Whether you're a frequent traveler, apartment dweller, multi-modal commuter, or just enjoy a fun N+1 bike, the Neutrino will fit perfectly into your heart.
For city and apartment dwellers, you'll get great acceleration for stoplight racing as the wheels spin up quite fast. When you've reached your destination, getting the bike into the building, walking up stairs, and parking it in your apartment is so much easier because the physical length of the bike is greatly reduced. You can much more nimbly negotiate stairwells and since it's warm and cozy inside, you don't have to worry about it getting ripped off overnight.
For multi-modal traveling, it's easier to take the bike in a train car without taking up a ton of room and attracting disdainful looks from fellow commuters. Oh and Rinko. Forget cutting fenders, removing handlebars, and wheels. Just loosen the stem, turn the handlebars 90 degrees, and put the whole thing into a Rinko bag!
Traveling with the Neutrino is also a breeze. Since we often travel to our cycling starting point by airplane, train, car, or bus, overage fees for checked bags, storage, and transportation add up quickly and are a real drag. To take full advantage of the traveling abilities of the Neutrino, the bike can be disassembled and inserted into the cardboard box that it comes with.
Simply put, the Neutrino is a blast to ride around. It'll put a smile on your face every time you throw your leg over.
- 4130 double butted chromoly frame and fork that accepts fenders and rack
- Unicrown fork with accommodations for fenders, Randonneur Rack, and even a Mojave Cage or a bikepacking-style cage
- Seattube, downtube, and under-downtube bottle cage mounts
- 406 Bead Seat Diameter wheel size. That's BMX, so high-quality rims and tires are cheap, plentiful, and strong.
- Clearance for 2.3" tires WITH fenders. Holy cow!
- Sliding, 135mm QR dropouts for geared, single speed, or internally geared hubs
- Disc brake mounts (POST rear, IS front). We suggest 160mm rotors.
- Full length, external cable routing
- 1 1/8" threadless steerer
- 31.6mm seatpost, compatible with external droppers
- Paint is Cool Gray with Rainbow Glitter
- Click for FAQs and Travel Tips
There are several different points to cover with the Neutrino so I'll break them into paragraphs. This is my first 20" wheel bike since I was a kid and it's been a fun experiment. Mine went on a plane with me to San Francisco for a week-long work trip.
Packing for flight: first, the box the Small frame comes in is NOT 62". It was at least 66". I wanted a no-excuses 62" airline box so I cut mine down and modified it until it was 62". Four inches is a lot!! The bike has to be extensively torn down to fit in the box, see pictures. Everything has to come off except the bottom bracket, headset cups, and seatpost clamp. This is not for everyone but I can assemble mine in about 45 minutes in a hotel room with little more than a multi-tool and mini-pump. I also made a wooden perimeter frame for the box. I'm not sure if this was necessary, but it didn't take up any (effective) space, didn't weigh much, and seems to make the box much more rigid.
The ride: as they claim, it rides pretty much like a normal bike. Handling is very quick and it can turn on a dime. Lots of fun in the city. Wheelies are easy even with fixed gear. The ability to fit wide tires, something most of these bikes cannot do, is a major benefit. I blasted around the gravel fire roads all around Marin, rode to the top of Mount Tam, etc. I wouldn't call it a mountain bike but it's surprisingly capable. I actually rode from downtown San Francisco to Mill Valley (12 miles, across the Golden Gate Bridge, etc.) with all my other luggage in a backpack and in the bike's box under my arm. It wasn't easy or fun but it's possible to be “self-sufficient”, transportation wise, with everything you’d bring on a trip. At least for short distances.
Improvements: As you can see, I didn't use the original fork. I cannot stand disc brakes to begin with and they are an extra ridiculous choice on a travel bike. Besides having to remove the rotors so they don't get bent, full-length housing means you'll have a bunch of junk dangling from your handlebars. Hydro? Good luck not kinking or puncturing a line. So I had a custom fork made to use a simple cantilever brake. There’s not an easy way to do this on the back so I went fixed gear. I'm currently designing a custom frame to match the new fork that has canti studs, which will also make the big, ugly, heavy rear dropouts unnecessary. Those dropouts stick out really far, making heel clearance and packing more of a challenge.
Other options for travel: there are several other ways to have a bike on your trip: renting, buying, folding bikes, Rinko, S&S couplers, or packing a full-size bike in a case. In my experience, renting and buying are a pain. I haven't come across a folding bike that wasn't both very heavy and flexible in weird directions. Rinko looks interesting but the package is still quite large and getting anywhere near the 62" limit will never happen. Some people claim they don't get charged extra, but you might. S&S couplers seem like a good choice if you fly a lot but the couplers are expensive and so are the special cases. Finally, packing a full-size bike in a case means you get to travel with a 100% Real Bike - YOUR bike - but the obvious downside is that the package is big and heavy.
Ultimately, I'm happy this exists and I'm enjoying it a lot. It’s a cool bike that could be setup to do many different things. More than just a penalty-box you’ll grudgingly use on vacation, it’s a legitimately fun bike you can use anytime. I rode mine to work today.
Frameset is fantastic! I'm excited to build this up for my daughter. Now I just need to find the components and bits to make this special for her, which is no easy task.