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Old 08-22-09, 06:42 PM   #1
thedriving
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Hi.Can I get some opinions on my next bike?

I am a newbie here. My last 2 bikes were hybrids...they just didn't have a name for them yet.
I am interested in buying another bike. I have a Gary Fisher I like a lot but it is in storage in another state.
I am debating between buying a little bit older bike that was fairly expensive when new (for example I have my eye on a 5 year old Cannondale)and restoring/customizing it the way I want. OR buying an entry level hybrid and just leaving it stock...or the third option, buy a fairly recent bike that would be too expensive new but is now down in price a bit. I am looking to keep it in the $300-$350 range for now.

I am currently looking at a one year old Novara Big Buzz...I found one with an asking price of $350...but I think I could probably get it for around $300.
Anybody have advice on 1: of the three routes which would be the way to go?
and 2: specifically the Novara. Is it a decent bike, worth the $300 etc?
Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-23-09, 12:52 AM   #2
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Are the Novara bikes the store-brand for REI? That seems to ring a bell. I know there are some Novara owners someplace around here. Hopefully some will surface to address your questions. In the meantime I'll go do a bit of research on these machines.

Don't despair - just wait. Rarely does a thread not get addressed by someone knowledgeable.
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Old 08-23-09, 01:18 AM   #3
thedriving
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yeah, it's REI in house...I was starting to feel like a reject...
the used bike I want is an hour drive away...but I went and looked at new one in store...man this is a nice bike...it's pretty, it's light, it feels great...I would love input as to how it holds up long term...I am VERY active on another forum, a car forum and I am used to people jumping in with both feet with opinions...so this indifference throws me off...
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Old 08-23-09, 02:31 AM   #4
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I wasn't sure if the one you're talking about in your previous post here was a 2007, or a 2008 model. So I climbed through both via Google.

The components are about the same on each, but the 2007 came with 700 X 28C Vittoria tires, whereas the '08 came with 32C's. I was startled by these bikes coming with a SRAM X-7 rear-derailleur (RD) and SRAM shifters to match. Very interesting. In the reviews the only negative points brought up were directed at the gearing: While it has a good SRAM 9-speed cassette in back, it only has a double crankset up front in 36 - 50T. A few people found this to be not so good for the hilly terrain where they live. This being Seattle where most of the reviewers live/ed.

So I'd think about your general area in which you will be riding. Do you have a lot of hills and/or mountains where you hang your hat? How strong a rider are you? So forth. On the positive side - that's about the only negative statements made from the reviews I dug up. I suggest you Google: Novara Big Buzz.

Here's a couple of links to all who are curious:

http://www.buzzillions.com/reviews/n...e-2008-reviews

http://www.rei.com/product/744801
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Old 08-23-09, 07:15 AM   #5
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Sure looks like the Big Buzz would be a nice bike for the semi flatlands of Northern Illinois.

I rarely get into the little ring on my triple, and the cassette has a really wide spread.....

Sounds like a nice bike for the money, especially if it is in really nice shape. at $300, it would be quite a bit less than 1/2 price, almost 1/3. I'd consider it a good buy, if it fits. SRAM, and disc brakes, makes it even nicer.

It gets pretty nice reviews, including 2 from San Francisco (doesn't get much hillier that there) - surprisingly, one good, one negative. Personally, the 36-34 combo should be some pretty easy pedalling, and the 50-11 is faster than I can pedal on 700X32 tires..... It also appears that there is quite a bit of room for even bigger tires if you want.

Should be a pretty nice commuter, city street, MUP, and general utility bike, that can still go fast.

Last edited by Wanderer; 08-23-09 at 08:35 AM. Reason: More info
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Old 08-23-09, 10:07 AM   #6
thedriving
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Thanks guys. I have been out of the bike buying game for a while and I was just curious if the components had a good name. I read the same reviews...the hill thing doesn't concern me so much as I have always been a STRONG hill climber...my friends would always complain about me riding away on the hills.
Oh and sorry I should have been more specific, it's a 2008...with the polished aluminum finish?

Last edited by thedriving; 08-23-09 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 08-24-09, 11:21 AM   #7
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That looks like a good price for one year old Big Buzz. I have a Buzz (26" wheels). Be advised the Big Buzz has an aluminum fork, for some people that is a turn-off.
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Old 08-24-09, 12:09 PM   #8
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My '03 Big Buzz came with a 39/48 crank which is now 38/46. 11-34 cassette is enough range for me - gets me up the steepest hills I've encountered but the top gear is a little bit low. Absolutely fine gearing for my Central Indiana suburban/urban riding/commuting. Good handling. Very stout frame - a little bit r-r-r-rough-riding, though, with the stout alu frame and fork. BB-7 brakes stop fine.
Since I discovered recumbents, this bike gets ridden very little but it is a fine Backup Bike.
$300 would be a great price.
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Old 08-25-09, 10:43 AM   #9
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For that price,I'd say go for it and swap the fork. The older curved alloy forks weren't too great,but running 32mm low psi tires made them bearable. The newer ones have the pinpoint alloy fork like my Road Buzz,they are horrible. I'm running 42's on my RB and it still tears up my wrists;it's going back as soon as I get around to putting it back to stock.

For $300-350,if it's in good shape and fits I'd get it and swap the fork and shifters. A steel fork won't add that much weight and can be found for decent,a carbon fork will be pricier but will shave weight and smooth out the ride. The '08's also had twistgrips,which I personally hate,but SRAM double-thumbs aren't expensive. The '08's are also unique in that they came with BB7 discs,which are the best they ever put on the line. IIRC,they still had a MTB rear with a compact double front('09's have road cassettes) like my '06;this combo works very well for the hilly area I live in. Fender's will fit,you'll need to bend the left rear stay and use a spacer and longer bolt for the left front.
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Old 08-25-09, 01:43 PM   #10
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Thanks for the input. I keep hearing the same complaint, that the aluminum fork is kinda harsh...of course it's all relative and comes down to personal taste...I have always had bikes with a steel fork, and never a front suspension. I was going to ask if the aluminum fork will be that much hasher than steel...but of course I already answered my own question. IE, I'll have to see for myself...and if it is I can always swap out the forks, that's not a big problem at all...thanks again for the advice.
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