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Old 08-22-14, 12:00 PM   #1
WalterMcDalter
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New Novara Randonee, but I'm wondering if I bought the right bike

Hi all,

I just bought myself a sweet new Novara Randonee on closeout at REI. Good price and nice bike. And frankly, I jumped for it because I knew I could return it if I found something better.

So here goes, the usual quandary. What do you all think about the choice of this bike for longer weekend rides and some commuting, versus something like a Raleigh Clubman our used Bianchi Volpe. And no, I'm unlikely to go on true bicycle tours, but I can't rule it out either. It would be very infrequent.

My thoughts are that I got a good deal on a reliable bike with a nice ride and good components, but will the weight, well, weigh me down over time? I'm hoping not to spend more than about $1200 total on this, including lock, new saddle, etcetera.

Raleigh Clubman is coming out with a new model for 2015 that seems sweet with disc brakes, and rumor is it will run under $1000 new.

Thanks all!

WMcD
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Old 08-22-14, 12:02 PM   #2
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3300 miles

crazyguyonabike.com: Bicycle Touring: Solo tour of the US Southwest, by Kenneth Payton
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Old 08-22-14, 12:10 PM   #3
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Nice! What did you like/dislike about the bike?
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Old 08-22-14, 12:14 PM   #4
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you get the wrong size? or what?

I have No bikes left as I bought them. all were tweaked with small parts changes.
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Old 08-22-14, 12:28 PM   #5
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Unless you are doing fully loaded touring in the rain, I wouldn't worry about the disc brakes. I've done fully loaded touring on a bike with old centre pulls and they were fine - with the right brake pads.

Have you compared the weight with the other bikes? A couple pounds either way on a 30 lbs bike isn't a huge deal, its like full versus empty water bottles.

it looks fine for the purpose. Does it fit?
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Old 08-22-14, 01:01 PM   #6
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Its a good commuter sans country/adventure/tough road bike.

You were looking for an all-rounder right? Its seems to fit your reasoning for buying it.
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Old 08-22-14, 01:02 PM   #7
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Nice! What did you like/dislike about the bike?

I have no serious dislikes about the bike at all. It is a tad heavy but I'd rather a stable solid ride than a twitchy race ride. I like the handling of the bike and I like the bar-end shifters.

I'm just spending a bit of time exploring options so that I'm sure I have something that I'll want to live with for a good long time.
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Old 08-22-14, 01:04 PM   #8
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Unless you are doing fully loaded touring in the rain, I wouldn't worry about the disc brakes. I've done fully loaded touring on a bike with old centre pulls and they were fine - with the right brake pads.

Have you compared the weight with the other bikes? A couple pounds either way on a 30 lbs bike isn't a huge deal, its like full versus empty water bottles.

it looks fine for the purpose. Does it fit?

Yup, it fits pretty well. I think I need to adjust the seat so that it's a bit more aggressive, but for now as I learn the bike it's fine.
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Old 08-22-14, 01:07 PM   #9
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You could have bought a dedicated touring bike - but its overkill unless you plan to tour the world extensively.

A commuter bike fits the middle ground quite well.
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Old 08-22-14, 01:14 PM   #10
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Nice! What did you like/dislike about the bike?
Ken, The Motor was 82 years old at the time.
I helped him carry the bike to his room.

It had 80 lbs of gear on it.



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Old 08-22-14, 01:28 PM   #11
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At the risk of being blunt:

Stop surfing the web looking at other bikes. Go ride the one you have. You'll have more fun, create more memories, and enjoy life more riding a bike than you will by web-surfing. Keep this up for a few months, that'll turn into a few years, and you'll wonder what you ever did before.

(Posted while surfing.)
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Old 08-22-14, 01:55 PM   #12
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REI lists the bike weight at 28.1 pounds which means it isn't a lightweight bike but is a decent weight for a bike. Just compare that to a WalMart BSO which might be 40 pounds. The components are OK and should preform well for a long time. It is just that the price of getting a really lightweight bike has gone way up over the decades. I paid $350 for a 21 pound 1973 Motobecane LeChampion road bike with upgraded Phil Woods hubs (in 1973). It too had a chromemoly frame like your bike so you could make a lightweight bike without resorting to carbon frames which were not available at that time anyway.
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Old 08-22-14, 02:56 PM   #13
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At the risk of being blunt:

Stop surfing the web looking at other bikes. Go ride the one you have. You'll have more fun, create more memories, and enjoy life more riding a bike than you will by web-surfing. Keep this up for a few months, that'll turn into a few years, and you'll wonder what you ever did before.

(Posted while surfing.)

Love it. Of course you're right but what else am I supposed to do when I'm at work, eh?

There are just so many choices out there and I'm not going to buy a new bike for a long time. So just trying to be sure that this is the right choice.
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Old 08-22-14, 02:58 PM   #14
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REI lists the bike weight at 28.1 pounds which means it isn't a lightweight bike but is a decent weight for a bike. Just compare that to a WalMart BSO which might be 40 pounds. The components are OK and should preform well for a long time. It is just that the price of getting a really lightweight bike has gone way up over the decades. I paid $350 for a 21 pound 1973 Motobecane LeChampion road bike with upgraded Phil Woods hubs (in 1973). It too had a chromemoly frame like your bike so you could make a lightweight bike without resorting to carbon frames which were not available at that time anyway.
I don't need, or even particularly want a very light bike. I like the stability of a somewhat more substantial bike. But I guess it's just fun to talk about and think through.
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Old 08-22-14, 02:58 PM   #15
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Ken, The Motor was 82 years old at the time.
I helped him carry the bike to his room.

It had 80 lbs of gear on it.




82 and touring. Now that is something to strive for!
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Old 08-22-14, 04:42 PM   #16
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The weight of the bike is meaningless unless you are carrying it up a set of steps every day... the feel, is a different story. If it doesn't give the kind of ride you like, then go try different bikes. If you are just dwelling on the weight, get over it and go ride.
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Old 08-22-14, 05:18 PM   #17
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At the risk of being blunt:

Stop surfing the web looking at other bikes. Go ride the one you have. You'll have more fun, create more memories, and enjoy life more riding a bike than you will by web-surfing. Keep this up for a few months, that'll turn into a few years, and you'll wonder what you ever did before.

(Posted while surfing.)
+1. No good can come from asking people for help in bolstering your doubt. Just ride the stupid bike, and then come back and tell us whether it works for you or not!
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Old 08-22-14, 09:22 PM   #18
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REI lists the bike weight at 28.1 pounds which means it isn't a lightweight bike but is a decent weight for a bike. Just compare that to a WalMart BSO which might be 40 pounds. The components are OK and should preform well for a long time. It is just that the price of getting a really lightweight bike has gone way up over the decades. I paid $350 for a 21 pound 1973 Motobecane LeChampion road bike with upgraded Phil Woods hubs (in 1973). It too had a chromemoly frame like your bike so you could make a lightweight bike without resorting to carbon frames which were not available at that time anyway.
It's not that people "resort" to carbon frames. It's that people really like them. They ride great, are extremely tough, and, oh yeah, they are light. Other materials are fine too, I'm sure.
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Old 08-23-14, 10:21 AM   #19
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The weight of the bike is meaningless unless you are carrying it up a set of steps every day... the feel, is a different story. If it doesn't give the kind of ride you like, then go try different bikes. If you are just dwelling on the weight, get over it and go ride.
I disagree. While I don't have any lightweight bikes, I've owned some in the past. The weight is noticeable. I found the lighter bikes more fun to ride. More responsive and quicker. Easier to maintain speed, etc. This is fine if all you'll ever do is staying on pavement. I tend to ride a lot of varying road surfaces and even some trails so I wanted a bike that I wouldn't destroy fairly quickly by doing this to them. So none of my bikes have any carbon on them. This Novara is a good bike and you'll be able to put that bike through hell and back and it'll keep giving you years of service. Plus it's versatile. You can put racks and fenders on it and do all sorts of things with it. You won't be able to do that with most race oriented bikes. The extra weight will make you stronger and one day if you decide you do want a more agile and quicker bike, you'll absolutely fly on it with the weight drop.
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Old 08-23-14, 10:40 AM   #20
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I disagree. While I don't have any lightweight bikes, I've owned some in the past. The weight is noticeable. I found the lighter bikes more fun to ride. More responsive and quicker. Easier to maintain speed, etc. This is fine if all you'll ever do is staying on pavement. I tend to ride a lot of varying road surfaces and even some trails so I wanted a bike that I wouldn't destroy fairly quickly by doing this to them. So none of my bikes have any carbon on them. This Novara is a good bike and you'll be able to put that bike through hell and back and it'll keep giving you years of service. Plus it's versatile. You can put racks and fenders on it and do all sorts of things with it. You won't be able to do that with most race oriented bikes. The extra weight will make you stronger and one day if you decide you do want a more agile and quicker bike, you'll absolutely fly on it with the weight drop.
I weigh 200#. I don't notice a 10# difference riding a bike; I do notice geometry differences. Results my vary.
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Old 08-23-14, 12:08 PM   #21
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I weigh 200#. I don't notice a 10# difference riding a bike; I do notice geometry differences. Results my vary.
I bet you would. I'm about the same weight (little lighter) and rode a friends 13# bike and man was that thing fast. Or maybe quick is the right term. I bet it wouldn't be that much faster over a given course, but I did notice that I was quite a bit fresher after riding it 100 miles verses my 25# Soma. It's not something that would make me go that route though. I still like my bikes and how versatile they are.
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Old 08-23-14, 08:18 PM   #22
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I alternate between my 17 lbs carbon, my 22 lbs steel roadie and my 28 lbs Miyata steel tourer. No question that the carbon rides faster and noticeably feels lighter and I weigh above 200.

That said, if I could only own one bike it would be the Miyata. I'm a practical person and the all around functionality of the tourer appeals to me. I can stick a set of 36mm cross tires and go ride dirt, or the 32 mm slicks and commute. I used this bike in Colorado for 7 days on the Bike Tour of Colorado, using 23mm tires, no rack and essentially getting as much weight off as possible, so it was maybe 26 lbs, but it was fine.

Tourer are the best at all around bikes as they can do it all.
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Old 08-24-14, 06:47 AM   #23
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I have no serious dislikes about the bike at all. It is a tad heavy but I'd rather a stable solid ride than a twitchy race ride. I like the handling of the bike and I like the bar-end shifters.
There's your own answer.

No matter how long you shop, what you buy, or how much you spend, there will always be another bike to lust after.
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Old 10-05-14, 02:57 PM   #24
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Wrap up to the queryh

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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
There's your own answer.

No matter how long you shop, what you buy, or how much you spend, there will always be another bike to lust after.
Hey, thought I'd provide the final on this question. I found a Salsa Casseroll on Craigslist, gave it a test ride and realized it was perfect. Just the right responsiveness, lighter and better handling, yet still nice and stable. I bought it, returned the Novara (love REI), and haven't looked back.

Funny end to the story: I just get an email from the person who sold me the bike. He wants to buy it back at cost plus a $400 premium. First time I've seen seller's remorse.

This Casseroll is a sweet bike. Really a pleasure to ride.
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