Bike commuting has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as of late. I look forward to those 40 minutes of moderate workout while observing my surroundings and enjoying the fresh air as I make my way to the office. On most days it’s been a pleasant ride, however, there have been a few rainy days when I couldn’t ride whole way to work and had to use public transport. But with my full-size mountain bike, trying to enter the train during the rush hour has proven quite tricky. I was politely refused entry since apparently, with bikes on the train, it could become dangerous if the train stopped suddenly. Out of the blue, what has been just a few minutes earlier my most practical urban vehicle, then became just a heavy burden. I chained the bike to a railing and took the train to work. This is when I decided to invest in a foldable cycle.
It’s safe to say that folding bikes have come a long way during the last couple of decades or so, since their launch in the 1890s. They are no longer the heavy, weird and hard to ride bikes of the past. These days, their performance is almost similar to those of the bigger and rigid bikes. They are becoming lighter, stronger and can be folded up even smaller. Prices are also dropping – although the premium ones range around $2,000, there are cheaper options available. For around $500 you can get a premium quality foldable cycle with a 16-speed gear that can be folded in no more than 10 seconds. As many cyclists are realising the many benefits of owning a foldable cycle for commuting rather than a full-size bike, we’ll be seeing more of these on the roads. In fact, according to some marketing analysts, the folding bike industry will continue to grow until 2024. This is due to the many perks they have to offer. Here are some.
If you are multimodal commuting to work be it on the bus, taxi or train, a folder will let you combine your cycling with any number of other transports. What you need to do is simply fold it, place it under the seat, sit back and enjoy your ride. Carrying a foldable bike is allowed in many states, plus it’s totally free and you don’t have to make a booking as you would for full-size bikes in some states.
Also, most compact folding bikes are practical enough so they can be easily stored under your desk at work and your colleagues won’t even notice it’s there. When you have your bike close to you, there is less chance for it to be stolen by bicycle thieves. You’ll no longer have to think whether you’ll find your bike where you left it and go all the way back down to the bottom floor just to check. All you need to do is look under your desk or at the corner of your office. Additionally, this can also save you space at home, which can be a perfect solution for those that are living in smaller apartments.
If you are someone who has to attend different events overseas (lucky you), you can take your foldable bike on a plane as well. Just pack it in a suitcase and take it out when you arrive whether it’s in Tokyo, Amsterdam or Montreal. You will be able to happily tour the new city with your bike, so you don’t have to rent a car or rely on public transport for short trips. As many people complain that when travelling they lose their routine, riding the bike will help you keep up your healthy lifestyle. You can sneak a couple of minutes of exercise while you explore a strange city.
Still, although some small folded bikes can fit into a carry-on, it’s not recommended to carry your bike on board as it may not get through the security screening process easily. Instead, checking your bike is a safer option. Add some padding and place it into your check-in suitcase and you’ll still have spare room for clothes or other stuff and won’t have to pay extra fees.
Also, since they are not a mainstream ( at least not yet) if you decide to commute by folding bikes you will look pretty cool each time you break open or break down your bike in just a few seconds and carry it in just one hand. Most people would be curious to know more, which in turn can be a great conversation starter, and if you are anything like me, never gets boring either.