Folding Bikes Geared to Compact Space, Active Lifestyle


ecovelo, tiny bikes, folding bikesIf you thought compact, folding bikes weren't "real bikes," think again.

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. Says a blogger at EcoVelo, a site dedicated to eco-friendly bicycling: "Now, with a pair of folding bikes, we can either drop them in the back of our little car and drive to the event, or take them on the bus when the train schedule doesn't work (not all of our buses have bike racks)."

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.

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