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A folding bike is often advertised as a way of improving the commute to work. This can save you money on fuel costs and public transport. But you’ll first need to purchase one of these bikes, which can represent a sizable investment.
So, how much does a typical folding bike cost?
A basic folding bike will start at around $350. For a mid-range model, cyclists can expect to pay $1,500. A premium model can end up costing over $9,000. The type of features, quality of the bike, the brand of the manufacturer, and delivery costs can all impact the price.
Price is arguably the most important consideration when purchasing a folding bike.
The good news is that there should be a folding bike to fit all budgets. Keep reading to learn more about the type of costs you can expect when shopping.
What Does A Typical Folding Bike Cost?
There are many different types of folding bicycles for you to choose from. But they can be grouped into three broad categories, each with a slightly different price tag:
- Entry-Level. There are the simplest types of bikes, which are best for a short commute to work. You can expect a few gears and a solid frame. These will usually start at around $500. Though you might be able to find some quality folding bikes for under $300.
- Mid-level. These bikes will come with slightly more features. For example, they might have a mudguard or rack for your luggage. Depending on the features you want, these can cost around $850 to $1,250. Most folding bikes will fall into this range.
- Premium. Lastly, it’s time to consider the top-of-the-line models. These come with the most advanced features. For example, an electric motor. These tend to be used by those who want to be comfortable riding over a longer distance. At other times, you might already have been a fan of the e-bike and want to get something that will provide a better riding experience. These can be pricey, with some costing up to $9,000. Though you can find a premium folding bike for $2,500.
Of course, this is just a rough guide. For a more detailed breakdown here’s our guide to the best folding bikes on the market today.
You might be able to find premium features, like electric motors, for significantly less than $2,500. For example, the Lectric XP Lite will cost just $799, despite coming with a powerful electric motor. Because of this, it’s always best to shop around to find the best possible deal.
These prices are based on regular RRP. If you are prepared to wait for the next sale, you might be able to get them at a discount.
How Does The Price Of Folding Bikes Compare To Traditional Bikes?
In most cases, you will need to pay more to buy a folding bike than you would for a traditional bicycle. There are a few reasons for this.
First, they are more complex to design and build.
Adding hinges to make the bike fold will be a technically challenging job. As a result, fewer manufacturers are capable of producing folding bikes.
Secondly, they will be more challenging to manufacture and require more powerful frames to cope with the rider’s weight. Plus, they need to ensure that the area around the hinge can cope with the stress of the ride.
Folding bikes are becoming more mainstream, with more people riding to work. As a result, the number of low-cost options on the market will rise as brands seek to compete for this new audience.
What Elements Affect The Cost Of A Folding Bike?
The features and build materials will have the most significant impact on the cost. Though sometimes branded foldable bicycles will come at a premium. There are a few other incidental costs: delivery costs, maintenance tools, and repairs.
As we’ve seen, the cost of a foldable bike can vary significantly. Several elements will determine the price of a folding bike:
- Type of inclusions. As we mentioned, the variety of features included on the bike can have a significant impact on the cost. Things like electric motors tend to raise the price. Sometimes, you will need to pay for extras, like upgrading to a more comfortable seat or a better pair of handlebars.
- Delivery costs. If you are ordering online, you often have to cover the shipping costs. These will vary based on the manufacturer, website, and delivery address.
- Quality. You can find cheaper folding bikes, which might cost less than $300. But it’s best to be wary about these deals. Sometimes, they will be manufactured cheaply, increasing the chances that the frame will break.
- Brand. A brand with a good reputation might impose a premium on its products. Though it might be worth paying for a well-known brand, such as Brompton or Dahon. They tend to have a long history of producing quality bikes and will come with a strong warranty and returns policy.
While it’s essential to consider the initial purchase price of the bike, you should also consider the ongoing costs associated with bike ownership. For example, you will need to pay for the tools required to maintain the cycle.
This can include the cost of replacing tires.
Generally, though, these costs tend to be pretty minimal. You might want to budget between $100 to $200, depending on the type of tools you already have at your disposal.
This free cheat sheet will help you choose a trike by providing quick information on the 7 key considerations for buying an adult tricycle!
How Much Does A Second-Hand Folding Bike Cost?
Usually, a used folding bike will cost between $200 to $350. Though several elements can affect this valuation. This includes the quality of the cycle, its age, and how well it has been maintained. Sometimes, cyclists might need to repair the damage of the previous owner.
Buying a new bike might be too expensive if you are on a tight budget. Because of this, you might want to turn to the second-hand market. This can give you access to brand-name bikes for a discounted price.
How much you will need to pay to buy a folding bike second-hand varies. Elements to consider include:
- Quality of the bike
- How often has it been maintained
- Where it is being sold
Generally, the market for folding bikes will be tighter than conventional bikes.
This is because of high demand and more limited supply. As a result, you will need to be prepared to pay a slightly higher cost. Though you should be able to find a good folding bike for around $200 to $350.
Note that you will take a higher risk when buying a second-hand folding bike.
There might be problems the previous owner didn’t tell you about, which will need to be fixed before you can ride the bike. Because of this, it’s recommended that you keep aside 10 percent of the purchase price.
This will let you take care of any potential repairs.
Buying a new or used folding bike doesn’t have to break the bank, and you should be able to find a suitable model for under $1,000.
It’s best to treat the bike like an investment. If you maintain your bike regularly, it should last many years. The longer you have it, the more money you can save on public transport or fuel.
Mark PlummerMark 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.
This free cheat sheet will help you choose a folding bike by providing quick information on the 7 key considerations when buying a foldable bicycle!
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