Over the past few years folding mountain bike have become very popular. The burgeoning demand of folding mountain bicycles is driven mostly by urban consumers. This is primarily because space is a big concern for urban dweller. Bicycles like these or any other for that matter, are a capital intensive purchase and you do not want to make a decision that you regret later down the road. Therefore, you need to ask yourself the right set of questions before buying a folding MTB. The following guide is for helping you to understand either you need to buy a folding bike or not. Moreover, it would also help you to navigate through the purchase so that you can buy the best mountain bike that folds
- Part 1: Why Do I Need a Folding Bike
- Part 2: What to Look for in a Folding Bike
- Part 3: Folding Mountain Bike Recommendations
- Part 4: Mountain Bike Maintenance
Part 1: Why Do I Need a Folding Bike
Space is a major concern for people living in urban areas. They try to utilize every square feet as efficiently as possible. While you can ride mountain bike daily, they are usually for trails and off-road terrain hence remain parked in the garage or inside the home for most time of the year. The inherent idea behind manufacturing a folding bike is that it can fold within two or three moves, making the bicycle compact and highly portable. This not only allows you to save space but the bicycle can be stored in a better manner as well. So, if space is an issue, you might want to consider a folding mountain bike.
Being a foldie doesn’t only save space but also guarantees portability. You can simply fold your mountain bike and take it anywhere you want. You can bring it inside your workplace, carry it through the trains or metros and you don’t even have to worry about parking.
Easy to Transport
The compact nature of the bike allows you to transport the bike easily. You don’t require a large trunk space to carry folding mountain bicycles. In fact, you can easily fit two to three mountain bikes in a hatchback car. Thus, you can carry the bike to a trail or a campsite even if you don’t have a big 4WD truck. Let’s say you are on a weekend getaway with your partner, having two folding bikes in your trunk would only add on to the adventure as you can cycle anywhere you want.
Part 2: What to Look for in a Folding Bike
Manufacturers use various folding mechanism throughout the world. The most popular is a half/mid fold. It uses a horizontal fold system that operates using a hinge in the center of the bike frame. The quick release hinges make it possible for riders to swiftly fold and unfold the bike. However, prolonged usage or heavy weights lead to a stress on the frame.
Another popular folding mechanism is the vertical fold system. While it also uses the same quick release hinges, their orientation is vertical. Resultantly, the bike folds in a triangular manner and has foldable handlebar and seat as well. Vertical folding is preferred over horizontal as the issue of stress points is rectified in this design scheme.
Some collapsible mountain bikes also come with a break away design, you can disassemble the bike into two or three parts. This essentially allows you to but the bicycle in a bag or case for transporting it. However, modular bikes are not very common.
Most fold up mountain bikes are either made from aluminum or its alloys to keep them light weight. However, this compromises on shock absorption. Unlike the conventional steel frame, aluminum bodies are not great shock absorbers. There is a bifurcation in folding MTBs, some come with suspension and some don’t. If you want to go hard on the track, suspension is a must. Otherwise, for shorter rides or easier trails a bike without a suspension can also suffice.
You can find multiple additional features across folding bikes. It’s entirely up to you, for what suits you the best. Following are some additional features that you must look for as they drastically increase the utility of the rider.
Gears: Gears are a must have for mountain bike. Not only do they help you to cycle better but improve your overall riding experience.
Mudguards: Mudguards always come in handy when you are riding on a dirt trail. Otherwise, they are also great for normal riding as they protect you from dirt. This simple accessory can greatly impact your riding experience.
Luggage Racks: A luggage rack is a great bargain as it allows you to carry more while riding.
Part 3: Folding Mountain Bike Recommendations
If you are looking for folding mountain bikes, following are some suggestions that can prove to be a great choice.
Cyrusher FR 100
First on the list is Cyrusher FR 100. There are numerous reasons for this bike to be on top of the list. First and foremost, it comes preassembled. This is a major plus point. Mountain Bikes, especially folding MTBs are hard to put together. However, Cyrusher FR 100 is 90% assembled when it is shipped to the user. Therefore, it is a great choice even for someone who has recently started mountain biking.
Moving on, it is constructed using a high grade aluminum alloy which makes it extremely lightweight, durable and corrosion resistant. The bike also features a 24 speed transmission which coupled with a reliable braking mechanism is enough to deliver all the power you need. Cyrusher FR 100 has rubber tires that provide the bike with adequate road grip so that you can ride it in almost any terrain. The tires are also abrasion resistant so you don’t have to worry about them for a long time as such tires don’t need a replacement any time soon.
It operates using quick release clamps that allow the users to quickly fold and unfold the bike. Even being so compact, the bike features a duel suspension system that ensures riding comfort and better handling. The only downside of Cyrusher FR 100 is that it lacks a little when ridden in extremely rocky terrains. Other than this, it is definitely a market leader due to its high end performance.
Montague Paratrooper Pro
Securing second place on the list is this, rugged and versatile bike from Montague. The Montague Paratrooper Pro is the perfect combination between style and performance. It has everything a folding mountain bike needs. The bike has a 20 inch frame that operates using a patented folding integrated technology by Montague also known as the Direct Connect Folding System.
It not only allows the rider to fold the bike within thirty seconds or less but also ensures that the structural integrity of the bike is preserved even when it’s folded. It has a removable front wheel, all thanks to the CLIX system, which can be removed and installed without adjusting the cam.
Furthermore, it features one of the best suspension mechanisms out in the market. The suspension provides a great riding experience protecting the rider from shocks generated while riding on a tough terrain. To further increase on the performance, the suspension also has a lockout system that gives the rider the choice to lock the front fork so that speed is not compromised. The bike uses a 27 speed transmission for immense power delivery and has an adjustable seat as well. If it weren’t for the bulkiness and the pedals, it could easily take the number one spot on the list.
With zero compromise on performance and security, EuroBike is a great option if you are on a budget. You can depend as much on this bike as you want and it will take you to places. It features 27.5 inches rims that are big enough to maneuver through any terrain of your choice effortlessly.
Additionally, larger wheels allow you to cover longer distances more quickly. With great powers comes great responsibility. Keeping this in mind, the EuroBike also has a disc brake system to provide you with effective braking power so that you can ride confidently. Disc brakes in general are more powerful, durable and sturdier than the V-brake mechanism. Since, it is budget option it does not feature larger suspensions like those mentioned above.
However, the basic gear preset that comes in handy when climbing hills. The suspension mechanism of the bike is fairly simple and in a budget category like this, it does the justice to the price you pay for the bike. The bike is not assembled when it is shipped to the user but comes with an assembly manual which has all the instructions required to assemble the bike. All the features make this bike a value to money purchase and it is great for someone who has just started mountain biking.
Xspec 21 Speed
Unlike all the bikes mentioned above, Xspec folding mountain bike has a steel frame. This has its pros and cons. The high tensile steel frame has great strength and is acts as an excellent shock absorber but with a cost! The bike becomes heavy. The bike has double allow rims so ensure that you can ride it in the rockiest trails worry free. To further enhance the rider experience, the bike also has a dual fork suspension. This means that there is a suspension fork at the front as well as the rear. Needless to say as it is evident by the name, it has a 21 speed transmission which can make ascents and descents equally joyous.
Apart from this, it features a disc brake mechanism that gives you all the braking power needed to counter downhill acceleration and inertia caused due to the weight of the bike. The bike comes in three color ways, black, white and yellow, each with its unique and appealing look. Alongside this, the quick lock hinge technology ensures that the bike is easy to fold and unfold as well as withstands any form of stress endured while riding in rough terrains.
All in all, this bike proves to be a great option for a steel frame bike and hence is on the list. The only thing to worry is the assembly of the bike as it requires both patience and dedication. The assembly is not that easy but if you a little experience things would eventually come to place. If not, call in your biking buddy as there is also nothing more fun than assembling a mountain bike.
Part 4: Mountain Bike Maintenance
Riders can ride mountain bikes in tough terrains and are subject to heavy wear and tear. Therefore, they require maintenance and good care. In case of a fold away mountain bike, it is only increased. This is largely because of the folding mechanism. Let’s start from the basics, cleaning your bike after a riding session is essential. This not keeps the bike clean but also increases the life of the bike. Make sure to get all the sand and dirt or anything else of the bike before you store it.
Before storing the bike also make sure that the chain is lubed and there are no other loose parts. Try to store the bike in a place which is least impacted by the atmosphere. This essentially means that keep it safe from sun, snow or rain as exposure to any of these would initiate the deterioration of your MTB folding mountain bike. Lastly, always make sure to check the tire pressures before going on a ride to preserve the health of your tire.
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.