|Source: Civia Cycles|
The Twin City is quite lovely in person with its rich burgundy color and gracefully curved top tube and handlebars. I liked the integrated rack, but was concerned about how the bottom hook of my shopping pannier would connect without slipping. Wrangling the far-reaching cables around a front basket might be difficult. The top tube was higher than I expected, though. Dottie and I are both 5'7" and she steps over the top tube fairly easily in her video review. I found it easier to throw my leg over the seat when mounting the bike (which kind of defeats the purpose of a step-through...), but pulling my leg through when dismounting was quite comfortable.
The test ride itself was enjoyable despite my turning the shifter in the wrong direction, but the bicycle forgave my slip-ups. The chain sound and felt like it slipped occasionally, but that could be due to improper assembly and I'm sure could be adjusted. The grips felt comfortable in my hands and the brake handles were in a good position. The back brake was sluggish and the front brake squealed like a banshee. The riding posture was extremely comfortable -- upright, but not stiffly so -- and I could easily bend into a lower and more aggressive position. The stock seat was EXTREMELY uncomfortable during my ten minute ride around the neighborhood and would need to be swapped out pronto. I have no idea of determining how fast I rode, but I wasn't afraid to tangle with traffic and take-off from a stoplight was easy. The ride quality wasn't as smooth as I'd expected. I'd equate it with the Linus Dutchi, not terrible like the Globe Daily but not as sweet as the Public Bikes M8. I don't know if this is correct, but I chalked that up to the narrow tires.
I had carried my Specialized Ariel to Richmond as trade and when I rode her up to the shop (parking was a couple of blocks away) after having ridden the Civia, I couldn't help but compare how much smoother Lily's ride felt to the Civia's. At that point I realized that the Civia wasn't the bike for me and I wouldn't compromise the form of a not-quite-right loop frame against the function of my current hybrid.
Some might see this as a wasted trip -- I kind of did as I sat in standstill traffic on I-95 for twenty minutes thanks to road construction -- but it was actually another object lesson in specs on paper (or the web) not meeting the gut (and butt) feeling. And with that, one more obsession has bitten the dust and I was completely happy with my utilitarian Lily. At least I was until the adorable G.E. of Endless Velo Love pointed out that Public Bikes must have heard my whine about the Mixte frame and the 3-speed loop frame having an internal geared hub and it wasn't fair that the 7-speed loop frame had a rear derailleur instead. They have since released an eight-speed, internally geared loop-frame bicycle. The Public Bikes M8 has been my favorite test ride thus far; this C8 may just be The One.
|Source: Public Bikes|