The market of sub-$300 folding bikes is more crowded than ever as everyone doesn’t want to spend too much money on a bike. We are seeing a lot of manufacturers producing budget folders, some are good whereas others are terrible, so you must be careful when buying from them.
Today, we’re taking a look at the Columba SP26S, an affordable folding bike that has been around since 2011.
Specifications & Features
- Colors: Black, Blue, Yellow, and Silver
- Weight: 35 lbs
- Folded dimensions: 38″ x 29″ x 14″
- Wheels: 26″
- Frame: Steel
- Drivetrain: Shimano 18-speed shifter and derailleur
- Brakes: alloy V-brakes
- Tires: Kenda 26″x1.5″
- Rims: alloy
- Pedals: foldable
- Stem: quick removable front handle stem.
- Hubs: steel
- Kickstand: Steel
- Accessories: included optional derailleur protector, water bottle mount holes and screws, PVC black bell
- Recommended Rider’s Height: 5’3″ – 6’0″
- Maximum Rider’s Weight: 200 lbs
- Box dimensions: 52″ x 26″ x 9″
- Shipping weight: 44 lbs
Honestly, I didn’t plan to review the Columba SP26S because I’ve tested many cheap folding bikes and almost all of them are terrible. However, I’ve received some requests from readers of BikeFolded and they want to know if the bike is any good. And surprisingly, when I checked out the bike on Amazon, it had many positive reviews and it is still among the best-selling bikes even though it was released a long time ago. Therefore, I know I have to give it a try.
As soon as I got hands on the Columba bike, it reminded me of the Dahon Jack D7, another folder with 26-inch wheels. Of course, the Columba SP26S has a lot more limitations, but the riding experience is so similar. The Columba is a little slower but you might not notice the difference. Sitting on the 26-inch wheels is really much more comfortable, especially when you are dealing with potholes. This is a road bike with no suspension forks, so it should be used on paved road only.
The Columba is sold by 2KSilver, a company based in New Jersey, but it is made in China. Therefore, it has many similar parts as seen on other Chinese folding bikes. As compared to the Dahon Jack D7, it is heavier and bulkier, it uses cheaper components and also takes more time to fold and unfold. Fortunately, it still fits perfectly inside a compact car’s rear trunk.
Obviously, the Jack D7 is a better choice for a full-sized folding bike but it is sold for more than twice the price of the Columba SP26S. The bike arrived almost assembled, you will just need to install the front wheel and it is ready to hit the road. I’ve tested the bike for a month and haven’t got any problem with it. The frame is pretty sturdy and shifting gears is also smooth enough.
- Low price
- Comfortable ride
- Sturdy steel frame
- Acceptable weight
- Comes in 4 color options
- Cheap components
- Outdated folding mechanism
The Columba SP26S is a good start for riders changing from a regular bike to a folding bike. It manages to deliver similar riding experience with a much more compact size when being folded. This will help you to bring your bike anywhere without using a rear-mounted bike rack.