Jun 4, 2011

Civia Halsted First Impressions

Peace, dood.
We have had the new Civia Halsted cycletruck-style cargo bike in the shop for a couple weeks now and have a handful of rides on it as well, with very positive impressions so far.

First, here are some words from Civia directly -

"Civia’s take on the traditional cycle truck is designed for every-day hauling. Featuring a frame-mounted front rack with a sturdy base made from recycled dumpster plastic, Halsted’s versatile design lets you carry up to 50 pounds of awkward objects like soccer balls, pizza boxes or a few bags of soil for the garden. Delivering an extremely balanced and comfortable ride, its 20” front wheel lowers the load’s center of gravity, while a 26” rear adds speed and stability. Halsted’s compact wheelbase allows tight maneuvering in urban spaces".

Here are the specs -

  • 4130 steel frame and fork
  • 26" rear wheel, 20" front wheel
  • Frame mounted front rack
  • Recycled HDPE rack deck made in Minnesota
  • Civia semi-horizontal dropouts
  • Fender and rack bosses on frame and fork
  • Canti-bosses on frame, disc brake tabs on fork
  • Ring-lock bosses on frame
  • Civia custom-designed kickstand plate
  • Stainless steel headtube badge
  • Civia stainless steel seatpost clamp

The Halsted is basically a fresh take on the "deli bike" or "butcher's bike" which were used, as their names perhaps suggest, as delivery bikes for bakers, butchers, and general delivery men back in the day.

One of the reasons why we like this bike so much is that it offers people who are interested in a utility bike a new option that is much smaller and lighter than most of the cargo bikes currently on the market and allows those who have limited storage space or apartment dwellers a complete utility solution.  All you have to do is look at the photo above to see how versatile this bike can be - kid on the back, junk in the front - with the possibility of carrying 2 kids and junk if needed!

Of ride characteristics - in a word, nimble.  Riding the Halsted is a real treat!  Here are some thoughts -
  • lighter overall weight (when compared to other cargo bikes) and a 9-speed gear range means faster acceleration, easy hill climbing, and top speed aplenty.  
  • a longer cockpit area makes the bike feel very similar to a standard mountain bike and makes out-of-the-saddle climbing easy.
  • low overall weight makes carrying the bike up stairs possible (again, comparing to cargo bikes)
  • when loaded with cargo (and perhaps a child) the bike is stable and confidence inspiring, with a maximum load on the front flatdeck of about 50lbs or so.  
  • semi-stephrough toptube design makes getting on/off easy.
If you are curious about this affordable utility option, pop in to the shop sometime and take it for a test ride.  Affordable cargo bike utility has never been in such easy reach for the masses!