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Old 03-30-09, 01:45 PM   #1
mjwarner
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Novara Safari Fit, Too Stretched, Which Size?

Greetings Tourers, I test rode a Novara Safari at my local REI over the weekend, size XL, 21 inches. The fit in terms of my lower body, seat height, stand over height, pedal reach, etc. all seemed fine, but on the test ride i was really stretched out, uncomfortably so, and felt the handlebars were 1000 miles away.

So I ordered a L, 19 inch instead, hoping that the reach would be more comfortable ...

The question is multiple choice, assuming the fit of the XL is great excluding the reach to the handlebars, should I:

A.) Stick with the Large and hope it fits;
B.) Buy the XL and get a stem riser for the handlebars (since the rest of the bike fit very well)
C.) Buy the XL and "adjust" to the reach. That is, as a touring bike how stretched should it feel?

I am accustomed to riding a 1970s Raleigh Suburban and general Trek mountain bikes, which are very upright in their seating positions... Anyone have experience with the Safari specifically?

I'm ~6'2"/200#.

Now, before I take the bike home I have the option to test ride the L, 19 inch and see if it fits better, but I'm looking for experienced bikers opinions before I go back in about 2 weeks to help guide my final decision.

Thanks.
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Old 03-30-09, 01:59 PM   #2
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They made the top tube super long on the new Safari's. I don't know why. I would have bought one if they would make the top tube like 4" shorter. Its just ridiculously long.
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Old 03-30-09, 02:14 PM   #3
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A shorter stem would bring the bars back a bit, though only around 2" or so.
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Old 03-30-09, 05:03 PM   #4
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I test rode a Safari and found the same problem as you. Figured it was just my short arms.

It seems that four measurements are critical to a comfortable ride. Standover, saddle height, bar height, and reach. Once the first two are settled, the last two can usually be customized with a stem riser, washers, and/or an adjustable stem. For a touring cycle, the additional weight is negligible.

If you like the XL, an adjustable stem may be all it needs. Otherwise, go for a LHT.
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Old 03-30-09, 05:43 PM   #5
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I too test rode the Safari as well as the Randonee. My feelings are the same. It was though I was on a bike with super low handlebars. When I got on the Randonee, I felt much more at ease with the motion and steering of the bike. I went with the Randonee. It is complete and no need for extension or anything else.
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Old 03-30-09, 11:05 PM   #6
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just a reminder...REI policy is great...you can always return the bike. so try everything you think could improve your ride and if still won't fit you than return the bike. good luck.
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Old 03-31-09, 07:36 AM   #7
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I bought my 2008 Safari used. It came with a riser. Stand over was fine, seat, I adjusted. I began playing with the handlebars and found the position I like.

Do the same and return after you spend some miles on it and it still is not right. It is worth the time and effort.
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Old 04-10-09, 07:14 AM   #8
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Follow Up

Thanks for the input BFers.

Picked up my size L last night, took it for a spin in the parking lot (about 100 yards) and realized instantly it's a better fit than the XL. I asked the tech at REI about the sizing, he "definitely recommended" the L for me, not the XL.

Maybe I'll get a riser, maybe not. It was comfortable enough on the ride to work this morning - which flew by. This Safari is so much faster than my 1970s Raleigh Suburban 5 speed that I've been riding!
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