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Thread: Citta Minivelo

  1. #1
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Citta Minivelo

    I have been curious about Minivelos and wanted to try one. I narrowed it down to the Nano and the Citta since most of the other offerings seem to be target the singlespeed/fixie crowd with their horizontal dropouts.

    I picked this one over the Nano for a few reasons

    Aluminum frame
    Threadless fork
    Vee brakes
    Straight bars
    Came with fenders and a kickstand included.


  2. #2
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    Cool ride.
    Let us know how it rides and stuff.

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    Protip for Americans: "citta" (actually "cittą") is Italian for "city". It's pronounced chee-TAH.

    I noticed the company didn't add the accent on the bike decal. :-(

  4. #4
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by feijai View Post
    Protip for Americans: "citta" (actually "cittą") is Italian for "city". It's pronounced chee-TAH.

    I noticed the company didn't add the accent on the bike decal. :-(
    Good name for a "city" bike, although it is actually the company name, the model name is Gazelle.

    These might be left over stock, since the citabikes domain seems no longer active.

    All of the online places selling these bikes show photos with the citta name blanked out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    So I got to ride it yesterday, about 30 miles with some hills. I really like the ride, the bike accelerates quickly and handles very well. Because of the small wheels it has many of the same agile characteristics of a good folder , but with a more rigid platform, particularly when you get out of the seat to “dance on the pedals.” (not that my climbing could be considered dancing).

    The bike is plenty fast, a quality which shows one of its shortcomings, short gearing. Since the bike sports a freewheel and not a cassette, the smallest cog is a 14. So that is a 52 pulling a 14 compared to a 53 pulling an 11 on my Mu. A cassette hub is certainly an upgrade to consider. On the other end however a 42 pulling a 28 makes for good climbing and this bike likes to climb. I am certainly pleased in that regard, because I line in the North Carolina Hills.

    The bike came with 100psi 1.25 Kenda Kwests (Which is surprising for what it cost.) They are fast, but at full pressure they are a bit harsh. The fork and frame seem to have clearance for bigger tires, so I might try a set of Primo Comets that were destined for the velomobile.

    The wheels have machined contact surfaces which make the brakes work very well. They are however singlewall and not doublewall as advertised.

    One issue is that the seat post was too short, so I had make a longer one up (that is the one in the photo) it is however a 27.2 so getting a proper one won't be a problem. I may also add a stem extender to achieve a bit more upright position, at least bring the handlebars level with the seat. For reference I am 5'11'' (180cm) but I have long legs for my height and prefer longer pedal extension (size 12 feet).

    All in all I am very pleased and plan to ride this bike plenty. I will undoubtedly make some upgrades to it. One that I may do this weekend is, changing out the nutted axles and putting in some QRs, save me from carrying a 15mm spanner all the time.

  6. #6
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Yep, you'll need to rehack the gearing. Go to 11 for a small cog, then 54 or so up front. The Nanos had equally wimpy gearing.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

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    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    I changed the seat post for Ritchey and topped it off with a nicer seat. I also added a stem extender to raise the handlebars. I like the new position much better and as an unexpected bonus, being in a better position has allowed me to get my cadence back up to normal, so the gearing doesn't feel as short.




  8. #8
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Yay someone finally bought one of these! Keep the reports coming. I was so tempted to get one of these a number of times.
    My SUV is a bicycle

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    in cog neato itsmoot's Avatar
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    IIRC when this bike was posted before I said it looked like a poor-mans Smoothhound. But now that I've checked out Dahon's new website from a post in another thread, I'd say it's exactly like a non-folding Dahon Dash:



    I'll also amend "poor-man" to "budget" or "economical" if that offends anyone's pride
    Last edited by itsmoot; 03-02-12 at 10:41 PM.
    Whenever I'm down in the dumps I get a new bike. That's where I got this one.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monsterpile View Post
    Yay someone finally bought one of these! Keep the reports coming. I was so tempted to get one of these a number of times.
    Will do. I scoured the internet looking for any reports on these and found nothing. I almost got a Nano, because it was a known quantity, but finally decided to take a gamble, on this one. Glad I did, features on the Nano like the brakes, (lots of hills where I live) would have been a compromise that would be difficult to upgrade.

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    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsmoot View Post
    IIRC when this bike was posted before I said it looked like a poor-mans Smoothhound. But now that I've checked out Dahon's new website from a post in another thread, I'd say it's exactly like a non-folding Dahon Dash:


    I'll also amend "poor-man" to "budget" or "economical" if that offends anyone's pride

    Aside from the curved toptube, the resemblance to the Dash is undeniable. The white bands on the frame are even in the same place as on the Smooth Hound. I am sure that is not a coincidence. Makes me wonder what the intended market was for this bike and what happen to Citta Bikes.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Today I changed the stock Kenda Kwest 1.25 tires for some Primo Comets 1.5. These are also 100 psi tires and have a kevlar belt. Does anyone know if the Kwest have a kevlar belt?

    I also changed the fenders, since it was easier than modifying the stock ones. Plus they are black and seem to blend in better.

    There is still clearance for more tire. I bet I could stuff some Big Apples in there if I didn't run fenders.

    Rode it 40 miles today and not surprisingly, the ride is better with the bigger tires. As a very subjective observation the Comets feel faster, particularly on chipseal.

    I also changed out the nutted axles a put in QRs.


  13. #13
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Some mini bar ends for the mini velo.


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    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    I found this retro Shimano 600 crankset in the parts bins, complete with its cartridge BB bearings.
    It is a 53 - 39 so a bit wider range than the 52 -42 it replaced. Funny thing though, the stock one was pinned and ramped, this one isn't. Well at least it is lighter since it has alloy chainrings as opposed to steel ones on the stock version.

    It is true what they say about how some of these bikes are assembled, everything was supper tight and there was hardly any grease in the bearings.

    Also added some SPD pedals.


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    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Installed rear rack. The new fender had longer stays which allowed me to use the bottom holes in the drop outs. This freed up the top holes for the rack.

    Did a metric century today (hilly terrain), and I can say that this bike is quickly becoming my favorite upright bike.

    I still have to sort out the gearing, and I am thinking of putting on some trekking bars (AKA Euro bars or butterfly bars) so I can get more hand positions.


  16. #16
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Here she is with some bags for some light touring I did this weekend.

    The pannier is actually a shopping bag carrier and works great for that because you can actually take it into the store with you. When the bag is full, you are done shopping.


  17. #17
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    That looks great! I am enjoying your updates.
    My SUV is a bicycle

  18. #18
    smallwheelsonly
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    is that italian made or china its probably a dahon i hope im wrong

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    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monsterpile View Post
    That looks great! I am enjoying your updates.
    Thanks! It has been a fun project so far.

  20. #20
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EM42 View Post
    is that italian made or china its probably a dahon i hope im wrong
    It is made in China. It is not a Dahon and doesn't fold like the Dahons it looks like. Strangely, I have been able to find very little information about it on the internet.

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    The first Dahon Smoothhounds didnt fold. The frames may have been left overs? What is the axle size on the front fork? Looking good.
    Dahon Jifo
    Dawes Kingpin 2speed

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    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    The first Dahon Smoothhounds didnt fold.
    I didn't know that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    The frames may have been left overs?
    Were there ever any Smoothhounds with a curved top tube like this one?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    What is the axle size on the front fork?
    100 mm

    Quote Originally Posted by Dynocoaster View Post
    Looking good.
    Well, thank you.

  23. #23
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    I was just looking this bike up again and it looks like you bought just in time. They raised the price to $350.
    My SUV is a bicycle

  24. #24
    Senior Member rex615's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by monsterpile View Post
    I was just looking this bike up again and it looks like you bought just in time. They raised the price to $350.
    Thanks for the update. I thought they were trying to get rid of the last inventory, therefore the low price but who knows.

    For the record, I paid $250 including shipping.

  25. #25
    at the throttle Joe Loco's Avatar
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    Got one ordered up from the latest deal, can't wait to get ahold of it and start some mods!

    rex615, a few q.'s:
    - how decent is the wheel set? any idea of the rear hub spacing?
    - would the decals be easily removable?
    - are there 2 kickstand mounts on this thing, or is that just clamped on to the stay?
    - are the seattube internals pretty smooth, i.e. will it work well with the stock Q/R for easy drop-the-post stowage?
    - am looking for good ideas for hacking together a q/r "foldable" stem/steerer...
    Last edited by Joe Loco; 03-28-12 at 04:01 PM.

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