We had produced the Top 5 Folding Bicycles back in 2020 but a flood of new models have emerged since. This has prompted us to update the list to have these new models for 2023 and extend this list with 11 of the Best Folding Bikes 2023.
For all you fellow commuters who have to regularly endure standing pressed up against a random strangers armpit and discard any boundaries of personal space this weeks blog is just for you. Folding bikes are not reserved purely for Rapha wearing investment bankers so we have tried to give an option for all budgets.
With folding bikes so easy to steal it is worth knowing how to find the serial number on your bike. Make sure to note down somewhere securely your folding bike serial number should it be stolen.
How we selected the folding bikes
Trivelo is not just one voice but a panel of experts to compile lists such as this 11 best folding bikes. There are over 100 writers who contribute to articles bringing together decades of expertise. Coupled with this we have direct relationships with over 250 manufacturers to help find the best and latest products.
Check out the list of best folding bikes for commuters with limited storage space.
Folding Bikes Buyers Guide
Folding bikes come in many different shapes, sizes and styles. With so many great folding bikes on the market naming the “best” one will depend on your specific needs and preferences. But I share my view of what is the best based on feedback from all our panel of writers.
Most folding bikes are highly adjustable using a one-size-fits-all frame. When buying a folding bike consider wheel size, weight, gears, and additional features to find the perfect folding bike for your needs. Our list helps with information on all these categories.
- Wheel Size – Folding bikes tend to come with 20″ wheels but this is not a fixed size. There are bikes with alternative sizes. When buying consider the type of distances you are riding and over what surface to consider the best wheels for you folding bike. Longer distances will be more suited to a larger wheel with more stability.
- Weight – The main consideration with weight on a folding bike is for the transition element. Namely when you are carrying them as part of a commute. If you have significant stairs and potential train connections to meet then you need to seek the lightest folding bike you can find. Lighter weight bikes tend to be more expensive using more costly materials and components to keep weight down.
- Gears – Gearing on a folding bike will vary and you should consider your needs based on typical riding. If you have a hilly route to traverse a geared folding bike will suit you more. Ideally a folding bike with a good range of gears to accomodate the climb.
- Folded Dimensions – Each of the bikes have different folding dimensions. This is likely to be increasingly relevevant if you have limited storage space for a folding bike. A more compact folding bike will be key to your buying decision if you have limited space for it.
Best Folding Bike 2023
Brompton C Line Explore Folding Bicycle
Trivelo Score 4.5 / 5
Price – £1,450
The only candidate for the number one slot in our Top folding bicycles. The original and most peoples perception of what is meant by a folding bike. It has become an inter-changeable term for folding bike in the same way Hoover as a brand defines vacuum cleaners. The UK classic brand Brompton are top of the pile and the most expensive bike in our list. They provide a single frame size running on a set of comedy sized 16 inch wheels but allow you to then customise the bike with colours, number of gears and handlebar styles. The bikes are effortless to fold and relatively lightweight at under 12kg. The Brompton M3L comes with internal 6 speed hub that gives it a good range for most cyclists using it for inner city commuting.
Brompton C Line Specification
|Number of Gears||6|
|Chain set||BSR 6 Speed|
|Pedals||Brompton folding on left. Aluminium cage flat pedal on right|
|Brakeset||Brompton dual-pivot callipers|
|Wheelset||Brompton standard 6 Speed BSR|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Marathon Racer|
|Folded Dimensions||58cm x 56cm x 27cm|
Best Price for the Brompton C Line bike
Best current price – £1450 from Tredz
If you are looking for an electric folding bike we have a separate post for you. We have done a deep dive on folding eBikes with 9 Best Folding Electric Bikes 2023 – Buyers Guide for Commuters. Read and compare all models. We have listed a couple of our favourite folding eBikes in this post but if you are purely looking for electric bikes then check our post.
Cheapest Folding Bike 2023
B’Twin Tilt 120 Folding Bike
Trivelo Score 4 / 5
Price – £249.99
The challenger in the line-up and a huge difference in price between this and the Brompton. This is the cheapest folding bike in our line up and an incredible package for under £300. The price has gone up in 2023 but only by £30. It has a 6 gear system built into the hub and comes with mudguards and a saddle height that can accommodate all but the tallest of cyclists. Styling wise it steals much of its cues from the Brompton but fails to fold down into quite such a small package when commuting. Heavier as well at 14.5kg which is straying towards the weight of electric folding bikes but at this price you can’t really grumble.
For under £300 this is incredible value and Decathlon continue to manage supply well so stock is good to buy this now. This is the best budget folding bike.
BTwin Tilt 120 Bike Specification
|Number of Gears||6|
|Chain set||6-speed Shimano TZ20 14/28 freewheel|
|Handlebars||Steel low-rise bars|
|Wheelset||20-inch, single-wall rims. Steel hub.|
|Tyres||20 x 1.75 gumwall city tyres|
|Saddle||Comfortable, seamless foam saddle|
|Seatpost||steel seat post|
|Accessories||Compatible with the Tilt transport cover|
|Folded Dimensions||78cm x 66cm x 36cm|
Best Price for the BTwin Tilt 120 folding bike
Best price – £279.99 from Decathlon
Trivelo Score 3 / 5
Price – £459.99
A similar proportioned bike to the B’Twin with a somewhat ugly cabling system running up the elongated handlebar stem. The frame is aluminium sporting a 3 speed Shimano Nexus set of gears but comes complete with mudguards and a rear pannier that certainly makes it versatile but contributes to a bucket load of extra weight resulting in it tipping the scales at 15kg.
A very good alternative to the B’Twin Tilt 120 Folding Bike. The Dawes Diamond has the added flexibility of a rear pannier system to help with bag transport. Otherwise another great budget folding bike option.
Dawes Diamond Specification
|Frame||Dawes 6061 Alloy folding frame|
|Fork||Dawes Hi-Tensile Unicrown Steel fork|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Nexus Internal Hub|
|Number of Gears||3|
|Shifters||Shimano Revoshift 3 speed|
|Chain set||170mm Alloy cranks / 46T chainring|
|Bottom Bracket||Cartridge BB 123mm axle|
|Cassette||Shimano 18T sprocket|
|Brake Levers||Alloy Levers|
|Handlebars||Dawes Riser Bar|
|Rims||Double Wall Alloy|
|Front Hub||36H Nutted|
|Rear Hub||36H Shimano Nexus|
|Tyres||20″ 1.75″ Tyre|
|Saddle||Dawes custom comfort saddle|
|Seatpost||Alloy 27.2mm x 500mm|
|Folde Dimensions||90cm x 45cm x 65cm|
Best Price for the Dawes Diamond Folding Bike
Best price – £459.99 from Tredz bikes
Best Electric Folding Bike 2023
MiRider One Electric Folding bike
Trivelo Score 4.5 / 5
Price – £1599
Priced at a similar price to the Brompton C Line bike is the MiRider One. The British built MiRider One has an innovative frame design and compact size. Built into the rear frame is a suspension unit that helps make the folding eBike more comfortable when riding. The manufacturers claimed range of 45 miles I found more like 30 miles from use over a 100 miles. With some clever features including the electric boost button for speeds below 4mph it darts around city roads well. The folding size is small enough for carrying on trains but at 17kg in weight you couldn’t carry it far. A very well designed and built single speed folding eBike that is worth a look.
Read more with our review of the MiRider One after a 6 week test of this well priced folding eBike.
MiRider One Specification
|Suspension||Rear Spring Damper|
|Number of Gears||1|
|Brakeset||Clarks CMD-24 disk brakes|
|Wheelset||Alloy double wall|
|Tyres||Schwalbe 16 x 1.75″|
|Folded Dimensions||77cm x 43cm x 68cm|
Best price – £1595 from MiRider
Best Folding Bike for Tall Riders 2023
Tern Link D8
Trivelo Score 3 / 5
Price – £970
With 24″ wheels the Tern Link D8 is the best folding bike for tall riders over 6′ 3″ who may find the Brompton and others a struggle. Folded the Tern comes in bigger than the class leading Brompton but compact enough to be practical while on the move with the bike folded. With a geared hub on the back the rear and Shimano gear set but no mudguards or rear pannier Tern keep the weight down but sacrifice some of the functionality of other manufacturers with this approach. Folding in under 10 seconds a very practical option for commuter cyclists.
Tern Link D8 specification
|Number of Gears||8|
|Tyres||Schwalbe Big Apple|
|Saddle||Bio Logic Como DLX|
|Folded Dimensions||39cm x 86cm x 84cm|
Best Price for the Tern Link D8 Folding Bike
Best price – £970 from Wiggle
Trivelo Score 4 / 5
Price – £3999
The GoCycle G4 folding bike has a hydroformed aluminium main frame with PitstopWheels. This provide great performance at a low weight. The lightweight and durable aluminium frame houses the battery, which provides up to 65km of range with a 7 hour charging time.
Hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power giving you consistent braking performance in all riding conditions. Gearing is provided by internal Shimano Nexus 3 speed hub gears that give you consistent shifting in all conditions. This is coupled with incredibly low maintenance as all the components are protected from the elements.
Prices have shot up through 2022 so the latest prices for 2023 are now £3999 and demand continues to be high.
GoCycle GX Specification
|Frame||Hydro-formed 6061 T6 alloy|
|Fork||6061 T6 alloy|
|Number of Gears||3|
|Chain set||Shimano Nexus|
|Tyres||GoCycle All weathers|
|Folded Dimensions||83cm x 39cm x 75cm|
Buy the GoCycle G4 for £3999 direct from GoCycle
Dahon Mariner D8 Folding Bike
Trivelo Score 3.5 / 5
Price – £650
The Dahon Mariner D8 is another 20″ wheel folding bike. With looks that are similar to the Tern range of folding bikes American manufacturer Dahon produced this well priced option. With 8 gears and a rear rack for panniers it is designed for commuters. Folding dimensions are not as compact as others in this list of the best folding bikes but with 20″ wheels it is always going to struggle. With more focus on riding quality than folded abilities this suits those looking not to compromise the ride in.
Dahon Mariner D8 Specifications
|Fork||Steel Rigid Forks|
|Number of Gears||8|
|Chain set||Shimano Nexus Hub|
|Brakeset||Alloy V Brake|
|Tyre||Schwalbe Impac Bigpac|
|Saddle||Comfort Gel Saddle|
|Folded Dimensions||85cm x 40cm x 69cm|
Best price for the Dahon Mariner D8
Best Folding Mountain Bike
Change Bike folding mountain bike DF-812 Trail Pro
Trivelo Score 4 / 5
Price – £1949
Mountain bikes undergo more strain and challenge than a road bike. Hence traditionally it has been incredibly hard to create an effective folding mechanism. Change Bike have been tackling this and developed their DF-812 Trail Pro MTB that we have fully tested to ensure it was worth including in this list.
The frame has a unique folding system with two quick releases on the seat tube, undo these and the frame folds completely in half. Take the front wheel out, again with a quick release mechanism, and this then attaches to a discreet fixing on the seat stay. The pedals also have a quick release mechanism for easy removal.
Sam from our team spent a fun few weeks testing the Change Bike folding mountain bike. Read his full review of the Change Bike Folding MTB and get his views on this bike and how good it was when put through its paces. Do you notice it is a folding bike when going fully off road?
Change Bike Folding MTB Specification
|Speeds||Shimano Deore 20 Speeds|
|Sizes and Colours||17″, 19″, 21″ / Dark Green, Light Blue, Matte Black|
|Frame||Aerospace-Grade Aluminium 7005 Double Butted, Taiwan Made|
|Front Fork||FOX Performance 32 Float 27.5 FIT4, 1.5T Travel: 100mm|
|Shifter||Shimano Deore SL-M6000|
|Bottom Bracket||Shimano Deore|
|Front Derailleur||Shimano Deore FD-M6025 2x10s|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Deore RD-M6000 10S|
|Sprockets||Shimano CS-HG500 11-42T|
|Crankset||Shimano Deore FC-M627 38x24T 170mm|
|Brake||Shimano Deore BL-M615|
|Wheels||Mavic Crossride 27.5|
|Tyre||Kenda 27.5 x 2.1|
|Handlebar||Aluminium, Barbore 31.8mm, Length 580mm|
|Stem||Aluminium, 31.8mm x 55mm, Steerer: 28.6mm|
|Seat Post||Aluminium, 31.6mm x 300mm|
|Saddle||Prologo Scratch Pro|
|Folded Dimensions||66cm x 96cm x 37cm|
Best Price for the Change Bike Folding MTB
Other Folding Bikes Worth Considering
There are a lot of folding bikes we considered when creating this selection of the best folding bikes for 2023. The following three folding bikes are nearly made our list of favourites and worth a look. Best prices for each of these folding bikes is included and links to buy them now.
Full List of 11 of the Best Folding Bikes 2023
- Brompton C Line Folding Bicycle
- B’Twin Tilt 120 Folding Bicycle
- Dawes Diamond
- MiRider One Folding Bike
- Tern Link C8 Folding Bike
- GoCycle GX 2020
- Dahon Mariner D8 Folding bike
- Change Bike Folding MTB
- Vello Alfine 11
- Airnimal Joey
What are the Benefits of Folding Bikes?
The market for folding bikes continues to expand. No longer restricted to city commuters but the explosion in camper vans and mobile homes finds a growing market alongside the traditional buyers. Through testing the folding bikes in our round-up and from working with our network of suppliers we pulled together the following list of key benefits.
The most obvious benefit of folding bikes is their portability. They are designed to be compact and can be folded down to a fraction of their original size. This makes them easy to carry, store, and transport. You can easily take them on public transportation, store them in small spaces, or even pack them in the trunk of a car.
Convenience for commuting and for travel. Folding bikes are an excellent choice for commuters. They allow you to combine cycling with other modes of transportation, such as buses, trains, or subways. You can quickly fold and unfold the bike, making it effortless to transition between cycling and public transport. This flexibility saves time and eliminates the need for additional parking space.
We don’t all have space for bikes in garages or sheds. For many people living in shared buildings a folding bike is convenient perfect for people with limited storage space. When folded, they take up very little room and can be stored indoors, such as in a closet or under a desk. This eliminates the need for outdoor bike racks or worrying about theft or damage.
Folding bikes offer enhanced security compared to regular bicycles. They can be easily folded, you can bring them inside your workplace, home, or other buildings. As a result it reduces the risk of theft. You have better control over the bike’s safety, and you don’t need to rely on external locking mechanisms.
Health and fitness
Folding bikes offer the same health and fitness benefits as regular bicycles. They provide an excellent cardiovascular workout, help build leg muscles, and improve overall fitness. Regular cycling can also contribute to weight loss, stress reduction, and increased energy levels. Compared to sitting on a bus or tube to travel using a folding bike is better for your physical well-being.
By choosing a folding bike, you’re opting for a greener mode of transportation. Cycling produces zero emissions, helping to reduce air pollution and carbon footprint. Folding bikes can encourage more people to choose cycling as a sustainable alternative to cars or motorcycles, thereby contributing to a healthier environment.
Once you have made the up front investment in a folding bike it is free transport. Every journey taken on a folding bike is money you aren’t spending on transport. Over time this covers the cost of the bike and you begin to make an ongoing saving.
Are Cheap Folding Bikes Worth Buying?
With a range of options in our list of the best folding bikes 2023 you could be spending hundreds or thousands. So, are cheap folding bikes worth buying or should you hold off and pay for a more expensive folding bike?
Cheaper folding bikes such as the B’Twin folding bike from Decathlon have to make compromises. To make them cheaper they inevitably use lower quality materials. You can’t expect a featherweight frame made of carbon for pennies. This can lead to issues such as quicker wear and tear. Higher-quality folding bikes typically use better materials, resulting in greater durability and longevity.
Cheap folding bikes might not perform as well as higher-priced models. The folding mechanism is a complex element of the bike. This can impact the rigidity of the frame and also the compact size when folded for use while travelling or storing. A poorly designed folding mechanism can be frustrating and time-consuming, defeating the purpose of a convenient, quick-fold bike.
Cheap folding bikes tend to be heavier than more expensive models due to the use of less lightweight materials. This can impact their portability, making them less convenient to carry around when folded. A cheap folding bike weighing 15kg or more while the Hummingbird is less than 10kg so a big difference if carrying them.
Final point to consider is resale value. Bromptons hold their value. A 3 year old Brompton folding bike is still likely worth 2/3 of the original price if looked after. A cheap folding bike after 3 years of use is unlikely to have retained half of the original price.