Are Folding Bikes Harder To Ride? 7 Tips For Long & Comfortable Rides

By Mark Plummer •  Updated: 08/09/22 •  7 min read

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Foldable bikes are slightly smaller than regular bikes. This provides more convenience, as they will be easier to store. But there is concern about whether the compact design could affect its performance.

So, are foldable bikes harder to ride than regular bikes?

No. Foldable bikes aren’t harder to ride than conventional models. After a few trips, the cyclist should adapt to the new biking experience. Foldable bikes can be easily ridden over long distances comfortably. Plus, they can achieve similar speeds to traditional bicycles. 

Are Folding Bikes Harder To Ride
Are Folding Bikes Harder To Ride?

Though there are distinctions between foldable bikes and regular options, performance isn’t one of them. As long as you choose the right type of foldable bike, you should be able to ride comfortably.

Keep reading to learn more about how it feels to ride a foldable bike and some tips you can use to create a better experience.

Are Folding Bikes Comfortable To Ride?

Usually, foldable bikes are comfortable to ride. Though a few elements, like the wheels’ size and the frame’s weight, will impact performance. It’s recommended that cyclists set aside a few shorter trips to familiarize themselves with the intricacies of riding a foldable bike. 

Is A Foldable Bike Difficult To Ride
Is A Foldable Bike Difficult To Ride?

Usually, the experience of riding a foldable will be similar to riding a regular road bike.

These devices have been engineered to ensure that you sit and pedal the same way. That said, there are a few key differences, including:

Because of this, riders who move from regular to folding bikes might feel slightly different. The folding variety might be a little finicky and marginally harder to control.

This is because the smaller wheels give them a tighter turn radius.

However, this will just take a bit of getting used to. If this is your first time riding a foldable bike, here are some of the things you might want to do:

The good news is that it should only take a few minutes to get used to the new foldable bike.

Another common problem is that a foldable bike can be more sensitive to potholes.

Because the wheels are smaller than a regular bike, they will be more susceptible to shocks.

There isn’t a lot that riders can do about this. It’s best to scan the path ahead and avoid any rough areas.

Though each foldable bike will be slightly different. Here are some of the elements that can affect the bike’s performance:

It’s a good idea to take a prospective bike for a road trip before deciding if it’s the right choice.

Are Folding Bikes Good For Long Rides?

Cyclists shouldn’t have a problem riding a foldable bike over a long distance. They might need to make a few adjustments, like customizing the tires or changing the suspension. Sometimes, choosing an electric model for uphill sections might be best. 

A foldable bike will often be used for a shorter trip to work.

But some people might want to take it for a more extended trip. Usually, a touring bike will be used for these journeys. If you are short on space, you might have to use a folding bike.

Can You Ride A Foldable Bike Over A Long Distance
Can You Ride A Foldable Bike Over A Long Distance?

There are a few reasons why you might want to go on a longer trip with a foldable bike.

First, you will be able to fold it up.

This makes it easy to store it on an overnight trip, allowing you to check into a hotel. Plus, you can take it on public transport.

Though, many of these bikes are designed for short trips. On a longer journey, you can expect a few potential problems. These include:

Can You Go Fast On A Foldable Bike?

Most foldable bikes will allow you to travel 10 to 12 miles per hour. This is roughly equivalent to what you can achieve on a traditional bicycle. The speeds you can achieve will depend on a few factors, including the weight of the bike and the technique used. 

Another critical area to consider is how fast you can go on a foldable bike. There is a perception that foldable bikes aren’t as fast as traditional bikes because of their smaller wheels.

Can You Go Fast On A Foldable Bike
How Fast Can You Go On A Foldable Bike?

But this isn’t true.

You can usually achieve similar speeds to a traditional bike, with most cyclists going between 10 to 12 miles per hour on a foldable bike.

If you want to travel quickly on a foldable bike, there are a few things that you will need to consider. These include:

Final Thoughts

Foldable bikes are straightforward to ride. You should adjust to the cycle and learn how to handle it within a few sessions. After this, they can provide a comfortable way to ride to work each day. Or you can use them for touring over longer distances.



Mark Plummer

Mark Plummer is an experienced bike mechanic who has built, repaired, and customized thousands of bikes over the years. A former mountain biking athlete, his cycling adventures have taken him all over the globe from the mountains of Scotland to the South Island of New Zealand. These days he enjoys the benefits of commuting to work and touring on his Dahon and Brompton folding bikes.

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