The Best Folding Bike Under 500 Dollars

Last updated: May 3, 2017 After spending over 60 hours hands-on testing, testimonials research, and data gathering, we think the best folding bike under 500 dollars on the market is the Schwinn 20-Inch Loop Folding Bike.  It wraps the feel of a full-sized bike into a foldable, compact size that is fantastic for transporting between arrival spots.  Or simply pack it up and bring with you when you’re on the road, hitting your commute, or heading to your favorite vacation spot!

All of the best folding bike options listed here have 20-inch wheels.  We decided on the smaller-wheel folding bike options because this size is ideal for commuters and also for those with minimal storage space in their tiny homes or even full-sized apartments.

The Best Folding Bike Under 500 Dollars:

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Schwinn Loop Folding Bike

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 34 lbs
  • Brake Type: V-Brake
  • Rated Weight Limit: 250 lbs
  • Gears: Shimano 7-Speed
  • Best For: Uneven or multi-stop commutes

Schwinn is of course a well-known name but, as usual, it backs up it’s name with quality products on the market.  At just over 30 pounds, The Schwinn Loop Folding Bike comes in a little heavier than other 20-inch folding bikes but makes up for it in stability and strength.  Our taller reviewers (6+ feet tall) had no problem sitting comfortably on this bike and maneuvering the handlebar (sans hitting knees).  Zero wobbles.  Zero creaky parts.  This is because Schwinn Loop is rated to hold up to 250 pounds and likely has a little flexibility around that number.  Our favorite thing about the Schwinn, and one of the many reasons we chose it over the rest, is it’s convenient carrying case.  It’s easily one of the best 20 inch folding bikes and its compact size makes storing it a breeze too!

See what others think:

  • Thomas B: “Unlike the Dahon, the Loop is solidly built; bumpy terrain is not a jarring experience; the seat is not too close to the handlebars; and last night I rode several miles on the Gateway Trail to Lake Phalen without getting a back pain.”
  • CARECA: “Wonderful, just took out of the box unfolded connected one of the paddle and it is ready for a ride. I am very happy with it”

Check out current prices of the Schwinn Loop Folding Bike

Close Second:

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Camp Super Sonic

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Brake Type: Dual-Disk
  • Rated Weight Capacity: 230 lbs
  • Gears: Shimano 7-speed
  • Best For: Uneven or multi-stop commutes

Coming in a close second is the Camp Super Sonic Folding Bicycle.  As you can see, there are a few similarities between this and the Schwinn Loop Folding Bike, our overall best folding bike under 500 dollars.  They are nearly identical in their base stats, really only differentiating at the brakes and design/look of the bike itself.  While the Super Sonic is undoubtedly a good bike; a virtual coin toss between it and the Schwinn, we tip the scale toward the Schwinn Loop.  That’s because it has the name and guarantee that we look for in any larger purchase.  But don’t let that sway you away from the Super Sonic.  It’s less expensive, a bit lighter, and comes in one more color than the Schwinn Loop.  It also has excellent testimonials among the biking community.\

See what others think:

  • Softlysaid: “I did a lot of looking before purchasing this bike. I needed something light and compact but also wanted it to look good. This bike fit all those requirements and more.”
  • bobg: “This is a pretty impressive folding bike for the price. I am very happy with my purchase so far. The bike feels sturdy and feels well made.”

Check out current prices of the Camp Super Sonic Folding Bike

Luxury Pick:

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Camp Thunderbolt

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Brake Type: Dual-Disk
  • Rated Weight Capacity: 230 lbs
  • Gears: Shimano 16-speed
  • Best For: Uneven or multi-stop commutes

For our luxury pick, we decided to stick with Camp but this time it’s their Thunderbolt Folding Bike.  The Thunderbolt is a more expensive folding bicycle but doesn’t come without the benefits of a higher-end bike.  You can see, the Thunderbolt is a 16-speed bike which makes gives it the highest gear count of any bike on our list.  The brakes are the smooth, dual-disk brakes.  All of the parts of the bike are easily torn down and unfolded.  The Thunderbolt comes with a 1-year warranty on the bike frame and has excellent strength within the frame itself.  If you have an extra buck to spend, give the Camp Thunderbolt folding bike a chance.

See what others think:

  • Fiat500e fan: “I had never ridden a folding bicycle and I am tall at 6’2″ but not heavy at 195 lbs. I chose this bicycle after riding it and seeing how well made it is. The workmanship is uniformly excellent. The quality of the welds is outstanding — even and solid. Every component is of superior quality.”
  • Karen L: “We purchased this bike for my husband, who praises its performance and price highly. The disc brakes are excellent, especially when compared to folding bikes at 2 to 3 times the price.”

Check out current prices of the Camp Thunderbolt Folding Bike

Other Fantastic Options:

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Ford By Dahon Convertible Folding Bicycle

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Brake Type: V-brakes
  • Rated Weight Capacity: 230 lbs
  • Gears: Shimano 7-speed
  • Best For: Uneven or multi-stop commutes

Ford might not be a name you expect to see on a list about the best folding bikes under 500 dollars, but low and behold we have the Ford By Dahon Folding Bike.  Dahon is a name many are familiar with and Ford teamed up with Dahon to produce a folding bicycle as legendary as their Mustang Convertible.  While I don’t think “legendary” is a term to just toss around, this bike is a solid choice if you’re looking for the best folding bike under 500 dollars.  The Convertible is on the lighter end of our weight scale, making it a target for those seeking to pack the most functionality into the lightest package.  It’s a very comfortable ride and has zero issue accommodating taller riders.

See what others think:

  • rachelinthecity: “I recently bought this Ford convertible Dahon bike and I LOVE IT! its only been a few week having the bike and its already saved me time and efforts.”
  • GrannyGoPro: “Have biked every day since it arrived. Easy to unpack and everything seems sturdy. Just heavy enough to ride nicely. Folds easily, small and I can fit it in car with my windsurfing gear.”

Check out current prices of the Ford By Dahon Convertible Folding Bike

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Retrospec Speck

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 22 lbs
  • Brake Type: Coaster
  • Rated Weight Capacity: 240 lbs
  • Gears: Single-Speed
  • Best For: Flat commutes

The Retrospec Speck Bicycle is a no-thrills, basic folding bike.  It’s coloration is simple, yet doesn’t look cheap.  In fact, there’s a certain boldness to the look we really enjoy from a more simple, less expensive model of folding bike under 500 dollars.  As you can see, the Speck is much lighter than any of the other folding bikes we’ve covered so far. At 22 pounds, it’s easy to lug this around between stops and isn’t a bear to put together.  In fact, we’d say it’s also easier to fold and unfold compared to the other bikes we’ve covered.  If you need a basic folding bike for your commute, vacation, or lake home, this is the way to go.

See what others think:

  • Ronald S: “Cool bike! This bike folds up fast and is a no-nonsense bike for someone who either just wants to cruise around or use it as a commuter bike in a city with not too many hills.”
  • Gisela M: “I drive a mini and it fits with no issue in the car. I love that I can take it with me and easily ride around where ever I am. It rides smooth and I get a great workout since it’s a single speed and I only go as fast as I pedal.”

Check out current prices of the Speck Folding Bike

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EuroMini Folding Bike

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 27 lbs
  • Brake Type: V-brakes
  • Rated Weight Capacity: 240 lbs
  • Gears: Shimano 7-speed
  • Best For: Uneven or multi-stop commutes

EuroMini might be a company under the radar to you but if not, you know they have a great selection of folding bikes.  On our hunt for the best folding bike under 500 dollars, the EuroMini Via is one we felt makes sense to consider.  Outside of its lifetime warranty, and safety locking levers, the Via is just a great bike.  It rides comfortably and is a bit lighter than the other multi-gear bikes on our list.  As a company that specializes in folding bicycles, EuroMini has a winner in the Via; everything from the handle bars to the shift of the Shimano gears is fantastic!

See what others think:

  • John H: “Let me start off by saying that I’ve owned my share of high end road, mountain, cross, touring, and folding bikes. Since I’ve sold my brompton m6r I’ve wanted another folding bike but didn’t want to pay another $1600 for one. I also did not want something cheap and flimsy. I stumbled upon this bike and chose this over a dahon and I’m really happy I did.”
  • TheDude: “Got my Euromini Via in last Friday and have been, LOVING IT, ever since! With the research I did on folding bikes, the Euromini Via is one of the best bang for the buck!”

Check out current prices of the EuroMini Via Folding Bike

Budget Pick:

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Vilano Urbana

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 22 lbs
  • Brake Type: Coaster
  • Weight Capacity: 210 lbs
  • Gears: Single-Speed
  • Best For: Flat commutes

If you simply need a folding bike at the lowest price, why not consider the Vilano Urbana?  It resembles the Retrospec Speck and is just a big lighter, while being available in 3 different colors.  This is a minimal-assembly, low-maintenance bike with mounts for a water bottle and rear rack.  Vilano has been making quality, affordable bikes since 2008 and the Urbana is a fantastic, high-quality, no-frills folding bicycle.

See what others think:

  • Morayo: “In conclusion, buy the bike. It’s $223 for a super lightweight (the most lightweight folding bike I’ve found through my extensive research-no joking) commuter bike.”
  • Dustbunny: “Wasnt sure how I was going to like this bike but it’s SO EASY to fold and unfold..takes under 30 seconds and it rides well too. I drop it in the car and go! It fits in a 2 door car backseat just fine.”

Check out current prices of the Vilano Urbana Folding Bike