After a couple of years on hiatus, Portland-based Civilian bikes are back, again building American-made steel bikes in small batches for assorted dirt riding. Leading the new frame family is the versatile gravel Flying Tramp, plus the CX Feral Tsar, XC Luddite & an upcoming 27.5+ War Elephant trail hardtail.
Civilian bikes, small batch production steel frames, made in the USA
It has been a few years since we last caught up with bike builder & Civilian founder Tyson Hart. After a couple of years away from making bikes, Civilian is back continuing their concept of ‘Dirt-First’ bike design.
That essentially means that all of their bikes are built to ride off-road, even the ‘road’ style Flying Tramp gravel bike and Feral Tsar cyclocrosser.
The more dedicated mountain bikes are the cross-country Luddite and the all-new, yet-to-be-completed War Elephant trail bike.
This time coming back, it looks like Hart is leaving most of the attempts at affordability behind, as he is positioning the Civilian brand firmly in the premium, detail-oriented, semi-custom bike market. Civilian frames stick with stock geometry but have plenty of opportunity for customization in finishing details & paint. But now they look to only be available as high-end complete bikes builds – with the cheapest singlespeed CX bike starting at $4000, and plenty of opportunity to go up from there.
To order a Civilian, you have to pick the model & size you want, then place a $500 deposit to get a slot in the next batch. Hart says this helps get riders on their new bike in about 8 weeks time, while still allowing time to sort out finish details, paint customization & final bike build spec. (Civilian can spec your bike with a less expensive complete build, but for the most part, buyers of frames at this level are looking to a high-end component spec as well.)
Civilian Flying Tramp – Columbus Life steel gravel road bike
Designed around an endurance ride-it-all geometry, the Flying Tramp a road bike for mountain bikes who always need to be able to leave the tarmac. This Tramp was put together for a mountain biker friend of Civilian in Portland, looking a fun daily driver kind of bike that could equally tackle domestic family duties or head out to sneak in some quick dirt & gravel riding.
Civilian Flying Tramp, steel gravel road bike – Tech Details & Pricing
The Flying Tramp it s welded steel frame built around clearance for 700 x 42mm or 650 x 2″ tires. The frame features flat mount disc brakes, 12mm thru-axles, a 44mm headtube for tapered steerers, a 27.2mm seatpost, and like all of Civilian’s bikes a a threaded BB for creak-free riding. The bike also features fully guided internal brake routing (external shift routing standard) and hidden fender mounts.
The gravel bike is available in seven stock frame sizes (49-63cm), with 72°/72° angles and a 430mm chainstay. This blue Flying Tramp is a standard 58cm frame size with a TRP CX carbon fork (rather than the standard Whisky fork the Tramp usually gets.)
It features a SRAM Force 22 hydro set up, Chris King i7 headset, Easton EA70 SL wheels protected by a set of hammered Velo-Orange fenders, plus a Ritchey WCS alloy cockpit & Whisky No.9 6-degree flare handlebar. Three color custom paint was done for Civilian by Colorworks Palette in Eugene, OR.
The Civilian Flying Tramp is available in the Standard complete with a Shimano Ultegra double, TRP Spyre SLC mechanical brakes and Easton EA70 AX wheels for $4800. This complete bike would set you back a bit more than that, but not as much as the Prime complete at $5900 with a SRAM Red 22 complete groupset and the same rolling stock.