Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Syracuse, NY
Bikes: 2008 Novara Randonee - love it. Would have more bikes if I had time to ride them all. Previous bikes: 1968 Motobecane Mirage, 1972 Moto Grand Jubilee (my fav), Jackson Rake 16, 1983 C'dale ST500.
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I agree the Randonee, especially at that price is a great bike. I only have two complaints.
The stock stem is WAY too long for most people in combo with the fairly long top tube. I am 5-11, 32" inseam and had to go from the stock stem down to an 80mm once I set my saddle to the proper fore-aft position. Be careful to find out stem specs beforehand, as there apparently have been some problems in the past getting compatible stem/bar combos (I had no problem, though). Mine came with a Ritchey stem but I notice only "Alloy" spec'd on the current model.
Secondly they have chosen some lousy colors and their paint is generally soft, easily scratched.
The only changes I have made are clipless pedals (Crank Bros Candy) and saddle.
The main complaint I have seen on reviews is "heavy," which I find ridiculous. One is not going to find a reasonably priced dedicated touring bike that shaves more than a pound or two off the bike itself, and one can alway replace the very heavy duty rack with a lighter one if you are that obsessive.
Always remember your traveling weight is you plus bike plus gear, and that is not likely to be much under 200lbs for most people. That means a pound less is shaving .5% of your traveling weight.
I do see the current bike has a 26 tooth granny, and though I'm not home right now I'm fairly certain that my 2008 model has a 24 tooth.
Last edited by cny-bikeman; 01-08-10 at 12:33 PM.