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The forgotten genres

Old 02-03-13, 07:51 AM
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ftwelder
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The forgotten genres

'Kicking around BF this morning I viewed the "saved from the dump" thread and sixtyfiver had found a Moulton. I thought about needing a folder (which is really not that true) I started daydreaming and remembered there was a mini-trend in the 90's with 20" wheeled road bikes with gears. They had some crit style races in malls I think. GP bikes or something.

I looked around a bit and can't find anything. The trend lasted about as long as gravity racing (20" wheeled coasting bikes)

Does anybody have one?

Pics?

thanks.
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Old 02-03-13, 07:55 AM
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I remember being a bit weirded out by this bike on the interwebz, 20" with Mavic Zap. According to the article, you build it!



https://www.cycleexif.com/mongoose-triple-threat
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Old 02-03-13, 08:29 AM
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Minivelo!

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Old 02-03-13, 09:02 AM
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Bikes Direct was selling a geared bike with 20" wheels that was a cheaper alternative to the Masi above. I can't find it on the site anymore. It's the only BD bike that ever tempted me.
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Old 02-03-13, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
Bikes Direct was selling a geared bike with 20" wheels that was a cheaper alternative to the Masi above. I can't find it on the site anymore. It's the only BD bike that ever tempted me.
The Mercier Nano:



Still available, but for some reason the nano has never been available on their site. It appears to be an orphan page, unlinked from anything else on the BD website.

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/nano.htm

This bike, IMO, requires a substantial rehack. You will note major differences between mine and the stock bike.
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Old 02-03-13, 09:17 AM
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The touring mountain bike:



Once I had this bike built, I went over and figured there were seven failed or at least dead-end technologies on the bike:

1. The touring mountain bike concept, itself
2. Front micro-adjusting dropouts
3. Command shifters
4. Sun Tour indexing
5. Sun Tour standard freehub
6. Sun Tour standard cassette
7. 700d rims
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Old 02-03-13, 09:33 AM
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I am kicking about an idea to build a Minivelo bike.

It would be really handy in tight locations like downtown Chicago where there is a lot of stopped vehicle traffic and peds all over the place. Carrying such a thing up stairs or into an elevator into your office would be a million times easier than a 700c wheeled road bike or commuter. You can make a big bike light -but it is still BIG and long. A 20"-er could be just as light as full-sized road or lightweight commuter, and have the same fit geometry. It could even have the same wheelbase as the full-sized bike and ride almost the same -but still be over-all shorter. On a decent road the advantages of a larger wheel really don't make that much difference.

Sure, folks say that if you are going to have a 20" folding bike that doesn't fold then why bother. But most folding bikes RIDE like folding bikes. A 20" minivelo could be just as stiff while still being lively as a regularly-sized bike. It might not fold but it would be a lot more handy carrying up stairs or wheeling into your cubicle or especially into a crowded elevator.

Or at least that is my thinking...

I've got a BMX frame in my garage and was kicking around the idea of building a 3-speed AW mini-velo. I'd need a super-long setback seatpost and a giraffe-length stem to get the fit geometry right. But it could be done. If I really liked it I could try and find a different 20" frame that I could re-space the rear dropouts on (Looking at the BMX frame I have there is NO WAY I'm going to be able to spread the back more than a mm or two without running into some serious problems. The dropouts themselves are massive, and the stays are so short that getting a spread would really mess everything up. But a 3-speed hub will fit in there just fine. Perhaps two cogs and derailleur would spread out the gearing a little more, and a FD and a triple up front could spread it even further. I'll probably just build it 3-speed at first and see how I like the minivelo concept.

The idea has been kicking around the back of my head for a couple of years now.
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Old 02-03-13, 09:42 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
I am kicking about an idea to build a Minivelo bike.

It would be really handy in tight locations like downtown Chicago where there is a lot of stopped vehicle traffic and peds all over the place. Carrying such a thing up stairs or into an elevator into your office would be a million times easier than a 700c wheeled road bike or commuter. You can make a big bike light -but it is still BIG and long. A 20"-er could be just as light as full-sized road or lightweight commuter, and have the same fit geometry. It could even have the same wheelbase as the full-sized bike and ride almost the same -but still be over-all shorter. On a decent road the advantages of a larger wheel really don't make that much difference.

Sure, folks say that if you are going to have a 20" folding bike that doesn't fold then why bother. But most folding bikes RIDE like folding bikes. A 20" minivelo could be just as stiff while still being lively as a regularly-sized bike. It might not fold but it would be a lot more handy carrying up stairs or wheeling into your cubicle or especially into a crowded elevator.

Or at least that is my thinking...

I've got a BMX frame in my garage and was kicking around the idea of building a 3-speed AW mini-velo. I'd need a super-long setback seatpost and a giraffe-length stem to get the fit geometry right. But it could be done. If I really liked it I could try and find a different 20" frame that I could re-space the rear dropouts on (Looking at the BMX frame I have there is NO WAY I'm going to be able to spread the back more than a mm or two without running into some serious problems. The dropouts themselves are massive, and the stays are so short that getting a spread would really mess everything up. But a 3-speed hub will fit in there just fine. Perhaps two cogs and derailleur would spread out the gearing a little more, and a FD and a triple up front could spread it even further. I'll probably just build it 3-speed at first and see how I like the minivelo concept.

The idea has been kicking around the back of my head for a couple of years now.
Same here, maybe we need a thread to get this started.
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Old 02-03-13, 09:50 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Amesja View Post
I am kicking about an idea to build a Minivelo bike.

It would be really handy in tight locations like downtown Chicago where there is a lot of stopped vehicle traffic and peds all over the place. Carrying such a thing up stairs or into an elevator into your office would be a million times easier than a 700c wheeled road bike or commuter. You can make a big bike light -but it is still BIG and long. A 20"-er could be just as light as full-sized road or lightweight commuter, and have the same fit geometry. It could even have the same wheelbase as the full-sized bike and ride almost the same -but still be over-all shorter. On a decent road the advantages of a larger wheel really don't make that much difference.

.

Here's my experience, based on over a year of riding the above Nano frequently.

It is an excellent bike in urban situations. It's very nimble and quick. Due to the shorter wheelbase, it can be a bit twitchy in the steering department, but after you ride it a bit, you get used to it. The bike accelerates like a shot; the small wheels spin up quickly. Due to the small wheels, you also need to rehack your gearing; I'm running a 54t big ring on the bike currently and could handle a 56. I rarely use the small ring.

The bike does not hold speed as well as a big wheeled bike. I've taken it on some longer countryside rides just to see how it handles; frankly, any of my 700/27 bikes are better for such uses. The small wheels also mean you don't roll over some stuff quite as well.

Like many things, this bike is a trade off. In urban, shortish commute situation, the bike is really quite supurb. Outside of that, less so.

The little minivelos are still odd enough so you get constant comments and questions on them.
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Old 02-03-13, 10:14 AM
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You've got to expect to get inferior components with a $300 bike, but I think it would be a lot of fun to upgrade one. I'd go with vintage components because they're what I have and what I know.
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Old 02-03-13, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
You've got to expect to get inferior components with a $300 bike, but I think it would be a lot of fun to upgrade one. I'd go with vintage components because they're what I have and what I know.


It is. There are some pratfalls here and there upgrading them, but it is a fun bike to tinker with. I'm debating a couple more, although the only original parts left above the wheels are the the frame and the seatpost clamp. Mine came out of the box needing an overhaul. It's been well worth the 300$ on the fun side of the equation.
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Old 02-03-13, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by sykerocker View Post
The touring mountain bike:
What's obsolete about mtb touring?
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Old 02-03-13, 10:58 AM
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What you need is a Haro Dart, I think there were others, as well (diamond back?)
https://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/haro/52001#.UQ6aCKN5mSM
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Old 02-03-13, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
... I started daydreaming and remembered there was a mini-trend in the 90's with 20" wheeled road bikes with gears. They had some crit style races in malls I think. GP bikes or something. ... I looked around a bit and can't find anything. The trend lasted about as long as gravity racing (20" wheeled coasting bikes) ...Does anybody have one? ... Pics? thanks.
Interesting inquiry because these days small wheel bikes are garnering popularity in Japan — at least in my city. And if it is here in provincial Sendai, it must be going bananas in Tokyo and Osaka. A very good friend of mine rides one.

Most of these bikes are refreshing in some way compared to the ubiquitous mama-chari, yet often uninspiring. But not all. One day I walked to the local grocery store. Parked outside was an exquisite, celeste-painted, steel-tubed (maybe Columbus) Bianchi 20" wheel unit in drops and full Ultegra group. I am not interested in owning one of these bikes, but I was fascinated. For while, I waited around for the owner to appear. Unfortunately he/she didn't. The machine looked very fresh and new. Not a nick on it.

Now, I have to say that this is the cream of the crop as I have seen so far. But, flitting around Sendai are numerous other bikes in the same form — although I cannot attest to their pedigree in the same way as the Bianchi which I studied close up.

Their popularity may grow. A large portion of the Japanese are genetically disposed to short tibiae and fibulae ... albeit with incongruously longer femurs. Many of the people I have seen on these bikes seem to be naturally suited to them. Keep in mind that a vast proportion of the Japanese population of all ages ride bicycles as a part of everyday life. It is not like in the emerging parts of China where the mere act of driving is a status symbol. A well-off house wife is just as likely to push off on her shopping bike to get the fish and tofu as bolt out of the driveway in the family Mercedes.

I will try to remember to tote my little digi-cam and see if I can't spot some of the higher-end for you. And if you want one, we can PM and I'll see what I can do on this end.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Poguemahone View Post
The Mercier Nano:



Still available, but for some reason the nano has never been available on their site. It appears to be an orphan page, unlinked from anything else on the BD website.

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/nano.htm

This bike, IMO, requires a substantial rehack. You will note major differences between mine and the stock bike.
OK, this makes any MTB-to-dropbar conversion look like the height of normalcy.
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Old 02-03-13, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by tombc View Post
What's obsolete about mtb touring?
Actually, nothing. The concept of the purpose-built touring mountain bike didn't seem to take off and is one of those well-meaning failures in the bicycle market, but the bicycle itself is absolutely wonderful and is rapidly turning into one of my favorite rides.

I've been sorely tempted to finish it off with fenders and racks. My biggest holdup on the idea is that it's already competing very well with my (traditional 27") Magneet 15-speed tourer. Which is a bike that I really love. By the time I finally got rid of the cyclometers, I'd put over 5000 miles on that bike in six years. Without going on a long distance tour. The GT Tachyon is a big improvement over the Bianchi Nyala mtb that I converted into a heavy touring mtb with street tyres a few years ago. And after all my work was done, it turned out to be the single biggest disappointment of all the bikes I've built in the last eight years.

A lot of that has to do with the 650b tyres I'm running on it (closest fit to the 700d wheels, 3mm smaller). This bike can keep up with Poguemahone when he's riding his Trek740 (I think it's a 740, memory may be failing me here). The Nyala, when ridden on the usual Sunday rides, had me struggling to keep up with the road bikes.
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Old 02-03-13, 10:44 PM
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Someone was trying to sell a Haro Dart on NH craigslist a year or so ago. Looked cool but I wasn't crazy about his price.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
'Kicking around BF this morning I viewed the "saved from the dump" thread and sixtyfiver had found a Moulton. I thought about needing a folder (which is really not that true) I started daydreaming and remembered there was a mini-trend in the 90's with 20" wheeled road bikes with gears. They had some crit style races in malls I think. GP bikes or something.

I looked around a bit and can't find anything. The trend lasted about as long as gravity racing (20" wheeled coasting bikes)

Does anybody have one?

Pics?

thanks.

i think everyone who have replied so far with minivelo stuff are off the mark. what i think you're referring to is a defunct style of BMX racing that was done in the early 90's using BMX bikes with gears and fairings. the races were not on dirt, but on marked courses in parking lots. i can't remember the name right now but i think it was something like "formula" or "unlimited". the bikes looked pretty wild, and were not related to the Japanese "minivelo" trend.

*edit*

it was called F1 racing. thread on it here: https://www.vintagebmx.com/community/...wtopic=1021255


Last edited by Catnap; 02-03-13 at 11:23 PM.
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Old 02-03-13, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Zoku620 View Post
What you need is a Haro Dart, I think there were others, as well (diamond back?)
https://bmxmuseum.com/bikes/haro/52001#.UQ6aCKN5mSM

this is a good example of an F1 bmx race bike
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Old 02-04-13, 12:45 AM
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I posted this once before. It's from Japan on a site similar to ebay.

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Old 02-04-13, 12:58 AM
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I am already finding out that owning a Moulton causes people to ask a lot of questions...

It is the original mini velo but the technology would be prohibitively expensive to try and implement into a low cost bicycle.

It was not a dump find but rather, a very timely find and can't wait for spring and some short tours.



And I get enough questions when I ride my custom P20... they are usually in the nature of, "do you ride it on the sidewalks, it must be slow, and you probably can't ride it far. This is made all the funnier when I have been asked this question when I have ridden this bike 100 miles out and have been in the middle of nowhere.



I do not care that my P20 folds or separates to fit in a suitcase as much as I appreciate the ride and the fact it was the first and only bike I could ride after I thought I would never ride again.
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Old 02-04-13, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ftwelder View Post
'Kicking around BF this morning I viewed the "saved from the dump" thread and sixtyfiver had found a Moulton. I thought about needing a folder (which is really not that true) I started daydreaming and remembered there was a mini-trend in the 90's with 20" wheeled road bikes with gears. They had some crit style races in malls I think. GP bikes or something.

I looked around a bit and can't find anything. The trend lasted about as long as gravity racing (20" wheeled coasting bikes)

Does anybody have one?

Pics?

thanks.
I am sure you could whip one up in an afternoon...

It is also easier to deal with the gearing needs if you build around a 451 wheel.
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Old 02-04-13, 01:36 AM
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I know the minute I actually find one of these F1 bmx bikes I am going to buy it, hopefully the price won't be too high.
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Old 02-04-13, 02:05 AM
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apparently this is an 1988 Diamondback Formula One




looks pretty crazy..

more found on velospace --> https://velospace.org/node/38807

Bike is fast and 2Brutal, formula one bikes were conceived in 1988 as a 'new sport' within BMX, Shimano signed on to develop a 6 speed SIS drivetrain and a roller brake for the rear, and many of these bikes came with huge single biopace chainrings with guards on each side to keep the chain on. A race circuit was set up, and a number of manufacturers signed up to make similar bikes, some of which are:

DiamondBack's 'Formula One'
Hutch's INSANE 'HPV'
Haro's 'Dart' & 'Pursuit'
Schwinn's 'Qualifier'
General's 'Meerkat M-1' & 'Meerkat L-1'

There may be more out there. Here are a few more links about these bikes:
https://zoobomb.net/forums/index.php?topic=22510.0
https://zoobomb.net/forums/index.php?topic=25187.0
lots of cool pics in that second link




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Old 02-04-13, 02:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Italuminium View Post
I remember being a bit weirded out by this bike on the interwebz, 20" with Mavic Zap. According to the article, you build it!



https://www.cycleexif.com/mongoose-triple-threat

Must be fred the welder, twasn't me. I did build a bunch of Mongoose bikes for Lea Donovan and Brian Lopes. Hey, if someone won a world championship on a frame I built, do I get stripes?

BUT, F1 was what I was thinking about. Ill have to build one of these up some day.

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