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  1. #1
    Senior Member randya's Avatar
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    Who makes Novara Bicycles for REI?

    I've been asked this question twice in the last two days. I'm thinking Giant or Trek or some other big company makes these bikes under an OEM contract with REI. Maybe more than one company? Does anyone know for sure?

  2. #2
    It's all about XC.
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    The Novara frames are built by Giant and are then fully assembled by Giant's own people. They arrive at REI complete. The bike shop guy there told me that they dissasemble all the bikes and then reassemble them (Maybe to their own spec'd? But when I bought my bike, it was completely factory spec...).

    I know for sure that they assemble the bikes there themselves, though. I think some of Trek's frames are made by Giant, too, but I'm not so sure...

    '00 Giant IguanaSE
    '03 Novara Ponderosa

    Lance Armstrong's heart is 33% larger than the average man's.

  3. #3
    Work hard, Play hard forum*rider's Avatar
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    are the novara bikes any good?

  4. #4
    Senior Member 55/Rad's Avatar
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    A lot of people like them, so yes, I believe they are good bikes. I don't know what kind of deals can be had though....

    55/Rad
    Last edited by 55/Rad; 04-01-04 at 04:47 PM.

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I have a Novara Strada road bike. It was (and continues to be) an excellent value. I was comparing it with midlevel bikes from Trek and Bianchi and the Novara had comparable components for about $300 less. Plus, you get a dividend and excellent customer service at REI.

    I've used it for centuries and triathlons and now it's my everyday commuter/rain bike.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
    Senior Member danr's Avatar
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    I got a deal on a Novara Randonee this past November. They were clearing out their 2003 line. Anyways, so far, no complaints. I really couldn't get a better bike for $550.
    Does the perfect bike really exist?

  7. #7
    Bike Happy DanFromDetroit's Avatar
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    I bought my daughter a Piedra (womens mountain bike) last year. This was her first quality bike. On the test ride, she turned the cranks exactly three times before saying, "This is *much* nicer than my old bike". I added lights and that's about all to it. She rides it daily in 3 seasons. It has held up really well (minor adjustments, so serious problems).

    I consider it to be a nice bike and good value.

    Dan
    There is nothing homlier than the face on your last dime.
    --John Wildcat, Greenback Friend

  8. #8
    The Cycling Photographer SipperPhoto's Avatar
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    I've heard nothing but good things about them... like Giant.. they are a good, solid reliable, decently priced bike... not top of the line.. but not as bad as wallyworld

    jeff
    Jeff

    Check out TorelliFan.com! Submit your bike, tell us about an epic ride, or just come to check out the eye candy!

  9. #9
    It's all about XC.
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    I got a '03 Ponderosa (XC hardtail) for about $550, but it was on sale. You can get an '04 model (virtually identical, except with SD5 shifters over SD3) for around $750. At $750, it's a good deal. At $550, it was a steal. I don't know much about the lower end models, but I think the Ponderosa is similar to the Trek 6700 or the Rockhopper Comp.

    '03 Novara Ponderosa (Hardtail)

    Manitou Axel Comp fork
    Deore in the front, XT in the back, Deore Rapid-Fire shifters
    Avid Single Digit 5 brakes, Avid Speed Dial 3 levers
    WTB Rocket V saddle, WTB Speedmaster rims
    Ritchey Bars (I don't know what kind...yeah, I didn't really pay attention)
    Mutano Raptors (tires)

    You can get the '04 specs off the REI site. It's great on climbs and has a stiff frame, which is good. The bad things is that the stupid reflectors popped off and that the noodles on the Avid SD5's rip real quick. I think this is a general problem with Avid's SD5's, as I've heard other people complaining about the rust and ripping-noodles before.

    '00 Giant IguanaSE
    '03 Novara Ponderosa

    Lance Armstrong's heart is 33% larger than the average man's.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by forum*rider
    are the novara bikes any good?
    I have owned a Novarra Randonee for more than five years. I ride it all seasons. It was an excellent price for a very serviceable machine - more than enough bike for my purposes. I am 6'6" tall and weigh 260 lbs, so I purchased the largest size available. The fit is good, the ride is comfortable, and the gear train works smoothly (but see #2, below).

    Two problems occur long-term. [1] The paint/finish on the bike's original frame was not as resistant as it should have been (remember, this bike was 5+ years old). So the frame suffered a considerable amount of corrosion. Considering I keep the bike in a garage, this is a bad thing. Last year (2003), when I took the bike into REI for a tune-up, I was offered a replacement frame, at very little cost to me. I accepted, so effectively ended up with an new machine. So far, so good, even the color is more attractive. [2] Without regular use, say in the winter season, the derailleurs stiffen up in place - difficult to unstick.

    However, I credit REI (here in Houston, at least) with excellent service - if I have a problem, its bike-mechs take care of it without a hassle. RLBaron.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kayle View Post
    The Novara frames are built by Giant and are then fully assembled by Giant's own people.
    FAIL!

    They are not made by Giant.

    Care to talk to the brand mananger to confirm this?

  12. #12
    Lovin the O.C. abmtnbkr's Avatar
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    Clue us in Genetic...the suspense is killing me..

  13. #13
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genetic View Post
    FAIL!

    They are not made by Giant.

    Care to talk to the brand mananger to confirm this?
    I think the NEWBIE fails for digging up a 4 YEAR OLD POST!

  14. #14
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    I think the NEWBIE fails for digging up a 4 YEAR OLD POST!
    And for being a jerk about it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Tapeworm21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abmtnbkr View Post
    Clue us in Genetic...the suspense is killing me..
    It's been killing me for 4 years. I always assumed Asian children built Novara bikes. Prove me wrong.
    2009 Specialized Tarmac Pro SL SRAM
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  16. #16
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    Fairly

    It used to be Fairly bike. Some Konas and some Marins used to come out of the same factory.
    The designers weren't from Giant or Trek, they were in house at REI in Washington. Some actual bike guys who have putting out some pretty good frame designs.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    I think the NEWBIE fails for digging up a 4 YEAR OLD POST!
    Better to get the right info late than to get wrong info.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tapeworm21 View Post
    It's been killing me for 4 years. I always assumed Asian children built Novara bikes. Prove me wrong.
    REI takes labor standards very seriously.

    http://www.rei.com/aboutrei/csr/2006...e_factory.html

    I was looking for similar info on the Specialized site, but I couldn't find anything.

  19. #19
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Anybody know why there is an "NWA" graphic on the underside of the down tube, just above the bottom bracket, on my '03 Big Buzz?

  20. #20
    Senior Member
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    I don't know how reliable or accurate this info is (<--my disclaimer), but the salesman at REI that sold me my Novara Forza told me something to the effect that REI buys frames 'piggy-back' on a European bike manufacturer's contract with a Chinese factory, thus the lower prices. REI does not design the frames, but they select frames designed by this (unnamed) European company, and orders a bunch of them tagged on to their order instead of ordering them as a separate order. All one big order = lower price. That's about all he told me. Kind of vague, but answered some questions.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by alpinist View Post
    REI does not design the frames, but they select frames designed by this (unnamed) European company, and orders a bunch of them tagged on to their order instead of ordering them as a separate order. All one big order = lower price. That's about all he told me. Kind of vague, but answered some questions.
    Steve Gluckman designs the Novara bikes.

  22. #22
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Do you have his address by any chance? Want to shake his hand for designing my Safari. Then I'm gonna punch him in the mouth for putting an alloy fork on my Big Buzz.

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

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Genetic View Post
    Steve Gluckman designs the Novara bikes.
    Are you Steve? (Sorry, had to ask. )

  24. #24
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    Safari

    No. I am not Steve.
    I wonder if he designed my 99 Ponderosa SL, or if someone else did them then.
    The frame w/o a BB and w/o a headset was under 3 lbs.

    I found this post in a search to find out more about the construction and manufacturing of the carbon frames on the Squadra road bikes.

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