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Folding Bikes: Everything You Need to Know

Choosing a Bike
February 12, 2019
Folding Bikes: Everything You Need to Know

Folding Bikes and sixthreezero

Folding bikes are not a current offering in the sixthreezero catalog. However, it is something we're thinking about. And, there are reasons why. In the past, our focus has been adult bikes geared towards comfort and recreation. It's our mission to supply our consumers with the best possible product. Therefore, we spent most of our time designing normal, non-folding bikes. We believe that those are best at giving the comfortable rides to bikers. With that said, folding bikes have become more popular over recent years. Especially as using bikes in the city has become the best method of transportation. As a result, cities are now building more bike lanes. And they're gearing them to be more conducive to bike riders.

The Rise of Folding Bikes

I'm sure by now you have seen the increase in propaganda and literature out there. It says "share and protect the road." These call to actions will only increase over time. America's making a big push for more cities to be bike-friendly. That's why we're interested in is designing a folding bike geared towards comfort.

We see that more and more people are starting to bring scooters and bikes on the train with them. Especially for the last mile, they travel for work. This is also common for the people that may only live a half a mile from work. Especially if they aren't keen on walking to work. Even for some people, they park in large parking lots in a big corporation. And it might be a five-minute walk from where you park to where the door is of the office.

A folding bike is a great option. You can put it in the trunk, ride it to the door, fold it up, put it under your desk. For that reason, sixthreezero has been questioning this. "How can we make the most comfortable folding bikes?" Because we see the need from riders out there to have a folding bike. And we just want to make sure that when we step into it, we do it in a way that's true to our brand. Which is from a comfort perspective.

"Breaking Down" Folding Bikes: How They Work

A folding bike is essentially a bike that folds. And what I mean by that is folding bikes are usually designed where the frame is not one piece. That's the biggest difference between a folding bike and other bikes sixthreezero offers. With all the other bikes sixthreezero makes, the frame is a continuous metal piece. Or many metal pieces welded together. The best parts about sixthreezero frames are:

  • They're not bendable
  • They're fixed
  • That frame can never get any smaller

In the case of a folding bike, it has several pieces linked together. It has hinges and points of flexibility. In other words, you can fold it into smaller compartments. Usually, folding bikes would have two points of folding. One in the back, and one in the front. You can fold it up. It can be taken with you places and put into a smaller space.

Take a look at the adult bikes of sixthreezero or even the kid bikes. It's hard to condense that bike into a smaller amount of space. When it's fully assembled, that's as small as it's getting. The only possibility would be to remove a tire to decrease the amount of space it would take up in a trunk. Whereas with a folding bike, it's designed to fold down. You simply remove a pin, it collapses, and it's ready for storage. The big difference between a folding bike any other bike type is the ease of transport.

The Disadvantages Of Buying A Folding Bike

Now keep in mind, there are some disadvantages to a folding bike. For one, performance is going to be a little bit different. You're going to have smaller wheels. Consequentially, you won't be able to hit the top speeds capable of a larger wheel and a thinner tire. The other thing to question is of course comfort. As I said before, folding bikes fold down into a smaller size. Meaning you'll have to forego some comfort elements featured on non-folding bikes.

There's not much help sixthreezero can offer somebody who is looking for a folding bike. Other than the ability to steer you in the direction of popular folding bike brands. I can also say to you that there are many different types of folding bikes. And my advice to someone looking for a folding bike is to think about number one, why are you buying a folding bike? Because there are folding bikes that are actually full size. As well as folding bikes that are very small with very small wheels.

If for short-range transportation, less than two miles. Which could be from your car to an office. Or from the train station to your office. I would say look for the smallest possible folding bike. And don't worry too much about the overall performance of the bike. A good example of this would be the metrics for how fast it can go or things of that nature. Instead, look more so for how small and compact it can get. Because even a small and compact folding bike is still going to be able to get you where you want to go. So long as it's only a few blocks or a few miles at most.

How to Determine if a Folding Bike is Right for You

Also, there are the adult bikes or the bigger bikes that fold. I would say if you're going to buy something that big and it's still folding. You still may want to consider a normal bicycle. And see if wherever you're going, if you can store that bike in the underground parking garage. Or if you can wheel it into your office for the day. Because if you start to go with a folding bike, that's still going to take up a pretty large amount of space. Or more space than it could fit under your desk.

At that point, you're going to be compromising performance to a degree if it has a folding frame. As well as the stability of it, which depending on your needs may not be worth it. My advice would be, think about why you want a folding bike. And make sure that if performance is more important to you than storage space. I would say get off the idea of a folding bike and go to the idea of a non-folding bike.

I can only recommend one company that makes folding bikes. A company called "Brompton". They've been around for a long time. They have a wide selection of different wheel sizes and bike types. They're a good resource to start with and see what kind of models and prices they offer. And if you can get into a bike shop, I would suggest test riding it to see if you like it. This is the best way to see in person how small up and how light it is. That's ideal for discerning if a folding bike is right for you.

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