Bianchi Mini Velo: I still want one!

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I’ve had a Bianchi fetish forever. Bianchi makes all manner of bikes internationally, but some bikes are limited to a single market. The Bianchi Milano used to be a US-only model, but now several other countries offer something similar. However, the Bianchi Mini Velo is only available in Japan. I’ve wanted one for years. Maybe next spring I’ll have to make another Japan trip but this time come back with a really nice momento.

Last year I wrote from Japan about the “mini velo” genre of bike in Japan. Bianchi’s looks like a retro racer with ridiculously small wheels.

I’ve wanted one for years before I had ever been to Japan. God, these things are so cool. I’ll buy the cheaper 8sp model, strip the parts, and build it up again with Suntour Superbe Pro. It’ll be so hot.



9 Comments

Bianchi isn’t alone with these bikes either, as I’m sure you saw; Louis Garneau, Raleigh and a few others come to mind right away.

We’re working on one right now too, for our Japanese distributor- at least initially only for their market. But… I have a feeling they would actually do well here in the US as well. There is something wildly entertaining about riding one of the bikes. “FUN” is a word that comes to mind…

With my 6’5” height, I think a bike like this sized for me would start to take on tallbike proportions. Somehow that would make it even more amusing to ride.

If it had couplings, or a hinge, it’d fit into a suitcase! I’m all for folding bikes.

cafn8:
the things about these mini velo road bikes is that they generally come in just two sizes: 48 and 53.  Keep in mind that this is the Japanese domestic market, so there demographic is shorter.

not as short as say, the Phillipines…my people are small.

Tim:
you need to set me up with a Masi mini in Osaka, and I’ll hopscotch it on the JR from town to town to Sapporo during sakura season next year.  I’ll video blog it for you, you use that for a 2009 Interbike debut.  Another word comes to mind: “GENIUS” !!!!

Hi Mark:

What would a bike like the one shown cost in USD?

Isn’t there anyone who would bring a few in?

What’s approximate shipping cost ?

thanks,
eric

eric:

At current exchange rate, the 9sp and 8sp versions go for about $750 and $560 respectively.  The 9sp gets Tiagra derailleurs and a Brooks saddle.

I don’t know what would have to happen to get one of those over here, but UPS wants about $400 to ship something that size from Japan.  If it could be done to ship some via freight, then it would be okay probably.

Honestly, I wish Bianchi USA would bring in some Mini Velo bikes.  Seems a lot more fun and actually rideable than the plethora of “chopper” cruisers that are sold in the states. Maybe we could start a petition.

Link this to your friends and ask them to post a comment here expressing their interest.  I’ll make sure Bianchi USA knows.

Seattle Bike Supply must bring in lots of stuff from Japan, no? Couldn’t they bring them in with a shipment of other stuff?

Thanks,
ERic

I just came across the Dahon Smooth Hound and it looks strikingly similar to the the Bianchi Mini Velo.  Check out the link and lemme know whatchall think. Thanks and keep up the great work Bikehugger!

http://www.dahon.com/intl/smoothhound.htm

Hi Mark,

I know this is a long shot, but I came across this blog post of yours and I would love to sell you the Bianchi Lepre mini velo we have for sale here:  http://sellwoodcycle.com/?s=mini+velo  .

If you are interested, please email me at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Thanks!

Brad

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