The dual-20″ short wheelbase bike is an odd duck in the recumbent world. Most people seeking short wheelbase are looking for speed, which a 20″ rear wheel isn’t about. But the AZUB Mini is very easy ride, easy to master, compact and maneuverable. It accelerates easily and will carry load through corners on its light and stiff 20″ wheels. Like most other AZUB bikes it comes with rear suspension, with front suspension as an easily added option.
The Mini is the bike for practical urban use. Its compact size, the lower seat height and the explosive acceleration all recommend it for the job. For off-road riders who like to challenge difficult terrain, the 20″ front wheel doesn’t climb obstacles as well as the big-wheel MAX does. But since it is much easier to get a foot down if the bike starts to slip over you can roll more fearlessly into the rough.
For what it’s worth, this is probably the next bike Mike, the owner, will buy. That is, assuming he ever feels like he has the money.
Our Price: Varies greatly by spec, but mostly from $3350 to $4300, with some going above $5K. Note that AZUB’s website does not include shipping in their price and we must factor that in.
Balance – there is no better word that would sum up all the properties of the AZUB MINI. Even the first glance confirms it. The two 20” wheels give the bike a symmetrical appearance, offset by a functional solution in the form of the asymmetric rear fork and the location of its shock. The seating position is a perfect combination of comfort and sportiness. The total height of the bike offers both the low seating of a sporty recumbent and the ample view of what is happening around you. The overall dimensions of the AZUB MINI then make it an ideal bike for playful and nimble weaving through the city streets, but the long wheelbase gives it a surprising stability.
20” wheels are not for everyone. Many do not like them and many think them slow. A lot of cyclists try to avoid them at all costs. However, 20” wheels do have their charm. Thanks to the low inertia they accelerate pretty quickly, the small diameter gives them great strength, they reduce the overall size of the bike and they also offer excellent handling properties. On recumbents they enable the seating position to be low so the rider feels safe and secure even in the toughest of conditions.
In AZUB, 20” wheels are used by the designer himself, Tomáš, as well as by the head of sales and marketing, Honza. They both have the AZUB MINI, but this bike is also popular with our graphic designer and our accountant. Honza and Tomáš have no problems putting their MINIs through some well challenging situations in the great outdoors, Honza has even taken his MINI to such destinations as Albania, the Indian Himalayas or the Israeli Negev desert. You can read why Honza rides on 20” wheels in his article in our blog. But to be fair, let us mention some disadvantages as well. 20” wheels are not so good at keeping speed on straight roads, when combined with V-brakes the rims may overheat and which means they also need to be replaced more frequently. And, for bikes with 20” wheels it is often difficult to find suitable components and many cyclists feel the derailleur is too close to the ground.
For a discussion of parts specs, see our AZUB article on our shopping help page
Boring technical specs from AZUB follow, along with our interesting comments.
Frame & Geometry
Who fits on it, where it fits.
- STEERING: above or under seat steering (OSS or USS) or an open cockpit
Barring idiosyncrasies, OSS is for touring or commuting, USS is for off-road or just being radical, and OC is for long highway rides.
- FRAME: Aluminum
- REAR FORK: suspended, Aluminum
- FRONT FORK: rigid or suspended
Suspended will sit you a little higher. Leaving this bike without full suspension seems like a half-measure, but you get your choice.
- WELD: TIG method
Complicated way of saying this isn’t cheap crap.
- SEAT: composite or carbon-kevlar, size M, L and XL
Available in a variety of sizes based on your torso length.
- SEATPAD: standard 50 mm
Open cell foam that is more comfortable than it looks.
- SEAT ANGLE (to road): 28-43°
More upright improves starts and stops and increases leverage on pedals. More reclined improves comfort and aerodynamics.
- SEAT ADJUST RANGE: length 130 mm, height 60 mm, angle 15°
(everything by two quick releases within couple of seconds)
And they’re damn proud of it. About 5″ of ex-seam range, with seat recline adjustment widening that range a little.
- FRAME ADJUST RANGE: length 300 mm (by adjusting of the boom)
The frame will telescope out about 12 inches. The adjustable frame coupled with the adjustable seat let you optimize both arm reach to the bars and leg reach to the pedals. Your AZUB will be optimized for your ex-seam, whatever it is. See our ex-seam guide here.
- WHEELS: 20″/20“
- TOTAL LENGTH: min 165 cm (same as standard bike)
This measurement depends on your leg length
- TOTAL HEIGHT: min 104 cm
Assuming the seat is fully reclined
- SEAT BOTTOM HEIGHT: min 55 cm (24“ – 62 cm)
A moderate seat seat
- BOTTOM BRACKET HEIGHT: min 65 cm (24“ – 74 cm)
Comparatively high relative to the seat
- BARS WIDE: USS 65 cm, OSS 45 cm
OSS and OC bars are interchangeable with similar bars for customization. USS will adjust somewhat.
- BARS ADJUSTING: different lengths and angles
Just what adjusts depends on steering type, but you’ll get a lot of control over the fit.
- CHAIN LEAD: PA tube (almost no friction)
Slick tubing for guiding the chain.
- RECUMBENT WEIGHT: around 32 pounds according to the type)
- MAX. LOAD: 275 pounds