CIVI BIKES Runabout Review

Civi Bikes Runabout Electric Bike Review
Civi Bikes Runabout
Civi Bikes Runabout Plastic Pedals Chain Guide
Civi Bikes Runabout 48v 14ah Battery Pack
Civi Bikes Runabout Cockpit View
Civi Bikes Runabout Display Controls Stitched Grips
Civi Bikes Runabout Front View
Civi Bikes Runabout Front Cargo Basket With Cup Holder
Civi Bikes Runabout Rear Platform Rack Kickstand
Civi Bikes Runabout 500 Watt Hub Drive Shimano Altud Derailleur
Civi Bikes Runabout Stock Step Through White
Civi Bikes Runabout Electric Bike Review
Civi Bikes Runabout
Civi Bikes Runabout Plastic Pedals Chain Guide
Civi Bikes Runabout 48v 14ah Battery Pack
Civi Bikes Runabout Cockpit View
Civi Bikes Runabout Display Controls Stitched Grips
Civi Bikes Runabout Front View
Civi Bikes Runabout Front Cargo Basket With Cup Holder
Civi Bikes Runabout Rear Platform Rack Kickstand
Civi Bikes Runabout 500 Watt Hub Drive Shimano Altud Derailleur
Civi Bikes Runabout Stock Step Through White

Summary

  • A powerful stout short tail cargo electric bike with mechanical disc brakes, 7-speed drivetrain, 500 watt hub-drive, and high-capacity 48v 14ah battery pack for longer range
  • Capable and purpose built for possibilities, there are great available accessories like rear basket, double pannier bags, or a duffle bag
  • Slightly upgraded Shimano Altus derailleur, adjustable length kickstand with good positioning, and low stand over height means not only easy to get on and off, but also very easy to load and unload
  • Cost saving measures means basic brakes and no lights, not suited for bigger jobs, and the cup holder in the front can get in the way of load possibilities

Video Review

Trusted Advertisers

Introduction

Make:

CIVI BIKES

Model:

Runabout

Price:

$1,499

Body Position:

Forward

Suggested Use:

Cargo, Commuting, Neighborhood, Urban

Electric Bike Class:

Speed Pedelec (Class 3)
Learn more about Ebike classes

Warranty:

Lifetime Frame, 1 Year Components

Availability:

United States, Canada

Model Year:

2019

Bicycle Details

Total Weight:

59 lbs (26.76 kg)

Battery Weight:

8 lbs (3.62 kg)

Motor Weight:

9.5 lbs (4.3 kg)

Frame Material:

6061 Aluminum Alloy

Frame Sizes:

19 in (48.26 cm)

Geometry Measurements:

19” Seat Tube, 26” Reach, 15.5” Stand Over Height, 33.5” Minimum Saddle Height, 28” Width, 67” Length

Frame Types:

Step-Thru, Compact, Cargo

Frame Colors:

Obsidian Black, Pearl White

Frame Fork Details:

Rigid Alloy, 135mm Hub Spacing, 9mm Skewer with Nuts

Frame Rear Details:

170mm Hub Spacing, 12mm Threaded Skewer with Nuts

Attachment Points:

Fender Bosses, Rear Rack Bosses, Front Rack Bosses

Gearing Details:

7 Speed 1x7 Shimano Altus Derailleur, SunRace Cassette 13-28 Tooth

Shifter Details:

Shimano SIS Index Thumb Shifters on Right

Cranks:

Prowheel, Alloy, 170mm Length, 52 Tooth Chainring with Double-Sided Plastic Chain Guard

Pedals:

VP Plastic Folding with Serrations

Headset:

Threadless Internal Cups, Straight 1-1/8”

Stem:

UNO Aluminum Alloy, 60° Adjustment with 5mm Hex Key

Handlebar:

UNO Aluminum Alloy, 45° Backsweep, 3" Rise, 25" Total Length

Brake Details:

Tektro Mechanical Disc with 160mm Rotor Front and 140mm Rotor Rear, Four-Finger Levers with Rubberized Edge and Motor Inhibitors

Grips:

Flat, Faux Leather with Black Stitching

Saddle:

Selle Royal, Silica Gel, Black

Seat Post:

Alloy

Seat Post Length:

350 mm

Seat Post Diameter:

30.4 mm

Rims:

Alloy, Double Walled, 36 Hole, Black

Spokes:

Stainless Steel, 13 Gauge, Black with Silver Nipples

Tire Brand:

Wanda, 20” x 3.0” (98-762)

Wheel Sizes:

20 in (50.8cm)

Tire Details:

40 PSI, 2.75 BAR

Tube Details:

Schrader Valve

Accessories:

Included Front Basket with Cup Holder, Optional Alloy Rear Basket ($69.00), Optional Pannier Bag ($129), Optional Rear Duffle Bag ($129)

Other:

310lb Total Load Capacity, Locking Removable Seat Tube Mounted Battery Pack, 1.1 lb 2 Amp Charger

Electronic Details

Motor Brand:

HT Hangtai

Motor Type:

Rear-Mounted Geared Hub
Learn more about Ebike motors

Motor Nominal Output:

500 watts

Motor Peak Output:

1000 watts

Motor Torque:

90 Newton meters

Battery Brand:

Samsung 18650 Cells

Battery Voltage:

48 volts

Battery Amp Hours:

14.5 ah

Battery Watt Hours:

696 wh

Battery Chemistry:

Lithium-ion

Charge Time:

4 hours

Estimated Min Range:

15 miles (24 km)

Estimated Max Range:

30 miles (48 km)

Display Type:

KD58C, Fixed, Greyscale LCD, Backlit, Buttons: -, m, +, Hold + to Adjust Brightness, Hold - to Enter Walk Mode, Hold + and - to Enter Settings, Hold + and - Again to Enter Deep Settings

Readouts:

Battery Indicator (5 Bars), Assist Level (0-5), Speed, Average Speed, Max Speed, Tripometer, Odometer, Ride Timer (Advanced Settings: Clear Trip, Set Unit, Set LD, Set LS, Set Voltage, Power Set, Current Set, Assistant Num, Speed Sensor, Slow Start, Backlight Set, Password Set)

Drive Mode:

Cadence Sensing Pedal Assist, Twist Throttle (Sealed 12 Magnet Sensor)

Top Speed:

25 mph (40 kph)

Trusted Advertisers



Written Review

To run the forums, host the website, and travel, I charge a universal service fee for my reviews. This review was sponsored by CIVI BIKES. My goal is to be transparent and unbiased, this video and written review are not meant to be an endorsement of CIVI BIKES.

Here at  EBR, we have had the opportunity to review CIVI BIKES and found their offerings quite fun and economical. When we were given the opportunity to check out their new bike, the Runabout, we jumped on the chance. The Runabout is a smaller cargo bike, somewhat stout with a short tail coming in at 67″ in length. The aluminum frame has a low stand-over height and is very approachable thanks to this step-through design. It only comes in 1 size and 1 frame style, but you do have a choice of 2 colors, black and white. Altogether, it weighs 59lbs and is very sturdy as it is rated to hold 310lbs… not bad for such a little bike! It has an MSRP of $1,499 which is very decent considering all the features it comes with. Right out of the box, you get front rack which is mounted on the stem, so it will stay forward as you turn. There is also a round metal tubing ring that holds a drink which is pretty cool, however, you are stuck with it there, so some front loads may have to work around it. Loading is easy, thanks to these low and wide 20″ x 3″ tires. These are complimented by sturdy 13 gage spokes and have nice tread for stability, however, there is no puncture protection or reflective sidewalls present. It looks like the Runabout is using a rigid fork setup and around the tires they have some wide plastic fenders to match those tires. Sitting down on the bike you will notice the adjustable angle stem and sweeping handlebars with a bit of a rise to them. They come out to meet you well and make for good riding geometry. I love that you can adjust the stem if you need to configure your setup for various types of load carrying. There are also some faux leather stitched grips and a little flick bell included. The seat here is a Selle Royal gel seat and it has a handle on the back so you can really grab the bike and maneuver it. Other features include internally routed cables, bottle cage bosses, and plastic platform pedals. CIVI BIKES also has some purpose built accessories for the Runabout too. The bike we tested had the optional $69 rear basket. This basket is quite spacious and has some really strong tubing too. The seat can get in the way when you bring it down, but as shown in the review video, you can maneuver it to get it lower by weaving in and out of the basket as you lower it. There is also a $129 rear bag that can fit in the basket, I love that it is expandable and has reflective latching strips. Another available accessory is a faux leather double pannier bag. This is a great accessory with reflective stripes on the back and real buckle latches, however, this will not work with the basket, so you would have to have one or the other.

Driving the Runabout is a rear hub-drive motor with a 500 watt (nominal) and 1000 watt (peak) rating. This has a zippy 90nm of torque and is powered by a twist throttle or cadence based pedal assist thanks to the 12 magnet cadence sensor. The Runabout has 5 modes of pedal assist and moves along just fine, but the cadence sensor can have a pronounced ‘on/off’ feel when pedaling as is common with these setups.The throttle here is live in pedal assist mode 1 and up and will act as an override to the pedal most you are in. Mechanically, the bike is operated by a 7 speed Shimano Altus derailleur with 11-28 tooth cassette in the rear and a 52 tooth chain ring in the front, covered by a plastic chain guard. Shifting the bike is done with a thumb shifter on the handle bar… not my favorite for shifting as I prefer trigger shifters, but I am told many utilize this setup so they can fit a twist throttle on their bike. These also are easy to shift with gloves on, so it is by no means a bad thing. Stopping the bike is a set of Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors. It is kind of a basic setup, likely to keep the cost down, but mechanical brakes are easy to adjust and maintain which I like.

Powering the bike is a 48v  14.5ah lithium ion battery pack. This is what I would consider a high capacity battery and compliments the system well… when you are hauling a large load and need to engage that electric motor to the max, a battery like this is just what you want. Although we don’t do range tests at EBR, I would imagine it should easily be able to go 30 miles or so with a full load at max power as it seemed to do during my review. It is secured via lock and key and mounts central on the bike. This keeps the weight very centered and is appreciated for carrying loads around too. There is an LED charge level indicator here on the battery too and charging is done through this 2amp charger. To really care for this and other lithium-ion packs, I have heard that storing in a cool dry location vs. extreme heat or cold will extend the life and try to keep it about 50% full when not using for long periods so you won’t stress the cells. Try not to let it run down to zero, because that’s really hard on the cell chemistry.

Operating the Runabout up requires a long press of the M button on the display. The display goes through a quick bootup sequence and then comes to life. As I mentioned earlier, the throttle here is live at 0 mph in pedal assist mode 1 and also as soon as the bike is turned on (it always reverts to pedal assist level 1 upon bootup). This is a wonderful feature as it allows me to bypass the lag from the cadence sensor and immediately unleash full power to quickly get across crosswalks, start at the bottom of the hill while in a high gear and most importantly to me, it allows me to assist the bike up stairs, which makes a huge difference when it weighs 59 pounds! The other side of this coin though, is that a live throttle at 0 mph makes an accidental activation rather easy, please be careful with this because it can definitely happen! Speaking of no lights and safety, since the Runabout doesn’t come with lights (and they’re not available in the accessories section from CIVI BIKES) it might be a good idea to grab something aftermarket if you’re like me and enjoy sunset rides. This will be especially important for the black color, which already has limited visibility in low light conditions.

Wrapping up my time with the Runabout, I can say that it is very impressive for the price, they managed to fit a lot of capability and features in something that is just $1,499. There are some tradeoffs though, so let’s go over those real quick. This bike is designed for quick and light errands… while I was impressed with it, it likely wont be a bike you do massive cargo loads with, like a mini truck versus a full size towing truck. The cup holder in the front basket is cool at first, but it will limit using the entire basket for cargo space that sticks up and out. I also noticed there were not any lights or reflective sidewalls on the tires, again, likely chosen to keep cost down, but they are missed here. Tradeoffs aside, the bike is very nimble and stout and has a character all its own. CIVI BIKES is a direct to consumer US company, so they warranty their products and even offer free shipping! A big thanks to CIVI BIKES for letting us get to know the Runabout.

As always, I welcome questions and feedback in the comment section below. Whether you own the bike, have taken a test ride, or are brand new to the space, my goal is to provide an objective and honest resource. You can also join the CIVI BIKES ebike forums and share your own photos, videos, and review updates to help others! Have fun out there, and ride safe :)

Pros:

  • A stout, sturdy, and capable value priced electric short tail cargo bike with a powerful battery and motor
  • Competitively priced at $1,499, you get a lot of features like front rack, fenders, motor inhibitors, and rear rack
  • 1 year comprehensive warranty, plus lifetime warranty on the frame, plus free shipping makes for a handful of bonuses that not every direct-order only electric bike company offers
  • Throttle is live from pedal assist mode 1 (which the bike default into when turning on), making it easy to override the delay from the cadence sensor when trying to quickly cross a crosswalk, starting at the bottom of a hill in a high gear or assisting the bike up stairs
  • Display is compact and also incorporates the button pad, leaving more room on the handlebars for aftermarket accessories like a headlight, phone holder or bluetooth speaker
  • Brake levers have rubberized edge make them easy to get a firm grip on, they also activate the motor inhibitors, ensuring the shortest possible stopping distance and allowing the rider to manually override the motor when navigating technical terrain at slow speeds
  • Wire management is on point with just the right amount of zip-ties, which are cut cleanly and shortly, and some nylon mesh around the bulkiest part of the wires
  • Front basket and plastic fenders attach securely to the frame of the bike and feels like they aren’t going anywhere, basket it sized nicely with enough room to fit a grocery bag and even has a cup holder built in
  • 160mm mechanical disc brakes in the front and rear provide ample stopping power and are easier to repair and work on compared to hydraulic disc brakes, they get a mechanical advantage on the Runabout because it has smaller 20″ wheels
  • 20″ by 3″ wide fat tires have large air volume and add some suspension qualities to the bike while keeping the bike nice and low for easy loading
  • Double-sided chainring guard helps keep the chain locked in place, reducing the chance of it popping off towards the inside or outside
  • Nice adjustable angle stem and sweeping handlebars with a rise to it, I love that they can be adjust in case you need to re-orient yourself because of a load
  • High capacity 48v 14.5ah battery that is made for power and range, perfectly matched with the cargo capabilities
  • Rated to hold 310lbs, this can cary quite a bit for such a small package! In the video review, I was able to carry a 50lb bag of sand as well as a 35lb bag of batteries easily and still give it full power
  • Key hole and charging port are located at the top of the battery, keeping the power cord and keys clear of the cranks when charging, this reduces the chance of getting the cord snagged in the cranks and potentially damaging the cord and battery
  • The bike had a very nimble feel, really remarkable considering most cargo bikes of any kind would not be described as nimble, this will appeal to a lot of people
  • A number of available accessories like a rear basket, basket bag, or double pannier bags, each purpose built especially for the Runabout
  • Shimano Altus derailleur is an upgrade from the Tourney, which is the most entry level derailleur from Shimano
  • Adjustable length kickstand is placed at the rear of the bike and stays clear of the cranks, so there’s no pedal lock which is especially important for a bike like this that might need to be pulled backwards when loaded up

Cons:

  • The cup holder in the front basket is great when in use, but it gets in the way of other loading possibilities since it is built into the basket frame
  • A lot of measures were implemented to keep cost down which I appreciate, but safety is a sizable consideration for cargo bikes so it is a shame there are no lights of any kind or reflective sidewalls or puncture protection on the tires
  • If you get the rear basket, it can get in the way of lowering the seat, make sure to maneuver the seat carefully as shown in the video in order to get a lower seat height with that basket attached
  • I like the rear basket and the double panniers, sadly, you must choose one or the other, the way in which they mount means you can only use one, unless you start making permenat modifications to the accessories
  • The brakes here are pretty basic at 160mm mechanical rotors, however, they do have a mechanical advantage with those smaller wheels and they are easy to adjust and maintain
  • Light loads are fun, but this bike does not excel at full cargo loads of larger tasks

Resources:

More CIVI Bikes Reviews

CIVI BIKES Cheetah Review

  • MSRP: $2,299
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A motorcycle inspired fat tire electric bike with powerful 750 watt geared hub motor from Bafang, unique battery integration designed to look like a gas tank, two battery size options. High-volume tires provide comfort and stability, padded grips, oversized sprung saddle, and swept back handlebar…...

CIVI BIKES Rebel 1.0 Review

  • MSRP: $1,299
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A powerful folding fat tire electric bike with mechanical disc brakes, 7-speed drivetrain, 500 watt planetary geared motor from Bafang, and high-capacity 624 watt hour battery pack for longer range. Only available in one frame size but the telescoping stem and seat post offer some…...

CIVI BIKES Predator Review

  • MSRP: $1,399
  • MODEL YEAR: 2018

A powerful fat tire electric trail bike with adjustable spring suspension fork offering 120mm travel, rack and fender bosses, upgraded Selle Royal saddle, padded grips, and rubberized brake levers add comfort. High capacity battery pack extends the range of this ebike and allows for more frequent…...


 No Comments YouTube Comments

Be the First to Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.