Sunday, July 1, 2012

Japan Mini Velo Trend for 2011

Japan is famous for fashion trend setting, for few years now there are a specific Japanese bicycle niche, the so called "mini velo"
Usually they are diamond frames designed and equipped with 20" wheels, featuring drop bars or flat bars or even mtb models getting trendy recently.

Mini-velo are not foldable bikes, if so then it is called "folding bike".
The word "Velo" is french for bicycle, so rather than calling it a Mini bike, japanese have branded it "mini Velo", a good sense of history, culture and chic wording.

If you want to sell bicycle to Japan, whatever the brand, it must includes "Mini Velo" in your catalog.
Most mini velo in Japan are the product designed by the local distributors and wholesalers, which explain why the bikes are not on another market catalogs.

Most of the bikes are small size frames, rarely bigger than 51cm.
However, I think there are some good opportunities for playing with mini velo design.
Carbon frames would be nice visually.

Here a quick look at the Mini Velo currently sold in Japan:

Bianchi, Made in China and Taiwan bikes, cromoly frames.
Drop bar, Brooks saddles, shimano gearing.
Flat bar, sora gears, spring saddle

Bruno is very popular, you can see the bikes every where in japan cities.

Fuji, also have colorful drop bar mini velo which features lugged forks and cromoly frames

The bike retails for about 69,000 yen in Japan

9 speed Shimano Sora, 20" wheels, drop bar, looks like a real bike but in mini version.

Gios, playing with Cromoly 4130 Taiwan made frames, Gios coloring, these are a getting pricey.
This model retail for 138,600 Japan Yen.
This model is Retailing at 76,440 yen in Japan in 2011

Kuwahara, the company that is famous for having being featured in the movie E.T. (the bmx that flies front of the moon).
Well the bike is an Allien machine, it is a MTB mini velo, retailing at 268,800 yen.

Louis Garneau, the japan company that use "Lous Garneau" name to sell bicycles, sells also 4 models of mini velo. All are built with Aluminium frames.
Road model equipped with Shimano 105 gropu retails at 144,900 yen.
The full suspension MTB mini velo retail at 120,750 yen.

Seraph is a brand from a japanese wholesaler, they sale cromoly lugged frame and fork mini velo.

Frame/fork retail for 60,900 yen.

Sugimura, makes some reasonable priced mini velo
Road model retail at about 63,924 yen
The MTB mini velo retail at 66,780 yen.

Don't forget to check the Masi ones that I already featured few weeks ago here:
Masi Speciale Mini Velo
Masi Speciale Mini Velo Fixed Japan Edition

You might also like following stuff:
Crane Suzu Lever Strike Bicycle Bell

Knog Beetle 2-LED Bicycle Light

The Practical Cyclist: Bicycling for Real People

Brooks Team Pro Alpe d'Huez Saddle

Brooks Leather Bar Tape

Enjoy! Folding Mini-Velo Magazine

Mini Velo Bible Japan

girls bicycle Japan



  1. Hi,

    do you sell the above mini velos?

    1. I don't sell anything.
      But if you need help to get one of these I may help you.

    2. Hello, I came upon your blog in my search for Tyrell mini-velo road bikes. Would you know and share how one goes about procuring a bike like that in the U.S.? Are there any importers? Thank so much. -Liz

  2. Do you know which high end mini velo available in the market that can keep up with road bikes?

  3. Hi Will,
    Thank you for your question.
    I guess you are refering to comparative performance between a 20" and a 700c road bike.
    Gios 20" are pretty good.
    Bike Friday is pretty good too.
    I am working on the 2012 update of the Mini velo trend.
    Best regards

  4. Looking forward to the 2012 update!

    I really think that there is a market for these bikes here in the USA and don't understand why more models aren't offered.

    As far as I can tell, there are only a few models available here (Mercier and Soma, not counting folding models by Bike Friday, etc.).

    1. Hello,
      Indeed it is a wonder why some models are sold in some markets and not in others.
      Then suddenly things get fashionable and the snowball effect get rolling.

      Thank so for waiting my 2012 review, I started to upload some, enjoy!


  5. Those "mini velo" bicycles are so fashionable! Thank you for making a list along with its corresponding price. Are they becoming a trend in other countries too?

  6. Hi, where can I find the Bianchi Mini-Velo in my country Malaysia?

  7. I would really like to buy the pink racer i live i denmark. Is it possible
    and how much will it cost?

    1. Sorry, I cannot send bicycles out of Japan. There is no affordable service available.
      Thank you for your interrest

  8. I would like to get the Bianchi mini velos and happen to be travelling to tokyo this weekend. Is there any shops in Tokyo carrying it?

    1. Hello,
      Yes you can find it easily in almost any basic bike shop all over the country.

  9. Hi,
    I'm assuming from your blog address that you live in the UK. If that is correct could you please let me know if there are any shops in this country selling this kind of small bikes? Many thanks.

  10. Hello Diogo,
    I am based in Japan and I don't sell any bicycles.
    The blog address is automatically adapted to readers location, which explains why you see uk address when you visit my blog.
    From I am now, the address is ending with JP.
    Back to the mini-velo topic, I have no idea if any bike shop deals with it in UK but judging by the huge worldwide traffic I receive on this theme it is obvious bicycle marketing staff are missing out on business demand.
    Thank you


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