Civilian helps you get muddy with five purpose built affordable cyclocross racers

Le Roi Le Veut dlux hiding in the grass

Civilian – A Bicycle Company.  Yep, that’s their name.  And they is just a he, Tyson Hart.  Tyson, like most of us, started off in the industry turning wrenches, he also worked as a messenger, and finally, he progressed to frame building.  He worked alone, making custom bikes for a while, but had a larger vision.  From that vision, Civilian was born, then launched, the purchased by another company, then sold back to Tyson, for what is now Civilian 3.0.  Civilian 3.0 is just Tyson, designing frames, speccing parts, overseeing production in Asia, and doing all of the marketing.  Tyson, how do you find time to ride man?

The most recent iteration of Civilian gives us well designed (aesthetically and functionally), purpose built bikes that are refined to do one thing well.  In the end, the lineup will include urban commuters, mountain bikes, and cross bikes.  Currently, the cross bikes are here, and just in time for the start of racing.  There are five models that include three single speeds, a 1×10, and a 2×10.  Prices start at $1199 and stop at a still reasonable $2049.  The frames are made from trusty 4130 butted cr-mo tubesets, make use of 44m head tubes, include a PF30 BB, and Tange sliding dropouts spaced 135mm rear spacing as all the bikes are specced with disc brakes.  The forks are a house brand carbon design (read: open mold) with a 1 1/2″ – 1 1/8″ tapered carbon steerer.

For the full range of bikes jump the barrier.

Le Roi Le Veut

Let the French naming begin.  First up we have the entry level single speed, the Le Roi Le Veut (meaning the king wills it).  This SS drivetrain makes use of an 18t rear cog and an FSA Gossamer crankset with a 39t ring.  The cockpit comes from Ritchey.  And stopping is provided thanks to Avid BB5 mechanical discs actuated with Tecktro RL-340 levers.  And to roll on, it has Formula hubs laced to Jalco DM23 32h rims via 14g spokes wrapped in Kenda Kwicker 32mm tires.  This is very much a no thrills, get the job done, single speed build.  It comes in Royal Purple, and will dent your bank account $1199.

Le Roi Le Veut dlux

Stepping it up a notch is the Le Roi Le Veut  d’lux version.  The deluxe upgrades include a Gates Centertrack belt drive, TRP RRL alloy levers (super comfortable), and Avid BB7 disc brakes.  Gearing for the belt drive is listed as 50t front and a 24t rear.  The color is gunmetal, and the cost is a still reasonable $1499.

LRLV Super dlux

Now we go super with the LRLV Super d’lux.  The super deluxe model keeps the SS belt drive and gets a matching mango Chris King headset, hand built Vuelta Nine rims with EZ0 28h/32h cartridge bearing hubs, Schwalbe CX Pro Performance 30mm tires, TPR RRL carbon levers, new TPR Spyre SLC mechanical discs (160mm front / 140mm rear), FSA Energy crankset, and an FSA cockpit featuring a Gossamer Wing compact bar, OS-150 stem, and a SL-280 seat post.  The color is gunmetal and the cost is $1849

Vive Le Roi

Moving into the geared world, Civilian starts off with a 1×10 dubbed Vive le Roi.  The drivetrain is comprised of SRAM Apex with an 11-32t cassette and medium cage rear derailleur.  The wheels are Formula SB sealed-bearing Hubs laced to Jaclo DM23 rims again, also wrapped in Kenda Kwicker 32mm tires.  Stopping is provided by Avid BB5′s.  The industry standard FSA Gossamer crankset is in place with a 39t ring. Ritchey components make up the cockpit.  The color is dubbed podium blue, and we here are BikeRumor are partial to this paint scheme since it uses our favorite, blue and orange.  MSRP is listed at $1749

Vive Le Roi dlux

Last but not least is the Vive le Roi d’lux model.  This rig is blessed with a 2×10 Shimano drivetrain that uses 105 levers, a CX70 crankset (46/36t), and an Ultegra GS rear derailleur.  The cassette is a 12-30 Shimano 4600.  The disc brakes jump to to Avid BB7′s.  Wheels and cockpit remain the same.   This one is painted in neo sweet pea, and will just pit the the $2k mark at the line, coming in at $2049.

Civilian Weld

As many of you have probably noticed by now, the frameset is lacking rack and fender mounts.  At this price point it seems like it would be a good addition to the bikes so they could pull double duty as a commuter in the off season.  But, the Civilian cross racers are just that, race bikes.  Plus, there are a lot of options still for racks and fenders if you really want.  In fact, PDW’s rack comes with mooting hard already that solves this issue, as does their (soon to be released) wide Full Metal Fenders.

That said, the bikes look amazing in both photographs and in person.  The attention to aesthetics really helps set the bikes apart from the competition . If you are in the Portland, OR region and would like to see them in person, head on over to Velo Cult.  Otherwise, they can be had online from Competitivecyclist.com and Backcountry.com.

Comments

vectorbug - 09/03/13 - 5:40pm

The problem brought up with the fender mounts and being used for commuting is rather understated because of the weight of the builds these are really tank-like even for their price range. They would be great commuters, and in the original product photos on compcyclist they did in-fact show fender mounts in the tange dropouts (the photos were later changed after shipping).

I owned the Vive Le Roi (in sweet pea) last year and while it was nice for training rides in the rain (I was always the first to come to a controlled stop in the wet), I always felt bad for anyone riding behind me thanks to being limited to a seatpost fender or half-length race-blades (which rubbed off some paint on the seatstays and never really fit right on the fork). On race day shouldering and runups was less than ideal thanks to its +25lbs of chromo heft (imo bike weight matters more for cross). I’m not muscle bound, but I can do 50 pushups in a set. I suppose some carbon tubulars would make a big difference, but if you can afford those what are you doing on this thing?

Good effort and great color schemes though. It’s so nice to see something other than red/black/white. Too bad they don’t have a Columbus or True Temper option, but then we’d be in the Cielo, Ridley or SuperX price range.

greg - 09/04/13 - 12:24am

sks raceblade LONG. fender problem solved.

Mike - 09/04/13 - 6:17am

I hate when there are rear derailleur cable guides on “single speed” frames.

Julien M. - 09/04/13 - 7:43am

I’m pretty sure Le Roi Le Veut can offer thrills despite its lack of frills.

Ck - 09/04/13 - 8:11am

I remember you used to be able to pick up the 1×10 Apex/BB5 version off CompetitiveCyclist for under 1.2k. That’s a pretty big price increase when it’s still Apex and BB5′s. Am I missing something?

RJ - 09/04/13 - 10:31am

I was sold until I saw they use PF30 BB. I can’t stand this switch to Press Fit BB’s for cross and mountain. The bearings just don’t hold up and allow too much grit to get inside there. I like the (now) old school thread in external BB’s. I’ve had some last for several seasons with zero issues and onto several different bikes.

Retroslouch - 09/04/13 - 10:56am

@RJ–agree with you 100%, these are nice looking bikes but like All-City the switch to PF on steel frames leaves me befuddled, just roll some d*mn threads into the BB shell!

bin judgin - 09/04/13 - 11:42am

no one wants pf30. its because its cheaper to make the frames. that’s it. external threaded bbs are better.

lucas - 09/04/13 - 1:08pm

you can also get the frames for cheap @ theclymb.com… like 600$

Chris - 09/04/13 - 1:49pm

“At this price point it seems like it would be a good addition to the bikes so they could pull double duty as a commuter in the off season. But, the Civilian cross racers are just that, race bikes.”

This statement might make some sense if these bikes also lacked water bottle mounts. Instead they all have two bottle mounts which makes this a pretty poorly informed statement. There’s no ‘cross race where you will ever need two bottles.

Not including rack mounts is justifiable if the bike uses lightweight chain/seat stays – a loaded rack with light stays is a bad idea. The handling of the bike will suffer and you’d be better off with a different frame or a backpack.

Leaving off fender mounts OTOH is simply pointless. They add next to zero weight while making the bike more practical. If the bike has proper fender mounts – 4 in back, 3 in front – taking the fenders on/off takes no more time than removing water bottles from their braze-ons.

Chris - 09/04/13 - 1:52pm

Also not a fan of press fit BBs on cross bikes. For serious cross use I’d prefer a SKS BB since they come with a 10 year warranty (including the bearings!) and are pretty much impervious to mud, muck and errant use of pressure washers.

Chris D - 09/04/13 - 3:53pm

@Mike, whilst obviously you are entitled to your opinion, I couldn’t disagree more… it’s great that these frames can be used geared or singlespeed – I have an On-one Inbred with sliding rear dropouts (which look very similar) and work really well.

Anthony - 09/04/13 - 11:30pm

I love the color schemes and graphics! hopefully they ride as good as they look

Mitch - 09/08/13 - 10:21pm

I have the ss belt drive and it rides great but very heavy.

wunnspeed - 09/12/13 - 11:02am

I saw these at EuroBike and was quite impressed…. As far as the PF30, as a singlespeeder, I love the idea! Nicer than many of the “big brand” bikes… of course, that’s normal. The smaller guys are often more into building for what people want instead of forcing crap like the 650B on the market.

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