Great value for the money with robust frame and lasting performance.
When the Xspec 26” 21 speed folding mountain bike was showcased, the flat handlebars, sturdy tires and a huge fork were all easy tells of it being a great mountain bike. However, upon a closer look, we were surprised to see quick release levers and a separable stem.
That’s right! It is indeed a folding bike.
We’ve tried and tested many MTBs and folding bikes and I can tell you with confidence the convenience of folding the Xspec 26” 21 speed bike in under 30 seconds and getting on public transport is simply unmatched with other folding mountain bikes.
Generally, 26” wheels are a pain to carry around, but placing them on a folding frame compensates for that feeling and makes it look effortless, even for shorter riders.
First things first, the overall aesthetic of the folding bike is very sharp and seems almost like a custom build.
The bike naturally falls into the mountain bike category, but that’s the case until the safety fold lever is locked. When it comes off, the bike folds without any tools and becomes a folding bike! The most important reason it got on my radar was because of the specs it offered at an MSRP of just $300.
Knowing this, I wasn’t shocked to see it as a top seller online.
I found it to be very commodious on different terrains and pavements. With all the folding mechanism and portability, how’s the Xspec 26” going to ride? I like using a bike for different purposes and Xspec left a positive impression on the multipurpose list. It handled all the city riding, rough mountain trails and gravel with ease.
That’s not all, the riding experience is definitely a priority, but the paper specs provide a separate inkling. The bike weighs just shy of 43 lbs. and is 68” unfolded which is halved when the xspec bike folds neatly.
The bike has 21 speeds and comes in black or white. Moreover, the quality of the frame, suspension, disc brakes and even the pedals deserve to be discussed in depth.
Read this review for some quick and detailed insights before buying your portable 21 speed mountain bike.
You’ll also find this bike in our review of the best mountain bikes under $300.
This is a mountain bike that’s not only for mountain biking. You can use it when commuting, during short bursts better known as out of saddle sprints, or whenever you’re doing some casual riding in an urban environment.
While you ride it in the city, you don’t need to look for pesky bike racks to park your bike. The portable folding frame allows for easy storage under the desk for office workers or around your campus if you’re a student.
The 26” 21 speed folding mountain bike comes with a high tensile steel frame which eliminates any fears of durability when riding on mountain trails.
The bike weighs just over 42 lbs with the steel frame and although an aluminum frame might be lighter, you are getting extra strength and toughness which is very important for a folding mountain bike.
One aspect that stands out is the streamlined frame design, there aren’t any unnecessary components!
It’s just the essentials to keep everything simple and efficient. If you like downhill riding, the compact design will give you an edge in achieving greater speeds but this isn’t a replacement for a true downhill frame.
Another neat touch is the safety latch on the frame which reassures the safety of the bike and rider.
There’s plenty of options for installing aftermarket components like mudguards and chainstay protectors. The frame design also places the folding lever on the right side, where all the parts like derailleurs and chain are accessible from, in case you are working on maintenance.
I was a bit skeptical about the suspensions on the Xspec 26” 21 speed folding bike, but it outperforms many mountain bikes at this price point.
The suspensions are the most important component for a mountain bike and the Xspec bike features a great combination of a rear suspension and a front fork.
The rear suspension is a single pivot and sticks to simplicity. It is easy to maintain and change the pivot bearings on the folding mountain bike.
The rear suspension is a 150mm travel and should easily support riders up to 220 lb.
Xspec 26” 21 speed folding bike comes standard with a front fork, which is like any other standard fork, but the rear shock absorber is impressively great at minimizing impacts.
The shock is linked to the swing arm and does a fantastic job of handling jumps and absorbing most of the jolts.
Handlebar and Brakes
From a design perspective, a folding mountain bike usually has a compact handlebar because this determines the thickness of the bike when it folds flat.
The Xspec folding mountain bike does not compromise on handlebar length in this regard and this makes the ride more comfortable especially for those with wider shoulders.
The handlebar material is a rigid alloy and houses quality brand components like the gear shifters, 21 speed options and the brake levers. There is soft padding that is rubberized to offer more grip but if you use a good pair of gloves, you might not need to rely on them.
The modern folding mountain bike uses either rim brakes, traditional v brakes, or disc brakes.
The first two are more common on low end bikes and I am glad the Xspec 21 speed folding mountain bike did not compromise on the brakes. The 21 speed folding mountain bike uses disc brake technology which offers more stopping power. This becomes a deciding factor when climbing rocks where you need reliable stopping power or when you’re riding in the city and want to stay safe.
The disc brakes are also better than the traditional v brake systems for downhill riding.
One downside to disc brake technology is they can get hot with excessive braking but the 21 speed folding mountain bike has cooling fins and uses two disc brake pads on the front and rear wheels for long lasting brakes.
The Xspec 26” 21-speed mountain bike is a robust and stylish folding bike that not only caters to your off-road riding but also fulfills your need for urban transportation. As mentioned above, it is our pick for best folding mountain bike.
This mountain bike comes with dual suspension with shock absorbers that help it smoothly glide over trails, bumps, potholes, and any kind of terrain.
The mechanical disc brakes enable this bike to stop quickly and have firm contact with the ground.
The Xspec folding mountain bike also features 21-speed shifters so that you can focus less on pedaling and more on the beauty of mountains.
Setup and Ride Impressions
Finding a feel for the 26” 21 speed folding mountain bike meant riding it in public spaces, taking it on tough terrain, mountain trails and through urban environments.
It involved hammering the pedals, landing jumps that not only tested the rear shock absorbers but also the rigid streamline frame design.
Setting Up the 26” 21 Speed Folding Mountain Bike
The Xspec bike folds neatly and you can easily take it on mountain trails, but how well does it set up once you’re on tough terrain mountain trails?
This folding mountain bike is really easy to set up. Simply unfold it from the bifold and secure the latch on the folding lever.
You will find the Shimano gearing system (Trigger SL TX 30) on the handle bars with 3 gears on the left and 7 on the right.
The mechanism is a ‘switchgear’ where you push the gears with your thumb to drop gears or pull on a lever to switch to a high gear. Knowing it has quality brand components really adds to the reassurance of safety on the trail.
From the first leap downhill, you can sense the Xspec 26 21 speed folding mountain bike is going to deliver a great ride. As you push your weight on the handlebars and high tensile steel frame, you can immediately sense the support and how well it can withstand rough mountain trails.
There is plenty of suspension travel to deal with impacts on landings and the bike adapts quickly on the trail.
Throughout the trail, the rear maintained control of the uneven path and on heavy landings, there were no harsh bottom outs and it demonstrated how it can withstand rough mountain trails.
The bike has mechanical brakes that work more effectively when it’s wet than traditional v brakes so you should have no problem stopping during a rainstorm.
However, the tires are just standard riding tires, so you might have to get them replaced if you intend to use this bike on rocky trails.
Of course, I do not intend to use this bike on common mountain bike trails. It gets boring anyway. I tested it on bumpy trails and found significant feedback through the hands.
It’s safe to say, the front fork needed to be tuned as it wasn’t as forgiving on large hits as some other mountain bikes. It does feel sensitive at low speeds and it’s only when you begin to speed up that you stop feeling the bumps.
Xspec 26” Folding Mountain Bike Reviews
The mountain biking community is really helpful and connected in regards to providing feedback and recommendations on products they try.
88% of avid mountain bikers who have tried this double suspension bike, totally recommend the product and over 400 reviews on Amazon land the product at an average rating value of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Many mountain bikers acknowledged the great ride it offers and were keen to share their thoughts.
“I don’t write a lot of reviews but feel I need to about this bike. I can’t think of a single thing that is wrong with it…”
“I really love this bike. Nice quality at a good price. I was somewhat skeptical, since I hadn’t heard of the company before, but the price was right and reviews seemed promising. I’m really glad I gave it a chance, the bike has been great.”
You can read more helpful reviews on Amazon.
If you are unsure about the 21 speed folding mountain bike, that’s totally fine! There are a few alternatives that are worth mentioning and where you can find a potentially better investment for your money.
The Lostox Folding Mountain Bike has some quality name brand components and is on par with the Xspec. It also has the added convenience of foldability and portability so you can take it to almost any location.
It has a 21 speed transmission and dual disc brakes.
This is another one of the folding bikes that is comparable to Xspec. It allows for convenient commuting and has dual shock absorbers with an adjustable front fork.
It does not use quality name brand components like the Shimano gears and rear derailleurs but it would be enough to get you around town.
The Xspec 26 21 speed folding mountain bike is loads of fun to ride and we totally recommend getting one that can instantly provide the added convenience of saying goodbye to pesky bike racks. The Shimano brand components are a huge plus for any enthusiast and the alloy double wall rims can certainly take a beating.
This review demonstrated how the bike allows for convenient commuting around almost any location and the strength of the high tensile steel portable folding frame on rugged terrains. The smooth shifting between low and high gear can only be felt and not described.
If you’re sold on the idea of getting yourself a folding mountain bike, it doesn’t get any better than Xspec’s 21 speed folding bike at under $300