The Gios Antico mini velo

Gios Antico mini velo

Gios Antico mini velo

While reading some Japanese “pottering” blogs this week, I noticed that several riders speak fondly about a particularly type of bike they have.  The model is called “Antico”, and it is made by the Italian company Gios. It is a ミニベロ (mini bero, from “mini velo”) or 小径車 (shoukeisha, small wheeled bicycle).  Initially, I thought it must be one of the multitudinous folding bikes so popular in the uber-urban streets of Tokyo.  However, it turns out that it has a regular sized road bike frame, redesigned to work with the small tires.

This bike has 16 speeds and a frame made of クロモリ (kuromori, chromium molybdenum steel). The 20″ tires give it a much smaller profile than a typical road bike, making it easier to park or make pinpoint turns on the city sidewalk (which riders can and do use in Japan).  It also means you can more easily take it on a train (something “potterers” like to do), without having to remove the wheels and bag it up.

One blogger refers affectionately to her bike as 愛車anticoちゃん (aisha antico-chan), an endearment which one might translate as “my much-loved little antico”. Her blog, ただポタ!, is really cute and a fun read (with lots of great photos), and is a good place to get a sense of how this bike can be used.

If you live in Japan and are interested in purchasing an Antico, try visiting Cycle Studio Hakusen near the JR Okachimachi station in Tokyo (TEL: 03-3831-0792), or check out their online store link here.

For any North American readers interested in the Antico, there are no distributors for Gios bicycles in the USA, Canada or Mexico, and I was unable to find any used bikes for sale online.  Does anybody out there have one for sale, or know where or how one can be purchased here? (Short of traveling to Japan and bringing one home!)

That said, while searching in vain for North American shops selling the Antico, I did come across this post on mini velos. Though it doesn’t include the Antico specifically, it introduces a different Gios model, as well as some other similar types of bikes.

For readers in other parts of the world, check out the international distributors list on the Biciclette Gios site.

If you own an Antico or have experience riding one, please share your experience below!

2 thoughts on “The Gios Antico mini velo

  1. I don’t have a Gios, I have a Masi mini-fixed, and I enjoy it. I’m 6’4″, so for me its like riding a pursuit frame. The small wheels make the bicycle a little more unstable in certain scenarios, but also much easier to maneuver in tight spaces. The frame is great though and responds more like a full size cycle than a folding bike. The bonus for me, is the ease in walking up/down stairs and storing it in the apartment. My previous bicycles felt like they took up at least 50% more space.

  2. I am also 6’4″ and have a 53cm Soma Mini Velo in the States – 451 wheels. Purchased used on Craigslist in the Portland area Aug of 2019. Have ridden 243 miles on the bicycle, but the miles are fun, entirely different from the retro Basso, and carbon framed Ridley road bike. I did one 27 mile ride with a bit of elevation, the climb was easy, but poor pavement did make me pay attention on the descent. I use it instead of using the car for all short local trips.

    I have been to Japan numerous times, and took my 59cm 1982 Bianchi Touring bicycle as I found it difficult to find a 59cm bicycle to rent easily North of Tokyo. Yet I always enjoy checking out the Mini Velo bicycles that are very common in Japan. Currently there is a 47cm Gios $1,300, and a 53cm Soma $875 listed on US ebay (Feb-07-2020). There are also several Java mini velo frames with Disc Brakes – 406 wheels. Bike Direct Mercier Nano 48 or 53cm Sora equipped, 16 Speed Mini Velo Road Bikes $399 sporting 406 wheels.

    I would like to find a 55cm Mini Velo frame, with mechanical disc brakes, 10 speed Sram components, 54×42 alloy chain rings and light weight hollow cranks, carbon 1′ 1/8 inch threadless fork, and 451 tubeless carbon wheels.

    I find the Soma Mini Velo bicycle is easy to accommodate and are generally accepted inside most smaller grocery shops, drug stores, and fast food locations. (one exception is McDonald’s and they never have a bicycle rack).

    JR

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