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Minivelo inspiration picture thread [aka Diminutive Bike Prawn.]

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Minivelo inspiration picture thread [aka Diminutive Bike Prawn.]

Old 11-03-09, 04:39 AM
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In considering why they're so popular in Asia, one shouldn't overlook the "cute factor". I'm less sure about elsewhere, but Japanese youth culture is very style conscious, and cute is a big winner.
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Old 11-03-09, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by LittlePixel
They aren't popular in the UK either. I'm trying to buck the trend!
I have seen two Hammerheads since 2006 and that's it. One was at one of our little forum meets at Hyde park so I don't think it counts.

I think people have the same problem with them as folders - they look too non-conformist and the wheels make them look like kids bikes. If that was the case for motor vehicles, cars would be for kids and agricultural tractors would be for adults. It's about conditioning really. If they were everywhere and were all you could get - people would have no trouble as it'd be the norm. In london there's kinda a special rule for bromptons 'because they're so practical' that means they sort of have acceptance, with the proviso you can say something negative about the cost.

Minivelos are hard to 'get' I think - with a folder the folding part explains away the strangeness because they have to be strange to fold. With a minivelo, there's no such easy ride. It has to explain it's small wheels!
Well said, LP. I think your comments sum up my thoughts nicely as well.
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Old 11-03-09, 12:50 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by NormanF
In the US, the closest to mini velos was the short-lived F1 BMX fad, which involved adult frame bikes designed for asphalt racing.
In addition to Dahon continuing to try to get some traction with their "shark" bikes in N.A., Cannondale has cataloged their Hooligans for the US market in 2010. I wonder if any dealers will inventory one?

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Old 11-03-09, 02:30 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by SesameCrunch
The question for the US market is: why would someone choose a minivelo over a standard frame bike?
I really like the look of mini-velos, and I think I can speak to why I would choose a minivelo over a standard frame.

Like a lot of people I have a fleet of bikes. They are:

1983 Univega Gran Tourismo (rehabed in 2009 with a 9 speed drive train)
1986 Guerciotti (Classic Italian steel road bike)
1988 Bridgestone MB-2 mountain bike
2006 Bike Friday NWT
2008 Serrota Fierte Ti
2008 Bike Friday Tikit

As you can see from the dates, I had a bunch of bikes from the 80's and have been upgrading the fleet.

We are getting to the end of riding season, so the stats on what I've ridden the most are pretty well in. In 2009 I didn't ride the Serrota at all. Not even once. I didn't ride the Guerciotti at all either, but that's not so surprising, I only keep it for sentimental reasons. I commute on the Bridgestone, so that gets a fair amount of mileage, but it's not really all that fun to ride. I took the Univega out a fair amount, probably because of the rehab. The Tikit goes on pootle rides and commutes some times. The big mileage bike in the stable is my NWT. It gets the nod for just about any ride where I am going to put the bike in the car and take it to the start of a ride. Now, I don't fold it to put it in the car, but it just fits easier in the car. So, I use the NWT in the way one would use a mini Velo, and I am choosing to take the NWT over the Serrota for convenience reasons. The Serrota is a great bike, and I love to ride it, but the NWT rides well enough that the convenience and compactness always seems to win.

I think that a mini velo has more simplicity than a folder (none of the long convoluted cable runs, and no hinges) so for someone who uses a folder like I do, it would be a better choice. As long as it has a good enough ride, a mini velo could be a big success.

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Old 11-03-09, 08:07 PM
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I have long held that my 3 R20 non folding bikes really are early types of mini velos and when correctly modded they ride very well.....a 6 day fully loaded tour, fast group rides, a 6 1/4 hr 100 mile on a R20 SS and general commuting are testament to that fact.
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Old 11-04-09, 10:28 AM
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Just as an FYI... if you're looking for a mini velo in the US, search for Sillgey Picollo (sp?). You can buy just a frameset or a full bike. It's the only one I know of in the US beyond the Dahon Hammerhead and Smoothhound.

Great thread.
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Old 11-04-09, 11:50 AM
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You can also get a mini fixie from Hong Kong. That's the only available mini velo apart from the Sillgey Piccolo and Dahon Smooth Hound and Hammerhead on these shores.
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Old 11-04-09, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by NormanF
You can also get a mini fixie from Hong Kong. That's the only available mini velo apart from the Sillgey Piccolo and Dahon Smooth Hound and Hammerhead on these shores.
Read post #28.
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Old 11-04-09, 07:55 PM
  #34  
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1969 Sears Tote-Cycle. With a few tweaks.
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Old 11-05-09, 08:44 AM
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wow
nicebike indeed
the only thing which is unpleasing to the eye are the white plastic pump holders, you should be able to find some chrome umbrella types instead

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Old 11-05-09, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by social suicide

1969 Sears Tote-Cycle. With a few tweaks.
Nice..... Very nice...

Love the shifters on the frame.
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Old 11-05-09, 08:53 AM
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Say, does this count as a Mini-velo? Or is it more Vintage velo?



Soon to be equipped with the Duomatic 2 speed coaster hub...
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Old 11-05-09, 11:29 AM
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Bruno Ventura Limited - Sweeeet!

https://brunobike.jp/products/index.html
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Old 11-06-09, 04:33 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by tcs
In addition to Dahon continuing to try to get some traction with their "shark" bikes in N.A., Cannondale has cataloged their Hooligans for the US market in 2010. I wonder if any dealers will inventory one?
Ah ha! Hooligan!
If that`s not a remake of an `09, they`re already out in the world. The derailer model looks just like what I saw at the LBS about three weeks ago. I`m glad I happened onto your link because I searched C-dale`s website for it and didn`t find anything (don`t think I looked for 2010s) and since it wasn`t at my regular LBS, it might have been a while before I got back there.
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Old 11-07-09, 07:42 AM
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Raleigh Japan's RWS Carlton:



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Old 11-07-09, 02:14 PM
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I like it! I've had to get "apehanger" bars for my Schwinn Qualifier because there is no stem tall enough to get the bars up where needed. I need at least 22 inches and the stem riser goes up 6" and the threadless stem goes up 3" and the Wald bar has has a 13" rise. Its hard to fit a 48cm frame even when you're 5'7"!
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Old 11-07-09, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
Ah ha! Hooligan!
If that`s not a remake of an `09, they`re already out in the world. The derailer model looks just like what I saw at the LBS about three weeks ago. I`m glad I happened onto your link because I searched C-dale`s website for it and didn`t find anything (don`t think I looked for 2010s) and since it wasn`t at my regular LBS, it might have been a while before I got back there.
There's one at Tread on Dyckman. I don't get it. Looks like a folding bike that doesn't fold.
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Old 11-07-09, 04:24 PM
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Mini velos are rigid bikes with small wheels. They are NOT folding bikes! Such bikes are a different kind of animal!
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Old 11-07-09, 06:32 PM
  #44  
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@ noteon - if you'd read all the posts in this thread you'd see there is some discussion on the definition of the mini-velo and their relationship to folding bikes. Perhaps this will help you 'get it'
This pic of a Dahon Hammerhead might explain - many 'go flat' for minimal corridor occupation - great for shared stairwells in urban centres.

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Old 11-07-09, 08:43 PM
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Saw this one in Independent Fabrications' booth at the 2008 NAHBS:

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Old 11-07-09, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LittlePixel
@ noteon - if you'd read all the posts in this thread you'd see there is some discussion on the definition of the mini-velo and their relationship to folding bikes. Perhaps this will help you 'get it'
This pic of a Dahon Hammerhead might explain - many 'go flat' for minimal corridor occupation - great for shared stairwells in urban centres.
Nope, doesn't help, but I don't claim that's anyone's fault but mine.

I'm a Xootr Swift owner in Manhattan. I don't see the advantage of a bike with the same general form factor and rigidity as mine that removes the possibility of a fold--and costs more.

But there's plenty of stuff I don't get. No disrespect intended!
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Old 11-07-09, 10:05 PM
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Its still small enough to be stored in a closet or tossed into a car trunk. Its not possible with standard sized wheels. The very diminutiveness of the mini velo is part of its appeal. And 20" wheels can be very fast over the ground.
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Old 11-07-09, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by noteon
I'm a Xootr Swift owner in Manhattan. I don't see the advantage of a bike with the same general form factor and rigidity as mine that removes the possibility of a fold--and costs more.
This argument sums up precisely why Mini-velos haven't taken off in the US, IMHO.

And I don't know if it ever will. Unless some movie starlet gets photo'd riding one in a mini-skirt and it suddenly becomes chic and iconic .
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Old 11-07-09, 10:43 PM
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My understanding is that some do fold. It looks like the later (`08 and up?) Smooth Hounds and Hammerheads do. And yeah, as I see it, they`re mostly just a style thing without a whole lot of advantage over a full sized bike, but this is one of the few cases where I happen to like what appears to be an upcomming fasion. It sure would be cool if more mfgs jumped on the bandwagon with takedown minis, (ala Moulton Stowaway). They look a lot more roadworthy than B.F., which I think is the most common current choice for packable road bikes.
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Old 11-08-09, 01:34 AM
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In the past my choice of non folding R20s has been questioned on this forum, as in, "What's the point?"
I tried to explain that I don't need a folder, but I still enjoy and understand the benefits of SWBs over full sized bikes. IMHO folders, non folders, mini velos and their kind get enough grief from the rest of the cycling community without picking fault with each other.

Perhaps some here think I should be banished to a dark, dank corner in the deep recesses of BF that caters for odd bikes?.....Oh yeah, that would be Alt Culture bike subforum.
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