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Citizen Rome - Cheap 16" Belt Drive, Anyone?

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Citizen Rome - Cheap 16" Belt Drive, Anyone?

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Old 10-06-18, 06:51 PM
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Taipei Tony
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Citizen Rome - Cheap 16" Belt Drive, Anyone?

Hi all, been out of the folding bike game for several years. I'm now back living in the US and looking to buy a modest folder. Was thinking about getting a Strida since I like the quick/simple fold and the belt drive. Did a Google search for "belt drive folding bike" and came across this bike from Citizen, ROME Citizen Bike 16" 1-speed Ultra-Light Folding Bike with Belt Drive.


16" wheels, belt drive, only 20lbs, and only $359. I tried to do some research but besides their own product page and this article which seems like a paid ad, https://www.digitaltrends.com/outdoo...e-citizen-bike, I literally could not find any other mention of it. Not a single mention of it on here either. This seems like a pretty amazing package so I was kinda surprised by the lack of reviews and information.


My only concern is the folding hinge, all the other Citizen bikes seem to have that cheap thread type hinge where you need to screw and tighten the bolt. I had a cheap folder before with this exact type of hinge and it was unbearable. But the Rome seems to have a straight latch hinge without the need for screwing and tightening.


So does anyone have any knowledge, info, or experience with this bike?
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Old 10-07-18, 12:03 AM
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I didn't end up buying this bike, but I did some research into it.

Two considerations:

1) It's a single speed, so is your commute very flat or very short? What if the gearing is low? Are you okay with not having a high top speed?

2) The belt drive is NOT Gates CDX. That's why it's cheaper than other bikes with belt drive. If someday the belt needs to be replaced, you'll have to buy the replacement through Citizen.

I am intrigued by their muffin airless tire option. I've tried bikes with muffin tires and they're not bad. It'd be nice to not have to worry about pumping or flats.

Here is an email I got from them regarding the belt manufacturer.

The TOPTRANS belt is not directly compatible with GATES. Replacement belts are $29. We could always arrange a spare belt with your purchase as well.

If you need any detailed information, please contact me at contact us at 1-800-682-9579 (Monday - Friday, 10am - 4pm EST).

Thanks!

Avery

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Old 10-07-18, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by minbikemaxfun View Post
I didn't end up buying this bike, but I did some research into it.

2) The belt drive is NOT Gates CDX. That's why it's cheaper than other bikes with belt drive. If someday the belt needs to be replaced, you'll have to buy the replacement through Citizen.
The belt shouldn't be a concern. 8mm pitch belts are easily sourced through multiple online belt distributors. Moulton used the same system on their belt drive TSR-2. I modified mine many times swapping out hubs,cogs, rings, and different belt lengths. I also ran 8mm pitch on my MU Uno/Duo .. it's a very reliable system. The Citizen Rome uses a 'snubber' at the rear to help with belt skipping under power.

Seems like a cool little bike, but didn't see any reference to 'gear inches' in the tech specs.. That might be a concern.
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Old 10-08-18, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by minbikemaxfun View Post
I didn't end up buying this bike, but I did some research into it.

Two considerations:

1) It's a single speed, so is your commute very flat or very short? What if the gearing is low? Are you okay with not having a high top speed?

2) The belt drive is NOT Gates CDX. That's why it's cheaper than other bikes with belt drive. If someday the belt needs to be replaced, you'll have to buy the replacement through Citizen.

I am intrigued by their muffin airless tire option. I've tried bikes with muffin tires and they're not bad. It'd be nice to not have to worry about pumping or flats.

Here is an email I got from them regarding the belt manufacturer.
1. Single speed is fine for me, not intending to use it for any serious hardcore riding, just for trawling around town (Anaheim now). My previous bike was a Tern Verge Duo so I'm used to single speed.

2. I didn't know that it wasn't a Gates drive, but I don't really mind what it is, as long as it works and is reliable.

3. The Muffin Tops are interesting, but I'm also a bit confused about them. I've read about airless tires before but those were made of solid rubber or foam. I thought these would be solid rubber as well but the site says "Airless: Filled with a natural, stable gas, integrated with macromolecular materials, Muffin® Tires will never need air and will never go flat." So it's airless but it's filled with other types of gasses? Which means it's not solid rubber? And it also says "Muffin® technology allows us to create a tire and wheel combination that weighs almost half the weight of traditional solid tires.", if it's really that light then I guess it really ISN'T solid rubber?
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Old 10-08-18, 08:55 PM
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Tern Verge Duo is likely a nicer bike than the Citizen Rome. The Duo has 2 speeds with automatic shifting.

If you're confident that you can pedal harder or faster when needed, then maybe a 1 speed is fine. I was definitely intrigued with the Rome but ended up getting something with more gears.

Maybe the muffin tire is like a hard memory foam and the little air cells/pockets are filled with some inert gas like nitrogen? I assume if it gets punctured, nothing would really happen, since the gas would leak out and get replaced by regular air.

Anyways, email them! They were good at answering my questions.

Last edited by minbikemaxfun; 10-08-18 at 11:10 PM.
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Old 10-09-18, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by minbikemaxfun View Post
Tern Verge Duo is likely a nicer bike than the Citizen Rome. The Duo has 2 speeds with automatic shifting.

If you're confident that you can pedal harder or faster when needed, then maybe a 1 speed is fine. I was definitely intrigued with the Rome but ended up getting something with more gears.

Maybe the muffin tire is like a hard memory foam and the little air cells/pockets are filled with some inert gas like nitrogen? I assume if it gets punctured, nothing would really happen, since the gas would leak out and get replaced by regular air.

Anyways, email them! They were good at answering my questions.
No doubt the Verge is a fine bike, but it's in Taiwan and I'm in the US now. Too much hassle to get it here, and also I want to be able to use it when I visit.

I think I'm gonna give it a try and order it the next few weeks, found a $10 off coupon code too lol.
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Old 10-09-18, 09:21 PM
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Nice. Post a review and some photos if you can! If they had a local headquarters I would have gone for a test ride. The only thing I was worried about was the gear inches and whether it would be versatile enough for my needs.
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Old 10-11-18, 10:37 AM
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I checked with Citizen, the frame spacing for the rear hub does not allow multi-speed, freewheel/cassette hub to be used with the Rome frame.
Which is a big bummer.
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Old 10-11-18, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
I checked with Citizen, the frame spacing for the rear hub does not allow multi-speed, freewheel/cassette hub to be used with the Rome frame.
Which is a big bummer.
What is the spacing? There are narrow axle internal hubs in the market.

Thanks
Yan
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Old 10-11-18, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube View Post
What is the spacing? There are narrow axle internal hubs in the market.

Thanks
Yan
According to Citizen:

Citizen Bike (Citizen Bike)

Oct 10, 10:54 EDT

Thanks for the email.

The rear dropout is too narrow for a geared hub. The rear dropout is only 95mm on the ROME.

Thanks!
Avery
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Old 10-11-18, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cat0020 View Post
According to Citizen:

Citizen Bike (Citizen Bike)

Oct 10, 10:54 EDT

Thanks for the email.

The rear dropout is too narrow for a geared hub. The rear dropout is only 95mm on the ROME.

Thanks!
Avery
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Yes 95mm is too narrow for any gears. I know SA has been doing a 120mm 8sp hub, and they will have an announcement of a new hub at the Taipei trade show.

Thanks,
Yan
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Old 10-12-18, 08:41 AM
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One speed is way too limiting... I want to optimize my work with a bike, not spin out.
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