General Cycling Discussion - REI bikes
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My wife is looking for a new bike. Recently she got hooked on a mountain bike from REI, their Novara brand. Has anyone ever had a bike from them? If you have what is their service like. It looks to be pretty good from what I see. Would anyone consider them to be a LBS?
REI does not look like a LBS, which stands for "Local Bike Shop". They seem to be a large online retailer of outdoor sporting equipment which happens to also sell bikes. I notice that they have some Schwinns and K2s on their site also.
Are you shopping online or at one of ther outlets? Most people here would probably recommend at least buying the bike in person at the outlet, but your best bet is to go to a true LBS if you are looking for service.
The Novara bike seems well equipped but I personally would like to ride a bike before I commit to buying it.
09-03-01, 11:25 AM
REI is a cooperative. You can join them and get a discount.
They are staffed by knowledgeable people who like the outdoors.
Their Novarra bikes are OK. Ive seen the touring bike in action, and its one of the cheapest of its type, but well made and designed, and fully capable of extended loaded touring.
09-03-01, 05:42 PM
I have a Novarro and highly recommend it if you want to get a true touring bike for under $800. It has all the features you will need to load it down, and unloaded it makes a fine weekend club ride. Regarding the service, my local REI has a very freindly and knowledgable mechanic. Of course, that doesn't mean that ALL the REI stores have good mechanics. On the other hand I know lots of good LBS's provided you are a racer, or a MTB, but they are out of their element with a tourer. (Or a recumbent rider, too) Check out www.adventurecycling.org for a good list of bikes. They like the Navaro, too.
The REI store in the Phoenix(Tempe) market is as good as any LBS for accessories, service, advocacy, and sponsored events. They have a better selection of apparel than most. They don't stock as many bikes, but do have on-line availability. And their prices are for the most part lower than the competition.
09-05-01, 06:44 AM
My sister has a REI bike and likes it. She has had it for a couple of years now and is pretty satisfied. It has low end components. She does not ride that much but that bike does the job for her.
Thanks for the advice guys. I have two REI's here in Michigan within half-an-hour away from each other. I agree that there seems to be a better selection of clothes than most other bike shops. I like to get my clothes from them, but buy my components from my LBS. Anyway, my wife is going this weekend to get her Novara from REI, which should be more than adequate for her jaunts around the neighborhood. As for me, I'll stick with my Trek and Giants with my LBS.
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