Best Folding Bikes Under $500

Top 3 Best Folding Bikes Under $500 (July 2024)

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!

Bike USA Ubike Rapido Folding Bike Image

Bike USA Ubike Rapido

  • ✔ Single Speed Bike
  • ✔ Strong Alloy Frame
  • ✔ Front And Rear V-Brakes
  • ✔ 20" Wheels For Great Ride Comfort

This bike does everything you need a folding bike to do. It's lightweight, it's easy to setup when it arrives. It's comfortable to ride and simply to fold away.

Bike USA Ubike Rapido Folding Bike - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now
  • 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.

KESPOR K7 Folding Bike Image

KESPOR K7 Folding Bike

  • ✔ Durable Aluminum Frame
  • ✔ Front And Rear Disc Brakes
  • ✔ 7 Speed Shimano Twist Shifter Gearing System
  • ✔ Lifetime Frame Warrenty

The K7 packs down small yet gives the rider a great experience. Enough optional extras to keep you happy a nice price to match.

KESPOR K7 Folding Bike - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

The KESPOR K7 folding bike is a top quality bike. It folds down to a very impressive small size so it's a great bike for those who are looking for a great storage option. The K7 has a strong sturdy frame that as well as being solid, is lightweight, as it's made of aluminum and folds away very easily. The rear storage rack is a great extra. We love seeing them on folding bikes, usually with a folding bike you're left to carry your luggage on your back. However with the K7 (and many others obviously) you get a pannier rack for attaching your bag or other cargo.

The bike arrives fully assembled so going from delivery to your maiden voyage is really quick. You get a lifetime frame warranty so that speaks to the confidence KESPOR have in the K7's build quality.

It's great for commuting, carrying in your car for camping trips, bring aboard your boat for use when you arrive at your destination. The use-cases are endless when you have a folding bike. Forget about setting up the bike rack on the car everytime you want to drive to the beach, park or boulevard. Simply pack the K7 in your trunk and get going.

Schwinn Loop Folding Bike Image

Schwinn Loop Folding Bike

  • ✔ 7 Speed Shimano Gearing System With Revoshift Twist Shifters
  • ✔ Steel Frame For Extra Strength
  • ✔ Rear Carrying Rack And Nylon Carry Bag (Included)
  • ✔ Lifetime Warranty

The Schwinn Loop folding bike has a delightful step over frame which helps the rider to mount the bike easily. The rear cargo rack is great if you're travelling to the office.

Schwinn Loop Folding Bike - Read Review See The Latest Price On Amazon Now

Enjoy a bike that makes urban cycling easy with the Loop by Schwinn. The Loop features a folding steel frame that?s both durable and exceptionally convenient for those with limited storage space. The Shimano 7-speed twist shifters and Shimano derailleur team up to provide smooth gear changes, while the front and rear linear pull brakes deliver secure stops. The 20-inch alloy wheel with smooth rolling street tires are perfect for your weekday commute or weekend ride around town. The rear carrier with included heavy-gauge nylon bag makes is super easy to haul your backpack, groceries, or whatever else you need to carry on your ride. Then, when you?re all done, just fold the bike right up into its ultra-compact storage configuration, and you can tuck it away until it?s time to go again. Like all Schwinn bikes, the Loop comes with a limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own the bike. Convenience is the name of the game with the Loop. Enjoy the freedom of riding a Schwinn. Please note: If you select Site to Store delivery, your bike(s) will not be assembled upon pickup.

  • 20-inch alloy wheel with smooth rolling street tires are perfect for commuting.
  • Lightweight step-through frame folds for easy storage.
  • Shimano 7-speed twist shifter and Shimano derailleur provide smooth gear changes.
  • Front and rear linear pull brakes deliver secure stops.
  • Rear carrier includes detachable heavy gauge nylon bag for easy storage.
  • Includes limited lifetime warranty for as long as you own the bike.

This bike has (at the time of writing this) almost 700 hundred reviews. We didn't read them all (shocking right?) but the vast majority can't find fault with this machine considering the price it's retailing at. Yes you might not get disc brakes or a lightweight aluminum body but you get a comfortable ride and mudguards (we love mudguards) so overall we think you're in for a winner if you choose this bike.

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.

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