A folding bicycle incorporates special design features enabling the bike to fold into a compact form, facilitating transport or storage. When folded, the fold up bikes can be more easily carried into buildings, into workplace or onto public transportation (aboard cars, boats, trains or airplanes). Each folding bike brand offers a unique combination of folding speed, folding ease, compactness, engineering, ride, weight, durability and price. Folding bicycles are more expensive than comparable non-folding bikes.
Military interest in bicycles arose in the 1890s, and the French Army and others deployed folding bikes for bicycle infantry use. In 1900, Mikael Pedersen developed a folding bicycle for the British Army that weighed 15 pounds and had 24 inch wheels.
The British WWII Airborne BSA Folding Bicycle was used from 1939-1945. A folding bicycle was developed as a small size was needed to enable it to be taken on parachute jumps from aircraft. The bicycle was full-sized, and folding features included wingnuts and hinges for folding the frame, a wingnut for turning the handlebars, and reversible pedals.
Fold bikes generally come with a wider range of adjustments than conventional bikes, because the frames are usually only made in one size. Seatposts and handlebar stems on folders extend as much as four times higher than conventional bikes. While folding bicycles are usually smaller than conventional bicycles, the distances between center of bottom bracket, the top of the saddle and the handlebars, the primary factors in determining whether a bicycle fits its rider, are usually similar to that of conventional bikes. The wheelbase of folding bikes is very similar to that of conventional bicycles.
The simplest folding frames have one hinge, for example the Bazooka and Tunturi Chip which fold in half. A similar swing hinge may be combined with a folding steering column, as in Dahon or Giant Halfway.
A hinge in the frame may be used to allow the rear triangle and wheel to be folded down and flipped forward, under the main frame tube, as in the Swift Folder and Bike Friday. Such a flip hinge may be combined with a folding front fork as in the Birdy. Swing and flip hinges may be combined on the same frame, as in Brompton, which also uses a folding steering column. The Giatex folds and retracts, adjusting to the size of the rider. The Gekko folds from the seat tube like an upside down umbrella. The Strida has a triangular frame and folds to resemble a unicycle. The A-bike has a smaller wheel base and compacts a bit smaller. Another system such as Montague Bikes utilizes the seat tube as a pivot point for the frame to fold.
Think about how you want to use your folding bike. If itís mostly for riding, then performance is the most important quality to look for in a fold up bike. If youíll be doing more toting than riding, then pay close attention to how well the bike collapses. Many folding bikes have gears to compensate for the small wheel size. If you need to ride the folding bike long distances, be sure to get a fold bike with adequate gears. If you plan to (un)fold the bike often, then buy a model that (un)folds easily, collapses to a small size and is a lightweight.
Folding bikes are allowed on any train as they are no wider than 32 inches at the widest point. Fold bikes must be in the folded position prior to boarding and must remain under the control of the owner. Folding bicycles must be able to be stored under the seat in front of you or be placed in the luggage racks provided. Fold up bikes may not be placed on seats and must not block aisles, stairs or vestibules. Folding bikes may not be stored in the space reserved for passengers in wheelchairs. If the bike is dirty, it must be placed in a bag. Folding bikes that are not in the bike rack must remain folded until the passenger has fully left the train.
Folding mountain bikes are innovative and practical. These folding bikes come in various models. They can be lightweight and tough or heavy and less portable. There are a lot of good brands for folding mountain bikes.
The Hummer, a state of the art folding mountain bike created by the Montague. The bikes are made of light-weight aircraft grade aluminum and capable of extreme off-road riding. The Hummer folds simply without the use of tools and has full sized knobby tires and wheels.
Another great folding mountain bike in the Montague range is the Paratrooper Mountain Bike. You will be amazed on the speed of unfolding this bike. The Paratrooper folding mountain bike is convenient and very easy to store.
Bike Fridays are more often called collapsible mountain bikes. This is the world's leading performance travel bicycle. This high-end brand offers many types. Each and every Bike Friday is hand built.