Folding Bike for Commuting


I’m considering commuting to work by bike and shopping nearby for small things. It would be great if you could provide advice on a good folding bike to purchase for my use. I work 8 min drive from my home (when no traffic) so it won’t be a long ride, but the road seems to be bumpy and a little hilly in certain areas. Part of the route is also a heavy traffic zone. Parking can be a nightmare, so I’m currently looking at folding bikes like TERN 2016 VERGE S8I and VERGE X10, or Dahon range to maybe carry or wheel it into the shop/office. I’m just under 5 foot so can’t have any tall bikes or cross bar designs and prefer upright bikes where there is less obstruction of view with easy manoeuvring.

My preferences:
• Easy riding (multiple speed)
• Light weight (or I can easily manoeuvre inside a shop)
• Easy folding (If possible, prefer a grease free carrying)
• Very low maintenance
• Accessory Wish list: Helmet; Lock; Chainguard; Mudguard; Light; Bell; Front basket; Back rack; Bike carry bag/storage bag; Raincoat suitable for riding
• Budget: A$3k (excl accessories)

I’m open to your recommendation to non-folding bikes, if you don’t think folding bike is suitable.

Thank you.


Hi Alexandrite,
A general yes for modern folding bikes. These days they’re light, well-built, and make great commuters. Tern is a wise choice. They have a number of models with your requirements, all easily and quickly foldable - the 20"-wheeled models all collapse to about 42 x 80 x 72 cm (16-1/2" x 31-1/2" x 28"). Accessories from Tern are included or available for almost all of your wishlist, although see below regarding the front basket.

The Verge S8i is ace. At AU $3,210 (all prices in AUD), it includes the clean and reliable Gates belt drive, disc brakes, and most of your wishlist, lacking only the rear rack (Tern’s will run you about $80) and front basket. Low maintenance, high performance, light weight, easy to fold and carry, reliable kit, and fairly easily equipped with a panoply of commuter gear. Tern offers both side and top-mount baskets with easy on-off fittings for the rear rack, and some immense carry bags should you need even more space.

Alternatives: the Eclipse S11i ($2,990) has bigger 24" wheels, folds to a just slightly larger 42 x 89 x 76 cm(16-1/2" x 35" x 30"), and includes mudguards, a full chain cover over the standard chain, dynamo-driven headlight, bell, and rear rack (the 20"-wheeled Verge S11i is a bit more, at $3,375, for a very nice wheelset and the same accessory package).

The Link D7i (manufacturer’s site) is $1,360, perhaps below your range - this model has Nexus gearing instead of Alfine, V-brakes instead of disc, and a lower-rent cockpit. Includes bell, fenders, and a chain cover. Add a similarly-powered USB-rechargeable light set for about $80.

None of the Terns include a front basket. From Tern, the frame-mounted luggage truss plus the one basket they offer goes for $144. Non-Tern offerings are many, ranging widely in price, style and capacity; do check to see if the handlebar fitting is compatible with Tern’s unusual stem/bar join.

Other brands: you could build a Brompton with your kit requirements for just about $3000. Brompton offers a lot of different front bags, but no baskets, alas. Bromptons are good bikes, and are quite extensively customizable.

Dahon has two models with internal gearing and full-length chainguards (the lower return path is not enclosed, unfortunately), the Ciao i7 and Vitesse i7. Both also include a rack and fenders. Dahon offers two styles of bike carry bag, one soft sided and one hardshell case (the Sky Cap), and several types of front rack. The Dahons are a fraction of your budget: both models list around $1,000.

Pacific Cycles’ IF (manufacturer’s site) is a novel design in folding bikes, with full-size 26" wheels, that might meet your needs, although you’d need to acquire all the accessories separately. The chainline is hidden behind the frame, obviating the need for a chainguard, Pacific offers fenders and a rear rack as a package for about $145 and a carrying bag for $150, and mounting aftermarket lights and a front carrier is parallel to doing so for the Terns. It is a bit expensive, about $3,900.

In short, the Tern Verge S8i is a great folding bike that will be an excellent commuter. Tern makes solid bikes, the folding mechanism is reliable and sturdy, and performance, especially in your price range, is very good.

  • Josh


Hi Josh and Tom,

Thank you for your advice. I’m impressed with the details you’ve provided, comparing various brands and models available. It made it so much easier for me to choose and be clear on what to expect. My next step is to find a shop, hopefully not too far from my suburb to check for availability and prices.

Thanks again and I will certainly recommend your site to my friends that are into cycling.


@Alexandrite Glad to know we helped! This is what we are here for so don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have!



Hi Josh,

My friend recommended me to look into electric bike before I make my final decision. Upon searching the web, I came across electric folding bikes and I love this idea.

What electric folding bike you recommend for my situation? I selected Verge s8i out of your previous recommendation. Is it best for me to get this bike with conversion kit instead?
My preference hasn’t changed, but below is my priorities.

  1. Ability to ride with or without battery.
  2. Easy battery charging
  3. Easy folding, compact and light
  4. Front and back light (auto charge)
  5. Easy maintenance and durable
  6. Back rack.
  7. Mudguard, Chain guard
  8. Budget under 6k


Hi Alexandrite,
Alas, no production electric folding bike has your whole list. On the other hand, the production folding e-bikes are mostly well within your budget.

Converting the S8i can be done; Add-E offers a kit which will work. They’re about the only option, though: BionX kits work only with derailleur gearing, so no Gates belt drive; Electric Bike Outfitters leaves the internal gearing intact, but will instead will replace the front wheel, removing the light-powering dynamo.

Add-E’s kit is LOUD; aside from that, it’s a surprisingly effective add-on motor. The battery is easily removed and charged. There are two motors available, a 250 watt for about $1400 AUD and a 600 watt for about $1800. If bought with the bike, I’d expect any shop to do the installation free of charge; otherwise, it shouldn’t be more than $50-100 to get it set up.

If you are willing to make some tradeoffs, there are a number of interesting electric folding bikes out there.

Mando makes the Footloose, fenders, entirely enclosed drivetrain. It has no rear rack; it would be possible to add a seatpost-mounted rack, with its commensurate limitations. Also lacking integrated lights. OK, not really close, but it’s got a great look.

The GoCycle G3 is closer; with the offered Commuter Pack it’s got everything but the rear rack. A post-mounted rack is also the only real choice here. The G3 has a nice design, with the drivetrain sealed up, full suspension, and a spare, space-age frame. Unfortunately, the package comes in at a little over $7000 AUD.

Blix’ Vika+ is not a high-performance bike, but it is nicely kitted out: fenders, a chainguard (not full-length), a rear rack, head and taillights powered by the same battery as the motor, which can be charged on or off the bike. About $2200 AUD.

Daymak has the New Yorker, rack, fenders, integrated light set. It’s a little low-rent - lights have to be switched on and off by hand. It performs pretty well, but you might expect to need a bit more maintenance. About $2000 AUD.

Enzo’s eBike has everything but a full-length chainguard, about $2300 AUD. It does have a double-sided chainring guard and a derailleur guard, which should mitigate the perils of grease somewhat.

For performance, you may be best off sticking with the Verge and going with the Add-E kit, if you don’t mind making some racket when running the motor. Second choice, among the fully-accessorized, I like the Enzo; it’s got very durable, low-maintenance construction, solid parts, and it folds up nicely.

Sorry I can’t offer more than compromises. Hope this helps.

Edit: the new Pedego Latch is everything but lightweight.

Folding list: fits riders to well below 5 foot, and as upright as you would like to be. There’s a three-speed hub rather than the Verge’s eight-speed; the gear range is similar, with fewer choices. It is about 23kg, with the battery. Folds in thirty seconds, and is equipped with the Gates belt drive and a chainguard, the latter here serving pretty much just to keep your trouser leg out of the gearing. Low maintenance - the most tetchy part is likely to be the electrics; Pedego is all-electric, and has an excellent reputation. You will need to buy a bell.

Electric list: runs with or without power assist. Battery easily charged on or off the bike, and easily removed for same. Front and back lights run from the same battery as the motor. Back rack and mudguards. No front basket, alas.

The clincher: Pedego offers the Latch in a glorious lime green, frame and wheels.


Hi Tom,

Thank you for such detailed information. I have been so flat out busy that I had to leave the bike hunting a side for a while, but should be good now to start again.

Pity that there isn’t any on the market that fulfill all my wish list, but you’ve given me a good idea of what’s out there and what I should expect. I’m planning to visit few local shops with your info.

You have been very helpful!
Thank you again.


Hi Alexandrite,
Good luck on your quest. I hope you can find something that works well for you. If there are any other questions we can help with, please ask!