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Best folding bikes 2023: 7 of our favourite folders

The best folding bikes, as reviewed by the BikeRadar team

MiRider One GB3 folding commuter e-bike

We’ve rounded up seven of the best folding bikes on sale in 2023, as reviewed and rated by our expert testers.

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Folding bikes can be a top choice for commuters, city dwellers and everyone else short on space. They can be packed down small, so you can fit them onto the busiest of trains, under a desk or in cramped apartments.

Not all folding bikes are made equal. There’s a huge variety of designs out there, in a range of wheel sizes, and pricing varies wildly depending on quality and kit.

Read on for full buying advice and our list of high-scoring folding bikes.

The best folding bikes, as tested by our experts

MiRider ONE

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The MiRider is a fun electric bike to ride.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,395 as tested
  • Folded dimensions: 770x430x680mm

The MiRider ONE is an electric folding bike that is highly adjustable, fitting rider heights from 5ft to 6ft 4in.

The rear-hub motor offers 250w of assistance and will take you to 15mph. The range of the motor and battery is impressive – we achieved a maximum of 45.64 miles in testing.

Riding the MiRide ONE is lots of fun. The head angle is upright, making handling fast and ideal for getting through tight spaces.

Folding the bike is quick and it is easily manoeuvred when packed down. At 17.2kg, it does take a bit of lifting though.

The singlespeed design might frustrate some riders, but if you get used to that, the ONE proves a great machine for getting around town.

We’ve also tested the MiRider One GB3 with a planetary gearbox which scored 4 stars.

Airnimal Joey Endurance Plus

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Joey Endurance Plus offers a ride closer to a road bike.
  • £2,499 as tested
  • Folded dimensions: TBC

If you’re looking for a folding bike that offers a road-bike-like ride, this Airnimal is in a league of its own – though it certainly doesn’t come cheap.

The Joey is designed to offer the ride of a bike with full-size wheels, and indeed its 26in wheels are exactly what you’d find on mountain bikes of yesterday.

It’ll fold into a shape that’s suitable for public transport in around a minute, while its travel-friendly ‘case fold’ will take around 10 minutes.

Unlike most bikes on this list, the Joey is a genuine option for those wanting to take on serious miles, ride sportives or even go touring. It has got a grown-up spec with a SRAM 1x drivetrain and disc brakes, meaning it’ll even venture off-road without trouble.

Airnimal supports this model with a whole host of accessories, from racks and mudguards to light brackets. There’s even an additional kit that converts the Joey’s case into a trailer for self-supported travel.

Bickerton Junction 1307 Country

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Junction is a comfortable and stylish ride for city streets.
  • £449 as tested
  • Folded dimensions: (H)40x(L)80x(W)72cm / 15.8×31.5×28.2in

This Bickerton is an excellent choice for those looking for a cheap folding bike.

The classic design of the bike actually predates Brompton models, while the Bickerton Junction is several hundred pounds cheaper than even the most basic Brompton. At 13kg, it’s not the lightest folding bike, but it is definitely acceptable considering the low price.

The fold isn’t as neat as that of some rivals, but it’s fine for those popping the bike in the back of a car. Its handlebar height has to be reset after each fold too.

We thought the Bickerton’s 7-speed Shimano drivetrain could have been taller, but overall the comfortable ride and stylish looks won us over.

Brompton P Line

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Brompton P Line has replaced the Superlight in Brompton’s range.
Lucy Rowe / Our Media
  • £2,100 / $2,750 / €2,550 as tested
  • Folded dimensions: 645x585x270mm

The Brompton P Line was launched in November 2021, replacing the Brompton Superlight in the brand’s simplified range.

Similar to the Superlight, the P Line places an emphasis on low weight with a steel and titanium frame that tips the scales at 10kg, with a front carrier block.

The bike has a four-speed gearing system, which helped us get up all but the steepest climbs in testing. We found the brakes impressive, too.

The mudguards help you get to your destination with a dry bum and collapsing the bike is quick.

Overall, the Brompton P Line is a practical, fast and low-weight machine. However, the weight savings do place the P Line at the more expensive end of Brompton’s range of folding bikes.

GoCycle G4

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The GoCycle is a folding electric bike with a brisk motor.
Dave Caudery / Our Media
  • £3,999 / $4,999 as tested
  • Folded dimensions: TBC

The GoCycle is a folding electric bike that combines a smart design and a great ride.

It has a unique single-sided frame design and a relatively long wheelbase with a relaxed head tube, avoiding the twitchiness that can come with riding a small-wheeled bike.

The bike still folds up small and can fit in a car boot, despite the long wheelbase.

The motor system monitors speed and cadence to determine how much speed you need, and we found this bike to be nippier than some other electric bikes.

Chunky tyres and suspension mean the G4 can tackle rough terrain.

Hummingbird Single Speed Flax

4.0 out of 5 star rating
It’s certainly distinctive.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media
  • £3,995 / $4,946 / €4,549 / AU$7,037 as tested
  • Folded dimensions: 177x60x20cm

This folding bike from Hummingbird contains flax fibres, which the brand claims makes the frame lighter than a carbon fibre equivalent and better dampens vibrations. The bike weighs in at just 6.9kg.

The rear end is made of alloy and is held in place by a simple quick-release. The fork is carbon.

Folding the bike is very easy – simply undo the rear quick-release lever and sweep the rear end under the front. The handlebars then drop beside the wheels and once you lower the seatpost, the bike is locked in place. The pedals fold, too.

We found it rode rather well – it’s very comfortable and the handling is swift, even when negotiating through peak traffic at slow speeds.

Minor negatives are the high price and a couple of lower-grade parts choices, such as the crankset and Tektro R539 dual-pivot brakes.

Tern BYB S11

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Tern has superb handling for a folding bike.
Robert Smith
  • £2,300 / $2,495 as tested
  • Folded dimensions: (H)81x(L)52x(W)35cm  / 32x20x14in

Another folding bike with a ride quality close to that of a non-folder is this premium model from Tern. The BYB S11 offers one of the best rides of any folding bike out there thanks to its stiff frame design, long wheelbase and 20-inch wheels.

Its slimline fold is impressive, but isn’t as compact or as easy as the Brompton’s. However, its integrated trolley wheels make it easy to move, even if it does weigh 13.3kg.

We really enjoyed the wide gear range from its 11-speed, 11-32 cassette and 54-tooth chainring combination, making it an ideal companion for longer distances.

The multiple adjustments at the handlebar and stem, plus the telescopic seatpost, mean you can really get this bike to fit your body correctly.

Also consider:

Tern Link A7

3.5 out of 5 star rating
The riding experience on the Link A7 is very natural.
  • £475 / $399 as tested
  • Folded dimensions: (H)39.5x(L)80x(W)73cm / 15.6×31.5×28.7in

The Tern Link A7 folding bike had to be included despite not quite scoring the usual 4-star rating required to get into a BikeRadar best list. This is because the bike presents very good value for money.

The Tern is an accomplished folding bike with a decent ride, but its large 20in wheels mean it doesn’t fold down as small as some of the competition.

There’s plenty of spec for the money, with V-brakes and a 7-speed Shimano Tourney transmission. The 12.1kg total weight is great when you consider the retail price.

Mudguards are an option and there are even eyelets for a rear rack, should you want to take some weight from your shoulders.

Folding bikes: a buyer’s guide

Depending on your budget, compromises have to be made somewhere on foldability, ride, handling or spec.

However, the best folding-bike designs pack down small and quickly, can be easily carried then stored under your office desk, and offer a ride quality not far off most full-sized bikes.

They’ll also last you a long time if properly cared for, but they don’t exactly come cheap.

What will you use it for?

Folding bikes are great for commuting.
Warren Rossiter / Our Media

Not all folding bikes are designed to pack down as small as possible. Some folders arrive with full-size wheels that offer exactly the same riding position as their non-collapsible brethren, but they might not be the best choice if you have to battle busy rail networks twice a day. So consider your specific needs before you buy.

The good news is that many folding bikes come with luggage racks or fixings. Other essentials such as mudguards and lights are readily available, and while you might have to forgo that water bottle cage, that’s no great hardship for short urban journeys.

Some brands, such as Brompton, even have their own range of luggage, accessories and clothing, and want you to think of the brand as a lifestyle rather than ‘just’ a mode of transport. Folding bikes certainly do cultivate a keen following.

Folding bikes are targeted by thieves

You’ll want to lock up your bike when not in use.
Jack Luke / Immediate Media

Folding bikes are very popular with thieves. That said, part of their appeal is that they can be parked under your desk or wheeled into a supermarket, so they tend not to be kept outside as regularly as conventional bicycles.

If you are going to keep your folder in a public place, then please use one of the best bike locks, preferably secured around both the frame and wheels, and get the bike insured.

How much do I need to spend?

Folding bikes can be found at nearly every price point, from a couple of hundred pounds up to the multiple thousands.

It’s almost certainly a false economy to buy the cheapest one out there: the components will be lower-quality and heavier, they’ll wear out faster and your purchase is more likely to end up unloved in the shed or a skip.

On the other hand, you don’t need to buy a carbon-framed wonder-bike to get something that’s light enough to carry up a flight of stairs, or convey you and your lunch to the office.

Our buying guide will help explain what you should expect for your money and highlight the features commonly found at each price point.

Folding bikes under £500 / $650 / AU$850

Folding bikes don’t need to cost the earth.

Simplicity is your watchword at this price point. Avoid elaborate folding mechanisms with lots of moving parts that can go wrong and don’t be tempted by fancy features such as disc brakes or suspension forks. These will usually mean cost savings have been made elsewhere.

If you live in a hilly city, then you can still find models with more than one gear at this price point. Conventional derailleur gears and internal hub gears are common, with the latter often requiring less maintenance, albeit at the expense of a little more weight.

Rim or V-brakes are commonplace here and they are fine. They may lack the outright stopping power of disc brakes, but if the right ones are chosen they’ll provide many, many miles of hassle-free riding.

Watch out for cheap saddles and tyres that are prone to puncturing.

Folding bikes under £1,000 / $1,300 / AU$1,700

It’s worth checking the way in which the bike folds is suitable for your needs.

As you move up in price, folding bikes begin to hit the sweet spot of ride quality, portability and longevity.

If you’re using a train on your daily commute, then you’ll likely be folding and unfolding it a lot. So the components need to be up to the job and the ride quality should be good enough to give confidence on busy city streets.

The components used on bikes in this price bracket will usually be vastly superior to entry-level bikes. Expect quality contact points (that’s the grips, saddle and pedals) and tyres with impressive puncture resistance and comfort.

Folding bikes over £1,000 / $1,300 / AU$1,700

Bromptons tend to start just over the £1,000 mark.
Katherine Moore / Our Media

Now we’re getting into the realm of money-no-object components and materials. Look out for disc brakes, carbon frames, suspension and slick gearing. Some even have drop bars like a ‘proper’ road bike.

At this price point, folding bikes tend to become more specialised; you’ll see fast, lightweight bikes designed for road riding, chunkier options that can actually be ridden off-road, and touring bikes that don’t leave you swearing in the back of beyond after a few hundred miles.

The fact these bikes fold down can be considered a bonus rather than their primary function. They’re usually aimed more at riders focused on a particular discipline who want to travel often or store their bike more easily, rather than the commuter end of the market.

Which folding bike should I buy?

The key thing to work out is what you will use it for.
Joseph Branston / Immediate Media

Folding bikes have come a long way in the past couple of decades, with the best ones capable of becoming a reliable four-season friend. The key to picking the right one is identifying what you’ll use it for and how far you plan to ride it, and then spending accordingly.

The smaller-wheeled versions suit shorter journeys best, but that’s certainly not to knock them: their ride quality can be very impressive.

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Larger-wheeled choices offer a more familiar ‘feel’, but they can’t be as easily collapsed into a small package or stowed away on a busy train or bus.