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The Mini-Velo Reference Thread: discussion about 20" wheeled road bikes

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The Mini-Velo Reference Thread: discussion about 20" wheeled road bikes

Old 01-09-16, 02:40 PM
  #101  
chaadster
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Since this thread has been revived, I'll take the opportunity to post a more up-to-date photo!

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Old 01-10-16, 11:20 AM
  #102  
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Originally Posted by 7up View Post
Here's my MiniVelo
I see you are in NYC, is that one of those mini velos from Tokyo Bike on Bowery? How do you like it?
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Old 01-10-16, 04:39 PM
  #103  
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@ Chaadster....Love the look of your bike.I like those drop bars.I also see you did an upgrade or three.

@ Thugpipe......Yes it's TokyoBike on Bowery street.I have to say it's everything they describe about MiniVelos being agile.The staff was nice and informative.My bike came with a single chainring setup but I'm thinking of upgrading to double in the future.Im not sure about the Groupset I'll have to check it.Im not home at the moment.
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Old 01-10-16, 04:55 PM
  #104  
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Thanks, @7up, and yeah, the Nano was really a POS right-out-the-box, which was pretty shocking to me, as I'd not only never bought a BikesDirect bike before, but I'd never had a bike of such low quality. I had to overhaul everything to make it acceptably rideable, and felt I needed to replace a bunch of stuff to make it look acceptable, so I just sort of slid down the rabbit hole! My interest was in "mini-velos" generally, and the get-in price of $300 made this one easy to check out, but I wound up sinking that much again into it, so... I guess it's not as though I'd have gotten anything I wanted more for that much, so I'm fine with the investment, and enjoy having a freaky little machine! I do want to replace the bars, though, to a set with a little less drop and reach. A little flare in the drops would be cool, too, but the stem is 25.4, so options are limited, and since I only ride it occasionally, it's low on the priority list.
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Old 01-10-16, 05:05 PM
  #105  
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The wheel to chainring ratio.
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Old 01-10-16, 08:04 PM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by PepeM View Post
The wheel to chainring ratio.
I couldn't afford to get a Capreo hub with the 9t cog, so I got a 60t chainring, which almost gets me where I want to go!
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Old 01-10-16, 08:32 PM
  #107  
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Originally Posted by thugpipe View Post
I see you are in NYC, is that one of those mini velos from Tokyo Bike on Bowery? How do you like it?
Yup, TokyoBikeNYC - they have a full cro-mo mini velo in two sizes: 45 cm and 55 cm and three colorways: ivory, brick and mint. Price is $815.00:

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Old 01-11-16, 06:54 PM
  #108  
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Here's another of my Steed.Excuse the background but I didn't want to show my kitchen cabinets.This is not the "This Old House" lol
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Old 02-27-16, 10:54 PM
  #109  
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The BD Mercier Mini Velo is back in stock again for 2016, in 48 and 53 cm:



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

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Old 02-28-16, 08:46 PM
  #110  
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I love my Moulton.

All the grumps can suck it.
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Old 02-28-16, 11:43 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
I love my Moulton.

All the grumps can suck it.
I'll be impressed when Alex learns how to make a bike appropriately scaled for 20th century humans, and I will overlook the fact we are actually in the 21st. Poor devil...
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Old 03-08-16, 02:29 AM
  #112  
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post
I too will take the opportunity for this zombie thread to post an image of my on-going project, a Dahon Dash Altena 451 road mini-velo. It folds too!
hey! is it possible to buy Altena frameset only?
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Old 03-08-16, 05:41 AM
  #113  
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lucky you)
here's no shops who can sell frameset only)
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Old 04-28-16, 03:20 PM
  #114  
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Very nice bikes everyone. It all started with the Mercier MiniVelo from bike direct.They were out of stock and I started doing a lot of searching on line And came across a Bianchi MiniVelo in Celeste green but could not get it imported to the states.
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Old 04-28-16, 06:21 PM
  #115  
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Now BD has them in stock again... hurry up and order yours before they run out!
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Old 09-02-16, 07:58 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by Abu Mahendra View Post




That turned out nicely! Looks like there is amazingly little saddle-to-bar reach, but hey, if it works, enjoy it! The aero rims are sharp, and the lacing pattern unusual.
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Old 09-02-16, 03:39 PM
  #117  
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@abumahendra, you have a tasteful aesthetic.
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Old 09-06-16, 09:04 AM
  #118  
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Just came across this thread. Never knew mini velos existed
Since I travel to Japan (Okinawa, more specifically) every few years to see my in-laws, I could use a bike like this. Tight roads, long climbs.
I was planning on fixing up an older steel '85 peugeot 27". But, that would probably require just as much money as a new Nano. And even then, the salty air of Okinawa would rust the steel frame away if not maintained properly.
So, a new aluminum framed bike, a few good components, a Nano would seem like a fun, safe bet.
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Old 09-06-16, 09:09 AM
  #119  
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Originally Posted by friday1970 View Post
Just came across this thread. Never knew mini velos existed
Since I travel to Japan (Okinawa, more specifically) every few years to see my in-laws, I could use a bike like this. Tight roads, long climbs.
I was planning on fixing up an older steel '85 peugeot 27". But, that would probably require just as much money as a new Nano. And even then, the salty air of Okinawa would rust the steel frame away if not maintained properly.
So, a new aluminum framed bike, a few good components, a Nano would seem like a fun, safe bet.
Just to be clear, Nano is the model name of a Mercier make minivelo, and it is steel framed.
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Old 09-06-16, 10:58 AM
  #120  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Just to be clear, Nano is the model name of a Mercier make minivelo, and it is steel framed.
Thanks, that explains why it is heavy out of the box. I can still live with it being steel though.
Now that I took a closer look, not too thrilled with tube mounted shifters, though I did stop using mine two years ago when I finally stopped riding a different model Peugeot. I could live with that too.
Any bike is better than being stuck at my in-law's house in Okinawa. They live perfectly in the middle of nowhere and a walk to anything interesting is at least 2 miles away.
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Old 03-15-18, 09:00 AM
  #121  
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My Biria Minivelo

Here is mine.

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Old 08-28-18, 02:24 PM
  #122  
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The Nano seems to have such short top tubes: 52.6 cm of ETT for the 53 frame. Like a track geometry.

And the seat tube of 70 deg is very slack. Like a cruiser. Wierd!

Also, can somebody comment on the comfort factor of 20" minivelo? Is it as comfortable as big wheels...like compare to 700Cx32?


Originally Posted by NormanF View Post
The BD Mercier Mini Velo is back in stock again for 2016, in 48 and 53 cm:


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Old 09-17-18, 03:40 PM
  #123  
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I just got my Sundeal V2 last week and put it together and rode it over the weekend. Considering that it was under $250, shipped, it's such a great value. I think between the Nexus 7 Hub/Shifter, the Tektro Levers/Calipers, and Kenda tires, that's just about $250 retail, right there.

I'd say the gearing is too low if you ever want to get some place in a serious hurry on it. But for just generally puttering around, it's nice.
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Old 04-03-19, 12:43 AM
  #124  
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* * * L o n g P o s t * * *

Originally Posted by jhoneil View Post
Biria Mini-20 .. My Biria Minivelo .. Here is mine.
That's pretty close to what I'd want in a minivelo!

My minivelo was my first fixed-gear bike; was marketed as flip-flop for use as either singlespeed or as fixed gear. I tend to use it in the spring, when my legs and knees aren't as toned as during the riding season. Also on low traction days when there's a chance of black ice. Urban environment.

Since I never dialed in the handlebars to my satisfaction, it's difficult to say how the bike would feel, more properly setup. Just never really made it to the top of the list, of things to get done to my bikes, to finish the changeouts (I don't really know what would work, for sure). It's good enough for what I do with it.

One of the reasons I like taking it is that I expect it'd be unattractive to a bicycle thief, so I tend to lower my guard and standards with regard to loss during a grocery run (backpacking groceries home, on the minivelo). Used to run a rear rack and liked that better (but I ran out of racks and other bikes need the one I had on this one, just as much).

For some reason, nobody in this town has ever used the word 'clown' in reference to it, and in fact most people seem to envy it a bit and call out 'cool bike'. Of course, that was with the double ram horns setup, up front (flat bars, and two sets of bar ends bolted one to the other, to get up to stingray bike handlebars height -- I ride it bolt upright, pretty much).

Weighs about nineteen pounds. The top tube is way (way) higher on the frame than any folder would have, which (all by itself) is a selling point for me.

I hang the minivelo by the right pedal, hooked over the top edge of a New Jersey (concrete) barrier, when locking it up (to that barrier). They're common here, to protect propane racks outside of grocery/convenience stores.

Since the minivelo is so small, this isn't as difficult to achieve as it would be on a full-sized diamond frame bicycle.

Never was tempted to try it on a DF since I can generally reach the chain-up point *without* lifting the bicycle up in the air -- on the minivelo it's sort of non-optional, just as it is on a folding bicycle -- would have to carry a *lot* more 10mm Abus chain length, and that stuff weighs a lot.

So the minivelo gets hung by its pedal, until it's chained to the NJ barrier .. then I release it and let it hang from the chain. Haha. This practice took a while to get used to, and only if I'm in a hurry (a big hurry) and .. am chaining it up at a friendly kind of retail store .. do I leave it hanging by that pedal (and chain) and walk away from it, when it's like that. I don't really want to do interviews on that one (people are always interviewing me about my bicycling practices).

I would like very much to have a nicely built version of what I have, with all the right components and geometry adjustments. I would put money into it. Just don't know how to get started on the process (the bikes I admire seem to come and go before I hear about them). Also I don't currently spend a lot on bicycle stuff, like I used to, as I now have what I need and (basically) want.

I would say that right now, overall, people should have gotten a Xootr Swift (or the steel ones built in the Pacific Northwest, if that is still a going concern) and be done with it. From that point (forward) decide what they really want, after riding a Swift for a while (I have both, plus a Dahon Speed P8, for comparison).

Only the Swift gives me full confidence, has the gears I want/need, and rides closest to a 'full' DF road bike. Dahon's reach is wrong for me, and I don't trust the 'pushout' on the chain line (plastic doodad) so I don't put a lot of miles on it. The minivelo is fixed gear, so it has limited use for my needs (singlespeed would possibly change that a little, but not as much as having the 7 speed Xootr Swift transmission available).

I've actually taken the Swift on a very long ride; wouldn't think of doing so (again) on the Dahon (since I didn't have the Swift at the time I acquired the Dahon .. my first 20" (406) bike (with Schwalbe Big Apples, from day one)).

The Dahon folding mechanism freaks me out when I think about it; I got used to it but I bought the Swift to regain confidence in a 'folding' geometry. The Swift I will ride on the most casual of pre-ride inspection (Dahon takes inspection of seven .. count them .. seven .. quick release handles).

The minivelo takes no inspection; everything is bolted into place and there's no fold to fail.

I think that the current marketing tools ask the public to think of a minivelo as a tall BMX, as (most) videos show pretty much the same suite of bicycle stunts performed. In addition, the minivelo form factor seems to lend itself to the 'waking up long flights of stairs' (portage) mode of 'mixed' transportation (pedestrianism/bicycling).

Whereas a folder does not appeal for that (at all) in the same capacity -- the top tube on a folder is all wrong for upstairs portage. That's a serious difference between the two (the usual high-quality videos are shot at famous urban architectural staircase locations, and similar places, when such a 'portage' shot is videographed).

I think you can get a higher cadence going, earlier in the season, on a minivelo (especially a fixed-gear minivelo setup) than would be likely on a 700c bike. I have a fixed gear 700c bike, and won't touch it until weather conditions are ice-free (New England, USA) and my legs and knees have seen several weeks of post-winter redevelopment.

Last edited by mue; 04-03-19 at 01:05 AM.
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Old 04-05-19, 08:54 PM
  #125  
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My son's custom 20" Plante Cycles. Technically not a mini-velo, but a 20" wheeled road bike.

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