By Stefan Abram
The discount supermarket Aldi is stocking a folding bike retailing for just £300, presenting an intriguing option for commuters and the space constrained alike.
This isn’t the first time Aldi have sold practical cycling products, previously stocking workstands, cycle clothing and turbo trainers.
Although it is often worth testing out in person the folding mechanism of this style of bike, Aldi’s offering is being sold exclusively online. Delivery is expected to take 2–7 days and adds £6.95 to the price.
At £300, Aldi’s Classic Lightweight Folding Bike, is firmly in the budget end of the market. There are cheaper options, such as the Apollo Tuck Folding Bike at £225. Whereas, Brompton—a London based company which has set the standard for quality folding bikes over its 45-year history—starts its range at £745. The sky is the limit when it comes to cost, though. Some electric folding bikes, such as the Tern HSD P9, come in at over £3,000.
Read more: Best electric folding bikes reviewed
So, what are you getting for your money?
It appears many of the boxes of a functional folding bike are ticked: mudguards, pannier rack and kickstand are all present. There is a 7-speed derailleur drivetrain, V-brakes and a suspension seat post. Altogether, this puts the weight at 14.2kg.
More is included than what a quick glance at the picture might suggest, though. A pump, carry bag, as well as front and rear lights, also come shipped with this bike.
However, the bike is not without its limitations. In folding at only two points and with those 20” wheels, it won’t come up quite as small as a bike that folds in three and has 16” wheels. It also comes in two kilos heavier than a standard Brompton.
Added to that, the folding mechanism leaves the drivetrain facing outwards. Making it more susceptible to damage and exposing you to a (potentially) grimy chain.
But you get what you pay for, and these design points come with a proportionally larger price tag. At £300, the spec of Aldi’s bike looks to be reasonably good value for money.
Read more: Best folding bikes reviewed
Why buy a folding bike?
A folding bike is a practical choice for commuting. Many train operators will not allow full sized bikes on at peak times, while keeping your bike safely stashed beneath your desk removes the risk of it being stolen.
These bikes are also a good option for anyone who doesn’t have the space for a full-sized bike at home. Their compact size also makes it easier to pack into the back of a car and take off to the countryside.
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