Mini-velo vs a regular sized bike?


New Member
Feb 28, 2013
Hi, I'm new to the forum and wanted to get some advice about my first bike purchase.

I live in NYC and have gotten a new job that is a bit of a difficult commute using public transit (~3 miles, crosstown from the Upper West Side in the 90s to the Upper East Side in the 60s, for those familiar with the city) and have decided to get a bike for the commute. I've wanted to buy a bike for a few years but haven't, mainly because I live in a 1 bedroom apartment without bike storage, and so I felt like it wasn't worth having a bike for recreation if it meant sacrificing valuable square footage in the apartment.

Now that I'm definitely buying a bike, I'm very intrigued by the Mercier Nano. My main hesitation is whether it would be a tougher bike to ride - I have friends who own folding bikes who've advised me away from them. I'd like to get a bike that takes up less room in my apartment, but not so concerned about this factor that I'm willing to put up with a difficult ride every day. But, because my commute isn't very long or strenuous, if it's only a small difference compared to a regular bike I think I'd lean more toward getting the smaller one.

Any thoughts?



Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
Whether or not it is the case, it sounds as if you are relatively NEW urban dweller ...

FIRST. If you know people who have folding bikes, ask to see if you can borrow one for a ride through the Park AND/OR along the route between your apartment & where you work ...

  • some foldng bikes have 26" wheels, so that's pretty close to "normal" ...
  • but, a folding bike with 26" wheels will weigh more than one with circus wheels

SECOND. I think that another consideration which YOU need to think about is the logistics of lugging the bike up-and-down stairs OR in your building(s) elevator(s) ...

Plus, the time you will spend unlocking the bike from your radiator/whatever in the morning, putting air in the tires, walking the bike down the stairs or waiting for an empty elevator (if you have an elevator in your building), unfolding the bike AND the reverse when you get to work ...

  • do you have to worry about the shoes you wear when you are at work OR can you wear the same shoes for your commute as while you are working?
  • do you have to worry about "helmet hair" OR can you wear a cap?
  • et cetera

BTW. If 'I' were in your situation & did not want to hassle with your transit system then I would take advantage of the short distance between your Point-A & Point-B AND simply walk the three miles AND not worry about riding ... now, if you lived 6-to-8-or-more miles from work, it would be a different issue ...

  • if your route takes you through (?) Central Park then so much the better ...
  • walking time should be an hour +/- depending on how quickly you walk ...
  • IMO, walking will be a good way to clear your head at the end of the day & can be a good way to get your head in the right frame of mind in the morning

  • besides, if you have to do ANY shopping after work (e.g., groceries, carry-out dinner, general stuff, etc.), then the folding bike will probably become a hassle AND it will probbly preclude going out with co-workers after work (which may not be an issue)

That's my [COLOR= #008000][SIZE= 14px]2¢[/COLOR][/SIZE], FWIW.