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Old 08-19-07, 10:19 AM   #1
docbrown
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Marin Novato vs. Muirwoods?

Can anyone help compare these two bikes: 2006 Marin Novato 9 and Muirwoods. I see that the Novato is alum and both are sort of hybrids with 26" inch wheels which is probably what I'm looking for.
The guy at the LBS said the Novato has superior components to the Muirwoods. They are the same price at the shop because the Novato is on clearance but I was just curious as to the difference. Also, there's the Novato 9 and the 2007 Novato - the shop doesn't have the non-9 one it seems but I'm just curious. Looks like outside of the light and the fenders - I see disc brakes and some other differences but I'm not saavy enough to know the difference just yet. Thanks!

http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...muirwoods.html

http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...cs_novato.html

2007
http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...cs_novato.html
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Old 08-19-07, 12:20 PM   #2
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I shopped and compared these two bikes a couple of months ago and here's what I concluded.
I would choose the Muir woods based on these comparisons:
The Muir woods has a chromly frame which is a better ride vs. aluminum.
I would prefer the simplicity of V-brakes on the muir woods rather the disk on the Novato.
The component comparison is not as drastic as the salesman made it out to be.
Look at the build where is really matters ( drivetrain , wheels, brakes, frame material)
Start with a good basic bike and build up from there.
And finally, ride them both and see which one is right for you.
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Old 08-20-07, 06:45 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Just out of curiousity, what bike did you end up buying if not the Muirwoods?
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Old 08-20-07, 11:41 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by gulfcoast View Post
I would prefer the simplicity of V-brakes on the muir woods rather the disk on the Novato.
Eh? V brakes are more complicated than discs. You have to properly adjust the angle of the pads and worry about toe-in,disc pads just slot in to the caliper. V brakes must be opened/closed when removing/installing a wheel,discs don't. V brakes require adjustment more often than discs,and will eventually wear out the rims.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:16 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. Just out of curiousity, what bike did you end up buying if not the Muirwoods?
After months of research, shopping, and test rides, I bought a Jamis Coda Sport. I am very pleased with my decision. If you have not given the Jamis Coda or Coda sport a look, you might want to check them out.
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Old 08-20-07, 09:41 PM   #6
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I have a Marin Novato and I have had nothing but problems with it.

In less than a year and half, I have to replace both wheels, one shifter, a skewer, and now the freehub, never mind stuff like tires that went after 10 months or replacing rear cogs and chain because of a chain suck that required a hammer to free.

I didn't mention the little stuff either.

Now 18 months after purchase, I have been waiting for a month for a replacement front wheel when the free hub went.

I have totally lost confidence in this bike and will never ride it again.
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Old 08-21-07, 06:50 AM   #7
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Thanks. Haven't heard anything negative yet really so that's really helpful.
You think that's the bike or the people who put it together/LBS?
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Old 08-21-07, 08:48 AM   #8
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I've been riding a Muirwoods since 2005 (bought new) and have had no problems. I have no car, and the bike has been my daily errand runner, grocery getter and commuter in a farily large city. It's pretty nimble on the street, and not so fancy that I have to worry much about it getting stolen. I'm getting more seriously into cycling, and the Muirwoods is doing well on several 15 - 25 mile trips each week (though I will buy a road bike to go with the Marin in the spring).


BTW I'd also check out the Kona "Dew" ... I loved mine (stolen).
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Old 08-21-07, 09:33 AM   #9
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BTW I'd also check out the Kona "Dew" ... I loved mine (stolen).
Same thing happened to me. Not the Dew though -a Raleigh Passage. So , in my head, I'm fighting the buy a new bike or buy something used and less likely to get stolen.

Looked at that - really don't like the color. That's maybe not the best reason not to buy a bike but the 2007 is sort of purplish. Bugs me. Then again, maybe its less likely to get stolen. Good ride though.

The equal price is making the decision difficult. I'm leaning toward Muirwoods for some reason.
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Old 08-21-07, 09:49 AM   #10
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I've often regretted not replacing my Kona with another Kona rather than the Marin, though I'm not sure why - other than sentimentality.

My Kona got stolen becasue I had a ****ty lock on it - I was planning to drop by the LBS and buy a good lock my way home and that was the day that my crappy lock was defeated, and my bike taken. My fault, lesson learned. I have a Kryponite NY U Lock now, and am pretty comfortable locking my bike up. I think my Kona theft was a crime of opportunity, and the NY lock takes much (not all) of that opportunity away. If someone REALLY wants your bike, they're going to take it. Other than that, lock it up good, be smart about where you park it and enjoy your ride. I'd rather take that risk with a bike I loved (and thus rode more) than with a POS I didn't enjoy but felt sure wouldn't get stolen.

BTW - re: the Kona color, the 2008 models should be available nowish, and I suspect the color will not be the same.
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Old 08-21-07, 10:41 AM   #11
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I own a '06 Novato, the v-brake version. I didn't think the disc version came out until 2007? It has been a good ride. I bought it in the fall of 2006 to ride during the winter and I rode it through spring. I haven't ridden it much this summer as I have other nice weather bikes. I'll resume its usage this fall when the weather turns (I live in Central, NY as a reference). Next year I'll probably buy a cross bike like the Specialized Tricross and keep the Novato as a backup. Nothing against the Novato I have just been enjoying more road oriented rigs. Nothing has failed *knocks on wood* and only minor adjustments have been necessary. My one complaint would be the v-brakes. The metal spring that separates the v-brakes has popped out a couple of times. No big deal to put it back, just strange when it happens. The hubs seem strong enough and the wheels have held up well. I have even taken it on some single track, though that isn't something I do with it often.

I put 26 x 1.95 tires on it, Specialized Crossroads to be exact. I had to change the metal fenders that came with the bike for some Planet Bike Freddys to make that fit. I'll probably end up putting some Marathon Pluses on it eventually. Really though, over all it has been a great bike. Good luck with your decision!

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Old 08-21-07, 11:30 AM   #12
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i have an 07 novato. serves me pretty well during my commutes when i ride it. no problems what so ever so far. the only thing that i'm planning on changing is to get a set of wider tires. other than that, i flipped the stem upside down for a better angle. it doesn't get ridden as much as the fixed gear i own at the moment but, it's decent solid bike.

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Old 08-21-07, 12:16 PM   #13
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The 2006 Novato is the one at the store - does not have the dsic brakes. I think this week I'm going to ride both again at the store and just choose. It seems like the reputation for both is similar and comes down to the better components in the Novato and the fenders/light it comes with versus the Muirwoods since they are the same at the LBS. The geometry seems about the same.
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Old 08-21-07, 12:20 PM   #14
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i think there were 2 versions of the novato in 06. one was a "commuter" version that came with fenders and the "urban" version that came in 9 speed. i think there were slight differences in them.
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Old 08-21-07, 12:30 PM   #15
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Yep. that's true. Basically my choices at the moment between the two are the commuter Novato 06 and the Muirwoods which seems to be a difference between a cromoly vs. aluminum frame, shimano C-100 vs. nexave t300 front derailleurs, and shimano alivio and deore rear derailleurs. the fenders don't mean too much and i have a light already.
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Old 08-21-07, 12:38 PM   #16
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Just out of curiosity, what's the price of the 06 Novato at that LBS?
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Old 08-21-07, 12:40 PM   #17
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399. The Muirwoods is also 399. The Jamis dealer in my area was charging a little over 400 for the Coda I believe just as a comparison of Boston bike prices.
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Old 08-22-07, 06:40 AM   #18
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Bought the Navato last night. Between the Novato and the Muirwoods at the same price, I took both for one my ride and felt significantly much better on the Novato for whatever reason. First ride was very nice. Thank you everyone for your help!
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Old 08-23-07, 07:17 AM   #19
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My LBS said that in their opinion the Muirwood frame is one of the best steel frames ever made.

I had one and loved it. I'll get another.
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Old 07-18-08, 05:16 AM   #20
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My LBS said that in their opinion the Muirwood frame is one of the best steel frames ever made.

I had one and loved it. I'll get another.
Excellent, I was hoping to read something like this! Im planning on getting a Muirwood for commuting and some potentially long distance touring, finding a 26" steel affordable frame with all rack and mudguard mounts is hard work! The Muirwood looks like it could do the job with a quick change of scavenged components.
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