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Old 03-24-06, 01:36 PM   #1
Doggus
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Choose one

I have found the following bikes...which would you choose and why?

'04 T800 - $1034

'06 T800 - $1299

'05 Novara Randonee - $778

'06 Novara Randonee - $821 (Butt ugly I might add)

The bike I get will mostly see commuting duty later on after our trek in the UK, Netherlands and Germany.
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Old 03-24-06, 02:10 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Doggus
I have found the following bikes...which would you choose and why?

'04 T800 - $1034

'06 T800 - $1299

'05 Novara Randonee - $778

'06 Novara Randonee - $821 (Butt ugly I might add)

The bike I get will mostly see commuting duty later on after our trek in the UK, Netherlands and Germany.
The '04 T800. Cannondale hasn't made that many changes since '04. The '06 has a suspension seat post which isn't worth $250 and the color and graphics on the '04 are better (at least it's not black...I hate black bikes. That's because I have 4 of them.) The parts spec on the '04 T800 is however just enough better than the Novara to make it worth the extra money. The hubs on the T800 are a seal cartridge (smoother, longer lasting, weather proof), the crank is okay, the rear derailer is better, the tires are a bit better and a little wider (I'd try to swap them for 37mm or even 40mm) and it has clipless pedals. The Cannondale has a rear rack and eyelets for a front lowrider. I can't tell from the picture if the Novara does or not. I know that you are planning on a trailer for your trip but if you should change your mind, having the proper mounts for the fork is ideal.

I'm not a fan of the Novara because of the geometry, either. It's a little too short for my tastes. The Cannondale is a very long bike (probably 3/4" of an inch longer than the Novara) which is more important in situations where you are carrying bags, at least for me.

The Cannondale, just to be fair to the Novara, will be stiff - very stiff. Without a load, it will seem too stiff until you get used to it. But under load, and especially pulling a loaded trailer in hilly terrain, that stiffness will be a blessing. With 4 bags and a sleeping bag on tour, my T800 has always been smooth and comfortable. I've tried a trailer with a steel bike (not the Novara) and didn't like the way that the load would push the bike around.

That's my attempt to muddy the waters. I'm sure someone else will come along and do their own stirring
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Old 03-24-06, 09:00 PM   #3
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The 04 T800 I just bought was marked down to 899.00 at our local shop, I made them a offer of 849.00 and they took it. I've only put on about twenty miles so far but its a nice riding bike for me.

2004 T800
2003 Fuji Royale
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Old 03-25-06, 07:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lubers
The 04 T800 I just bought was marked down to 899.00 at our local shop, I made them a offer of 849.00 and they took it. I've only put on about twenty miles so far but its a nice riding bike for me.

2004 T800
2003 Fuji Royale
Now, put a front rack on it and then put some scratches on it so that it looks like a well loved bike It needs some grime too
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Old 03-25-06, 07:13 PM   #5
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The '05 Novarra has a road triple on it with higher gearing, so I'd discourage going that route. I personally like the '06 Novarra (I even like that awful color). You should take one out for a ride and also hop on the '04 T800 and see which one you like. They'll ride very different and I suspect you'll very clearly prefer one or the other.
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Old 03-25-06, 07:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
Now, put a front rack on it and then put some scratches on it so that it looks like a well loved bike It needs some grime too
Just ordered the front rack today, should be here next week sometime, hopefully the weather going to warm up around here soon so I get some riding in. Have a two day trip planned next weekend to break it in.
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Old 03-25-06, 07:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggus
I have found the following bikes...which would you choose and why?

'04 T800 - $1034

'06 T800 - $1299

'05 Novara Randonee - $778

'06 Novara Randonee - $821 (Butt ugly I might add)

The bike I get will mostly see commuting duty later on after our trek in the UK, Netherlands and Germany.
Recently looked at the Novara Randonee and the Novara Safari - both are great bikes, settled on the Safari - if you buy in March, you can get the Randonee for 20% off - so for about $650 it becomes the best of the lot (which I think it is anyway) - buy a bike that you will ride, and not something for a pedestal in your living room.
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Old 03-25-06, 08:07 PM   #8
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Can't rec on individual models, but can tell you--whatever you choose, make sure your frame fits you! That's more important than any other tweaks.
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