Just ordered a Mercier Nano Mini Velo- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Smile Just ordered a Mercier Nano Mini Velo

    Well, after contemplating on a noncommittal, drag around bike, it was a toss-up between a fixie and a mini velo. Given that the mini velo has 1) gears and 2) transportability, I figured it would be a nice bike to scoot around on.

    My problem is that I custom build my bikes and they end up just passing the threshold of "lock-up-outside-the-grocery-store-without-feeling-nervous". I have a single speed that I can do that with, but having gears is also nice.

    I know these are popular in Asia due to their compact size... and let's be honest: Asians love "cute" things!

    I read most prominent reviews on the web and most are happy with their purchase. I'll follow up with some initial impressions after the first few rides.

    Does anybody here have one and what do you think (if you do)?


  2. #2
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    I imagine if I was in an environment with distances just too far to walk but too short to drive and bike storage was a problem...dunno.

  3. #3
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    I have my eye on one of those or a folder depending on where I move to in 6 months. May be riding the train and then a 4 mile bike into work. Be interested to see what you think of it. There is a pretty active thread about these bikes over on Bike Forums (in the Folding Bike area).

    They all say you need to take it apart upon getting it and grease up everything as it's assembled pretty dry.
    Last edited by Gary in VA; 09-06-2011 at 11:00 AM.

  4. #4
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    I really can`t see how they`d be all that much easier to store or transport than a 26 or larger wheel.

    But I`d still like one, "just because" .
    Hope you like it.

  5. #5
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    They are 12-15 inches shorter in length than a regular road bike. I know that would make a difference in storage in my apartment. Soma has a really cool one with higher end components.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    I really can`t see how they`d be all that much easier to store or transport than a 26 or larger wheel.

    But I`d still like one, "just because" .
    Hope you like it.
    You know, I really don't have the "need" for a storage bike because I have a large truck, don't have a commute (because the wife and I run our business out of our home) and I live in a house. So I got it more for "just because". But then I started realizing how cool and nice the small size will be for many reasons, and how cool it would be for running around. I hear you don't lose much in terms of speed, so I'm stoked and ready to get mine.

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary in VA View Post
    They are 12-15 inches shorter in length than a regular road bike.
    If you mean just because of the wheel diameter, remember that you only drop half the difference in diameter for each wheel (since the other half of the diameter is "inside" the wheelbase"), so that should only put it at about 6 inches shorter. Or do they have extra short wheelbases also? I guess they could have seriously short chainstays.

    Have either of you ridden a small wheeled bike yet, any chance? I`ve test ridden a few folders (16 and 20) and haven`t found one yet that was quite what I wanted, but I do believe the mini or folder with my name on it is out there someplace. I just hope I don`t meet up with it until my bank account is in better shape.

  8. #8
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    I had one of the guys on Bike Forums measure their Nano and they said the LG size bike measures 56 inches in overall length. My 53cm Schwinn is 68" overall in length.

  9. #9
    weirdo
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    Wow, I guess you were right. I wonder if they shorten the front center, or take it all from the chainstays.

  10. #10
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    I had taken the "12 to 15 inches" phrase from the Soma website when they first announced their 20" wheeled roadbike. I thought about what you said and then asked the guys who own one to measure just to make sure.

  11. #11
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  12. #12
    weirdo
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    All right! Sounds great, Dion!
    Funny that the 52t ring looks big to you. Most 406 wheeled Dahons use 44/55, and the Rans Rocket (I`m a part time recumbent weirdo) used a 63t big ring on its triple for a few years. What tires did you order and what are they replacing? It looks like you turned really nice stats compared to your pacer- wonder why it felt slower? I would have expected it to FEEL faster than the big wheeler for similar speeds. Good news that you didn`t crap yourself at 46MPH . I`ll take that as a good sign of its road worthiness!

    EDIT: BTW, what do you mean by "heavy"? Do you think it`s over 30#?

  13. #13
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    I weighed it in at 26.72 lbs.

    For a "compact" bike, I would expect better... but in the end I realized it was the parts that made it that combined with the thick tubing, steel frame and fork. I think the biggest weight upgrade will be tires. You can probably save a lb. just by swapping tires out and it's even more of an advantage since that's also rotational mass.

    The biggest problem behind the "slow" feeling was the gear ratios on the stock cassette. It basically jumped up two teeth every cog. My new cassette is geared a little better: tight in smaller section and a little more range in the bigger section. Ultimately a 10sp would be ideal.

    It's a cool bike, but seriously - one can basically completely swap out every part on this thing. I'm going to try and stay away from doing that (yeah right).

  14. #14
    weirdo
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    A portly 26.72
    You get no sympathy from me! So, the 11-32 will give you smaller gaps than the 12-26? Are you going from 8 to 9 or something?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    A portly 26.72
    You get no sympathy from me! So, the 11-32 will give you smaller gaps than the 12-26? Are you going from 8 to 9 or something?
    On the upper range, the gap gets bigger, but on the lower end it's much improved. The first three gears are 11 > 12 > 13, which is much better than 11 > 13 > 15, for me personally.
    Last edited by Dion; 09-15-2011 at 05:05 PM.

  16. #16
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    Respect Cycles offers a single speed mini velo. I have seen it set up as a mini track bike. Fixed gear was the coolest because it looks so sleek.
    Just ordered a Mercier Nano Mini Velo-allwhitetrack.jpg
    Last edited by mnc1187; 06-07-2013 at 04:16 PM. Reason: add photo

  17. #17
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    The mini-velo is popular in Japan because of space - a regular size bike is difficult to fit in a small apartment. A mini-velo can fit anywhere and its just as versatile as a folder bike!

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