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  1. #1
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    soma mini velo or mercier nano?

    Hi, I'm thinking about purchasing a mini velo for city to city use. I've been looking around the forums about mercier nano upgrades but some have mentioned that the cost of upgrading could become pricey, I'm also a bike newbie... should I go with the soma mini velo instead? Given that the some online stores sell them 750$.. I've also looked at the citta but it's just not my thing.. I'd appreciate any input, thank you!

  2. #2
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    The Soma is a nice bike and $750 sounds like a good deal over what they went for originally. The Nano is $300 but you could put another $300 for upgrades.
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  3. #3
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    I have a Nano and really like it but if I was going to buy another mini velo it would be the Soma. I put over $300 in minor upgrades so far and have improved my bike but it's far from being a perfect ride for me.

  4. #4
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    The Soma is a great looking minivelo, I guess it all depends on your budget and commitment. If, as you say, you are a newbie to the bike world, then the mercier will let you test if you actually like it or not for less money, and then if you do you will be able to upgrade as you wish.

    If you are sure to like riding, I´d go for the Soma. It´s a great package, and that´s a really good price.

  5. #5
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    thanks for the input guys. and that's what i was trying to think over, if I purchase the nano and spend about 300$ on upgrades, will that somehow net me a bike that's on par with the soma mini velo?

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    No, The Soma is nicer , I would buy it over the Nano.
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  7. #7
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    If you think you want Brifters than you could do some nice upgrades on the Nano that would make it a pretty nice bike. If money was no object i would have one of the Soma mini velos in my possession already. $750 isn't too bad a price though, but I am cheap. I have one of the Bikesdirect prototypes (Windsor Shetland) similar to the Nano and I love the downtube shifters. My Windsor is speced a bit better than the Nano, but I think its a pretty great little bike for the price.
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  8. #8
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwulf View Post
    I have a Nano and really like it but if I was going to buy another mini velo it would be the Soma. I put over $300 in minor upgrades so far and have improved my bike but it's far from being a perfect ride for me.
    With the nano you will be spending money on upgrades... the stock parts are mostly craptacular. I love mine but I like wrenching. Frankly, at the price point the soma is now, I would probably go for it over the Nano.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  9. #9
    Vello Kombi, baby Poguemahone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marque View Post
    thanks for the input guys. and that's what i was trying to think over, if I purchase the nano and spend about 300$ on upgrades, will that somehow net me a bike that's on par with the soma mini velo?
    If you have good sources for used parts, maybe.
    "It's always darkest right before it goes completely black"

    Waste your money! Buy my comic book!

  10. #10
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    Hmm, I suppose I'll stick with the soma because I'm no bike mechanic... On sizing though, I wonder which will fit me better. sizes are 48cm (stand over height 28 inches) or 53cm (stand over height 30 inches) I'm 5'5 and have 30 inches inseam length. Should I stick with the 48cm? Just kind of worried that the top tube length might feel awkward to reach because it's 4 inches shorter than the 53cm frame.

    thank you!

  11. #11
    Idealistic Troublemaker bjorke's Avatar
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    What did you end up doing?

    I bought a 48cm Nano as a gift, which backfired -- so I've been riding it and like it a lot! So much so that I've ordered a 53cm Soma for myself. Comparisons soon...
    My Cycling Log: http://www.endomondo.com/profile/202754 BikeForums Cycling Team on Endomondo: http://www.endomondo.com/teams/1747411

  12. #12
    Jump Over The Fire
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    There is a new company in the USA that only sells mini velo and other unique products called Respect Cycles. I got the two speed automatic shifting bike from www.respectcycles.com and it is fantastic. Best buy I could have imagined with the Automatix hub from sram.

    Drive2s.jpgFrontSide2s.jpg

  13. #13
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    i had them both last year.... go with the soma if cash is not a problem

  14. #14
    Senior Member BadBoy10's Avatar
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    20140518_153512.jpg

    I bought the orange Mercier VN (Craigslist) ---brand new sorta ...the original purchaser stated bike hurt his back. He rode the bike once and had the bike one week. I drove an hour to pick up. He said a bike store called him twice about the bike but wanted him to bring the bike to the store.


    First ride: Frame should be sold for $150! Bike is ripe for upgrading and modifying. The bike should not be sold with components because the components are horrible.
    I am NOT a techy, read Sheldon Brown intermittently so take this from a NON-gear head---the components are ouchy!

    Crankset must be changed....never stays in gear constant clicking and/or jumping gears. Does not matter where gears are adjusted---gearing is horrific.

    Handlebars---Love the look but for comfort will be switching to Nitto Alabatross...in its original form you are REALLY bent over and it is tiresome and painful.
    Tires-Fast and fun!

    Original owner replaced stock pedals with VERY uncomfortable spiky pedals...OUCH!

    Bike is a hoot and cute. I bought for color!

    I want a Brompton (bad) so this was my "Until I get the Brompton" purchase.
    Last edited by BadBoy10; 05-21-14 at 10:16 AM.
    Read the entire thread...might help. Different spokes for different folks...stop being so blasted superficially sanctimonious. You dont know everything and are not perfect.

  15. #15
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    $150 is a steal, but you may wan to try adjusting everything again. I haven't had that exact bike in my hands, but components like that can be just fine. The one I got from Bikes direct has been pretty great as far as how well it works. Of course for the price you paid you can spend a decent chunk of money on upgrades and still have a great bike for the price. Have fun I love the 2 minivelos I have.
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  16. #16
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    I also wish they sold a frameset, although I also wish it had a threadless headset so it wouldn't be such a pain finding a decent replacement. Respect cycle's bike has a 1-1/8" headset and and a 27.2mm(nano has a 29.2mm PIA to find) seat post they told me that they had plans for a bike with a derailleur but it might be a few years........kinda sucks.

    I gave my mercier to my niece, I would totally get another if I could just pickup a frameset cause the stock group is really bad especially the brakes, nothing bothers me more on a bike than inadequate brakes, and I find most people ride around with brakes I wouldn't trust my life to. I never really dealt with the stock gearing I immediately threw on a sram 9 speed cassette and a shimano Alivio shifter I had and it worked great, the stock sora derailleur is one of the only good parts the bike comes with.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
    20140518_153512.jpg

    I bought the orange Mercier VN (Craigslist) ---brand new sorta ...the original purchaser stated bike hurt his back. He rode the bike once and had the bike one week. I drove an hour to pick up. He said a bike store called him twice about the bike but wanted him to bring the bike to the store.


    First ride: Frame should be sold for $150! Bike is ripe for upgrading and modifying. The bike should not be sold with components because the components are horrible.
    I am NOT a techy, read Sheldon Brown intermittently so take this from a NON-gear head---the components are ouchy!

    Crankset must be changed....never stays in gear constant clicking and/or jumping gears. Does not matter where gears are adjusted---gearing is horrific.

    Handlebars---Love the look but for comfort will be switching to Nitto Alabatross...in its original form you are REALLY bent over and it is tiresome and painful.
    Tires-Fast and fun!

    Original owner replaced stock pedals with VERY uncomfortable spiky pedals...OUCH!

    Bike is a hoot and cute. I bought for color!

    I want a Brompton (bad) so this was my "Until I get the Brompton" purchase.
    That model is called the Nano, and while the component spec is lousy, all of it can be adjusted to work properly. Yes, I changed out almost everything on mine, save for derailleurs, but not because it didn't shift properly. Any competent mechanic can get it shifting fine.

    You'll want to familiarize yourself with this thread: Bikesdirect Mini Velo upgrade thread
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  18. #18
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    I also have a mercier and I use it for go to work about 12km and have fun around and I really love it,I changed the steam new pedals and put a normal mountain bike bars also add a tubus rear rack.For this money nothing is wrong I also habe a lot of part from old race bikes so I can update if something need it
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  19. #19
    Senior Member BadBoy10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    That model is called the Nano, and while the component spec is lousy, all of it can be adjusted to work properly. Yes, I changed out almost everything on mine, save for derailleurs, but not because it didn't shift properly. Any competent mechanic can get it shifting fine.

    You'll want to familiarize yourself with this thread: Bikesdirect Mini Velo upgrade thread
    Ummm, I did read the thread...hence why I bought the Mercier even AFTER the componentry complaints.
    Ummm, I have taken the bike to three LBS shops...the bike has issues with gearing HENCE...it is being changed to a fixie this weekend.

    THANKS!!!
    Read the entire thread...might help. Different spokes for different folks...stop being so blasted superficially sanctimonious. You dont know everything and are not perfect.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
    Ummm, I did read the thread...hence why I bought the Mercier even AFTER the componentry complaints.
    Ummm, I have taken the bike to three LBS shops...the bike has issues with gearing HENCE...it is being changed to a fixie this weekend.

    THANKS!!!
    What are they saying is the problem with the "gearing"?
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  21. #21
    Senior Member BadBoy10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    What are they saying is the problem with the "gearing"?
    In the back there is a little hanger piece from the frame...at some point the derailleur was bent...hard to see but if bike on stand and you look from the rear it was bent towards the right so as chain rotates ...it would get off track. Or so I was told...I bought a white riser bar, white pedals, put larger tires...will get size. I am looking for a white fixie crankset and hub I think and. I want housing to be changed to white. Also bought orange grips. Will post when she gets out shop.
    Read the entire thread...might help. Different spokes for different folks...stop being so blasted superficially sanctimonious. You dont know everything and are not perfect.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
    Ummm, I did read the thread...hence why I bought the Mercier even AFTER the componentry complaints.
    Ummm, I have taken the bike to three LBS shops...the bike has issues with gearing HENCE...it is being changed to a fixie this weekend.

    THANKS!!!
    Well that bike has vertical drops so its not the absolute best canidate for fixifying.

    the derailleur hanger could be straightened if that is the problem you are describing, an easy enough fix with an adjustable wrench, I have had to do that more than a couple times on a low end chromo frame. Worst case if it is really bent you might have to heat it with a propane torch but I doubt it. Come to think of it I believe I did have to do the same thing to my mercier nano and my Origin8 bully and to the disc mounts on my bully
    Last edited by thugpipe; 05-27-14 at 10:37 PM.

  23. #23
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    If you have problems with the gearing just adjust them?
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadBoy10 View Post
    In the back there is a little hanger piece from the frame...at some point the derailleur was bent...hard to see but if bike on stand and you look from the rear it was bent towards the right so as chain rotates ...it would get off track. Or so I was told...I bought a white riser bar, white pedals, put larger tires...will get size. I am looking for a white fixie crankset and hub I think and. I want housing to be changed to white. Also bought orange grips. Will post when she gets out shop.
    A slightly bent hanger is easily fixed by a competent mechanic, so why couldn't you get it fixed?
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  25. #25
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    That frame is steel,unless the hanger is really messed up,a competent mechanic should be able to straighten it.

    Fixed gear or single speed? SS is easy,just use a chain tensioner. Fixed is going to be an issue unless you find a magic gear or one of those special eccentric hubs.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

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