Sales of folding bikes have been going through the roof lately, as cyclists wake up to just how useful a fold-up bike can be. The new generation of lightweight folding bikes are fast, easy to transport and store – and a whole lot of fun to ride. Once only used by cool commuters, all types of riders are now enjoying foldable bikes, improving their physical and mental wellbeing as they pedal. Here are 5 health benefits to this innovative form of transport.

1. Commuting = training

A folding bike can transform the daily commute into a fun-filled ride that will improve your fitness. The best folding bikes such as the Brompton M3L are lightweight, making them easy to fold up and carry on or off a train, bus or even plane!

If you’re caught in a daily commute, it can be challenging to get the advised 150 minutes of exercise we should all be doing every week, but not with a folding bicycle. You can ride as little or as long as you want, and use public transport for the rest of your journey.

2. Small wheels, big efforts

Folding bikes typically come with smaller wheels (up to 20”) than road bikes, mountain bikes and hybrid bikes. Unless you’ve got a foldable electric bike, you will find that the way you cycle and the effort you expend is different.

While many road bikes and mountain bikes can have 20 or more gears, most folding bikes have much fewer, in some cases just one! This means you need to adapt your style, increasing your cadence (what professionals call ‘spinning’).

As well as being a tremendous amount of fun, riding a folding bike can improve your pedalling efficiency and your bike handling skills as you manoeuvre the small-framed bike through traffic and other obstacles.

Whether you’re a robust roadie or mountain lover, you’ll benefit from the impressive workout you’ll get from your new folding friend.

3. Short journeys, lifetime benefits

Every week we take many small journeys that can all be made more enjoyable and productive with a folding bike. Even if you’re just popping to the shops to get some bread or milk, you can enjoy regular exercise with a fold-up bike.

Or if you’re stuck in a lunchtime rut then you can jump on your bike and explore somewhere new to eat in the great outdoors. Don’t spend your break in a book or staring at a screen; unfold your bike and find some freedom!

4. All in the mind

Cycling provides incredible stimulation for your brain as well as your body, with scientists concluding the aerobic exercise can reduce our sensitivity to anxiety and stress.

Even moderate amounts of exercise (around 20 minutes) have been proven to have a positive effect on mental wellbeing, and the more you exercise, the better you feel!

A folding bike is the perfect stress reliever for riders of all ages and can be used to help boost your mood when you need it.

5. Exercise inspiration

Sometimes the inspiration to ride can come quickly… and be extinguished pretty sharply when the thought of unpacking the bike from the garage or shed comes to mind.

Having a folding bike stored somewhere easily accessible within your home means you’ll have no excuse not to get cycling as soon as you feel the urge. Store it somewhere with your helmet, jacket and set of lights and it’ll be ready to go as soon as you are.

Choosing the right folding bike

There are a wide variety of folding bikes for all types of rider and all sizes of wallet. At Halfords, we stock a range of folding bikes from leading brands including Brompton, Carrera and Raleigh.

If you need some help and advice on selecting the right fold-up bike, our folding bike buyer’s guide is packed full of expert insights into these mini marvels.