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Old 04-11-07, 01:34 PM   #1
Miles2go
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2007 Novara Safari

Not the front rack or bar riser thread.

This bike is going to Alaska this summer and at this price, I won't be surprised if we see a few of these up there.



Nicely equipped and it rolls off the sales floor with 47c Continental Town + Country tires that I measure at 48c, with plenty of room to spare. Not familiar with the wear and puncture resistance of these tires, I'll probably be replacing them with 37c TravelContacts.

These 07 Safaris might be something of a limited production run. The online REI store doesn't show all sizes available. When I talked to the folks in their direct purchase department they told me there were no more being ordered. That seems unlikely given that we're just coming into cycling season, but that's what they told me. My local REI had only one per size.
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Old 04-11-07, 09:52 PM   #2
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This might be the last year for that bike. Very nice bike for the price you paid.

Question: Why didn't you go for the LHT or traditional tourer?
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Old 04-12-07, 08:22 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
This might be the last year for that bike. Very nice bike for the price you paid.

Question: Why didn't you go for the LHT or traditional tourer?
I also got a 2007 Safari and the other option I was looking at was the LHT.

Here are some of my reasons:

I thought the Safari was an excellent value.

I have been riding a ridgid MTB with Trekking bars for a long time. This was something I was use to except it fits better than my MTB and should be more stable for loaded touring.

I am not a big fan of the drop position with drop bars.

I could not find an LHT at the time of the REI sale to test ride.

I also like 26" tires but this point is mute because the LHT in my size is also 26".

The Safari gets good reviews on this forum and other places on the internet.

Having said this, the LHT is a fine bike and might be something I would move to in a couple of years. The LHT has longer chain stays and a 2cm shorter effective top tube. The top tube on the Safari is a bit longer than I like and I am looking into getting a shorter stem that adjusts further back than the stock stem. This is my biggest problem with this bike although the effective top tube is 3.5 cm shorter than my MTB. However, I like a short effective top tube and this something that I might not ever be completely happy with short of a custom frame.

A couple of other notes. Despite the REI website saying that the Safari weighs 31.5 lbs. My 16" frame came in at 29 lbs when I weighed it. Despite all the hype about aluminum frames, I really can't tell much of a differnce in ride quality compared to my steel MTB, even after the Marathon Plusses have been transfered over. With the shock seat post it rides surprisenly smooth. I added the Delta stem extender and i don't think it looks ugly.
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Old 04-14-07, 10:29 AM   #4
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I picked this bike up for my wife and while I think it's a bargain at full retail price, I paid $629 not counting the front rack.

We like compact framed touring bikes, if for nothing else, because they're more comfortable to stand over. We're always stopping to chat with people.



My wife greatly prefers trekking bars over anything else available. 3 comfortable hand positions at three slightly different heights (once I tilt the bar upwards in the front). The Safari coming with these installed is a huge plus for her.

The Rear Rack can be taken apart to pack in a small space but it has many more parts than the simple and effective Tubus Cargo. I'm sure the Safari rack is tour worthy but it just seems a little bit over built to me. At this price though, who cares?



I'm not the biggest fan of the color but for us, touring bikes are more about function than form. Nancy calls this one "Hot Chocolate".

This isn't the first bike I've bought with disc brakes. I had one 27 years ago and liked them. I think the technology has changed just a little since then.

Now REI's net site is showing all sizes available so I was correct in thinking the person I talked to was mistaken. Good news for those interested in the Safari.

Cheers,
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Old 04-14-07, 10:55 AM   #5
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The Safari is a great bike...without all the hype. I'd say anybody really wanting a touring bike is foolish not to ride one-- want harm could a test ride do? It's a differnet bike than many other classic touring bikes...I wouldn't say better...or worse..just different.

And the rear rack is maybe the stongest one you can buy-- stronger than than any Surly or Tubus, but you have to check and tighten all the allen bolts that hold it together once in while!
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Old 04-14-07, 11:35 AM   #6
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I put the Conti's on my rigid urban assault bike (old Trek 970). They are extremely durable (and heavy) and roll pretty well on pavement, but the inverted tread does not do particularly well on gravel or mud - both of which you will encounter up there. I plan to use this for some off road touring eventually and will change out the tires.
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Old 04-14-07, 02:53 PM   #7
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Miles2go, if this isn't too personal a question, just how big is your fleet of bikes?
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Old 04-14-07, 03:01 PM   #8
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Wow, if I had seen this post before I started transforming my MTB into a tourer, I would be a few dollars poorer and have less knowledge about rebuilding a bike. This is a sweet looking bike and strangely enough, except for the color, strongly resembles what my Trek is becoming.
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Old 04-14-07, 05:14 PM   #9
Miles2go
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo
Miles2go, if this isn't too personal a question, just how big is your fleet of bikes?
Hmmm. I've got a great neighborhood watch and home security gig going on so I suppose it isn't too personal.

Here are the touring bikes...

1) Thorn Nomad - 26" wheeled expedition touring, off to Alaska this year
2) Novara Safari - 26" wheeled expedition touring (hers), off to Alaska this year
3) Rocky Mountain Sherpa - 700c touring/commuter, hoping the 853 is more solid than some custom steel I've owned.
4) Cannondale T800 - 700c touring/commuter (hers), both #3 & #4 will be used for a CtC some year.
5) Bike Friday New World Tourist and trailer - folding tourer, great to fly with
6) Bike Friday New World Tourist and trailer - folding tourer (hers),
7) Klein Attitude Race and BOB trailer - mtb touring, divide tour some day, with panniers
8) Klein Attitude Comp and BOB trailer - mtb touring (hers), three bottle cage mounts on these frames
9) Bianchi Axis - rear rack capable day rider,
10) 1983 Trek 520 - rear rack capable day rider ("hers"), next to be replaced
11) BMW R1100S with System Cases and Helen2wheels bags,
12) BMW F650GS with System Cases and Helen2wheels bags (hers), Hey, they're touring bikes too.
For Sale soon: 13) Schwinn S[9 five].3 expedition touring capable old school mtb, was really too big for my wife and the Safari just replaced it.

As you can see, I'm not the least bit afraid of aluminum frames. We've been beating the crap out of those Kleins for 11 years and mine had a year or two of use already on it when I bought it.

I like having bikes dialed in for specific uses which probably comes from my long racing history. (Crit bikes, road race bikes, time trial bikes) I've been pushing to get this list filled out the way I want in the last year since I'm a year out from semi-retirement (42yo).

If I could only have one, you ask? A tough decision but it would have 26" wheels.

Cheers,
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Old 04-14-07, 06:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miles2go
Hmmm. I've got a great neighborhood watch and home security gig going on so I suppose it isn't too personal.

Here are the touring bikes...
Hmmm. Fewer than I thought, but enough for a follow on question that married guys the world over will have an interest in. Is your wife also a gear-head, or do you have some strange Svengali like power to convince her that each new addition to the fleet is required? I mean, I'm imagining that the conversation could go one of two ways:

1)
Miles2go: Okay, it's decided we're going to Alaska.
Mrs. Miles2go: Great! You know my current bikes aren't really up to the task, and I've been looking at this really cool Novara Safari...

2)
Miles2go: Okay, it's decided we're going to Alaska.
Mrs. Miles2go: Great!
Miles2go: You know, I'm a little worried that your bike isn't really up to the task. Maybe we should look into getting you another bike.
Mrs. Miles2go: Oh Miles, the garage is full already, and you know we need a new dishwasher!
Miles2go: Looooook deeeeeeply into my eyes.....

What's your secret?

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Old 04-15-07, 10:34 AM   #11
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The largest size the Safari comes in is 20 inch. I'm 6'4". It would seem this is too small for me. Any comments? I don't have an REI around where I can go try one out.
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Old 04-15-07, 11:25 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by BigBlueToe
The largest size the Safari comes in is 20 inch. I'm 6'4". It would seem this is too small for me. Any comments? I don't have an REI around where I can go try one out.
http://www.rei.com/rei/gearshop/size...06.html#safari

That's the link to the Novara bike geometry page. It's a sloping tt design and they measure the bike off the seat tube. The 20" Safari has a 33" standover height and an effective top tube measurement of 23.4". A pal of mine is over 6' and rides a Safari. We're all going out to dinner tonight and I'll get his exact height & bike size info.

Cheers,
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Old 04-18-07, 06:16 PM   #13
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I'm not the biggest fan of the color but for us, touring bikes are more about function than form. Nancy calls this one "Hot Chocolate".
I probably should put this in the 'what have you named your bike thread' but mine is known as

Putugly



And to heck with aesthetics: I'm guessing anything this color is less likely to be stolen!
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Old 05-05-07, 12:01 AM   #14
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hi, whats the front rack that fits the safari?
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Old 05-05-07, 06:30 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by collings
hi, whats the front rack that fits the safari?

It's the Tubus Tara. The best place to get it is from Wayne at The Touring Store. I have one on my Safari now and I got it on with out having to jerry rig or make other modifications. Here is another link on this subject.
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