When Cameron Falconer posted what looked like a miniature bike on his Instagram a few weeks ago, I don’t think I had ever seen so many people so intrigued by a Mini Velo in my life. It was kind of like that time when Ultra Romance decided to let the world know how cool Recumbents actually were. While I’m still not entirely sold on Recumbents, the Mini Velo has been on my list of super cool bikes that I’d love to own for a while now.
Do you all know what a Mini Velo is? It’s not just a miniature bike, with miniature wheels. It is a bike that fits a large range of cyclists using very few frame sizes, it usually has 20in wheels, a short wheelbase, and a rigid non-folding frame. And do you all know why this bike came into existence? As our cities become more and denser and real estate becomes more and more expensive, people wanted a small compact bike that could fit anywhere and everywhere, but still ride very much like a full-size bike. People wanted something that was compact, able to be brought inside and stored easily, without the proprietary parts and complexity of many folding bike frames.
Fast forward many years later and we’re in the Mini Velo BOOM! By BOOM, I mean people in Japan and Southeast Asia love them. No one else in the rest of the world even knows what they are. So I’m happy to bring you one of the most fascinating ones I have ever seen, made custom for one of the most fascinating persons I have ever met.
This bike was made custom for our friend Isao from Japan, who’s using it on his second Baja bike touring trip, this time with Radavist friend and partner Kyle from Outer Shell bags. It utilizes a 20in wheel with 2.8in wide tires for tackling all the long stretches of deep sand that Kyle will be walking. The Rohloff hub will get him and his gear up just about anything, but you gotta make sure that front end is weighted down because this bike is a wheelie machine! Isao used lots of Paul Components and White Industries for the build and he also loves to chill, so a Hunter Cycles Smooth Move bar was a must.
I really hope you all think this bike is as interesting as I do because Isao could care less what others think! And don’t try following along with him on Instagram, because he won’t allow it if he hasn’t met you in person. If you all wanna see how this Falconer Baja Bug Mini Velo is doing down there, I’d say just give Kyle from Outer Shell a follow.