Mini Velo Gios: It’s mine!

So a few people have asked what exactly is my souvenir bike from Japan, and here it is: a Gios Feluca mini velo. Mini velo can be any bike with small wheels (and they are frequently folding bikes), but the market in Japan has taken the small wheel platform and added a twist. Some mini velo have taken on the style, components, and sometimes the capabilities of 700C road bikes. Well-known North American and European brands have jumped onto the trend but only offer their mini velo to the Asian markets (Japan, Taiwan, South Korea).

Gios test ride.jpg

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p> This picture was the end of my test ride. I bought the bike from Loro in central Tokyo.

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Though I would appear to be addicted to celeste bikes, I decided that I liked the sportiness of the Gios mini velo more than the retro style of the Bianchi models. The top of the line mini from Gios is the Panto, which comes equipped with Tiagra and a carbon fork. Unfortunately, no one in Tokyo had a 48cm Panto, so I got the last Feluca in that size. And the bike is pink.

Gios vs Bianchi.jpg

The Feluca has a steel fork and Sora components. I’ll learn to live with the weight of the steel fork, but I cannot abide the Sora components. History has shown I will upgrade components with little justification, and I’m currently working an angle to acquire SRAM Rival.

Is the bike small as it looks? Oh, yeah…. but remember I ride a 48-49cm anyways. As an Asian market item, Gios mini velo only come in a 48 and 51, and Bianchi just added a third size, 55cm. The top tube is about the same as my 700C Bianchi EL/OS, but the Feluca seat tube is 70deg vs 74.5 of the EL/OS (typical for a 700C 49cm). However I can still duplicate my position on the Gios, more or less.

The oddest thing about the bike, beyond the 20x1-1/8” rims, is the funky front derailleur adapter. Anyone want to guess why it’s there? Hint: it’s related to the 20” wheels.

Masi’s Tim Jackson probably knows, since Masi is also introducing a mini in 2009 for Japan.

front derailleur adapter.jpg

Keep checking back for performance reviews and component upgrade projects.



17 Comments

Nice bike - they always remind me a little of Moultons, probably the sporty look and small wheels…

I’m pretty sure my local Edinburgh Bike Co-Op (an independent chain of bike shops in the UK) sells Giant’s mini-velo, although it’s not listed on the chain’s website.

Is it because the BB is higher than the rear dropouts, changing the engagement angle/point of the chain and chainring further back and lower. ?????

I had the chance to ride one of these cannondale mini velos in copenhagen,  http://gb.cannondale.com/bikes/08/ce/model-8HL1.html

 

Here’s [a video of Mark getting the bike](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuPSACWOyn8).

really want to see this bike show up in a Shriner parade, with the rider wearing a fez.

I used to own a fez!

Actually, I’m waiting for the photo op of Tai Lee (tall) on his Merckx and me (mini) on the Gios. It’ll be hysterical.

@booka

Bingo!  The Gios adapter has the straight ahead ingenuity of a prototype…. like after the frames were already in production someone realized that the chain dragged on the bottom of the derailleur cage, so the frame factory whipped up a solution made from frame tubes and a typical front derailleur braze-on.  What confuses me is why no one took the next step and knocked out a CAD drawing for these things to be machined out of aluminium. The adapter is made of 6 different pieces and then chromed…there’s no way it could be cheaper to mass produce than an aluminium clamp adapter.

NICE…I don’t remember you telling me it was going to be pink.  At the risk of making fun of your height more than I already do, that bike actually looks really proportional on you! I’ll bet those wheels wind up real quick.

You’re on…I’ll bring in the Molteni Merckx sometime.  Wanna get matching Dr. Evil/Mini Lee outfits?  That would be sweet…or we could revel in our Asian heritage and go get our pictures taken in front of the Pike Place Starbucks with some Japanese tourists.

Tai

Sweet! Are you going to fit some kind of huge TT ring to make up for the 20” wheels?

@Jimmy

I was thinking about getting an FSA tt ring. But I’ve been spending money like crazy on my Bianchi dropbar mtb, so this bike’s on the back burner for the moment.  So far I’ve got tires lined up and an older DA crank/bb as upgrades.  I’m still hoping to score some SRAM. 

I think it would be outrageous to sneak this bike into a road race and just ride to finish. Initial riding doesn’t make me think I want this bike for a crit, but maybe that impression will change a little with new tires.

The rims and hubs suck, but I just finished rebuilding or replacing all my 700C, so I’m not eager to start more wheel projects.

I’ll keep posting as the project develops.

Nice.  My mini velo is coming from Korea sometime this week.  Wife has one, too.  They’re just Lespos, cheap stuff, but I like them. 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/xnine/2681037621/in/set-72157594311156833/

We shipped all our stuff over when we moved.

Are there any single speed mini velos in Japan?  Something that looks like your Gios.  If so, do you know the manufacturers? I am going to try to import a bike.

I WANT ONE ! Alas I am 6’3” and ride a 63 cm. I am thinking of getting one anyway and jacking up the saddle with a 300 seat pin and the bars with some kine X stem. Think I have a hope of it fitting ? I too lust for celeste so am thinking a Bianchi. Going up to Kamakura / Yokohama / Kawasaki this weekend to hit some bike shops. May not be able to resist. Y’s bike in Yoko has one 80000 Y and think I will give it a try. See how much air I got between my boys and the top tube.

EVERYONE wants                       T R Caspell
mr. Toads wild ride.                          Todd Royall Caspell  
Tord, Todo and sundry

HE HAD SUCH POTENTIAL


        (expressed opinions not necessarily of
                          my brain)

 

Saint Eddy ride for us.

  RIDE LOTS _ Eddy                          

 

 

Loro Slowspot is not too far from Tokyo Station, and they had a decent selection of Gios mini velo.  But at your height, you might want to hunt for a Bianchi mini velo since they now come in a 53cm in addition to the seemingly standardized mini sizes of 48 and 51.  Of course, the Bianchi has a strong retro style compared to the Gios, so keep that in mind.  Good luck and have fun, and if you flickr yourself atop a mini velo, send us the link!

Tyrell’s FD clamp is wonderful for GIOS: FD Clamp

ALMOST have myself talked into getting B MV.
Y’s in Yoko seems a very PRO shop and they have Bianchi. In 53 cm. This is only 10 cm smaller than my normal ride. But then you have the small wheels. SO dono. If no fittie some short friend O mine is going to be very happy.
Y’s bikes is right of the station in Yokohama and I can ride it back to Yokosuka from there.
Since I am thinking of getting S&S couplers put on I can hack the frame in 2 to pack it back stateside. In fact I could ditch the wheels and most of the parts in Japan since I will likely do that anyway and build it back up with whatever CAMPY I have kicking around the shed. S&H on justa frame I think would be OK.

Just finished upgrading my GIOS Mignon with SRAM Rival Group Set + Bontrager over-size-stem & bullhorn handlebar. See link for photo.

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=52781&id=1276896951&l=52dc616130

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