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  1. #1
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    How do you rate bikes from REI?

    I am new to bikes. Yesterday I went to REI and found that they are selling bikes. I am looking for hybrid bikes (so far tested trek and giant). I tried Novara bike at REI and it looks ok. They are selling Novara and K2 bikes.

    Can you please let me know the quality of bikes at REI and their service?

    How do you rate them when you compare them with Trek/Giant/Specialized?

  2. #2
    All Bikes All The Time Sawtooth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p001
    I am new to bikes. Yesterday I went to REI and found that they are selling bikes. I am looking for hybrid bikes (so far tested trek and giant). I tried Novara bike at REI and it looks ok. They are selling Novara and K2 bikes.

    Can you please let me know the quality of bikes at REI and their service?

    How do you rate them when you compare them with Trek/Giant/Specialized?
    I have never met a Novara owner that did not feel like they got a great deal for the money. And if you EVER need to return it, you can do so with no questions asked. REI is a first-rate place with which to do business. They have some other brands there as well, besides Novara.

  3. #3
    Easily distracted...
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    I rode a Novara for several years before switching to a Cannondale and now a Surly. I never had any complaints about my Novara hybrid, though I have appreciated the nicer components on my newer bikes. I rode the Novara Randonee around the parking lot and liked it a lot. I'll give them a thumbs up for quality and two for value.
    Safe, efficient, and comfortable transportation.

  4. #4
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    I bought a Novara Safari this spring and absolutly love it. As mentioned before, REI is very customer friendly if any problems do arise.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your replies. Yes, their return policy is great.

    I just wanted to make sure that their Hybrid bikes performance is good. I will go ahead and test one more time before deciding on one. I saw expired 20% coupons on deals web sites. I guess I need to wait to get another coupon.

  6. #6
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I know you're looking at their hybrids but I have a Novara road bike and it has been an exceptional value. Plus, if you are a member, you'll get a nice fat dividend at the end of the year which you can spend on more bike stuff (or camping, hiking, traveling, whatever).
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  7. #7
    Senior Member pmseattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p001
    I am new to bikes. Yesterday I went to REI and found that they are selling bikes. I am looking for hybrid bikes (so far tested trek and giant). I tried Novara bike at REI and it looks ok. They are selling Novara and K2 bikes.

    Can you please let me know the quality of bikes at REI and their service?

    How do you rate them when you compare them with Trek/Giant/Specialized?

    I agree with the above posters about REI. I have a Novara Big Buzz which is the best commuter/utility bike I have owned, and I have gone through many. I would rate it higher than a comparably priced Trek. I can't comment on Giant or Specialized, having no experience with either of those brands.

  8. #8
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    1st I am not trying to start a flame war. I don't know about the quality of the bike or service @ REI, but I do have a question that no one has addressed here......

    Why buy a bike from a BIG RETAIL Sporting Goods store, when there ares so many independent LBS' around that are owned by our neighbors and fellow cyclists?

    I was thinking of purchasing a bike (can't remember brand), but when I found that it was only available through a BIG RETAIL Sporting Goods store I dropped the idea post haste. I'd rather keep my $ in the community than feed the corporate machine. Plus I like to walk in and talk to a "friend" rather than an ever changing "minimum wage drone".

    Just a thought & MHO.

    -annie-

  9. #9
    Trailer sprinting Dad RuiCoelho's Avatar
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    annie, yes, going local does support the local economy and rei is a big chain, but it is also a co-op, so members receive a % of the profits. I have never had a problem that they would not resolve - very customer focused. memebers also get all sorts of free & fee clinics on bikes and other topics. So, local or rei have there pluses, and I would avoid big retail chains too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cantdrv55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anniesartistry
    1st I am not trying to start a flame war. I don't know about the quality of the bike or service @ REI, but I do have a question that no one has addressed here......

    Why buy a bike from a BIG RETAIL Sporting Goods store, when there ares so many independent LBS' around that are owned by our neighbors and fellow cyclists?

    I was thinking of purchasing a bike (can't remember brand), but when I found that it was only available through a BIG RETAIL Sporting Goods store I dropped the idea post haste. I'd rather keep my $ in the community than feed the corporate machine. Plus I like to walk in and talk to a "friend" rather than an ever changing "minimum wage drone".

    Just a thought & MHO.

    -annie-
    Just for the return policy I would buy another bike from REI. Earlier this year, I bought a flat bar road bike (a Marin) from REI. After a month, I realized I wanted something faster and with better components. They took the first bike back and gave me a great deal on my Novarra Trionfo (a better deal than by using the 20% discount because I bought a 2004 model in 2005). Later this year, I may buy bikes for my parents. Needless to say, I'll shop first at REI.

  11. #11
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    annieartistry, I think you're confusing REI, which is a co-op, with an X-mart. Each of the employees and most of the customers own a piece of REI, and every single employee I've talked to has been extremely knowledgeable.

    As for customer service, it's been top-rate. I had a Strada (entry-level road bike on the level of a Trek 1000, for example). I rode the hell out of it: triathlons, centuries, commuting, you name it. It developed a creak and I took it in. The mech found a hairline crack on one of the welds and he called me to say, I'm sorry, we're getting you a new frame and it will take a day or two to arrive from Washington.

    As it turned out, they didn't have my size in the Strada frame, so they upgraded me to the Triomfo for no cost.

    I agree with cantdrv55. It's a very good deal.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  12. #12
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    I do agree that it is far better to buy anything from small local merchants (not just bikes, but everything else to) but the reason I make an exception for REI is because it is a co-op. I am proud to say I have NEVER bought anything from Wat-mart, dad is a pretty strong union man and would not allow us to go there as kids, and I've learned enough as an adult to dispise the place.

  13. #13
    Spoked to Death phidauex's Avatar
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    Yeah, REI is a different sort of animal.. I do try to buy from local businesses when I can, but many can be thought of as just QBP outlets, rather than truly 'independent' shops. When it comes to buying a bike, I wouldn't cut REI out of the running just because it is big. They treat their employees well, and they stick with the company for a long time, which says a lot.

    Walmart is a bad place, full of bad feelings and broken promises, REI is just a successful chain.

    peace,
    sam

  14. #14
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    Thanks for giving me the scoop on REI. The one time I visited the local REI, I got the same type service (ignored) and same blank stare when asking where to find such & such as I did at the other big sporting goods retailer in this area, therefore the same impression..... Maybe I was just there on a bad day, or found the one moron they had working. Will have to give it another chance in the future.

    ~annie~

  15. #15
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I love my Buzz. Awsome urban bike. The REI store I got it from(Rockville,MD) has a full-service bike shop. Haven't had any work done there yet,but I've BS'd with the mechanics a couple times and they seem like real enthusiests. I'd pretty much consider them to be an LBS.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/F600/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  16. #16
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    Went back to the REI here today to look at Panniers for my husband's bike and got the same type of bad service as before. It appeared that it was the guys quitting time cause w/in 5 min. I saw him headding out the door. Either I have REALLY bad timing or we have a REALLY atypically BAD REI.

    Maybe I will give it another couple of years and try again.

    ~annie~

  17. #17
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    annie,

    I do agree with your concept of supporting LBS's. And our fellow members answered your question. I wanted to add one more comment.

    Right now I dont know what kind of bike I really need. LBS are not ready to allow me to return the bike once the parchase was made, not even exchange. I am not type of a guy who return the stuff ( I do return only 1% of the stuff). If I buy the bike from REI and if I dont like that after couple of weeks of testing then I can exchange with a better hybrid or road bike. That is another advantage with REI.

  18. #18
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder
    I love my Buzz.
    Did it come with the Randonneurs? How are they doing?
    --
    -=- '05 Jamis Nova -=- '04 Fuji Absolute -=- '94 Trek 820 -=- '77 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36 -=-
    Friends don't let friends use brifters.

  19. #19
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd
    Did it come with the Randonneurs? How are they doing?
    Yes. I guess they're doing ok. I really haven't put that many miles on the Buzz. It's my screw-around on toy. They handle good,but really haven't seen enough use for me to tell how they wear.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/F600/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes/Novato,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  20. #20
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    I don't hear much about that tire, so I've wondered. It was the Buzz that got me interested in buying a new bike last year for the first time in 10 years. First time I saw it, it looked like what I had thought I wanted for a while, and I suddenly got interested in something new. I ended up with something different, but that's where it all started...heh, $4000, two new bikes and one overhauled 820 ago.
    --
    -=- '05 Jamis Nova -=- '04 Fuji Absolute -=- '94 Trek 820 -=- '77 Schwinn Scrambler 36/36 -=-
    Friends don't let friends use brifters.

  21. #21
    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    Yep...also have a Buzz that I use as my commuter/townie. It is a great bike, especially at the price I paid. No complaints at all here.

  22. #22
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    I just bought my buzz at rockville REI as well. Got it this past weekend. I love this bike. It's too bad all the other bikes were on sale except for this one. The sales rep mentioned that it's because the 06 model will be exactly the same with the same comps. Good stuff.

  23. #23
    Slow and unsteady
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkrownd
    Did it come with the Randonneurs? How are they doing?
    I have Vittoria Randonneurs on my Trek 520 touring bike. About 2600 miles, tread looks good, and only one flat, and it was from a large industrial staple. That tire is still OK.

    I use the wire bead version (700x35), but have the wireless version as a spare tire when on tour.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Urban Shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anniesartistry
    1st I am not trying to start a flame war. I don't know about the quality of the bike or service @ REI, but I do have a question that no one has addressed here......

    Why buy a bike from a BIG RETAIL Sporting Goods store, when there ares so many independent LBS' around that are owned by our neighbors and fellow cyclists?

    I was thinking of purchasing a bike (can't remember brand), but when I found that it was only available through a BIG RETAIL Sporting Goods store I dropped the idea post haste. I'd rather keep my $ in the community than feed the corporate machine. Plus I like to walk in and talk to a "friend" rather than an ever changing "minimum wage drone".

    Just a thought & MHO.

    -annie-
    Well, in my area, I do not feel like paying an arm and a leg to a LBS. The ones in my area charge high dollar and are not that service friendly.
    ***** Chugga Chugga Doo *****

    ----] Team Viddy, Rolling On To Victory [----

  25. #25
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    My REI seems very good. All the mechanics are certified from Barnett's. I've talked to the head mechanic there a few times, he seems good. I plan to work there when I turn 16. Would rather work there than at my LBS.

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