Choosing the best folding bike: our complete buying guide

En résumé : choisir le meilleur vélo pliant

  • Les vélos pliants se déclinent en trois catégories principales : les vélos musculaires à petites roues, très compacts mais moins performants ; les vélos électriques à petites roues, idéaux pour parcourir de longues distances ; et les vélos musculaires à grandes roues, qui offrent un excellent équilibre entre performance et compacité.
  • Ces vélos sont parfaitement adaptés aux trajets urbains, facilitant le transport en commun, le rangement dans des espaces restreints et réduisant le risque de vol.
  • Le choix d'un vélo pliant doit prendre en compte la morphologie de l'utilisateur, le budget et les usages futurs qu'en fera son acquéreur.
  • À chaque utilisateur correspond donc un vélo idéal. Mais à nos yeux, le vélo Bastille offre le meilleur compromis entre élégance, compacité, performance et qualité.

Choosing a folding bike can be a complex decision, given the multitude of options available on the market. Whether you are an urban cyclist looking for a practical way to get around town or a traveler looking for a compact travel companion, choosing your folding bike is not necessarily a simple step. To make this choice easier, here is the list of criteria to take into account when you want to equip yourself with a folding bike as well as the advantages of the Bastille bike, the first bike with large wheels that folds like no bike before.

What is a folding bike?

A folding bike is a bike designed to be easily folded and transported. It differs from conventional bicycles by its articulated frame which allows it to be reduced to a compact format. There are several types of folding bikes that can be classified into 3 categories:

  • Muscular folding bikes (without electrical assistance) with small wheels : maximum compactness but bikes with a miniature appearance and performance below large wheel bikes.
  • Electric folding bikes with small wheels : for cyclists looking for compactness and who travel long distances or travel along rugged routes.
  • Muscle folding bikes with big wheels : the best compromise between compactness, driving pleasure, design and performance.

What is a folding bike used for?

The folding bike is ideal for urban journeys . It fits easily on public transport, stores easily in the office or in an apartment, and allows you to enjoy the freedom of the little queen in any situation. The folding bike is also very practical if you do not have access to bicycle storage to store your bike at home or at your workplace . Generally speaking, the compactness and practicality of a folding bike allows you to take your bike everywhere with you : to the café, to the restaurant, to the gym, etc. , thus greatly reducing the risk of theft.

A folding bike can also be very useful for intermodality . If, for example, you live a 15-minute walk from your station, the folding bike could be a good solution to save time on this journey, while allowing you to take the train without disturbing other passengers. But the folding bike can also prove to be a very practical solution for those who travel other than by train: many people traveling by car, camping, etc.

Buying guide: best folding bike

ar or by boat are happy to be able to count on this type of bike during their excursions.

How does a folding bike work?

A folding bike works using a system of hinges that allows the frame and other parts of the bike to be folded. These hinges lock when folded to keep the bike sturdy. The folding system of a folding bike varies depending on the model. The most common use joints at the frame and handlebars, allowing the bike to be folded in seconds.

There are several folding technologies for folding bikes:

Horizontal folding or side folding : The frame folds in half, on each side of the rear wheel. This system is the most common and offers a good compromise between compactness and stability.

Vertical folding, “travel bed” type : The frame folds vertically, like an umbrella. This system is very compact when folded, but may be less stable than other systems.

Accordion folding : The frame folds like an accordion, in several parts. This system offers great compactness. However, it can be a little more complex to fold and unfold.

Folding under the frame : The frame folds under the crankset. This system is rarer, but it keeps the bike very compact when folded.

Disassembly : The bike disassembles into several parts, which can then be stored in a bag or suitcase. This system is the most compact, but it can be time-consuming and tedious to assemble and disassemble. It is used by bikes like the Moulton and the Strida.

Pyramid Folding (BASTILLE) : The frame folds into a pyramid shape, making it very compact and easy to transport. This folding has been the subject of 9 years of R&D, has been patented and optimized for great simplicity and fluidity of folding and to allow the bike to be pulled like a suitcase once folded.

Why choose a folding bike?

The advantages of the folding bike are numerous:

  • Practicality : Easy to fold and transport, it adapts to all your trips.
  • Space saving : Ideal for small spaces, it can be easily stored in an apartment or office.
  • Multimodality : to combine cycling and public transport for fluid urban mobility.
  • A bike that won't get stolen : the compactness of the folding bike allows you to take it everywhere with you, and therefore never leave your bike tied up in the street.

How to choose the ideal folding bike for you?

Choosing the best folding bike depends on your needs and budget. Here are some criteria to take into account:

  • Size and weight : a bike adapted to your size and physical strength. A lightweight folding bike will be easier to transport. Conversely, a folding bike with small wheels may not be suitable if you are very tall or very heavy.
  • Budget : Folding bike prices vary depending on the brand, materials and features. It is important to clearly define your budget before starting your search.
  • Number of speeds / electrification : for hilly routes, you will probably want to choose a folding bike with several speeds or electric assistance.
  • Tire sizes : 16 to 20 inch tires offer a good compromise between handling and comfort.
  • Equipment : the lightest folding bikes on the market are often lighter because there is less equipment. Urban use requires good lighting, mudguards, a luggage rack, etc.
  • Quality of manufacturing and assembly : we suggest that you choose a bike made in France, easily repairable, durable over time and made with quality materials

Before starting your search, it is important to define the main objective of your folding bike . Is it for daily city commutes, for intermodal travel (train/bus/public transportation), for weekend getaways, or for travel? The majority of folding bikes are designed for urban use but if you are looking for a versatile model that adapts to all desires, choosing the Bastille bike allows you to make no compromises and opt for the best folding bike on the market.

Folding bike buying guide

Design / Elegance


Driving comfort*


Speed ​​and acceleration**

Global mark

Folding bike with small wheels







Electric folding bike with small wheels







Big wheel folding bike







*Due to its design, the gap between the center of gravity of the cyclist and that of the bicycle is greater on a bicycle with small wheels. The result is a balance that is more difficult to find on a folding bike with small wheels . For example, it is almost impossible to cycle hands-free with this type of bike. On a steep road or on cobblestones this can be detrimental. Manufacturers compensate by increasing the width of the tires, which then comes at the expense of speed.

**We have chosen to give the maximum score to electric bikes. However, it is important to understand that they are not necessarily better than muscle bikes in all situations. In fact, electric assistance is restricted by manufacturers, which means that the maximum speed of the bike is limited, even if you pedal very hard. On flat ground or downhill, a high-performance muscle bike can therefore be faster than an electric bike.

Bastille, the best folding bike for your travels

Bastille revolutionizes the folding bike market with a unique model that combines the advantages of classic folding bikes and high-end city bikes.

The best size and weight ratio for suitable use

One of the main advantages of folding bikes is their ability to fold easily and become compact for easy transport and storage. However, it is essential to find a balance between the folded size and the unfolded size of the bike. The Bastille bike was designed so that we can have the best possible driving experience. Indeed, deployed, opinions converge to describe a bike which provides the road sensations of a real bike with big wheels . Folded, it makes its way wherever you go : on a train, in the trunk of a car or in the elevator of your building.

As always when it comes to folding bikes, you will have to place the cursor as closely as possible depending on what you prefer: the need for lightness or a response to everyday constraints and driving comfort. To facilitate daily transport and remove weight constraints , the Bastille bicycle in the folded position can be pulled like a suitcase . This avoids having to carry it and allows unparalleled fluidity and simplicity when changing transport such as train stations or RER stations.

A unique, fast and fluid folding, the result of several years of R&D

The Bastille folding bike is the result of several years of R&D to offer users a unique experience: a bike that folds easily in just a few

Buying guide: best folding bike

seconds like no other bike before it. The gesture is fluid, the technique disappears, the Bastille folds and unfolds as if by magic. 3 patents and 9 years of research and development have led to this folding kinematics, under the leadership of Gilles Henry, inventor of the Yoyo stroller, already adopted by more than a million parents around the world.

Quality and durability for a bike that lasts over time

The build quality and durability of the folding bike are essential aspects to consider. Look for strong frames, quality components and a sturdy finish. Read user reviews and learn about brands known for their reliability. Choosing a quality folding bike allows you to enjoy a pleasant riding experience and longevity.

Each of the components of the Bastille bike has been carefully chosen to provide real folding pleasure and the best rolling bike. Aluminum frame, carbon fork, transmission belt, 3 or 7 speed hub, hydraulic disc brakes, integrated lighting... the best for an urban bike assembled in France to accompany you over time.

A committed French brand

By choosing BASTILLE, you support a French brand committed to sustainable development. The Bastille bike is designed and assembled in France with top quality materials, the frame is made in France as rarely in the world of cycling. The frames are glued and assembled in Angers, at our partner Expliseat, an aeronautics specialist who has already revolutionized this sector by designing and manufacturing ultra-light seats, thus reducing the weight of aircraft and therefore their ecological footprint. The frames are then assembled in the East of France with the rest of the components. BASTILLE thus participates in the reindustrialization of France and the maintenance of ancestral know-how cultivated for years in our territory.

Elegant and modern design

Bastille is not only a high-performance bike, it is also an elegant object. Its modern, sleek design attracts attention and lets you ride in style. Our bikes move to blend into your lives. The line of the bike has not only been designed to guarantee robustness, performance and fluidity of folding. We designed this bike so that it leaves no one indifferent as it passes by .

Try it before you adopt it

If possible, try the folding bike before choosing to purchase it to test the comfort of the saddle, the position of the handlebars and the ease of pedaling. You will also need to ensure that the bike is adapted to your size and body shape. Handling and stability are also important aspects to evaluate during a test drive. Some folding bikes offer great compactness but can be a little unstable on surfaces like cobblestones or dirt roads. Comfortable, elegant, safe and efficient, Bastille bikes have been designed to accompany you on both short and long distances, in town or on forest paths. By following these tips, reviews and taking into account the key aspects mentioned above, it will be easier to choose the best bike perfectly suited to your needs.

Conclusion of this folding bike buying guide:

It is important to choose your bike according to your project, the use you will make of it and your body type. With BASTILLE, we decided to combine the best of both worlds: foldability for practicality, compactness and transportability. And big wheels for performance, driving comfort and elegance. In our eyes, this makes it the best compromise on the market: the bike that goes with you wherever you go. You can now pre-order your Bastille folding bike on our site or try it out at one of our many resellers .

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