Folding Bikes: Expert and User Reviews

Updated July 31, 2011
In this report

Folding Bikes: Ratings of Sources

1. Auto Express Folding Bikes Tested, Auto Express, April 2011
Credibility:
It's not every car magazine that tests folding bikes, but the U.K.'s Auto Express does just that. Editors test eight of the latest folding bikes in a variety of conditions, including on potholed streets. Each bike is evaluated on folding ease, comfort, build quality and other factors. The Brompton S1E-X is declared the overall winner. Regrettably, the other top-rated folding bikes are not widely available in the United States.
2. Men's Journal Break-Down Bikes, Men's Journal, April 5, 2010
Credibility:
Men's Journal tests and rates six foldable bikes, including popular models from Brompton, Strida and Dahon. The individual reviews are not very detailed, but each bike is rated on a 10-point scale and there is a good amount of variation in the overall ratings. The Brompton folding bike is deemed the Best in Class, but the Dahon IOS XL and Montague Boston also get high ratings.
3. Bicycling Magazine Folding, Bicycling Magazine, As of Aug. 2011
Credibility:
Bicycling magazine reviews a number of foldable bikes for its 2011 buyer's guide, but the magazine focuses mainly on full-size bikes that can be broken down for travel rather than the small folding bikes used by commuters. Even so, some small folding bikes receive a detailed review, including the Bike Friday Pocket Rocket.
4. VeloVision Folding Bike, VeloVision, As of Aug. 2011
Credibility:
VeloVision magazine has very thorough and informative reviews of folding bikes, although they're not published online and are only available to magazine subscribers. In each issue, editors discuss at least one foldable bike, although the bikes are not rated.
5. Bicycle Times Web Articles, Bicycle Times, As of Aug. 2011
Credibility:
Bicycle Times magazine focuses on commuter bikes, so it covers folding bikes on occasion. Reviews are lengthy and based on hands-on evaluations, but the bikes aren't rated. Bicycle Times has recent reviews of the Brompton S6L, Xootr Swift and the Dahon IOS P8.
6. The Wall Street Journal The Folding Bike Goes Cool, The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 6, 2010
Credibility:
The Wall Street Journal recommends six folding bikes in this recent article. Each bike receives a relatively lengthy overview, but the analysis is based on features and benefits rather than a critical evaluation.
7. The Daily Mail Carry on Commuting: Our Man Gets Carried Away Testing Six of the Best Fold-up Bikes, The Daily Mail, Aug. 28, 2010
Credibility:
The Daily Mail has an excellent review of six folding bikes, and it's particularly helpful because the author and tester -- Simon Munk -- pulls no punches when discussing each bike's shortcomings. Each bike is rated on a 5-point scale. The Brompton M3L-X gets the highest overall rating.
8. T3.com Bike, if you like, T3.com, Aug. 2011
Credibility:
Britain's T3 magazine tests and rates five commuter bikes, including one foldable bike. Individual reviews are rather short, but they culminate in an overall rating. Pros and cons are also clearly noted. The Brompton M3 earns high ratings.
9. Momentum Folding Bikes, Momentum, 2011
Credibility:
Canada's Momentum magazine highlights three folding bikes in its annual gear guide. Each bike only receives a one- or two-sentence overview, but it appears that the foldable bikes have been personally tested. Bikes from Bike Friday, Dahon and Strida earn recommendations.
10. BikeRadar.com Folding, BikeRadar.com, As of Aug. 2011
Credibility:
This U.K. review site is a good resource for folding bike reviews, but many of the top-rated foldable bikes are not widely available in the U.S. For bikes that are, the reviews are excellent -- detailed and balanced. Each bike is rated on a 5-point scale.
11. Men's Journal Killer Commuters, Men's Journal, April 29, 2011
Credibility:
Men's Journal has a good test of commuter bikes, but only one folding bike is included -- the Bike Friday Quick Tikit. The bike is not rated, but it is evaluated by a number of testers, and tester comments are included within the brief analysis.
12. Outside Magazine Dahon Speed D7, Outside Magazine, April 12, 2011
Credibility:
Outside magazine reviews one folding bike -- the Dahon Speed D7 -- for its annual bike special. The review is based on hands-on testing in a city environment, and it culminates in ratings for versatility and comfort. The Dahon Speed D7 gets high marks for versatility but scores slightly lower for comfort.
13. BikeCommuters.com Reviews, BikeCommuters.com, As of Aug. 2011
Credibility:
BikeCommuters.com reviews folding bikes on occasion, and its reviews are lengthy and balanced. Editors discuss various considerations, including ride quality, comfort and folding ease. The new Melon Slice folding bike earns a positive review.
14. CommuteByBike.com Reviews, CommuteByBike.com, As of Aug. 2011
Credibility:
CommuteByBike.com is another bicycling blog that publishes detailed single-product reviews of folding bikes. However, only a few foldable bikes have been reviewed recently, including the Montague Boston and Strida SX.
15. Zest Buy Your Perfect Bike, Zest, April 2011
Credibility:
Zest magazine has a solid review of road, mountain and folding bikes, but only two foldable bikes are included in this review. Unfortunately, the reviews themselves are short on details and don't include any critical comments.
16. Business Week A Commuter Bike You Can Take with You, Business Week, May 13, 2010
Credibility:
BusinessWeek.com has a brief single-product review of the Brompton M3LA. The review is terse and lacks balance, but it includes some information on the Brompton folding bike's features.