Where folding commuter bikes are concerned, we've been partial to Brompton for years. Nothing beats the Brit bike company's easy-to-fold-and-unfold setup on a consistency level. They just feel safe because it's hard to mess up the setup. We can't say the same for models we've tried from other folding-bike companies such as Dahon and Xootr, which can be confusing to open and unwieldy to carry around.
We were impressed, therefore, with the Verge Duo, a two-speed commuter model from a new company created by former Dahon employees. Setup couldn't be simpler: Flip a lever to unfasten the main body and fold the bike in half, flip a level on the handlebars to fold those down, push in the pedals, and lower the seat. When folded, the wheels stick together courtesy of a magnet. At 24.9 pounds, it's challenging to carry around town, but it's still the perfect size to hide under your desk or stick into a trunk or closet. And though it was hardly the fastest folding bike we've used, the Verge Duo was a comfortable breeze to drive around bumpy, hill-heavy Brooklyn bike paths. Finally, at less than $1,000, it's a steal when compared with its pricier U.K.-built competitors. [$900, ternbicycles.com]