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Old 07-06-12, 07:54 PM   #376
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Well, she arrived, as did the first upgrade bits, namely a hairy Origin8 Pro Uno zebra saddle, a pair of Tektro R200 (or something like that) levers in white, and new bar tape.

I think a pretty thorough run-down on this bike has been made in this thread already, but I'll add that even with the stock seat post a couple of millimeters above the minimum insertion mark, it's still too short for me, a 6 footer w/35" inseam.

I'll also repeat that this bike is spec out with all kinds of crappy components, a level of crappiness that I've never seen before. From the moment I opened the box and smelled all that cheap Chinese machine oil-- you know, that smell that everything in Harbor Freight has?-- I was prepared for the worst, and the bike nearly met that exceedingly low expectation. I've never seen junk like this on a bike. It's almost embarrassing. For the money though...I get that concessions must be made!

I've got an Origin8 400mm seat post, blue Brev.M cranks and white Brev.M pedals on order, and will probably add some Kojak tires, or Greenspeed Scorchers if I start feeling all practical. Also a better set of brake calipers would be nice; these flex quite a lot.

I've only ridden it up and down the street tonight for a few minutes, but aside from the aforementioned seat post issue, I would also like a longer reach stem. I did drop it from the height you see in the pictures, and that seems a little better, but probably longer would be better.

I was hoping this would become my preferred, short-run-in-town bike; we'll see. Anyway, I hope to take it for a proper spin tomorrow.

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Old 07-08-12, 04:33 PM   #377
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Build is shaping up well. As a fellow tall guy, I recommend going up and out on the stem. Bar clamp is 25.4 IIRC. Measure first. I also found the stock bars annoyingly narrow and changed them out for wider bars.
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Old 07-09-12, 02:27 AM   #378
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Build is shaping up well. As a fellow tall guy, I recommend going up and out on the stem. Bar clamp is 25.4 IIRC. Measure first. I also found the stock bars annoyingly narrow and changed them out for wider bars.
Thanks, Pogue! I am definitely following you on this; I've got the Origin8 seatpost inbound based on your build.

I also found a Profile Design quill stem with a 20° rise and 120mm reach, although the quill is not as long as the stock unit, so we'll see where that puts the bars. Stock reach someone else here measured at 90mm.

I am a little concerned that the zero layback on the Origin8 will sacrifice crucial cockpit space, though.

My backup plan involves a long quill-to-Ahead stem adapter at Cambria Bike, but then If I go that route, I'll probably change the bars to flat, risers, or something along those lines. The Soma Clarence caught my eye, for example.

So far, after having adjusted the derailleurs (including loosening the death grip the rear cage had on the pulleys) and replacing and adjusting wheel and headset bearings, it's riding like a real bike. I adjusted the brakes and lubed the cables when I put the new levers on, and have to admit they're doing a fine job of hauling my hulking mass to a stop.

I have not yet replaced rim strips, and have flatted twice. I have been running pressure on stock tires at 75lbs, and like the feel much better than tire indicated max 65lbs. Quality tires I bet would be transformative!

The new bits will be in this week, so I'll post pics and impressions soon.

Last edited by chaadster; 07-09-12 at 02:47 AM.
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Old 07-09-12, 06:48 AM   #379
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Thank you, sorry for the late response,
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Old 07-10-12, 07:30 AM   #380
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I am a little concerned that the zero layback on the Origin8 will sacrifice crucial cockpit space, though.
As long as your saddle has enough rail, you should be fine. The current layout on my mini is almost exactly the same as my much larger Waterford 1250. Not as long as the Serotta trackie I pictured earlier in the thread, though.
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Old 07-10-12, 07:31 PM   #381
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As long as your saddle has enough rail, you should be fine. The current layout on my mini is almost exactly the same as my much larger Waterford 1250. Not as long as the Serotta trackie I pictured earlier in the thread, though.
I'm already using all the rail with the stock offset post, so I'll just have to set it up and see what I've got.

On another note, despite replacing rim strips with Velox tape, I've still gotten one flat, making three if you include the two before the rim strip replacement, with only about 2 miles on the thing. I patched that first one, reinstalling on new rim strip, but it flatted again the next day. What gives? I'm thinking the tubes are the same crap-grade as the rest of the bits on this bike.

I've since replaced the first, patched, original tube, and will be off the bike shop tomorrow to secure a new tube for the rear, as well as a spare or two.

I hope my seat post, crank, stem and pedals arrive tomorrow, too. I'm dying to get this thing set up and off on a real ride!
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Old 07-14-12, 10:57 AM   #382
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All done (for a little while)!

The Origin 8 seat post and Profile Designs "H2O" 120mm +17º rise stem combo got the cockpit how I need it, Brev.M 170mm blue cranks added pizazz, and platform pedals a more comfy foot position.

Another 10 mile spin around town confirmed these were changes worth making, and also revealed I was wrong about the brakes: they do not work well! I've got Tektro R559s on order, hoping those generate more stopping power.

But boy, what a fun bike to jam around on! Spin up is ultra quick, and the handling very lively, though out of the saddle efforts take some consideration to prevent the front wheel from flopping over, and to keep my knees from hitting the handlebars. I walked it through a a car show downtown last night and it drew lots of looks, and a few compliments and questions, too.

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Old 07-15-12, 04:32 PM   #383
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Nice build. Don't worry, you'll likely keep tinkering. These bikes seem to be made for it.
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Old 07-15-12, 05:01 PM   #384
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chaadster, where did you get the zebra print seat for your awesome lil hotrod ?

Nice
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Old 07-15-12, 07:23 PM   #385
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Nice build. Don't worry, you'll likely keep tinkering. These bikes seem to be made for it.
Thanks, Poguemahone! Yeah, I'll be tinkering for sure; I'm already thinking to pull the trigger on a Kinetix Comp rear wheel, and also to fix my pedals. The plastic Origin 8 pedals I've got on there are too big and garish, so I'll probably go with a trimmer, Alu-bodied platform in black eventually.

I've also been hunting for a fork replacement, because as you know, the front end is heavy. The whole bike is heavy, but a more spry fork would probably be a noticeable improvement.

Last edited by chaadster; 07-15-12 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 07-15-12, 07:26 PM   #386
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chaadster, where did you get the zebra print seat for your awesome lil hotrod ?

Nice
Thanks 8. That saddle is the Origin 8 Pro Uno with zebra fur. Yes, fur! It's furry!

It's not the most comfy saddle I've ever ridden, but it's cheap and looks cool! Here'a a link:

http://www.amazon.com/Origin8-Pro-Un.../dp/B006HWZYQA
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Old 07-16-12, 04:05 AM   #387
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I think so.. how about you?
Yaknow, I just couldn't get those yellow tires on. And they're a lot smaller than the stock tires. And I still haven't gotten to the yellow bar tape either.
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Old 07-16-12, 07:14 AM   #388
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Yaknow, I just couldn't get those yellow tires on. And they're a lot smaller than the stock tires. And I still haven't gotten to the yellow bar tape either.
Lots has been written in this thread about how tough it is to get these wheels shod (and unshod). Someone also mentioned before these Park steel tire levers: http://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-Heav...ool+tire+lever

It seems like quite an investment, but I've got a pair and they make peeling these wheels a breeze, so if you've got this bike, you might as well get the levers, because you're gonna wish you had them at some point.
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Old 07-23-12, 07:41 AM   #389
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Lots has been written in this thread about how tough it is to get these wheels shod (and unshod). Someone also mentioned before these Park steel tire levers: http://www.amazon.com/Park-Tool-Heav...ool+tire+lever

It seems like quite an investment, but I've got a pair and they make peeling these wheels a breeze, so if you've got this bike, you might as well get the levers, because you're gonna wish you had them at some point.
I picked up a set of these this weekend, with the memory of mounting my last set of 406 tires and a pile of broken plastic levers fresh in my mind.
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Old 07-24-12, 12:49 AM   #390
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So after reading this thread I ordered a mini velo.

I ordered an Origin8 Road saddle and will use the pedals that I swapped out on my hybrid. A mechanic at the local REI has one and told me to replace the brakes (as did everyone in this thread ) and I'll probably change out the quill, change out to a VO JIS headset, put on brifters and change the crankset (perhaps even swap out the handlebars for something straight or wider).

But the first thing I'm going to do is grease the bike. Can anyone help me with a list of components that I need to grease as well as any tools. Assume I don't have any tools (I only have a few different type of wrenches).

1. Hubs
2. Bottom Bracket
3. Headset
4. Seatpost

And I'll probably put on TriFlow to the brake and shift cables to make sure they are in working order. Any help would be appreciated. I figure this is going to be the first fixer-upper I'm going to do. I'm going to get a fitting this weekend I think.
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Old 07-25-12, 10:00 PM   #391
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So after reading this thread I ordered a mini velo.

I ordered an Origin8 Road saddle and will use the pedals that I swapped out on my hybrid. A mechanic at the local REI has one and told me to replace the brakes (as did everyone in this thread ) and I'll probably change out the quill, change out to a VO JIS headset, put on brifters and change the crankset (perhaps even swap out the handlebars for something straight or wider).

But the first thing I'm going to do is grease the bike. Can anyone help me with a list of components that I need to grease as well as any tools. Assume I don't have any tools (I only have a few different type of wrenches).

1. Hubs
2. Bottom Bracket
3. Headset
4. Seatpost

And I'll probably put on TriFlow to the brake and shift cables to make sure they are in working order. Any help would be appreciated. I figure this is going to be the first fixer-upper I'm going to do. I'm going to get a fitting this weekend I think.
1) two sets of cone wrenches. Cheap double ended ones should be fine.
2) Shimano style BB tool. 14 mm socket wrench. Crank arm remover. Torque wrench handy to refasten crank arms. 225 inch pounds about right.
3) Large adjustable wrench. If the headset is the same as the original set of Nanos (see note), the headset flats are a weird size. A pair of channel lock style pliers also helps. Headset removal and replacement is trickier, and can be done sans shop tools. Seriously.
4) allen wrenches, metric.

Note: the latest batch of Nanos appear to have some different features than the first batch. There appear to have been some changes made (replacable mech hanger, etc.); I am not sure how deep into the bike this goes. If you wind up changing out the headset, you will need to measure the cups and the fork crown race before proceeding. Also, make sure the brakes have adequate reach. They need a lot.
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Old 07-26-12, 07:13 AM   #392
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Bikesdirect Mini Velo upgrade thread

He can probably skip the BB tool, as my Nano was fitted with a cartridge BB, and there's no lubing to be done there. Well, I suppose pulling to grease the threads aint a bad idea, but it won't affect ride quality.
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Old 07-26-12, 04:28 PM   #393
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He can probably skip the BB tool, as my Nano was fitted with a cartridge BB, and there's no lubing to be done there. Well, I suppose pulling to grease the threads aint a bad idea, but it won't affect ride quality.
You should grease the BB threads-- it can prevent issues later on.
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Old 07-26-12, 09:24 PM   #394
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I hooked up some white Tektro R559 Long Reach calipers front and rear, and boy, what a difference! I can actually stop from speed, and locking up the wheels is no problem now!

A highly recommended upgrade!

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Old 07-27-12, 08:14 AM   #395
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Ilike the white on black. The brakes do work great, I have them on the front of my Uno.
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Old 07-30-12, 01:28 AM   #396
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Just about to order a pair of R559 brakes and an RL340. Before I do though, I have a question: the nano uses a recessed nut correct? I don't want to purchase the wrong set of brakes.

Any recommendation on a place to buy them as well?
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Old 07-30-12, 06:06 AM   #397
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Just about to order a pair of R559 brakes and an RL340. Before I do though, I have a question: the nano uses a recessed nut correct? I don't want to purchase the wrong set of brakes.

Any recommendation on a place to buy them as well?
Yes the Nano uses a recessed nut to mount the brakes.

I bought mine here, on eBay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Tektro-R559-...-/290736704592
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Old 07-30-12, 04:33 PM   #398
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I found a brand of tires that are a breeze to install and remove: Tioga PowerBlock in the 20 x 1.60 size. They're fast on the street, very resistant to punctures (so far), give a comfortable ride (65 psi) and can be had for $18. If you want higher pressure, you can get the 20 x 1.40 size, although I can't vouch for their ease of installation.

A word of warning, though....being that these are BMX tires, you will feel compelled to seek-out dirt trails and unpaved roads (I've been spending time riding the property around a condemned cement factory in the industrial side of town). It's good fun. The look I get from mountain bikers is priceless.
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Old 07-30-12, 06:12 PM   #399
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Just bought the black R559 and the black RL340 brake levers. Once I get them installed I post a picture of my bike. I'm thinking of going with a black seat post as well, but that'll have to wait. Oh, and I just went and got it overhauled at my LBS for $85 (greased bottom bracket threads and headset, wheel truing, oiled the cables and crankset, drilled schrader holes and a few other maintenance issues. I figure that since I'll be trusting my life with the thing I'll get it in top shape (for its components) before I start upgrading. Hopefully I'll have pictures by Sunday or Monday of next week.
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Old 08-01-12, 09:47 PM   #400
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