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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.