If any bike screams N+1, it’s this disc brake 20″ wheeled steel mini-velo from Velo Orange. The new Neutrino is meant to be compact – easy to store & easy to travel with – but offering a solid, fun ride whether around town or out on tour. It has been a passion project of classic bike, component & accessory maker Velo Orange for quite some time, and now the bike (or frameset) is available for pre-order.

Velo Orange Neutrino 20″ steel mini-velo

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bike
courtesy Velo Orange

We actually got an early look at the Neutrino as a prototype back at the Philly Bike Expo last November. Billed as a city commuter to packable travel bike, Velo Orange is all about mobility with this little guy. But it doesn’t really sacrifice much in order to get small.

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bike

VO essentially modified what amounts to a standard full size geometry to get a normal ride feel on top of the compact wheels. That means it gets a relatively normal bottom bracket height, pretty standard (yet still short) wheelbase, and a normal stack & reach at the top of the tall headtube.

Mini-velo geometry

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bike

There are no crazy long stems or even a monster seatpost on this like you find on a small-wheeled folding bike. Instead, you get a full-size bike feel on top of 20″ BMX wheels (406mm bead seat diameter).

Tech details

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bike

The choice of BMX wheels turns out to be important beyond quick acceleration, as there really are tons of options for good light & durable rims, and an almost limitless number of tire options. If you want something fast rolling, it’ll be easy to get so good slicks. Plus the Neutrino mini-velo has room for up to 2.3″ tires (with fenders!), so you can actually stick some pretty aggressive knobbies in there and take this little bike shredding too!

That will also go a long way to smoothing out the ride, as some mini-velos with too skinny tires can feel harsh since the smaller wheels don’t rollover bumps in the road quite as well.

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bike

The double-butted 4130 chromoly Neutrino is first and foremost a versatile bike to take out and ride with no limits, and it gets enough braze-ons to bolt up anything you could imagine for commuting, bikepacking, or classic touring. That straight 1.125″ steerer, unicrown fork may only be for a 20″ wheel, but it gets mounts for full fenders, traditional or porteur/randonneur racks, plus anything cage mounts too.

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bikeOut back the Neutrino gets all that same versatility thanks to slider dropouts & more braze-ons on the seatstays – run it geared, single speed, or with an internally geared hub. Dropouts for frame & fork stick with quick releases for simplicity & backwards compatibility.

Overall the frame offers three more bottle cage mounts on the main triangle, with a 2-position mount on top of the downtube. All cable routing is external to keep things simple (and easy to pack) with downtube cable clamps. And it uses disc brakes. The bottom bracket is standard threaded, and it uses a 31.6mm seatpost for stiffness with all that extension (but also making it compatible with a dropper seatpost – external routing only, though.)

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bikeVelo Orange says the small frame is able to pack down in the box they ship the frame to airline acceptable sizing, making it cheap to travel with. It is also said to fit in a Rinko bag (a Japanese style bag for taking your bike on the train by removing the wheels). And while VO doesn’t offer a bag yet, rumor has it that one is in the works, maybe ready as soon as this bike is later in 2019?

Pricing & availability

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bike

Even though we have the full details on the new Neutrino, it isn’t quite available yet. VO is offering it now for pre-order at a discount, for deliveries in October 2019.

The bike is available on its own as a frameset now for $675 (down from regular price of $750 when it comes in stock in the fall) for anyone who wants to build it up to their choosing.

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bike

Or VO offers a complete Neutrino that includes a unique 1×10 build for $2500 now ($2700 come fall). The Neutrino Complete gets a pretty burly setup with a mix of VO’s own house finishing kit and swept back handlebar, some fat 2.3″ semi-slicks, and a shirt cage Zee downhill derailleur that gives a good 11-28T gearing spread, a clutch for chain retention, and proper off-road ready durability.

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bikeThe Velo Orange Neutrino mini-velo is available in two frames sizes to fit riders from around 5′ to 5’6″ (small) or from 5’6″ to 6′ (large). It comes in one color called Cool Gray, but up close you can see it gets a bit more highlight in Galactic Glitter!

Velo Orange Neutrino minivelo, 20" 20 inch wheel 4130 steel disc brake mini-velo compact commuter city run-about cruiser bike

If you are looking to add another multi-purpose bike into Neutrino into your quiver, the mini-velo Neutrino should be a blast for extending your bike commute, hitting the local hardpack trails, or hopping on a train to search out a weekend adventure.

Velo-Orange.com

18 COMMENTS

  1. Consumer direct, steel rigid, mechanical disc, 20″ wheel commuter… 2500usd. Compare to a fezzari carbon 29er solitude w Rega fork 2199usd. Has the world gone insane?

    • Good question. The individual pieces for the full build (frame included) at retail prices add up to just about $2300. Seems like a hefty markup for a complete build while paying OE prices.

  2. On the one hand that looks like a nice bike. On the other who is it for? I commute about on a Brompton because it folds down to a size that be shoved in the back room at work under the desk nobody uses, along with two other folding bikes. This is functionally about the size of a BMX, so it still needs a whole bike sized space to store it, which means putting it in the bike stand outside. At that point 700c wheels win the day, plus no way on Earth am I leaving a $2500 bike unattended in a bike cage all day. Still a nice looking bike.

    • The Brompton has the best folding of any bike – however the ride is not nearly as efficient as I would expect from a fully rigid bike with conventional geometry and sturdy, but lightweight 20″ wheels. Acceleration is what it is all about in city centers, and that’s where I expect this bike to shine. It sure doesn’t hide a s well as a Brompton, but definitely packs easier into a car, onto the back of an RV or into a train than a big wheeled bike.

      • Acceleration is about the gearing – so with smaller wheels with the same chainrings/sprockets as a large wheeled bike it will be lower geared – easily achieved on a large wheeled bike with smaller chainring, so nothing special

    • 700c wheels with skinny tires simply do not win the day compared to smaller wheels with larger air volume if the road is rough or unpaved. If you’ve never tried anything other than skinny tires at high pressures, it’s easy to believe that larger wheels roll faster or better over bumps. It simply isn’t true.

      • close, but not quite right. Larger diameter wheels do in fact roll faster and smoother, however its the higher pressures that don’t. 650c is popular because it is the same outer diameter as a standard road wheel while having more squish ( volume ) in the tires. Its not because its smaller…

  3. If this thing had S&S couplers or the Ritchey split, with head tube braze-on’s for a Brampton bag mount, I would buy in in a heartbeat. Even If it was priced higher!

    • Spoken like someone who’s never tried wide tires. I have ridden my Dahon with 20×2.0″ tires on pot-holed roads, dirt, washboard, singletrack, etc. and would choose wide tires on small wheels in a heartbeat over skinny tires on larger rims for anything but smooth roads. Tire volume trumps wheel size every time for rough going.

  4. It’s a bmx bike with road bike geometry. It’ll be a blast to ride. I’m saving for one. And I have a tip for others, if you don’t like small wheels, guess what? You don’t have to buy one! Cool how it works like that.

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