Like this site? Help us to make it better.


Carrera Intercity Folding Bike



Great value folder with practical essentials ready fitted
Great value
Quick handling
Mudguards and rack included
Not the most compact fold
Relatively heavy
Tall riders will need a longer seatpost
14,200g Recommends

This product has been selected to feature in recommends. That means it's not just scored well, but we think it stands out as special. Go to recommends

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

What the scores mean

Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.

  • Exceptional
  • Excellent
  • Very Good
  • Good
  • Quite good
  • Average
  • Not so good
  • Poor
  • Bad
  • Appalling

The Carrera Intercity is a quick-handling folder that's just the job for nipping to and from a train station and smuggling aboard the 08:23 express. It's a shade on the heavy side but it comes ready-to-roll with mudguards and a rack, and it's great value too – cheaper than any of the folders in our best folding bikes buyer's guide.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - riding 5.jpg

The Carrera Intercity is one of the best folding bikes you can buy when you take value for money into account. If your budget's limited and the bike sections of your multi-mode journey are fairly short, it should definitely be on your list.


The Intercity's handling is quick, bordering on twitchy. The slightest movement of the handlebar effects a course change, which is great for dodging potholes, and makes for a distinctly sporty feel to the ride.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - riding 3.jpg

However, after more than a couple or three miles it can start to get irritating, because sometimes it's nice to just relax and ride, and the Intercity never quite lets you do that.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - riding 4.jpg

Is that bad? No, because bike handling is a matter of taste as much as ergonomics, small-wheeled bikes have a bit of a tendency to be twitchy anyway, and for whizzing round town this is exactly what you want.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - riding 2.jpg

The reach to the 56cm handlebar is short at just 66cm from the centre of the saddle. This gives the kind of upright position you want for urban riding, but it's a bit cramped for my taste. For short hops this isn't enough to be a deal-breaker, but it's another reason the Intercity isn't great for long rides, unless you're not very tall.

Halfords says the Intercity will fit riders from 147cm to 191cm (4ft 10in to 6ft 3in). I'm 178cm (5ft 10in) and with the saddle at the right height for me there was just 3.5cm of adjustment left. I have short legs for my height and I suspect that just as Matt Lamy found with the Carrera Intercity Disc 9, 6ft 3in might be a bit optimistic. If you're at the high end of the range, you'll definitely want to try before you buy.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - seat post.jpg

The post is 33.9mm diameter, which is the same as you'll find on many folding bikes such as those from Dahon and Tern. A longer post than the stock piece will cost you from about £25, so if you're tall, all is not lost. You could even fit a Tern telescopic post for maximum extension. Nevertheless, it's a pity Halfords hasn't fitted a longer post.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike.jpg

At 14.2kg, the Intercity is no featherweight. That's four kilograms more than a Brompton P Line Urban, but then the Brompton is almost six times the price, so it's reasonable to expect it to float away on the breeze.

Frame & fold

The Intercity is chunkily welded out of some sort of aluminium (Halfords doesn't say what) with a steel fork.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - frame release handle.jpg

Like its stablemate the Carrera Intercity Disc, the Intercity folds at a big hinge in the middle of the main frame member.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - folded 2.jpg

You actually fold the handlebar first so the frame wraps around it, then drop the seatpost into the frame. The whole lot ends up as a fairly compact package at 83cm x 64cm x 35cm.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - frame detail.jpg

The first time I tried to fold the Carrera Intercity I was surprised how stiff the main hinge was. It loosened up with use, but out of the box it needed quite a bit of oomph to get it moving.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - bars quick release.jpg

The handlebar stem has a quick release so you can raise the bars if you want a really upright riding position.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - frame clamp.jpg

Folding and unfolding is very straightforward with long quick-release levers so you can get plenty of force to lock the parts into place.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - top tube.jpg

There are two pairs of water bottle bosses, one on the frame and the other on the stem. How likely are you to carry lots of water on a folding commuter? Not very, but with the right cages you could carry your morning coffee or a bottle of wine.


Halfords' spec list for the Intercity is somewhat vague (the tyres are listed as 'black rubber' for example), and sometimes completely different from what's on the bike. So, let's take a quick look at what we actually got.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - crank.jpg

Gears: A 52-tooth chainring drives an 11-32 cassette for a gear range from to 32 to 95 inches.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - drivetrain.jpg

That's pretty sensible for an around-town bike, a gear range that will get you comfortably up and down most of the hills you'll find in UK town centres, assuming you don't have to tackle something silly like Bristol's Vale Street.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - brake lever and shifter.jpg

Halfords lists the gear shifters as Shimano Revoshift twist-grips but our bike actually had MicroShift trigger shifters and rear derailleur.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - bars 2.jpg

These have two thumb-actuated triggers with a firm click to let you know you've made a shift. I prefer them to twist-grips, but that's very much a matter of taste.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - rear brake.jpg

Brakes: Anonymous V-brakes.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - front brake.jpg

They're not pretty, but they work.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - front mudguard.jpg

Tyres: Our Intercity came with puncture-resistant semi-slick Kenda Kwest tyres that rolled along nicely. Tyre physics means small wheels are never going to roll as well as larger ones, but decent tyres make a big difference and these are very reasonable for a £400 bike. Fast tyres like Continental Contact Urbans would give an extra turn of speed but their £40/tyre price tag is why they're not specced here.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - pedal 2.jpg

Pedals: The plastic outer bodies of the folding pedals are a little slippery, but the bearings sit in an aluminium inner body, which should help with durability.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - kick stand.jpg

Kickstand. There's a kickstand. Handy for keeping the bike upright in the garage or shed, but less useful in the field because you always have to lock a bike to something solid in the UK if you want it still there when you get back. I'd love to live in a world where you could park a bike in the street with just a lock round the frame and wheel but I think we'll have to wait for fully automated luxury communism for that.

Rack & mudguards

The mudguards do a decent job of keeping the wet off, though anyone following you might wish that the back one was a bit longer.

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - rear mudguard.jpg

(Commuting etiquette 101: if you don't have a big rear mudflap try to avoid overtaking anyone in the wet.)

2022 Carrera Intercity Folding Bike - rear rack 1.jpg

The rack's a sturdy little beast that'll take small panniers or a rack-top bag. I'd fit an adapter for a click-on system like the Basil MIKTopeak QuickTrack or Racktime SnapIt to make it easier to fit and remove a top bag.


The obvious comparison is with the Carrera Intercity Disc 9 that Matt raved about. The Intercity Disc is lighter and has better brakes and wider-range gears but doesn't have a rack or mudguards, which probably accounts for most of the weight difference. And it's only £450, so even if you decide to add a rack and mudguards (and you surely need them on a practical bike even it does look sporty without them) it's a hell of a bargain. If your budget is strictly limited to £400, then buy this Intercity; if you can afford a bit more it's very hard to go past the Carrera Intercity Disc 9.

Decathlon's B'Twin 900 Folding Bike is £500 (currently £450), which includes lights and mudguards but no rack and has the same Sora rear mech as the Intercity Disc 9.

What about the benchmark folder? The cheapest Brompton, the three-speed A Line is £950 without rack or mudguards. It's lighter and has Brompton's marvellously compact fold, but it seems unfair to compare them: the Carrera is workmanlike everyday transport, the Brompton much more a luxury option and that gets especially obvious when you start adding practical accessories like bags.

Who should buy the Carrera Intercity?

The Carrera Intercity is a bike with a laser-targeted purpose: to get you to and from a train station, where you then fold and stow it, with minimal fuss. If that's your use case – a couple miles to the station, a train trip, then a mile to the office, then it's an excellent, low-cost entry to the world of multi-mode commuting.

If you're looking for something more recreational, a bike to stash in the car boot so you can drive out for a relaxing ride round a country park or like that, then the Intercity's quick handling and narrow handlebar mean it's really not for you.


Great value folder with practical essentials ready fitted test report

Make and model: Carrera Intercity Folding Bike

Size tested: n/a

About the bike

List the components used to build up the bike.

Chainset: square taper, 52-tooth chainring

Sprockets: 12-32 eight-speed

Shifter: MicroShift trigger

Rear derailleur: MicroShift

Pedals: Folding, aluminium bodies

Handlebar: 56cm aluminium, flat

Grips: rubber

Stem: Folding

Seatpost: aluminium, 33.9mm, 52cm

Saddle: DDK anatomic

Brakes: V-brakes

Wheels: 20-inch alloy

Tyres: Kenda Kwest

Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

Halfords says:

"The Carrera Intercity Folding Bike is constructed from lightweight aluminium making it a breeze to carry around places where you really shouldn't ride your bike (like through your office). When folded, the dimensions are just 835mm x 360mm x 660mm so it is nice and easy to store away too."

Can't argue with that; it's currently sitting in a corner of my office which is far too small and full of stuff to ride around in.

Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options

Halfords offers cheaper and more basic folders in the £260 Apollo Tuck and £355 Carrera Transit. Spend a bit more and you get an extra gear and disc brakes with the Carrera Intercity Disc 9-Speed, but not rack and guards.

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Welds are tidy and it's all assembled precisely enough that the fold works.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Halfords has gone chunky rather than lightweight, with big aluminium main tubes and a steel fork.

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

It's quite short, but that's not unusual for folders.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

With small wheels, a stiff frame and no suspension this isn't an especially comfortable bike. Hit a bump and, well, you know about it.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

It's all very stiff.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Not really a crucial criterion for a bike like this, but yes, it's efficient.

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?


How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Lively to the point of twitchy.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The handling's very quick. Good for pothole-dodging, but a bit tiring on longer rides.

Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?

The saddle and grips are decent, which helps counter the bumpiness of the short, stiff ride.

Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
Rate the bike for acceleration:

If you find yourself aboard a folding bike and up against Mark Cavendish, you might want to reconsider some of your life choices.

Rate the bike for high speed stability:
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
Rate the bike for climbing:

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:

Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?

I really like the MicroShift trigger shifters

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels for performance:
Rate the wheels for durability:
Rate the wheels for weight:
Rate the wheels for comfort:
Rate the tyres for performance:
Rate the tyres for durability:
Rate the tyres for weight:
Rate the tyres for comfort:
Rate the tyres for value:


Rate the controls for performance:
Rate the controls for durability:
Rate the controls for weight:
Rate the controls for comfort:
Rate the controls for value:

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? On shorter rides; yes. I wouldn't choose it for a longer weekend outing

Would you consider buying the bike? Yes

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes

How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on

Coming from a Halfords own brand, you'd expect the Intercity to be very reasonably priced – and it is.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
Rate the bike overall for value:

Use this box to explain your overall score

The Carrera Intercity is very good local/multi-mode transportation at an excellent price.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 56  Height: 5ft 11in  Weight: 100kg

I usually ride: Scapin Style  My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, general fitness riding, mtb,

John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.

Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for Along with founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.

John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.

He joined in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

Latest Comments