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Alternative to Vello Gravel?

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Alternative to Vello Gravel?

Old 06-26-22, 10:07 AM
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FryCap
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Alternative to Vello Gravel?

Is there a less expensive version of the Vello Gravel folding bike? I'm looking for something that would be suitable for both paved and gravel bike paths. I don't need an off-road bike, but needs to be heartier than just an urban commuter bike. This will be used recreationally to enjoy local bike paths for 30-45 minute rides. TIA!
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Old 06-26-22, 11:07 AM
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I hesitate to make a recommendation because I feel like I'm not connecting with your needs.

Today's folding bikes are designed for the reality of modern city streets. It seems like

paved and gravel bike paths
would be well within their capabilities. Beyond that, you're optimally into the realm of bikes with larger than 20" wheels.

I dunno. Maybe look for a Dahon Jetstream on the pre-owned market?
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Old 06-26-22, 02:17 PM
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Gen3 Groove

Anyone with experience with the Gen3 Groove? It folds and is 20 inch like I want. It’s not light, but I really don’t care as long as it fits in the back of my Jeep for longer trips... I wouldn’t be lifting/transporting it regularly. I probably wouldn’t use the battery mode much, really prefer the cardio/exercise aspect. I like the fatter tires as I am looking for a stable/safe ride. And can get for $900 versus the Velo at $2700. Any thoughts??

Last edited by FryCap; 06-26-22 at 02:20 PM.
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Old 06-26-22, 02:18 PM
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Looking at the specs of this Vellobike gravel, it seems to me that the only differences with other models are the Schwalbe Billy Bonkers tires which are in fact BMX tires and the gravel drobar ?

Another folding that works perfectly for your needs is the Birdy with 50mm wide tires but its more expensive than the Vellobike gravel. It has no gravel dropbar but its possible to mount such a gravel dropbar on the Birdy (there was in the past a Birdy equipped with a dropbar).
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Old 06-26-22, 04:02 PM
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I would look at Bike Friday folding Llama. Definitely it will do what you want.
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Old 06-26-22, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
I would look at Bike Friday folding Llama. Definitely it will do what you want.
Looks like a great bike but I would like to stay in the $750-1000 range if poss...
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Old 06-26-22, 04:28 PM
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If larger wheels work for you, there is Montegue Paratrooper.
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Old 06-26-22, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Schwinnsta View Post
If larger wheels work for you, there is Montegue Paratrooper.
Looks like a good bike, but I do want to stay in the 20 inch size - gives me a little more of a workout (cardio) and slightly lower speeds (safety)...
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Old 06-27-22, 02:38 AM
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depending how handy you are, you can either buy something like tern verge D9 or P10
or you can build one up from a cheaper second tern or Dahon.
A Dahon Speed or Helios or Mu fitted with rolf wheel (28 spokes) fitted with schwalbe blackjack 47-406 can do well. If you want gravel, I'd go 1x9 with 11-40 cassette. I ride MTB trails with that setup.

If you need some inspiration for drop bar folding and addition of front derailleur: Helios... race bike type or TT?
If you need inspiration for gravel 20" bike: Flat bar gravel bike build…. With a twist
Dahon mini velos.... my interpretations
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Old 06-27-22, 04:50 PM
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So you’re looking for dropped bars, more versatile tyres and some wider gearing? There’s not much off the shelf but if you’re happy to do some basic bike mechanics, you can definitely roll your own on a reasonable folder with disc or vee brakes and a cassette hub.

Dropped bars are easiest with a folding bike with a T-shaped handlepost - you’ll need a stem replacement such as an Aber Hallo for a 24.5mm diameter bar, or an equivalent by LitePro or similar for a 31mm diameter bar. If the latter, make sure the 31mm diameter centre extends sufficiently from the centre to meet the “stems” on either side.

You’ll need to think about your braking options - if you’re on vee brakes with dropped bars then Tektro RL520s or similar will be needed to handle the longer cable pull, or otherwise Travel Agents are necessary to convert your usual road brake levers or brifters.

In terms of tyres, I’m fairly sure that the average 20” folder can take a 2” tyre e.g. Schwalbe Big Apples and mudguards comfortably. Have a look at BMX tyres if you want to trade grip for puncture proofness.

If you’re in search of wider gearing and plenty of ground clearance without needing a front derailleur, have a look at Microshift and their nine-speed Advent range, which includes a range of shifters and now a super short rear derailleur that can handle an 11-38T cassette.

For me, an ideal build would probably be a Tern Verge frame, 406 wheels with Kenda Small Block 8 tyres , road disc brakes, a wide gravel bar, and the super short Microshift Advent groupset with brifters from the adult range.

For inspiration, this is what I’ve done to a Tern Link D8:



This is with a medium length rear derailleur and a larger 11-46T cassette, but still on Microshift Advent. Clearance isn’t great for hardcore off-road but seems fine on the gravel paths in my corner of the world. I’m currently using a bar end shifter for simplicity, affordability and the fact that I grew up on downtube shifters on road bikes. Tyres are Schwalbe Big Apples.
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Old 06-29-22, 11:05 PM
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Get a Change Bike 650b
Change Bike 650B - Bike Forums


Otherwise, just any folder w/ disc brakes and use wider tires.

In the end, larger wheels with wider tires give better traction and roll over for light trail and gravel riding
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Old 06-30-22, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pinholecam View Post
Get a Change Bike 650b
Change Bike 650B - Bike Forums


Otherwise, just any folder w/ disc brakes and use wider tires.

In the end, larger wheels with wider tires give better traction and roll over for light trail and gravel riding
Looked at the Change Bike web site, was not able to determine price. Do they fit in my $500-1000 range? Thx
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Old 06-30-22, 06:18 PM
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You’ll want flatbike.com for their US distributor, and they start at about $800 for a frame and $1200 for a bike.

For what you want and what your budget it, you’re probably better off buying something pre-owned and customising it to suit.
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Old 06-30-22, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Reddleman View Post
You’ll want flatbike.com for their US distributor, and they start at about $800 for a frame and $1200 for a bike.

For what you want and what your budget it, you’re probably better off buying something pre-owned and customising it to suit.
Would a Dahon Mariner work ok - and should I add a different tire that's better for gravel and if so, which one?
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Old 07-01-22, 12:06 AM
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pinholecam
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Originally Posted by FryCap View Post
Looked at the Change Bike web site, was not able to determine price. Do they fit in my $500-1000 range? Thx
Oops! did not notice your budget.

I think mine was around $900 for the frame and the my parts were not cheap, getting to around $2.5k for full bike.
You can probably do it cheaper as a full bike (online or from flatbike.com ) or with cheaper parts (a flat bar setup will be cheaper than the gravel bike setup that I did with brifters)

Or maybe even a new frame but 2nd hand parts will keep the cost down.
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Old 07-01-22, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by FryCap View Post
Is there a less expensive version of the Vello Gravel folding bike? I'm looking for something that would be suitable for both paved and gravel bike paths. I don't need an off-road bike, but needs to be heartier than just an urban commuter bike. This will be used recreationally to enjoy local bike paths for 30-45 minute rides. TIA!
I would just source a chromoly frame like a Litropro Helium or FnHon Gust 20 or Storm, build it and put on some beefy tires like Maxxis Grifter 53-406.
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Old 07-02-22, 07:57 AM
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The Origai Bull is exactly what you're looking for. It's designed for on road or gravel paths. The weight limit is 300lbs (apparently higher than that, but 300lbs is way more than sufficient). Take a look at it,...it's a solid, well thought out bike. Oh, and the company owner Pinigis is a member. Customer service is top notch. The ONLY reason I haven't purchased one yet is that I own too many bikes currently, and I made a deal w/the Mrs that I'll sell some off, THEN get the Bull.

https://www.origamibicycles.com/product/bull/

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