While TreeHugger knows that using what you've got 'til it's gone is the greenest way to go, but we all have to replace our old faithful with new favorites eventually. When that time comes, we want you to know some of the good green ways to go. On this list: small wheel folding bikes.
Many think that any small wheeled bike is a folder, but it ain't necessarily so. But it is true that small wheels do help a bicycle collapse into a neater package. That's not to say these are toy bikes. Some ride theirs everyday to work (for years), others tour whole continents, while yet others have set world records for upright bicycles. Folding bikes allow their owners to fit them into buses, trains, yachts and even cars (hah!) Their compact size means no wind drag and better fuel economy than perching bikes on car roof racks. But it also allows for easier storage in space restricted apartments, offices and workplaces. Smaller wheels, though stronger, can be a bit more prone to finding matching potholes, though this is balanced with the joy of nimbly nipping through congested traffic. See a few faves below.
What: Citizen Bike Alloy
Why: The heaviest model in this little review, at 14 kg (30 lbs), but with the lightest price. Not bad for a six speed 20" folding bike.
How much: $254
Nice touch: Has a weightier baby brother that goes for a mere $174
More: Citizen and TreeHugger
What: Dahon Speed P8
Why: Sporty 12.6 kg (27.7 lbs) bike in a ChroMoly frame, from the world's largest manufacturer of folders.
How much: $560
Nice touch: BioLogic foot pump integrated into the seat post
More: Dahon and TreeHugger
What: iXi Breakaway
Where: iXi Bike
Why: Separating four speed 12.25 kg (27 lbs) city bike, sports a greaseless composite drive chain, integrated carry handle and rain poncho!
How much: $1,000
Nice touch: Both the handlebars and pedals fold for storage
More: iXi Bike and TreeHugger
What: Bike Friday Tikit
Where: Bike Friday
Why: Made in the USA 11 kg (23.7 lbs) commuter that folds in 5 seconds, from a company with legendary customer loyalty
How much: $1,195
Nice touch: No latches, levers or tools required to fold or unfold!
More: Bike Friday and TreeHugger
What: Brompton M6R
Where: Brompton US Dealers
Why: The Classic. Has fans the world over. Made in the UK 12.4 kg (27.3 lbs) commuter that folds in 15 seconds. (M6R has a rear rack, not shown here)
How much: $1,197
Nice touch: Chains folds to the inside, so greasy mess is avoided.
What: Pashley-Moulton TSR8
Where: Pashley; in the US, try Angle Lake Cyclery or North Road Bicycles
Why: From the original designer of front and rear suspension small wheel bikes, this eight speed hub geared, British-made spaceframe swiftly separates into two halves.
How much: $2,595
Nice touch: Front and rear carriers carry low, and have very stable centre of gravity.
More: Pashley-Moulton and TreeHugger.
Check out TreeHugger's guides for How to Go Green for more tips on greening your transport, with a guide on bicycles upcoming. Plus, there'll be another Buying Guide especially for Large Wheel Folding Bikes. Stay tuned!