Are Foldable Bikes Safe? 4 Most Common Folding Bike Problems

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

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There are lots of things to consider when choosing a bike. Comfort, affordability, and size are all essential elements. But safety should always be at the top of the list. So, are folding bikes safe for riders?

Yes. Foldable bikes are considered safe, having gone through an extensive testing process. Issues like suspension or steering difficulties can occur. But these are minor concerns. Cyclists can improve safety through simple actions like wearing helmets and regular maintenance. 

Are Folding Bikes Safe
Are Folding Bikes Safe To Ride?

A folding bike can be the ideal way to make your commute to work a little easier.

But if you are going to be using them every day, you want to ensure that they will be safe to use. Keep reading to learn about any potential safety issues associated with folding bikes and how you can overcome them.

What Are The Main Problems With Folding Bikes?

The smaller wheels might make these bikes harder to control and cause suspension control problems. At other times, assembly issues or excessive weight can be placed onto the frame. These issues, though, tend to be relatively minor and shouldn’t compromise the rider’s safety. 

The good news is that folding bikes usually don’t cause safety problems.

What Are The Main Safety Concerns For Foldable Bikes
What Are The Main Safety Concerns For Foldable Bikes?

But that doesn’t mean that they are perfect. Here are the most common folding bike problems you might face and how to address them.

1. Folding Bikes Can Be Harder To Control

Foldable bikes have smaller wheels than conventional ones. This can make them more sensitive to steering changes. Because of this, some users have reported being harder to control.

But this usually isn’t a big problem.

You should put in a little extra time when learning how to ride a folding bike. This will allow you to get used to how it handles, so you don’t get into accidents.

2. Smaller Wheels Offer Less Suspension

Another potential problem is that the smaller wheels offer less suspension. As a result, you will feel bumps in the road. Some riders have even been thrown from their bike.

In most cases, hitting a pothole will result in a jolt. While this might be a little uncomfortable for the rider, it isn’t going to create any significant problems.

The jolt can also place more pressure on the bike hinges, which might snap. Because of this, you should keep your eyes open when riding, avoiding potholes.

3. Foldable Bikes Have A Lower Weight Limit

All bikes will have a set weight limit. This is determined based on the force the frame can withstand. If you exceed this, there is a chance that the hinges could snap. Though rare, as discussed in the next section, it can happen.

The weight limit for a foldable bike is a little lower than for a traditional bike. Here are the standard figures:

It’s best to check with the manufacturer’s instructions before you start riding. You shouldn’t have any problems if you don’t overload the bike.  

4. You May Face Assembly Issues

When you first get used to the folding bike, carrying it can be a little awkward. Sometimes, you might get stuck trying to get the bike through a narrow space.

At other times, you might jab your fingers while trying to set it up. Once you get used to getting it set up, though, you shouldn’t have any problems.

While these situations might be painful, they will only affect beginner cyclists. As you gain experience, you’ll get better at assembling and transporting the bike.

In general, though, the process of riding a folding bike is the same as riding a regular model. They usually have to meet the same safety standards as conventional bikes.

Will A Folding Bike Collapse While You’re Riding It?

Will A Folding Bike Collapse When You're Riding It
Will A Folding Bike Collapse When You’re Riding It?

It is rare for a foldable bike to collapse; due to the stringent safety measures they need to meet. But these events have happened. It’s recommended that cyclists choose bikes made from quality materials and perform regular inspections to reduce the risk of collapse. 

A conventional bike has a solid frame, which can take an exceptional amount of force. However, a folding bike won’t. You will need to assemble it yourself. This has caused some people to become concerned that the frame will collapse.

Historically, folding bikes have been recalled because of the chance that they will collapse. However, this is rare.

There are a few reasons why these collapses might occur, including:

Provided you stick to a reputable manufacturer, you shouldn’t face any of these problems. If you have an issue with a new bike, it will usually be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

To ensure you are safe, you should inspect it for cracks every few months. These are most concerning when they occur around the hinges.

A small crack doesn’t mean you must stop riding the bike. Some people have continued to ride a bike for a few years after discovering the damage. But you should take it to a professional for an examination.

What Are Some Safety Tips When Using A Folding Bike?

What Are Some Safety Tips When Using A Folding Bike
What Are Some Safety Tips When Using A Folding Bike?

If you want to ride a folding bike safely, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Here are some of the protocols that you should be following:

Usually, though, as long as you use some common sense, you shouldn’t have any problems.

Final Thoughts

Safety should be a key consideration when choosing a folding bike. The good news is that foldable bikes have an exceptional track record.

Their frames should be just as strong as a traditional bike.

Despite strong regulation, some folding bike brands might try to skirt the law with inferior materials, which might be liable to breaking. But as long as you purchase from a trusted seller, you shouldn’t have to worry about the quality of the product.

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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