Folding bikes as we know them have been around since the early 1980s and have steadily grown in popularity ever since. They’re a common sight in most big cities and have become a popular option for commuters. Being able to fold your bike into the size of a large backpack makes for an extremely versatile mode of transport, allowing you to enjoy all the benefits of riding a bike without the drawbacks surrounding its bulk. If we could summarise folding bikes in one word it would be ‘practical’. Here are just some of the advantages of folding bikes over traditional bikes.
1. Easy to transport
Aside from being excellent modes of transport themselves, folding bikes are very easy to transport themselves. A folding bike can be taken with you virtually wherever you go; they fit comfortably on buses and trains and can fit neatly into even the smallest of car boots. It makes cycling a viable option every day!
Their ability to be transported easily also makes them ideal for commuters. It’s common for commuters who live in the suburbs of a city to drive to their nearest train station and take the train into the city, leaving their car by the station all day for them to pick up on their journey home. This can be a costly endeavour. As well as a season ticket, you’ll have to pay for fuel, parking fees, and potentially leave your bike at risk all day (depending on the security of the car park you choose). With a folding bike, you can cycle to your closest station and taking your bike with you. You’ll avoid these costs and the risk to your car and reap the health benefits of cycling every morning and evening. What better way to start your day with than with a bike ride?
2. Easy storage
An obvious advantage of a folding bike is that it takes up far less space than a traditional bike. Unless you’re fortunate enough to have a huge house and maybe a shed or garage, storing a traditional bike can be a problem. It’s too cumbersome for most people to carry upstairs in an apartment building and simply takes up too much space in modern inner-city flats. A folding bike can easily be carried and slotted away, even in the smallest of domiciles. Slide it under your bed or keep it at the bottom of your wardrobe and you’d never know you had a fully-functioning bike in your home!
Their small footprint also makes them ideal for being stored at your place of work. Unless your workplace has space to store bikes or a dedicated bike shed of some kind, cycling to work is pretty much ruled-out for you. A folding bike removes this problem altogether; it’s small enough to store under your desk or leave in the cloakroom.
Being compact and easy to carry with you means folding bikes are rarely left in a place where they’re at risk of being stolen. There’s no need to leave it chained up outside the office all day or tied to a lamppost when you meet a friend at the cinema or for coffee. You won’t have to constantly worry if your bike will still be when you go to ride it home.
A folding bike removes this worry; when you head to a coffee shop or the cinema, simply fold the bike and place it under your seat just like you would with a large backpack. On top of this, folding bikes are generally less of a target for bike thieves since they’re so niche.
4. Environmental benefits
The above factors mean that folding bikes are likely to be used very often – more often than traditional bikes, at least. For this reason, they further reduce a rider’s use of fossil fuels. As we’ve mentioned, situations, where you’d usually like to cycle but having a full-sized bike, is impractical, such as when going to the train station on your commute, you’d usually take a car. However, when you own a folding bike, you can use it in this exact situation instead of taking a car. So while a folding bike is inherently no more environmentally friendly than a regular bike, the fact that it’s so versatile means you’re going to use it more often and rely less on fossil fuels. Not only is it good for your health, but it’s also good for the Earth’s.
5. Strong second-hand folding bikes resale market
For many, a big drawback of traditional bikes, and several other forms of personal transport for that matter, is the rate at which they depreciate. Traditional bikes can lose up to half of their value after just one year! However, folding bikes tend to depreciate far less, so you can buy a folding buy with the confidence that if you’d like to sell it in a few years, you won’t make much of a loss. Also, since folding bikes tend to come with a slightly higher price tag than other bikes, buying second-hand is a very popular option.
Here at Furo Systems, we believe that folding bikes will continue to grow in popularity. We also love electric bikes, which is why we developed the eTura and the Furo X. The eTura is the world’s lightest electric folding bike, weighing just 12kgs thanks to its carbon fibre body. Our Furo X is one of the world’s most powerful electric folding bikes and dubbed “bloody fantastic” to ride by T3 magazine. Make the city your playground and never have a bad commute again.