20 September 2010

Mini Bikes Galore

Mini Bikes 4ever
One bicycle style trend that doesn't seem like it's fading is the fashionable fascination with vintage mini-bikes. These 'mini bikes' came onto the scene in the 1950's. They were a reply to the booming car culture. Most of them were foldable - nothing fancy like modern folding bikes, just fold them in two - in order to fit into trunks of cars and/or on trains. They were never a massive hit in Northern Europe.
Oh So Chic
A couple of years ago I noticed that young fashionistas were riding them again. Out of the blue. The trend continues even today. Retro, vintage bikes once relegated to use at summer cottages are now chariots of cool.
Minicykel
Where they all came from I'll never know. The summer cottages of the nation must have been scavenged in the search for these bikes. Although several were spotted at a flea market near Mauer Park in Berlin a month ago. Roughly €35 will get you one.
Mini
Or just graduate from university, like my friend AK recently did, and you'll get one as a present, like she did.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

lmao, the third pic, that lady has a flat rear....lol

Kiwehtin said...
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Kiwehtin said...
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Kiwehtin said...

The first one looks a lot like a Helkämä Jopo from Finland. They recently revived an updated version. I think it's one of the most appealing looking ones of the bunch.

Actually, so does the orange one in the last pic...!

didrik said...

Isn't there and Italian company producing these again? I recall seeing an ad sequence for bikes like these sporting several color schemes.

kfg said...

I believe the first one is a Peugeot.

Mikael said...

there were so many brands back in the day. Dozens in Denmark alone.

david...no the other one! said...

So,....Where's the picture of A.K. and her folder, or was that just another literary device?

Mike Shoup said...

Man, I have one I just can't get rid of here in Colorado. Maybe I should try selling on over seas some how.

Kallie said...

I've been fond of these minis in other pictures, but this post made me realize I absolutely need one. And luckily I found one online yesterday, so everyone cross your fingers for me that its in good condition :) Its a Raychell folder, does anyone know if they are decent bikes?
@Mike Shoup - what kind of bike do you have?

Mike Shoup said...

@Kallie

All of those folders were pretty much the same bike and most likely made by the same factory.

For example, my Peugeot folder which is a French company has a sticker that says "Made in Italy"

Its a Peugeot P20 folder, pretty much just like the ones in these pictures.

See my flickr page acct for pictures of it.

Kallie said...

@Mike Shoup

Thanks for the info...you're trying to sell yours? Its beautiful! If you have info on price and whatnot, you can email me at kcampbe2 (at) gmail (dot) com...I don't exactly know the condition of the other bike im planning on looking at, but yours looks to be in great shape.

-dc- said...

I think those small wheeled unisex bikes appeared from the early 60s onwards - I believe the Moulton was the first?

Little Bike Blog said...

Well fancy that, the retro mini bike renaissance is happening world wide. I live in an inner city suburb of Melbourne, Australia, and have been spotting and snapping little bikes in my area for about a year now (my photos are not as flash as your photos though, just snaps on my phone) .

I have recently started blogging my little bike photos. If I am blogging one I have just seen (rather than from my archive) I leave a calling-card on the bike inviting the owner to log on and tell me about their bike. I am thrilled when they do. I LOVE the little bikes.
Have a look: www.littlebikeblog.wordpress.com

Amsterdamize said...

Gazelle used to make a shitload of these (60's, 70's, 80's), ideal for the Dutch taking the caravan/camper abroad :). And on the train, of course.

piile said...

http://aist-bike.com/catalog.php?cl=7

Corvo Citta said...

Wohoo! Having noticed some in Berlin during the last years they have become the latest meow in all university towns in Northern Germany this summer/ autumn... ebay prices are ridicolous over here!

Sarah said...

There are tons of these in Toronto. They always look so fun and creatively coloured. Love what they add to the cityscape.

Trent Williams said...

I saw a lot of these in Japan (many of them new) this Summer and was puzzled because I haven't been seeing them in New York.