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  1. #1
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    Initial Review: Civilian Vive Le Roi

    For the last few years I have been thinking about adding a cx bike to the stable as something that can tackle a little bit of everything. About a month ago I started the search but really wasn't all that thrilled with what was available. I was about to settle on a Jamis Nova Pro when I was given a link to the Civilian Vive Le Roi. It was pretty much love at first sight. Ordered it and within a week and a half it arrived at my door:









    Competitive did a good job assembling and packing the bike. Wheels are true and everything looks good. The brakes needed adjustment and I had to mess with the sliders to center the wheel. Seems the cables may have been cut a little short as I pretty much get full contact for the length of the head tube on the front cable. Going to put some rub protector sticker things on there I guess. The wheelset feels very heavy...particularly the rear since it likely has a cheaper/heavier cassette. The bike itself is pretty heavy as well but what do you expect from a steel frame? The front does feel extremely light thanks to the carbon fork so that is a plus. Eventually I will upgrade the wheelset.

    I was only able to take it for a short spin around the neighborhood but it feels pretty good so far. Nice handling and the ride is pretty comfortable compared to my al road bike w/al fork. My only concern at this moment is the sizing. Competitive's sizing deal had me at either a 58 or 61. My road bike is a 58 and feels pretty small on me so I opted for the 61. As the Roi sits right now I feel really stretched out when I'm up on the hoods...probably need a shorter stem.

    Anywho...just figured I would share my initial thoughts for those who were curious about these bikes. I'll update once I get some rides on it this weekend.
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  2. #2
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    Looks like a fun bike! I like the single front chainring setup as I rarely touch the front derailleur. Does it have an inner bash ring?

  3. #3
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    It has a plastic jump stop. I was thinking of something more elegant like a Paul chain keeper but I'm guessing the outer bash guard may good to keep since it will see a lot of single track.
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  4. #4
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    What does it weigh?

  5. #5
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    Not sure. I would guess in the 25-28lb range. If I get my hands on a scale I'll weigh it.
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  6. #6
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    Took it out on its first ride today. Just under 29 miles of shell/gravel, paved, and mostly singletrack.

    I've been riding a rigid 29er for about five years now so I knew what to expect with trail feel. What I didn't expect was the ability to easily lift the front and the feel of that carbon fork. I was running 45psi in the 700x32 Kenda Kwickers...much different than the 27psi in 29x2.4 on my steel rigid bike. I figured those skinny tires with higher pressure would create a bone rattling ride. I was pleasantly surprised this wasn't the case. I'm now thinking about a carbon fork on my 29er.

    Other than that the bike felt amazing on the smoother parts of the trail. Wasn't all that great in the rooty sections but that was operator error. I need to reevaluate my riding style with these smaller volume tires.

    The only issue I experienced was the sliders shifting on a tough grassy climb. Perhaps I didn't torque the bolts down enough. I'll keep an eye on it.

    Here are some crappy pics from today.







    Looking to do my first cx race in January. We don't have many cx events around here unfortunately, so this bike will mostly see single track and road.
    Last edited by A1an; 10-14-2012 at 05:12 PM.
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  7. #7
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    cool, looks nice!

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    I'm actually looking at purchasing one myself, and was wondering how tall you were, just to get a frame of reference for my sizing. Thanks.

  9. #9
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    6'4" with pretty long legs. Competitive's sizing deal said I would be a good fit for the 59 or the 61. I always went for the larger size with mountain bikes so I chose the 61 for the Civilian. Ended up being a bit too big for me and left me feeling quite stretched out on the hoods and very uncomfortable down in the drops. Swapped out the 105mm stem for a 90mm for the stretched issue and put on a new bar since I wanted to try something different....feels pretty good right now.

    Updated photos. Wanted to go tubeless with larger volume tires so I mounted up some new tires to a spare set of Bontrager Rhythm Comps I had laying around (already had the strips and valves so figured would be easier and cheaper than a tubeless conversion with the stock wheelset). Rear spacing on the frame is for a 130mm hub but a 135mm mountain hub will squeeze in there without much fuss. Front is a 700x40 Kenda Happy Medium. Rear is a 700x35 Kenda SB8.

    Hope to get a new wheelset built for it next year. i19 rims with Hope hubs is the plan. Was considering the Stans Ironcross but I want something a bit more stout for my weight and rooty singletrack plus the i19 combo would work well with a mtn bike if I wanted to swap wheels down the road.


    Last edited by A1an; 12-19-2012 at 05:45 AM.
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  10. #10
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    Few more pics from a couple weeks ago before the new bars:





    I'm sure the bike is great for cx races but I've been primarily using it for road, gravel, dirt, and singletrack exploration. Been great so far. Very happy with my purchase.
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  11. #11
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    Sounds good, thanks. I am 6'3" and just ordered the 57cm, whose geometry better matched my 59cm road frame. I am replacing the wheels off the bat with velocity A23 rims / X9 hubs. Very reasonably priced and tough tubeless wheelset. I will update with pics.

  12. #12
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    Good call. The stock wheelset is insanely heavy.
    Last edited by A1an; 12-20-2012 at 12:01 PM.
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