Folding Bikes

I’m going to be going back to work in the big smoke. It would be a 20 min cycle either end for me but will need a folding bike.

Anyone got an recommendations? Brompton is the well known brand but they start at 1k. Even 2nd hand on ebay 15 year old bikes in shite condition are going for 500 notes.

No big hills to get over so single or 3 speed will be fine. Dont really care about weight. Decathlon do a button cheap one, anyone know if that’s any good?

I ended up getting a Brompton but that was because I could get it on the cycle to work scheme so the cost wasn’t so much of an issue. My work’s scheme is with Halfords but you can exchange their voucher for other shops that do Bromptons.
One of the main reasons for me was weight; mine, not the bike! Most of the cheaper models are aluminium and I was pushing/over their weight limit and I didn’t really want to risk that on something with a dirty great hinge in the middle. Bromptons are about 120kg iirc.
I’ve had the Brompton over 3 years and it’s been brilliant. I went for 3 hub gears so no oily derailleur to worry about. They definitely fold up smaller and neater than the cheaper models and the oily bits, chain etc. ends up in the middle, not on the outside, which is better if squeezing on and off trains etc.
Decathlon bikes generally get decent reviews and I got a cheap MTB from there a few years back and can’t fault it for the price but don’t know anything specific about their folders.

Brompton’s are just that good, hence the price tag. Will last a long time and are just better so really worth the investment - and as you’ve seen, sellable at reasonable returns.

They’re now being sold in more stores (including Trek) so more chance of using a bike to work voucher for them.

I know a few people with Decathon folders (some e-versions) and generally speaking they are liked, but I don’t know what mileage people are piling on these, so don’t know how they fare over long term. have looked at getting a couple for our motorhome use for when we need the odd little trip somewhere rather than taking our normal road or MTBs

I use my Brompton for that too, saves moving the van to nip to the shops, chippy etc. if we don’t intend doing any “proper” cycling
Also means don’t have to worry about bike rack as can just sling it inside and it fits in the passenger foot well once parked up, even with the seat spun round. Ikea do a bag for £3 that it fits in so no worries about mess etc.

This has always perplexed me about bicycles & camper vans. So if you have a big camper van, why would you put your (expensive) bike on a rack outside when driving between locations? :thinking:

My van is only a small VW. I could get bikes inside for travelling but then you’ve got to secure them somehow to prevent damaging them or the interior.
However, they wouldn’t fit inside at night (when the bed is folded out) so then you’ve got to lock them up somehow, lean them against the van or on the floor. The rack means they are upright, take up less room and are locked when on it and it doesn’t matter if they’re filthy (MTB particularly)
Larger motorhomes often have a garage area for bikes which is perfect but takes up a lot of room a smaller van doesn’t have.

we don’t - we have a large(ish) garage area that we can put 2 bikes in. In fact just loaded our 2 MTBs in for a 6 week trip we’re off on tomorrow evening… :grin:

I have one of the Decathlon folders. It’s great for chucking in the back of the car but not so great for the train. It doesn’t really fold up small enough to conveniently stow. In terms of build quality it is fine once you realize the folding lock mechanism folds vertically and not horizontally (this is not obvious and can mean the bike tries to unfold whilst you ride it if not done correctly). We use the folder quite a lot as it is so easy to switch between sizes for myself or my wife or even my mother in law. I’m 6’2" and she is 5’0"

I’ve done a few decent distances on it (I think 40 miles is my max) and whilst the saddle isn’t really designed for that it is OK. Not really had any problems with it - we use it on road and light trail - but biggest issue for you would definitely be stowing it on a train

1 Like

I am now considering getting a 2nd hand snotter to leave at the station each end. Advice seems to be buy a piece of crap, spray it shit brown, superglue ball bearings in the hex bolts and swap all the quick releases.


My only concern with that plan would be just bloody minded vandalism. There’s a covered bike rack over the road from my work and there were some bikes left there that gradually got destroyed. I think some of them had been abandoned so were there for ages but if left all night you’ve got drunks, kids etc. just bending the wheels jumping on them etc to consider.
I don’t use my Brompton on the train but just like that I can fold it up and stick it under my desk out of harms way when not in use.

Yeah good point. There is a massive double decker bike rack at Euston in the main road bit. At work there is a locked bike store in the basement and my local trains station there is a huge bike shed. I think those locations would be ok. They are covered by CCTV and well trafficked. Plus plenty of bikes, safety in numbers.

There are bikes on flebay for under 100 notes. I’ll give it ago. If they end up getting nicked or damaged I’ll rethink.

1 Like

Yeah, as long as it’s in a busy well lit area, you’re probably okay. Locked to some railings probably not.