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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-04-06, 09:08 PM   #1
cyclingjack
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Novarro Randonee

Anybody out there using a Randonee for commuting, if so how do you like the bike ??? Looks like a lot of bike for the buck..
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Old 06-05-06, 06:50 AM   #2
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I don't use one, but I've test ridden several at my local REI. I've been very impressed with the ride and components as I've looked at them. I agree that it looks like a lot of bang for the buck, though there are a few pieces (i.e. Ritchey ergo handlebars) that I would change.
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Old 06-05-06, 07:39 AM   #3
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I am currently using mine for commuting and it is a nice bike. I'm waiting on my Redline 9-2-5 to show up though as my replacement for my old commuter which, well, RIP Trek 360. I like doing bike camping on my Randonee and it's fine for commuting on but with my racks and such for touring it is a little cumbersome. I have an older Randonee that is getting to the point of needing some new components as the old ones are starting to give up the ghost. I love the bike though, especially for the price. I got mine off of ebay for $200.

Andrew
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Old 06-05-06, 08:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
I agree that it looks like a lot of bang for the buck, though there are a few pieces (i.e. Ritchey ergo handlebars) that I would change.
I'm curious as to why you would change the handlebars. Are they cheap or ineffective?
What other componets would you consider changing? I've been pondering a few. The saddle for one.


My main ride is a randonee. No complaints here. Unfortunately for my pocketbook it is providing a bit of a reason for me to purchase a nice weight weenie bike from felt.
Must go faster!
Yes, I know tour bikes are not meant for speed.
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Old 06-05-06, 09:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
I'm curious as to why you would change the handlebars. Are they cheap or ineffective?
What other componets would you consider changing? I've been pondering a few. The saddle for one.
I had a pair of the Ritchey Biomax bars on my Crosscheck commuter for a while. I just never liked them and ended up switching to moustaches on that bike. On my light touring/brevet bike (Bridgestone RB-T) I had a pair of Nitto Noodle bars and was much more comfortable on those. The bars on my XC were too low and the ergo bends put my wrists at a strange position. Possibly moving them up higher might have helped but I just didn't like the shape. I generally don't like ergonomic things that force my hands into one particular position. I like round bends that I can move around as I need to. So just personal prefference.

Component wise, I'd rather have a solid stem than the adjustable one. That's probably the only thing I would change straight away. I'd rather have 105 parts, but I would use Tiagra and upgrade as necessary.

Saddle wise, I would put a Brooks on there. I have a Terry and a Brooks on my two bikes and both are very comfortable. For distances, though, the Brooks is really more comfortable. I like the look of that Fizik saddle. What don't you like about it?
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Old 06-05-06, 10:10 AM   #6
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What's the rear hub on that bike, is it genuine Shimano? I can't tell from the spec list.
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Old 06-05-06, 10:54 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTcommuter
I like the look of that Fizik saddle. What don't you like about it?
The fizik saddle works well for me except when my mileage exceeds 30 miles in one particular shot.
I pulled 55 miles (27 in and 27 back) on a recreational ride last week. My back was literally splitting in two. However, I am not sure if this is entirely the saddle or the fact that I am used to my 28 mile commute in and an 8 hr break. I may simply have exceeded my arse\back tolerance.
The saddle does make a bit of noise from time to time. Squeaks and a few groans. Yes, I'm serious
All in all, it is a decent saddle. I plan on waiting for a bit before I swap it out since my back may need to adjust. I'm increasing from 200 miles a week to 250. Every previous increase results in temporary back issues and then I adjust.

Thanks for the explanation on what you would change.
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Old 06-05-06, 10:56 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by mechBgon
What's the rear hub on that bike, is it genuine Shimano? I can't tell from the spec list.
The sticker on mine says Shimano Tiagra.

Incidentally, I would also rather have 105 components but for the price I was willing to accept the Tiagra line.
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Old 06-05-06, 12:58 PM   #9
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My friend got a 2006 Randonee for commuting, general utility stuff (groceries, ect) and touring. She really likes it. She bought it with one of those 20% off coupons REI has from time to time so it was a smoking deal.

The only things she has/will replace are the pedals with some Time ATAC platforms and the saddle with a woman's specific model. Ortliebs much nicely on the stock rear rack.

For the price it is hard to go wrong with this bike.
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Old 06-05-06, 01:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
The sticker on mine says Shimano Tiagra.

Incidentally, I would also rather have 105 components but for the price I was willing to accept the Tiagra line.
That's great to hear; so often you end up with non-Shimano items in the bottom bracket and hubs. I'll take Tiagra over any "house brand" hub in that price bracket, no contest.
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Old 06-07-06, 08:33 AM   #11
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I've been commuting on a Novara Randonee for a bit over two years, 16 miles each way, 2-3 times per week. I did upgrade the rear derailleur from the cheaper Tiagra to a 105 and will eventually upgrade the rest of the lesser componenet (hubs, seat, etc), but so far they've been good to me. It's a nice, comfortable, and well-built bike, IMO. Also, try to hold out for an REI 20% off sale. It makes a big difference!
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Old 06-07-06, 08:42 AM   #12
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I purchased mine with a 20% off coupon, a refund from a marin bike I returned, and my dividend. With all the extras I added (computer, etc) I walked out the door with it for $400.
The only item I replaced on the bike were those god awful toe clip pedals. The first thing I said to them was "rides wonderfully but those toe clips have got to go". Anyhow, I had them install my eggbeaters from the returned hybrid.
Currently pondering throwing on a pair of high psi slicks someday. Just for the heck of it. This time of year my load is pretty light. About ready to ditch my one pannier.
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Old 06-07-06, 08:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DataJunkie
I purchased mine with a 20% off coupon, a refund from a marin bike I returned, and my dividend. With all the extras I added (computer, etc) I walked out the door with it for $400.
The only item I replaced on the bike were those god awful toe clip pedals. The first thing I said to them was "rides wonderfully but those toe clips have got to go". Anyhow, I had them install my eggbeaters from the returned hybrid.
Currently pondering throwing on a pair of high psi slicks someday. Just for the heck of it. This time of year my load is pretty light. About ready to ditch my one pannier.
Here's what I ordered up for my Cannondale full-touring bike: http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename= Continental (the German-made ones) 700 x 28, folding, good mileage, good puncture resistance. Throw in some ultralight tubes (Performance is sporting a 49-gram "LunarLight" road tube for $5 at the moment) and you should feel a difference. For my bike, I think the rotating weight reduction will be about 1.5 pounds, compared to my old Top Tourings & big tubes.
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