The ultimate utilitarian asphalt bike, the much-coveted Kona Ute, is getting a more versatile, smaller wheelbase cousin in 2012, the all new MinUte. We recently got the first prototype bike delivered to our Kona USA headquarters in Ferndale, Washington, just to make sure everything was perfectly in place for riders looking to get the hustle and bustle of life’s day to day done by bike.

With a substantially shorter wheelbase than its elder Ute, the MinUte offers many of the same cargo hauling advantages, but with a compact design. Easier to store, easier to maneuver, easier to lock up in crowded bike racks.

The MinUte boasts the same features as our successful Ute. You still can haul groceries and children, and lots of your stuff… just not quite as much. Keep an eye on traffic with its upright riding position, and comfortable swept back HandPlant handlebar. Front and rear disc brakes allow you to safely control speed while loaded down. A simple, 16 gear drivetrain, with extra low for the extra weight, completes the package. Oh, and the MinUte also ships with two burly panniers ready for all your stuff.

For a gallery of photos, click

Laterally stiff, vertically compliant, able to comfortably carry 100lbs (additional to the rider) and retailing for $799 in the US and Canada (available in Europe as well, price TBD) the MinUte works for hauling your stuff (or little people) all around town, at an affordable price. Look for it to hit a retailer near you later this year.

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