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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 10-30-13, 08:09 AM   #1
bjorke
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Minivelo: the unknown love

I have two: a Mercier and a SOMA, named for a neighborhood in San Francisco, where I ride. Every day. In the densest, most-bike-populated sections (SOMA, Financial district, Hayes Valley). And yet I have never, ever seen another minivelo on the streets.

I saw one in a shop once, the same shop where I got my SOMA by special order. It was another SOMA and eventually it was gone. But never on the street.

Funny thing is, I get asked about the bike all the time. The reactions are almost universally positive* and people ask me where to get such things.

Hmm.

Someday.... what about your town?


( * The only people who object: grey-haired candybar-lycra dudes. Seriously, they act offended at my bikes' existence. Carbon fiber poisoning, I guess)
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Old 10-30-13, 12:45 PM   #2
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Hi from a fellow SF'er! I don't have a minivelo but I do have a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket with 20" wheels, and I can relate to what you are saying. As soon as I began riding it, I immediately started getting questions about it from all sorts of random people and I rarely ever see any other BF's, although I do think folders are less unusual around these parts. Still a lot of people initially think it's a bmx bikes on steroids. Others brains short circuit when they are expecting 700c or 26" hoops and they see the smaller wheels.

So, I think one part of it is that, like with anything unusual, more people take notice. I think the SF cycling crowd are mostly split between the fixie crowd, the uber commuter crowd, and the one-upping the next carbon fiber roadie with my Mavic Cosmic Carbones crowd. Not to say I have any issue with carbon fiber bikes or carbon wheels (I own and love one), but in some cases it seems to become less about fun, and more about appearance and fad. The Bike Friday provides an extensive amount of fun value that cannot be had with a larger wheeled bike, and I bet you experience the same with the mv. I also enjoy the fact that it's a great conversation starter.
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Old 10-30-13, 12:56 PM   #3
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Sell well on the other side of the Pacific , Japan, etc.

another place where every square foot of living area is Expensive to pay for.
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Old 10-30-13, 01:12 PM   #4
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grey-haired candybar-lycra dudes

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Old 10-30-13, 05:10 PM   #5
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I've seen a couple Hooligans in the local shops,but never seen one on the street. Folders are also pretty uncommon around here.

The majority of riders don't get into bikes like most of us here on the forum do. They just want something to ride,and don't do a huge amount of research. So they'll buy whatever's in stock at the LBS.
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Old 10-30-13, 05:13 PM   #6
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I've seen a couple Hooligans in the local shops,but never seen one on the street.
Man, I would love to live in your neighborhood. I see hooligans every time I go out. They're everywhere, they're everywhere.
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Old 10-30-13, 08:39 PM   #7
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I see hooligans every time I go out too, but they are not bikes.

Low hanging fruit.
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Old 10-31-13, 02:27 AM   #8
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I don't see many mini-velos in SF, but I do see a lot of folders... which is close.
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Old 10-31-13, 09:50 AM   #9
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I've seen one minivelo like mine on the road, during a Critical Mass ride in Detroit.

In my town, though, not a one.

I also receive lots of inquiries and positive comments when I ride mine.

Why they're not more popular I don't know, aside from the fact that there are virtually none available in shops.
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Old 10-31-13, 11:18 AM   #10
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I have a Nano and the usual question is "Is that a folding bike"? Lots of bikers in Houston but not very many folders on the road and I have yet to see a Hooligan or other mini-velo on a ride. I really wanted the Soma but the price was too steep compared to the Nano so I bought on price thinking a few mods would improve the bike and not break the bank. In the end I should have bought the Soma.
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