Long live the king.
From sloppy autumn days to frozen, early winter mornings, cyclocross racing draws competitors and spectators alike to brave harsh conditions. The reason for this is tight racing, challenging courses, and an attitude that leans more on the fun-side of the competitive fence. The Civilian Vive Le Roi offers the performance, durability, and versatility these courses demand to get you out there rubbing elbows during the final, chilly days of the riding season.
Civilian has been around since 2005, but if you're not familiar with these sleek, well designed bicycles, that wouldn't surprise us. That's because, until now, Civilians were each hand crafted for individual customers by one person. Unsatisfied with the offerings available from mainstream manufacturers, Tyson Hart set out building frames under the Civilian brand in 2005 after attending UBI, a respected frame building school in Ashland, Oregon. Relying on a combination of extensive personal experience and close work with clients, Hart crafted cyclocross, commuting, and mountain bicycles.
These bicycles quickly garnered industry respect for their clean lines and efficient designs. You'll find that same attention to detail of those rare, custom pieces in the Vive Le Roi -- now packaged for the masses. The Vive Le Roi is constructed with Hart Design 4130 double-butted Cro-Moly for the right blend of toughness, compliance, and low weight. Traditional lines blend the timeless elegance of cyclocross bicycles with modern features like a oversized headtube, sliding dropouts, and disc brakes. The Vive Le Roi's shaped seat and chainstays offer excellent mud clearance, and responsive acceleration. The stays are tied together with Tange Design sliding dropouts, and the 7075 T6 aluminum sliding pieces offer the option to go derailleur-less.
At the front end of the Vive Le Roi resides a Civilian Chubby head tube. This oversized head tube offers front end stiffness for negotiating rutted courses with ease, and it'll fight defection from the powerful front disc brake and stout disc-specific, tapered carbon CX fork -- keeping the Vive Le Roi planted in high-speed turns, and stable under hard braking. Speaking of braking, you won't find any canti mounts on the Vive Le Roi. Now that the UCI has lifted the ban on disc brakes, cantis are destined to become obsolete as they did on mountain bikes.
Equipped with Avid BB-7 mechanical calipers, and sporting mud-shedding 160mm front and 140mm rear rotors, the Vive Le Roi's ready to get dirty. Ergonomic SRAM Apex brake levers connect you to the calipers and offer excellent leverage and modulation. The right lever has a DoubleTap shifter to quickly and precisely control the 10-speed Rival rear derailleur. An FSA Gossamer crankset spins on MegaExo outboard bearings for hassle-free seasons of grimy competition. Keeping the cockpit nice and light is are 2014 alloy handlebars, stem, and seatpost. A lightly padded Cutter saddle gives the support and comfort needed for a day hopping barriers, and perforated Velo tape ensures you won't lose your grip.
The Vive Le Roi rides on double-walled alloy rims with 32 spokes laced to Quando hubs. They're plenty durable for years of abuse and simple to service if the inevitable fall during competition occurs. Front and rear Kenda Kwicker 700c x 32mm tires have a semi-slick design with low-profile knobs for low-rolling resistance on hard packed courses, and aggressive side knobs for secure handling on muddy courses.
The Civilian Vive Le Roi comes in 50, 53, 55, 57, 59, and 61cm sizes, and it's available in two colors; French Flag and Sweet Pea.
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Share your thoughts
I love steel bikes but just didn't love this bike for cross. I am used to losing, my other bike is SS and there aren't SS race categories generally, but this bike just felt slow and heavy. It isn't just due to total weight, which in the 59 is pretty heavy, but overall responsiveness. Fine for a do it all bike if that is what you are looking for. I also do not like disc brakes. Great for towing a trailer in the rain, but for a 20-40 minute cross race, several weekends per fall? Mine had to be serviced a couple of times and still rubbed unless dialed way out. For me, regular brakes just make a lot more sense for the average rider/hack racer. Little to no maintenance, less weight.
I happen to like the single ring up front and the bike is very pretty. White paint isn't my favorite, and white hoods for cross just don't make sense to me, but that is all just cosmetic.
That said, the return was very easy, the people at Real Cyclist are great. I will continue to shop at CC/RC/etc as my LBS rarely offer anything for cross.
I'm starting to get my eyes on this bike... but now just isn't the right time for it. I have to ask, is Civilian fading away as a company? This seems to be the only place to get them and they've progressively been on sale more and more and seem to be running out of stock.
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Picked up one of these not really sure what to expect. After racing and riding through the season, I'm ready to review it.
Arrived very well packed from the guys at BC. Assembly was simple enough, though if you're not a competent mechanic, I'd recommend taking it by your LBS to get it looked over. Had to tighten the slider DO's and headset plus some minor brake adjustment. Out of the box with a pair of egg beaters it weighed 23.74 lbs. not too bad considering the price. Wouldn't be hard to get this sub-20 lbs. wheelset is super heavy, like >2200 grams. Another note: re-spacing for a 135 rear hub was quite simple.
This bike is impressively fast. Considering the weight, it accelerated quickly and held speed well. The gigantic fork is stable under hard cornering and loose/ sloppy conditions. The tires don't shed mud very well, but front end clearance is great; rear clearance is ok, not as good. The bike is one of the most stable I've ever ridden. The geometry is well thought out, and appreciable when riding with no hands. The BB7s are awesome; dramatically better than their cheaper counterparts BB5.
I bought this bike thinking it would be a good platform that I could later upgrade with a carbon frame. Now I'm sold on this frame. It's ride is classic steel; supple and lively. I'll be upgrading components to get the weight down, but it'll always be a civilian. Can't buy a better bike for the price.
sizing on these frames seem to run a bit big. 5'8" on a 53...normally would ride a 55
- Gender: Male
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
This is a sweet bike at a great price. Keeps it simple in the front with the 1 chain ring, and the Apex shifter on the right side. Very smooth shifting without having to take your hands off the hoods.
Snappy ride, seems to transfer power well. Love the look and feel of the aero blade carbon fork that helps to keep weight within reason on the bike overall. Colors on the french flag option really pop in person, really nice looking.
Cross tires are going to make this a great all season commuter. Really fun and versatile ride. I'm 5'10 and the 55cm fits perfect.
I've been racing my Fuji since 2004 so I was looking for a new bike for the fall. I have a Karate Monkey set up as single speed cross bike and I like the steel frame for riding the rough stuff. I built up a Giant TXC and raced it part of a season but didn't like the way it handled. So steel was the way I wanted to go. Cross is hard on parts and frames so I didn't want to spend a whole bunch of money. I wanted disc brakes because I don't like wearing out wheel sets.Bike came assembled fine and I have no complaints, although I did adjust the brakes. Fit and finish on this bike is very nice. Right off the bat I knew it was a little heavy but the ride more than compensates. Cockpit layout works great for me and I like the rise on the Sram hoods for control. The drivetrain shifts crisp although I had a learning curve on the double tap.My Fuji had a alloy frame that would beat you to death. The Civilian has plush ride that is truly amazing. No noticeable flex when stomping on the cranks. There is only one compliant, the tire clearance of the cross members at the seat and chain stays is only about 4-5MM. Mud clearance could be a problem. Even with that issue this a huge value for the racer on a budget........like me.
Pretty nice bike and sweet service. BC/RC/HuckandRoll do a great job of putting together and ship the item out- just be warned this will add about a week to the delivery time of the bike. Once I received the bike all I had to do was attach the wheels and handle bars then adjust my rear break a little and I was ready to ride.
I ride mostly on the streets of NYC the gear range is perfect for the ride. Power transfer feels very good, when I petal there isnt too much delay in pushing and getting the bike moving- probably because the stock crank shafts are pretty stiff. The weight isnt too bad despite other online reviewers complaining about it (remember its mostly steel, and has disk brakes) I should of probably gotten a road bike, but I feel like the cross bike will be good in nastier urban weather.
Size info: 57cm Im about 6ft2 inches. The stand-over height is perfect, but I have the seat all the way down and I still feel like my leg is too extended on the down pedal. I might get shorter crank shafts to fix the leg length issue.
Overall: when its on sale its a really good bike for the price.
It looks to me like there's a market segment that is just waiting to be tapped: the do-it-all bike for commuting, cross, winter training (wet) and reasonably fast road rides (with the right tires). It's a theme I see on a number of discussion threads.
So c'mon guys, offer this bike with a compact 50/34 crank and a front derailleur/shifter. Once the industry starts offering fairly light road wheels engineered for discs (is the Mavic Aksium Race disc version on the way?) a rider can start to bring the overall weight down...
Nice looking build and I'm considering this bike, but I have a couple questions
1. Tire size: what's the maximum size tire clearance?
2. Weight: Having a hard time believing the 18.3lb weight is really right? For a steel bike with disc brakes and Apex shifters/Rival RD/1050 cassette? zac2982530 indicated his 50cm build was 22.2 lbs after pedals + cages (which would add maybe 1-2 lbs max)... seems more consistent with the tech spec listing of 10.4kg/23lbs.
tire clearance should be good for most CX tires. I have 35mm that have plenty of clearance. For more wheel info here is the link for the rim manufacturer http://www.maddux-wheels.com/rims5.html#top
Thanks zac2982530. What about the weight? You said after you swapped out stem/seatpost/tires it was 22.2 lbs - so is the 18.3 lbs listed weight accurate?
my bike weighs 22.2 as pictured (see above) ...Thomson Seatpost, Fizik saddle, pedals, cages & Deda stem
This is going to be a spare CX bike and Winter "bad" weather bike. I received it 3 days ago and have been pleased. I rode it 4.5 hours on the road with the boys...loved the smooth feel of steel! I don't usually weigh bikes, but since I am writing a review...why not. My bike is a 50cm. With a Thomson seatpost, Fizik saddle and Deda 140 stem, road tires, cages, and pedals...it weighed in at 22.2 lbs. Not bad when my Ti CX bike weighs 21 lbs and cost 3 times as much. I will spend another week riding it on the road before getting it on trail. I'm not sure if the bike is just this much fun or if buying such an inexpensive bike makes it so much fun...but it is FUN!!!
A few things to note...
1) I had some issues with what came in the box (missing barrel adjusters, tangled cable housing, spoke tension on wheelset) I'll let you know how RealCyclist handles these issues
2) Crank arms are 170mm and bars are 42cm
3) The rims are wide 23 mm....which is great for road tires
4) Plan on buying better rim strips
So to sum it all up. Fun bike with great components and the great feel of steel. If you've never ridden steel you should try this out.
I was wondering if the geared version of this bike can be converted to a SS model. The rear drops are unique looking and it appears that it would be easy to do a quick swap.
Also curious about the weight discrepancy between two different spec lists on this site. Is this bike sub 20 lbs or is it 22.9 lbs?
I talked online to a member of the bike staff and they confirmed it was likely in the range of 22.5-23.5lbs.
Yep - you can buy a spacer kit at Competitive Cyclist for chain line. Just remove the rear deraileur (buy a second chain to make easier), use a cog you have lying around and presto - single speed.
Hi, this bike looks great and the build is brilliant.
I see the earlier answer regarding the weight and am hoping for some clarification. The specs say 10.4 kg which converts to 22.93 lbs. The earlier answer says 18.3 lbs. What is it? To me that 4.6 lbs would make a difference as my goal is to use this as a backup road bike by just switching tires.
Thanks in advance for any clarification you can give.
I talked online to a member of the bike staff and they confirmed it was likely in the range of 22.5-23.5lbs.
Received mine a couple of days ago - 55cm and it weighs 23.4lbs on my digital bathroom scale.
Hey, nice looking bike, what is the overall weight?
There is no way this bike could weigh 18.3
I talked online to a member of the bike staff and they confirmed it was likely in the range of 22.5-23.5lbs. 18.3lbs is too good to be true!
Yeah, this is known as lying. Perhaps the bike in it's smallest size without the seat, tires, crank might have a shot at sub 19 but not likely.
My 53 cm bike weighed in at 23.6 lbs. after getting a professional fit at Performance with the following:
120mm stem Forte replacement of stock 90mm; Shimano mtb m520 pedals; aluminum bottle cage (weighed at the store after the fitting).
My 53cm bike weighed in at 21.9 lbs. after getting a bike fit.
I cut 3 inches of seat post and removed head badge.
Deda zero 1 stem (70mm)
38mm carbon clincher wheelset from ebay (1661 gram)
Continental grandprix 23mm tires
Sram rival front derailleur.
Apex Double tap shifter (left)
Sram powerglide 53t/130 bcd outer chainring.
Egg beater 2 pedals.
2 Topeak aluminum bottle cages.
Sigma 1009 bike computer.
I used a bathroom scale.
(I weighed myself and weighed myself with bike again and did the meth).