What do you do if you love cycling and want to squeeze in some bike riding sessions at home, but you don’t have the floor space to dedicate to a ‘full-time’ upright machine?
The newer ‘X-Shape’ bikes might just be what you’re looking for and in this guide we’re on the hunt for the smallest folding exercise bikes for sale in the UK in 2021.
We’ll also touch on whether they’re actually worth buying and if they’re actually something you can get a proper workout on!
What’s the smallest (and best…) folding Exercise bike you can get?
There’s actually a really good selection of compact, folding exercise bikes up for sale in the UK at the moment. One of the best ones is Magic Life’s Folding Bike (available on Amazon). Apart from being one of the better-looking ones, it’s incredibly sturdy, has a very comfy seat (with back support) and has a fully-fledged display, including a tablet stand.
- 42cm (L)
- 32cm (W)
- 136cm (H)
Is it good, as well as ‘small’?
This bike is easy to fold up after you’re finished exerting and uses magnetic resistance so it’s one of the more quiet ways to burn off some calories. You can actually set it to 10 levels of resistance which means it’s easy to get into even if you’re a tad out of shape.
There are plenty of adjustments you can make to the seat and handlebars here so you can get it set to your height. And it will keep those settings when folded, ready for your next ride.
There’s lots more we love about this bike. Click here to get more info on it and read more user reviews.
Other recommended compact folding bikes
Here are some other bikes currently getting good reviews on Amazon listed by (L x W x H in cm)
- BCAN Folding Exercise Bike – 83.2 x 41.8 x 23.2cm
- Ultrasport F-Bike – 81 x 46x 119 cm
- Yyfitt Foldable Fitness Exercise Bike – 119 x 38.5 x 23.2 cm
How much space do these bikes take up?
While the specs vary between folding exercise bikes, they aren’t drastically different. Let’s start with the folded size, as this is the one most people want to know about.
Average folded dimensions:
- The width is fixed at around 20″ / 51cm
- Folded height is around the 50″ / 127 cm mark for most folding bikes
- And you’ll need around 15″ or 38cm in length available to store the bike.
Average set up bike dimensions
- The width is the same as folded (20″ / 51cm)
- Un-folded height is around 44″ / 112 cm
- And you’ll need around 27″ or 68.5 cm available for the width.
Most homes should have somewhere that one of these bikes can be set up and they’re light enough to carry to any room, or even stash in a cupboard, or behind the sofa. We’ve got more compact gym gear you can read about here, if you’re short on space and looking to get in shape at home.
What is the lightest foldable exercise bike you can get?
We’ve covered the smallest folding fitness bike out there at the moment, and the one we’d recommend, so what about the one that weighs the least? It’s pretty mind-boggling that you can get a folly-fledged exercise bike that weighs less than a smallish dumbbell and is still a practical way to get a decent bike ride in.
If you’re looking for a good foldable bike that’s easy for anyone to carry around and store, here are the best bikes, broken down into weight.
- XS Sports B210 (13.88kg)
- Ultrasport F-Bike (14kg)
- Songmics Exercise Bike (16.7kg)
- BCAN Folding Exercise Bike-Stationary Bike (17kg)
- YYFITT Folding Bike (17.1kg)
- Folding Exercise Bike (20.5kg)
These products were all in stock on Amazon at the time of writing.
How much space do you need for a folding indoor cycle?
Folding exercise bikes don’t take up a lot of space even to set up. It’s hard to imagine even the most crowded house not having a space corner where you can pop one of these bikes up and get a good sweat on. So exactly how much floor space do you need for a typical foldable bike?
You actually don’t need much room around the bike so as long as you have a space around 100cm x around 50 cm, you’ll be good. These bikes can be set up on most surfaces such as wood and linoleum but can leave an impression on carpets.
Small doesn’t mean cheap and flimsy
One thing we’ve seen with people trying these folding bikes for the first time is that they’re surprised how strong they are. From the product photos, you can understand why someone would be sceptical. And the price (generally under the £200 mark) also leads you to think these bikes are just some flimsy late-night shopping channel rubbish.
But in all honesty, as long as you get a decent ‘X-Bike’ they’re extremely good for what they are and a proper training tool you can see to get in shape.
Can you do HIIT on a small folding bike?
While full-on spin classes are probably out of the question for anyone looking to buy a compact bike they can stash out the way (more on that below!) HIIT sessions are definitely a great use of these bikes.
What are some downsides to folding bikes?
Space-saving goodness aside, what are some of the negatives to these bikes? After all, there’s got to be some concessions made to get them down to such a compact size, right? We’d be lying if we said a folding bike can do everything a whopping full-scale one can. So here are the downsides we’ve unearthed while reviewing them over the years.
- The displays are often very basic – One size (and cost) cutting exercise with these X-shaped folding bikes is normally with the display. We’ve yet to see one that had anything like a full feature-rich display. Think basic step counter, but of bikes. They’ll give you the calorie estimate, distance and some basics but don’t expect any fancy programs.
- Don’t expect a spin bike – If you love spinning and are looking for a folding bike that you can do a full class on at home, you might be a bit disappointed with these kinds of cycles. Having said earlier they’re sturdy – and they are – we’ve got to be realistic. Standing up in the pedals and doing all the moves from a normal spin session is beyond what these bikes can do.
- Tall cyclists might need to look elsewhere – One of the good things with folding bikes is you can adjust some basic things like the seat height. But there’s also a problem for anyone pushing over 6′. The seat will likely be too low, regardless of which one you buy. If you’re something like 6′ 6″ you’re going to have a hard time getting comfy on these folding bikes.
How do these folding bikes actually work?
There’s been a huge spike in demand for decent exercise bikes that you can store in a cupboard, or under the bed, especially since Covid happened and more people were looking to train at home while the gyms were closed. While there are several versions of this product on places like Amazon, the way they work is fairly standard:
- They have a very simple ‘X’ design, with a pivot in the middle.
- Oddly, like an ironing board, they fold from an extremely flat position into a bike shape.
- This design is stronger than you might think and offers a reasonably sturdy base
- The resistance is normally magnetic rather than relying on a large, heavy flywheel.
Are folding exercise bike’s actually any good?
Let’s get this out of the way first – a folding bike is never going to compete with a full size (and usually more expensive) upright exercise bike. But before you write them off, there’s a very large BUT.
Even more bizarrely, some of these folding bikes have far greater user weight capacities than some full-size treadmills or indoor bikes we’ve seen. If you thought these kinds of bikes were a flimsy, cheap and nasty option, they’re really not.
We’ve seen bikes able to take up to 330Lbs / 150kg. Pretty impressive for something that normally weighs less than a small dumbbell!