Shout out to my folding bike
On my recent beach vacation, I was reminded about how much I adore my folding bike and how I've been neglecting it. I have a full size bike but it is heavy and the "girl bar" is at such an angle that transporting it anywhere with my car is a total, dangerous pain. Also, I now have a five door car, and the bike rack was resting on the glass and such a heavy bike was putting a lot of pressure on the window. Yikes.
So, enter this gem, a Giant Expressway. Not only do I love that it folds, obviously that's why I bought it, but I love that it folds up into a bag. It's the little things, right? So I can toss it in my car and not worry about greasy chains mucking up the upholstery or scratching the sides. It's light, easy to take apart and put back, and can really live in my car during warmer months. I really like that it is transported inside my car rather than outside scratching my paint and inviting theft. And another thing that is super cool about this model is that it has seven gears. My thighs have been mighty grateful for those several times. It's small and a great choice for cramped apartment quarters. And it's a looker; people always stop and ask questions about how it works.
There are a few reasons why I haven't gotten rid of my full size bike though. As you can see, the wheels are smaller. Great for transporting, but if you are riding with people who have full size bikes, you aren't going to be traveling as fast. This is definitely a road bike given the thin tires and inability to navigate deep sand patches (that was a fun vacation bruise). And, I guess with any bike but especially this one with all the folding parts, I always carry a bike tool with hex in the little pouch. I don't want to be out and about with a loose seat and no way to fix it. Since you are constantly making adjustments, I have found this happens more frequently. Also, if you don't like it when things get scratched, I confess this bike gets scratched in the bag quite a bit. My little bell even has a knick in it. Still works though, and cute as a button.
While I don't have kids, I actually think this would be a fantastic option for kids once they learn to ride well because it can grow with them. As they get taller, just raise the seat and handlebars.
This bike rides very smooth in general and shifting of the gears is flawless. It is super quiet. Assembly is easy once you get the hang of it and takes about a minute. I've learned over time that the easiest way to get it into the bag is to totally unzip it so the bag lays flat on the ground and place the folded bike in the center. Then just zip the bag like a suitcase. It also comes with some velcro straps to hold it together while bagged and I've found these do help reduce scratches and creaking in the car.
So if you are in the market for a bike that you can take anywhere, I'd highly recommend looking into one that collapses.