You know that feeling when you are in the airport, ready to board your flight only to realize that there is no where for you to store your bike? Well, thanks to folding bikes for backpacking this problem has been solved. Folding bikes are compact, lightweight and take up minimal space when folded making them perfect for traveling! And not only do they make travel more convenient but they also allow you to explore new places without any of the hassle or expense of a traditional bicycle. The best folding bikes are efficient and sturdy enough to handle anything from city streets and highways alike. They are also even capable of taking on trails with relative ease!
But, before you buy one, what should you look for? Read on below!
For backpacking, you’ll want a folding bike that is as light as possible. We’d recommend getting one that’s under 20 lbs. The lighter the bike, the easier it is to transport when folding and unfolding.
The folding mechanism
This should be well-designed and easy to use (no pins or hinges). It should also be durable since you will need this to last for years of folding and unfolding when not in use. The folding mechanism compensates for storing/transporting the bike; generally speaking it is stronger than when actually riding which means that certain parts may need upgrading over time to continue performing optimally.
If you plan on doing a lot of mountain biking then suspension is a good idea but if not, then using rigid frame would save you money and make folding and unfolding easier. When folding, the suspension is actually removed from the bike to make folding it even easier (and lighter).
Aluminum alloy is suitable for folding bikes that are not going to be ridden on tough surfaces; while carbon fiber makes a lighter, more reliable folding bike that can handle any surface.
The more gears you have, the better your range of speed and climbing ability will be! But too many gears and you might lose out on some of the simplicity of using a folding bike in general.
We find that an 8 gear folding bike is probably ideal; offering a decent variation of speed without getting overly complicated or expensive.
The best folding bikes generally come with disk brakes which provide more stopping power than traditional rim-type brakes found on most other folding/compact bikes.
This aspect is a tough one. On one hand, spending more will get you a higher quality folding bike. But on the other hand a cheaper one can be useful because you can easily replace it if needed. It generally comes down to what your current financial situation is and whether you’re likely to look after it properly.
What type of terrain are you traveling over (mountains, gravel, sidewalks)
If you’re going to be riding over some rough terrain, then a folding mountain bike is great for this. These folding bikes are designed to handle the rougher surfaces and will be able to take on more of the impact while folding and unfolding than folding city bikes would.
If you’re traveling over shorter distances then folding city bikes are perfect for this. They are well-designed to handle the traffic of busy streets and give commuters a leg up when it comes to folding.
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The best folding bikes are lightweight, folding/compact, strong, don’t cost too much money, feature an easy-to-fold mechanism and have the ability to hold disk brakes for superior stopping power on tough terrain. A folding mountain bike or folding city bike is often what you need for traveling over different kinds of terrains!
Many people choose this type of folding bike because it gives them the chance to explore new places without any hassle or expense that comes with a traditional bicycle. The best folding bikes for backpacking are not only lightweight but also sturdy and dependable!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can a folding bike fit in a backpack?
Kind of. While your folding bike probably won’t fit inside a backpack, there are backpacks that allow you to attach your folding bike to the outside of them. Check out our reviews of folding bike bags here.
Are folding bikes easy to carry on the train?
Yes. You can usually fold folding bikes up small enough to carry onto the train and store it in a bag or put it next to you as you sit down.
Do folding bikes work for long journeys?
Yes! Folding bikes have been designed with ease of folding/unfolding in mind so they shouldn’t be too heavy or cumbersome. You can even fold up your folding bicycle and take it onboard airplanes if you’re looking for a more convenient method of travel.