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Momentum Mag reviews the Civia Halsted.
Price $1,195.00 USD
Find it at civiacycles.com
US bike stores, Kissing Crows Cyclery in Vancouver, BC, Canada
The Halsted is Civia’s steel-framed version of a traditional cycle truck cargo bike. The modular frame-mounted front rack can support a 50-pound (23-kilogram) load. Cargo weight is kept low and balanced with a 20″ front and 26″ rear wheel and low gears on the nine-speed Shimano drivetrain ensure easy pedaling uphill. It comes with swept-back handlebars allowing for an upright-seated position. For those of you who live in rainy cities, an optional Halsted fender set can be purchased as an add-on.
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This bike makes carrying medium-sized loads effortless. The front rack – made from recycled HDPE plastic in Civia’s home state of Minnesota – includes removable rails, transforming from a large “basket” to a flat bed in seconds. No need for webbing or straps with the former.
The kickstand is only decent to a point, but after adding weight to the bike it can become unstable when parked. I’d also love to see a better saddle come standard.
The ideal rider is anyone wishing to frequently carry many items and/or odd-shaped loads of 25–50 pounds (11-23 kilograms). This bike is a great replacement vehicle for grocery and errand runs. The front end is quite wide but condo dwellers can still navigate hallways due to the bike’s short wheelbase. The low top tube and long seat post allow a fit for a variety of cyclists – making it a great shareable family option.
Civia has put together an affordable, thoughtfully designed entry to the “light” cargo bike market. The ride is generally quite stable, although with heavier loads the front end begins to feel twitchy when you get some speed. It would be wise to always keep the weight under 50 pounds (23 kilograms), despite the large rack inviting otherwise. I suggest upgrading to a kickstand that has a wider stance for as it is now it will only hold up the bike on a very flat surface with a completely balanced, light load. The front disc brake provides most of the stopping power, coupled with a linear pull brake in the rear. This gives two different feels to your levers, but once you get used to the feel the stopping power is adequate in normal conditions. The riding position on the Halstead is quite upright – the bars being slightly higher than the saddle for my height (6’) – so it immediately felt comfortable and not a world apart from a standard city bicycle, unlike some other cargo bikes.
Overall, the value in this bike is it’s ease of use – for someone looking to carry by bike but intimidated by the size of a bakfiets or longtail, this is a solid option.
This bike was generously put together by Kissing Crows Cyclery in Vancouver, BC.
David Niddrie is Momentum Mag’s Photo Editor and a freelance photographer in Vancouver, BC. He’s often seen hauling his camera and lighting kit by bike as he pedals to photo shoots around town. davidniddrie.com / @DavidNiddrie