• Best folding bike for casual riders?

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  • My parents are interested in doing more bike riding. They are more casual riders, and are considering the folding bike option so they can easily pack the bikes into a car and drive to a trail to ride around. They both own sedans so a bike rack seems like it might not be the best option - they had one a while ago and thought it was kind of a hassle for how much they used it.

    Their main concerns are ease of assembly, riding comfort, and sturdiness. Having a lot of different speeds / performance features on the bike is less important... a simple setup should do fine for the kinds of rides they are looking forward to. They are looking to purchase a bike for each of them, so both need to fit easily in a car. Finally, my stepdad was concerned that folding bike might be too small for his 5'10" frame - is there a size/weight limit for most folding bike models?

    Expected budget is about $300/bike, if you have really good suggestions that exceed that budget please still let me know!

    Thanks in advance for the help. Feel free to suggest bike racks if you have had good experience with them in the past. I imagine these bikes will be used a few times a month - might be nice if the rack was easy to take on/off.

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    Question by diurnalist

I love my BikeFriday, but I have to admit that it's not the easiest thing in the world to fold.

Answer by christian waters

Dahon folders are easy to fold, usually 30-45 seconds, and faster after you have it down, and affordable too.

Answer by madfolder

I don't have one but a friend has a Dahon and he rode it half-way across the country after hauling it on the bus for the other half! Folds really quick.

Answer by kevin kelly

Although its a bit out of the price point you indicated, the Brompton folding bike is worth a look. I've had one for years - its easy and fast to fold or unfold...takes me about 20 seconds. Its well built (in the UK) and very comfortable to ride. I much prefer it to my regular three speed for city riding because the low center of gravity makes it easy to maneuver without any loss of efficiency, and I'm about 5'10". They hold their value too when its time to resell!

Answer by mrgripe

I have a Dahon and love it. I am 6'4" and I am sure it looks funny under me, but I am very comfortable on it. It's easy to fold, store and unfold and it's sturdy.

Answer by metaphorsbewithyou

Dahon will be your most affordable solid option, most likely. This is not a true Dahon but is an old model that is licensed and sold under their name. I've had this one for a while and it is pretty bombproof. I really enjoy riding it on my local greenway and to/from the store. I ride it more than my mountain bike.

Dahon Boardwalk

The single speed is really durable / mechanically simple but you will be slower as a result - you can't pedal that fast going downhill, and uphill you have to work hard - this is a "slow ride" bike for sure. The coaster brake is difficult to get used to if you haven't had one since childhood, but it also has a front hand brake.

It has three latches - seat, handlebars, frame. Seat goes down on its post, handlebars swing down next to the front wheel, frame folds in half. 20" wheels, stows well and weighs about 30 lbs, I find it easiest to carry it by the back of the seat.

Answer by itsrob

Another vote for Dahon. I have the 7-speed Boardwalk and it's pretty solid. You can spend a lot more to get a much lighter version, or one that will fold up small enough to get into a check-on bag on an airplane, but if neither of those are a concern, the price is right on the Boardwalk.

Answer by jon konrath

My answer is: are you sure that’s what they want?

I had a small Dahon and sold it a month later because it was hell trying to ride with tiny wheels on New York City streets. If they feel a bit uncertain on bikes, they should definitely test-ride before investing.

My vote is to buy a good used bike that’s full-sized and made of aluminum. Craig’s List is full of ‘em.

Answer by ben rothfeld
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