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schillaci 10-14-10 07:29 PM

Citizen Miami Review
I got my Citizen Miami a few days ago and here is a report of how it is going so far.

I commute on a train about 30 minutes into Boston everyday and it is quite crowded so I needed a folding bike but on a budget.
I only had aroun $200 to spend so this bike was perfect. I ordered it and it was sent to me quickly but fedex left it on my doorstep with nobody at home. I live in a city in an apartment so my entryway is shared by many apartments and with lots of people around. Of course it got stolen before I had a chance to get home. Fedex gave me a runaround but the Citizen bike people were awesome. They helped me deal with fedex and then sent me a new bike.
So like i said I got it a few days ago. It is my first folding bike so I need to get used to how it rides. I had a Univega 3 speed prior to this and really liked it.
I can't say it is a very comfortable or fast riding bike. That might just be because I am not used to it yet. It feels solid enough and folds and sets back up easily enough though. I am a 5-10 inch male so maybe it is small for me. It doesn't coast much and I really have to pedal it to get going. I feel like I am constantly pedaling. Luckily my entire commute is flat. Only one small hill. And I live about .5 mile to the commuter train station and my work is about 1.5 miles from the station at the other end.
I will not be riding this bike for pleasure.
All in all though I am happy with it since it makes my commute much easier. Especially when the train lacks the space for a bike which has been happening quite a bit lately.

camroidv27 10-15-10 01:00 AM

From one owner to another.
Glad to hear that Citizen got you a replacement bike for the one that was stolen. I found their customer service folks to be top notch, helpful, and forgiving.

Having the bike (well, I'm on my first replacement after the first one's hinge broke... see other post) I can urge to to stay on top of the hinges. Tighten them when needed, but do NOT over tighten since the screws are made of soft metal. 1/8th of a turn at a time will do. Also, you may want to replace your rear tube with the most puncture resistant one you can get, as getting the rear wheel back in place, with the kickstand, and making sure the wheel isn't off axis with the chain can be really cumbersome and frustrating. Mind you, that's my Arizona experience, since parts and prickers of prickly pear and cholla cactus in the roadway is pretty common.
Don't put too much of your body weight into the handlebars, or the hinge will start to bend, making it so they wobble even under a tightened locking mechanism. Watch for rust in the joints (even in Arizona, the steel frame started to rust in the joint areas.) To keep the seat post from slipping as you ride, add some tape with a good rough texture, like gaffers tape (same with the handlebar post) around the post itself, then put the plastic sleeve over the thing. And with all folding bikes with a derailleur, just make sure nothing bumps it, and that your cables don't get caught when unfolding. My biggest frustration with the folding of the bike, is the tendency for the pedals to spin back and get caught up with the handlebar. Get a bungee cord to keep the bike closed (and for the occasional item on the back rack)

But, if you treat the bike well, keep up with maintenance (prepare for weekly), and don't abuse the bike, hopefully it will last longer than my two Citizen Miami's did for me. I now have a Dahon Boardwalk S1, and so far so good. And by the way, other than I use a bus instead of train, I have a very similar commute. Good luck!

chagzuki 10-15-10 04:14 AM

A question for Citizen bike owners, the Miami pic on the website shows the handlepost folding to the inside of the bike. Based on my experience with what I think is a bike with some identical components I'm under the impression that the handlepost will only fold this way when the front wheel is in line with the top tube, and this actually compromises the fold. I.e. one wants to be able to rotate the front wheel about 5-10 degrees so that it's parallel to the rear wheel, but I think that this is impossible with the Citizen handlepost design, as there's not enough space between folded handlepost and top tube. So the folded shape is a V with front wheel pointing away slightly from rear wheel. And with the handlepost very rapidly scratching the paint where it knocks against the top tube. Is this the case with the Miami?

chagzuki 10-15-10 06:29 AM

It looks to me as though to more or less cure the play in the hinges one would need some very slim M8 washers, around 0.5mm in thickness. I don't have any to hand to do a test.

schillaci 10-15-10 07:19 AM

Chagzuki, the handlebars fold down parallel to the frame without any problem. It folds down into a small package. It came with some velcro to wrap around it and keep it tightly folded.
Camroid thanks for the advice! If I get 2 years out of it I will be happy. Then I will adjust my budget to another higher quality bike like a Dahon.

monsterpile 10-15-10 07:53 AM

I am glad you were able to get a replacement bike. I always have things shipped to where I work because I am afraid of getting things stolen from my front porch.

chagzuki 10-15-10 08:19 AM


Originally Posted by schillaci (Post 11626043)
Chagzuki, the handlebars fold down parallel to the frame without any problem. It folds down into a small package. It came with some velcro to wrap around it and keep it tightly folded.
Camroid thanks for the advice! If I get 2 years out of it I will be happy. Then I will adjust my budget to another higher quality bike like a Dahon.

Parallel to the front or rear half of the frame? Or both?

Are the wheels parallel with each other when folded?

camroidv27 10-15-10 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by chagzuki (Post 11626341)
Parallel to the front or rear half of the frame? Or both?

Are the wheels parallel with each other when folded?

The wheels are pretty parallel to each other when it is folded. The forward part of the frame does have an angle to it when folded, but it is necessary since the front wheel is parallel to the rear wheel and rear half of the frame. I was able to fold mine down and stick the whole bike under my bus seat laying flat on the front wheel. Quite fun when an unsuspecting rider sees me pull a whole bike out from under me.

@schillaci - I got one year out of each bike. Most people will probably get more than that if they keep up on maintenance and treat it well. I got two years out of one purchase though (thanks to the one year warranty and kind folks at Citizen)

schillaci 10-15-10 04:34 PM

Camroid, I wish I had gotten your advice about the rear tire sooner. It literally exploded on me 15 minutes ago when I rode over a bit of gravel! I will take it into my LBS on Monday and get a sturdier one.

chagzuki 10-15-10 05:08 PM

That's interesting cameroidv27, what you're describing is the way I want to be able to fold what I think is a differently branded verson of a Citizen Tokyo but it's not possible, at least not if the handlepost folds to the inside of the frame as it's supposed to.

Could you measure something for me on your Miami? Could you tell me the distance from the center of the handlepost quill bolt to the center of the handlepost hinge? On my Tokyo-type bike it's near enough 20mm and that's too short to enable me to fold the handepost to the inside of the bike and have the front wheel parallel with the rear. So if I'm to keep hold of this bike I need a handlepost where that distance is closer to 30mm; that'll solve the problem.

camroidv27 10-15-10 11:03 PM

2 Attachment(s)
chagzuki - I don't think I understand exactly what you are asking, and how the handle post folds. So, hopefully these pictures of the bike folded can help you?

Attachment 173986
Attachment 173987

(Please don't mind the dirty floor, or feet. And the bag is not full of garbage, so don't worry, I'm not that big of a slob. Its all outside, hence the leaves.)

schillaci - Just make sure your tire tread didn't delaminate or rupture. On both of my Citizen bikes, I had the rear tread rupture. As you can see in the picture, I have a new BMX style tread (which to be honest, grips the road and occasional dirt patch better). Sadly, it meant I had to take off the fender. Definitely try to find a sturdier tread at your LBS.

chagzuki 10-20-10 05:13 AM

Oops, didn't see your reply. Aha, thanks for the pic, it clarifies the matter. Your handlepost is different to mine and would solve the problem I have, by the looks of things. Though perhaps your top tube is narrower too. . . is that handlepost(/stem) made of steel?
It looks to me like the distance from quill bolt to hinge is 35-40mm whereas on my Tokyo equivalent it's only 20mm, hence there's limited space between handlepost and top tube when folded.
I wonder if my bike is identical to a Tokyo then(?), perhaps there are more differences other than the frame material.

JCFlack 10-20-10 06:38 AM

The handlepost on my 2009 Tokyo is just like the one in camroid27's photos. But when I was shopping for a bike, I saw a used Tokyo that was an earlier model than the new one I eventually bought. It had a very different handle lock that was actually possible to close the wrong way - which the owner did while demonstrating it for me. We then couldn't get it undone to re-fold the bike. That's why I decided not to buy that one. I looked very closely at photos of the newer model before I decided to take the plunge. A year and a half later, I'm still a pretty happy Tokyo owner, though sooner or later I will probably buy a better bike.

chagzuki 10-20-10 07:43 AM

It it made of steel JCFLack (the handlepost hinge)?

chagzuki 10-21-10 06:48 AM

jahwind's 2010 tokyo has this handlepost hinge:

Which looks the same as mine. . . and it's very limiting in terms of the fold, but is aluminium and very lightweight. But it doesn't serve my needs, I need a replacement or I'll have to abandon this project and sell the bike.

JCFlack 10-21-10 12:16 PM


Originally Posted by chagzuki (Post 11650179)
It it made of steel JCFLack (the handlepost hinge)?

The bike itself is steel, but I'm not sure about the hinge. I'll have to try a magnet on it - when I get a chance - I'm out of the house and traveling by car today.

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