The folding bicycle is often overlooked by most people. To hardcore cyclists they are not hardcore enough, whereas day-to-day bicycle users tend to go for rigid frames, assuming a foldable bike won’t be sturdy enough. However, there is a growing demand for fold-up bikes amongst parents whose cycling needs differ from most other people’s. If you are the parent of a young child and you have graduated the toddler stage, (finally!) you will probably spend most of your days chasing around after a crazed infant filled with wonder and confidence in equal measure, and hell-bent on finding new ways to harm themselves. The ability to pre-empt potential hazards you have developed over the last few years has become a sharpened sixth sense, so with a balance bike underarm, you feel ready to hit the park. But, as your precious little dear ventures into the world of wheeled transport, you’re going to need the physical agility of a well-trained athlete to keep up.
Many of us are not fortunate enough to live close to the local wide open spaces, so a short car journey is often required to get you there. The child’s balance bike (or princess-themed first-bike with tassels on the handlebars) fits easily into the boot, but you don’t want to load your car with your own heavy fixed-frame bike for a simple jaunt to the park. Doing so means loading it onto a bike rack as it’s too big to fit in the boot. This is when a folding bicycle can excel where other bikes are rendered useless. And they’re not just great for practical reasons – folding bicycles now come in all shapes and sizes, from lightweight micro-bikes to folding tandem bikes.
Folding Ladies Bikes
Moving to a folding bike doesn’t mean compromising on style. Some of the most popular styles of ladies’ bicycles are now available with folding frames, such as this traditional ladies bike with a wicker basket.
The folding mechanisms are so well designed that the bikes are easy to fold down and the hinge provides a robust joint when fixed in position. Subject to lightweight materials, such as composite alloys, fold-up bikes are easy to lift into your vehicle. When folded down, they will take up less than half of a standard car boot, leaving plenty of room for your child’s bike.
Once you arrive at the park, unfolding your bicycle is just as easy – you don’t have to reconnect the chain, or use any tools – the frame simply unfolds and the hinge clip locks into place, so all you need to do is make sure your seat is the right height before departing for your ride around the park.
Shimano gears and disk brakes are commonplace on most contemporary folding bike models, so there is no compromise on ride quality, either.
Premium Folding Bicycle Brands Versus Budget Options
In the UK there is one folding bike brand that has owned the market almost uncontested for the last 30 years. These are likely to set you back over £800 for the base model, however owning a folding bike doesn’t have to break the bank. With demand increasing, there are a number of budget foldable brands entering the market, such as Decathlon’s own BTWIN and independent brand Ecosmo. It must be said, lower prices are by no means a reflection of quality. Comparable to the UK’s leading brand Brompton in many ways, you can buy an Ecosmo folding bike for under £300 – saving around £500 on the big-name alternative.
So when you are thinking of heading to the park this summer, you don’t have to get into training weeks in advance in preparation for chasing a crazed child. There is no need to lift a hefty, fixed frame bike onto a bike rack. You can buy a lightweight foldable bicycle that fits snugly into the boot of your car, allowing you to enjoy the day with your infant as you whizz around the park together!