Are there any small non-folding bikes, of relatively good quality?

From what I see around, Brompton/Dahon produce only folding ones.

Ideally, should be under 10 kg, and have a few gears (but single gear is fine as well). I don't care so much about the structure (frame type/wheel size), as long as I can use it comfortably for short city distances.

I don't entirely exclude folding ones - but the folding mechanism clearly has a cost, and it's something I don't really need. The target is more a bike with small frame/wheels, and longer saddle/handlebar supports.

The Big Shot Mini Polo would be a good option, but the seller said they don't produce it anymore. The A-Bike could be an option.

I'm a ~70/75kg 5'10" person.


Post purchase edit:

I ended up buying an A-Bike, and while on paper it could be an acceptable bike, its engineering is a disaster.

Riding on 6" wheels is not a big problem. The problems are two: - it's very, very hard to pedal - the sprockets will consume and become unusable after sometime

This bike will not last more than a few months. DO NOT BUY IT.


Right now, what appears to be a good option, is the Dahon Jifo - the price is unfortunately high.

  • The fold allows a bike that is 'small' when collapsed to fit a person of average height/build. Are you a particularly small person or shopping for a child? Are you looking for something that is sized for a person of average build but with smaller wheels? – Gary.Ray Jan 4 '13 at 13:17
  • @Gary.Ray thanks, I've added a comment. I'd rather not go for a folding one, so the target is more of a bike with small wheels/frame, and longer saddle/handlebar tube. – Marcus Jan 4 '13 at 13:32
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    It would help if you said why you want a small bike. Is it a storage issue? – Tom77 Jan 4 '13 at 15:48
  • @Tom77 Cost problem - good quality folding bikes are quite expensive, and introduce complexity that I don't need as a commuter. I used to have a Strida 5.2, which they stole today. I'd go for it again, but in the perspective of having it stolen, I prefer something simpler, cheaper, with a good enough quality; I also value simplicity - the less, the better, and the Mini Polo nails it, in this respect (although as I noted, I need to know the weight). – Marcus Jan 4 '13 at 16:43
  • I think you wouldn't gain much by having a small, non folding bike. The Brompton has a wheel base (measured hub to hub) of 1045 mm. A Trek Distict S (chosen because its was easy to find the info) has a wheelbase of around 1044mm. This is almost exactly the same. Any bike is going to need some minimum wheelbase in order to make it easy to control, and not feel to cramped when riding. You'll save a few inches on either end due to smaller wheels, but you'll have to decide if its worth the trouble and price of a specialty bike. – Kibbee Jan 5 '13 at 1:48

Big Shot Bikes Polo Bikes are interesting and rather small. It does appear these are discontinued now.

However, Mixie bikes and the Salsa Mini-Velo are other small bike alternatives.

  • If it's relatively light, that would be just perfect. I've asked them for more informations. – Marcus Jan 4 '13 at 13:27
  • Oh wow those are cool. I didnt know anyone made a polo-specific bike, nor did I know such a thing would look like that. – joelmdev Jan 7 '13 at 4:17
  • They actually kind of suck for bike polo due to the huge '5 hole', the space between front and back wheels. It makes it really easy to score a goal due to this issue. The trend in custom polo bikes seems to be towards 26" polo bikes with track bike geometry. – Benzo Jan 7 '13 at 14:50
  • I asked, and they replied that they've discontinued the product :-( – Marcus Jan 7 '13 at 22:51
  • Added link to Mixie bikes - mixiebike.com I think these are single speed only though, they can be run fixed gear or freewheel. I think they come with both installed on the rear hub. – Benzo Jan 10 '13 at 20:39

I thought of the mini-velos immediately as well. BikesDirect has some Mercier minis that seem affordable, but they're U.S.


I read a review of the Soma mini awhile back that called it "a lot of fun while being surprisingly easy to live with." Not sure if the cheaper minis will deliver the same sort of ride at all.

There are a few Alton minis that are even cheaper than those Merciers on Amazon, but again, it's the U.S. site.

Here's a bikeforums thread comparing the Merciers to the Somas. http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-823750.html


There's the Bicymple, but it costs quite a bit more than it should, possibly because of the non-standard design. It's on Kickstarter right now, and the smallest "pledge" that will get you a bike is $800. It achieves a smaller size, while still having standard size wheels. The pedals are direct drive on the rear hub which limits your top speed, but they plan to put gears in there somehow at a later date. It's already met its funding goal, so it may be something to watch for in the future to see if they can bring the cost down.

enter image description here

  • 1
    Looks to be incredibly unpleasant to ride. – Daniel R Hicks Jan 4 '13 at 20:35
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    @DanielRHicks Yeah, the biggest problem that I see is the 35 inch standover height. The pivoting back wheel is just gimmicky and makes it hard to ride. They should do away with that completely. The price could be brought down if thye just put rim brakes on it. Plus, the direct drive makes it really slow. They have an internally geared hub version to allow you to go faster, but that kind of removes the "simple" aspect which was their original goal. If you want a simple bike, you'd be better off with a standard fixie/single speed. – Kibbee Jan 4 '13 at 21:08
  • That looks just awful. – joelmdev Jan 15 '13 at 16:04
  • @DanielRHicks You are being generous! I would not even ride it...looks like King Julian's Girlfriend's bike – hagubear Jun 21 '13 at 8:28

Marcus, going by your comment is it fair to say that cost is the issue rather than "foldability"?

Also since you mention amazon.co.uk I'm going to assume you're in the UK. In that case, check out Decathlon. These bikes are far cheaper than, say, a Brompton. I have bought lots from Decathlon over the years and consider them superb value for money. But I don't consider then to be the best out there in terms of quality.

If you have a store nearby I'd suggest a visit - lots of people test ride their bikes, normally up and down the aisles!!

  • So. Ultimately, cost is the hard constraint (say, 300/400 EUR), and small size the other. Within this constraint, I think that one can't find qualitative enough bikes, but I'm open. I'll check decathlon, though. – Marcus Jan 6 '13 at 12:53
  • well I certainly think there's an element of "you get what you pay for" in this. But on the other hand for 300-400 eur you should be able to find something decent. I had a bike from Decathlon (a hybrid) which was around that kind of price which I thought was brilliant value for money. – PeteH Jan 6 '13 at 22:36
  • @downvoter, would be interested to know why this comment was unhelpful – PeteH Jan 21 '13 at 11:15

When I was thinking about buying a new bike I did a lot of research, and I realized you don’t have to choose between a folding bike and one more practical: you can have both in one! I got my folder from Montague and it was a great purchase! I ride it every day and if it has to be folded, it takes under 20 seconds.

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