April 19th, 2012

A 21st Century Porteur

I picked up my new commuter/utility bike at the end of last month, a Civia Loring.

Civia Loring 1Civia Loring FrontCivia Loring 2Civia Loring 3

I love the classic porteur look and seriously considered building one based on Velo Orange’s Polyvalent frame but I decided that as she will be my daily rider I needed something off the shelf. Triton Cycles had a 1st gen 3-speed. I don’t need the extra gears on the latest model as my commute is along the River Taff and almost totally flat (actually a 40’ descent/ascent over the 3 mile ride according to Cyclemeter). The disc brakes are a nice-to-have, as we get plenty of wet weather in Wales and the bike will take some stopping fully laden. I love the combination of steel and bamboo for the racks and steel frame and bamboo mudguards (fenders to my American friends). Actually the bamboo is so nice we’ve ordered bamboo worktops for our new kitchen.

I spec’d some nice accessories, mainly from Portland Design Works:


PDW Cosmic Dreadnaught 110 front light and StemCAPtain bike clock

Front Light and Clock

PDW King of Ding bell and bar-ista cup holder

Bell & Cup Holder

PDW Poco mini-pump and Ergon PC2 pedals

Pump & Pedals

PDW Radbot 1000 rear light

Rear Light

Kryptonite New York STD u-lock (used along with a Kryptonite Combo cable lock)


The finishing touch is a custom built rack bag from Inside Line Equipment.

ILE Bag Front

ILE Bag Side 1

ILE Bag Open

ILE Bag Side 2

The build quality on this bag is out of this world and I thouroghly recommend all their stuff (tell Eric I sent you).

I’ve already thought of a few more extras (dynamo front hub, Banjo Brothers grocery panniers, Brooks saddle) but they can wait until my bank balance has recovered.

I’ll use my fixed gear beater for fair-weather, impromptu use and the Civia for my day-to-day commute and getting the weekly shop.

After trying it for a few weeks I can say that I’m really happy. She’s a bit heavy (carrying her on and off the Tube in London to get her home from Triton was an experience) but not unmanageable and the amount she can carry makes up for this. Another upside is I’m using the single-speed more which is really fun. I even think I may flip the flip-flop hub and go fixed gear, even though I haven’t ridden fixed in 30 years!

Tell me what you think of her.

Software developer, cyclist, music nut, apple fanboy, ...
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