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Introducing the Civia Halsted


Civia Halsted

The Civia Halsted is our new cycle truck bike designed around a frame mounted front cargo rack.   Civia is bicycle transportation and the Halsted expands what bicycle transportation can be.  Today’s post is to introduce you to the Halsted.  Hopefully, we’ll get you thinking how you can expand bicycle transportation in your daily travels.  I’m going to keep today’s post brief.  In later posts I will give more detail on the Halsted’s features and design process. 

As a designer at Civia, I think of the Halsted as a contemporary take on the cargo bikes of decades past.   Features such as the large front rack deck being mounted to the bike’s frame to provide a stable ride with a heavy load, and a 20 inch wheel in front for a low center of gravity have been time-tested on many work bicycles.   The Halsted however is purpose designed for today’s riders, with improvements in geometry, modern materials and part spec.   For example, the bike’s geometry is enhanced for ease of stepping over the top tube when the bike is fully loaded.  Material selection choices, such as the Halsted’s upcycled HDPE front deck, shows our commitment to sustainable design practices.  Lastly, equipment spec features such as the front disk brake improves the bike’s overall performance.   

These photos, half of which were taken in my backyard, of the Halsted show prototypes.  So, don’t pay too much attention to part spec, okay?

The front deck is made from upcycled high density polyethylene (ReHDPE) sourced from a Minnesota manufacturer. The manufacturer recycles municipal trash dumpsters, among other things, into ReHDPE.  The material has excellent strength and all-weather properties making it ideal for urban bicycles.  Stay tuned for more ReHDPE accessories from Civia.


This view of the underside of the rack gives you a better idea of how the rack attaches to the frame and not the fork.



The simple attachment of the front rack and deck, along with its beefiness, begs for some DIY modifications.  Who hasn’t wanted a cooler mounted to their bike at some point?  


The Halsted was designed primarily for individual use, but can also shine as a small business get-it-done bike. The bike includes tabs for mounting your own signage. 



Male model Chris Duerkop as the Pizza-Guy-with-creepy/ironic-mustache on a prototype Halsted. Frame color on the production Halsted will be the pearl gray seen in the photos above.

The Halsted is a new take on classic bicycle form that can expand what you can carry on your bike and give you the opportunity to ride your bike more.   That’s what bicycle transportation is all about; the opportunity to ride your bike more. The Halsted will be offered as complete bike and as a frameset in March from Civia dealers.  For the MSRP of the complete bike we are targeting a $1,000 price point. So, check back next week for more new Civia product offerings.  Then later this fall we'll get down to design details.

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This post filed under topics: Halsted,


David | September 9th, 2010

I know you said the pictures are of a prototype so let me know if any of these questions don’t apply. One thing I noticed is there’s a lot of seat post exposed. I know there are two sides to this argument but is your intention for the rider to buy a frame that would generally be too small for him/her?

What is the diagonal piece going from the top tube to the steerer tube for? Support? Is it necessary?

Lastly, are the V bars that are holding up the front deck going to have endcaps? Just curious.

Great innovations. I can’t wait til you announce your other new bike. *wink wink*

Ralph Aichinger | September 10th, 2010

Very nice bike, finally a bike of that basic design that is up to date (no heavy “waterpipe tubing”, disc brake, sensible, modern frame design) and hopefully affordable too.

Will you be selling bikes in Europe? I am very interrested in buying one of these.

Casey | September 11th, 2010

Very cool!  Do you think there might be some method/attachment/accessory to haul a kid on that front rack?  I’m currently investigating cargo bikes for this purpose, but I’m thinking this would give me the utility I need without the extra size/length/weight of an Xtra-cycle or Yuba Mundo.

John Speare | September 13th, 2010

Cool bike. I really like the plastic deck; cool idea.

I’ve been using a cycle truck for about a year now and after trying long bikes, trailers, etc, I’ve found the cycle truck to be the best daily load hauler.

You said this is all prototype components, so maybe you have gearing figured out—but your pics show a 1x8 or 1x9 set up. I go with 2x8 (36/26 x 12-32 or so)—and a chain guard on the outer ring. These bikes ride pretty normal unloaded, I think with such low gear on there you’ll spin out quickly when unloaded.

You might also consider a drum brake in the front instead of a disc—less likely to overheat/warp under load on long descents.

Bob | September 13th, 2010

The Pizza bike at Van der Tuin’s HPM in the 90’s had a front end shake at a modest speed, same bike type.. 
so one hopes they cured the front geometry and alignment precision to sort that out .

Rob R. | September 16th, 2010

I’m glad I found this blog. Keep the updates coming. I’ll be looking for the new rear rack I saw posted. I’m picky and it seems to fit what I want.

Anthony King | September 16th, 2010

Promising bicycle. Please incorporate fenders into the design, even if fenders will not be spec’d on the complete bicycle. Room for 50mm tires and fenders would be best—looks like you may already have that.  Braze-ons for rear rack. It is nice that the seatstay attachment is high on the seatpost, many designs w/ sloping tt’s drop the attachment point making rear rack and child seat attachment problematic. If I were designing the bike I’d make sure that the higher quality Euro rear child seats could be attached.

John Speare | September 16th, 2010

The kid seat solution has been upgraded since the photos that are up there were taken. We have a seatbelt now. We use the kid hauling solution at least every other day. In fact, my daughter rarely rides her bike anymore.
The local pizza joint has given us a hot-pizza-bag carrier since we come so often. With a saddle bag, I can put the growler in the bag, the kid on the front, and the pizza bag on the kid. I’ll update with pics on our next run.

Anthony King | September 17th, 2010

I would emphatically argue against a double chainring. A 30T chainring and 11-34 cassette would put the gear range at 22-70 inches. Before someone says 70 will spin out too easily I’ll respond that a 90 rpm cadence, 47-559 tire and a 70 inch gear equals 18.8 mph. Plenty of top-end for a cycle truck. Besides simplifying the drivetrain a single CR setup opens up chainguard options. Those considerations are much more important for this bike’s intended use that than gearing it to keep up with the fast group on Saturday’s club ride.

mi | September 21st, 2010

Ouch! My knees hurt just looking at the pics. Actually hauling a load on that frame would kill me. Sorry, have to pass for now…

Jonathan | September 22nd, 2010

I have an Ahearne Cycle Truck, and it’s nice to see another instance of this classic design. The selling point for me of the cycle-truck over the xtracycle is that a cycle-truck standing on its rear wheel fits in my elevator at home; an xtracycle would not.

Two other notes: if you had a horizontal crossbar underneath the fork holding up the shelf, near the front, it would make it easy to install a headlight (or two) underneath the shelf.

Second, I don’t have the Ahearne’s gear specs memorized, but it’s 3x9. The granny gear is really low which is excellent for climbing steep hills with heavy loads. Such a super-low gear is a much bigger selling point to me than a chainguard option.

Good luck with your Halsted!

Anthony King | September 22nd, 2010

I’d love to see the Ahearne Cycle Truck. He does good work.

There is no reason not to have a low climbing gear, single ring, and possibility of a chainguard. What is the low gear on your Ahearne’s 3x9? The drivetrain I described has a low gear of 22”. I don’t mean this as a barb, but anyone knowledgeable about gearing knows 22” is a very, very low climbing gear. It is within 2-3” of the lowest gear you’ll find on any triple drivetrain. You could use one of the new cassettes with a 36T big cog with a 30T to get down as low as practically possible (lower than 20” starts to become impractical because you’re going so slow it is hard to keep the bike upright.)

Anthony King | September 22nd, 2010

Forgot to add—the crossbar for mounting lights is an excellent idea.

Jonathan | September 22nd, 2010

Anthony, I just counted; the Ahearne comes with 22-32-42 cogs on the front chainring and 33 down to 11 cogs on the sprocket, plus 180mm cranks and 26” wheels. On the big ring and small sprocket, it goes at a pretty sprightly pace for a bike with an upright riding position (the handlebars are raked back toward the rider), and the granny gear combined with the large sprocket provides enough traction to feel confident about climbing even the longest, steepest hill with heavy stuff.

Adam Alpern | September 23rd, 2010

This is GREAT! I might actually look at this to replace my Kogswell P/R porteur.

I’ll third the light mounting cross bar idea - the first thing I do with any bike is figure out how to get the maximum amount of light I can on it, and replacing the front wheel with a generator hub would be the first thing to go, so easy mounting of generator hub lights (Lumotec IQ Cyo, Schmidt eDelux, etc…) would be a top priority.

If it comes with 2 chain rings I’d probably take one off and put on a chainguard anyway smile (been running 1x9 on my commuters & porteurs for a long time now).

Anyway, superb - I’m really happy to see a new production cargo bike coming out.

Sam | October 5th, 2010

I’m VERY interested in this.  If the final version does not come with a rear disc mount, I would add one, as I feel that cargo bikes put an excessive amount of wear on rim sidewalls.  I’m a bit concerned about the top tube meeting the seat tube in an un-braced fashion, as I’ve seen a LOT of bent seat tubes on frames of that type, and given the loads this is likely to be subject to, it seems likely there would be bending there.  What’s the max tire size likely to be?  Also, I’m not a fan of bungies with hooks, I use dead innertubes exclusively and would probably add a couple of protrusions (probably bolts) to hook said tubes around, probably one at each corner of the rack.  A bolt would be cost effective and replaceable, but some threads for such a thing would be cool. 

Once again, I’m VERY excited to see this bike, there really isn’t anything on the market like this at a pricepoint that’s likely to move many bikes, way to fill the niche!

Sammy | October 9th, 2010

Any details on the max. load weight this could handle? Keeping my eye on it. I just picked up a linden and am loving it for commuting, by the time this hits production I could possibly have enough for it, but I’m also eyeing longtail cargo bikes…

Sammy | October 9th, 2010

Nevermind! Just saw the video of ya’ll at interbike with it. So now, 2 questions… a) if someone really did put a 230 pound grown adult on it, lets say they both have had too much to drink or something (you pick the scenario) and the front load bars bent or failed, would it be warrantied? How about with something much lighter, say a crate or box weighing 100-120 lbs? second question is… where can I preorder for Feb? the price point is amazing when it comes to well thought out truck bikes, and I love Civia already! woo hoo!

Paul Glassen | October 10th, 2010

I have an original 1965 Moulton “F-frame” bike.  While I have never had the front rack, there are mounts for a similar frame mount/over front wheel rack very like that on the new Halsted. When I found it there was a large frame mount rear rack; remember, this is a full suspension bicycle.  I have always thought the frame mount front a much better idea than anything mounted on the front fork or even on the handlebars. Looking forward to seeing this bike.  In Canada?

Olga | October 28th, 2010

It looks very unusual. I have never seen something like this. Not so long ago I have bought a new fargo and like it a lot. It is ideal for travels, but I think that the Civia Halsted will be very useful for home needs. Nice post. Thanks.

gatherer | December 7th, 2010

Me, not an early adopter so will have to wait for used bikes to show up on Craigslist. More of a novelty than practical at this time since garage is full of “utility” bikes already. By the way while everyone is giving pointers. The handlebar, handgrips are a static design that does not allow for torque when you need it, at take off from a standing start and on ascents. QBP has seen my concept “transportation handlebar design” which intentionally uses a power grip that functions with a rider’s body mechanics with an upright posture and micro hand positioning. Ask Rich T to show you Daily Organic Motion.

eddie | February 16th, 2011

what are the dimensions of the platform?  and how thick is that HDPE?

Adam | March 22nd, 2011

It’s March—is the Halsted frameset available for ordering yet?

Russ | May 23rd, 2011

So I just put in an order for a Halsted at my LBS.  Is there a fender set available (preferably in aluminum/stainless) for the bike?  Please tell me yes.

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