Ridden and Reviewed: Respect Cycles Mini Velo City Bike

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The Respect Cycles Mini Velo City Bike is certainly a little bit different than your standard full-size city bike, but that’s exactly what makes it so much fun! With 20″ wheels and a bombproof single-speed drivetrain (reversible to be fixed gear), the Respect Cycles Mini Velo City Bike is quick, nimble, and unlike anything you have ever ridden.

Who It’s For

At first glance you might look at the pint-sized wheels and think that there’s no way that this bike could fit me, but the 4130 Chromoly steel frame accommodates riders from as small as 4 1/2′ to over 6′ tall (we tested this out here in our office). But it’s those wheels that make the Mini Velo so maneuverable in tight confines (which we also tested out here in our office). The bike is surprisingly stable at speed, but in close quarters it really shines, which make it a superb choice for riding in city. It’s very practical, easy to store, will fit in your closet, dorm room, cubicle and the subway – plus it even easily packs in the back of a vehicle without taking anything apart.

Riding In Richmond

We got the chance to test out the full range of capabilities of the Respect Cycles Mini Velo at the Richmond 2015 World Championships in September. It was easy to toss in the back of our car for transport, and served as the perfect vehicle to get from one side of the 10 mile race course to the other, all while winding through throngs of racing fans. The wide and durable tires handled the mixed surfaces of downtown Richmond with ease, jumping on and off curbs, with a few cobbled roads mixed in for fun.

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We even rode the Respect Cycles Mini Velo up both steep cobbled climbs on the World Championship race course: Libby Hill and the 23rd Street. The 44t x 18t drivetrain definitely made the over 20% grades of 23rd Street a challenge, but with a little extra determination we made it over the top!respect_mini_velo_10

Final Thoughts

The Respect Cycles Mini Velo is designed for all ages and can be ridden by both beginners and expert riders. Quick and fast, these bikes are great for bombing hills, hitting the skate park, cruising with friends or riding with the family. Just be prepared for everyone to ask you, with a smile on their face, “What is that thing?”

15 thoughts on “Ridden and Reviewed: Respect Cycles Mini Velo City Bike

    1. I now have mine awaiting 3 speed sram, extension stem, cruiser bars, and then on to a front hub motor (hope this doesn’t offend, but it is replacing a rather heavy folding ebike, and will fit in the back of my mazda2 without folding).

      1. 3 speed sram T3 now fitted – nice to ride. Organising a customised carrier for the rear, and mudguards (this little machine is for commuting and the lighter trails around Rotorua). Backpedal brakes (removed rear caliper). Bikefix in Rotorua is starting to make kits for electric bikes now. Prototype no1 will be 250w, with battery yet to be decided on.

      2. It’s been a wee while, but the 3 speed asram hub is on. It works really well. The chopper handlebars allow me to sit upright.
        Work has just begun on the front hub motor.

  1. Wondering why a single speed city bike doesn’t have a belt drive and what is the range of handlebar height adjustment. I can’t imagine riding in heavy traffic the way the test bike is set up.

    1. Hey Mike, a belt drive option would cost more, but you could always suggest it to Respect. As for the handlebar height, we’ve got it set up pretty low here, but if you flipped the stem and put all the headset spacers below it you would probably gain about 2″. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it would change the ride quite a bit.

      1. Thanks for the info. My “city bike” is a steel Black Mountain with a vintage homage 2 x 7 with downtube shifters. It’s pretty upright but I can always go to the drops. 😉

  2. This bike is awesome I have to share it with my two daughters 13 and 15 I just wish there was a quicker way to raise and lower the seat something that stayed attached but other than that the only problem is we fight over it all the time. People of told me it’s the coolest bike they’ve ever seen and I must agree

    1. That’s cool Rob! And as for the seatpost collar, you could always get a clamp with a quick release on it to replace the existing clamp. The main reason that the bolt clamp is on there when it is shipped is for security – it’s just harder to steal a setpost and saddle secured with a bolt versus a quick release (when it’s locked up outside).

  3. I want a few of these for my B&B Just wondering, are they in the DC area Performance Shops or just online/ it’d be great to go try one out!

  4. I love my respect v2, the only downfall was the transaction. Purchased an open box that was ready to ship, only to have to wait 2 months due to poor customer service. In all had to exchange about 20 emails to get bike shipped. I just wish they were on top of the ball when it comes to customer service, being a small company and all. My friend purchased a v3 in November, never got his bike, 6 months later and PayPal was implemented, he got his money back but what he wanted was a bike, sad

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