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Old 01-31-10, 02:06 PM   #1
Zekefalcon
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New bike advice

My dearly beloved hybrid bike was stolen! Gone from my life. I have moved on and am now looking at this as an opportunity to upgrade. I want my next bike to be more versatile. I really like Swobo's Novak, but I've read some bad reviews of that bike and it does seem over priced. Any suggestions about a similiar bike?
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Old 01-31-10, 02:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Zekefalcon View Post
My dearly beloved hybrid bike was stolen! Gone from my life. I have moved on and am now looking at this as an opportunity to upgrade. I want my next bike to be more versatile. I really like Swobo's Novak, but I've read some bad reviews of that bike and it does seem over priced. Any suggestions about a similiar bike?
Linky-ed it for ya.

ETA: I'm by no means an expert on bikes, but if you're wanting a steel framed, 3 spd IGH ride, check out the Kona Worldbike.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:41 PM   #3
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Just looked at the spec and I do not know the bike or the manufacturer.

There are a lot of Swobo parts fitted to this bike. Think I would prefer to see more known names as I trust some of them.

But it is how the bike rides. Get a test ride if you can and compare to a few other similar types of bike.
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Old 01-31-10, 02:52 PM   #4
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Substance wise, you can get a similar grade of bike for less:

Swobo Novak?

butted CrMo frame, generic components, 3sp hub, tektro brakes and the like. $759 USD retail

Kona Worldbike?

butted CrMo frame, generic components, 3sp hub, tektro brakes and the like. $479 CDN retail (i'm seeing them for $399 in US shops)

Downsides?
Novak: no fenders
Worldbike: ring guard instead of full chainguard

Upsides?
Novak: slightly nicer Vittoria tires, and a built in light. Finish seems to be slightly nicer, and you get a bottle opener.

Worldbike: Very comparable components, nearly half the price.

Just comparing what the bikes come with, the Novak does seem like it's not offering a lot more considering how much more it costs.

Obviously, the bikes have a different style to them, as the worldbike carries fat MTB wheel and tires. If you're not going to like that, then it won't be for you obviously.

If it were my choice, i'd buy the Worldbike and put some smaller, better tires on it. Or, some Big Apples. The bike being almost half the price makes adding what you want a whole lot cheaper and my leatherman, bike multi tool and my flip blade all have a bloody bottle opener on them, and I sure wouldn't need a 4th one.

@$399 USD, I could get the worldbike, and head to REI.
Then i'd pick up a PB superflash and a NiteRider Minewt mini, $125
An onguard pitbull and a Topeak rack, $80
Some continental sport contacts (or some other tire) $70 for 2

And the bike is still less than the Swobo Novak. Heck, you could buy a Tubus Cargo rack instead of a Topeak rack, or get yourself some new panniers, the cost is still less than the Swobo. I think that the price difference is just too much for me to really care that the Swobo is sleeker.

But I guess I wouldn't fault someone for wanting the sleeker, more refined Swobo either. You're going to fit in with a crowd of hipsters better on that bike, for sure

Funny, I had started writing this up when nobody else had posted, and after posting it, I see that no1mad suggested the exact same bike as a comparison. The Worldbike offers a lot of value for the money though, not surprising to see it come up multiple times in this comparison.

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Old 01-31-10, 03:31 PM   #5
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I only pointed out the Kona because it is very similar (IMO) to my Kona Smoke with 26x1.5 semi slicks and full gearing. The frame is bombproof.

Just trying to point out that some bits that a manufacturer throws on may in fact not be all that useful, even though the marketing hype says otherwise. I'll take the accessories on the Kona over the Swobo any day, and I'll tell you why:

The Kona comes with a little safety bell (mine came with a clown squeeze one- the kids love it), and fenders that actually fit. A lot of times people have issues trying to find fenders to fit- either of fork/frame clearance or the size of their wheels/tires.

The Swobo comes with a bottle opener integrated into the saddle. The saddle is usually one of the first things to get replaced, so there goes that 'goodie'. The integrated tail light in the seat post? You got any idea how bright that thing is? If you use a rack trunk or a good sized seat bag (Carradice comes to mind) that light will largely lose it's functionality, as no one will be able to see it.

And another thing, if you are pannier type of person, the chain stay on the Kona are longer. 440mm to the Swobo's 425mm. Not huge difference, but even one mm can mean the difference between aggravating heel strike and serene cycling.
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