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Old 07-29-10, 02:29 PM   #1
m_yates
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Civia Bryant with Belt Drive anyone?

I've been keeping my eye on the Civia Bryant with belt drive for some time. It looks like close to my ideal commuter. The frame has almost exactly the same geometry as my current touring bike I use for commuting, and I know that fits me well. The Bryant frame has eyelets for front and rear racks. I like the idea of lower maintenance belt drive and internal gears. I think the swappable drop outs on the frame make it very versatile. Disc brakes are a plus too. The only thing I don't like is 32h hubs. I don't understand why 36h hubs weren't selected.

Does anyone own one? Universal Cycles recently got a few in stock and I was close to buying one, but currently they are sold out again.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:56 PM   #2
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The bryant was on my shortlist, before I went with the Norco Vesta.

I think the Bryant is pretty ideal as a commuter and the next round of bikes will be built up in the next 6 weeks or so (based on my last conversation with the folks a t Civia, 2-3 weeks ago).
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Old 07-29-10, 08:22 PM   #3
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I saw one at the LBS. spontaneous salivating ensued, and I ride a Trek Soho with a belt drive.

It's a beautiful bike, with drop bars and everything. If it had the 11-gear Shimano hub or Rohloff (and 28mm tires) it would be the perfect commuter.

expensive though...
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Old 07-29-10, 09:54 PM   #4
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The bike made my short list, as well... but when the local Civia dealer told me how much it would cost, I sadly had to strike it from my list.
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Old 07-30-10, 12:23 AM   #5
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I took the plunge and pre-ordered one, before they'd actually made any. Have been riding it about a month, loving it. Was previously riding a Trek Portland.

One criticism of the spec is that the bb5 brakes are a bit pants - am in the process of replacing with bb7s. The bike is otherwise a very smooth and comfy ride, not had a chance to do a long ride on it yet but it definitely feels like a bike I could put in a lot of miles on.

Looking forward to the alfine 11 too, definitely the 8 is missing a little range at the top end compared to the Portland but not so much I feel it's a hardship (and I did know this going in.) It's gonna be a while before the 11 is widely available though and it'll need someone to produce a drop bar shifter for it too, so I'm not holding my breath.
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Old 07-31-10, 02:54 PM   #6
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I took delivery of my Civia Bryant on June 25. Other than the bottom bracket squeaking that my LBS can't solve, it's a sweet ride. I expect to ride it to work every day.
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Old 07-31-10, 06:38 PM   #7
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So does anyone have pictures of this special bike?
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Old 07-31-10, 11:04 PM   #8
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There are some nice pics here: http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/12/29/f...ivia-bryant-2/

And some more here: http://www.ecovelo.info/2010/01/03/s...-civia-bryant/

BTW EcoVelo is a pretty good site for reviews (IMHO, YMMV).

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Old 08-03-10, 01:35 AM   #9
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Received mine in May but had only ordered the frame and built up the rest myself. The only thing I have had a problem with is I have yet to be able to get the horizontal dropouts for it so have been stuck using a tensioner for the time being.

I also prefer the chain to the belt as I like to swap out different chain rings etc.

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Old 08-03-10, 12:41 PM   #10
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Hot Damn! That's dandy!
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Old 08-03-10, 03:27 PM   #11
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Received mine in May but had only ordered the frame and built up the rest myself. The only thing I have had a problem with is I have yet to be able to get the horizontal dropouts for it so have been stuck using a tensioner for the time being.

I also prefer the chain to the belt as I like to swap out different chain rings etc.


Nice! I like the hammered fenders on there.
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Old 08-03-10, 05:34 PM   #12
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I read somewhere that it weighed about 30 lbs. I'm curious why, since my old low-end (200 GS components) steel hybrid weighs that much. Steel handlebars, crankset, brake levers, stem, etc. Where's all that weight coming from?
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Old 08-03-10, 10:26 PM   #13
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I read somewhere that it weighed about 30 lbs. I'm curious why, since my old low-end (200 GS components) steel hybrid weighs that much. Steel handlebars, crankset, brake levers, stem, etc. Where's all that weight coming from?
I was wondering about this myself. The EcoVelo review lists the weight at 30.5 pounds. My guess would be that the IGH hub accounts for a good chunk of that weight. Disc compatible frames tend to be fairly heavy too. Even so, I find myself wondering if the listed weight includes the rack and fenders.
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Old 08-04-10, 07:00 AM   #14
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My aforementioned bike is 31 lbs or so with fenders (Freddy Fenders), no rack. That includes, though, the heavy chunk of metal that is the Adams Trail-A-Bike Hitch so that probably can take the place of a IGH; I'd bet it at least makes up the difference especially since the drivetrain is not what I'd call modern and lightweight. The difference of an IGH is said to be a pound or so. A rack is, what, a pound maybe? Are they using *really* heavy fenders? Are discs really that much heavier? Curious.
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Old 11-14-10, 09:19 AM   #15
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Commuting daily on Civia Bryant Alfine - love it

Purchased my CBA in August from Universal and commute daily 26-30 miles round trip. This is my first dedicated commuter and it has done a great job. A few notes:
-It took awhile to get the Alfine hub/Gates belt dialed-in. I was new to IGHs and the learning curve for adjustment was steep. Likewise was belt tension. Had it too slack for awhile and it would jump teeth under load. Had it too tight for awhile and the hub would make noise.
-BB5 brakes are doing just fine. I had heard complaints, but I've been fully loaded (dual Ortlieb panniers plus my 200#s) at 25mph when a car turned in front of me. Full stopped before I hit him - straight and true - no drama.
-You can put too much torque thru the hub. Alfine hubs are purported to be bulletproof, but I have destroyed the freewheel mechanism of mine (Shimano replacing under warranty). Don't know what to think about this situation yet. The hub has 2,000 miles on it.
-Michelin City tires failed me. Both had sidewall blowouts. One was dramatic, like a gun shot, on a curb crossing. The other was slow. Replaced both with Bontrager Race Lite Hardcases. They have much lower rolling resistance but less traction.

I have done a few centuries with the bike and it could use a lower first gear as well as a higher top gear. I plan on upgrading to the Alfine 11 when it and a brifter come out.

IMG_0034..jpg
Here is a picture of the beast before the front Michelin gave out. I have added a Topeak rack and Civia plastic fenders as well as the Civia double stand. Latest add was an Ortlieb handlebar bag that matches the Ortlieb-made Civia panniers.
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Old 11-14-10, 10:55 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by m_yates View Post
The only thing I don't like is 32h hubs. I don't understand why 36h hubs weren't selected.

Does anyone own one? Universal Cycles recently got a few in stock and I was close to buying one, but currently they are sold out again.
I've been to Universal and looked at their floor model. It is indeed one sharp bike. I don't know your specifics, but unless you're doing loaded touring, I wouldn't sweat the 32h wheels.

I weigh ~180, my bike is 50 pounds when fully kitted for commuting or distance, with 32h 700c disc wheels. I am severely unkind to these wheels: ride down stairs, jump off curbs, pop wheelies/stoppies, hop over obstacles (and sometimes still hit them). Still going strongly after almost 10000 miles of this nastiness. And Universal built my front wheel; I built my rear.
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Old 11-14-10, 11:32 PM   #17
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...You can put too much torque thru the hub. Alfine hubs are purported to be bulletproof, but I have destroyed the freewheel mechanism of mine (Shimano replacing under warranty). Don't know what to think about this situation yet. The hub has 2,000 miles on it.
-Michelin City tires failed me. Both had sidewall blowouts. One was dramatic, like a gun shot, on a curb crossing. The other was slow. Replaced both with Bontrager Race Lite Hardcases. They have much lower rolling resistance but less traction...
Curious on a couple of points: What exactly do you mean by "freewheel mechanism"? Was the hub itself rendered inoperable? I am asking because I have a Gates belt drive/Alfine setup on my Norco Ceres and I managed to shear off the tangs that allow the rear cog to interface with the hub. Norco replaced the part under warranty, but it's made from aluminum so may fail again under stress. Gates now makes a steel cog but all of the current parts are earmarked for production bikes and there is no stock of replacement parts as of yet. I have been in contact with Gates and they assured me that they will replace any aluminum cogs that I manage to destroy before the steel ones become available. So far the second cog is holding up fine.

Secondly, what model of Michelin tires were you using? I have a set of Pilot Citys on another bike and I had a couple of blowouts, but I had been running them at the max pressure of 85 psi. I now run them at 65F/75R with no problems. They are very sticky and flat-resistant; no puncture-related flats since purchase.
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Old 11-15-10, 12:44 PM   #18
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I have to confess I am currently running my Bryant with a chain. Further to the comments about getting the belt dialed in, I could never get it to stop creaking, despite reading & trying just about every possible thing that could affect it (belt tension, wheel alignment, greasing BB/crank interfaces etc). It was supposed to be a low-maintenance drivetrain but I spent far too much of my free time tweaking it. The IGH on the other hand is easy to set up.

The chain also allows me to run somewhat taller gearing (45/20) which suits me a little better, and with a chainguard (which the bike came with, even with a belt) I'm not losing much. I still love the bike - it's handsome, very practical and a great ride. I also knew the belt-drive was something of a gamble going in - but I still very much like the idea of having a frame designed with different drivetrains in mind in the way that the Bryant is.

ircclean's story about the sprocket is interesting. Having had the drivetrain apart on mine, ISTM the spline on the Alfine might be designed such that the sprocket breaks before the hub internals do in the event of too much torque. It basically has three fairly shallow rounded splines, rather than many square splines. It's possible that the alu Gates sprockets that worked great on a singlespeed hub with a conventional spline ran afoul of this on the Alfine hub.

I might give the belt another try when the CenterTrack stuff becomes more widely available - I kind of see CenterTrack as something of an admission that the first version of this system was flawed (especially combined with the materials change for the sprocket.)
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Old 11-15-10, 10:35 PM   #19
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...ircclean's story about the sprocket is interesting. Having had the drivetrain apart on mine, ISTM the spline on the Alfine might be designed such that the sprocket breaks before the hub internals do in the event of too much torque. It basically has three fairly shallow rounded splines, rather than many square splines. It's possible that the alu Gates sprockets that worked great on a singlespeed hub with a conventional spline ran afoul of this on the Alfine hub.

I might give the belt another try when the CenterTrack stuff becomes more widely available - I kind of see CenterTrack as something of an admission that the first version of this system was flawed (especially combined with the materials change for the sprocket.)
I'm sorry to hear that your experience with the belt drive was negative. While I do find that mine creaks a little, overall it's quieter than my chain-driven bikes. As for single speed cogs, AFAIK they are the traditional 9-spline design and are therefore inherently stronger than the IGH offerings. Also, traditional rear cogs for IGHs are made of steel and their 3-spline design has withstood the test of time. Apparently, however, aluminum versions of said design will not handle the torque created by a rider of my stature.

I am also hoping to eventually retrofit my bike to the CenterTrack system.
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Old 11-16-10, 07:34 AM   #20
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....ircclean's story about the sprocket is interesting. Having had the drivetrain apart on mine, ISTM the spline on the Alfine might be designed such that the sprocket breaks before the hub internals do in the event of too much torque....
Never attribute forethought when stupidity will do. In this case, Gates messed up on a 100 year old system. The three tange sprocket has been standard on Sturmey Archer, SACHS, Bendix, Shimano and many other manufacturers. The mistake was going cheap and using all aluminum, they've fixed it but to screw exisiting customers isn't right.
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Old 11-16-10, 12:37 PM   #21
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Never attribute forethought when stupidity will do. In this case, Gates messed up on a 100 year old system. The three tange sprocket has been standard on Sturmey Archer, SACHS, Bendix, Shimano and many other manufacturers. The mistake was going cheap and using all aluminum, they've fixed it but to screw exisiting customers isn't right.
I've been in touch with Gates and a representative got back to me, assuring me that I would be taken care of (i.e., with replacement cogs) until such time as the steel cogs become available to the general public. Ideally I would like to see them offer a free retrofit to their new CenterTrack design... or at least a substantial discount.
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Old 11-16-10, 04:27 PM   #22
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I believe that the part that failed was the ratchet and pawl freewheel mechanism in the hub. My LBS said that after troubleshooting w/ Shimano, they are sending a new set of internals for the hub. I don't know if I'll find out exactly what failed. I should have the bike back tomorrow. If allowed to examine the hub carcass, I'll let you know.

Regarding the Michelins, I was running the Civia Bryant-standard Michelin City 700x32s. I too ran them at 85 psi., any lower and the rolling resistance was noticeable. Me + rig is about 250 lbs. and the roads/trails/curbs here can be torturous.
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Old 11-16-10, 10:27 PM   #23
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The Bryant looks incredible. It's unfortunate that there is no Bryant frame (and Hyland as well) available with a 700-710mm standover height.
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Old 11-17-10, 06:35 AM   #24
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First centertrack with alfine 11 may be the spot acme. Any guesses on the price? The prototype is shown with disc brakes. http://plixi.com/p/46249331

Wonder if it will have the simple tension system spot has moved to with its newer belt drive bikes.

Pic of the Acme's rear setup: http://www.bikerumor.com/wp-content/...02-600x450.jpg

Looks unique to the Acme.

Last edited by soho2009; 11-17-10 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 11-20-10, 07:33 PM   #25
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Got an update from my LBS. Seems that while installing a new set of innards sent to the shop by Shimano, the technician discovered that the aluminum tangs as discussed here are the parts that failed. It's adding an additional 4 days to the repair time! It'll be nice to have a new IGH and sprocket, but I've been off of my bike for over a week and a half. This is my primary means of commuting and not having it is a real hassle. I don't think that the bike infrastructure yet supports a car free life. That is, of course, unless you have a backup bike. I don't
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