Civia Midtown

Here’s a first look at the new Civia Midtown. Below is a partial build spec; full specs will be added to the Civia website in the coming days. According to the note that accompanied the photo, this is a pre-production bike and the front rack will not tilt up as much as it does in the photo.

  • Frame and Fork: CroMoly Steel
  • Shifters: Shimano Alivio
  • Crankset: Shimano Triple
  • Gearing: 42-32-22 x 11-32
  • Brakes: Tektro Linear Pull
  • Rear Hub: Shimano Alivio
  • Front Derailleur: Shimano Alivio
  • Rear Derailleur: Shimano Alivio
  • Tires: Michelin City 26″ x 1.85″
  • MSRP: $895

Civia Midtown

20 Responses to “Civia Midtown”

  • Jose says:

    For those specs I find the bike a bit pricey. For half that you can get the Kona Smoke, similarly priced, similar components, also in cromoly steel and with mudguards…

  • Alan says:


    I’m sure the Kona is a fine bike, but it’s not at the same spec level as the Civia.


  • Elliott @ Violet Crown Cycles says:

    Blah. I don’t understand why quality brands like Civia start racing to the bottom on this like the recent BUB from Batavus. Margins suck on these, and I think they hurt the brand.

    I think this move is a mistake. Bikes that replace cars for everyday use should be high quality and dependable, not cheap and gimmicky. I think they are undermining their value proposition for their true transportation bikes here.

  • RJ says:

    @ Elliott: I used to agree with you. Now I feel that most any bike is “one more bike.” Unfortunately, people must experience for themselves the poorer quality of their bikes for them to understand why they should spend more– and eventually, some of them do! Otherwise, I’m just a sales person in a bike shop (which I am) encouraging them to spend more money than they want to spend. They have to decide for themselves, not be told.

    This is what I’ve learned, or decided. But you have a valid point.

  • Andrew says:

    I think you guys are getting a bit ahead of yourselves. Almost any bike that you can purchase through an LBS (as opposed to various ‘Mart bikes) will be of good quality. You certainly don’t need to spend more than $1000 to get an excellent, durable – and even quick – multipurpose commuter bike.

    As far as this Civia’s value, though, I have to say that it looks pricey for what you get. For comparison, take a look at a Jamis Commuter 3. $700 gets you a solid aluminium frame with all the eyelets you could want, a Nexus 8 internal hub, fenders, sprung seatpost and saddle, angle-adjustable quill stem and 36H wheels.

    The Commuter 2, which uses only marginally cheaper components than the Civia (Acera vs. Alivio) is $560.

  • Andrew says:

    (And if you’re looking to spend a bit more, there’s also a Commuter 4 that has a dyno hub w/ light, disc brakes, double-front chainwheel, and included rear rack for $1100…hard to imagine a better equipped commuter for the dollar)

  • Rex in Phoenix says:

    Well the $900 price tag is MSRP, so if bikes follow the common retail practice of knocking %30 right off MSRP, the price new would be $600. I don’t know because I’ve never purchased a new bike, and I know certain products do retail firmly at or above MSRP.

    Even at $600… it’s still a little pricey but it seems like a fine bike to me. Not a dream bike but I have no doubt I would dig riding it, particularly for the short distance and errand running application it seems to be targeting. I would hardly call it a rip-off or a bad value proposition. If one has the coin for it and finds its look and feel appealing, my guess is it will make one happy. I used to think I was too good for anything but a [high-end bike of the moment]. Now I will ride just about anything with pedals and don’t seem to be having any less fun for it.

    Also, what’s the rack worth? I’m guessing $80 – $100.

  • Alan says:


    “Bikes that replace cars for everyday use should be high quality and dependable, not cheap and gimmicky.”

    What do you see as “cheap and gimmicky” about this bike? It seems like a nice price point bike to me. I certainly have no problem with seeing an increasing number of transpo offerings on the market. I like the cromo frame and front rack; it seems like a nice bike that fits the EcoVelo niche very well.


  • Scott says:

    As you can see from the photo, Civia is expanding it’s Loring family of bicycles with the Midtown. Our intent with the Midtown is to make a high quality bicycle available to more people by simplifying some aspects of the Loring to end up with a good bicycle at a more attainable cost.

    To some of the comments about how we’re racing to the bottom and cheapening the brand, I tend to disagree, as do the bicycle shops and consumers that specifically requested our line expansion to meet price points they need.

    As much as we’d like to think, not everyone is looking for a car replacement. Not everyone is also looking to spend car replacement money. In offering bikes at different price levels and with different levels of detail, we provide more people with more reasons to get on a bike instead of hopping in a car.

    If you’re wanting to only focus on boutique bikes that the vast majority of the population can’t afford or simply don’t need, you may be living up to your highest personal standards, but not servicing the transportation needs of the vast majority of cyclists and potential cyclists out there.

    At Civia, we will continue to develop the highest quality bicycles that push the convetional thinking of transportation cycling. We will also have bicycles that are variations on those concepts that will be more attainable to people that don’t have the same needs and don’t share the same budget.

    Scott – Civia General Manager

  • Bill says:

    I have to go along with @Jose and @Andrew. I don’t see the niche for this bike. The components seem little different from the Smoke and many other low-end LBS bikes. The design does not seem particularly inspired (at least to me). I can see how some might like the Loring-ish top tube, though I think the position of the stays make it look markedly clumsier on this bike than on the Loring. That seems to leave attention to detail and/or quality control to account for the considerable up-charge. That said, I’m surprised that in the picture, the front rack seems badly mounted in the PR pic,ready to dump its contents on the cables and the head tube .

  • Elliott @ Violet Crown Cycles says:

    Sorry, I was actually referring to the Batavus BUB when I was saying cheap and gimmicky. That wasn’t clear. I don’t think this bike is cheap though it does look like the intro city bike of about 10 other manufacturers and it does lack a lot of the accessories that make a good everyday transportation bike.

    Here’s what I’m trying to say. Every day people spend more than ten times this amount of money on a car without thinking. The price is not the reason people aren’t buying these products in the same numbers, and businesses that rush to the bottom don’t understand how the market is behaving. They are just cutting their margins and hurting themselves. This market is too early to be sacrificing price.

  • Elliott @ Violet Crown Cycles says:

    More individual bike sales is not always a good thing for business. BMW could probably sell more cars if it priced them at the same price as a Chevy, but they understand creating a brand that demands a premium and the margins that come with that is how they make a successful business.

    You are the BMW of the commuter bike world, IMO, and this bike is a Chevy.

  • Alan says:


    We need reliable transpo bikes all up and down the price range. I applaud Civia for responding to their customers and providing an attractive option for people who have limited resources. I don’t see this as diminishing their beautiful, high-end bikes in any way.


  • Elliott @ Violet Crown Cycles says:

    I understand, Alan, and what I’m saying is that price is not the determining factor when the vast majority of people are choosing to live life on two wheels. There are many, many other barriers to entry and having a price point of $800 versus $1500 is not the reason someone makes that decision.

    The bike market is a crowded place, and I think Civia did a great job positioning itself as a certain kind of bike. What they have had is different from other brands. This bike is not different than the “city bikes” the big guys are putting out making it just another bike, and those big guys have the buying power and efficiencies to make these kind of bikes work much better. That’s why I think it hurts the brand.

  • Chester says:

    Elliott: who’s saying this bike is supposed to motivate people to live a car-free lifestyle? Plenty of folks buy bikes to allow them to replace some car trips. Plenty have bikes to replace most car trips. And even if one buys a bike to replace *all* car trips, one need not spend over $1,000.

    Personally, I never thought of Civia as being a brand that is trying to appeal to car-free sensibilities as a way of justifying their price tags. So if they’re diminishing the value of their brand, they’re not diminishing an image of “we provide what you need to ditch your car,” but, instead, a luxury/exclusivity sort of image.

    I can see your point, but I don’t think this is such a far jump down from their existing offerings. A bit, yes, but it’s not like this is a generic $300 commute/hybrid/comfort bike like you see from all the other brands.

  • Elliott @ Violet Crown Cycles says:

    Good point, Chester. I have liked what Civia has done so far, and just want them to do well.

  • Tom says:

    Forget about the pricing, this is one fugly bike!

    The lines are making me squint. What the heck is going on with that top tube which clashes horribly with that straight bladed fork. Better off finding an old 3-speed on Craigslist and paying for an overhaul.

    The soul of design is being lost in bikes like these. Too much function without form.

  • doug says:

    I am not moved by this bike in any way. Even if I had 900 to burn on a practical bike, this would be far from my first choice. I am really surprised by this — surely Civia can do better even at this price?

  • th says:

    I like the frameset. I love the dropouts that will allow me to run a derailer, internally geared hub or singlespeed. Although I do like the swoopy frame design of the Loring, I actually prefer this bike’s simple and clean look. V-brakes instead of the Loring’s discs? I like that too. Although other manufacturers are making city bikes, none do it with the amount of thought that Civia does. The frame is well designed and manufactured. The material is quality steel and not cheap aluminum. The geometry is spot on.

    The problem is the Alivio components on a $900 bike. I understand hitting price-points and I do believe that the commuter market demands lower prices but I also know that Alivio components aren’t designed for the long haul.

  • Larry Guevara says:

    I’m planning to add an Ecospeed electric motor to a Civia Midtown frame. Does anybody know the down tube diameter six inches above the bottom bracket?

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