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Bikes Direct mini velo

Old 03-29-24, 02:45 PM
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406 vs. 451 rims

.my folder has the 406 rims. I see posts all the time referring to 451 ? Rims, not sure if that's correct or not, but I'll go with it. So my understanding is the 451s are the better wheels and tires are not interchangeable between the two. What makes these better? Why can't you use the same tire on each ? And lastly, both being 20 inch wheels, why even the confusion to do this as an industry ? Thanks.

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Old 03-29-24, 02:46 PM
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Bikes Direct mini velo

Hi. Is anyone here familiar with the mini velo sold by bikes direct? Looks very intriguing to me, especially at 399 delivered. 16 speed, friction shifters mounted on head tube. I have a few questions about it however. Wheel set is vague in explanation, tires are 20 x 1 5. Does this mean the rim's are 406, vs 451? Which is better? Can the bike be easily upgraded? I'm not a fan of drop bars, can I possibly out a riser bar on it? How is the ride compared to a 20 inch folder? Sorry for all the questions, but even at 66 it may be fun to try something new, who knows, I may love it, right. Also wondering about the weight of the bike. I'd have to heft it into the rear of a SUV. Thanks for any replies.
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Old 03-29-24, 03:40 PM
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Perhaps this can help in your decision making process ...

Bikesdirect Mini Velo upgrade thread
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Old 03-30-24, 12:41 AM
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That price grabbed my attention too. However, there some quality issues, universal complaints about the paint chipping so easily. Those Nanos are probably far east manufacture, but I read that Mercier may be restarting production in France, but don't know about the Nano, and definitely not at that price.

Thinking harder after the price attention, I think there are better deals. I ride a 20" wheel folder (406, much greater tire selection and cushier ride, unless you are speed freak and want 451). I don't fold it much, but when I need to, it's great. Following is a different bike that was on sale but appears sold out now, they'll make more, hopefully at that price. Origami Bull; 20", fat comfy tires, disc brakes, and front derailleur bracket if you want to mount a double crank. In fact I mentioned this to what appears to be seller of that bike, saying it would represent much better value to have it equipped 2X right from the factory, and he said he would consider doing that this year, no word yet:

https://www.origamibicycles.com/shop/p/bull

Zizzo has also be good value for folders according to others here, 20", more normal tires, rim brakes.
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Old 03-30-24, 12:46 AM
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You double posted, you have two identical threads. The other one has responses. Please delete this thread. Thanks.
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Old 03-30-24, 06:08 AM
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"Better" can be subjective and relative. 451 is a larger circumference wheel size ( can be "smoother"; maintains momentum) but, has been limited to mostly road type tyres and rims ("skinny"). Mostly identified by its fractional sizing (20x1 3/8). The 406 is smaller but has a larger variety of rim and tyre sizes; a bit "rougher" but easily available. Most of them are identified by decimal sizing (20x1.95).
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Old 03-30-24, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Juan el Boricua
"Better" can be subjective and relative. 451 is a larger circumference wheel size ( can be "smoother"; maintains momentum) but, has been limited to mostly road type tyres and rims ("skinny"). Mostly identified by its fractional sizing (20x1 3/8). The 406 is smaller but has a larger variety of rim and tyre sizes; a bit "rougher" but easily available.
Pana, 406 ain't necessarily smaller.

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Old 03-30-24, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Pana, 406 ain't necessarily smaller.

of the two sizes, the 406 IS smaller but, wheel/tyre circumference is another matter as you point out in the picture.
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Old 03-30-24, 06:35 AM
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Old 03-30-24, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jdogg111
Hi. Is anyone here familiar with the mini velo sold by bikes direct? Looks very intriguing to me, especially at 399 delivered. 16 speed, friction shifters mounted on head tube. I have a few questions about it however. Wheel set is vague in explanation, tires are 20 x 1 5. Does this mean the rim's are 406, vs 451? Which is better? Can the bike be easily upgraded? I'm not a fan of drop bars, can I possibly out a riser bar on it? How is the ride compared to a 20 inch folder? Sorry for all the questions, but even at 66 it may be fun to try something new, who knows, I may love it, right. Also wondering about the weight of the bike. I'd have to heft it into the rear of a SUV. Thanks for any replies.
I have owned a Nano for a few years now. It is a joy to ride and it puts a smile on my face every time I ride it. I have had no quality issues with this bike including the wheelset and paint finish. I have modified the bike for my riding pleasure. The rims are 406 and I am currently riding on Kenda Kontacts sized 20 x 1.75. At least one forum member has been able to use 20x1.95 tires but that didn't work for me.

This is my bike in its current state. Please excuse the indoor pic as it is currently raining outside.
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Old 03-30-24, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GeezyRider
I have owned a Nano for a few years now. It is a joy to ride and it puts a smile on my face every time I ride it. I have had no quality issues with this bike including the wheelset and paint finish. I have modified the bike for my riding pleasure. The rims are 406 and I am currently riding on Kenda Kontacts sized 20 x 1.75. At least one forum member has been able to use 20x1.95 tires but that didn't work for me.

This is my bike in its current state. Please excuse the indoor pic as it is currently raining outside.
Nice Kenda Kontacts! IMO, based on use of the 47-305 and 58-406 variants, the best-value, gen-pur tire out there.



I hazard the educated guess that a main reason that the Nano is "a joy to ride and it puts a smile on my face every time I ride it" is its short wheelbase that makes it very nimble, maneuverable and spritely. I get that.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 03-30-24 at 06:07 PM.
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Old 03-30-24, 06:10 PM
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I wish every bike sold, and especially small-wheelers, specified the wheelbase, and most especially, the fork trail based on what size tire. I'm learning to see things in those numbers regarding agile versus stable handling. I think most people might be surprised on the wheelbase of small-wheel bikes, I'm finding they are very close to that of large wheel road-race bikes, sometimes even a touch longer, intentional, to try to duplicate known handling qualities, hence the huge gap between the rear tire and seat tube. (But much shorter length overall.) Sometimes fork trail also very close, thus, with small tires, does feel more agile. I was wishing for more trail on my Dahon when empty for more steering stability on fast decents, but now loaded with front rack, panniers, aero bars, it's better.

This is a spec I found online for the Bike Friday All-Packa, awesome info, the only thing missing is the tire size, which I think is 406 x 2.0"-2.4":



EDITED to add; I think that KHS folder is a skosh longer wheelbase than most 20" folders, but not by much. Plus that is also a short-wheelbase 700c race bike. The most obvious thing from that photo? WAY better toe clearance on the 20".


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Old 03-30-24, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
I wish every bike sold, and especially small-wheelers, specified the wheelbase, and most especially, the fork trail based on what size tire. I'm learning to see things in those numbers regarding agile versus stable handling.
Most folk are scared of or have never ridden a short wheelbase rig. Think anything under 95cm. Ignorance and fear are bliss.

Last edited by Ron Damon; 03-30-24 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 03-30-24, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Most folk are scared of or have never ridden a short wheelbase rig. Think anything under 95cm. Ignorance is bliss.
Just revised above.
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Old 03-30-24, 06:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
Just revised above.
It runs the gamut, really. And I've ridden and enjoyed them all.


104cm wheelbase


102cm wheelbase


98cm wheelbase. Ime, the sweet spot.


92cm wheelbase
​​​
​​​​​

Last edited by Ron Damon; 03-30-24 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 03-30-24, 06:44 PM
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(above) True, but not as must difference as one might think. Some think, 7" smaller diameter tires, so same reduction in radius at both ends, 7" shorter bike overall, and I haven't seen it. I just measured mine, 102.5. 92, yeah that's a good deal shorter. I'm glad mine seems toward the high end, but I think fork trail has an even bigger effect. I don't know the trail on mine, but I think on the low side. For the same frame and head tube angle, a longer trail means less offset to the fork (less curved or angled forward), which adds steering stability, but also shortens the wheelbase.

Last edited by Duragrouch; 03-30-24 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 03-30-24, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Duragrouch
...a longer trail means less offset to the fork (less curved or angled forward), which adds stability, but also shortens the wheelbase.
Are you sure that's correct?
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Old 03-30-24, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Are you sure that's correct?
I might be wrong... checking... yes, smaller offset/rake, larger trail, shorter wheelbase (for same frame):

https://calfeedesign.com/geometry-of-bike-handling/

EDIT: Not just a good diagram, but excellent, excellent article in that link.

You can also increase the trail via a lower head tube angle. Touring bikes typically have more "slack" head tube angle versus road race bikes, especially agile criterium bikes. Note: Some of these terms are completely different for motorcycles, such as the head tube angle being from vertical versus the horizontal ground (if I recall correctly; I know something is reversed versus bikes).

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Old 03-30-24, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Juan el Boricua
...451 is a larger circumference wheel size ( can be "smoother"; maintains momentum) ...
This all depends on the weight of the rim, tire and tube, as angular momentum is a function of not only radius, but also mass.


A 406 wheel can be just as large and maintain just as much momentum as a 451 wheel, depending on the weight. Obviously this also applies to 305/349 wheels.
​​​​​

Last edited by Ron Damon; 03-30-24 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 03-30-24, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
This all depends on the weight of the rim, tire and tube, as angular momentum is a function of not only radius, but also mass.


A 406 wheel can be just as large and maintain just as much momentum as a 451 wheel, depending on the weight.
​​​​​
True. My bike has a bit more steering stability with slightly larger and heavier tires than original, plus, by raising up from the ground a bit, fork trail also increases. (Which is why, tire size must be known when evaluating a given trail value, if you want to change tire sizes.)

Last edited by Duragrouch; 03-30-24 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 03-31-24, 09:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
This all depends on the weight of the rim, tire and tube, as angular momentum is a function of not only radius, but also mass.


A 406 wheel can be just as large and maintain just as much momentum as a 451 wheel, depending on the weight. Obviously this also applies to 305/349 wheels.
​​​​​
Tire , not wheel. 406 and 451 are different diameter wheels. 20 inch is not a tire size, but rather a marketing thang.
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Old 04-01-24, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Damon
Nice Kenda Kontacts! IMO, based on use of the 47-305 and 58-406 variants, the best-value, gen-pur tire out there.



I hazard the educated guess that a main reason that the Nano is "a joy to ride and it puts a smile on my face every time I ride it" is its short wheelbase that makes it very nimble, maneuverable and spritely. I get that.
geezer, thanks. How heavy or light is your mini velo?
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Old 04-01-24, 02:13 PM
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In it's current configuration, my Nano weighs 26.67 lbs. That includes the frame pump and frame bag which contains a spare tube, tire irons, patch kit and multi-tool. It's not the lightest nor is it the heaviest bike I own.
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