With an unladen weight of 12.92kg (28.48lb), Civia’s Prospect steel commuter machine is nudging towards Clydesdale territory. But provided you factor in a slightly slower speed and keep your expectations for arrival times within reason, it’s none the worse for it.
Highs: A well executed design offering a luxurious, comfortable ride
Lows: The near 30lb weight will put some off, and the steel chainrings are a compromise
Buy if: You want a bike for your main form of transportation: commuting, shopping, touring, leisure
The long wheelbase of 103cm contributes to a supremely comfortable ride on what is a luxuriously appointed bike. The proportions are well thought out, a generous head tube extending 2cm above the top tube for an upright riding position which is great both for scooting around the city and for leisure rides.
The Prospect also has ultra-neat dropouts and some tidy welding. Changing gear with the Shimano Tiagra shifters, Sora front mech and Deore rear is a cinch, and the 32-tooth sprocket offers a decent bottom gear too, though a triple chainset might have been a better call for fully laden touring than the compact double.
The FSA chainset with square taper cranks and stamped steel rings is one of the few obvious compromises. Tektro’s long-reach dual-pivot brakes performed well, and feature an improved locking quick-release mechanism.
The wheels continue the bike’s strong but comfortable theme, featuring very nice sealed cartridge, low-flange hubs built onto big and robust Alex DC19 rims, with stainless steel spokes. Kenda’s 32mm Kwest tyres might not have the lowest rolling resistance, but like the wheels they contribute to the Prospect’s comfort-not-speed mantra.
Overall, there’s a reassuring air of solidity and permanence to this bombproof beast of a bike; it feels like the sort of machine that would survive a nuclear conflagration, along with cockroaches and Peter Stringfellow. Probably.
The flipside to this machismo toughness, though, is the care and attention that’s gone into the design, as evidenced by touches like Civia’s ‘three-dot’ logo on the down tube echoed on the seat clamp, stem and rear dropouts. There are even reflective dots on the mudguards.
This is a machine that you could easily replace your car with. Make the Prospect your main means of transport and you could use it for commuting, load it up with your shopping and ride it at the weekend for fun and fitness.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine.