Best Budget Folding Bikes [Brompton Alternative on a Budget: TOP 8]
When you think of folding bikes, Brompton is likely the brand that comes to mind first.
Brompton bikes are well known for being among the best in the folding bike market and it is no wonder that people love this brand of bike. Each one comes with a patented folding design that ensures they are compact and easy to carry, super lightweight bikes. On top of this, each one is handmade to a high standard right here in the UK.
However, all of these fantastic features do come at a cost – quite literally – in the form of a high price tag.
You are typically going to pay more than a thousand pound for a Brompton bike. So, it is no wonder that it may make a lot more fiscal sense to look for a cheap Brompton bike or for the best Brompton folding bike alternatives.
Cheap Folding Bikes
- What is the Cheapest Brompton Bike?
- Alternatives to Brompton Bike
- Best Folding Bikes under $/£500
- Best Folding Bikes under $/£400
- Best Folding Bikes under $/£300
- Best Folding Bikes under $/£200
- What is the Best Cheap Folding Bike on Amazon?
We have done the hard work for you and have trawled through the best cheap folding bikes for sale so that you can choose the best one for you.
But first, let’s establish how much the cheapest Brompton Bikes cost…
What Is the Cheapest Brompton Bike?
The cheapest folding Brompton bike used to be the Brompton B75. However, this was discontinued in 2021 and replaced with a new entry-level Brompton bike: the A-Line range, which is available from £850.
The Brompton A-line range are the only Brompton bikes under £1000, with mid-range Bromptons typically costing around £1500, while their premium models cost in excess of £2000.
As mentioned already a Brompton bike will normally set you back over £1000 and for an electric version, you would have to pay well over £2000.
But before we look at the budget folding bikes and “Brompton alternatives”, let’s take a look at what the cheapest Brompton bike is like.
This is a “cheap” Brompton bike that comes in at less than £1000 but still contains all the features you would expect for this market leader in folding bikes.
Made with a steel frame and fork for stability and durability this bike still manages to be lightweight at just 11.6kg.
It might be a cheaper alternative to the higher-priced Brompton Bikes but it still comes with the Brompton patented folding design so that you can fold up this bike and carry it wherever you need it.
It also has a 3-speed gear system to make your ride a little easier and more comfortable, while the Brompton A-line’s folded size is 56 x 58 x 27cm, which makes it a convenient small size to small at home, on a train or in the office.
If you’re set on getting a Brompton, but you’re restricted by budget, the Brompton A-line is your best option.
Best Brompton Alternatives
If the Brompton label means nothing to you or if even the cheapest Brompton bike is out of your price range, there are plenty more good-quality foldable bikes available for under £500, which we’ll look at below.
Best Budget Folding Bikes under £500/$500
|1||B’Twin Tilt 900||£450 / $500|
|2||Raleigh Stow-A-Way||£475 / $525|
|3||B’Twin Tilt 500||£350 / $400|
|4||FabricBike Folding||£219 / $250|
|5||Ecosmo 20″||£290 / $350|
|6||Ecosmo 16″||£280 / $345|
|7||B’Twin Tilt 120||£250 / $350|
|8||B’Twin Tilt 100||£200 / $300|
Keep reading to find out which are the best value folding bikes available in the UK and beyond.
Best Folding Bike under £500/$500
One of the best budget folding bikes around its the B’Twin Tilt 900, available from Decathlon for £450.
Weighing in at just 11.9kg, the Tilt 900 is one of the lightest folding bikes under £500 you’ll find and has been built with making life as easy as possible for commuters.
It can be collapsed down in just 15 seconds and comes with built-in lights, mudguards, chainguards, a kickstand, folding pedals and a padded seat as standard.
This model also has a very handy feature that most other folding bikes lack in that you can actually push it around on two wheels (while folded up) by using the saddle to steer. This is particularly useful if you’re heading through a train station as you can easily manouvre it to the train and simply collapse the saddle at the final second as you board.
Stylish Brompton Alternative
Raleigh are one of the biggest producers of commuter bikes in the world and with their aptly named Stowaway (Stow-a-way) is the flagship folding bike model from the brand.
As well as being a compact and easily foldable bike, the Raleigh Stowaway is a actually a pretty stylish folding bike – well, as good-looking as foldable bikes tend to be, anyway.
It comes with good-sized 20″ wheels (considerably bigger than Brompton’s standard 16″) and is even fitted with a rear pannier rack as standard to help you carry your stuff on your commute.
This Raleigh folding bike weighs in at a reasonable 14.5kg and has 7-Speed drivetrain which should make any city hills managable.
Best Folding Bikes under £400/$400
This mid-range model from Decathlon is one of the best inexpensive folding bikes around and is absolutely packed with handy features for commuters, including a 7-Speed Shimano gear system.
Like the Tilt 900, the bike also comes with built-in lights, folding-pedals, mudguards, chainguards, a kickstand and a comfy saddle.
When it comes to intermodal transport what you need is a bike that is both sturdy and lightweight and the Tilt 500 offers the best of all worlds. This is a bike that is perfect to ride to your train station or bus stop, it can then be folded up to a compact size and is lightweight enough (12.9kg) to carry easily.
This bike is comfortable enough to use for pleasure too and it fits perfectly into the boot of a car for you to take on day trips or holidays where you want access to a bike as well as your car.
B’Twin Tilt 900 vs Tilt 500: Comparison
Many of the core specifications of the Tilt 900 and the Tilt 500 are the same. So why is the Tilt 900 more expensive? Well, primarily it’s about 1 kg lighter, offers two extras gears and some of it’s parts are of higher quality.
You can see the main Tilt 900 v Tilt 500 comparison table below:
|Tilt 900||Tilt 500|
|Gears:||9-Speed Shimano||7-Speed Shimano|
|Folded Size:||78 x 66 x 44cm||78 x 66 x 44cm|
Best Folding Bikes under £300/$300
As well as being one of the best affordabe folding bikes on this list, it’s also the lightest by quite some distance.
There are two versions of this Fabric Bike Folding bike: a 7-Speed option which weighs in at 11.55kg or if you’re happy with a single speed version, you can skim off more than half a kilo with it weighing in at 10.9 kg.
The Fabric Bike is a sleek and minimalist folding bike with an easy-on-the-eye design. It’s also easily foldable and praticised users can fold it up in under 15 seconds.
The best blightweight folding bicycle under £300 bike by a mile.
Best Cheap Folding Bike on Amazon
The Ecosmo is a fantastic contender for the best cheap folding bike. It is built with a lightweight aluminium frame and at under £300 is great value for money. A sleek black and red design just adds to the appeal of this bike. For a starter folding bike, you can’t go too far wrong at this price.
This lightweight folding bike also weighs in at just 12kg thanks to its Aluminimum frame, but it’s still managed to squeeze in a 7-Speed Shimano gear system and even a rear pannier rack.
- Lightweight Alluminium Frame, bike only 12Kg
- 7 Speed SHIMANO Gears， 20"x1.35 KENDA Tyre
- Adjustable handlebar & stem
Smallest Folding Bike under £300/$300
This Ecosmo folding bike is very similar to the previous one on the list expect that it is a fair bit smaller (including smaller 16″ wheels) and a little bit cheaper.
Indeed, if you’re looking for the smallest folding bike on a budget, this Ecosmo model may be ideal for you. When it’s been folded up, it measures just 87 x 25 x 66cm.
Nevertheless, this compact folding bike still has a 6-speed gear system, folding pedals and even splashguards.
A bike this small won’t be great for riding longer distances, but if the cycling part of your commute is very short and you want the most portable folding bike possible, this is worth considering.
- Lightweight Alluminium Frame, bike only 12Kg
- Front and rear Disc Brakes
- 6 Speed SHIMANO Gears, Folding Pedals
Great Value Fold Up Bicycle
This is a bike designed for commuters and at under £250 it is affordable too. This is the best of the cheapest fold up bikes and is fantastic value for money.
Perfectly designed to combine easy riding with convenient and compact design, this bike can be folded or unfolded in 30 seconds. It is still relatively lightweight at 14.5kg, but the frame is made of steel so you can be confident it is durable.
B’Twin Tilt 500 vs Tilt 120: Comparison
While the B’Twin Tilt 500 and Tilt 120 look very similar, there are some differences between the two. The Tilt 500 is 1.5 kg lighter as it is made from alumnium rather than steel. It also has an extra gear, which explains why it is £100 more expensive than the Tilt 120.
You can see the main Tilt 500 v Tilt 120 comparison table below:
|Tilt 500||Tilt 120|
|Gears:||7-Speed Shimano||6-Speed Shimano|
|Folded Size:||78 x 66 x 44cm||78 x 66 x 36 cm|
Best Folding Bike under £200/$300
Amazing, the B’Twin Tilt 120 isn’t the cheapest folding bike from Decathlon... that accolade belongs to the B’Twin Tilt 100 – a folding bicycle for under £200.
The Tilt 100 is basically a stripped down version of the 120. It’s a single speed bike with no mudguards, but it does still come with lights fitted as standard.
The upside of having less gears though, is that the Tilt 100 is actually over a kilogram light than the Tilt 120 – which can be a big benefit if you’re carrying your bike more often than you’re dealing with hills.
B’Twin Tilt 120 vs Tilt 100: Comparison
Although very similar, there are some differences between the B’Twin Tilt 120 and Tilt 100. Most notably, the Tilt 120 is a 7-Speed folding bike, while the Tilt 100 is ust single speed. The Til 120 also has mudguards, while the Tilt 100 doesn’t. However, without these two features, the Tilt 100 actually weighs a kilogram lighter than the 120.
You can see the main Tilt 120 v Tilt 100 comparison table below:
|Tilt 120||Tilt 100|
|Gears:||6-Speed Shimano||Single Speed|
|Folded Size:||78 x 66 x 36 cm||78 x 66 x 36 cm|
Conclusion: What is the Best Brompton Bike Alternative under £500/$500
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