Help 20 inch (451) v. 20 inch (406)

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#1
I am considering purchasing a 20 inch wheel bike. Some come with the 406mm diameter wheel and some come with the larger 451mm diameter wheel.

Is there any great advantage or disadvantage to one or the other. The only one I see is that the 406 tires seem to be a little less expensive. Does anyone know if one standard or the other is being phased out of production?

Thanks for any help or insight
 

jdd

Maximum Pace
Hardest Crash
Jul 26, 2008
2,497
628
133
Kanazawa
#2
Fred,

I've looked off & on at mini velos, and wasn't aware of this--thanks! So I'd also be interested in any replies.
 

AlanW

Maximum Pace
Jan 30, 2007
1,214
434
103
Tokyo
#3
406 - a bit slower (usually), very easy to find tyres for (same as BMX size)
451 - tend to be on the faster mini-velos, only a few tyre manufacturers make tyres this size.

Neither is going away as far as I know.
Look on the Bike Friday site for more discussion.

AW.
 

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#4
451 v. 406

The difference between the two is pretty significant, especially when you hold them up next to each other. The 451s seem to be the Italian standard and the 406s seem to be more what is available in Asia - this however is a pretty general statement.

The best comparison I can find is that of trying to run 700c wheels on an old 27 inch wheel bike. To make it work you need some really long reach brakes and I tend to think they spoil the look of the frame.

Would be interested to hear the thoughts of others on this subject and if there are significant advantages or disadvantages to one standard over the other.
 

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#5
From another Forum

Are you talking about a folding bike?

If so, the advantage of 406 is a much wider array of tires.

451 has a lot less tire availability. But, the tires that are available are generally a lot skinnier.

I switched my bike Friday over to 451s- so far, it's been pretty nice. Changed the handling a bit but in general it was a positive change.
 

fredstaple

Speeding Up
Nov 1, 2009
198
1
38
Puerto de la Santa Maria
#6
Pure Looks

From the perspective of how the bike appears, I think the 451s look better on the larger sized mini velos. The wheels seem to appear more in line with what a standard bike looks like.

If your goal is to have a mini velo that looks just like a miniture road bike, then I think the larger 20 inch wheels look better. This is what appeals to me about the mini velo.

I like the Bianchi and Gios models, weight and performance are less a factor to me as this will be a fun bike. One to ride with the children, one to run errands on and not something for performance oriented rides.

This is why the Tyrell and Moulton frames/bikes are not really what I am looking for. They also carry a large price tag. The Manhatten (KHS) mini velos have a very short head tube compared to most and then have a lot of fork underneath, so much so that the front fork must have a break bridge like the rear. Just does not look good to me. Raleigh has a nice looking mini velo, but significantly more than Bianchi and Gios.