
The integrated display can help you adjust the assistance level from 0 to 5, 0 means no assistance and 5 means the maximum assistance level. The Display will show your riding speed and remaining battery power. The 7-speed shifter is on the right side of the handlebar, easily changing the speed mode.
The 4.0” fat tires with 20” aluminum alloy wheels can tackle the most extreme terrain, including urban, beach, mountain and snow. Equipped with front and rear Tektro disc brakes, it possesses a strong and responsive braking force to ensure a complete control on the ground. With front and rear suspensions, X750S could offer an unprecedented comfy riding experience. SDREAM can take you anywhere regardless if it’s wet stone, muddy paths or snowy hills. It is more comfortable with outstanding shock absorption, high anti-puncture performance, and stronger wear resistance. A perfect companion for both commuting and outdoor exercising.
Lights are all about your safety. Equipped with ultra-bright, all-weather front light to provide visibility during low light riding. Battery is hidden perfectly in the frame to ensure the safety of the electric system and keep it waterproof, anti-theft and anti-dust, avoiding any fall out occurs in a furious riding. Adjust handlebar height, rotation and saddle height perfectly fits your ideal ergonomic position. Making small changes can bring you improvements in comfort depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
We love this bike. It started as a crowdfunded project and now it’s a top class electric mountain bike that can fold away for easy transportation. Check it out!
Eahora X5 Folding Electric Bike
- ✔ One Piece Lightweight Aluminum Alloy Frame
- ✔ Powerful 500W Motor Giving A Top Speed Of 28Mph
- ✔ Assisted Travel Mode Can Run For Up To 55 Miles Per Charge
- ✔ IP65 Waterproof Digital Display Showing Live Statistics And Measurements
- Motor: 350 W Shengyi hub-drive motor
- Top speed: 28 mph (45 km/h) with pedal assist (PAS)
- Battery: 46V 13Ah (624Wh) lockable and removable battery
- Range: 40 mi (64.3 km) estimate
- Charge time: 6 hours
- Frame: Aluminum
- Weight: 50.6 lb (22.9 kg)
- Brakes: Logan 180mm hydraulic disc
- Tires: 20 x 3 Chao Yang
- Extras: LCD display, 8-speed Shimano Altus drivetrain, E-PAS energy recapture mode
The frame offers a low center of gravity and a folding utility, and of course, the 3” wide tires, a great middle-ground between fat and normal width. Since it’s a folding bike, the handlebars are a bit far from the seat. They do telescope up and down but they do not move from front to back. The folding frame is nice, This bike will fit perfectly in most trunks.
Eahora’s Patented E-PAS regenerative electrical motor drastically improves range by re-charging the battery while traveling downhill, gliding, etc. All the while the 500 Watt high-speed brushless motor can produce speeds up to 28 MPH in 10 seconds.
A good battery is vital to the electric bike, our Samsung cell battery to ensure the long life and high safety. Removable, easy to install. 2Year Warranty for the battery.
The 8-speed bike is more operational for people who climb on tricky terrain, help riders to adapt to rough conditions and accommodate inclines, bumps and other difficulties. The lower gears make it easier to pedal and the higher gears allow for the better movement going downhill.
Overall this bike is appealing for it’s price. It will suit those interested in portability more than anything else. However that being said, the front suspension and chunky fat tires go a long way to giving the rider a comfortable experience.
Here are some of the comments made by current owners of the Eahora X5.
“I love my Eahora bike, it is very well made, high quality, and looks like it will hold up against all of our rugged terrain of the NW.”
“It folds very easily and the display is clear. It comes with 2 keys to lock the battery, wheel guards and rear rack.”
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.