The Stowabike City Compact - What we really think about it

Think of this bicycle as an entry level A to B ride. It's easy on the pocket and is a great looking bicycle with some impressive features considering the price. It really was a coin toss between this and the Schwinn Loop 20 for the award of best value.

Here's a quick video we found showing some of the features, we'll discuss the others she missed right after it. 

Features of the Stowabike City Compact foldable bike

It's a six speeder! This makes inclines manageable and it has a nice change of gear to boot, you'll be able to pick up a fair bit of speed on the flat as well. The fold is interesting, it's really easy to collapse away, we managed it in under 30 seconds but it isn't anywhere near as compact as other bicycles.

The ride itself is smooth, with very little vibrations when compared to other foldable bikes at this end of the market. We think this is due to the sturdy frame which is a wee bit of a double edged sword. On one hand the frame is solid and sturdy but on the other hand the bike is a little heavy, 35 lbs heavy to be precise. Lugging 35 lbs around for long periods of time isn't fun so consider this before buying, if you think you'll be carrying your bicycle a lot then maybe go for a lighter bicycle?

The stowabike City Compact portable bike features a wide seat something that a lot of folding bikes lack, why does this matter? Well it makes it more comfortable for larger riders especially when you consider how sturdy the frame is. Tall folk will love the adjustable seat.   

Specifications and technical stuff

Folded Size:24.1″ x 33.9″ 31.9
Folded Time:Around 30 seconds
Brakes:HRL V2
Speeds / Gears:6
Drive:SVC Crank
Wheel Size:20″
Frame Type:Steel HRL Hybrid
Max Rider Weight:270lbs (130kg)

Images of the City Compact Stowabike folding bike

Speed and hills - how does it perform?

​This 6 speeder is designed to be ridden on the pavement and flat surface, so it's ideal for the urban/city environment and for out of town bike paths. Of course you could take it off road, but you won't enjoy the ride, you'll be slow, uncomfortable and you'll look out of place.

As far as hill climbing goes you'll be okay as long as you're not tackling steep inclines. Speed and how fast you can go will depend on your pedal power! However being 6 speeds you won't be lacking in pace as you'll mostly be in third gear when riding. It's by no means the fastest bike we've ridden but then again it's certainly not the slowest either.    

Traveling with the Stowabike City Compact, how easy is it?

Very easy and you have a few options. The Stowabike City Compact, once folded down is W 24″ x L 34″ x H 32″. Now that's easily small enough to fit into a normal sized car trunk. If you have a super small car then you can easily take the pedals off and remove the front wheel using the wrench provided that comes with the bike when you buy it.

For air travel as with all folding bikes you'll need to check it in as baggage. To prevent damage when those baggage guys handle it (we've all seen them) then you'll want to place it in a box or use a folding bike travel pack which are really cheap and do a great job protecting your ride. Make sure you use the above dimensions when selecting a box or purchasing a travel bag the last thing you want is to get one that's too small.

For general folding and carrying around on the bus or train it's fine but you need to bear in mind two things. First thing is the handlebars don't fold and the second is it can be a little heavy, especially if you are a small framed individual and need to transport it by hand over long distances. 

Should you buy the Stowabike City Compact fold up bicycle? 

The Good

  • 6 speeder making it great for hills and for speed riding
  • Sturdy frame, no vibrations like other bikes at this end of the market
  • Wide seat and adjustable handlebars  
  • A great looking fold up bike and it looks a heck of a lot more expensive than what it actually is.

The Bad

  • Quick fold but not as compact as other models
  • It's heavy at 36lbs, so make sure you don't need to carry for long distances
  • tires look like they might wear fairly quickly

Our verdict

The Stowabike 20" 6 Speed Shimano bicycle is for you if you're on a very limited budget (under $200) It's good looking and functional with 6 speeds for hills and riding speed. It has a solid frame and sturdy parts​ but it is heavy, so just be aware of that.