Folding bikes can be well-built, easy to transport and perfect for city dwellers who live in small spaces. Their availability might even inspire more urbanites to take their own gas-free transportation to work.
In essence, these bikes are becoming a more practical way to free yourself from public transit and your tiny home within minutes.
If you're in the market for a new bike, there are a number of great options on the market. Here are a few popular models to consider:
Swift Folder: The swift folder "was born as a cross country collaboration between Peter Reich, a New York-based industrial designer and Jan VanderTuin, an ex-bike racer who believes the first choice in all transportation should be human powered." Swift folders are 26 pounds and cost $980.
Brompton: Cherise Fong of CNN says, "Brompton has earned an international cult status with quality British craftsmanship and a perfected one-size-fits-all design in a range of customizable colors." Depending on the model and the types of accessories you chose, a Brompton can cost from $800 to $1,200.
Bike Friday: Bike Friday has earned a reputation by making custom-fit folding bikes. Last year, Darren Alff purchased a Bike Friday and toured across Europe.
Alff says, "Since purchasing my New World Tourist in mid-2008, I've been riding the bike almost every single day since then. In that time, I've spent more than 250 days on the bike, traveled with it on 4 airplane trips, 35 train rides, 2 boats and a handful of cars and trucks. I've ridden on paved roads, volcanic rock, ice, snow, mud and stone." Bike Fridays range from $900 to $1,000.
You can also find quality folders from the award-winning Strida and German-designed Birdy, to the tiny-wheeled CarryMe.
While at first glance these bikes may seem expensive -- consider the cost of a car (about $8,000 per year). Folding bikes are an inexpensive alternative for urban travel. And you can fit them in a tiny apartment!
Note: photo by Alan of EcoVelo.info
Tammy Strobel blogs at RowdyKittens about simple living and is the author of Simply Car-free: How to Pedal Toward Financial Freedom and a Healthier Life.