Folding Bikes

Best Folding Bikes with Belt Drive: Top 7 Options

foldable belt drive bikes best choice

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Belt chains have a myriad of advantages over their more traditional chain counterparts. They’re quieter, offer a smoother ride, and tend to last longer – not to mention require nearly zero maintenance! All of this comes at a cost, so belt drives are usually more expensive.

Belt drives and foldable bikes are a powerful combination, offering an even more convenient ride and letting you take your bike anywhere. Since these bikes are getting more popular, there’s a lot of choice.

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are our top picks…

Belt Drive Folding Bikes

  1. Priority Folder Foldable Bicycle belt driven

    COMPACT

    Priority Folder

    A compact and versatile folding bicycle designed for riders with limited storage space.

  2. URBAN LIVING

    Hummingbird Bike

    It might not be cheap, but this is a top of the range bike and you really do get what you pay for.

  3. Downtube 8H

    LEADING TECH

    Downtube 8H

    The 8H model is on the leading edge of folding bike technologies.

  4. SUPER COMMUTER

    Verge S8i

    Billed as the “super commuter” the Verge S8i is substantially cheaper than the Hummingbird.

  5. Gotham Foldable Belt Driven bike

    BOLD DESIGN

    GOTHAM 3 Citizen Bike

    A boldly designed, low-maintenance folding bike tailored for worry-free commuting.

  6. PACKS A PUNCH

    Beixo Pyōra Folding Bike

    A “no nonsense” alternative to more expensive bikes that still packs a punch.

  7. dahon foldable belt driven bike

    HEAD-TURNER

    Dahon Mariner D8

    A limited edition version of one of Dahon’s most popular bicycles, the Mariner D8.

Can You Get a Belt Drive on a Folding Bike?

Yes! Belt drives are a popular choice on folding bikes. Unlike chains, belts can be virtually ignored and require little maintenance. Since the purpose of folding bikes is convenience, keeping things as low maintenance as possible makes sense.

Belt drives don’t need to be greased, either. It might not sound like much, but folding bikes are supposed to be carried. A greased chain can leave a mark on your clothes or a mess inside a carry case. That’s why many people opt for the cleaner, simpler belt drive on their folding bikes.

Folding Belt Drive Bicycle in an office
IMAGE CREDIT: Brompton.com

Folding Belt Drive Bike: Pros + Cons

Pros

  • Extremely convenient
  • Power assist makes journeys a breeze
  • Easy to transport
  • More secure

Cons

  • Can be heavy
  • More expensive than non-folding
  • Stiffer/bumpier ride
  • Lighter bikes tend to cost more

Do Any Bromptons Have a Belt Drive?

No. The simple reason for this is that Brompton bikes are designed to fold back on themselves, something which belt drives aren’t supposed to do. Although it is possible to convert your Brompton into a belt drive bike with some DIY, it isn’t recommended. 

Belt drives can theoretically fit a Brompton, but no major belt companies recommend this. Folding the bike back on itself damages the belt drive, affecting its efficiency and perhaps even stopping it from working altogether. Even if you fit a belt drive to a Brompton, it will lose efficiency over time, negating any advantages.

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Best Folding Bikes with Belt Drives (Top 7)

Just because Brompton doesn’t offer a folding bike with belt drive doesn’t mean that you aren’t spoiled for choice elsewhere! These bikes are increasingly popular for their convenience, smooth ride and low maintenance.

1. Priority Folder

Priority Folder Foldable Bicycle belt driven
  • UK Flag £630
  • US Flag $799
  • EU Flag €728

Prices are approximate

  • Weight: 29lbs (13kg)
  • Wheel Size: 20″
  • Folded Size:31″ x 16″ x 30″ (79cm x 41cm x 76cm)
  • Gears: N/A

Low maintenance belt drive system

Compact folding design for portability

Versatile and practical components for commuting

The Priority Folder is a compact and versatile folding bicycle designed for intermodal commuters and riders with limited storage space.

This folding bicycle, weighing 29lbs, features a rust/grease-free Gates Carbon Drive belt, providing a low-maintenance and worry-free experience. It incorporates a Shimano Nexus 7-Speed internally geared hub, offering a smooth ride. The Folder includes front and rear composite fenders, a rear rack, and reflective accents for practicality and safety.

The folding process is simple, and the bike, with 20-inch wheels, balances portability with a real-feel ride. Its compact design allows for easy storage in various settings. The components include an aircraft-grade aluminum frame, telescoping aluminum seatpost, and double-wall alloy rims.

The Folder’s geometry is designed for riders with an inseam range of 25″ – 35″ and a height range of 4’6” – 6’4”. Eddie Meek, the Director of Product Development, emphasizes its portability and real-feel ride.

2. Hummingbird Bike

Folding Belt Drive Bicycle
Folding Belt Drive Bicycle
  • UK Flag £4,000
  • US Flag $4,800
  • EU Flag €4,700

Prices are approximate

  • Weight: 20lbs (9kg)
  • Wheel Size: 14″
  • Folded Size: 46″ x 24″ x 8″ (117cm x 60cm x 20cm)
  • Gears: Shimano Nexus 8-speed

8-speed Shimano Nexus gear hub

Lightweight and easy to transport

Low maintenance and high performance

It might not be cheap, but this is a top of the range bike and you really do get what you pay for. The Hummingbird is designed for urban living. It’s nippy and ideal for the commute, with an 8-speed Shimano Nexus gear hub. The belt drive is silent, efficient and near totally maintenance-free: you won’t need to grease it or worry about grease marks.

Work on the rear hubs means that this model has significantly less drag than previous versions so the ride is smoother than ever. A specially designed twist grip shifter means clean gear changes and, since the belt is carbon reinforced, you’re guaranteed long-term, high performance.

The Hummingbird is light, too. At just 9kg it’s easily one of the lightest foldable bikes that you’ll find, so you should have no trouble transporting it. Improved brake callipers mean more efficient braking and quick-release wheel removal makes any maintenance a breeze. If you’re not a fan of the advertised yellow colour you can choose from three others or have Hummingbird customise the bike for you (although this costs another £500).

If you’re willing to spend more on a premium, long lasting bike then this is undoubtedly the one to go for. It’s smooth, lightweight, requires close to zero maintenance, and is perfect for city living.

3. Downtube 8H

Downtube 8H Foldable bike belt driven
  • UK Flag £1,103
  • US Flag $1,399
  • EU Flag €1,275

Prices are approximate

  • Weight: 31,5lbs (14kg)
  • Wheel Size: N/A
  • Folded Size: 14″ x 24″ x 33″ (36cm x 61cm x 84cm)
  • Gears:Shimano Alfine 8 Hub

Advanced drivetrain technology

Sealed internal gear hub/icon_content] Enhanced comfort

The 8H model is on the leading edge of biking technologies. It has the Gates CDX belt drive system and a Shimano Alfine 8sp hub. The drive train is rust-proof and won’t stretch or slip as you change gears (this is particularly useful for boaters). This belt system is tried-and-tested technology more commonly found in motorcycles. The new belt’s rounded carbon fiber teeth are more reliable, easier to maintain, and provide a much smoother riding experience.

The Shimano Nexus internal gear hub of the 8H uses a single, handlebar mounted grip shifter that provides super smooth shifting, even at a full stop.

You won’t experience the headaches that often occur with a metal chain, and low lying derailleur. You’ll be free of damage from dirt and grime with the completely sealed internal hub of the Nexus 8-speed gear.

The newest model includes a disc front and rear hub, 60T front CDX chain ring, 22T cog, and a suspension option that results in a much more comfortable ride. Having no rear derailleur, external shifter, cog, gears or chain means that you don’t have to worry about improper shifting.

4. Verge S8i

Folding Belt Drive Bicycle
Folding Belt Drive Bicycle
  • UK Flag £4,000
  • US Flag $2,800
  • EU Flag €2,700

Prices are approximate

  • Weight: 32lbs (14.3kg)
  • Wheel Size: 20″
  • Folded Size: 17″ x 32″ x 29″ (42cm × 81cm × 73cm)
  • Gears: Shimano Alfine 8 Hub

Compact foldable design

Low maintenance belt drive

Andros handlebar for adjustable riding position

Billed as the “super commuter” the Verge S8i is substantially cheaper than the Hummingbird but still comes with a high grade Shimano Alfine 8-speed gearbox. It’s certainly versatile, with a gear for every incline. The design is clean and streamlined, with no protruding derailleurs and a nearly silent operating volume. If you want to slip through traffic on the daily commute but tackle more arduous paths on the weekends, this is the bike for you.

It’s a little heavier than the Hummingbird (but not drastically so) and it folds down extra small as compensation. Foldable bikes sometimes have a reputation for giving a stiff/bumpier ride, but not so here. The S8i comes with an extra long wheelbase so it’s absolutely ideal for navigating potholes and poorly maintained sections of road. Again, this makes it excellent for commuting.

As with all belt drive bikes, it’s low-no maintenance. The Andros handlebar allows you to adjust your riding position in seconds without any tools and a wide beam light will keep you safe at night and during the winter months. If versatility is your primary motivating factor then this is the place to look. Whether you want to commute or adventure, the S8i won’t let you down.

5. GOTHAM 3 Citizen Bike

GOTHAM 3 Citizen foldable belt driven bike
  • UK Flag £535
  • US Flag $679
  • EU Flag €618

Prices are approximate

  • Weight: 27lbs (12kg)
  • Wheel Size: 20″
  • Folded Size: 32″ x 24″ x 15,5″ (81cm × 61cm × 39cm)
  • Gears: Shimano Nexus 3-speed Internal Hub

Lightweight design

Efficient drivetrain

Arrives ready to ride

The GOTHAM 3 Citizen Bike is a boldly designed, low-maintenance folding bike tailored for worry-free commuting. It features a lightweight alloy frame that is easy to fold, store, and carry, making it ideal for urban rides.

The bike is equipped with a Shimano Nexus 3-speed internal hub system, providing practical gearing for basic terrain and urban adventures. The standout features include a grease-free belt drive, ensuring a clean commute, and worry-free hub brakes for a hassle-free riding experience.

The bike arrives practically fully assembled, tuned-up, and accessorized, saving customers time and hassle. Direct purchase from the manufacturer ensures competitive prices and excellent value without unnecessary intermediaries.

With over 15 years of direct sales, Citizen Bike emphasizes innovative design and quality based on customer feedback. The company prides itself on offering excellent customer service, providing recommendations, and assistance to riders.

6. Beixo Pyōra Folding Bike

Folding Belt Drive Bicycle
Folding Belt Drive Bicycle
  • UK Flag £550
  • US Flag $670
  • EU Flag €650

Prices are approximate

  • Weight: 26lbs (11.6kg)
  • Wheel Size: 18″
  • Folded Size: 29″ x 26″ x 14″ (74cm x 65cm x 35cm)
  • Gears: Single speed

Wide tyres for rough terrain

Zero maintenance belt drive

Affordable with optional extras

Beixo might not be the biggest name on this list, but their Pyora – advertised as a “no nonsense” alternative to more expensive bikes, packs a punch. Yes, it comes with single-speed gear but you simply won’t find a better quality bike for this price anywhere. For well under £1000 (better than half the price of the S8i and Hummingbird) you get a super lightweight bike that folds in seconds – perfect for the commute.

Extra wide tyres make light work of bumps and potholes and the solid frame feels exceptionally stable. As with all belt drives, there’s zero maintenance and the bike is available in three colours. The seat is fully adjustable and the aluminium frame is extremely lightweight. That’s really where the features end; this is a no-frills bike but one that excels with what it does deliver.

The only drawback here is that certain features are only included as optional extras, nudging the price a little higher. Lighting, fenders and front brakes all needed to be added separately. Even with all of those included, though, this remains one of the cheapest – and highest quality – folding bikes with a belt drive that you’ll find. It might not be quite as effective on weekends away, but for urban dwellers it’s ideal.

7. Dahon Mariner D8

Mariner D8 belt driven foldable bike
  • UK Flag £748
  • US Flag $949
  • EU Flag €864

Prices are approximate

  • Weight: 27lbs (12.4kg)
  • Wheel Size: 20″
  • Folded Size:26″ x 13″ x32″  (67cm x 33cm x 81cm)
  • Gears: 8 speed

Lightweight

Modern design

Rear rack included

A limited edition version of one of Dahon’s most popular bicycles, the Mariner D8 in brushed alloy is a head turner.

It’s a high quality, lightweight bike at a surprisingly affordable price. Its portability makes the Mariner D8 ideal for trips that include a stretch by bus or train – perfect for multi-modal urban transport.

The Mariner D8 is equipped with 8 speeds, front and rear fenders and a rear rack making it a versatile well-equipped model.

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