Very cool commuter bicycle featured on EcoVelo.
“Mini velos are otherwise full-sized bicycles with 20″ wheels and road-ish components and ergonomics. They look a bit like folders, but they don’t fold. They’re light and responsive with a ride that falls somewhere between a “normal” bike and a folder (think Moulton or Bike Friday, but without the linkage).
Measured outside to outside, a mini velo is approximately 12″-15″ shorter than a standard bike. They’re great for situations where a standard bike is too big but a full-on folding bike is not required. That’s an admittedly narrow niche, but nonetheless, over the past few years they’ve become quite popular in Japan and they’re gaining in popularity in other parts of Asia and Europe. Whether they’ll catch on here in the U.S. is yet to be seen.
The Soma Mini-Velo pictured here was introduced earlier this year. It fits the mold of other mini velos with 20″ (406mm) wheels, a near-normal riding positon, road/touring components, and no fold. Like other Soma frames, the Mini-Velo is constructed of Tange chromoly. The components are a mix of Shimano Tiagra, Sugino, IRD, and others, cherry-picked from Soma’s product line…”
Read more and check out their website here.