Mountain Biking - Novara?
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Apparently REI has an in-house line of bikes called Novara. I went there recently and test-rode a hardtail mountain bike called the Novara Ponderosa. It was extremely light for what it was (I figure about 24 lbs.) and was real smooth. It had Deore XT components and a Monitou Black Elite fork. The frame is built by Giant in Taiwan and an assembled bike is sent to REI, where they disassemble it and re-assemble it again (I don't know why they do this).
The guy that helped me said it was $699 but they had cut it down to $549 for the labor day weekend. I'm really thinking about getting this one...anyone had any experience with REI bikes before? The construction of the bike seemed to be decent.
i never rode the novara line but rei has become one of my favorite shops (good prices, extremely helpful). if the bike seems like a good deal it might be worth it. the novara frame is probably something like nashbar or supergo's inhouse brands...
09-01-03, 12:21 AM
My Novara Randonee has been excellent; it's my workhorse commuter and gets lots of miles. The frames come off various Asian production lines (I've been told that the Randonee is made in a Giant factory in Taiwan, but I don't know for sure) but that's beside the point; REI has its own designers and their frames are their own.
REI bike departments are reported to vary; the one nearest me -- Conshohocken PA -- has a very good reputation, and a master wheelbuilder on staff (which I consider to be a "true test" of any bike shop).
The Labor Day sale is a good opportunity to find deals, although the stores tend to run out of the most common sizes. One strategy is to shop earlier in August and pay full price, then go back during the sale and use REI's price guarantee to get a refund of the difference. I did exactly that when I bought my Randonee, and got the last "medium" frame available in 2001.
09-01-03, 07:49 AM
I have two Novara bikes a Randonee and a 1994 Team mountain bike. It sounds similiar to what you are looking at only with today's components (fork, etc). I have been very happy with both of my bikes and would do it again. The Ponerosa looks to offer good value. If you are not a member it is worth joining (no dividend on the sale bike) but you always have the assurance of 100% satisfaction as a member and if you do not like the bike you can return it, never tested it with a bike though, but I would assume the same hold true. If you cannot find your size in the store check online. If you call in you can usually have it delivered to your local store without a delivery charge, it may be more difficult with a sale item, but worth the try. Good luck with your purchase I think you will be very happy if you get it.
Thanks a lot, guys. I ordered a 15" (frame), and they said it would be done by Saturday at the latest.
Can't wait till I get the bike (more bikes are great; I don't care if it's a Cannondale or a Huffy, I'll take any bike)! Technically, it's not for me, but I'll probably ride it a lot more than the "owner" would (heh heh heh...).
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