Review: B Fold 7 #decathlon #btwin #bfold7

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When I was looking for reviews of the B.Fold 7 it was incredibly difficult and so I find myself writing the review I was looking for. Thankfully I’m reasonably close to a couple of Decathlon stores and so have looked at these things admiringly for a few months now which has helped significantly in my research.

But to start off there are a few things I wanted from my folding bike

– Reliability
– Gears
– Reasonable price
– Easy folding mechanism

I looked extensively at the Brompton bikes but not only am I a bit of a scrooge when it comes to biking but the three gears and the desirability for theft made these an immediate no go. I also quite liked the Tern and Dahon bikes but they were so similar to the B Fold that it made no sense to pay the extra for the name. I’ve also been incredibly fortunate to have had good experiences with both my Rockrider and Triban – both from Decathlon.

So the crux of the matter is that I bought a B Fold 7. Let’s see what Decathlon have to say about it:

Technical Description

Specifications:
Colour: Metallic grey
Weight: 13.65 KG
Suitable Size: 1.50 m – 1.85 m

Frame:
Aluminium 6061 provides low weight, responsiveness and sturdiness. The easy side-fold system means the bike takes up little amount of space: at home, at the office, in the boot of a car or in a camper.Once folded, the bike’s volume is divided by 3.

Fork:
Hi-Ten steel fork for greater durability.

Drive Train:
The B’Fold 7 is equipped with a Shimano push/pull SIS indexed 7-speed derailleur to handle most gradients. The gear shifter is easy to use with its “Push-Pull” system. Shifting gears is quick and precise. Derailleur guard protects the most fragile parts from impacts especially when transporting in folded mode.Distance travelled per turn of the crank: 288 cm – 576 cm.

Brakes:
V-brake, aluminium callipers and levers guarantee effective and progressive braking.

Handlebar, stem, steering:
Semi-raised handlebar provides good steering position and improves bike handling. Fixed aluminium stem provides greater rigidity compared to a height-adjustable stem.Ergonomic Lock on grips.

Distance from saddle to handlebar: 600 mm

Distance from saddle to pedals: 700 mm – 960 mm

Saddle, Seat Post:
Comfortable foam saddle and aluminium seat post with laser markings to make adjustment easier.

Wheels:
20″ single walled anodised black rims have been machined for effective braking.

Tyres:
20 x 1.75 city tyres for good performance and traction.

Chainset:
Suntour folding pedals: Fold up easily by applying pressure, so that the bike takes up less space. Once pedals are folded up and stem folded down, the bike can be compactly stored against a wall (28 cm width).170 mm aluminium cranks.

Equipment:
Chainwheel guard, mudguard with stays, pannier rack, derailleur guard, battery lighting. Compatible with the Btwin Tilt transport cover.

Dimensions:
Unfolded: length: 150 cm, width: 40 cm, height: 103 cm. Folded: length: 82 cm, height: 64 cm, width: 34 cm.

I bought the bike mainly for my new work commute as I’m keen to avoid getting back on the overcrowded London Underground and so I’ve been testing out my commute to my current job which uses some of London’s busiest roads and us also gently uphill. My current commute is a little less than 5km each way between Charing Cross and North West London.

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Before I did any commuting I gave it a quick whizz around my local area, disappointingly the seat slipped down (thankfully reasonably slowly) and so I went home and adjusted the seat a hint and then I was off. I spent about 40 minutes dipping in and around the town – shifting gears swiftly and confidently using the push-pull system. The 20 inch BMX wheels felt nice and secure on the road and the bike didn’t struggle to pull away from the traffic it encountered.

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The steering was light and the brakes sharp, gear changes as well as being fluid were quick and also felt like they would stay in place (unlike the shocking Boris bikes). Jumping on and off is also incredibly easy, I’m, as stated, a pretty crap rider but I find it simple enough to jump on and off. Commuting has been equally pleasurable and the bike fares very well across it’s town scenario but that’s what it’s good for – you wouldn’t take this across muddy fields. Equally it’ll handle a bit of a hill, actually a reasonable hill – but don’t ask it to do Mont Blanc, that isn’t what it was designed for. I have two killer hills just outside me house and it struggles up both of them towards the top – although this might have something to do with your rider and reviewer being a bit on the podgy side and wholly unfit 🙂

The folding mechanism is also fairly simple and I can get the B Fold 7 up in less than 30 seconds and down in about the same, there’s nothing very fiddly but if you are intent on carrying the bike anywhere then be aware that you might want a elasticated cable to keep the wheels together. Do consider the folded size too, that may impact your decision on purchasing – the Brompton does fold smaller and would be easier in the boot of a small car – but I don’t drive so this isn’t likely to be a problem for me, but worth checking if you’re doing a half and half commute.

And so to my only real negative, which isn’t a real negative and more of a reality check – it’s heavy. With the pannier rack and a lock on it this weighs in at a little over 13kg which makes it a double hander for lifting purposes really. That said you could push or you could use the handle on the underside which does make it a bit easier.

The truth of the matter though is that none of these things are very lightweight and carrying them is just part and parcel of ownership. I can only truly recommend the B Fold 7 for it’s excellent looks, it’s excellent performance, it’s perfectly suitable functionality for my particular lifestyle and it’s price point. Well done decathlon, go and test this for yourself in store you won’t be disappointed.

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10 comments
  1. Nian said:

    Hi, thanks for the review. You know what, I have just been using this bike for commuting (Lewisham to old street) for 4 days. It’s faster than I thought due to the seven speed gear. I also got the seat slipping down problem, how did you solved it?

    • ultraboycreates said:

      For me it was just a tightening of the bolt that holds the clip for the seat. I tend to find it works it’s way loose if you hit potholes at speed and don’t lift off the seat. I carry a multi tool with me just incase I need to tighten it up but generally it’s been fine. I’ve done about 320 miles on mine since I bought it about six weeks ago and the seat hasn’t had any major slipping. If you’re concerned though you should tweet or email decathlon – they respond pretty quickly

      • Nian said:

        Thanks, I just found how to tighten the the bolt, it’s so easy (I cycle a lot but really thick on these machineries ). Another question, is that a pannier bag in the photo? I found my pannier bag for my bigger bike too big to attach to the b fold 7.

      • ultraboycreates said:

        No, not a pannier – decathlon do a range of smaller panniers I’ll assume designed for the folding range but have limited capacity. I either use a rucksack or the clip bags to the back using the elasticated strap. Nothing’s fallen off yet 🙂 though I wouldn’t trust the strap at full pelt or with anything valuable

  2. hi guys, are you still happy with the bike? i am going to buy it and im looking for reviews 🙂

    • ultraboycreates said:

      After owning my B Fold 7 for over a year I have to say I thoroughly enjoy using it. I’ll admit I’ve given it a proper bartering too and it’s survived everything I’ve put it through. Be aware it’s no Brompton but if you want something inexpensive and easy to ride this is a good compromise

  3. Thank you for the reply.Your review helped me decide. i will buy it for commute in the city. Do you have any tips for riding it?

    • ultraboycreates said:

      Not really, it’s a sensible bike but like all folding ones it has limitations and I’ve found that good maintenance is the key to good riding. It’s pretty rubbish in the mud but if you stick to the roads you’ll be fine. I mainly cycle on the busiest roads of London and it does well. I find having the extra gears and bigger wheels make it slightly less pacey than the Brompton in general but it feels nimble and doesn’t fight against you. It’s not let me down yet , good luck with your purchase

  4. Hi, I have sold that on ebay. There were few issues, on the handle post (long stem) the folding mechanism developed a fault after couple of months use. The wheels are very basic ones and one of them developed a problem (could due to my abuse). Anyway, I have them replaced and sold on ebay. The frame is very solid though. Could be my not lucky, but I would buy a Brompton if I got the money or a used Dahon (because used ones are very cheap on ebay). BTW I now ride a custom built folder (Dahon frame with parts replaced). I also tried Brompton, very high build quality.

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