Citizen Gotham 24-7 Folding Bike

December 4, 2017

April 2020, you can read an update about our experience with the Gotham Folding bike here.

Since getting my Citizen Miami Folding bike almost a year ago, I have put quite a few miles on it and remain impressed with the Miami. When my wife and I travel it became apparent that it would be nice to have two folding bikes instead of spending the time and money on rental bikes for her. Looking at the Citizen website, I thought the Gotham 24-7 might be a nice bike to try as it addressed a few of the minor issues I had with the Miami. With larger wheels and a 7th speed I thought it would ride faster, handle a bit more like our hybrids, and the larger frame might fit us better height wise. At twice the price I had to swallow a few times and finally ordered the Gotham 24-7 in black.

I added the rear rack, and purchased a bike bag bringing the total price to $488. As with the Miami I put my own water bottle holder on, and had no problem attaching it to the bike frame. I did not opt for the upgrade on the seat since I was not overwhelmed with the upgraded seat on the Miami. Just beware, the standard seat is pretty bad and you will need a replacement. So either plan on putting another seat on the bike, which is what I did, or spending $19 to get the upgraded seat.

The bike was again shipped FedEx and I received it fairly quickly (~1 week) after ordering the bike. When I went to the FedEx store to pick it up, again the box was not in the greatest shape but it was at least better than how the Miami was boxed. Citizen actually created a double box which helped protect the shipment better but it still looked pretty low rent. Upon taking the bike out of the box nothing was damaged or scratched, but still it seems Citizen could use some sturdier and nicer looking boxes to ship the bikes in. Here are some pictures of the bike in the box and then removed from the box.

Just like the Miami, the bike is protected by bubble wrap and foam in key places, and there are many cable ties holding things in place. Unpacking the bike took less than 30 minutes. There are no instructions in the box, and the only piece of paper in the box directs you to the Citizen Bike website for instructions. I did not need to go to the website for unpacking and assembly, and the only tools needed were a pair of scissors and wire cutters for removing packing materials from the bike. After that, some minor assembly was required which consisted of putting the handlebars into the neck and the seat post into the bike frame. Then it was a quick minute or less to actually unfold and set up the bike.

Folding it back up was just as quick. The petals on this bike fold differently than the Miami, which can confuse me when folding or unfolding both bikes for riding. The bike easily fits into the bike bag I purchased with a fair amount of space to spare. The bag for the Gotham 24-7 was a bit bigger and felt heavier duty than the bag I received for the Miami. I am not sure if that is a new bag Citizen is shipping for all bikes or not, but it is a nice improvement over the old bag which has developed many holes.

So, how well does the bike ride? Very nicely, it feels like a full size bike with the addition of a 7th gear, bigger/narrower tires, and a larger front sprocket this bike roll along at a good clip. I was able to cruise along at 16 MPH on a slight upgrade with no problems and you could most likely ride at that speed or a bit faster on a flat road or trail. This was a nice improvement over the Miami. The only place that the Gotham 24-7 struggles a bit is on hills. A larger front sprocket means less granny gear effect in 1st gear in comparison to the Miami, and it is definitely easier to climb hills on the Miami. First gear is 34 teeth on the Gotham 24-7, and that is about as many teeth as you can get on a cassette.

As you can see a rear bike bag fits well on the back rack, but like the Miami I am not sure panniers would fit very well. The water bottle position on the frame barely allowed my oversized water bottle to fit in the holder. The seat in the pictures is my replacement seat which was pretty painless to put on. My front handlebar bag does fit easily on the handle bars (not shown). The frame size is a step up from the Miami and we do not have to extend the seatpost all the way to get the proper positioning for us. I am 5’ 11” and my wife is 5’ 10”. The Citizen website still states that like the Miami a Gotham 24-7 is for people up to 6’ tall, although it just might handle somebody taller. The handlebar height was good and the grips are more comfortable and nicer than the Miami’s. Brake levers are still a bit on the small size but seem fairly solid. Shifting is via a grip shifter on the right side and is working well and has been smooth and solid. Like the Miami the pedals are a bit on the small side, but do work well with a pair of running shoes. The handling is very solid and even though the tires are narrower than the Miami it seems to handle the same terrain well. On a trip to South Carolina we did a fair amount of biking on the beach and as you can see the Gotham 24-7 did well.

A couple of things I will mention are the quality of the tire tubes, issues with the quick release clamp, and plastic fenders. Both tires went flat in the first 100 miles of use and after replacing the tubes it was apparent that the failure was bad tubes. Both tubes split on the seams and not due to any puncture. I replaced them and things are fine. One thing about both the Miami and Gotham 24-7 is the lack of quick release for the wheels so make sure you carry a wrench for the bolts. The quick release clamp for folding the Gotham 24-7 is different than the Miami and can be prone to coming apart if your foot or leg catches on this. Both my wife and I had this happen a few times. To fix this issue, I use the pant strap that Citizen ships with each bike, at least that is what I think they are, to secure the clamp as seen below.

There is a screw to secure the clamp but since we had it fail a few times right away I think it best to also secure the clamp with a strap. Personally, I think the clamp on the Miami is much better mechanism, and we have never had an issue with it.

When you get the optional rear rack Citizen also includes fenders, which are plastic on the Gotham 24-7 as compared to metal on the Miami. On my first ride, I noticed that the rear fender hits against the rack and made quite a noise. Drilling a couple of holes in the fender and using a tie wrap to secure the fender to the rack as shown below took care of the problem. The front one is a bit flexible but seems to work okay. I would say the fenders on the Miami are much nicer and Citizen should look at making the Gotham 24-7 fenders attached more solidly.

With a weight of 32 lbs the Gotham 24-7 supposedly weighs the sames as the Miami, but it seems like it is actually lighter. Maybe the larger frame just makes it feel that way. The folded size is a bit bigger than the 20 inch Miami, but in reality there does not seem to be much of a difference when handling them. Folded up the Gotham 24-7 fits easily in our Camry trunk with room for other luggage or even our Miami folding bike. I would assume we could get two Gotham 24-7s into the trunk. When traveling we stack the two bikes on top of each other on one side of the back seat so we can access them for a quick ride to break up a day of driving.

Again I am very impressed with the Citizen folding bikes. The Gotham 24-7 is a great general purpose bike and if somebody is pressed for space but wants to own single bike that fits and rides more like a regular bike this would be a great choice. Since my wife rides the Gotham when we ride together, I am tempted to get a second one but am hard pressed to justify it when the Miami does a great job. In the end both bikes work well and I would say that if you want an inexpensive bike to kick around and do shorter rides on get the Miami, if you want more of a real bike feel and performance and want to do longer rides get the Gotham 24-7. If money is not an issue, I would opt for a Gotham 24-7 since the convenience factor (weight, size) is about equal and you get much more bike. All in all, I continue to be very happy with our Citizen folding bikes and would recommend them to anybody that would like the convenience that a folding bike provides.

A parting shot for comparison of both bikes (Miami in front).

Happy riding!

April 2020, you can read an update about our experience with the Gotham Folding bike here.

Copyright 2017, Richard J. Moore

keywords: Citizen Bikes, Folding Bikes, Citizen Gotham 24-7 Bike, Bicycling, Bike Review

description: Citizen Gotham 24-7 folding bike review