Folding Bikes vs Regular Bikes 2023: 7 Surprising Advantages

By Mark Plummer •  Updated: 02/15/22 •  7 min read

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More and more commuters are starting to use bicycles because of the advantages they bring to the table. Using bicycles instead of vehicles to go to work not only minimizes your carbon footprint but also allows you to perform some physical exercise that’s good for your health.

Different bikes come with additional weight and size specifications, and there are also many types of bikes available in the market, including foldable and regular bikes. 

You need to consider features, but you should also consider the type before buying a bicycle. Therefore, choosing the right bike can be a challenging task. 

If you can’t decide whether to buy a foldable bike or a regular bicycle, you have come to the right place. This post discusses the folding bike vs regular bike comparison in detail.

Folding Bike vs Regular Bike: Which is For You?

The most significant difference between folding and regular bikes is the frame. The folding bike comes with a folding frame, while you can’t fold a regular bike. The material (synthetic fiber like Kevlar) used to make tires of folding bikes is also different.

Folding Bike vs Regular Bike
Folding Bike vs Regular Bike

This material allows you to fold the tires of your folding bike. One of the main advantages of folding bikes is that you can ride them to reach a nearby metro, train, or bus and fold it to go onboard. 

You can’t do the same if you have a full-size regular bike. The folding bikes have lighter tires than traditional bikes, and they also use small wheels. 

If you need a bicycle that’s easy to store so that you can get to work or school comfortably, a folding bike will suit you the best.

Read next: Citizen Folding Bikes Guide

A folding bike comes with better construction (sometimes even better features) portability, and they’re easy to store and carry. 

But they are more expensive than regular bikes. On the other hand, if you need a bicycle for casual cycling and you’re not planning to use it for commuting, a standard bike can do the job.

What is a Foldable/Folding Bike?

What is a Folding Bike
What is a Folding Bike?

As the name implies, a foldable bike is a bike that can be folded so that it occupies less space. Almost all folding bikes are easy to carry, lightweight, and practical.

Unlike a regular bike, you can fold one of these bikes and take it inside the metro or bus without needing to pay any extra charges.

Additionally, you can also store folding bikes in the trunk of your car. Some companies now even offer high-quality electric folding bicycles. 

One of the best features of a folding bike is that its seat post and handlebars can extend up to three to four times more than a regular bike.

Some manufacturers even offer folding bikes which separate into a couple of pieces to take even less space. Generally, foldable bikes come in 20-inch and 16-inch wheel sizes. 

However, other sizes are also available. All these features make folding bikes the perfect option for commuting.

Folding bikes can be categorized as the following based on the folding mechanism.

Folding bikes can have both large and small wheels, and the size of wheels ranges from 16 to 26 inches. 

However, if you need a portable folding bike for commuting or any other purpose, consider buying one that comes with a small wheel. 

That’s because these models are specially designed to provide enhanced acceleration, portability, and maneuverability.

A Little History of Folding Bikes

One of the very first models of folding bikes was developed back in 1900, and at that time, they were used as war equipment. 

At that time, folding bikes provided transport to British soldiers because of portability and easy maintenance. Ordinary people started taking an interest in foldable bikes in the 1970s. 

Advantages of Folding Bikes

Disadvantages of Folding Bikes

What is a Regular Bike?

A regular bike is a simple bike that consists of wheels, frame, handlebar, and seat. The components of a standard bike are made of different materials, including titanium, carbon fiber, steel, and aluminum. People first used bicycles as a means of transport.

They were mainly used by the military, paramedics, police, and messengers to travel from place to place to perform their duties and work by saving time. 

Now regular bikes are also used to perform exercise and for recreational purposes. Some cyclists like to get on their bikes and take long rides around rural and urban circuits for weeks.

A Little History of Regular Bikes

During the 19th century, the Europeans made the first bike in Europe. Later on, Germany started making wooden bikes, but the first chain and pedal system of regular bikes was created and implemented by France.

Pros of Regular Bikes

Cons of Regular Bikes

Folding Bike vs Road Bike

A road bike is known for its skinny tires and dropped-down handlebars. Yet again, the construction and design are the main differences between a folding bike and a road bike.

If you live in a small apartment and need to take your bike on the bus or metro, a folding bike will be the best option. You can go with a road bike if you don’t have such requirements and only need speed.

Top Benefits of a folding bike vs road bike

Top Benefits of a road bike vs folding bike

Folding Bike vs Mountain Bike

Folding Bike vs Mountain Bike
Folding Bike vs Mountain Bike

Mountain bikes are specially designed for long rides and extremely rough and challenging terrains. They come with a sturdier build and are the most suitable option for off-roading. 

The wheel size of a mountain bike is also larger than a folding bike to offer more traction on rough surfaces.

If you are an adventurer and need a bike for off-roading, then a mountain bike will suit you the best. You won’t use a folding bike for such purposes because it comes with smaller wheels and weaker construction.

Final Words

As you can see, each bike type has its advantages and benefits. The best bike for you will be the one that suits all your unique needs. So, the better approach is to define your needs first and then look for the most suitable bicycle.

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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