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Zizzo Folding Bikes Comparison Review

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Three top folding-bike manufacturers are Dahon, Tern, and Zizzo. Despite the familial links between this trio, each offers a distinct array of bikes.

Zizzo makes bikes at the more affordable end of the folding-bike market, which we might say is around $500 or less.

Which Zizzo bike is right for you? Could it be the top-of-the-range Zizzo Liberté for its exceptionally low weight and versatile gear range?

There isn’t a single Zizzo bike that’s likely to disappoint. In this article, we review all current models and unearth their various plus and minus points.

Top Picks:

Six Zizzo Bikes Reviewed

Below, we’ll look at all present Zizzo bikes and compare their various qualities.

Zizzo Liberté 20” 8-Speed Folding Bike (most lightweight)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • No of Gears: 8
  • Weight: 23 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 240 lbs.

At the top of the Zizzo range is the Liberté 20” 8-Speed Folding Bike. One of its prize attributes is lightness with an extremely modest 23 lbs. of weight. This would be a lightweight machine in any folding bike range, especially with 8 gears.

The low weight of this Zizzo bike comes partly from the brand’s LX 6066 aluminum frame. Also keeping the weight down is a hollow-type bottom bracket, narrow road wheels, lightweight tires, and resin pedals.

With a 48t front chainring driving an 11-32t rear cassette, this bike offers a decent gear selection. For anyone familiar with full-sized 700c bikes, the lowest “climbing” gear on the Zizzo is a bit easier than a 34t to 28t combo on a road bike or hybrid.

This bike is a capable bike for climbing, then, as well as letting you make timely progress on flat roads. If there’s a downside, it’s the lack of extra features that might be useful for commuting, like fenders or a rack. This, of course, keeps it light.

Like all Zizzo bikes, the Liberté has powerful V-brakes. It accommodates riders up to 6’3” or slightly over, helped by an adjustable handlebar stem. The folded size is H 27″ x L 31″ x W 14″.

The Liberté’s quick-release wheels make roadside repairs less daunting. They have double-walled rims for strength and lightness.

What We Like

  • Lightweight – a lightweight folding bike is easier to carry and thus more versatile.
  • Gears – useful Shimano gear selection that accommodates most types of terrain.
  • Quick-release – wheels with QR axles are easy to remove for repairs.

What We Don’t Like

  • Sparse – lack of fenders or a rack helps keep the bike lightweight.

Zizzo Urbano 20” Folding Bike (best for trails)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum
  • No of Gears: 8
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 240 lbs.

Slightly heavier than the Liberté is the Zizzo Urbano 20” 8-Speed Folding Bike at 24 lbs. One reason for the minimal extra weight is the wider wheels and Kenda Kommuter tires, which allow the rider to go off-road a bit onto light trails.

The frame material is the same in this bike, with Zizzo using its LX 6066 aluminum to create a lightweight machine. The forks are also aluminum.

There are no quick-release wheels on the Urbano, which uses nutted axles instead of QR skewers. That means you need to take a wrench with you if you plan to execute tire repairs during unlucky rides.

You get the same Shimano Altus rear derailleur on the Urbano that comes with the Liberté. The 48t / 11-32t gear range is the same, too, so you can tackle undulating terrain with confidence.

What We Like

  • Lightweight – still a lightweight bike not far behind the Liberté.
  • Off-road – a wider, more robust tire allows riding on light trails.
  • Gearing – versatile gearing for flat or hilly terrain.
  • Wheels – lightweight 28H alloy wheels with double-walled rims for strength.

What We Don’t Like

  • Nutted – nutted axles need a wrench for wheel removal.
  • Bare – still no fenders or rack (favoring less weight).

Zizzo Forte 20” Heavy-Duty Folding Bike (best for heavy riders)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum (steel fork)
  • No of Gears: 7
  • Weight: 29.5 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.

Sold as the “only heavy-duty folding bike on the market”, the Zizzo Forte 20” Heavy-Duty Folding Bike accommodates loads of up to 300 lbs. That’s 50-60 lbs. more than other Zizzo bikes and most folding-bike rivals.

The Forte doesn’t look hugely different from other Zizzo models, but you can see the gusset welding at the joins that helps reinforce the bike.

This bike isn’t as lightweight as Zizzo’s top two models, but it still stays under the 30 lbs. mark, which makes it portable. Its folded size is H 27″ x L 31″ x W 13″, so it’s no less compact than other models.

Adding to the weight of the Zizzo Forte is the inclusion of fenders and a rear cargo rack. These extras make it a robust bike for commuting with work gear, for shopping trips or even for touring.

For gears, the Forte has a 7-speed 11-28t cassette, and that’s driven by a 48t chainring. This is a useful range, but heavy riders riding up steep hills might wish for a lower gear. The lowest on the Forte is a little higher than a 34/28t on a 700c bike.

Like all Zizzo bikes, the Forte uses a Shimano rear derailleur and gear shifter. In this case, it’s a Tourney derailleur where the top models use the next-tier Altus derailleur.

What We Like

  • Robust – a folding workhorse with a reinforced frame.
  • Extras – includes fenders and a rear cargo rack.
  • Compact – strength and extras don’t add anything to the compact folded size.

What We Don’t Like

  • Gears – the lowest gear could’ve been a little lower given the bike’s USP.

Zizzo Via 20” Folding Bike (best value)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum (steel fork)
  • No of Gears: 7
  • Weight: 26.5 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 240 lbs.

In the center of the Zizzo range is the Zizzo Via 20” Folding Bike. A good all-around bike at a tempting price, the Via is a natural choice in our best-value spot. It’s lightweight, has 7 gears, and includes fenders for all-weather riding.

The Zizzo Via has the same gear range as the Forte, so a 48t chainring and 11-28t cassette. That makes it good for rolling terrain with modest hills and decently fast riding on flat roads. It has a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur and a Shimano Revo shifter.

With the inclusion of fenders as standard, the Zizzo Via makes a good buy for year-round commuters.

The 20” wheels on the Via are sturdy with double-walled rims. They’re laced with 28 spokes made of 14-gauge (2mm) steel and have machined sidewalls. The latter creates a quieter, more even braking surface.

Adding slightly to the bike’s weight is the steel fork, but this also creates a more compliant ride. Steel forks are often paired with aluminum frames for this reason. Expensive bikes often use carbon forks.

What We Like

  • Lightweight – highly portable at just 26.5 lbs.
  • Gears – useful range for moderately undulating terrain.
  • Compliance – steel forks reduce road/trail vibration.
  • Fenders – handy for year-round commuting.

What We Don’t Like

  • Not much – some modest compromises to achieve all-round value (e.g., the lowest gear could be lower; basic Shimano Tourney derailleur).

Zizzo Campo 20” Folding Bike (best for casual riding)

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  • Frame Material: Aluminum (steel fork)
  • No of Gears: 7
  • Weight: 28 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 240 lbs.

Similar to the Zizzo Via but with important differences, the Zizzo Campo 20” Folding Bike still offers exceptional value for money. The main differences to note, as compared to the Via, lies in the heavier weight, absence of fenders, and gearing.

The name of the bike is telling. This is an ideal bike for riding casually around campsites while on vacation. And that’s mainly because the highest gear in the 14-28t range is not as high as more expensive Zizzo bikes.

One of the reasons for the extra weight is the use of a freewheel instead of a cassette. A freewheel is heavier and typically has a narrower gear range. On the plus side, the 28 lbs. bike weight remains light and portable.

As well, this bike has single-walled wheels. You might think these would be lighter than double-walled wheels, but often more material is used to add sufficient strength.

None of these concessions affect the value for money this bike offers. It’s still a lightweight bike with Shimano gears that’s ideal for fair-weather, relaxed riding. You could also commute with it.

What We Like

  • Value – offers excellent value for money.
  • Rolling – lower gears are ideal for gently rolling terrain.
  • Forks – steel forks absorb vibration better than aluminum.
  • Lightweight – still sneaks under 30 lbs., making it easy to lift for most adults.

What We Don’t Like

  • Top gear – keeps the price down, but the low top gear may feel too low for stronger riders.

Zizzo Ferro 20” Folding Bike (best ultra-budget)

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  • Frame Material: High tensile steel
  • No of Gears: 7
  • Weight: 29 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 240 lbs.

The Zizzo Ferro 20” Folding Bike is the brand’s most affordable bike. Many of its specs are the same as those of the Campo. Crucially, though, it has a high-tensile steel frame rather than an aluminum one, so it weighs marginally more.

This bike weighs almost as much as the Forte model, but it does so without extras like a rack or fenders. All the same, the Ferro offers tremendous value for money.

Though it’s heavier than aluminum, steel is a more durable material. More importantly in a bike that won’t be ridden far, it’s also easier to weld. If you have an accident, there’s a better chance you can get the bike fixed.

Like the Campo, the Ferro has a 14-28t freewheel at the rear and 48t chainring up front, which means the top gear is a little “slower” theoretically than more expensive models. It’s still fine for casual riding.

What We Like

  • Price – you can’t and won’t go far wrong.
  • Weight – still lightweight, even with a steel frame.
  • Repairable – steel is an easy metal to weld (aluminum is less easy).

What We Don’t Like

  • Top gear – the modest top gear isn’t for furious pedallers.

Read more: Budget folding bike buyer’s guide

Zizzo Folding Bicycles: FAQs

Below are some questions that commonly arise regarding Zizzo bikes.

How Fast Are Zizzo Folding Bikes?

Expect to average between 10-14 mph or slightly more. You can hit over 20 mph at a high cadence on flat roads (easier with an 11t top gear). High speeds on folding bikes are hard to sustain owing to factors like poor aerodynamics.

Where Are Zizzo Bikes Manufactured?

Zizzo bikes are designed in California and made in China.

How Do You Fold A Zizzo Bike?

You start by folding the handlebar down and fully lowering and reversing the seat. Rotate the crank until the left side is pointing forward and fold the pedals. Open the frame lock and fold the frame until the two halves are secured via a magnetic clasp.

Video: Folding A Zizzo Bike

Conclusion: Are Zizzo Bikes Any Good?

Zizzo bikes don’t have the multiple patented technologies that Dahon or Tern bikes have, but they’re lightweight, robust, affordable, and eminently fit for purpose.

At the top of the Zizzo range, the Liberté 20” 8-Speed Folding Bike competes with bikes that cost 3-4 times the price for its low weight. This is designed as a road bike with narrow wheels and a genuinely useful gear range.

The Zizzo Urbano 20” Folding Bike is like the Liberté except it has wider tires for use on light trails. It lacks the QR axles of the top model, but you get the same gears.

A unique Zizzo offering is the Zizzo Forte 20” Heavy-Duty Folding Bike, which has visible frame reinforcement to allow a 300 lbs. load capacity. To fully exploit this capability, it also comes with a rear rack.

If you’re looking for a folding bike and don’t have an unlimited budget, Zizzo is your go-to brand. All the bikes are robust, and even the budget-priced Zizzo Ferro boasts a sub-30 lbs. weight. There’s little to lose!

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Glenn H
Glenn H
When I’m not contributing articles to Bike Push, I can often be found cycling on the rural roads around me. If I can help you benefit from bicycling in some small way, I’ll consider it a win.

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