The Cheapest Folding Bikes
We get it. Not everyone is as obsessed with the quality of a derailleur as we are. Sometimes you just need to get to work on time. But what do you do if part of your commute involves a train journey? Will you just not be able to afford to ride?
You'd be forgiven for thinking so. Take a glance at any traffic light queue and you'll see a handful of shiny and very expensive Brompton's with evangelical owners. But in reality, there's actually quite a large range of very affordable folding bikes on the market. They might not last a lifetime, but they'll certainly see you through a few seasons of getting to and from the office.
So without further ado, we present the 10 cheapest folding bikes out there right now.
Raleigh Stowaway 7, £275
The Raleigh Stowaway 7 is a good value option for any budding folding-bike owner. Shimano gears and puncture-proof tyres lend a bit of integrity to a bike which is really very, very cheap. Unfortunately it weighs in at a hefty 15kg so perhaps not the best option for those of you that want to climb numerous flights of stairs with it!
Tern Link C7 2015, £440
Tern bikes haven't been around long, but their folding bikes seem to be of good build quality and excellent value. This is 'The Basic One' (or the Tern Link C7), and it comes in a range of different colours and has a quick mechanism that should have you all-folded within 15 seconds.
Its big brother, the D8, has gotten some really excellent reviews and therefore we're more inclined to trust Tern's lower-priced offering too. Obviously this model is intended for much lighter use, but it shouldn't fail on you in a comedic manner.
Top tip: The 2013 and 2014 versions of this bike are currently looking very cheap on Evans Cycles.
B'Twin Tilt 700 Folding Bike, £379.99
This B'Twin Tilt 700 Folding Bike is priced at a very reasonable £379.99, it only takes a second to unfold (a bit longer to fold!). It also comes with Decathlon's lifetime warranty for the frame, stem, handlebar and fork.
It's perfect for the person who wants to be able to ride home from the shop too as it comes with built in lights (can't ever be forgotten!) and hub gearing to minimise the need for maintenance. We reckon this is a great deal for total cycling newbies.
Matex BFold 3 Folding Bike, £139.99
It may be the cheapest bike on our list, but is the Matex BFold 3 the most cheerful too? It's certainly not a bad option for those of you that don't wish to spend a fortune: it's sensibly single speed meaning that the cheap components are less likely to let you down.
Essentially: this bike knows it's cheap, and has therefore gone for being simple. And we think that's a really sound design decision to have been made. It also comes with a fantastic lifetime warranty for the frame, brackets and stem.
Bickerton Junction 1607 Country Folding Bike, £399.99
7 gears and a quick and easy folding mechanism for 12.4kg makes this Bickerton Junction 1607 Country Folding Bike a great deal. It also comes with lots of the fiddly bits that are great for city riding already included – a kickstand, rack and mudguards are ready for you new commute!
We also reckon it's quite pretty for a folding bicycle – what do you reckon?
Dahon Vybe C7A Folding Bike, £385
We love the turquoise detailing on the Dahon Vybe c7A Folding Bike, and the price to boot! At only £385 the parts are long-lasting, the mechanism works great (15 second to fold) and it's surprisingly light (11.46 kg).
We would really recommend that if you can stretch up towards the £400 mark, to consider the Vybe C7A. It's definitely more than the sum of its parts.
Dawes Jack, £314.99
We've previously recommended the more expensive folding bike from Dawes – the Kingpin. However, this Dawes Jack bicycle comes in just a bit cheaper and will provide any keen commuter with what they need from a folding bike.
It comes with Shimano 6 speed derailleur gears, double wall alloy rims and mudguards to ensure you're ready to take on rush hour.
Apollo Tuck Folding Bike, £199.99
Our third least expensive bicycle, the Apollo Tuck is certainly bare bones, but may suit someone doing very limited mileage. It comes in at a rather hefty 14.2kg , but does have a kickstand and those all-important mud guards to prevent you arrive to a meeting with mud up the back of your jacket.
It's got 6 speed Shimano gears too – so perfect for those of you looking for a super budget model but not keen on a single speed (the Matex above).
Carrera Transit Folding Bike, £299.99
This Carrera Transit Folding Bike sits just south of the £300 mark, and for that you get a rarity among cheap folding bikes: hub gears.
If you're looking for minimal maintenance you should be looking at a single speed bicycle, or one with hub gearing like this. It means everything is tucked away from the elements and you'll be riding for a longer period before having to go to the bike shop. Perfect for the busy commuter.
Raleigh ACTIV Steel Folding Bike, £189.99
Another absolute bargain, the Raleigh ACTIV Steel Folding Bike is a good option for those scared of spending too much on their first folding frame.
It's a 6-speed, no nonsense model that has two wheels and a seat. What more do you need?