Folding bikes are recently becoming quite popular among eco-friendly folk and commuters all around the world.They have been on the market since the 80s, and, as you may already know, they’re designed for urban areas, short distance commuting, and portability.In a previous article I’ve discussed the disadvantages of folding bikes in full, but today I want to discuss their usability.
Even if folding bikes are meant for short rides, they can be great for long rides as well. When it comes to traveling long miles, they offer very similar quality to a traditional road bike.
Today I want to explore whether or not folding bikes are good for long distance rides so you can know as much as you need to about this kind of bike before you make your purchase. Bicycles are very important because they will serve as your means of transportation, which is why it’s essential that you make the right choice based on your needs and purposes!
What Makes Folding Bikes Appropriate For Long Rides?
It may not seem that way at first glance, but folding bikes offer a few advantages when it comes to long distance rides. The main advantage is that folding bikes are extremely portable because you can fold them and carry them into buses, trains, planes, etc. without any hiccups.
This feature is precisely what makes folding bicycles so popular among commuters and campers, but they’re also quite popular among extreme riders. With a few adjustments, folding bikes can be ridden over different terrains and whenever riders encounter impassable terrain, they can simply fold it, take it along, and then unfold it on the other side to continue riding. That’s simply not something you can do with big, traditional bikes.
Most people just assume that folding bikes won’t be appropriate for long tours because the majority of them are produced specifically for short rides on urban areas, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t folding bikes on the market that can allow riders to go a long way. You can use a folding bicycle for long rides as long as you choose the right one!
Another important feature that folding bikes provide is that they are stable and comfortable. Folding bikes usually feature light frames, which makes them easier to carry when folded, and some of them are so portable that they can easily fit into a suitcase.
Overall, folding bikes can be a good choice if you educate yourself on the matter and make the right choice. What’s more, you can customize your bicycle with good tires and suspension to make sure that it can stand rides on rougher terrains as well!
What’s The Best Type Of Folding Bicycle For Long Distance Rides?
If you’re looking for the best folding bike for long rides, you’ll find that the most popular brand for this purpose is Brompton. Brompton folding bicycles are not only stylish, they also feature bigger wheels and high-quality components that will provide an incredible ride.
Another great option is Pacific Cycle, more specifically their Reach line of folding bikes, which resembles Brompton in terms of performance and quality. These bikes are sturdy, fast, and they can work well on different terrains.
What Are The Problems Of Folding Bikes For Long Rides?
- Folding bikes have some disadvantages, and when it comes to long distance rides, perhaps the biggest drawbacks are the tires. As you know, folding bikes have smaller tires than the average bicycle, which means that you’ll need to invest in customization.
- What’s more, folding bicycles are not meant for off-the-road use, which means you’ll also have to put money into preparing them for rides on different kinds of terrain, which means investing in high-quality tires, suspension, and more.
- Keep in mind that riding down a hill on a folding bicycle can be very difficult because the small wheels are very tricky to control. Remember that folding bikes are not mountain bikes, so don’t expect them to perform the same way no matter how many adjustments you make.
What To Look For In A Folding Bike?
If you want your folding bike to be efficient for long rides, then you need to make sure to choose the right one. For starters, you’ll have to make sure to choose a bicycle that’s high-quality and also comfortable because you’ll be sitting on it for a long period of time. To help you choose the right one, here’s a list of the characteristics that you should be looking for. If the folding bike of your choice can check out all the items on this list, then you’ll be good to go!
Look For Comfort
Because you’re looking for a folding bike that allows you to travel long distances, the first item on your list should be comfort. Folding bikes have smaller tires than the standard bicycle, so you’ll definitely feel the bumps on the road.
This means that this kind of bike is not particularly adequate for super rough terrains, but it should be fine on the road if you get a bike with both front and rear suspension. A suspension will provide a smoother ride, which means the bumps on the road won’t be as much of a bother as they would be without suspension.
Also, make sure that the seat is comfortable and that the folding bicycle you choose is appropriate for your weight and height.
The Bike Should Handle The Ride
Another essential item on the list is making sure that the kind of folding bike you get will be able to handle the ride. Remember that long rides take their toll on your equipment, so pick a bicycle that has a sturdy structure and that provides a good, comfortable ride.
Most folding bicycles have the same built and structure as traditional road bikes. This means that they feature the same geometry and setup. Take your time, make a stop at your local bike shop, and have a chat with the employees so you can make the right choice.
Convenience Is A Top Priority
When you’re preparing for taking a long ride, whether it’s to another city, state or even country, the portability of your folding bike is essential because it’s likely that you’ll need to take other kinds of transportation such as buses, trains or taxis.
That means that it’s important that your folding bike is easy and quick to fold and unfold. Make sure that you try the folding mechanism of your bike before you buy it to confirm that it’s simple, that it won’t take you much time, that it stays folded and that it’s compact.
Mind The Weight
The weight of your folding bicycle is just as important as its portability. You don’t just want your folding bicycle to be easy to fold, you also need it to be easy to carry.
That’s why you can’t choose a super heavy bike, especially not if you need to take alternative means of transportation along the way. Make sure that your folding bike is the kind of weight you can carry with ease and you’ll be fine!
The Components Should Be High-Quality
When you’re purchasing a folding bike for a long ride, you need to make sure that the bicycle of your choice is high-quality and that the components are reliable and long lasting.
Tires are probably the most vital component, so don’t skim on your tires and make sure they are high-quality. Keep them inflated at the recommended pressure and make stops along your ride to make sure that there aren’t any signs of wear or damage, and always make sure to bring a tire repairment kit with you!
Is It Worth Buying A Folding Bike For Long Distance Rides?
As you can see, purchasing a folding bike takes a lot of consideration and it’s definitely not something you should do without giving it some thought. They tend to be more expensive than traditional bicycles, so you need to make sure that they’re the best option for you.
When it comes to outdoor activities such as cruising, trailing, mountain biking, long rides and more, regular bicycles will have a lot more advantages than folding bikes simply because they’re built for those kinds of activities.
When you’re preparing for a long distance ride, you need to make sure that you consider all the kinds of terrain you’ll be riding through because this will allow you to prepare a lot better.
Folding bikes are great if you’ll have to take alternative means of transportation, but they’re not so great if you want to ride hills and rocky terrains. Folding bicycles can be easily carried, they’re comfortable, compact, and convenient, they’re ideal for smooth terrains and they’re not super fast, but they can get you where you’re going and they can also be very comfortable.
Just make sure you take into consideration both the advantages and disadvantages of folding bicycles before you make your choice so you can get the most value for your money!