UK-based Brompton is the couture choice in this category. The bikes are championed as some of the most compact and lightweight options on the market—discerning city slickers choose the S2L series. Czech designer Josef Cadek, on the other hand, designs some of the most beautiful foldable options. His Locust model—made of four circular parts that fold up into a hat box-like contraption—looks more at home on the set of Willy Wonka than any Manhattan side street. Dahon‘s sleek and geometric Boardwalk is emerging as the affordable go-to for the art and design set. Meanwhile, Giant’s Halfway folders (partially designed by the legendary Mike Burrows) are priced right and look hot in lacquered black. These compressible bike models are gaining fans from commuters and veteran cyclists alike—Tour de France champ Lance Armstrong even opened his own bike store, Mellow Johnny’s, which sells foldable models alongside professional bicycles.
Owners now have an easier time bringing bikes into the home by folding and raising them over the head, rather than leaving their precious wheels to be swiped off city streets. Plus, now that gas prices have hit historical highs, there’s never been more of a perfect time to find alternatives modes of transportation.