Despite their name, you can use a mountain bike just about anywhere. They've long been one of our favorite ways to get out and about. There's just one problem --- transport. Loading up a mountain bike when you don't have a big SUV with a roof rack seems impossible, but that's where folding mountain bikes come in. Bikes that fold up make carting them here, there, and everywhere much easier, no matter what kind of car you've got.
We've taken some time to look at the best folding mountain bikes to bring you the definitive selection of top folding bikes out there. Let's dive right in with our best overall folding mountain bike, followed by our Runner Up folding bike and the other great bikes that made our list.
Xspec 26" 21-Speed Folding Mountain Bike
The Xspec is a strong, fast, and reliable ride that is bound to impress. Among the most striking features are the disc brakes, which are far superior to the old V-brakes on other models.
In fact, all the components, including Shimano parts, are built with durable materials, from the 26" diamond wheels with alloy double-wall rims to the fantastic high-tensile frame.
- Every part feels strong and durable
- Perfect for rugged mountain riding or everyday cycling
- Once assembled, it folds right up in seconds with no extra tools needed - very convenient for travel
- Bike comes with Shimano components that contribute to rider confidence
- Gearing a little low, which makes downhill speed somewhat limited
OBK G4/G6 26" Full Suspension Folding Mountain Bike
Suitable for both men and women, the OBK folding bike features awesome front and rear suspension, making it ideal for riders who take their bikes on rough terrain. Complementing the suspension is the high-quality Shimano derailleurs.
Riding on the roughest terrain means you need sensitive and responsive brakes. The OBK's dual disc brakes are very keen, pulling up with the right strength when you need near-instant stopping power. It's not perfect, with a slightly slow gear shift and heavy overall weight, but it's a solid, strong bike for rough terrain.
- Feels sturdy and safe on rough terrain
- Highly responsive brakes
- Comfortable suspension
- Durable materials
- Gear shift feels a little slower than other models
- Heavy to lift into the car
UROSA High Carbon Steel 26 Inch Folding Mountain Bike
The UROSA bike delivers power and great looks in a single great-value bike. Better yet, it maintains some of the best mechanical features you'd expect on a more expensive model, like mechanical disc brakes, Shimano suspension parts, and more.
The bike comes in a range of colors, and most unique is the contemporary minimalist spoke design that will really help riders stand out from the crowd.
- Quick and easy to fold - around 15 seconds even for new users
- Stylish looks
- Great value purchase price suits all budgets
- Assembly not as easy as our best overall model
Folding Bike TSM G7
This offering from Eurobike delivers large and steady 27.5" wheels that will help riders of all levels feel more secure on the bike trail. The design also blends modern and traditional for a look that has universal appeal.
Its strong but light aluminum frame keeps it from being overly cumbersome when you want to fold up and store away. It was just a shame that some small components were made of cheap plastic, so it felt shoddy, but nothing crucial.
- Pleasing design with multiple color choices
- Large, sturdy wheels help rider traverse almost any terrain
- Light but sturdy aluminum frame
- Great value price
- Some small parts made from flimsy plastic
- Not suitable for riders over 6.0'
Kingttu G6 Mountain Bike
This 21-speed offering from Kingttu features a pleasing, sturdy design and responsive dual disc brake system. It arrives at your address already 85 percent assembled, making it perfect for those who want to avoid professional assembly fees.
Despite simple looks, it holds up well on rough terrain, and its powerful shock-absorbing system makes it a comfortable ride. The recommended rider height only goes up to 5'9", however, so it's not suitable for taller riders.
- Arrives almost assembled - east to finish
- Powerful shock absorbing from the dual suspension system
- Pleasing design
- Parts like the seat are easy to switch out to suit different needs
- Limited rider height, no good for anyone 5'10" or taller
Mountain Bike TSM G4 Bicycle
Those who like a clean-look wheel design will love this product from Eurobike, featuring a contemporary 3-spoke "blade" style build. The folding mechanism is smooth and easy to operate for easy loading and unloading from the car.
On the slight downside, the chain is a bit noisy, and it's a bike built for a light rider, probably no more than 170lbs. Any heavier and the suspension seems to be much less effective.
- Folding mechanism east to use
- Clean and contemporary design
- Easy to assemble
- Noisy chain
- Can't support heavier riders
Are Folding Mountain Bikes Any Good?
When you have a compact living space or car, keeping mountain bikes at home seems like an impossibility. Foldable mountain bikes are a neat and cost-effective solution to this issue.
If you're taking them out of the city to find an exciting trail somewhere, you can load them into the car with ease. When you're home, you can store them without taking over a hall or spare room.
Mountain bike folding is also easier than you think. Initial assembly can be tricky, but you can get professional help if you're willing to pay for it. After that, folding is easy as pie.
Mountain bikes can bring a giant, open outdoor world to your compact life. Furthermore, you can get folding mountain bikes with a steel frame, robust suspension, various gear speeds, and other components that keep it strong and durable.
They also retain their value very well. On average, people who sell their folding mountain bikes only lose around $100 from the initial purchase price!
What is the Best Folding Mountain Bike?
We nominated the Xspec above as our top pick, but which bike is best really depends on your individual needs. If your bike comes with a strong frame, is light in weight but can handle heavy-duty mountain trails, features easy gear shifting, and a suspension that keeps things comfortable, then it's a quality bike in almost anyone's book.
Other factors on what makes a good foldable mountain bike will depend on you as an individual. They come in various weights, colors, and styles. From minimalist 3-spoke wheel designs to more rugged and edgy bikes with thick tires and dual suspension. A disc brake system and quality shock absorbers are a must, too, if you plan on traversing challenging trails.
Are Folding Bikes Good for Long Rides?
It would be hard for any cycle to call itself the best folding mountain bike if it couldn't also be good on a long ride. While they are built to fold and be more convenient than a regular bike design, they haven't lost any of their durability or utility.
Their smooth gear shifts and solid tire traction make them perfect any kind of ride. It's unlikely you'll see them in the Tour de France, but these machines are nonetheless built to last. Because they are built to endure rough and wild mountain trails, the tires are even more durable on the smooth road when touring. This means you're less likely to get a flat tire. Furthermore, should you come across rougher conditions, you're ready to deal with it. Typical road touring bikes are not as versatile.
Making the bike foldable just adds an extra cherry the top of the cake because after a long ride you can fold the bike up and store it out of sight.
Is it Cheaper to Buy or Build a Mountain Bike?
Typically, it is more expensive to custom-build a bike than it is to get a pre-made one. The final price will depend largely on your design. Key parts like the braking system, front suspension, steel frame and more will have a big influence on final cost.
If you go for an expensive material like carbon fiber, for example, then the price will increase hugely on a custom build. Should you choose to build a custom bike, then certain key components you will want to invest in properly, such as the suspension system, gear shift and release system (quick release is best). The saddle, too, will need adequate cushioning based on your size and how long you typically ride.
If you're a keen and regular mountain biker, then a custom build is the best option, regardless of it being more costly. On the other hand, an occasional biker will be served perfectly well by a pre-built mountain bike.
It's crucial that you shop around to find a folding bike that suits your needs. In the end, if nothing quite matches, you can explore a custom option, but in that case you'd better be prepared to pay more. A folding mountain bike opens up a universe of unexplored trails. Shop carefully and make an informed choice!