Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Folding Bikes
Reload this Page >

DIY Mini velo

Notices
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.

DIY Mini velo

Old 08-06-23, 06:32 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 176
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
DIY Mini velo

Hello, I am not sure if it is the right place to ask but if I want to make a diy/cheap version of mini velo. Is it possible to take a small bike frame and put 20 inch wheels on it to make it into a mini velo? There are several 20 inch hybrid frames, 16 inch mountain bike frames. I was wondering how can I know if 20 inch wheels (406mm to 451mm) can fit? or am I going the wrong way? I know I will have to extend the headset by having spacers or a handlebar Rise and have a longer bike post. All three bikes that I eyed on have cantilever brakes if that helps my case.
Frenzen is offline  
Old 08-07-23, 09:24 AM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
3speedslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 9,360

Bikes: A few

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1950 Post(s)
Liked 1,094 Times in 648 Posts
It might be possible but cost more than you realize. What prices do you see for a mini Velo in your area before you start such a project?
3speedslow is offline  
Likes For 3speedslow:
Old 08-07-23, 02:40 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,135
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 606 Post(s)
Liked 684 Times in 407 Posts
I'd suggest using a purpose built frame.
You're getting into geometry, compatibility, and fit problems right from the start and any money you save will be spent in time and effort to get a kludge to work.

If money is really a priority, wait until BD sell their mini velo again and customize it
(see massive thread: Bikesdirect Mini Velo upgrade thread )
CrimsonEclipse is offline  
Likes For CrimsonEclipse:
Old 08-07-23, 04:35 PM
  #4  
55+ Club,...
 
tds101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Somewhere in New York, NY
Posts: 4,353

Bikes: 9+,...

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1133 Post(s)
Liked 860 Times in 602 Posts
Originally Posted by Frenzen
Hello, I am not sure if it is the right place to ask but if I want to make a diy/cheap version of mini velo. Is it possible to take a small bike frame and put 20 inch wheels on it to make it into a mini velo? There are several 20 inch hybrid frames, 16 inch mountain bike frames. I was wondering how can I know if 20 inch wheels (406mm to 451mm) can fit? or am I going the wrong way? I know I will have to extend the headset by having spacers or a handlebar Rise and have a longer bike post. All three bikes that I eyed on have cantilever brakes if that helps my case.
A BMX bike with an igh (internally geared hub) is something I'm eventually going to do myself, so I say GO FOR IT! Just remember to post some pics, so I can get some inspiration. This is Dahon's folding version of a BMX style bike. I see nothing wrong with what you plan on doing.
__________________
If it wasn't for you meddling kids,...
tds101 is offline  
Likes For tds101:
Old 08-07-23, 05:51 PM
  #5  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 176
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by tds101
A BMX bike with an igh (internally geared hub) is something I'm eventually going to do myself, so I say GO FOR IT! Just remember to post some pics, so I can get some inspiration. This is Dahon's folding version of a BMX style bike. I see nothing wrong with what you plan on doing.
Thanks for the inspiration and will do post!

Originally Posted by 3speedslow
It might be possible but cost more than you realize. What prices do you see for a mini Velo in your area before you start such a project?
What are the main costs if I can find/have cheap parts apart from the 20 inch wheels? There are no used mini velo in where I live, so it will require me buying a well established mini velo frame or complete set to Montreal, Canada.
Frenzen is offline  
Likes For Frenzen:
Old 08-07-23, 05:53 PM
  #6  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Montreal
Posts: 401

Bikes: 1999 Bike friday NWT, 2009 Bike Friday Tikit, 2023 silverock Dewy, 2008 Dahon Smooth Hound, 2023 Litepro Trifold

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked 235 Times in 143 Posts
One issue is with using smaller wheels on a frame designed for larger ones . Will the brakes reach the rim? Disk brakes could be a solution but then cost becomes the next issue. Building a Minivelo in Canada is $$$. My estimate is at least about $1000. A v Orange Nutrino will be about $2000. The frames have to be imported. There in one on sale in Montreal on Kijiji. It looks like my old Fuji. It has 451 wheels. Winter tires won’t fit but its a nice Minivelo at a good price. I do have my Lombardo 2000 Minivelo frame with all the parts that I’m thinking about maybe selling. Maybe tds101 who posted above has his for sale.

Last edited by jfouellette; 08-07-23 at 06:00 PM.
jfouellette is offline  
Old 08-07-23, 05:59 PM
  #7  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 176
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Originally Posted by jfouellette
One issue is with using smaller wheels on a frame designed for larger ones . Will the brakes reach the rim? Disk brakes could be a solution but then cost becomes the next issue. Building a Minivelo in Canada is $$$. My estimate is at least about $1000. A v Orange Nutrino will be about $2000. The frames have to be imported. There in one on sale in Montreal on Kijiji. It looks like my old Fuji. It has 451 wheels. Winter tires won’t fit but its a nice Minivelo at a good price. I do have my Lombardo 2000 Minivelo frame with all the parts that I’m thinking about maybe selling.
what is the link for the fuji or similiar one-like. Yes well if I cannot find a solution buying silverock frame is a cheap solution as well.

Well I thought if the bike has canti-lever brakes, there is more potential of reaching the rim but I could be wrong.

Last edited by Frenzen; 08-07-23 at 06:04 PM.
Frenzen is offline  
Old 08-07-23, 06:03 PM
  #8  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Montreal
Posts: 401

Bikes: 1999 Bike friday NWT, 2009 Bike Friday Tikit, 2023 silverock Dewy, 2008 Dahon Smooth Hound, 2023 Litepro Trifold

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked 235 Times in 143 Posts
https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details...teLocale=en_CA

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-view-details...dId=1657439948

The Soma looks interesting. I don’t know the wheel size.

Last edited by jfouellette; 08-07-23 at 06:14 PM.
jfouellette is offline  
Old 08-07-23, 07:57 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
3speedslow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Posts: 9,360

Bikes: A few

Mentioned: 117 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1950 Post(s)
Liked 1,094 Times in 648 Posts
All I want you to do before you commit to this project is to look at both sides. Itís like before you engineer solve the problem, you reverse engineer the solution.

now I know you are in Canada, seems to be an expensive location. Personally, I would buy a ready made MV bike or frame then build as I want.

Mercier Nano is my go to.

As bought

Many mods

Recent mods
3speedslow is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 04:04 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: UK
Posts: 762

Bikes: Dahon Jetstream p8 (sold), customized Dahon Helios x10, customzed Dahon Smooth Hound x11,customized Dahon Hammerhead 8.0 d7, Planet X Free Ranger (mullet setup 1x11), Planet X Giovanissimi 20 (1x9), Frog 52 (1x9) and Frog 48 1s

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 182 Posts
if the frame is not design for 20" wheel, you will get some issues with the brakes.

you could start from a children mtb like frog 52/55 or equivalent. then either you fit a steerer extension or a new uncut fork or a BMX handle bar. Your main issue will be the saddle/seat post. they are usually 27.2 when foldinding bikes tend to use 33.4.
My S-work seatpost is 350mm long and requires 100mm minimun insertion so, 250mm max protusion. If I was to fit that on the kid frog 52, it would be borderline safe and still too small for me.

Like jfouellette, I have a Frankenstein Smooth hound X9 (2008 frame, 2010 fork and many bits from the part bin) and built a hammerhead 8 D7 for my mother. In both cases, I started with a frameset and then fitted standard parts found either on 20" foldingbike or road/hybrid bike. Cost was low (£800 for mine, £400 for my mother's). As others said, if you ready want a minivelo, bit the bullet and commit to a frameset.

Last edited by Fentuz; 08-08-23 at 04:13 AM.
Fentuz is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 06:57 AM
  #11  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: Montreal
Posts: 401

Bikes: 1999 Bike friday NWT, 2009 Bike Friday Tikit, 2023 silverock Dewy, 2008 Dahon Smooth Hound, 2023 Litepro Trifold

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 194 Post(s)
Liked 235 Times in 143 Posts
Here is another one

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005005218086469.html
jfouellette is offline  
Likes For jfouellette:
Old 08-10-23, 08:21 AM
  #12  
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 2,098

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 726 Post(s)
Liked 759 Times in 467 Posts
Disc brakes would make the conversion easier, but 20" or 16" disc wheels are somewhat limited in choices.
I bought my SUNDEAL mini velo from Nashbar while they were on closeout for $275 and free shipping.
It's been 5 years since, I ride it occasionally when I need something light and easy to hop on and just ride away to the store.
8 spd, disc brakes, 20" BMX tires, not sure of the weight, but it's not heavier than a typical mt. bike.


Java Mini bike is a 16-spd, $650 on eBay purchase.
Has hydraulic disc brakes, very nice feel even with small 20" deep alloy aero wheels.

Last edited by cat0020; 02-06-24 at 09:58 AM.
cat0020 is offline  
Likes For cat0020:
Old 08-13-23, 08:22 PM
  #13  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
Posts: 176
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
thank you for everyone and everyones advice, I guess I will wait until that mercier is on sale again, otherwise I will keep looking in my market for a used one!
Frenzen is offline  
Old 10-07-23, 08:21 PM
  #14  
Rider. Wanderer. Creator.
 
john m flores's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 801

Bikes: Bike Friday Pocket Rocket, Cinelli Hobootleg, Zizzo Liberte

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 408 Post(s)
Liked 828 Times in 391 Posts
Neutrino frame in Toledo - local pickup only

https://toledo.craigslist.org/bop/d/...662660039.html
john m flores is online now  
Likes For john m flores:
Old 10-11-23, 03:31 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,878
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 764 Times in 567 Posts
I don't see how the bottom bracket height would be adequate if you just put small wheels on a frame intended for much larger ones. You need adequate pedal clearance when cornering. Some mini velos in pictures appear to have a lack or BB height that would concern me. Pictures can be misleading, but that includes some in this thread.

I have always lusted after a mini velo, but will hold out for a dedicated frame if I do buy one.
staehpj1 is offline  
Likes For staehpj1:
Old 10-11-23, 08:28 PM
  #16  
Newbie
 
SaikyoSenpai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For a Mini Velo or BMX conversion as mentioned above, what's the largest chainring anyone has been able to place on their bike. I'm thinking of a singlespeed version of something similar to OP but still want the gear ratio to be similar to a 700c bike. Aiming for 80 gear-inches or so.

Also, for something like a bmx conversion or similar, has anyone had trouble sourcing longer stems and seat posts? Anytips on where to get these?

Also, Also, Does having a different crankset style on BMX bikes create problems with compatability? i.e. Not a square taper like most road bikes. Is this the limiting factor for chainring size potentially?
SaikyoSenpai is offline  
Old 01-30-24, 04:35 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Liked 595 Times in 380 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
I don't see how the bottom bracket height would be adequate if you just put small wheels on a frame intended for much larger ones. You need adequate pedal clearance when cornering. Some mini velos in pictures appear to have a lack or BB height that would concern me. Pictures can be misleading, but that includes some in this thread.

I have always lusted after a mini velo, but will hold out for a dedicated frame if I do buy one.
Yeap. BB height is something that budding minivelo builders often overlook, and it is key for maneuverability as too short a BB drop will limit how fast and far you can lean.
Ron Damon is offline  
Old 01-30-24, 04:40 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Liked 595 Times in 380 Posts
Originally Posted by SaikyoSenpai
For a Mini Velo or BMX conversion as mentioned above, what's the largest chainring anyone has been able to place on their bike. I'm thinking of a singlespeed version of something similar to OP but still want the gear ratio to be similar to a 700c bike. Aiming for 80 gear-inches or so.

Also, for something like a bmx conversion or similar, has anyone had trouble sourcing longer stems and seat posts? Anytips on where to get these?

Also, Also, Does having a different crankset style on BMX bikes create problems with compatability? i.e. Not a square taper like most road bikes. Is this the limiting factor for chainring size potentially?
A 56T chainring will get you in the low 80s GI range on 16", ISO305 wheels. Higher than that is, of course, possible, but imo an fool's errand as these things ain't meant for speed and the rotational losses of these small wheels becomes increasingly apparent.


56T
Ron Damon is offline  
Old 01-30-24, 06:13 PM
  #19  
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 2,098

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 726 Post(s)
Liked 759 Times in 467 Posts
Looks very nice.
That large cog in the rear seems unnecessarily big with 16" wheel.
And the rear derailleur would need a pretty long cage to be able to shift between the small cog and large cog.
cat0020 is offline  
Old 01-30-24, 07:16 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Liked 595 Times in 380 Posts
Originally Posted by cat0020
Looks very nice.
That large cog in the rear seems unnecessarily big with 16" wheel.
And the rear derailleur would need a pretty long cage to be able to shift between the small cog and large cog.
Thanks.

The cogset is an 11-40T which has been shown to work in real practice with the short-cage Shimano Zee RD-M640-SS RD. I can be pushed still to 42T no problem. Note also the higher profile 58-305 tires.






As for necessity, given my terrain and touring, it is often needed and necessary. As the crow flies, I am under 50km from 3,000masl.


Last edited by Ron Damon; 01-31-24 at 12:31 AM.
Ron Damon is offline  
Old 01-31-24, 07:50 AM
  #21  
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 2,098

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 726 Post(s)
Liked 759 Times in 467 Posts
I would add a couple of links to that chain in the video, that's just me.
3000 meter climb still doesn't need that low of a gear with 16" wheels,
likely you would fall backwards on your mini velo if a steep hill that require that low of a gear due to short wheelbase/chain stays.
cat0020 is offline  
Old 01-31-24, 12:48 PM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Liked 595 Times in 380 Posts
Originally Posted by cat0020
I would add a couple of links to that chain in the video, that's just me.
3000 meter climb still doesn't need that low of a gear with 16" wheels,
likely you would fall backwards on your mini velo if a steep hill that require that low of a gear due to short wheelbase/chain stays.
I would counsel you to refrain from telling me what I need or don't need, that you know more about 305-wheel gearing or handling than I do, or that you know the wheelbase of that rig I showed. I sure need a 22 gear-inch low given the very steep inclines that Bali (or Taiwan where I've toured, for example) has to offer, particularly when carrying a touring load, which is exactly the low gear returned by a 11-40T cogset with a 56T chainring and 50-305 wheels/tires. Did you even calculate it before commenting? No, you don't fall backwards when climbing on a short gear on a short wheelbase rig. Happy to entertain other conversations, not this one though.
​​​​​



​​​
Ron Damon is offline  
Old 01-31-24, 03:14 PM
  #23  
Ride more, eat less
 
cat0020's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Philla PA, Hoboken NJ, Brooklyn NY
Posts: 2,098

Bikes: Too many but never enough.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 726 Post(s)
Liked 759 Times in 467 Posts
Whatever floats your boat.
You'll find out for yourself soon enough once you get on a steep grade.
cat0020 is offline  
Old 01-31-24, 04:55 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Location: The Ring of Fire
Posts: 994
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 493 Post(s)
Liked 595 Times in 380 Posts
Originally Posted by cat0020
Whatever floats your boat.
You'll find out for yourself soon enough once you get on a steep grade.
The thing is that I already have. Over the many years I've ridden ISO305 wheel bikes in steep terrains, touring, overseas and at home. Your concerns about the Zee RD and about low gearing on 305 wheels have no merit and have both been debunked in real practice. You are out to lunch.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 01-31-24 at 05:05 PM.
Ron Damon is offline  
Old 01-31-24, 05:33 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 1,135
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 606 Post(s)
Liked 684 Times in 407 Posts
Careful, that derailleur looks pretty close to the ground.

Good thing you didn't post it with the chain on.
CrimsonEclipse is offline  
Likes For CrimsonEclipse:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.