Civia Cycles

I got an email from Jenson USA and they have a frame from Civia Cycles ($610) that looks interesting - sliding, interchangeable dropouts for different types of hubs. Has anyone seen these in the flesh?

Never seen one but it’s about time someone offered a commuter frame set that takes hub gears in 700c.

Personally, I think it looks fugly but has great features that will appeal to commuters.


The Civias are a product of QBP aren’t they? Damn pricey too for some of the complete models.

AFAIK, the only locally available hubgear compatible[1] framesets are the Cross Check and Casseroll, $700-750. The Somas have vertical dropouts (apart from the Rush with track ends?). Is there anything else?

There are more complete nexus/alfine equipped bikes being offered now at ~$800, Giant Cypress City/CRX City (+Pro), Avanti Blade8, Cell Bikes SS101/XO, the XO has dual roller brakes and is a steal at $650!, Merida Speeder i8. Far better than a couple of years ago when the Avanti was the sole option.

[1] Where compatible = semihorizontal dropouts, no tensioner required.

I agree … the Civia is pricey. The Cross Check and Casseroll do not have Rohloff specific dropouts though (a torque arm is thus required) and I believe the Casseroll is spaced at 130. Hub gears are usually 135. I’ve heard that you can re-space the Nexus/Alfine but not the Rohloff. On-one Pompino is an option with 135 rear spacing but has horizontal dropouts which makes wheel removing difficult when running full fenders.

As for the complete bikes, I think that the Giant CRX city is hard to beat. I’ve got one (2008 basic version) and am very impressed. The 2009 CRX city Pro version looks really good. EBB frame with full Alfine groupset (including hydro discs), carbon fork, fenders and rack for just under AUS$1400 RRP. Getting the Civia frame into Australia and an Alfine hub alone could cost more than that.


You have one, Des?

The complete Civia (derailleur/Alfine) is ~US$2000, Rohloff is >$3000, then you have to ship it. That’s a lot for a commuter, no problem for the already converted (says he who is about to order a Supernova E3), but you’ll be hard pressed to get a newbie to spend more than a few hundred on a bike to ride to work/shops, which means more sales of Huffys for $90 and really basic hybrids at ~$3-400.

I don’t think having Rohloff specific dropouts is a must have for a frameset, as the market for them is a tiny subset of the already small hubgear set. People who want a Rohloff know what they want and will either use a torque arm, retrofit a frame or get a custom frame built.

The Nexus red band (8R25) is 132mm, but if you leave the roller brake off you can use a thinner locknut and make it ~128mm. The 7sp can be spaced at 126mm.

I’ve seen the City in the flesh, it’s a nice bike and a decent price ($50 more than a Cross Check frame!). The Pro is overkill for all but the most hardened commuters. I haven’t seen the Cell XO outside of the internet, but I think it’s a great price for what you’re getting, (if you don’t mind the styling,) especially when you consider that the 8R25 hub is ~AUD$400.

Then there’s the Schwinn Coffee/Cream. Nice 3-speeds, great styling, great price.

Want to splinter off and start our own forum Des? :wink:

You have one, Des?

Yes I do … technically speaking :wink:

Pricing is certainly not newbie friendly but I think you’ll be surprised as to just how much a newbie is willing to spend for a good commuter. The LBS where I got the Giant from was selling them faster than they could bring them in and apparently a lot of them went to new riders looking for alternative transport. So there you go … Yup, let’s do it! Utility/Commuter bikes will be big for sure.


That’s good that new commuters are willing to spend that much. (which, as I explain to those that do think it’s a lot, isn’t really when you consider the cost of car ownership or monthly train tickets).

I strongly recommend those bikes or secondhand 70s/80s rides with 3sp hubs for people I know looking to commute, dragging them away from hybrids/mtbs/huffys.

Have you seen the bakfiets’ getting around town? I love my Xtracycle, but they have a certain appeal.

Tell us more.


No. 700c SS/fixed with sliding dropouts. Steal frame/fork. Clearance for 35mm tyres, fenders and racks. Geometry tweaked to fit my short legs/long body proportions. Think “Sport Utility Bike” (SUB … just you wait, the term will appear in future catalogues).

Builder is in Tassie

Builds mainly custom tourers with Rohloff hubs which I’m also thinking about at the moment.

Delivery expected at the end of the year or Jan 2009.


Sweet. Sounds similar to my proposed super-super-supercommuter (Cross check, Nexus 8sp, dynamo&supernova, fenders/racks). I awarded myself an extra super due to the supernova :-).

Sorry to say, SUB has already been coined by the good folks at Xtracycle.

Sliding dropouts: Disc brakes?


Frame will be specifically built for canti brakes. The sliding dropouts are to make wheel changes or puncture repairs easier when running full fenders. All this rain is making me wish I had this bike now. Good luck with the cross check. Sounds like a good project.


I haven’t had any problems changing wheels with full fenders with semi-horizontal dropouts, but I can see it would be easier with vertical. Of course if you use Schwalbe Marathon Supremes or similar, you won’t puncture anyway.

I am loving my fenders at the moment. Zero spray, dry feet, clean arse, non gritty drivetrain/headset. Riding in the rain is awesome.

No it’s not.

No it’s not.

Went for a spin to Mordialloc this morning. I’ll refine my above statement to “warm QLD rain”, as today was lower on the awesome scale…

Even with full fenders I still had cold soaking feet, not the best. Could have done with a hot coffee in the bidon and some booties.