If you're looking for the best folding mountain bike to go camping with, then we have a few great suggestions for you.
Whether you’re car-camping with a bicycle or using a bike as your main source of transportation, you’ll need a bike that has built-in reliability and ruggedness in the outdoors.
As well as something that is often overlooked, you’ll want a bike that has a built-in ability to pack into tight spaces without getting in the way.
Introducing space-saving CHANGE bikes.
Unique Considerations When Camping
Weather. By definition, camping takes you out into nature. You can’t adjust the temperature just by turning a thermostat knob, and you certainly can’t control the weather. That means that the things you bring with you need extra protection. If it’s valuable, you’ll want to bring it inside the tent, out of the rain and out of the early morning dew.
Space. When you’re living out of a tent, space is at a premium. You’ve carefully selected those “must haves” that you’re going to take with you and fit in your tent. Your bike is no exception. You brought it for a reason—it may even have been your transportation to the campsite! So this recreation and transportation investment deserves the same level of protection.
Of course, bicycles are huge, but that doesn’t mean that you need a huge tent. With thoughtful bike selection, you can fit everything you need, including your bikes, into a tent just slightly larger than the group with you in the tent. This site has a thoughtful review of good 3 and 4-person tents.
Best Folding Mountain Bike For Remote Camping
Sometimes, you just want to get out away from it all. Away from roads and improved trails and just immerse yourself in nature, in all its rugged, rocky grandeur. This is the bike for that.
First, the CHANGE 812 mountain bike is a well-equipped hardtail MTB, with FOX Performance air shocks, Shimano Deore 2 x 10 speed gearing, hydraulic brakes, 27.5” Mavic wheels, and ISO 4210 certification for mountain bike ruggedness.
And then…in under a minute, it folds in half to fit discreetly in your tent or invisibly inside your car trunk. No more wondering whether your bike is okay when you’re off getting a meal or going on a hike. And no more leaving your mountain bike in the pouring rain when you don’t have to.
The CHANGE 812 folding MTB comes in pine green, arctic blue and black.
Best Folding Mountain Bike For Urban Camping
There’s something to be said for roads and trails. You can go faster, go further and explore a wider area. This is the mountainbike for trails, unimproved roads and even well-maintained roads.
The CHANGE 811 folding rugged hybrid is an ISO-4210-certified, rugged everyday bike. Combining 27 speeds of Shimano gearing with 1.5” wide street tires and a carbon fork to keep the weight down to 26 pounds, this is a good bike for any trail or road.
And then…using the latch under the seat, it folds in half to get out of the way when you’re not riding it. You don’t need a car rack for your bike when going camping. You don’t even need dedicated garage space at home.Because it’s the kind of bike that can stay easily in a closet, hallway or even in your car trunk.
The CHANGE 812 folding MTB comes in arctic blue, pine green, and black.
Thoughts On Full Size Folding Mountain Bikes
These bikes fold down to about 37” x 30” x 15”. While that’s a lot larger than typical folding bikes, minimum size is not the goal. These are optimized for the ride, using full-size wheels instead of pothole-sized tiny wheels, and a real diamond-shaped frame for a normal ride.
While this folded size doesn’t do everything, it’s not ideal on airlines for example. But the added convenience of being able to get your bike out of the weather and fit in more places makes a CHANGE bike an excellent choice for outdoor activities.
My wife and I personally experienced this value the night our truck broke down. We had left a folded CHANGE bike in the back, not because we needed it but because it wasn’t in the way when packed other equipment around it for an event the next day. And then as we drove to our event, our truck stopped shifting and rolled to a stop at the side of a dark highway, with the lights of a small town on the horizon.
The first phone call was easy—call a tow truck! But what about us? What about the folks who were counting on us to show up with equipment? The call to the only local car rental company was almost a disaster because they were closing. We needed to be in the town in 15 minutes to rent a car and the tow truck was nowhere close. But…we had a CHANGE bike snuggled away like an automotive lifeboat.
Ten minutes later, I had rented a small sedan. While the clerk was apologizing that there was nothing to do with my bike, I folded it in half and stuck it in the trunk. The event was saved, all problems disappeared and we became big believers in full-size folders.
Searching For Deals On Full-size Mountain Bike Folders
The folding frame design of CHANGE bikes is fairly unique, but you can still get a special deal if you look. For example, the bikes shown above have standard 27.5” wheels. But even a 26” wheel bike offers all the advantage of a full-size folder. I personally ride one with wild abandon.
Both of the bike models shown above are also available in an earlier, 26” wheel version, while supplies last. The color offering is limited to black, but you can save a couple of hundred dollars on a full-size folding mountain bike that is perfect for camping.
Whatever full-size folder you choose for camping, you’re going to give yourself more ability to take your bike places, more security for your bike, and more freedom to explore the outdoors. That’s the reason you’re going camping in the first place!
About Our Guest Author:
Bob Forgrave, a four-time finisher of the Seattle-to-Portland bike ride, has been riding bikes for 50 years and taking them apart for 45. He’s a big believer in rugged, low-maintenance bikes that stay useful on the road and out of the shop.