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You’re buying a folding bike, but not just any folding bike. It needs to be as small as possible so you can fit it into your living space.
Perhaps you have a boat or a small car where space is at a premium, but you want the ability to ride a bike at your destination.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the smallest folding bikes that money can buy. No matter where you go, you’ll always be able to ride.
The 7 Smallest Folding Bikes Money Can Buy
We’ve searched for folding bikes with the smallest, most compact folds. Below, we list the seven smallest we know of. Wheel sizes are given in the titles.
1. Kwiggle 12” Folding Bike
- Frame Material: Aluminum & Stainless Steel
- Folded size: 21.65” x 15.74” x 9.84” (3353 in³)
- Groupset: Kwiggle (1, 3, or 6 gears)
- Weight: 20.94 – 23.15 lbs (9.49 – 10.5 kg)
If you don’t mind drawing attention to yourself when riding, the Kwiggle is by far the most compact folding bike money can buy in its folded state. It’s lightweight, too, though there are conventional folding bikes that beat it on that score.
Unlike the mildly forward-leaning posture you might adopt on most folding bikes, the Kwiggle has you pedaling in an almost standing position. This is guaranteed to get you seen, so it’s not for shy riders (or maybe it is).
The Kwiggle also looks wildly different from any other bike you’ve seen, with a seat that seems to hang in midair. The said seat attaches directly to the handlebar post via a floating crossbar. Whether you’re on or off this bike, it creates a talking point.
Reassuringly, this ingeniously designed bike comes from German engineers. You have a choice of 1, 3, or 6 gears. The 6-gear version has three derailleur gears at the rear and a 2-speed Kappstein Doppio bottom bracket gearbox at the front.
Other notable parts include Miche 170 mm cranks, top-quality SKS fenders, Tektro rim brakes, and Schwalbe Big Apple tires. The wheel rims are made from a single piece of wrought aluminum alloy for strength, trueness, and rigidity.
A spring steel tube provides suspension on the Kwiggle. That’s never a bad thing on bikes with small wheels (12” in this case), as they are sensitive to rough road surfaces.
Video: Unfolding A Kwiggle Folding Bike
2. Dahon Curl i4 16” Folding Bike
- Frame Material: Dalloy aluminum
- Folded size: 21.26” x 22.83” x 10.63” (5159 in³)
- Groupset: Sturmey Archer hub & shifter (4 gears)
- Weight: 27.99 lbs (12.69 kg)
Speaking collectively, Brompton bikes are the smallest on the market, but the Dahon Curl i4 folds even smaller than a Brompton. Acquiring one might be trickier than buying a Brompton, but it makes second place on our list as a current model.
A potential downside to the Curl is the relatively modest 187 lbs (85 kg) maximum load capacity. That’s only 77% of the Brompton’s capacity, but it still suits many riders. And it’s a nicely made bike, as you’d expect from Dahon.
Despite its compact size, the Curl i4 is not short on features, hence it’s been dubbed the “Brompton Killer”. For instance, there’s a rack, fenders, and a 4-speed Sturmey Archer internal gear hub with a Sturmey Archer shifter.
The Curl i4 uses Dahon’s Fusion technology. This patented tech “fuses” the frame, fork, and handlebar stem into a rigid unit for stability. You won’t experience any rickety feeling when riding.
One feature that many people find useful is the ability to roll a folding bike in its folded state. The Curl i4 allows this with the four wheels attached to its rack. It’s a reasonably lightweight folding bike, too, despite the rack and heftier hub gearing.
Read more: Dahon folding bikes compared
Video: Dahon Curl i4 Features & Folding
3. Brompton C Line Explore 16” Folding Bike
- Frame Material: Steel
- Folded size: 25.3” x 23” x 10.6” (5412.36 in³)
- Groupset: Brompton (6-speed wide ratio)
- Weight: 27 lbs (12.25 kg)
You could choose any Brompton and it’d be the same size, but the mid-range Brompton C Line Explore has a pleasing set of features. Chief among them is the 6-speed 302% gear range. That means the top speed is nominally 3X faster than the bottom speed.
This Brompton gear range, known as Brompton Wide Range (BWR), is equal to or greater than typical 8-speed derailleur gears. It uses a hybrid system of two rear derailleurs and three internal hub gears.
A benefit of hub gears over a pure derailleur system is that hub gears let you change gear when stationary. They’re also lower maintenance, but heavier. Whether you’re climbing hills or riding fast on the flats, these gears are an asset.
Brompton bikes have a form of suspension, too, though vendors don’t always mention it. A rear suspension block helps to compensate for the jarring ride you get from small wheels on bumpier roads.
Another distinctive feature of Bromptons is their hand-brazed steel frames. Nearly all Bromptons are made of steel, except for the uber-expensive titanium bikes. That makes the frame more compliant and durable at the cost of a little weight.
A reason to buy a Brompton is for the craftsmanship and ability to hold its value secondhand. One explanation for the latter, aside from the iconic name, is that steel frames have an indefinite lifespan. Aluminum frames don’t.
4. Helix Ultralight Dura-Ace 24” Folding Bike
- Frame Material: Titanium
- Folded size: 28” x 25” x 10.5” (7350 in³)
- Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace/105 (11-speed)
- Weight: 20.3 lbs (9.21 kg)
Given that it has large 24” wheels, the Helix Ultralight Folding Bike folds into an incredibly small size. It also lives up to its name, measuring a paltry 20.3 lbs on the scales.
You can get this bike even lighter if you choose the single-speed version, which also knocks a chunk off the price. But the temptation of an 11-speed Dura-Ace derailleur is great if funds are available.
Aside from its top-notch, super-light parts, a big reason for this bike’s expense is the titanium frame. That’s why you see that beautiful natural metal finish, which doesn’t rust, and of course, it helps keep the weight low.
Titanium is renowned for the plush quality of its ride. Combine that with the smooth-rolling 24” wheels and you have a luxury bike. It has a more compact fold than many smaller-wheeled bikes.
Another surprise in a bike this light is the inclusion of hydraulic disc brakes. These are superior to more typical rim brakes, even if they’re less needed on a folding bike. Carbon fiber brake levers shave a bit more weight off.
Downside: of course, it’s the price. This is not a bike to buy if money is remotely tight. You can save money by buying the 4 lbs heavier standard model, but the full range sits at the top end of the market.
5. Tern BYB S11 Ultra-Compact Folding Bike
- Frame Material: Aluminum
- Folded size: 31.9” x 20.1” x 13” (8335.47 in³)
- Groupset: Mixed (Shimano Ultegra 11-speed gears)
- Weight: 28 lbs (12.7 kg)
Marketed as being 30% smaller than regular 20” wheel folding bikes, the Tern BYB S11 is one to go for if you want top ride quality in a space-saving bike.
This bike features a Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur for smooth gear shifting. An FSA 54t chainring at the front drives a Shimano 105 11-32t rear cassette.
The lowest gear on the Tern BYB is akin to a 34/28t on a 700c road bike, which makes it useful for climbing most hills. At the other end of the range, there’s plenty of scope for fast riding on flat roads.
You won’t be left wanting for quality on the Tern BYB. It features the patented Andros adjustable handlebar stem and the 3D forged Tern Physis handlebar post. The Kinetix Pro X handlebar comes adorned with comfortable Ergon GS1 Leichtbau grips.
Among the many extras included with this bike are a chainguard, bell, kickstand, luggage socket, SKS fenders, and a Tern Metro Transit Rack with wheels attached for folded rollability.
With this bike, you get the benefit of larger, smoother 20” wheels whilst still saving a load of storage space. It’s a good each-way bet.
6. Rifle S4 Rainbow 14” Folding Bike
- Frame Material: 6061 Aluminum
- Folded size: 24.02” x 24.02” x 13.78” (7947.4 in³)
- Groupset: LTwoo derailleur (3-speed)
- Weight: 17.42 lbs (7.9 kg)
The most lightweight bike on our list is the Rifle S4 14” Folding Bike. This bike has a 3-speed LTwoo rear derailleur. LTwoo is a well-known brand on the domestic Chinese market. At just 17.42 lbs, this bike is easy to carry anywhere when folded.
Sporting a stylish blue-green-purple Rainbow finish, the Rifle S4 also has a distinctive curved frame design. The frame is made of 6061-grade aluminum for its combination of lightness and strength.
Powerful V-brakes provide this bike’s stopping power. Its double-wall 14” aluminum wheels are also lightweight, durable, and strong.
If you’re not keen on the Rainbow finish, the Rifle S4 is also available in white, silver, black and red, or dark grey.
7. Litepro King 14” Folding Bike
- Frame Material: Aluminum
- Folded size: 25.6” x 24.8” x 11.8” (7491.6 in³)
- Groupset: Sensah MX9 derailleur (3-speed)
- Weight: 18.74 lbs (8.5 kg)
An exceptionally lightweight machine with 14” wheels and three gears is the Litepro King 412 Folding Bike. This bike lacks features like a rack or fenders, which helps keep the weight down. But it’s good looking with an iridescent paint finish.
Fitted onto the small wheels are Kenda Koast 1.35” wide tires. These are decent, durable tires for the price.
The Litepro King lies at the budget end of the folding bike market. Its three gears are a little restrictive if you live in a hilly area, but they are fine for flat-road urban riding. In any case, there are other Litepro models with more gears if you need them.
A quirky feature of the Litepro King is the 10” mini suitcase that fits to the front of the bike. This gives you some handy on-bike storage and comes in a choice of designs. You get to choose your favorite when ordering.
Any other downsides? You can expect the ride to be a tad rougher than on some competing bikes. There’s no form of suspension to help iron out bumps in the road. As long as you ride on smooth surfaces, this isn’t much of a problem.
We hope you found our list of the smallest foldable bikes useful. Maybe you’ve found your ideal bike for commuting or vacations?
Any of these bikes are ideal for squeezing into a loaded car trunk or a tight living space. You can carry them easily onto public transport.
With the smallest folding bikes on the market, you’ll never be left without a ride.