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  1. #1
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Mini Velo for 6"3 & Long Distance

    Hello I'm new here . I was wondering if a 6"3 guy like me can ride a Mini Velo, where can I find one (not foldie) and is it possible to do long distance with it (120 Miles)? Thanks
    Last edited by Kevin Backalive; 04-05-14 at 03:52 AM.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    consider hiring one custom made ... since few Asians are 6'3" they will not be mass produced for a low price, there.



    one hinge and knock down masts , a Bike Friday Pocket Rocket can be shipped to you ,

    made to your size and component choices , in Oregon.


    Long distance? you want the fit right regular bike or a minivelo..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-07-14 at 12:48 AM.

  3. #3
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    I think that, given the range of off-the-shelf minivelo offerings I've seen, I'd say that you're probably on the edge of workability, but as fietsbob said, you could go the custom route.

    That said, if you want to tackle a production mini, you should probably take a look at this thread, Bikesdirect Mini Velo upgrade thread, paying special attention to the posts from Poguemahone, who is 6'1". I'm 6' myself, and both he and I ride the size L, or 55cm, Mercier Nano.

    The thread details some of the mods we've had to make to get comfy on the bikes, and will help you understand some of the challenges and options available in terms of components, and ultimately, fit options.

    The Mercier Nano is available from Bikesdirect.com for about $300. If custom is an option, Seven has made some sweet ti framed minis.
    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

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    Oh, I forgot to post a pic of my setup; again, I'm just a tick over 6':



    I've ridden it 22 miles at an easy pace; I'd be less than keen on doing 120 miles, primarily because the bars are in close and low, but that could be remedied depending on your tolerance for non-customary setups, e.g. stem extensions, riser bars, etc.
    Last edited by chaadster; 04-05-14 at 02:32 PM.
    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

  5. #5
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply guys. I have been Googling and I have found these, what do you think?
    This is the Big Shot Mini Polo Bike, it's says from 5' to 6'2
    polo-straight-green.jpg
    And this : https://respectcycles.com/on-sale-no...ban-mini-velo/
    This one it does mention up to 6'3
    They are both single speed.
    Btw very beautiful bike Chaadster, do you use it only for commuting? and Do you feel comfortable with it?

  6. #6
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    Single speed is of no interest to me because of my riding style and conditions, but it doesn't sound like a good idea for mountainous Mauritius either.

    Thanks for the compliment, and rather than commuting, I use my mini as an urban runabout, for doing small errands, visiting friends, riding to the pub and park...stuff like that.

    As I said, the setup is aggressive, for fast moving and hard sprints. It's comfortable enough for the application, but spending all day in the saddle would not be of great interest to me, as I've got other bikes much better suited.

    I'm certain I could set it up to be more comfy for long hauls, but there's so much working against the bike, from weight, to component grade, weird shifters, platform pedals, to uncomfy seat, that it'd still lose out to one of the other bikes. No, for me, it's best as a sport runabout.
    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

  7. #7
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    I agree, what's even more funny is that a road bike is more cheaper than these Mini Velo

  8. #8
    Senior Member GTizzy's Avatar
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    Hey!

    I'm 6'4", and completed a long distance bike tour (2500kms) from Bangkok to Singapore on a mini-velo.

    I wrote about my bike and equipment choices on this blog:

    Cycling BKK to SG

    The bike was / is a Dahon Smooth Hound.

    Let me know if you have any questions!

    Why a minivelo?
    Recent touring adventure: http://bangkoksingaporebiketrip.tumblr.com/page/3

  9. #9
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Hi GTizzy, I have the following questions :

    1) As a tall guy, where you comfortable with it?
    2) Is it possible to do long distance?
    3) What was your gearing ratio?
    4) Were you having fun? or How was the experience of riding?
    5) How is this riding experience compared to a normal road 700C?
    6) Why a Mini Velo for you?
    7) How about the maintenance cost compared to a normal bike?
    8) If you had to choose between a Road Bike and Mini Velo, what would you chose and why?
    9) What's your daily bike even at home?
    10) What's your thought on the 20" Wheel compared to a 26 or 29er?
    11) Where you able to match the same comfort and experience of a normal road bike?
    12) In one day how much miles or km your were doing with the mini velo?
    13) How was your ride during tough weather conditions and hilly roads?

    Please take your time replying it ^_^
    Thanks
    Last edited by Kevin Backalive; 04-06-14 at 09:58 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Winfried's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTizzy View Post
    The bike was / is a Dahon Smooth Hound.
    Is this bike end-of-lifed? It's not listed when clicking on All Bikes.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Backalive View Post
    Thanks for the reply guys. I have been Googling and I have found these, what do you think?
    This is the Big Shot Mini Polo Bike, it's says from 5' to 6'2
    polo-straight-green.jpg
    And this : https://respectcycles.com/on-sale-no...ban-mini-velo/
    This one it does mention up to 6'3
    They are both single speed.
    Btw very beautiful bike Chaadster, do you use it only for commuting? and Do you feel comfortable with it?
    As you mentioned, SS, so not good for 120m rides. Tho' you could lace a wider range IGH in the back wheel. Polo & Mercier might be workable for your height, but I'd have to caution against the Respect. You'll notice on their website they kind of avoid showing regular pictures with riders aboard, instead doing a lot of angle shots. It's because that bike is tiny. I built my own mini-velo, using a 26" tire FGFS bike from Pure Fixie. It had a high enough BB that I was easily able to run the 175 cranks on it.
    I'd check out something like this....
    Dahon Bullhead Large Folding Bike 7SPD Shimano Nexus Hub Road Urban New | eBay

  12. #12
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Backalive View Post
    I have been Googling and I have found these, what do you think?
    This is the Big Shot Mini Polo Bike, it's says from 5' to 6'2
    Yeah,I don't think so.

    MiniveloSizing-1024x675.jpg

    It's hard to do a direct comparison,because the frames are so different,but that thing has a way shorter effective TT than my Hooligans. I mean like 2-4" depending how you measure. At 6',I'm pretty much at the limit on the Hooli;I don't think I'd even attempt one of those Respect bikes. If you're taller than me,and esp since you can't test it before you buy,I'd look for something else.

    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,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  13. #13
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P7HVN View Post
    As you mentioned, SS, so not good for 120m rides. Tho' you could lace a wider range IGH in the back wheel. Polo & Mercier might be workable for your height, but I'd have to caution against the Respect. You'll notice on their website they kind of avoid showing regular pictures with riders aboard, instead doing a lot of angle shots. It's because that bike is tiny. I built my own mini-velo, using a 26" tire FGFS bike from Pure Fixie. It had a high enough BB that I was easily able to run the 175 cranks on it.
    I'd check out something like this....
    Dahon Bullhead Large Folding Bike 7SPD Shimano Nexus Hub Road Urban New | eBay
    Interesting Input Winfried, What is your daily driver bike, I mean the bike you use regularly or for all purpose?

  14. #14
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    Yeah,I don't think so.

    MiniveloSizing-1024x675.jpg

    It's hard to do a direct comparison,because the frames are so different,but that thing has a way shorter effective TT than my Hooligans. I mean like 2-4" depending how you measure. At 6',I'm pretty much at the limit on the Hooli;I don't think I'd even attempt one of those Respect bikes. If you're taller than me,and esp since you can't test it before you buy,I'd look for something else.
    Do you sometime feel way over the limit on your Hooli?

  15. #15
    Senior Member GTizzy's Avatar
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    By the way, here's my bicycle in its current configuration, with front and rear racks, stripped down to aluminum and a new black brooks saddle. \




    Updated-Smooth-Hound.jpg
    Last edited by GTizzy; 04-07-14 at 02:41 AM.
    Recent touring adventure: http://bangkoksingaporebiketrip.tumblr.com/page/3

  16. #16
    Senior Member GTizzy's Avatar
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    1) As a tall guy, where you comfortable with it?

    I'm very comfortable with the current configuration of my bike. I have a headset extender, and that allows me to configure the bars higher than the saddle (great for touring). I have the large size of the model, which helps, as it comes with a longer head-tube etc. The drop-down handle bars are a big bonus, as is the brooks saddle.

    2) Is it possible to do long distance?

    It's very possible to ride long distances. With an oversized chainring in the front (54 / 56 teeth) I'm almost as fast as on my road / track bikes. My longest days were in excess of 200kms, fully loaded.

    3) What was your gearing ratio?

    I don't recall my gearing ratio at the moment

    4) Were you having fun? or How was the experience of riding?

    The riding experience is very fun! The look of my bike is sort of industrial-utilitarian. I appreciate how much cargo the bike can support, and when I'm on grocery runs, I really value the clearance between the handlebars and the wheels (no shopping bags are ever going to get stuck here).
    The bike also has a ton of character. People are really intrigued by the design and configuration.

    I also ride with relatively fat tires (schwalbe big-apple in the front, and schwalbe marathon in the back), so the road-feel is very comfortable.


    5) How is this riding experience compared to a normal road 700C?

    See #4

    6) Why a Mini Velo for you?

    -I like the design of mini-velos
    -since I'm tall and weigh around 200lbs, I wanted a more rigid frame than a conventional mono-tube folder offers. With a top and bottom tube, the ride is appreciably less noodly.
    -I travel relatively frequently (I live and work in Shanghai, but travel within Asia) and wanted something that could be easily transported on the airplane. My bike is separable, and when broken down almost fits in a regulation sized suitcase. I've never had to check it as over-sized.

    7) How about the maintenance cost compared to a normal bike?

    The maintenance cost is identical, if a bit cheaper than a normal bike. 20" wheels are generally about half the price of 700s. Also, since I'm living in China, the cost of bike repair is about a fifth of what you'd pay in the states.

    8) If you had to choose between a Road Bike and Mini Velo, what would you chose and why?

    I would choose my Mini-Velo hands down (though my bike has many more functionalities than the bikes-direct mini-velo / the soma minivelo etc).
    For me, a bicycle should always be measured first by its functionality. I can't imagine a more functional bike, or identify where its functionality could be improved:
    The geometry is comfortable and configurable
    20" tubes are universally available
    The gearing is fast when necessary, and easy with hills
    I have the option of fully loading the front and the back
    It fits in a suit-case
    The drop bars are ergonomic
    It looks extremely unique

    That being said, my bike is a rare breed, and no longer produced by dahon (though there are similar product lines if you do a bit of digging). Mosty of these advantages don't apply to the mini-velo you brought up in the thread.

    9) What's your daily bike even at home?

    This is my daily bike (I regularly commute 30+kms with it) but I sometimes use a factory five track bike for riding in the city (the geometry is a bit more aggressive)

    10) What's your thought on the 20" Wheel compared to a 26 or 29er?

    I wouldn't ride a rugged mountain course on 20", but for every other application they're more than adequate.

    11) Where you able to match the same comfort and experience of a normal road bike?

    Yes

    12) In one day how much miles or km your were doing with the mini velo?

    During my tour, 125 kms / day. In Shanghai, it depends purely on my schedule (an average of 15 or so)

    13) How was your ride during tough weather conditions and hilly roads?

    Tedious, but I don't think that had anything to do with the bike!

    ==============================


    Hope this helps!

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
    Recent touring adventure: http://bangkoksingaporebiketrip.tumblr.com/page/3

  17. #17
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    Great input, GTizzy! I almost bought a Smooth Hound myself, but not having the travel and utility needs, decided it was more mini than I needed. Quality bike, though, and I like your mods.

    A note on gearing:

    In order to keep my Nano at acceptable road speeds, I fitted a 60t front ring and swapped out the 12t cog for an 11t. My terrain is mostly rolling, so the 11-25 8spd cogset works with the 60-44 chainrings to give me the range I need.
    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
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    @GTizzy

    Big thanks buddy, the info you provide is very insightful. I have learn a lot things out of it and one thing I need to make sure is to find the right configuration bike so that I can have better riding experience. I'm glad to see that a tall man like you did fit well. I feel more confident now. To be honest when I look at these Mini Velo or Folding Bikes, it reminds me of the old days when I was a kid riding a BMX just for fun. In my hometown there is an increasing number of Mini Velo, some people are ditching their road bike, others are using it as their daily bike. So I kept asking myself, why the hell are they ditching their road bike with which they can go very fast for a Mini Velo? Somehow thanks a lot that really helps me

  19. #19
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    In order to keep my Nano at acceptable road speeds, I fitted a 60t front ring and swapped out the 12t cog for an 11t. My terrain is mostly rolling, so the 11-25 8spd cogset works with the 60-44 chainrings to give me the range I need.
    I'm thinking the smaller the wheel is, the bigger the cogset will be I wonder if it will be tough to pedal??

  20. #20
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Done the Math?

    gear inches = tooth count ratio x wheel diameter ... Development is the gear ratio x the circumference of the wheel ..

    happen to have a Rohloff hub in a 20& a 26" wheel , same 16t cog in both hubs

    26" 38t, 20" 53t.. Gear range feels darn close..

  21. #21
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Done the Math?

    gear inches = tooth count ratio x wheel diameter ... Development is the gear ratio x the circumference of the wheel ..

    happen to have a Rohloff hub in a 20& a 26" wheel , same 16t cog in both hubs

    26" 38t, 20" 53t.. Gear range feels darn close..
    You mean for example : (32T / 14T) x 26" = Gearing Ratio
    32 / 14 = 2.285714286
    x 26 = 59.428

    BTW 32T - 14T are the Gearing for my single speed Hybrid MTB.

  22. #22
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    no the ratio is the 32/14 .. a 2,285:1 ratio.

    then that is x 26"

    that is the gear-inch number a metaphor of a penny farthing drive wheel of that diameter 59.41 inches across.

  23. #23
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    no the ratio is the 32/14 .. a 2,285:1 ratio.

    then that is x 26"

    that is the gear-inch number a metaphor of a penny farthing drive wheel of that diameter 59.41 inches across.
    Yeah I get it, what's yours?

  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Rohloff the 11th gear (of 14) is 1:1 cog drives the hub shell at the same rate

    53/16 (3.3125 : 1 )20"= 66.25" as its an IGH there are overdrive and reduction gears % of that ratio

    SA AW3 , 3 speed IGH is a simple example: low is .75 of the direct gear , high is 1,33x the middle gear .. 1st 3/4, 3rd, 4/3.

  25. #25
    Junior Member Kevin Backalive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Rohloff the 11th gear (of 14) is 1:1 cog drives the hub shell at the same rate

    53/16 (3.3125 : 1 )20"= 66.25" as its an IGH there are overdrive and reduction gears % of that ratio

    SA AW3 , 3 speed IGH is a simple example: low is .75 of the direct gear , high is 1,33x the middle gear .. 1st 3/4, 3rd, 4/3.
    I see, do you really have 7 Bikes and do you ride all of them? Any love for single speed?

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