Compact Bike vs Folding


New Member
I want to buy an e-bike for commuting and I live in a small apartment. I can't decide whether to buy a folding bike like Tern Vektron or a compact e-bike like Tern HSD, Ariel Rider M-Class. What are advantages of each type of frame and disadvantages.

Seems folding bikes have more advantages but there must be reason companies make such frames too.


New Member
I think compact bikes don't flex as much as folding bikes and has less changes of getting damaged or broken. But if you need to transport your bike then folding bike has advantages. If you are going to use your e-bike just for commuting I think compact non-folding bikes are better.


Well-Known Member
agree with larry, if you dont need a folder the compact bikes ride better

the biggest advantage to me of a folder is the ability to put in a small car- uber if i have a problem with the bike or need to get to the shuttle etc
but most of these folders weigh as much as a full size bike, 50lbs so they are bulky to move folded

in my experience the folders are not super quick to fold up

unless you need to have a small enough footprint to put inside a little closet i think folding and unfolding once or twice a day would get to be a pain and you might end up not folding it much anyway

i have a haibike radius tour which is for sale by the way- but originally did some math before i bought it against some full folders and with the front wheel off i think the difference was maybe 8-10 inches in length
so in theory i can get it in a compact car with the rear seats down

not sure if that helps much
dont know about the tern hsd other than they are nice bikes

i just bought a folder that is a little lighter off
the motobecane ef3
will be writing up a review on it over the next week or so

i think a tern would be better for you commuting because of the integrated lights, rack, fenders etc
they may can be added to this motobecane bike easily i dont know but the cost would probably put you close to a tern and the tern will have better customer support than an online bike company
also not sure which bosch motors come on the terns but they may have more torque- the tern with bafang motor has double the torque of this shimano bike i bought

i bought this because of the 3 inch tires that i hope to use for friends to ride offroad occasionally and hoping with the battery off it weighs 38-40lbs for moving folded- this is one of several bikes for me and not a commuter
I tested both Ariel Rider and Tern Vektron. I am not sure about their new motor but older M-Class was more powerful than Tern Vektron (but Tern had more smooth ride). It all depends on your choice but if you don't need to fold your e-bike frequently such as Vincent told above. Better Use a compact e-bike. Compact E-bikes are more comfortable compared to folding e-bikes. And a general rule if it has less components, It has less chance to get broken. Folding bikes have folding mechanism which comes with chance of problems. I love keeping things simple.


Well-Known Member
Folders are really good for fitting in cars so that you can take them with you when you travel. Other than that they are heavy with a harsh ride. If your commute is less that 10k a folder could work. If you need to go further get a compact bike because the ride is so much better plus they ride faster. I have both full size and folders and I only ride the folder if I have no other choice.


Active Member
A key advantage of a folding bike is that it can be folded and carried onto a bus and at your destination it can be carried off and used to get you to your final destination.