28 May 2020

Tern Bicycles: 7 Reasons to Bike Back to Work

Seven great advice to cycle back to work... preferably on a Tern folding bike. 

  1. Maintain social distancing on your commute: Everyone's eager to return to work; but few are looking forward to squeezing onto a crowded train or bus. A bike gives you plenty of (safe!) breathing room!
  2. Get some immune-boosting energy: One study found that senior citizens who had cycled regularly had the immune function of a 20-somethings. Now's the perfect time to create a new healthy habit. 
  3. Improve your mental health: If world events have you feeling down, you're not alone. Biking daily can boost your mood, help you manage stress better and improves your sleep quality. 
  4. Have more fun: No matter where you're headed, flying down the street on a great bike feels amazing. After being cooped up indoors, we could all use a little more joy in our life. 
  5. Enjoy having more room to ride: There are fewer cars on the road, and many cities are building extra bike lanes or re-dedictaing roads as vehicle-free zones. Seize the moment, and make the switch! 
  6. Create mindful pre- and post -work routine: Need better work-life boundaries after all that remote work? Starting and ending your workday with an immersive mindful experience like cycling can help. 
  7. Soak up some sunshine: We've learned not to take anything for granted - including fresh air and sunshine. Biking to work is a great way to catch some rays and get your daily dose of vitamin D.

Check out www.ternbicycles.com for more info. 

26 May 2020

Bicycle Touring is Fun!

Icebike.org put together an infographic and collected interviews from 121 experts in bicycle touring in 2015.  It truly is a great and beautiful infographic and still very relevant today. 
We at Folding Bike News were happy to be part of this. 

You can find the whole article here.

21 May 2020

10 Great Reasons Why Your Next bicycle Should Be A Folding Bike!

Because... I HAVE TOO MANY BIKES... said no one ever...

Folding bikes have come a long way in the last 20 years or so. Folding bikes are not the old heavy, hard to ride, ugly bikes they used to be. These days the performance is almost similar to their bigger more rigid cousins; well, not quite, but close enough for what you are going to use them for.

Here are 10 great reasons to purchase your folding bike:

Design – Folding bikes have come along way in the last 20 years, and riding a ‘folder’ will certainly attract attention with their funky designs. Plus with today’s technology, foldable bicycles can, and should, deliver a ride performance as good as or better than a traditional bike. Because of the smaller wheel size, you can easily accelerate much faster than a normal bike, and leave your bigger wheeled friends behind!

Security – With a folding bike there is no need for a bulky, external bike rack fitted to the back or roof of your car; just store the bike in the boot, ready to use, anytime. There’s also no need to ‘lock-it’ outside and risk having your bike stolen. Gone are the days you lock your bike to a bike rack, hoping it will still be there when you return.

Small space – If space is a premium, store your folding bike under your desk at work, or in a cupboard in your apartment. Even if you have space, storing your folder inside means less exposure to the elements and fewer maintenance costs.

Economical – After buying your folding bike, as long as you keep the air in your tyres and your chain oiled there will be minor maintenance costs. And if you do need your bike serviced you’ll find your local bike shop pretty inexpensive for the work needed on a folder.

Easy to use – With a little practice, anyone can manage to fold and unfold a folding bike. Just practice at home, so that you are ready when it comes to jumping on a train or bus.

Commute – The missing link to public transport is here. Ride from your home to the station and then again from the station to your place of work, and save a fortune on fuel and parking fees. Green mobility is the way forward.

Health benefits – A folding bike is a no-brainer. Once you are used to cycling regularly, there’s no need to pay for expensive gym memberships. If you use your folding bike every day, whether commuting to work, cycling on the promenade or just around the neighbourhood, you will feel fitter and stronger

15 May 2020

Who's Folding Bike News?

Our journey began with a combined passion for travelling and folding biking.  
We rode our folding bikes from Cairo to Cape Town in 2008 and started importing Dahon bikes into South Africa soon after getting back home. 

Folding Bikes SA is the biggest folding bicycle company in South Africa and is run by Jan Wouters and his wife Jo Charnock. 
We have sold +600 folding bicycles in the past, specialising in Dahon folding bikes.

"We are passionate about folding bikes and rode our folding bikes from Cairo to 

Cape Town, almost certainly a first in Africa."

Jan is the editor of this blog and the owner of www.foldingbikes.co.za. Jo is the author of "A Hitch-Bikers Guide Through Africa, Cairo to Cape Town on A Folding Bike".

You won't find a team more passionate about folding bikes!

06 May 2020

Bikepacking with a Folding Bicycle.

Bikepacking is a relatively new word, but the act of 'bikepacking' was born when people started riding bicycles. Straight-away people were transporting themselves and their luggage from A to B. 

The below article describes the art and advantages of folding bikepacking. 

Written by Michael Aschauer. 

The Virtues of mixed-mode travel with a folding bicycle.

There is an infinite number of ways of travel, but our nature and force of habit let us stick to just a few. I love travellin by and with a folding bike for the very reason, that it allows me to jump between these different modes of transportation and the different planes and worlds on the road. Take a plane, train, bus or boat and throw in a bike ride for a day or two. Be flexible and not rely on taxis or figuring out public transport in another foreign city.

This report sums up some of my preferences and experiences with the folding bicycle way of life. It is not a buyer’s guide. As with any bicycle, finding the right bike is difficult and highly subjective. Besides, finding the right folding bike always involves a compromise: Do you want it to pack as small as possible or ride as fast and comfortable as possible?

My first folding bike was a triangle. It’s also called Strida SX, a belt-driven folding bike with an A-shaped, collapsible frame. Originally designed as a master’s project for the Royal College of Arts by Mark Sanders in the early eighties it went into production soon after. It never gained many followers in the UK competing against Brompton, but got somehow popular in Asia, and is currently produced in Taiwan.

It was a perfect commuting bike in mixed transport mode, it collapsed in seconds and could then be pushed or pulled like a trolley. I loved the bike and its design, but the riding comfort was mediocre at best. With disc brakes and a driving belt, it required nearly zero maintenance, but being single-gear (there are two- and three-speed versions) also meant it was of little comfort beyond short city commutes. Also, the A-frame turned out to be a poor fit for my body type and size (approx. 185cm)

I used it for about two years, but I already toyed with the idea of getting a new folder, when I embarked a journey on the Trans-Siberian railway to China — without the Strida. And I became clear when I need to rent bikes on my stopovers on Lake Baikal and Ulaanbaatar, ending up with overpriced, poorly maintained bikes. I nearly crashed when the brakes fall apart…

My second folding bike was a shiny, silver Dahon produced for the Chinese market only and got stolen within 48 hours. I was devastated, but it might also have been a sign. The bike was fancy but heavy. I had no idea how to pack or fold it for travelling, and after a period of grief, I invested in another folder, along with a good lock.

“You will have a truly unique bike,” Bill told me. Bill is a US-citizen living in Shanghai, also dealing with customized folding bikes and operating cycling tours in China and East Asia. I did not realize how right he was when I bought my third folder from him, second-hand and overpriced and entered an extended period of love and hate relationship with this piece. I would not buy it again, but through hard work, we grew together and it developed into the bike I still travel around with.

Its original manufacturer is called Langtu, and except for China I only found it to be distributed and sold in Russia. It was customized to some degree, derailleur, saddle, and pedals were non-original improvements, but not too much. It got a typical 18-speed road gear setup, but due to smaller wheels more suitable for climbing than high speeds.
The other good thing was, it also came with a bag, protective linen inlay, tools and a personal introduction by Bill on how to fold and how to best package it for travel and flights (But I guess the consultant fee was included in the price).

For the next while though this bicycle kept being a source of frustration and anger. I did a few rides but mostly carried it through China, with spoke after spoke cracking until I found a Bulgarian mechanic in Hanoi, Vietnam, also the first bike mechanic in a while whom I found a language in which to communicate with fluently. He convinced me that the radial spoked wheel design was terrible by design choice and re-did both wheels with crossed spokes. It cost me just a few bucks and was good for a few days rides through Vietnam, packed with all my 20 kilograms of luggage and the few thousand kilometres in the year afterwards.

China and Vietnam was also the place where I first got into mixed-mode travelling, jumping back and forth between train, bus and boat rides, and cycling for day or 

05 May 2020

Manufacturer Monday: Review of the Aurora Folding Bikes.

Welcome to an Argentinean folding bike.

Aurora bikes from Argentina have 3 folding bikes in their range.  

All 3 are aluminium; 2 are 20 inches and 1 mountain bike style 26-inch model. All 3 have a standard middle frame hinge for folding the bike, bringing the 2 wheels together. After that one folds the headset and lowers the seatpost.  

Aurorita bikes exist 60 years, and to celebrate their 60th anniversary, they offer a nice aluminium Classico Retro folding bike. The bike comes in 3 different cool vintage colours: orange, light blue and beige. 

The bike has a low frame, so getting on and off the bike is pretty easy. Accessories are a combination of Shimano and other Chinese decent stuff. Mudguards in the same colour as the frame, lights, a pump and a carrier rack come standard.  

The other 20-inch folding bike is the Smart BK. It's a modern Dahon-style folder, with all the same accessories as the above Classico Retro model. The frame is aluminium too with a mix of Shimano and other components. The frame colours come in grey/red, blue and green.  

The Nueva F26 is a 26-inch folding city bike. This bike is ideal for those who want to cycle a bit further, but still want the advantages of a folding bicycle. The frame is aluminium with a mix of Shimano and other components. The bike colour is grey, with 3 different colour detail options.  

Aurorita bicycles show us that a small, balanced range of folding bikes can be attractive. Three bikes that each appeal to a very different cyclist or commuter. 
Mudguards, lights, a pump and carrier rack come standard.  

It is not clear if these bikes are available outside of Argentina.  

Overall score: 7/10

More info here.

30 April 2020

NEWS: Birdy Introduces the R20, a 20" Folding Bike

Birdy is famous for its full suspension high-quality folding bikes. The existing 2 models both have 18" wheels. This changes now with a 20" new model.

Pacific Cycles, owner of the Birdy range, announces a new 20" model, weighing just over 10kg. The new bike will be one of the lightest folding bicycles on the market. Being so light, it is easy to lift, carry and ride. The cable-actuated disc brake system provides excellent stopping power in a neat and low-maintenance package.

More info, specs and pricing here.

27 April 2020

Manufacturer Monday: Folding Bicycle Review of the Electric A-Bike.

Welcome to the most compact folding bike. 

The A-Bike claims to be the smallest, lightest electric bike on the market, and that's probably true!  The bike folds very small indeed, will fit into your backpack and at 12 kg is extremely light for an e-bike.  

The A-Bike was a collaboration between Sir Clive Sinclair with Hong Kong-based design studio Daka. The bike got released in 2006 as a non-electric folding bike and became an e-bike in 2015. There's only mention of the e-bike on the website, so I presume the non-motorised one, is no longer available. 

The compactness of the A-bike is achieved by the small 8' wheels and a frame with many folding hinges. The folding is really simple and straight-forward. The electric motor gives you a range of 25km and a speed limit of 20km/h. 

The bike is obviously not meant for long distances, It's not the most comfortable because of the small wheels, but will be great to cover the short distance between your bus or train stop and your final destination.  

BEWARE: Chinese cheap knock-offs are available on the market. 

  • Super compact when folded
  • Super light (for an e-bike)
  • Seems out of stock at the moment, without any mention of when the bike will be available again
  • The wheels are extremely small, so you'll only get a comfortable ride on smooth surfaces
  • The frame misses stiffness because of the many hinges
  • Not suited for fast downhill cycling

Overall score: 6/10

More info: www.a-bike.co.uk

25 April 2020

Welcome to Manufacturer Mondays!

We've added a folding bike manufacturers page.

I recently updated (April 2020) the list as the previous list was 4 years old.  Interesting to note is that nearly half of the folding bikes produced 4 years ago are no longer in business or available today.  

I only include folding bike manufacturers that have a website and are active.  There are many other brands, mainly Chinese, that sell their bikes on Alibaba or similar websites.  I did not include these in my list, as they often seem to sell the same folding bicycle model under various different brand names and have no own website presence.

More info here
  • If you know of other fold-up makers that should be added to the list, please let us know and we'll gladly add them to the list. 
  • We'll start highlighting and reviewing all the bikes (alphabetically) from Monday the 27th of April.  
See you next Monday for Manufacturer Monday

24 April 2020

Books about Folding Bicycles and Folding Bike Travels.

Bikepacking and travelling by bicycle have become more popular than ever before. There are many people who have cycled through countries, crossed continents or even cycled around the world. Nearly all of them do it on a mountain bike or some sort of gravel or rugged road bike. 

Only a few have done it on a folding bike, which I find kind of strange. Because sometimes the road is too boring to cycle, or what happens if you're having an off-day and you just don't feel like biking at all? 
A folding bicycle allows you to both cycle or fold your bike and easily catch a train, a bus, or any other form of transport. 
So next time you go on a biking adventure, be it a short weekend city trip or a couple of weeks bikepacking around the countryside, it's maybe time to consider using your folding bike. 
To get some travel inspiration, the following people have written a book about their folding bicycle adventures. I've placed these books in my personal favourite order. 
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! 

1. A Hitch-Biker's Guide Through Africa: Cairo to Cape Town on a Folding Bike by Jo Charnock

'Travelling the length of Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town, on folding bikes? Were we completely mad or had we come up with an idea that would prove to be the simplest and most fun way to travel?'

A Hitch-Biker's Guide Through Africa is the story of this extraordinary adventure, of two people with two folding bicycles who travelled the length of Africa, from Cairo to Cape Town. This African odyssey was a spur of the moment decision which didn't give the author and her partner much time to plan. They guessed that folding bicycles would allow for versatile travelling. The freedom of cycling could be backed up with public transport or hitching a ride, especially when distances were far and carrying enough water could be a problem. What they hadn't anticipated was just how easy the trip would prove to be.

In her first book, author Jo Charnock gives a first-hand account of this incredible journey and the couple's often surprising adventures. After nearly six months on the road the trip ended with nothing but fantastic, positive experiences brought about by the people they met, and the unmatched natural beauty of Africa.

You can get the book here.

2. Unfolding Travels by Gianni Filippini 

UNFOLDING TRAVELS is an account of a traveller’s desire to cycle along some of the most beautiful roads in the world.

Despite the constraints of modern living and a chronic lack of time, the author shows that life-changing adventures should not be limited to students’ gap years or armchair accounts of explorers’ tales.

With a little courage and a lot of enthusiasm, a few weeks off work is all it takes to be able to fulfil your travelling dreams. You might be a newbie or a seasoned cyclist, either way, never think it is too late. If you are afraid or think you are not ready, just start pedalling. Inevitably you will find out that, whether you venture near or far, you are alright; the rest is learnt along the way as it is needed. Once you return, the freedom you have experienced, as well as the sense of achievement, will leave you wanting more.

Life at 15 miles per hour is just about perfect. A cycling tour allows you to travel the world in a more intimate way, as you have never done before: slow enough to take in the sights and smells of a place or to stop and accept the kindness of a stranger, as well as fast enough should you decide not to linger.

20 April 2020

E-Folding Bike: The Coswheel

This is the Coswheel.

● Powerful 350W motor, max 35km/h speed, grade ability up to 10 degrees, uneven land can not stop your journey

● 8800mAh 18650 Li-ion battery ( included in the product ), max 35km mileage, no need to worry about the powerless situation on the way to a destination

● Easy to fold/unfold, space-saving and portable to carry and drag in the flat ground ( about A4 paper area, it can be stored in a car trunk )

● Rotating style accelerator in the handle, allowing you to have motorcycle racing experience

● HD LCD screen displayer for showing cycling data

● With USB port for charging mobile phone

● Front light and rear lamp, increasing night safety

● Speed-control and detecting cycling data by intelligent App

● 8-inch inflatable front tire and vacuum anti-explosion rear tire, with anti-slip texture, high road-holding ability even on the slippery ground

● Lightweight but tough aluminium alloy + ABS plastic body

Check the video here and you can purchase one here.

13 April 2020

Meet Billy!

Enki's new e-bike looks indeed like a lot of fun!

Billy has a 500 Watt motor and is cross between a BMX and a motocross bike. We like the idea of the battery in the frame, and the bike also folds! 

More info here.

30 March 2020

Thinking of Getting a Folding Bike During the COVID-19 lock-down? Now Is the Time!

If you’ve been thinking about buying a folding bike but have been hesitant to pull the trigger now may be the best time to go through with a purchase.

COVID-19 has completely upended how we get around on a daily basis. Public transport (if still operating at all) is seen as too risky. You’re most likely staying at home, self-isolating, so you don’t have to travel too far to run errands and get some fresh air at the same time. Walking is fine — for a while. Eventually, you will wear out all of your available routes, and then what? You could haul out your old bike for a ride — and you should — but why not go folding?

Let’s look at some of the reasons why folding bikes are really the best mode of transport for our new pandemic way of life, and why this is a very good time to get one (if you’re fortunate enough to still be employed).

Social distancing: Experts advise that you stay at least 2 meters away from other people to minimize the spread of infection. It’s a blunt response to the immediate crisis. A crisis that will last weeks, most likely months and possibly longer if numbers keep spiralling out of control before a vaccine can be found.

Cycling is an excellent way to adhere to social distancing guidelines — as long as you’re riding alone. Racing is an excellent group activity, but it’s probably not the best type of cycling for the present moment, so leave the spandex at home. A folding bike is a perfect way to get outside, feel the breeze on your skin, watch the pavement rush by underneath your wheels, and still, get that ‘shot of endorphins’ in your brain.

Car traffic is plummeting: People are staying at home and avoiding unnecessary travel. Demand for ride-hailing is fizzling as restrictions are put in place, and the streets have never been more inviting for cyclists. Italy, the first nation to institute a coronavirus ‘lock-down’, is seeing a 65 percent drop in personal vehicle travel, and 70 percent overall. Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s clear sailing for cycling.

Most trips will be short: We’re only allowed to use our bikes for short distances, such as to and from the shop. There will be less security or parking attendants around, so the folding bike gives you the opportunity to fold your bike and place it into the trolley while zooming through the isles.

Good folding bikes come at all price ranges: Bike sales are booming globally, which is helping to drive down purchase prices. Dahon, the world folding bike leader has bikes in all price ranges and sizes. There’s also a growth in e-folding bikes, although once folded they are heavier to carry.

What about a home-trainer for your folding bike?: The space-saving combination of smaller wheels and the trainer allows exercising in any room or on any terrace. Need the space back? Simply fold it down and store away.

In the meantime: Be safe, stay home, use your home-trainer and only use your folding bike for buying your necessities.

Author: Jan Wouters