With each passing day, foldable mountain bike are becoming trendier. The concept of a foldable mountain cycle is not new. Manufacturers have been producing foldable MTBs for a long time now. Over time, manufacturers have not only improved the foldable mountain bike technology but have also brought innovation in the industry. A recent surge in foldable mountain bikes is seen. A number of factors are associating with the rising popularity of mountain bikes. But, buying a foldable MTB bike can get tough, therefore this buyer’s guide will help you understand the need for a mountain bike and it also features some suggestions if you are looking for a foldable mountain bike.
- Part 1: Do I Need a Foldable Mountain Bike
- Part 2: How to Select a Foldable Bike
- Part 3: Foldable Mountain Bike Recommendations
- Part 4: Benefits of a Foldable Bike
- Part 5: Frequently Asked Questions
Part 1: Do I Need a Foldable Mountain Bike
Buying a mountain bike, especially a foldable one is a capital heavy decision. The prices of foldable mountain bike are generally high when compared to conventional bikes, which only seems logical because of the technology and materials used. Mostly, people think that foldable mountain bike would be cheaper in comparison to a regular bike, which is not the case. Therefore, you need to make sure that you really need a foldable mountain bike as you don’t want to make a decision that you regret later down the road.
Do Market Research
While this guide is essentially a part of it, market research is important. Look out for folding bikes at the bike shop near your place. You can for sure research about the product online and know about all the specs and features the bike offers but it is imperative to have a physical experience with the bike where you try it out or at least understand the dynamics of it. Also, it would help you to understand what size works the best for you as these bikes come in a variety of sizes.
Think what You Want from the Bike
What you expect from a foldable mountain bike is important. To simply put to words, not all bikes are suitable for all riders and not all riders are comfortable with every bike. This is no different for a foldable MTB. Each bike comes with a varying performance. Understanding what you want from the bike would help you to make a more informed purchase decision as you would be able to identify the exact model that meets your riding style and technique.
Part 2: How to Select a Foldable Bike
Manufacturers all over the world use multiple folding mechanism. While each folding technology might be different from the other, they all fall under three basic categories, horizontal fold, and vertical fold and break away designs. Horizontal folding systems are the most commonly used and rely on hinges located in the center of the frame. It also called as half/mid fold and operates on a quick release action making it possible for the rider to quickly fold and unfold the bike . However, prolonged usage or heavy weights lead to a stress on the frame.
Vertical fold is also a popular mechanism. It also uses the same quick release hinges but their orientation is vertical. Resultantly, the bike folds in a triangular manner and has foldable handlebar and seat as well. Vertical folding is better for riders over the horizontal as the issue of stress points is rectified in this design scheme.
Some foldable MTB bike also come with a break away or modular design, you can disassemble the bike into two or three parts. This essentially allows you to but the bicycle in a bag or a case for transporting it. However, modular bikes are not very common.
To keep them light, most foldable mountain bike use aluminum or aluminum alloys. However, stress absorption is compromised. Aluminum bodies, unlike traditional steel frames, are not good shock absorbers. Folding mountain bikes have two types: those with suspension and those without. Suspension is required if you want to go fast on the track. A bike without suspension might suitable for shorter journeys or simpler trails.
Weight of the bike is an important detriment for its performance. It also impacts the effort required to ride the bike and transport it.
With each bike being different from the other, every bike has some additional features that act as a unique selling point for the product. If you are purchasing a bike, it is only better to buy a bike that has the most utilitarian features. Following are some features that you must consider before buying your new foldable MTB cycle.
Gears: Gears are a must have for mountain bike. Not only do they help you to cycle better but improve your overall riding experience. A rule of thumb for gears is, the more the merrier.
Mudguards: Mudguards always come in handy when you are riding on a dirt trail. More to that, they are also great for normal riding as they protect you from dirt and mud reaching to your legs due to spinning of the tire. This simple accessory can greatly impact your riding experience.
Part 3: Foldable Mountain Bike Recommendations
OBK G4/G6 Full Suspension Folding Bike
The OBK G4/G6 Full Suspension Folding Bike has numerous features that ensure that it remains on the first spot of the list. To begin with, it is a full suspension bike which means that it has both, front and rear suspension. Both ends have shock absorbers that make the riding experience extremely comfortable. The suspension can be adjusted as per the rider making it a highly preferred bike over the others. Apart from this it has a 21 speed transmission that ensures that you have a gear setting for each terrain you encounter on a track. Plus more gears make ascent and descent extremely fun and thrilling. The Bike has a stylish and modern design that can be easily identified among hundreds if not thousands of foldable mountain bicycles. The bike features a dual disc brake system so you don’t need to worry about safety.
Similarly, the bike also has all weather tires that have special groves to increase traction and road grip. OBK G4/G6 is not only a mountain specific bike but can be great for daily commute as well. All in all, it is a great hybrid option that can perform equally well in all terrains and can also be used for normal city usage. The only shortcoming attached with this bikes is that transporting it is tough as it is not as compact as other folding bikes.
Max4out Folding Mountain Bike
Max4out is a 21 speed folding adventure bicycle that has an aluminum frame. This is essential for weight reduction but also prevents the bike from aging more quickly. The bike features a dual suspension making the ride comfortable and less bumpy. While the bike has suspension it both ends, the rear suspension performs drastically better when compared to the frontal. This is the primary reason for riding comfort on this bike. In addition to this, Max4out has a futuristic design which is also a reason for its popularity. The bike is shipped with front and back fenders.
It is disassembled when it reaches a consumer however, assembling the bike is not difficult as the instructions manual is fairly simply and self-explanatory. The only issue with Max4out is that it has plastic pedals. Although plastic pedals reduce weight and can prove to be great for city rides, they are not very durable and break quickly when exposed to track environment. However, you can always replace your pedals from the bike shop and enjoy your bike seamlessly on the track.
Columba Folding Bike
Columba is a budget option that comes without compensating on quality, features or security. It is a great choice for someone who is looking for a cheaper foldable MTB. There are a number of distinctive features on this bike, that make you wonder if it is actually priced this low. To begin with, the folding design. Unlike most folding bikes, it uses a straight forward folding mechanism which allows it to fold faster than most bikes. This is done with the help of the adjustable kickstand which ensures that the bike remains standing throughout the folding process.
Moving, the bike has thick tires coupled with alloy rims which reduce the vibrations to the minimum. Additionally, the bike only weighs at 34 lbs. and has removable handlebar and folding paddles. Last but not the least, it also has an 18 speed transmission which is adequate to cater to all your riding needs. At a price like this, all these features only seem too good to be true. Thus, people with low budget should not miss the opportunity of buying a Columba.
Camp Folding Bike
Let’s think of something impossible for a moment. Can you fold a bike in less than 10 seconds? With a Camp, you can do the impossible. Camp is a bike that can be folded in 10 seconds. It features a simplistic folding design which helps to ensure that the folding time remains the least. It has a dual suspension and the brakes are for providing you with adequate stopping power for all terrains. It has an aluminum frame and also features a 21 speed transmission. On top of that, it also has removable pedals, folding latch and a handle stem. If you are buying a Camp, you can customize it as much as you want and this is what makes it special.
Part 4: Benefits of a foldable Bike
The greatest benefit of a foldable mountain bike is that it requires the least amount of space. You don’t need to worry about parking or putting it inside the house. Even if you have a garage, a foldable bike is almost non-existing. Thanks to its foldable mechanism, a bike as such can easily be stored in a space as low a bag. The importance of space cannot be stressed enough especially if you are living in an urban setting. Space is a major concern for urban dwellers. But with a foldable mountain bike, you don’t need to worry anymore.
A foldable able bike doesn’t only save you space but is also extremely portable. The result to this is that you can fold your bike and literally take it anywhere. I mean be it a workplace or a train station, carrying a foldie would not be an issue.
Easy to Transport
Usually, mountain bikes require a huge trunk space to carry them around. You need to have a 4WD if you really want to enjoy track days frequently. But this is not the case with a folding bike. The compact nature of the bike allows you to transport the bike easily. You don’t require a large trunk space to carry foldable mountain bicycles. All you need to do is press on the hinge, fold the bike into two and put it in the boot of your car. Did you know that you can easily fit two if not three foldable mountain bikes in the trunk of hatchback? You can never miss a track day with a foldable bike as you can simple load it up in any car and reach to the track.
Part 5: Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Are folding bikes good?
While you might not be able to gain the same riding experience from a folding bike when compared to a conventional bike, this is a completely different league and a great option if you have issues with regards to space.
Q2: Do folding mountain bikes break easily?
This is a common misconception but folding mountain bicycles are not prone to breakage with regular use similar to any other bicycle.
Q3: Can you go for a long ride on a folding bike?
A mountain bike that folds performs equally well on a long ride as any other bike. So, feel free to ride as long as you want.