Best Folding Mountain Bike in 2017 – Top 5 Selection By Experts

For most people, riding a bike is a great way to spend their time. Not only is it fun to do but it can be fantastic exercise, and it can get you out and about. Mountain biking is quickly growing in popularity as well because more and more people are looking to get out into nature and seeing it on the back of a bike is much more preferable to hiking or using an ATV.

One of the biggest issues with bicycles, however, is that they take up so much space. If you want to head out to the trail, you either need a large enough backseat or a top-mounted car rack to hold your two-wheeler and bring it to and from the mountain. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just fold it in half and toss it into your truck? Well, that’s now possible with the new generation of folding bikes.

While this type of ride was usually limited to road bikes before, a growing demand for mountain bikes has led to more durable designs that can take the abuse of a rough trail. So, if you want the robustness of a mountain bike and compactness of a foldie, then these are going to be for you.

How to Choose a Folding Mountain Bike

Folding Mechanism

The whole reason to get a bike like this is for the convenience of transportation to and from your destination. So, with that in mind, you want to get a bike with a quick and easy folding system, so you aren’t struggling to get it in and out of shape. The best bikes will take only seconds to setup and take down and won’t require two people to do it either. Here are the top three mechanisms you can find.

Split Fold

This is a common device that essentially works like a hinge in the middle of the bike. The benefit of this system is that you can fold it super fast, although it is a bit bulkier in the end. If you’re more concerned about speed and convenience, this is a great way to go.

Triangle Fold

This is quickly becoming the standard for folding bikes, and the reason is that it keeps things more secure and creates a slimmer profile, so your bicycle takes up less room. The downside is that you have to use hinges and latches to make it work, so it can be a little more complicated. Still, with practice, you should be able to get it done in a matter of seconds.

Breakaway

This isn’t technically a folding bike, but instead, it’s when you separate the bicycle into two pieces. This is ideal for long-term storage options as putting it back together is usually more complex and needs two people. As such, this is not a very typical system.

Gears

You might think that the fact that the bike folds in half means that you are limiting yourself on how many gears you can have. However, many newer models give you the same range of motion with up to 21 speeds available. Thus, you can choose a bike that comes with as many gears as you need, whether it’s a single speed, 18-speed, or 21-speed.

Material

As we mentioned, the point of getting a folding bike is so that it’s much easier to transport. So, that also means that you want it to be as light as possible so that you can carry it while folded and toss it into your car. As such, you will need to make sure that you are getting a lightweight material, so it’s not too heavy. Here are the top three materials you can find.

Aluminum

This is a common choice for bikers because it is both lightweight and durable, as well as cost effective. If you have a limited budget but don’t want to lug a heavy bicycle around, then this will be your best bet. Also, aluminum doesn’t rust or corrode like other materials such as steel.

Carbon Fiber

If you have a bit more money and want to get something higher end, then this is the material for you. Carbon fiber bikes have the benefits of both steel and aluminum with the only downside being the price. It doesn’t corrode, it’s more durable, and it is lightweight, so you can get a lot of use out of these bikes. It may be worth the extra investment if you ride often.

Steel

For those who are on a limited budget, steel is a viable option. The bike will be heavier overall, but it will also be more durable, which is important for a mountain bike. Also, make sure that you take care of any chips or cracks in the paint as it can cause the steel underneath to rust or corrode over time.

Size

Finally, as with all bikes, you will need to make sure that it is the right size for you. When looking at the measurements, the two that are the most important are the frame and the wheels. Bike frames can come in multiple sizes, from 16 to 20 inches.

As for tires, they are usually 26 inches, but they also have a wide range, going from 16 to 28 inches overall. When measuring a bike’s height, make sure that the seat is just below your crotch area and that you can’t fully extend your legs on the pedals. Ideally, your leg should have a slight bend when fully extended.

Recommended Best Folding Mountain Bikes For You

1.Montague Paratrooper Mountain Folding Bike 2015

If you’re the kind of person who likes to buy military-grade products, then this folding bike from Montague will be right up your alley. This particular model is designed to accompany paratroopers on the field, meaning that it is both reliable and tactical at the same time.

While you won’t be seeing combat out on the trail (hopefully), this bike still has everything you need to have a great time.

Fast Folding Time

Because this bicycle is meant for quick and easy deployment, the folding system is top notch. You can go from folded to ride-ready within just twenty seconds, which is incredible given the size and durability of this unit. That means that whether you are setting it up or taking it down, you can be ready to go in no time.

Lightweight Design

Another great thing about this bike is that it is lightweight enough to carry for long distances if necessary. Thus, if you have a long walk back to the car or you are going over some particularly rough terrain you can hoist this ride over your shoulder and lug it around without killing yourself. Overall, this bicycle weighs only 32 pounds, which is on the lighter end of bike sizes.

Front Disk Brakes

While road bikes can get away with various braking systems since they operate on flat and smooth surfaces, with a mountain bike you need something a bit more reliable. In this case, you get front disc brakes with the Montague, thus ensuring that even if you are stopping on mud, you won’t have a hard time. These work by stopping the wheel at the center rather than along the rim, much like in your car. The results are spectacular.

Rugged Frame

Finally, another aspect of this bicycle being designed for deployment is that it comes with a much more robust frame than most other mountain bikes. Not only is the frame more durable but you get tougher tires and high-quality shock absorbers to make even the most uneven terrain feel a bit more inviting.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Easy to use
  • Multiple sizes available
  • Fast action folding
  • Built for rugged terrain
  • Handles most environments
  • Easy to transport
  • Lightweight design
  • Incredible stopping power

Cons

  • In some cases, folding can be tricky
  • Some components are not as durable as others

Highlighted Features

  • Durable aluminum frame
  • Choose between 18 or 20-inch frame
  • Military grade construction
  • Folds in twenty seconds
  • Front suspension for smoother ride
  • Weighs only 32 pounds
  • Thick rugged tires
  • All parts are serviceable by any bike shop
  • Front disc brakes
  • No tools needed to fold and unfold

Final Verdict

In the end, if you don’t mind having only one speed from which to choose then this is a fantastic bike. It is much more rugged and dependable than most of the competition, and it has all of the right components to make it a versatile and durable ride.

Montague Paratrooper Bike 2015

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2.Cyrusher FR100 Men’s Full Suspension 24 Speeds Folding Mountain Bike

While the Montague bike above was a single speed contraption, if you are looking for something more versatile then you might want to try this model from Cyrusher.

With a wealth of speeds from which to choose and an extra durable and lightweight frame, you can be the envy of all the other mountain bikers out on the trail.

Aluminum Alloy Frame

As we mentioned, aluminum is always an excellent choice for bicycles because it is both lightweight and durable. In this case, however, because it is an alloy you get a bit more durability and reliability, making this one of the better folding bikes out there. Without adding too much weight or cost you can get a lot more bang for your buck.

Disc Brakes

Whenever you ride on rough or uneven terrain, you need to make sure that you can stop effectively. This is also crucial when going over slippery or muddy surfaces as it can be a safety hazard if your brakes don’t work well.

Thankfully, this model comes with sturdy disc brakes on the front and rear wheels so that you can stop much more effectively each time. Also, they won’t wear down as fast and won’t damage your rims.

Ergonomic Design

With any great product, form should follow function. In this case, the bike aims to be as smooth and comfortable as possible, meaning that you should feel great while riding no matter how long your journey is or how rough the trail. Overall, this bike is both sleek and rugged, making it an excellent choice for most bikers.

24 Speeds

If you want the best riding experience, then you need to get a bicycle with multiple speeds available. This way you can minimize the amount of work you need to put into pedaling and can instead focus on the road ahead. In this case, having twenty-four speeds will prepare you for any terrain and any incline you may come across during your travels.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight design
  • Smooth and comfortable
  • Ideal for all terrains
  • Excellent stopping power
  • Fast folding
  • Secure locking mechanisms

Cons

  • In rare cases, the bike may arrive improperly assembled
  • Some components are not as durable as others
  • Not ideal for taller or larger riders

Highlighted Features

  • Aluminum alloy frame
  • Front and rear disc brakes
  • Shimano derailleur
  • Twenty-four-speed shifter
  • Suspension for smoother ride
  • Compact folding
  • 17-inch frame
  • 26-inch tires
  • Adjustable seat
  • Anti-slip tires
  • Water bottle holder
  • Weighs 38 pounds

Final Verdict

In the end, this bike is something of a cross between a road and a mountain bike. It has all of the features of both, which makes it ideal for many different conditions, although not so much for hardcore mountain bikers. That isn’t to say that it will break down on you or anything, but it’s leaning a bit more towards road bike status than anything else, so keep that in mind.

Cyrusher FR100 Men’s Full Suspension

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3.Xspec 26″ 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike

Next, we have another high-quality bicycle that is designed to be as smooth and efficient as possible. In this case, convenience is the name of the game, so if you want something that is super easy to use and fold, then this is a great option for you.

21-Speed Shifter

To help you navigate over various trails this bike comes with multiple speeds so that you can focus less on pedaling and more on riding. Don’t overwork yourself because you don’t have enough gears and instead get this bike that has more than enough to guide you through most of the mountain safely.

No-Tool Folding

As we mentioned, convenience is a top priority with this bike which is why you can fold it without needing any special tools or training. In fact, you can get it into compact mode in just fifteen seconds, which is almost as fast as humanly possible. While we can’t say that it’s the fastest we’ve seen, it’s certainly in the top three.

Front and Rear Shock Absorbers

Another way to ensure that your ride is as smooth and comfortable as possible is the inclusion of front and rear shocks. This way your wheels will seem to glide over the rocks and potholes on the trail so that you aren’t damaging your spine or tailbone in the process. In fact, one could argue that shocks are one of the important distinctions of a mountain bike as it is far more necessary here than on a road model.

Disc Brakes

Finally, to make sure that you don’t crash into anything this bike comes with front and rear disc brakes. These are far better than standard caliper brakes in that they won’t wear down as easily and they provide much more contact surface, so you stop faster and with less force. This will be crucial when you’re tearing down the trail.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Easy folding mechanism
  • Ideal for most terrains
  • Ergonomic design
  • Multiple colors available
  • Smooth riding
  • Excellent stopping power

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • Can be difficult to put together for some users
  • Seat can be uncomfortable

Highlighted Features

  • Durable aluminum and steel frame
  • Folds in fifteen seconds without tools
  • Front and rear suspension
  • Disc brakes
  • Weighs 42 pounds
  • Three colors available: white, black, and yellow
  • 21-speed Shimano shifter
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Holds up to 220 pounds
  • Folding pedals for a slimmer profile
  • Ergonomic handlebars

Final Verdict

As far as folding mountain bikes go, this is probably the gold standard. It has all of the features you need along with a sturdy and robust frame and a high-quality shifter. When compared to the others we’ve seen, this would be a great choice for both beginner and veteran mountain bikers.

Xspec 26″ 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike

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4.BestEquip Folding Mountain Bike

So far, we’ve seen bicycles that are not really customizable. However, this model from BestEquip gives you the option to choose the style of your tires, which means that you can pick out the version that best matches your personality. Also, it’s a great mountain bike, too.

Three Wheel Designs

For most bikers, all you have to use for your ride is a standard wheel with thin metal spokes. While you can get that on this bike, it also gives you the choice of either three or six spokes so you can look both stylish and improve the feeling of your ride.

If you haven’t tried tires like this before we highly recommend it so that you can see the difference. Some bikers swear by them while others don’t like the feeling, so it’s crucial that you know what you’re getting into before making a purchase.

21 Speed Shifter

As a mountain biker, you will be navigating a lot of different terrains, so this particular model comes with a multi-speed shifter so that you aren’t working yourself to death on the inclines and you’re not overdoing it on the way down. Overall, twenty-one speeds is the perfect amount for mountain biking.

Steel Frame

While not as lightweight as other models, this bicycle is going to be tougher and stronger than aluminum. As long as you watch out and prevent corrosion and rust from happening, this bike should last you decades without breaking down on you.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Easy folding
  • Ideal on all terrains
  • Smooth riding
  • Slim design
  • Ergonomic
  • Multiple designs available

Cons

  • Heavier than other models
  • Can be tricky to assemble
  • Even when folded, it takes up a lot of room

Highlighted Features

  • High carbon steel frame
  • Front and rear suspension
  • Disc brakes
  • Standard, three or six spoke wheels
  • Folds in seconds
  • Kickstand for stability
  • Pedals fold in for slimmer profile
  • 21-speed shifter
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Holds up to 330 pounds
  • Ideal for riders up to 6’ 2”
  • Adjustable seat height

Final Verdict

Overall, this bike is an excellent choice for anyone who needs a bit more support. Unlike other folding models this one can hold over three hundred pounds, so if you’re a big guy or gal, you might want this bike as it won’t bend or break under the extra weight.

BestEquip Folding Mountain Bike

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5.Columba 26″ Folding Bike w. Shimano 18 Speed Blue

This model from Columba is built to be as portable and convenient as possible. If you want something that is quick and easy to use and won’t be a hassle, then this is a fabulous way to go. It’s both lightweight and super fast at folding, making it a prime choice for busy bikers.

18-Speed Shifter

Although not as versatile as some of the other ones we’ve seen, this shifter still gives you plenty of options to help you navigate the trail without overworking yourself. You might have to put in some extra effort on steep hills, but this should help out over most terrain with ease.

10-Second Folding

As far as we’ve seen, this is one of the fastest folding mountain bikes out there, which means that if you are either impatient or want to impress your friends, then you should get this model. Best of all, you don’t need any tools or anything, so you can be ready to go almost instantly.

Weighs 33 Pounds

Carrying your bike can be a pain, but this is one of the lightest units we’ve seen as well, which means that it should be relatively easy to get from your car to the trail and it won’t take up much space in your trunk. Overall, there should be no reason that you don’t have this bike with you all the time.

Pros

  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight design
  • Easy to fold
  • Smooth riding
  • Works on most terrains
  • Easy to assemble
  • Works for most riders

Cons

  • Not ideal for shorter or taller riders
  • Seat may be uncomfortable
  • In some cases, you may have to make adjustments during assembly to get the bike to work properly

Highlighted Features

  • Aluminum frame
  • Front and rear suspension
  • Folds in ten seconds
  • 18-speed shifter
  • Weighs only 33 pounds
  • Kickstand included
  • Blue or silver colors available
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Holds up to 200 pounds
  • Ideal for riders between five and six feet

Final Verdict

In the end, this bike is perfect for anyone looking for something quick and light. It’s not ideal for big riders, and it might not handle rough abuse well, but it is a great “grab and go” model if you’re interested in that kind of thing.

Columba 26″ Folding Bike w. Shimano

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Conclusion

After looking through these different bikes, the one that stands out the most is the XSpec model. This particular unit has the best features overall, including a robust and reliable frame, excellent braking system, a Shimano shifter, and an ergonomic design. We also like the fact that you can fold it in fifteen seconds and that it has multiple colors available to match your style.

 

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About the Author Matthew R. Duncan

I am proud to be the go-to guy among my circle for bike advice. I take it personally when someone I know buys a new bike without consulting me first!

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