If you’re anything like me, you probably have a fairly limited amount of storage space available to store your bike when it isn’t in use. Even if you don’t live in a studio apartment, chances are that storage is at a premium.
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That’s why folding bikes are so awesome – they take up much less room than their conventional counterparts! Unfortunately, the same properties which make them so space-efficient also make them susceptible to unfolding unintentionally.
The best way to prevent your folding bike from unfolding accidentally is by locking it, but that’s not practical for day-to-day usage.
Luckily, there are a few other things you can do to keep it from unfolding unintentionally.
Anchor Your Folding Bike
If you’re storing your bike in the down position and have the option, consider anchoring it to the ground. You can do this with an anchor-style locking bike rack or a wall-mounted rack.
With these types of racks, your folding bike remains resting against the ground; your only concern is keeping it from unfolding. If you can’t find a spot to anchor your folding bike, you can also use a stand designed for folded bikes.
These are designed to keep the bike in a folded position. Consider, though, that you’ll need to find a place to store the stand when you’re not using it. This can be cumbersome in a small space.
You’ll also need to ensure that the stand itself doesn’t interfere with other items in your garage or storage area.
Lock your folding bike to a solid surface
If you can’t find a place to anchor your folding bike, you can always lock it to a solid surface using a lock designed for the folded state.
These are designed to keep the bike in the down position but can be easily lifted if you need to get the bike out. The best ones are those that have locking wheels, either via a key or a combination-style locking mechanism. If you have a wheel lock, be sure that the folding mechanism is above the wheel lock when the bike is folded; otherwise, it won’t be as secure.
If you’re locking your folding bike to a wall, be sure to check for signs of wear on the wall and anchor the bike to studs if possible. While a folding bike isn’t too heavy, it’s still better to be safe than sorry.
If you’re locking your folding bike to a bike rack, be sure to check to see if the rack is rated for folded bikes. There are many bike racks that are rated for regular bikes but not for folded bikes.
Use a folded-state lock
If you have a folding bike with a folding-state lock, you can use that to lock the folded bike to a solid surface.
Be sure, though, that the bike can still be folded with the lock activated; some locks are designed so that they can’t be folded with them engaged. If you’re storing multiple folding bikes, this can be a great option.
You can lock multiple bikes together, or you can even lock your folding bike to a non-folding bike via the folding-state lock.
Just be careful not to push the pedal against the frame too hard; you don’t want to bend the frame or break anything.
Don’t store it in the upright position
Yes, it’s tempting to store your folding bike in the upright position with the expectation that it will remain in that position, but it’s not a good idea.
If you don’t have a specific stand for the bike, this is the easiest option, but it’s not the safest. The folding mechanism is held in place with a spring-loaded latch that is meant to be held against a down-positioned bike frame. If the frame isn’t there, the latch has nothing to push against and is likely to start to weaken over time.
If you’re storing your folding bike in the upright position, check it regularly for signs of wear.
If you see things starting to come loose or are otherwise worried about the durability of the latch, consider storing it in the down position.
Folding bikes are an ingenious way to maximize the space on your ride. Unfortunately, this also makes them more susceptible to unfolding unintentionally.
If you’re storing your bike in the upright position, check it regularly for signs of wear, and don’t store it with the pedal against the frame. If you’re storing it in the down position, be sure to use a folded-state lock or an anchor-style locking bike rack.