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If you’ve decided to commute to work by bicycle, you might well be considering using a folding bike. As the name suggests, these are collapsible bikes that are compact and easy to transport, perfect for tucking away when you get to the office or if you don’t have much space to store a bike in your home.
However, as folding bikes tend to have smaller frames and wheels than regular bikes, they are often stiffer and less shock-absorbent. They’re often considered less comfortable on bumpy surfaces and potentially more difficult to ride.
This is why you should consider a folding bike with suspension, for better ease of cycling and improved comfort. At Discerning Cyclist, we’re here to help with our top three best folding bike recommendations with suspension, including road, mountain and e-bike options.
Do You Need Suspension on a Folding Bike?
You need suspension on a folding bike if you want the smoothest, most comfortable riding experience. Smaller wheels and a smaller frame on a folding bike tend to give a harsher ride, so choosing a bike with suspension is important if you prioritise comfort.
Suspension can also help with handling, as it will accommodate road irregularities and help you navigate any bumps or debris on your cycle path. With suspension, you can feel more confident when encountering unexpected roughness, potholes or other obstacles on the road.
However, suspension does add weight to the bike, so it’s up to you to decide whether the comfort benefits of suspension are worth the added weight. This may pose an issue if, for example, part of your commute is by train and you have to carry the bike for short periods, or if you have to take it up and down stairs.
If having a lightweight bike is a priority for you, check out our recommendations for the best lightweight folding bikes on the market.
That said, a folding bike remains one of the most convenient choices if you have to carry your bike around — particularly if you’re looking to invest in a folding electric bike — so even if you buy one with added suspension, it will still be easier to transport than a standard road or mountain bike.
Folding Bike Suspension [PROS + CONS]
|A more comfortable ride||Suspension adds weight|
|Better handling||Can be more expensive|
|Improved confidence||Slight loss in speed|
Do Brompton Bikes Have Suspension?
All models of Brompton bikes come with a suspension block as standard, a feature unique to Bromptons which is not the same as the front fork suspension or rear frame suspension that you may see on, for example, mountain bikes.
This polyurethane block, found between the main and rear frames, absorbs bumps in the road and helps avoid excessive bounce thanks to the natural damping of the material. It’s also lightweight — an essential factor for folding bikes.
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Best Folding Bikes with Suspension [Top 3]
Weight: 12.1 kg
Folded Size: 64.5 x 56.5 x 27 cm
Wheel Size: 16”
- 🇬🇧 £1,350
- 🇺🇸 $1,750
- 🇪🇺 €1,690
Brompton is the market leader in folding bikes, a world-renowned brand known for its high quality, customisability and versatility. The C Line is the classic Brompton model, a 6-speed bike that’s a general workhorse, great for navigating busy city living with its compact folding design.
Its range of gears means it’s a great choice if you live in a hilly area, and it comes with mudguards so you don’t have to worry about mucky trousers on a wet winter’s commute.
As with all Brompton models, the C Line comes with the signature polyurethane suspension block which sits between the main and rear frames and helps absorb road bumps and improve pedal efficiency.
This model is all-steel, and the classic design has been continuously enhanced by Brompton’s experts over the decades to ensure it is optimised for modern city life. Its geometry has been refined and its parts improved over the years, and it folds really well too.
You can choose from low, mid or high handlebars depending on preference, plus, coming in at 12.1kg, it remains relatively easy to transport even with the excellent engineering and built-in suspension.
Unfortunately, all of this fantastic design doesn’t come cheap. The Brompton C Line Explore starts at £1,350, putting it on the pricey side of the folding bike market.
Weight: 13.2 kg
Folded Size: 76 x 90 x 30 cm
Wheel Size: 26”
- 🇬🇧 £1,399
- 🇺🇸 $1,195
- 🇪🇺 €1,379
Folding bikes aren’t just for on-road: there are also some brilliant mountain bike options, one of which is the Montague Paratrooper Folding Mountain Bike.
The Paratrooper is Montague’s original folding mountain bike design, and offers 24 speeds, front suspension and mechanical disc brakes. It’s known for its durability, and while it will withstand a tough weekend run on the trails, it is also popular among commuters.
It is designed to fold without any breaks in the frame’s tubing, which makes it very strong. It also makes it easier to fold: just flip the quick release lever to fold the bike into a compact size in around 20 seconds.
While it is great for rough trails, bike camping and hauling gear, it’s durable enough to withstand city rides too: a good all-rounder if you like to cycle for pleasure as well as convenience. Y
ou can pick up the Paratrooper in 18” or 20” frames depending on your size, and it weighs approximately 14.5kg for relatively easy transportation.
As the Paratrooper is a mountain bike, you can count on the suspension. It has an SR Suntour suspension fork, allowing the bike to glide over obstacles, whether that’s roots, rocks, or curbs.
It’s a great choice for mountain bikers who want to take their bike on their travels, as it’s compact and easy to transport but also packs a punch.
Like the Brompton C Line road bike, the Montague Paratrooper is rather pricey thanks to its top-class engineering. You can expect to pay around £1,399 for the model, a price that reflects its quality.
3. Gocycle G4
Weight: 17.6 kg
Folded Size: 83 x 39 x 75 cm
Wheel Size: 20”
- 🇬🇧 £3,299
- 🇺🇸 $3,999
- 🇪🇺 €3,886
Dubbed ‘the ultimate urban travel companion’, the Gocycle G4 electric bike offers a smooth, quiet ride perfect for getting around the city quickly and with far less effort than a regular bike.
The G4 comes with an all-new single-sided carbon fibre front fork, which houses the electric motor. The bike is designed with comfort in mind, including bespoke MotoGP-inspired treaded tyres, a mid-frame which offers a strong core and an intuitive folding mechanism which makes it possible to stow the bike into a compact package in 10 seconds.
Every Gocycle is fitted with ‘Lockshock’, or rear suspension, as standard. It contains an elastomer which compresses under load, smoothing out bumps for the most comfortable riding experience.
The G4 also has some ‘nice to have’ features, such as a discreet USB port on the handlebar which can be used to charge a phone while the bike’s not in use. Speaking of charging, the bike has a range of up to 40 miles on a single charge and has 3.5 hour fast charging as standard.
As it is an e-bike, it is rather on the heavy side: 17.6kg including kickstand and pedals. If you commute long distances by bike and don’t have to lift it up and down stairs or onto trains and buses, however, the convenience and effort-relief of an e-bike may well be worth the extra few kilograms.
The G4 comes in a range of colours — Matte Black, White and Blue — though its beauty is somewhat undermined by the large branding on the frame. But if you can deal with that, this is a great option for an e-bike with suspension.