First Look: Civia Bryant

Civia’s in the news again. This time it’s a sneak peek at their new bike to be unveiled at Interbike in September:

The Civia family is poised to grow again, with its next bike model just around the bend. Featuring transportation-dialed road geometry, three build options and the touches you would expect from Civia, this model is guaranteed to please. Retail pricing starting around $1,250 makes this more than highly-functional eye candy, it makes it your next bike. Look for the Bryant to be fully unveiled in September at Interbike and to be available for purchase in the spring of 2010.

Yup, that’s a belt drive you’re looking at. I also see an internal gear hub, Alfine crank, drop bars, disc brakes, and what appears to be a steel frame. Very interesting! So far, I very much like what I see. We’ll be attending Interbike this year, so we’ll have a full report for you in September.


27 Responses to “First Look: Civia Bryant”

  • bongobike says:

    That is great news! I don’t understand why newer single-speed and internal-geared bikes haven’t all been switched over to belts. It makes complete sense: no grease, less weight, and with modern materials they are super tough and probably outlast chains. What’s not to love?

  • EdL says:

    No, this is horrible news!! I have been having a hard enough time deciding on my next bike purchase and now Civia goes and makes it more complicated – nice tease with the “lower/more price points” too. Sigh.

  • Kenneth Rhodes says:

    So whats the story on a belt drive? My guess is that it is probably much lighter than a chain, but can it take the torque (is that the proper term?) required to climb steep hills? How much will it cost to replace? Will the Bryant come with a spare belt?

  • Alan says:


    Belt drives are definitely ready for prime time. More info here:

    Gates Carbon Drive

    We won’t have more details on the Bryant until Interbike.

  • Aaron says:

    Nice! I’d been eyeing that Trek bike with the belt. I’m glad there’s an alternative out.

  • Alan says:


    I think the only thing holding up the wider use of belt drives is the need for belt-drive-specific frames that can be opened up at the rear dropout to install the belt.

  • Geo says:

    There are some designers at Trek who are running the Gates belt drive systems on fixed gear bicycles, and it’s been tested in CX and MTB conditions. Different kind of ride – not blow your mind “OMG IT’S A BELT IT CHANGES EVERYTHING!” but it does feel a little different.

    I always liked the Civia bikes, very elegant. This one looks no different.

  • Larey says:

    A steel transportation bike with drops and disc brakes gets my attention. If the belt and internal gearing proves to be quick then I might have to rethink next years bike budget (one bike that works equally well for good and bad weather? Priceless).

    Alan, when you go to Interbike you might mention to the reps an aspect of commuting bikes that I’ve never seen addressed and that is finish. I don’t want to spend 1K+ on a new bike when I know the finish will be trashed the first time I chain up to a crowded rack.

  • bongobike says:

    Kenneth Rhodes said:

    “can it take the torque (is that the proper term?) required to climb steep hills? ”

    If they work on Harley Davidson motorcycles, I’m sure they can make one that can handle the awesome power one human being. :)

  • bongobike says:


    I think they can probably come up with some kind of linkage so that you can open the belt. That way you could use it with any frame.

  • Alan says:


    Yeah, it would be really cool if it was a simple bolt-on conversion!

  • Frits says:

    What makes this interesting is that Shimano apparently agreed with its use with a belt. Koga Miyata also have a bike with a Gates belt drive on a Nexus 8 Premium hub (only in Europe) whereas Dutch specialist bike builder Santos have a touring bike with belt drive + Rohloff 14 speed hub. They say on their website that this is a great experience, but Rohloff hasn’t officially approved the combination yet. There is of course a folding bike by Bernds that has the same combination; do they expect the hub will have to cope with less power there?

  • brad says:

    That sure looks like a winner.

    Here in Québec, Opus has announced that its “Urbanista” line of urban bikes will be expanded from 2 models to 8 in the 2010 model year; the catalogue will be out in early September. They have some sneak preview close-ups on their Urbanista blog and I like what I see so far:

  • Jeff says:

    I saw a Trek Soho S last week in a shop that has the same hub and belt drive setup, but their model has a “roller brake” brake set, for around $950.00, it will be interesting to see if belt drive catches on, it makes more sense in the low maintenence aspect , and like others said, the motorcycle world has been using this Tech for sometime now.

  • dave marquez says:

    this is the first belt drive bike I’ve seen that I think is gonna knock me out. I love steel frames and I am very interested in belt drive.
    can’t wait to see one in the flesh!

  • Keith says:

    The only concern I have is the “Spring 2010″ release date, but that’s just me being selfish. I was planning to get/build a new all-weather commuter before this Fall, but it may be worthwhile to commute on the MTB a few more months if the Bryant really is “all that”.

    I wonder if it will have a front dyno hub, maybe as an extra-cost option? That looks like the only thing it’s missing on my personal “ultimate all-weather commuter bike” wish list.

  • Rich Wood says:

    From the photo I do not see any belt guard other than what appears to be a disc type guard on the front pulley. In bad weather a chain or belt can still throw water/mud etc that gets on it or the pants leg touch a dirty belt. IMO all commuting bikes should have a reasonably full guard for the chain or belt, at least a upper run cover. My Hyland Rohloff does.


    A folding bike typically has gearing such that the hub sees lower input torque. Due to the smaller wheels a folder will have an input ratio that is numerically higher than a standard wheel size bike. Input torque seen by an IGH seems to relate directly to longevity. Certainly Rohloff is adamant about users following their minimum input ratio guidelines.

  • Frits says:

    Rich Wood: thanks, this explains why Koga’s first try has 20″ wheels. As for belt guards, a belt indeed needs one just as much as a chain. Koga says in its maintenance manual:
    “Maintenance of the toothed belt drive
    Clear off rough dirt regularly, particularly from the toothed side of the belt.
    Do not lubricate the belt.
    The working life and proper functioning of the belt can be affected by:
    – twisting
    – folding, kinking or rolling up
    – turning inside out
    – knotting
    – excessive dirt
    – objects coming between the teeth of the drive belt (pebbles, twigs etc.) ”
    People with knives remain unmentioned. My impression is that a belt is more vulnerable than a chain. Adding a guard such as a Chainglider would help a lot.

  • PJ says:

    Thanks for all of the great comments, it is very encouraging and Civia is excited to announce the full details at Interbike which is rapidly approaching.
    The only thing I wanted to comment on was in regards to the bike lacking a belt guard.
    The Civia Bryant will have a belt guard that comes with this bike, the picture you see above is from a photo shoot we did with our first samples. The belt guard is still in the design process so we have nothing to show at this point but it is coming.
    Thanks again,

    PJ Ramstack
    Civia Cycles
    Sales and CS Manager

  • Simon N says:

    Nice looking bike.

    It’s funny that this brand new belt technology is compatible with my girlfriend’s 60 year-old Hallmark 3-spd frame, which has the old ‘bolt on’ seat stays.

    What’s old is new again!

  • Eddie says:

    I’ve been riding a kevlar belt-drive, single speed folding bike for over year now. Has someone figured out how not to have the belt skip under hard pressure? It’s unnerving when the belt bolts when you hammer. I guess Harley-Davidson motorcycles rely on low gearing to prevent the incidence of tooth skipping. I’m always surprised how the puny torque from my legs alone can produce this annoying phenomena.

  • PJ says:

    I have not been on a belt drive myself but in preparation and design of the Bryant some of our engineers have. I asked them if they had any tips for you regarding the skipping issue you are experiencing. They were reluctant to diagnose the issue with out seeing the bike and having little experience with how a belt would work on a folding bike.
    The one thing they expressed was making sure that the alignment of your front and rear sprockets are exact and that the tension is correct.

    Beyond that they suggested that you check out the link off of labeled “for bike makers”. On the right side of the page are PDF’s links for tension requirements and alignment. If you are still left with questions give the folks at Gates a call and I am sure they would love to help.

    Best of luck,
    PJ Ramstack
    Civia Cycles

  • Mike C says:

    Only downside to belt drive on Treks is that you better like the ratio(s) because there is only one “chainring”/front cog available, and two rear cogs–the alternate rear cog available through Trek is 2t higher than the stock Soho cog, so it can only be geared up.

    I hope, with more manufacturers getting on board with belt drive, that more choices hit the market. Otherwise, you could alwas switch back to traditional chain and cogs for gearing changes.

  • Rider says:

    Does the Civia have an adjustable bottom bracket, or does it have horizontal dropouts?

  • Jorge says:

    Are there plans for Civia to launch a new model coming in at a price point below the Loring?

  • PJ says:

    We are not using an adjustable bb, that is about all I will say for now.
    Nothing mind blowing but we are keeping a few things under wraps until September.
    We will be coming out with bikes that widen our price point scope but again no details to report right now but please stay tuned.
    Thanks again,

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