'08 Novara Buzz Flyby vs. '09 Dahon Mu XL
Mmm mmm mmmph. I swear I'm losin' my religion.
I was in Atlanta last month visiting relatives and was forced by my spouse, who is an REI clothes junkie, to visit the store. REI was having its' periodic "20% member sale". They had a Novara Buzz Flyby marked down on "clearance" from $699 to $589. Well, after several years with a Downtube Mini as my main ride I had been casually looking for a 20"-er. I have been looking at the recently marked down Downtube 8H's, REI's newer 7-spd Novara FLyby, Tikit, Brompton, Abio and even sent an email to Flamingo. So I took the Buzz for a spin around the store. It was faster than the Mini, stiffer, the 8-spd Nexus hub was oh-so-much smoother than the Mini's 7-spd Sturmey-Archey. But it looked and felt absolutely huge, and a bit cramped.
My wife loved it because it "matched" her Curve SL, and she thinks I look too big for the Mini (who doesn't look big on a Mini?). Well, she was in a shopping frenzy, she had just put the fourth pair of sunglasses into the cart, so I knew I had to get her out of there. Without serious consideration or research I made a snap purchase.
At home I discovered that the Buzz is basically a dumbed-down Mu XL Sport. REI grips vs Ergon; REI seat & front hub, different paint, no headtube Klickfix mounting block. Hub gear is supposedly "Nexus Premium", but no red stripe visible. Setpost pump. Comes with a Bolso style bag. No big differnces in my book. BUT I discovered the identical Buzz had been sold for $599 orginal price, not the $699 it had been "marked down" from. Furthermore because it had been "marked down" it was not elegible for the 20% discount. So while others had gotten the bike at a very good price of about $489, I paid $625 with tax.
The new model Flyby, with a seven speed hub, sells for I contacted REI who basically said they had raised the price last year because of "upgrades". Well, the very similar 2010 Novara Flyby (withb 7-spd hub) is selling for $699...with the discount it would be $580.
So I was chewing hard on returning the bike. REI does have a"satisfaction gauranteed" refund policy so I can return the bike...though it'll cost me $30 or so to do it by mail. The Bolso bag is probably worth $45, REI did a mechanical checkup probably worth anouther $40. It has the Then the other day I was riding a rough street on it, (3rd ride) and noticed a lot of rattling in the front. MUCHO loose spokes! So much for the checkup. Teflon coated seatpost pump slides down. Decided to return it.
But I liked the ride and especially the Mu frame with the potential for a belt drive. So I looked and looked and found a Mu Ex (not the "Sport") with a hub generator, suspension seatpost and rack, all pluses for me, for $705. I understand the pros and cons of ordering from someone like Aircraft Spruce. The order button on the page does say does say "Mu XL Sport"...will I get the Mu XL or the XL Sport? Should I order this?
Thanks for your patience with this post.