Folding bikes continue to grow in popularity because of their lightweight, compact size, and ease of use. You can use these for riding uphill, even folding bikes are good for long-distance sometimes. Folding cycles provides a better experience when you use them for short-distance riding or getting around.
These bikes have some advantages over regular full-size bikes. Especially when you want to travel, you can easily carry your favorite folding bike with you. In most cases, you do not have to spend extra money to carry these.
In this article, I will discuss the uses and benefits of folding bikes. If you want to know more about folding bikes, then this article is for you. Keep reading until the end.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Folding Bikes
A folding bike offers some advantages that conventional standard bikes cannot provide. If you like to use bikes, then you must check these things. But there are some drawbacks to folding bikes as well as many benefits. Below, I describe the advantages and disadvantages of these bikes.
Advantages Of A Folding Bike
- If you want to go somewhere far away, you can carry your folding bike with you, as you can transport them on a train or car easily.
- You can bring the bike home with you when you return home, so there is no fear of getting lost.
- You can store it in a small space, even under the bed or in a cupboard.
- The resale value of folding bikes is good enough, they are not devalued like regular bikes.
- Ideal for one-way traffic, you don’t have to wait for public transport.
- Because of their compact size and lightweight, you can carry them under poor road conditions.
- You don’t require leaving the bikes outside, so there is no chance of theft.
- A Folding bike is especially helpful for people with rheumatic problems.
- You can ride these bikes in traffic because they are fast and practical.
- The company makes these bikes using advanced and quality materials. So they are quite durable.
Shortfalls Of Folding Bike
- Customizing a folding bike is quite complicated, as the bikes do not have many accessories.
- Bikes are relatively expensive, and the cost of replacing their parts is very high.
- The tires of folding bikes are much thinner than standard bikes, so you may need to install suspension separately to ride comfortably.
- Extremely suitable for urban areas, but they do not perform well on rough trails.
- The wheels of folding bikes are quite small, the body has to handle a lot of push if the road is bad.
- Spare parts may not be available everywhere and in that case, you need to collect them from the manufacturer at a higher price.
- The lack of a suspension system makes it difficult to ride the bikes.
- Folding bikes tend to be fragile compared to ordinary bikes.
- These bikes may not be the best fit for you if you are overweight.
- A folding bike can be less comfortable than ordinary bikes.
Are Folding Bikes Good For Long-Distance?
Initially, companies make folding bikes suitable for quick trips. As the popularity of these bikes has increased, the use of these bikes increased significantly. So if you have a folding bike, you might wonder if it should go a long distance.
Yes, you can use a folding bike for long-distance, though don’t feel too comfortable. The long distance here does not necessarily mean 20 kilometers, but much more. A folding bike has several limitations, which can make it uncomfortable for you to cover long distances. Notable among these are:
- Frame: The frame of a folding bike is small enough, which can be uncomfortable for a tall adult. Their biggest inconvenience may be to paddle comfortably. Because the frame of the folding bikes is not as rigid as other bikes, but rather flexible. That’s why you can’t do strong paddling even if you want to.
- Wheel: The size of the wheels on these bikes is quite small. When you try to ride bikes fast, they will give you a much faster feeling, which is not the case. The wheels are not suitable for maintaining the stability of the rider. So it causes a lot of inconveniences when driving on rough roads and can increase the fatigue of the rider.
- Suspension: Although the suspension system of folding bikes is sufficient for riding around, it is not suitable for long distances. If you want to go a long way, you must improve the suspension system of these bikes.
- Tires: The tires on these bikes can be a hindrance to your long journey. These tires can make it difficult for you to control the bike, especially on rough roads or downhill.
The above features make a folding bike unsuitable for long journeys, although you can customize these. But you may be glad to know that many folding bikes today are free from these problems and you can use them for long distances. If you are not too tall and the road to your destination is smooth. So you can try it with your old folding bike. Maybe it will be not so hard!
Can You Use Folding Bikes For Exercise?
Yes, your folding bike can be ideal for exercise. This is because we all know that all health-conscious people consider cycling the best exercise. A folding bike has several advantages that set it apart from other bikes for exercise. So you too can use your folding bike effortlessly for exercise.
Since you can store folding bikes anywhere, these bikes are more convenient for exercise. You can use the bike to get anywhere, even to your office, and you don’t have to worry about parking. That is why you can perform the desired exercise without spending extra time. Going around in the morning or the afternoon with your folding bicycle during leisure time is quite enjoyable as well as exercise.
Anyway, you need to choose the right folding bike to use for exercise. If you have to travel by road or train on the way to your office, you need to select a bike that has a great mix of both ride quality and portability. And if you want to use folding bikes for long distances, then full-size folding bikes will be best for you.
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Can You Travel On A Folding Bike?
Of course, you can travel by your folding bike. Traveling by a mountain bike or any other bike can frustrate and be quite expensive. In the case of carrying or transportation costs, a folding bike is much easier and more convenient than others. Below, I discuss in detail the context of carrying a folding bike in different transport methods.
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You can carry luggage with you when traveling by train in most countries or states and there is no extra charge for it. The size of this luggage is allowed up to 85 cm, whereas a large 4-wheeled suitcase is about 75 cm long. So you can carry your folding bike in your luggage at no cost while traveling on a train.
On a plane, you can usually carry your folding bike in two ways: Carry-on and Hold luggage. However, the hold luggage method is considered to be more convenient than the carry-on. A folding bike is much easier and less expensive to carry on a plane than a full-size bike. The cost depends largely on the airline. In either case, you may have to spend a little money.
Coach companies allow you to carry a bag less than 75 cm long. Many coach companies follow certain rules regarding the weight of the bags. Normally if your bag weighs less than 20 kg, you don’t have to pay extra. Most of the time, folding bikes weigh a lot less so you can carry a folding bike in your luggage.
- Although you can keep your folding bike with you while traveling, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- Size and Weight:
The size and weight of your folding bike will play a very important role in transportation. If your luggage becomes too big or too heavy, your travel efforts may fail. So make sure that your luggage weighs must be less than 20 kg and its length is below 75 cm.
Failure to keep your bike safe while traveling will be a major cause of loss. Incredibly lightweight and foldable bags can fail to provide safety for your bike. So you must be careful in choosing the bag.
Are Folding Bikes Allowed On Buses, Trains, And Subways?
Transportation systems in most countries allow the transport of folding bikes. However, the rules of transportation in the country or state where you live are a big factor in this case. If your bike is folded and in luggage, you will be able to transport the metro, subway, bus, and train in most cases without paying extra.
Does A Folding Bike Run Slower Than Other Bikes?
No, a folding bike is not truly slower than other bikes. Because of the size of the wheels, the gearing, and the position of the rider, the bikes often seem to slow down.
However, these bikes have some limitations in terms of speed.
- Because on folding bikes, the rider has to be in an upright position, facing wind resistance, and that’s why they are not ideal for speed.
- Most folding bikes have small wheels that have high tyre resistance and are not suitable for speeding.
The gears of these bikes are somewhat exceptional. These can provide a lot of power and make things easier like riding a hill but are not ideal for paddling at high speeds.
Can Folding Bikes Go Uphill?
If you can paddle hard and your folding bike has the right number of gears, you can use your folding bike to go uphill. You may require less effort while riding a hill if the bike has less gear. Because then it becomes easier to pedal.
Anyway, the smaller wheels of folding bikes reduce the ground coverage, which makes it a bit more difficult to ride on hills. If you want to ride a hill with your folding bike, you need to pay special attention to the following points.
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Make A Plan
When you want to start a trek in the mountains, you must have a good plan. You need to know how much distance you have to cover and whether you have practiced accordingly. If it is an unfamiliar place, you can get detailed information from the map. In general, you need to make a proper plan considering the condition of the road, environment, ability of you and your bike, etc.
Be prepared mentally that it will take a lot of hard work to ride uphill. Inspire yourself to take on this challenge. If you have never ridden uphill before, start with small slopes and drift up steep slopes. Your habit of dealing with these up to hills will make you more skilled and experienced.
Use Appropriate Gear
A proper gear set enables you to climb with little effort. Here, your bike needs to have less gear. It will be most convenient if the bike chain has the largest gear on the rear cog and the smallest gear on the front chainring.
Stop Standing On The Paddle
Riders often stand up and pedal for more speed and convenience. You need to avoid this kind of habit when riding uphill using a folding bike. This habit can ruin your balance and cause accidents. So, stay seated while riding uphill.
Use A Light Bike
Although most folding bikes are relatively light, you should monitor the weight of your folding bike. Light bikes will help you save energy, which you will need to ride uphill. Light folding bikes are very convenient for carrying on public transport.
Focus On Posture & Breathing
When riding uphill, you need to keep your posture straight and breathe deeply. This will keep your muscles oxygenated and improve lung function. It also helps prevent fatigue during this intense exercise.
Your folding bike can climb, but riding uphill is a difficult task. Even an experienced cyclist often faces problems. So do not take the matter too lightly and practice regularly keeping the above points in mind. Because there is no substitute for practice to successfully ride uphill.
How Do I Choose A Folding Bike?
The popularity of folding bikes is constantly increasing and these can make your riding experience a lot more fun. For this, you need to pay attention to some issues in bike selection, which I am describing below.
1. Your Needs
Folding bikes are quite effective for short-distance travel. These will make your surroundings more enjoyable. Also, if you need to travel on a bike, these are quite convenient. But if you need to travel long distances regularly, then a full-size bike instead of a folding bike would be suitable for you.
2. Road Condition
One more consideration is what kind of road you would need to ride. A folding bike can perform much better on smooth roads. If the road condition is good, you can also use these bikes for uphill rides. But if you are riding on a winding trail or a bumpy road, then a folding bike will not be suitable for you.
3. Folding Mechanism
Bikes with a variety of folding mechanisms are available. Mid-horizontal folding bikes are more popular. Some folding bikes can be divided into two or three separate parts for compactness. When checking the folding mechanism, make sure that you can fold and carry them in a bag.
4. Wheel Size
In the market, you can buy folding bikes with different sizes of wheels. Manufacturers bring most of their folding bikes with 16 “wheel sizes. Wheels of this size are more powerful and bikes are compact. But some bikes have larger wheel sizes such as 20 inches or even 26 inches. Because larger wheel sizes make bikes more controllable.
An improved suspension system can make your bike ride more comfortable. Some folding bikes have suspension on both the front and rear. But some folding bikes do not offer any suspension. You may not always ride a bike on a smooth road, so the bike needs to have a good quality suspension system.
Riding a lightweight bike requires less effort. So if your folding bike is light, that is an added advantage. Light bikes are convenient when transporting. Some folding bikes weigh less than 10 kg. However, the price of light bikes can be relatively high.
7. Future Upgradration Thought
When choosing a bike, make sure that the parts of your bike are available everywhere. Otherwise, you may run into problems when upgrading or repairing later. There are some folding bikes whose parts are not compatible with other bikes. It is better not to choose such bikes.
A folding bike can make your regular ride more fun. Because any bike or cycle lover can use them for going to the office, exercise, riding around, commuting, city rides, traveling, and even a cyclist can use folding bikes for long distances. These bikes are ideal for keeping you fit or saving extra costs by giving various bike benefits into 1 compact package.
These light and compact bikes are easy to store and the versatile use of folding bikes will make your life easier. If you have any further questions about a folding bike, please let me know in the comments section. I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. That’s all for now about folding bikes’ traveling distance-related discussion.