As more and more folding bikes begin to join the ranks of the morning biking commuter race it can be easy to overlook the reasons why so many people are starting to choose them instead of a regular, um, non-folding bike. The no.1 reason why anyone chooses this type of style is because you can literally bring them anywhere.
That’s right, you can bring them on the bus, train, Luas, or in the back of a cab or car, and either lock them up at work, or carry them right into your building. Most quality brands fold easily ( or will a little practice) and shrink right down in a compact size suitable for small storage spaces in work or at home.
However, with such drastic differences between these and regular bikes you must expect a completely different type of riding style, and that’s where the trade-off between functionality and practicality needs to be understood.
The upright style of the folding bike, plus the small frame and 20 inch wheels means that they are not the fastest on two wheels. Plus, because of the engineering to make the bike compact, you can expect them to be heavier ( and a little more costly) than your average bike.
This trade-off shouldn’t matter to those who require lengthy bus or train commutes and who must walk further or take an inner city bus to complete their journey. We all know that Dublin, or any city centre, is gridlock at rush hour so hoping off a bus and quickly unfolding a bike to resume your trip will save you time, and will burn a few calories along the way.
Some things to consider before you buy a folding bike:
- What distance am I covering? A lightweight bike is advantages for longer distances.
- Height: For taller riders, bikes with adjustable saddle and handlebar height should be considered.
- Luggage carriers: Depending on what you need to carry be sure your folding bike can attach carriers easily.
We stock Tern Folding Bikes in store, which is a 12.5Kg aluminium folding bike in medium price range and one of The Guardian’s Bike Blog favourite bike for 2015. Terns are an ideal mid range folding bike that won’t break the bank and are available as part of the Bike2Work scheme. If you’re thinking of choosing one, call by our store anytime for a test ride.