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Old 06-26-09, 06:50 PM   #1
surfrider
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Any opinions on REIs 'Novara' MTB bicycles?

Any of you MTB guru's have any opinions on REI's 'Novara' MTB bicycles?

I've been looking at hardtail MTBs, planning to get one in the fall, and happened on this at the local REI store (REI Ponderosa):

http://www.rei.com/product/776817

Gave it a short test ride in the parking lot and it seems like its a rebranded 'Giant' hardtail - frame fit, geometry, and sizing, all say 'Giant'. Fits me nice, components look comparable to Giant's Performance hardtail series at a little bit better price than the LBS. The local REI has great service, as does the local LBS that sells Giant bikes.

I've been borrowing a MTB bike over the last year and a hardatail MTB seems to fit what I want to ride - fire roads and easy single track in the Southern California mountains, maybe use it as an alternate commuter during the week (you 'crazies' can have the full-suspensions and single-track 'gonzo' downhills! I'll kill myself on that stuff!).
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Old 06-26-09, 08:06 PM   #2
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That seems like at a nice bike for the price the weak link as always in a bike like that is the fork.

If you like the Giant fit you might look in to the Forge Sawback 5xx from target.com. Its got full Deore with Avid BB5 brakes and WTB wheels all hung from a frame that is a rebranded Giant ATX.
The dart fork is again the downfall but for the price you could upgrade the fork to something pretty nice and still come well under the 750 mark.

Just something to think about.

Edit I forgot to mention that they only have 2 sizes 17 and 19 but if either of those work its a great deal.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:02 PM   #3
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I have a buddy of mine that rides a REI 'Novara' MTB and he likes it.
Seems to be a good intro bike but what he really likes about it is
the outstanding service he gets at REI. He says it's not like the
LBS that could careless about you...and I seem to agree.
Luckily I do all of my repairs but if I didn't...REI would be my place.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:03 PM   #4
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idk if novaras are very similar to giant, but they are not made by giant for REI, made by some company in china u've never heard of
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Old 06-28-09, 04:25 PM   #5
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Their Novara "house brand" is ok, nothing more. I have found them to be heavier in both mt. and road bikes. Overpriced at suggested, but more in line at 20% off. I seldom see on on our N. Cal. trails though. REI: Really expensive items
REI: Return every item
As a long time member, they continue to raise prices above the norm...freaking tents from them are expensive as heck..$400. for a made in China tent? Heck no..rant over.
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Old 06-28-09, 06:36 PM   #6
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Their Novara "house brand" is ok, nothing more. I have found them to be heavier in both mt. and road bikes. Overpriced at suggested, but more in line at 20% off. I seldom see on on our N. Cal. trails though.
I've picked up on the same comment about their frames, especially the entry level frames, heavy compared to their competition. I do not believe Giant makes their frames. I've not seen them on the trails but I'm sure they're out there. I have no problem with REI, they're a useful store, but not my ATF.
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Old 06-29-09, 04:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by yellowjeep View Post
That seems like at a nice bike for the price the weak link as always in a bike like that is the fork.

If you like the Giant fit you might look in to the Forge Sawback 5xx from target.com. Its got full Deore with Avid BB5 brakes and WTB wheels all hung from a frame that is a rebranded Giant ATX.
The dart fork is again the downfall but for the price you could upgrade the fork to something pretty nice and still come well under the 750 mark.

Just something to think about.

Edit I forgot to mention that they only have 2 sizes 17 and 19 but if either of those work its a great deal.
Wow, why is it so cheap? Crap frame or something? Jeez man, what's a bike with deore run normally? 700?
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Old 06-29-09, 08:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yellowjeep View Post
That seems like at a nice bike for the price the weak link as always in a bike like that is the fork.

If you like the Giant fit you might look in to the Forge Sawback 5xx from target.com. Its got full Deore with Avid BB5 brakes and WTB wheels all hung from a frame that is a rebranded Giant ATX.
The dart fork is again the downfall but for the price you could upgrade the fork to something pretty nice and still come well under the 750 mark.

Just something to think about.

Edit I forgot to mention that they only have 2 sizes 17 and 19 but if either of those work its a great deal.
.

Jeeze Target? Come on....guess you could pick up some socks, t-shirts, deodorant, etc. while there too...need help?.."bike technician on aisle 4 please"!
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