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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 10-03-10, 05:23 AM   #1
NormanF
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Rans Mini Me Travel Bike (Crank Forward 20" Bike)

http://www.ransbikes.com/images/Compac-side.gif

A forward picture:

http://www.ransbikes.com/images/Compac.gif

This is new for Rans, a crank forward 20" travel bike.

Its NOT a folder, but a downsized version of the current Rans CF line up suitable for travel.

This is a prototype but it looks like usable.

Can't wait for it to make it into production!

Last edited by NormanF; 10-03-10 at 05:26 AM.
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Old 10-03-10, 07:17 AM   #2
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The position of the saddle is weird. At first I thought it was the saddle and not the crankset that made the crankset seemed more forward. But it looks like the crankset is also moved little forward.

I wonder what the distance would be from the seat post to the handlebars? I wonder how mini is mini to Rans? Nevertheless, I'll definitely keep on eye out for this one.

One of the things I don't like about crank forwards is how long they are.
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Old 10-03-10, 09:16 AM   #3
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I thought my addiction was cured with my R20 purchase (bike #7) but I was wrong. I want one of these!!
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Old 10-03-10, 09:47 AM   #4
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The seat is unique to Rans and is derived from their recumbents. Basically you sit on it and pull down hard on the bars, particularly when pedaling uphill. Riding is stable and predictable and there is the added element of reassurance in that one can put both feet down when stopped while remaining seated.

A crank forward is not that long. And I expect the Mini Me to be good enough to be put in a car trunk once the wheels are removed.
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Old 10-03-10, 11:26 AM   #5
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The pedal forward position is hard on the knees, IMO. That's based upon close to two years riding my Ventura, CA "store" bike, an Electra Cruiser 1.

Granted, the RANS has gears, but the relaxed riding position is best for slow riding, only. Going up a significant incline would include the danger of flipping over backwards due to the rider's weight being so far back on the bike.

I think I will pass on this one.
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Old 10-03-10, 11:42 AM   #6
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I've always been curious about how a RANS would feel. I expect that I would dislike riding with my feet stuck out in front of me, but it would be interesting to try it. The mini-velo makes it more interesting, just because I love little bikes.
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Old 10-03-10, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
The seat is unique to Rans and is derived from their recumbents. Basically you sit on it and pull down hard on the bars, particularly when pedaling uphill.
I guess you're trying to say that you're in a slightly recumbent type position which is okay if you can comfortably reach the handlebars.

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Riding is stable and predictable and there is the added element of reassurance in that one can put both feet down when stopped while remaining seated.
This is one of the key features of any crank forward bike. Yet, this feature doesn't fully work if you're below 5 ft 1 inches in height since the seat can only go so far on some models (like the Trek Pure). At best you're tippy toe. However, the most important factor here is that you're pedaling at proper seat height, even if you're tippy toe.

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A crank forward is not that long.
I guess it's relative as to what is considered long to some. I know some models (like the Sun) are as long as my trike and my trike is long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
And I expect the Mini Me to be good enough to be put in a car trunk once the wheels are removed.
At best it could be put in a mini van without removing any wheels or maybe just one.

Time will tell but I think I'll be holding out for a foldable crank-forward instead.
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Old 10-03-10, 05:38 PM   #8
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Actually you can ride very fast because of the different muscles you're using as you pedal. And going up a hill means you'd have to shift earlier and really pedal since you usually can't stand to power up and over. In practice, its not a problem with a CF since its not as awkward on a hill as a recumbent would be.
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Old 10-03-10, 05:42 PM   #9
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Based on my experience with my full sized Dynamik, its fun to ride and its a more efficient bike. Randy Schlitter was asked by folks on the CF forum to come out with a CF 20" folder. I don't know whether the final bike will be a folder but this prototype being tweaked looks like a CF mini-velo. Its an interesting design challenge for the company to bring out a real portable bike that people would want to buy. In my view, I do think there is a market for it.
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Old 10-05-10, 10:58 AM   #10
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Okie dokie. I found out more about the new Rans travel bike that is not yet in production.

All I can say is if you're interested in it you betta save your pennies. The suggest MSRP is around $1,350. They posted some specs on it. See below:

http://www.ransbikes.com/pdf%20files...csheet.doc.pdf


Note the riding and packed size. I made a quick call to Rans and if you're packing this bike for an airplane trip, you would have to undo the wheels, pedals and probably the seatpost/handlebars/stem too. If you're packing this into a van, you may not have to disassemble the bike as much (maybe a wheel besides lowing the seatpost and stem).

The pedals will be a standard 9/16 spindle which means that you can probably replace the standard pedals and put some suntour or other folding pedals on it.

I'm always on the look out for a CF folding or compact bike. This is a good contender but the price is a little offsetting.
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Old 10-06-10, 12:50 AM   #11
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The price is very preliminary. They may lower it to be competive with folders and similar bikes on the market.

If you disassembled the bike you could fit it into a case for travel. No worse from that standpoint than folders.

After all, it is being marketed as a travel bike.

Now if the price is lowered, it could be a contender and I expect dealers to offer a modest discount on it.

We'll have to see what the market it is in the event it is produced.
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Old 10-06-10, 09:52 AM   #12
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The bike needs to fold so I can fit in my closet and other small spaces without significant disassembly, so I'll wait for that model to be developed before I give it further consideration.
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Old 10-07-10, 06:39 PM   #13
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I emailed Rans about color choice and the reply was white is the bike's color; however, for another $200 you could order a color from their lineup.
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Old 10-07-10, 07:56 PM   #14
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The gear inches in the spec sheet must be wrong. No way they can get 37-109 with 46T/11-32T and 20" wheels.
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Old 10-08-10, 06:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
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I emailed Rans about color choice and the reply was white is the bike's color; however, for another $200 you could order a color from their lineup.
For some reason this reminds me of a quote from Henry Ford

"People can have the Model T in any color - so long as it's black."

I know you mentioned that the mini can come in other colors but to pay extra for it is like not having much of a choice for some.

So I guess I'll have mine black...or rather white.
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Old 10-08-10, 09:28 PM   #16
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I don't like the fact the geometry forces you to sit down on all the ruts, bumps and potholes. Since it doesn't have suspension seat post or springs saddle, I would be in pain after 6 miles.
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Old 10-09-10, 03:05 AM   #17
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I don't like the fact the geometry forces you to sit down on all the ruts, bumps and potholes.
I wonder if that's true. I ride an Electra Townie CF and can easily get up off the seat when going over bumps.
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Old 10-09-10, 03:17 AM   #18
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One of the things I don't like about crank forwards is how long they are.
The overall length of this one is 62". It's shorter than my diamond frame road bike.
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Old 10-09-10, 07:36 AM   #19
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Actually the seat is comfortable... I put a gel pad on mine and I push down and ride. The frame geometry puts you straight up so you feel relaxed in your head, neck, shoulders and arms. And with the crank forward position you push down on the bars as you pedal. You can go very fast.

If you need extra cushioning, Big Apple tires give you suspension on the road. And that's how I like it on my CFs!
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Old 10-09-10, 07:48 AM   #20
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I don't know too much about crank-forwards. What's the advantage over recumbents? Comfort because the feet are much lower than the BB?

Seems to me that you lose a lot of power by not being able to push against the seatback, which the recumbent allows, and you can't stand and stomp like on a DF bike.
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Old 10-09-10, 10:07 AM   #21
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The advantage of crank forwards over recumbents is no learning curve is necessary, they are easier to transport and store than a recumbent and from the safety aspect, you can put your feet down flat whenever you want.

You use a different group of muscles when you ride one and you pull hard on the bar when you need to climb a hill. That's the "dig in" effect and it takes trial and error to find the approach that works best on a climb.

And on the flats, they are very fast.
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Old 10-09-10, 01:12 PM   #22
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Another significant disadvantage of CF bikes is that it's difficult to get into an aero position. Riding a CF into the wind is tough.
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Old 10-09-10, 01:19 PM   #23
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Not necessarily. You can put a fairing on front and just ride on into the wind. Recumbent riders have never had to worry about an aero position and they're pretty fast enough and that's also true in riding a CF bike.
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Old 10-09-10, 02:37 PM   #24
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I received an answer from Rans to another question about a front rack and in the reply the paint option was $240 instead of $200--bummer. A front rack can be installed but no pannier bags.
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Old 10-09-10, 03:41 PM   #25
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Did they tell you if a rear rack can be installed?

I think it'll be too small for Rans RAC cargo system - bummer.

With a rear rack you could use pannier bags.

On the front, a basket or maybe handlebar bags.
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