Are Folding Bikes Good for Long Rides?Nov 10, 2023
It’s a known fact that folding bikes are ideal for impromptu riding, transporting further afield, and the daily commute - bobbing and weaving city traffic with ease. But, with the taste of long distance adventures on everybody's lips as of late, the question remains: are folding bikes good for long rides?
Folding bikes have carved a unique niche. Their compact design and portability make them a tempting choice for the fun-time city hopper, but it’s now more common for a rider to want a bike that can do both - quick trips and longer adventures.
We’re ready to dispel myths and trip away any misconceptions around the performance of a lightweight folding bike for long distance riding. And honestly, to brag about the true potential of a Hummingbird folding bike!
The Dynamics of Long Rides
The open road, the freedom, the adrenaline hit - there are many enticing aspects of a long ride.
Firstly, let’s preface this by saying if the sole purpose of your new bike purchase is for long distance only, we’re the first to say that investing in a full sized bike is worth your while. However, if you’re thinking more about casual riding, getting about the city, with the odd lengthy cycle thrown into the mix, buying a folding bike is just fine.
Long rides are more of a physical feat; on the body and on the bike. Due to the petite frame and the small wheels on a folder, this is where the cyclists’ doubt comes in... “Do they have the stamina to handle a long ride?”
Considerations for Folding Bikes in Long Rides
Comfort, performance, and convenience are the defining successes of a folding bike on long rides. Which is lucky, since the compact frames must keep pace with their traditional counterparts, while also offering portability and endurance.
The variety of folding bike types—electric, multi-speed, and single-speed, to name a few—speaks to the adaptability of these bikes.
Long Ride Folding Bikes: The Essentials
The prime bike choice for longer bike rides isn’t about aesthetics, although folding bikes sure look the part. It’s about materials, construction, functions and beyond.
Frame Materials and Durability
The backbone–quite literally–of any bike is its frame materials. The frame determines the bike's resilience and performance. From aluminium to titanium to carbon, each “typical,” each material has a unique blend of weight, sturdiness, and shock absorption.
Frame materials dictate the bike's ability to absorb vibrations, maintain stability, and endure prolonged use, and there’s no material that can handle the previous quite like a carbon fibre.
The smoothness of a journey lies in the transition between gears. Long rides demand adaptability—scaling steep inclines, cruising along flats, and conquering downhill. The gears in multi-speed folding bikes enable this versatility.
In a world of ideals, an 8-gear set-up is top choice, especially for longer rides. An 8-gear folding bike has the configurations to tackle almost any demand you can encounter on a long ride. For a bike with a smaller wheel set, multi-speed folding bikes have a lot of bite.
Suspension Systems and Comfort
Comfort on the road is non-negotiable for extended rides. Suspension systems, whether rigid, front, or full, help to minimise impact and enhance ride quality.
The diverse terrains, from smooth pavements to rugged trails, need adaptability in a folding bike's suspension system. The ideal choice not only absorbs shocks but also ensures a smoother, more comfortable ride, irrespective of the journey's twists and turns.
Choosing the Ideal Folding Bike
The quest for finding the ideal folding bike for long rides is nuanced, but it doesn’t need to be. As aforementioned, we’re not going to try and falsely persuade you that if you’re long distance riding and long distance only, shop for a road bike or mountain bike.
However, if you want an accomplice to explore the city, hop on public transport, head out on your Sunday morning coffee run… but then you fancy a longer adventure occasionally - folding bikes align perfectly with your cycling dreams.
Top Folding Bikes for Long Rides
Multi-Speed Folding Bike
The 8-speed Shimano Nexus gear hub on the Hummingbird Multi-Speed bike offers more than urban efficiency—it's a reliable companion for longer journeys. Its smooth, accurate shifts with reduced drag ensure a comfortable and efficient ride across varied terrains, crucial for extended adventures, and allow higher speeds with less effort. The twist grip shifter's easy operation, even when stationary, adds convenience, making it a trustworthy choice for occasional long-distance cycling.
Multi-Speed Belt Drive Folding Bike
The Hummingbird Multi-Speed Belt Drive bike, designed for urban life, is more than a city bike—it's a versatile option primed for longer rides.
The key lies in its belt drive system, a feature that extends its suitability for longer journeys and elevates its versatility. The 8-speed Shimano Nexus gear hub, coupled with this belt drive, ensures a ride optimised for efficiency and adaptability across various terrains—a crucial factor for occasional long-distance cycling.
Moreover, the low maintenance and quiet operation offered by the carbon-reinforced belts add another layer of suitability for extended rides. With no need for grease and the lasting endurance of these drives, belt-drive folding bikes become an ideal choice for hassle-free, longer cycling adventures.
Electric Folding Bike
The Electric Hummingbird isn't just a city bike—it's the world's lightest folding electric bike designed to extend your journey effortlessly. With a 250W motor and the enhanced Gen 2.0 offering 50% more torque and 20% increased range, you can cover over 50 km on a single charge.
The remote control for on-demand settings and a boost feature ensure seamless rides, even conquering steep hills. Its swift folding mechanism in just 5 seconds provides quick readiness for your extended cycling adventures.
Maintenance and Care for Long-Distance Folding Bikes
Maintaining your folding bike’s peak performance on extended rides is crucial. Long journeys bring unique wear and tear, requiring special care to uphold the bike’s efficiency and endurance.
Longevity and Maintenance Tips
Preserving your folding bike's endurance and performance through long rides relies on maintenance. Routine care—cleaning, lubrication, and meticulous attention to critical components—upholds the bike's ability to withstand the rigours of extended journeys.
Addressing stress points, gear systems, and tire wear through regular inspections becomes essential in ensuring the bike's resilience to prolonged stress and varied conditions. Going beyond routine upkeep, strategies like proper storage and professional tune-ups play a significant role in extending the bike's life and functionality, safeguarding its reliability throughout your long-distance adventures.
Through our exploration of frame materials, gear systems, and maintenance essentials, we've unveiled the potential and adaptability of folding bikes for extended journeys. The reality? These compact folding bikes stand ready to conquer miles, offering comfort, performance, and portability for the dedicated traveller.Ready to embark on your own cycling odyssey? Explore our collection of folding bikes, meticulously designed for all your cycling aspirations.