Nowadays it is becoming more and more difficult to travel from one place to another due to increase in traffic and ever-rising gas prices. Trying to slowly crawl among the sea of cars on the highways and busy roads of major cities is a hassle which everyone tries to avoid. Motorbike is an easier option when it comes to cruising through heavy traffic. But it comes with its share of problems; maintenance is not cheap and the ever-rising gas price creates a bumpy ride. Hence motorcycles or bikes became the latest answer to our traffic and gas woes. The only glitch in it is the space used by these bikes, even though they are less than a car, still in a city where there is already a shortage of space, it is one of the reasons why people think twice before buying it. Hence a folding bike is needed. It solves the problem by giving a better solution in a very affordable and comfortable manner, that too in a compact size.
A folding bike is meant mainly for commuting purpose and hence it is designed accordingly. The wheels are smaller in size, normally between 16”-20” and the frame is assembled for comfort and durability. But this doesn’t mean the functionality is compromised. They are still manufactured on the lines of a conventional bike; there are certain bike manufacturers who are designing high-end road and mountain bikes with the most important attribute in them – folding capability. Some folding bikes come with 24 gears equivalent to a mountain bike whereas others have a BMX frame for strength.
The design offers the flexibility of storing these folding bikes effortlessly into cramped spaces especially in city apartments and studio flats where there is no provision of a shed. Since it can be stored inside your houses they are virtually theft-proof, which is a huge advantage in big cities like New York and London. Such bikes offer a healthy and green method of transport if used as a commuter bike. Usually a conventional bike is not allowed in taxis, buses or trains because it takes a lot of space and creates hindrances for other travellers; but the folded version are considered as a carry on item. It can also be transported easily since it fits well into a car’s trunk. Now the rider has the freedom to take his bike to places he fancies will be good for a bike ride. The money saved when used with a public transport for longer journeys is better than using a car.
But every inventions has its weaknesses; the design which is known for its flexibility is also complex in nature which means certain parts can create snags if not handled properly. Due to this complexity of design, folding bikes are expensive than conventional bikes. Manufacturing of such bikes is not favoured since there is still a very few demand for them which adds to the cost of these bikes. Although most of the manufacturers state that their bikes are lightweight still adding different features and specifications unnecessarily add on to the excess weight. The better the comfort, the more complex the design thus, making it harder to fold it quickly. Initially maintenance of such bikes could be a concern since they have more complex parts than a conventional bike.
The perks of owning a folding bike is much more compared to the shortcomings mentioned above. The popularity of these bikes has increased in recent times and hence new bikes are being designed which are lighter in weight and still offers the same comfort and durability thus ensuring that a buyer doesn’t have to compromise on such attributes. There are many good manufacturers like Brompton, Dahon, Montague and Rayleigh who are market leaders in the field offering the necessary features needed by a user depending on the usage.