Think folding bicycles are just a modern gimmick? Think again! Folding bicycles have been around since the 1800’s when they were used by the French and British armies. The bicycles, weighing about 15 pounds, were designed to be worn when not in use and even featured a rifle rack. Modern foldable bicycles have come a long way since then but still feature the portability and compact storage that has always set them apart.
Since folding bikes generally only have one size of frame, they come with a number of ways to adjust the bike to accommodate different sizes of riders. Seat posts and handlebars can extend, for instance, and provide for full adjustment. And although folding bicycles are generally smaller than traditional bikes, the wheelbase and distance between the bottom bracket, seat, and handlebars is usually the same.
One major difference you will notice is that folding bicycles often have smaller wheels. These smaller wheels allow for speedy acceleration, advanced maneuverability, and improve the storage size when compact. Many urban dwellers opt for a folding bicycle because it can be easily carried into buildings and onto the subway, when needed. It can also be quickly stowed away in a vehicle without the use of a bike rack.
Folding bicycles really shine when it comes to security. Thieves are getting better than ever at busting even the most advanced bike locks, and with many bicycles exceeding a thousand dollars, it’s a loss few can bear. The advantage, of course, is the folding bicycles can be carried with you inside any building without feeling much encumbrance.
Other people opt for a folding bike simply because they want something that sets them apart from the crowd. Folding bikes have a unique look! Whether you are riding it or it’s folded up and you are carrying it with you, you will get plenty of comments and questions. If you are the type who has never met a stranger, you might love the added attention.
Their smaller wheels and individualized design is noticeable and will be sure to bring added attention. And though you’re never going to see a folding bike in a race, you’ll notice a huge advantage when it comes to your starting speed.
Although some folding bicycles cost several thousand dollars, you can find a great model for less than $500. Consider the Citizen Gotham 7 for just $379. It’s a bargain price for a solid, foldable bike. When you consider how much you will save by opting to bike rather than drive, you can see how quickly you can come out ahead financially.
Whether or not a folding bicycle is your thing, you have to admit they are great bikes for city dwellers, especially. If you want a unique look and a great ride, consider giving a folding bike a try. To learn more about other bicycles and important cycling safety tips, check out our cycling Facebook page.