This is a”mini velo” type bike I saw in the Roppongi neighborhood of Tokyo. In Japan, Mini velo bikes include anything with small wheels, including Moultons, Bike Fridays, and a whole host of Japan only bikes, but not exclusively folding bikes.
Just a few more days till my homeboy and me jump a bullet train for Kyoto and attempt to ride back through the mountains of central Japan. Currently enjoying not working in a bike shop.
So my group was walking the streets of Tokyo after finding the Tsukumo Cycle Sports bike shop, home of Kalavinka Cycles. Kalavinka bikes are known as top notch keirin bikes.
Anyways, we were walking along when I saw a Bianchi Mini Velo 9. The Japanese have this thing for bikes with really tiny wheels, but there is a subgenre of bikes that look like regular road racing bikes but have 20-inch wheels.
Here’s an example I found. It’s an aluminium frame about 52-54cm size, with downtube shifters. Looks like fun, but I’ve never ridden one.
Though I could have easily ridden this one. Check out how the only thing keeping this bike from being lifted is the feeble lock around THE BRAKE HOUSING. Bike theft isn’t the problem it is in other countries, apparently
Wanna get a bike shop mechanic to do a spit take, say, “hey the new Trek Madone has got precision fit socket technology!” Some may just spit their coffee right out their nose, laugh uproariously, shake their head, or remind you of that year the Madones used Klein’s bottom cup design on their forks and how that didn’t work.
Same thing when talking to a guy like Bill Davidson who can prove he’s seen it all before in the industry, by showing me a 1985 Magic Motorcycle external bearing bottom bracket design – referred to here in an FSA article from 2004. “But hey, you can just press those sockets in by hand, according to Zinn! “Righto!” according to the mechanics.
All for technology here at the bike hugger, we’re also skeptical of precision anything when it comes to headsets and bottom brackets. Well, at least the old-school mechanics we know are. Whom btw, also didn’t trust Mavic’s Heliums or the Krysiums, which revolutionized the built-wheel market.
A topic for another day is square v. compact frame design. As I said to our friends at Novara yesterday, “taking a 1/2 pound off a square bike would’ve been an even more impressive achievement.”
More on the new Madone
- Cyclingnews just published an extensive review and photos
- Zinn reviews Trek’s technology, including the “very unique 90mm bottom bracket shell” that has no cups or machining.
- Our post
- The bikes are showing up in dealerships right now
- The damn derailleur hanger still isn’t replaceable!
- We’re working on getting a bike to review