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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 02-18-10, 11:56 PM   #1
irclean
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Would you test ride this bike?

My LBS has a 2009 Norco Kwest sitting on their shop floor. It's been there for some time now (they mostly sell MTBs and BMX) and I always pretend not to notice it. Today I was inquiring about some parts and I couln't help but notice that they've dropped the price from a list of $1485 CAD to $1000. So after giving it a nice, long look:

I decided to do a little research. It's got a chromo frameset, Deore drivetrain, hubs, and V-brakes, 36 spokes on Mavic A319 rims, Ritchey stem, headset, bars, and seat post, all the necessary fender & rack mounts, and even pump pegs.

I am looking for a bike for 3-season commuting, light touring, family cruising, and organized fun rides. This looks like it might fit the bill. I searched the bike on the Forums and except for one ranter who seemed to have a hate on for Norco I found nothing negative about the bike. The only negative that I see is the bar-end shifters, and that's only because I've never used them. It might just turn out to be love at first feel.

Anyway, back to my question: Would you test ride this bike? Oh, and for any LHT aficionados out there (and you know who you are) who might want to convert me to the Church of Surly, the Long Haul Trucker retails for ~$1400 up here in the Great White North. The question might be moot anyway if the bike doesn't fit me.

Last edited by irclean; 02-19-10 at 04:41 PM. Reason: Fix typos
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Old 02-18-10, 11:59 PM   #2
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Nice bike if it fits you.
Has everything you will need.
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Old 02-19-10, 12:24 AM   #3
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Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeel Yeah!...and the dude that was hatin' on the bike, don't pay attention, a decent qualtiy bike is a GOOD bike! I've seen $8000 bikes squeak like a $50 dept store bike. Depends on how you care for the sucker. This bike looks nice!

I had a dude hatin' on my Lemond. Guess it wouldn't have been that bad except that he had to walk his high dollar bike up a very small hill on an organized fun ride!: Most of the time, the haters don't know squat or are trying to sell you something!
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Old 02-19-10, 01:23 AM   #4
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Definitely would test ride.
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Old 02-19-10, 05:49 AM   #5
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Norco only has one knock against them and that is they also sell bikes is BigBox stores. The LBS bikes are totally different and of very good quality, they are under an umbrella company that also run Cannondale. If I was in the market for what you are talking about i would buy this in a heartbeat if it fit me right. I to have never used barend shifters but many people love them so hey you might too. Plus I like the colours on bike.
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Old 02-19-10, 06:38 AM   #6
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sounds like a hell of a deal. By the way, I was totally skeptical over the bar ends on my Surly when I picked it up, but now I am a bar end advocate and recommend them to everyone.
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Old 02-19-10, 07:14 AM   #7
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Test ride that sucker!!!
Doesn't cost anything to test it out (unless you fall madly in love with it, buy it without consulting the wife, the wife gets upset and divorces you, taking the house, kids, and much of your foreseeable income in alimony...this leaves you with the bike and a few belongings that you strap on to the racks...you become another person touring the world with little or no attachments to the mainstream......um...OK....that may not be bad either.)
OK test ride that sucker!!!
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Old 02-19-10, 07:29 AM   #8
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Looks like it would be exactly what you are looking for. As for the bar end shifters, I personally don't mind them. But it doesn't cost much to change to STI shifters if you wanted to.
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Old 02-19-10, 07:31 AM   #9
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I'd test ride it!

Noone says you have to stick with the bar ends if you decide that you hate them. Pop on a set of STI levers and away you go. People often unload their Tiagra brifters pretty cheap on fleabay. One note though, if you do end up with brifters make sure you have the bike shop install a set of travel agents as brifters do not physically pull enough cable to properly opperate V-brakes. (This is why you see a lot of cross bikes with cantis)

Remember that no matter how nice or sweet the deal is, it's worthless if it doesn't fit.
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Old 02-19-10, 07:32 AM   #10
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That's a really nice bike. Looks pretty solid. I've heard good things about the A319, and 36 spoke is right on for something you want to last.

I'd buy that bike.
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Old 02-19-10, 08:25 AM   #11
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I'd test ride and then buy the LHT I have bar end shifters on...you guessed it my LHT. Bar ends are easy to use and very durable and shifting with them is no problem at all.
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Old 02-19-10, 10:22 AM   #12
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Ride it! Looks Sweet!
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Old 02-19-10, 10:51 AM   #13
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Given a half a chance, I'll test-ride anything from $50 toy store bikes to $8000 racing machines. Why not? The one thing I wouldn't do, however, is buy a bike with bar-end shifters. DoubleTap/STI/ErgoPower is so much better that I'll never go back to bar-end or down-tube shifters...
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Old 02-19-10, 04:35 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtgyk View Post
Test ride that sucker!!!
Doesn't cost anything to test it out (unless you fall madly in love with it, buy it without consulting the wife, the wife gets upset and divorces you, taking the house, kids, and much of your foreseeable income in alimony...this leaves you with the bike and a few belongings that you strap on to the racks...you become another person touring the world with little or no attachments to the mainstream......um...OK....that may not be bad either.)
OK test ride that sucker!!!
Either you know my wife or you have one of your own just like her.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iforgotmename View Post
I'd test ride and then buy the LHT I have bar end shifters on...you guessed it my LHT. Bar ends are easy to use and very durable and shifting with them is no problem at all.
You Surly guys (and gals) really are a cult, aren't you?

But seriously, folks; thanks for the replies. I hope to test ride it this weekend. The weather's been great today and looks the same tomorrow. Hopefully the LBS owner will let me take it for a spin - there's still snow on the ground but all the roads are relatively clear. I haven't owned a road bike since I was in my pre-teens, and that was a junior-sized ten-speed with downtube shifters, so hopefully the bar-end shifters shouldn't pose a too much of a problem. Also, as others have said, a switch to STIs in the future is always a possibility. One other question - does anyone use interruptors (those little brake levers mounted on either side of the stem)? If so, I assume that would it mean re-taping the bars, routing the brake cables along the inside edge. Can new bar tape be re-used, or does that mean new tape? The spec sheet lists the tape as being "Brown Tan Cork," whatever that means.

Last edited by irclean; 02-19-10 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 02-19-10, 04:51 PM   #15
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The interrupter brake levers may not have enough pull to work the Vs. They would necessitate new tape. Dont think about them until you have done a significant amount of riding - I hardly ever ride on the straight section. They may be worth considering if you change to brifters with travel agents.
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Old 02-19-10, 04:56 PM   #16
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That is a very sweet bike at a very sweet price. If it fits, don't just test ride it, buy it! If you don't, it will haunt you till you die.
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Old 02-19-10, 06:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irclean View Post
One other question - does anyone use interruptors (those little brake levers mounted on either side of the stem)?
I had them on one of my road bikes for a while; can't remember which one. After the first test-ride or two, I found that I rarely used them so I took them off the next time I needed to re-tape the handlebars. Haven't missed them...
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Old 02-19-10, 07:19 PM   #18
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Would I test ride that bike? No, because I don't like the hybrid "compact" geometry, the 32mm tires, the bar end shifters, etc., etc., etc. But that's just me.

If you're asking should YOU test ride that bike, the answer is a resounding HELL YES!, since you're looking for something for "3-season commuting, light touring, family cruising, and organized fun rides", which is pretty much EXACTLY what this bike is designed for.

Go ride it and let us know how much you like it.
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