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Thread: Novara Bikes?

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    Novara Bikes?

    Anyone know anything about Novara bikes? They are REI's Store Brand.

    In searching for the next level of bike for me, I came across the Novara Ponderosa. I have also been looking at the Haro X1.

    My current bike is a Trek 800 Sport, with an alivo rear dr, and low-quality components ( heavy, too: its steel ). In the $650 to $725 range, what bike would be best for me. I mostly do trail riding. I like performance, quality, and durability in a bike - and I know I won't be getting the best with a $700 bike. The only problem is that I'm 15 and thats what I have scraped together.

    I'm ready to move on in mountain biking, and I need suggestions on what bike to get, not necessarly the ones mentioned. *BUT* the Novara Ponderosa has a great component set: XT Rear derailleur, with Deore everywhere else - I just don't know much about the brand. Any suspension fork from anyone except RST will suit me well, and I don't think I want rear suspension - with the hilly trails I ride, I need front, but can't have a performance disadvantage from bobbing in the back.

    Novara Ponderosa:

    http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...ory_rn=4500839

    Help me out here folks!

    =]

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    I asked the same question and didn't get much response. I don't think many people have experience with Novara. I went ahead and got the Ponderosa SL. Great components and it has held up well for my first several rides.

    My only concern is the frame. I just don't know how good it is. It already has a small dent in one of the chainstays, but that may be "normal" with a fall on rocks. I guess only time will tell.
    Mike

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    Senior Member diamondback's Avatar
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    I've never owned one but it looks like a good bike and I am familiar with REI. In your price range their are so many good hardtails with premium brand names that have better resale when your done with it. A Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc is only about $499, and that extra money could go for a new york lock or some gear. Giant Ranier is good too but a little pricey. If you really want to fall off rocks the Specialized P1 or P2. Giant and Trek both make full suspension bikes for under $500. The Giant has the better shock but I've never ridden it. Trek builds a lot of hardtail for the dollar. Navaro is OK bike but people think it's XMart due to the name and only want to pay $40 for it unless they're really know bikes. Have fun.

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    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    I've been very happy with my Novara Randonee, a touring bike that I use for every day commuting.

    Two things about buying REI bikes:

    1) Wait for a sale. They always have them, and they offer significant discounts (10, 15, even 25%). Even better, watch for a sale announcem,ent and then shop the week before the sale when selection is better. Then go back during the sale for a price match; you'll get a refund of the difference between the regular price and the sale price.

    2) REI bike departments seem to vary in their quality. The one near me -- Conshohocken PA -- is very good; good enough that a lot of cyclists in the area consider it their LBS. But if your REI has a substandard bike department, you may not get the excellent fitting, Barnett-trained service, and master wheelbuilding that the Conshohocken store offers.

    REI covers their frames for life, or did when I bought mine. They're decent Taiwanese frames, undoubtedly made by the same workers in the same plants that make name-brand frames you're probably more familiar with.

    As always, there's no substitute for a good test ride. If you REI is like mine, that won't be a problem either. I was given the bike to test ride with no restrictions. It's one reason I ended up buying it.

    RichC

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    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by diamondback
    I've never owned one but it looks like a good bike and I am familiar with REI. In your price range their are so many good hardtails with premium brand names that have better resale when your done with it. A Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc is only about $499, and that extra money could go for a new york lock or some gear. Giant Ranier is good too but a little pricey. If you really want to fall off rocks the Specialized P1 or P2. Giant and Trek both make full suspension bikes for under $500. The Giant has the better shock but I've never ridden it. Trek builds a lot of hardtail for the dollar. Navaro is OK bike but people think it's XMart due to the name and only want to pay $40 for it unless they're really know bikes. Have fun.
    I really know bikes but because of the lack of a big name wouldn't pay the same for that bike as a giant. It has nothing to do with knowing bikes. I dont trust companies whos frames haven't been proven to ME. If someone in the industry I trust tells me they are good then I would consider it.

    Here is my take and it is similar to Diamondback's. It is a similar price to some very well known and popular brands with excellent customer service. Go for the bigger brands with known customer service. Its really that simple in my eyes. Even if the components are lower end it doesn't matter. Components are relatively cheap to upgrade. Good quality frames are not so easy.

    Cheers.

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    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Agree with what Rich Clark said.

    Personally, I don't know about their MTBs but I have a Novara road bike and I've been very happy with it. I've done half a dozen tris on it. Now it's my commute bike and I've put a couple thousand more miles on it, 9 miles at a time.

    If/when I get a MTB, REI will be the first place I look. I won't necessarily buy a Novara but I'll certainly consider it.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

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    I have no knowledge of Novara bikes, but I know Haro Bikes well. The Haro brand has been around a long time (since late 70's) and started out BIG Time in the BMX scene. They make a solid, well made and well spec'd bike. It's a bit on the heavier side, but that's because of their BMX history. They build them to last!

    L8R
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    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Here is more of my ignorance about the brand...but what is REI. I have never even heard of this company

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    Originally posted by Maelstrom
    I really know bikes but because of the lack of a big name wouldn't pay the same for that bike as a giant. It has nothing to do with knowing bikes. I dont trust companies whos frames haven't been proven to ME. If someone in the industry I trust tells me they are good then I would consider it.

    Here is my take and it is similar to Diamondback's. It is a similar price to some very well known and popular brands with excellent customer service. Go for the bigger brands with known customer service. Its really that simple in my eyes. Even if the components are lower end it doesn't matter. Components are relatively cheap to upgrade. Good quality frames are not so easy.

    Cheers.
    Sorry, but I'm only 15. If you didn't read that in my original post, then you missed the entire reason for me trying to get my money's worth. I don't have a fixed source of income, and I can't spend more money on upgrades. I need a good bike that comes in one package - not 15. I can't pay for the parts and installation that is required with upgrades.

    Even if the components are lower end it doesn't matter.
    Yes it does. Perhaps in the future I may be able to upgrade, but I need a good bike now, so I can move on in the sport.

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    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maelstrom
    Here is more of my ignorance about the brand...but what is REI. I have never even heard of this company
    Well, then, take a look:

    http://www.rei.com/

    They also have retail outlet stores, including a giant one here in Denver. Rock climbing, high end gear for backpacking, etc.

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    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by EVOMTB
    Sorry, but I'm only 15. If you didn't read that in my original post, then you missed the entire reason for me trying to get my money's worth. I don't have a fixed source of income, and I can't spend more money on upgrades. I need a good bike that comes in one package - not 15. I can't pay for the parts and installation that is required with upgrades.


    Yes it does. Perhaps in the future I may be able to upgrade, but I need a good bike now, so I can move on in the sport.
    Here is a simple question...poor components the bike still runs...they don't really break any faster...poor frame...snaps in two where does that leave you. I read your original post and understood perfectly I just don't agree with your line of thinking when it comes to frame vs components

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    Originally posted by DnvrFox
    Well, then, take a look:

    http://www.rei.com/

    They also have retail outlet stores, including a giant one here in Denver. Rock climbing, high end gear for backpacking, etc.
    Ahhh..we have a store up here like that...I don't remember the name but they were recently bought by sportchek. They carry ( here anyways) mostly K2 and Ironhorse. Pretty impressive for a sporting goods store

    thanx

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    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I considered Novara when I got my bike and although I saw no specific weakness, nothing jumped out at me either. I don't see any reason why you should dissatisfied with the Ponderosa. On the other hand, I do know that companies like Trek and Giant make very good bikes that will last. The difference in what you get for your money will not be significant. Just because a lot of people upgrade every time they have the money doesn't mean that a stock bike isn't satisfactory, it could just be better (which is ALWAYS the story). I haven't changed a thing on mine yet. I suppose you have the basics already: helmet, multitool, spare tubes, so you don't need to add on more for those.
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    Maelstrom never been to an REI? Wow, they must not have spread across the border yet? They kinda focus on the upper class, but have enough cool stuff to get your average Joe like me in the store (when it's on sale).
    Whistler ought to be the first place in BC to get one. I bet it would do well there.
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    Senior Member DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maelstrom
    Ahhh..we have a store up here like that...I don't remember the name but they were recently bought by sportchek. They carry ( here anyways) mostly K2 and Ironhorse. Pretty impressive for a sporting goods store

    thanx
    I see they are now carrying at least one Terry Bike model - I have never noticed them before on REI.

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    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by iamlucky13
    Maelstrom never been to an REI? Wow, they must not have spread across the border yet? They kinda focus on the upper class, but have enough cool stuff to get your average Joe like me in the store (when it's on sale).
    Whistler ought to be the first place in BC to get one. I bet it would do well there.
    I actually don't doubt that. But it is possible it is owned by the same people who own many a sport store here. I have often thought a REALLY good outdoor store would do well here.

    But they would have to drop their bike line. We have 15 bike shops and people out here only but high end. Even the k2's they were carrying don't cut it for the riders here (their attitude not mine). Wohoo they have yeti in the Seattle store...I am planning a trip down there anyways ...

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    I went out bike shopping tonight and looked at both the Novara Ponderosa and the Marin Nail Trail side-by-side. I really preferred the Nail Trail - but $100 more expensive.

    Anyone have experience with the Marin Nail Trail?
    http://www.marinbikes.com/bikes/alloy/spec_nail.html

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    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    Like I said, I'm not familiar with the Novara Line of bikes, but that should tell you something. I'm in FL, but have worked in bike shops since I was 15, almost 19 years now.

    I do know Marin's. I'd go with the Marin and spend the extra $100.

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    Senior Member Brennan's Avatar
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    Hey EVOMTB,

    If you can manage to afford the Nail Trail, go for that one. Marin makes good bikes. The current Bicycling Magazine recommends the Nail Trail. Here's what they say:

    BUY IT IF: You're an avid beginner looking for you first "real" mountain bike. THIS BIKE ROCKS BECAUSE: Its solid geometry and quality parts (Avid disc brakes) provide all-conditions confidence.

    I wanted to buy a Nail Trail last weekend, but my LBS didn't have one in stock. But they DID have a Marin Pine Mountain which I test rode and then bought. Of course, I spent $1200 instead of $800 but I am stoked on the bike so far. This is my second Marin. Maybe you can shop around and find a dealer who has one on sale. For example, the LBS I bought from was offering 10% off all bikes in the store. This saved me $130. Good luck.
    Last edited by Brennan; 03-25-03 at 09:17 PM.

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    Senior Member Patch29's Avatar
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    I own two Novara Bikes. I have been happy with both and have not had any problems. I have a Novara Team I bought in 94 and it has served me well and it is still in use today. I also have a Novara Randonee that I bought a year ago, again no problems. They do have sales often, as was stated, especially at the end of the season, or if you can find last years model. If you buy now you can become a member for life for $15.00, this will get you about 10% back at the end of the year on non-sale items. As a member they have a very stong satifaction guarantee program, if you do not like it for any reason (within reason) they will take it back. The key would be "I am a member and not satisfied with this ___ because". I would feel comfortable buying my next bike there again and do not question the quality of the products they sell.

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    Hey there. I have been researching the Novara, and I have been amazed at what I have learned about their bikes. Part of the reason that their bikes have the same comps as the "big name" bikes at a lesser cost is the fact that they don't spend a lot on marketing. Their higher end bikes are made by the same company that manufactures Lightspeed road bikes, which doesn't have ANY low-end bikes. I have been a Cannondale owner, road and mt., but I am actually considering buying a Novara Bliss FSL (women's version of the Ponderosa FSL) for a new full-suspension mtb. If you haven't already bought a bike, REI is getting ready for their huge anniversary sale next week. (May 6-15 ?)

    Good Luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Well, then, take a look:

    http://www.rei.com/

    They also have retail outlet stores, including a giant one here in Denver. Rock climbing, high end gear for backpacking, etc.

    Like Rich C, I live near the Conshohocken store, but when I was in Denver, that REI just blew me away. It's HUGE.

    One of the biggest positives about REI is how they educate their employees. Too many times I've gone into huge chain sporting goods stores and they staff don't know what they're talking about. It's frustrating.

    EMS is another good chain outdoor outfitter.

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    I just got a Novara Float 2

    I have had a Novara Buzz (roadie with um "normal" handle bars and disk brakes(more of a city bike)) for the last year and it has had no problems at all except for when I got new wheels at a different bike shop and they where built backwards BTW I have had no problems from the REI end of the bargain. And today I got the Novara Float 2(sual suspension) which basically has all the components I want with a cheaper price tag and a 10% discount and one free check up/tune up with in a year. I got this bike without feeling like I was sacrificing any parts. My brother has a Kona Shredder and my bike feels just as solid but all the parts are um a few levels up plus the shredder is a jumping bike. Any way i recommend looking at a few stores and then going to REI after you have an Idea of what you want to see if the REI bike feels as good of better.

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    Oh wow my um post is abpout 2 years to late hah oh well

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    I picked up a nice Novarra mountain bike the other day from a guy for $30. After looking it over I think it's a very well made bike. The internet tells me Cozy Yamakoshi from Diamondback and later Parkpre USA designed and built some of the earlier bikes.

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