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Vintage Novara Strada?

Old 03-18-18, 11:51 AM
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dripandrip
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Vintage Novara Strada?

I'm looking at getting a new road bike. Was wondering if someone could help me identify the bike year (or a educated guess of the year) and roughly what it is worth? They have it listed for $60 which seems pretty good from the other novara strada posts I've looked at.

I don't have anything to go off right now except the frame says novara strada and it is ~61cm frame and some photos that Ive attached. The only thing I can find about this exact bike online is from a post that someone is trying to sell this bike, according to that person the frame is Tange CrMo steel. There was other information that may or may not be relevant because that owner or the owner I'm looking to buy from may have swapped out some parts. I would share a link to that post but I cannot share links.

Also, this is my first time buying a used bike, I've been doing a fair bit of research on how to tune up a bike and things to look out for. Any tips on what to look for in a used bike would be appreciated. I know to look for dents around the joint or connection points of the frame and how to check the chain and gear integrity. Any other suggestions on things to look for would be really appreciated. I will certainly be test riding before buying to get a feel for the bike.
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Old 03-18-18, 12:00 PM
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You over 2M /6' tall? 61cm is a big person's size.


Expect to do a complete overhaul with some new parts , without "Upgrading"...

Rust and seized stems and seatposts ,( from lack of prior regular service )are an unknown ,

but fill the pages here of those who found it a problem once they had it home.



....
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Old 03-18-18, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
You over 2M /6' tall? 61cm is a big person's size.


Expect to do a complete overhaul with some new parts , without "Upgrading"...

Rust and seized stems and seatposts ,( from lack of prior regular service )are an unknown ,

but fill the pages here of those who found it a problem once they had it home.



....
That frame size is a slight concern for me at just over 6' and shy of 6'1" though I had a roughly 58cm frame and it was not big for me, I had the seat raided up a bit for it to ride to my liking. So I'm hopeful this frame will fit for me as well.

That was another thing I planned to do was move the seat (likely down as low as it can go so the bike will fit me). I guess that is a good point for talking the person down a bit if the seat post is seized and the bike needs overhaul.

I currently have a road bike that had lots of parts stolen from it but aside from the stolen parts (and dented frame from the thief trying to knock off my u-lock) it's in pretty good shape. So if I do need to replace the tires and redo the brake lines and whatnot then I have some of the cost already taken care of there.

I guess the question is then, is it worth to go for this bike, and at what price, if it needs full overhaul and the seat post is seized (assuming the frame fits me)?
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Old 03-18-18, 12:33 PM
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To me, it looks more like a 58cm frame. I'd be all over that in a second, but I would overhaul it myself. Check fit, wheel alignment, moving parts. BTW, that spray paint on the front wheel is weird.
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Old 03-18-18, 11:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cycleheimer View Post
To me, it looks more like a 58cm frame. I'd be all over that in a second, but I would overhaul it myself. Check fit, wheel alignment, moving parts. BTW, that spray paint on the front wheel is weird.
I thought that was potentially a flat tire and scratches on the rim. Didn't consider spray paint.

So if the seatpost is stuck should I just abandon the idea of buying it? I saw some people work at a stuck seat for a little time and get it free. And I saw other people work at it for a couple day before getting it free.
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Old 03-19-18, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
Stuck seatpost can be a major PITA. Avoid. I take them on as Iíve done at least 50 of them over the last several years. But I always check and get a huge discount to take it on. Some are easy, some are hard, some are nearly impossible.

I adjust my offer to what major parts are worth. And I always let the seller try to get it loose (that usually cinches the deal). Getting it out is my reward, my time, my tools, my effort.

If you bought a car that needed work, youíd probably expect a discount. Itís the same with bikes. Now if the price is already super low, I donít seek a discount.
Do you have any particular tips for getting a stuck seatpost out from your many experiences? And any reason to even attempt it if the bike fits me at the current seat height?

I plan to bring a tool kit, rag, bottle of WD40 and a pump when I check out the bike.

Thanks everyone for the replies, really appreciate the input and help
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Old 03-20-18, 12:18 AM
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If it is a stuck seatpost, WD40 would not do the job as it will be like bringing a slingshot to a gun battle. PB Blaster or CRC Freeze Off will be more the weapons of choice to break stuck seatposts or stems out. Even using these, it might still take a lot of time and effort to make it budge. Do a search on the site for stuck seatposts, There's a lot posted about it and many solutions shared.
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Old 03-20-18, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by dripandrip View Post
Do you have any particular tips for getting a stuck seatpost out from your many experiences? And any reason to even attempt it if the bike fits me at the current seat height?

I plan to bring a tool kit, rag, bottle of WD40 and a pump when I check out the bike.

Thanks everyone for the replies, really appreciate the input and help
There are endless threads on stuck seat posts, probably thousands of them. Google will get you there. WD40? Nope.

Yes, getting it unstuck is important. First, what if you want to sell it later? Good luck with that. Secondly, saddle height adjustment is pretty important. Close is not good enough, and different saddles are taller or shorter, resulting in the need to adjust the post.

The bike above is not a race bike, its an early touring model. At the $60 price point, the triple Sugino crankset covers the cost, so its low risk.

Last edited by wrk101; 03-20-18 at 06:55 AM.
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Old 03-20-18, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
There are endless threads on stuck seat posts, probably thousands of them. Google will get you there. WD40? Nope.

Yes, getting it unstuck is important. First, what if you want to sell it later? Good luck with that. Secondly, saddle height adjustment is pretty important. Close is not good enough, and different saddles are taller or shorter, resulting in the need to adjust the post.

The bike above is not a race bike, its an early touring model. At the $60 price point, the triple Sugino crankset covers the cost, so its low risk.
Yeah I've seen many different methods, from penetrating oil and some elbow grease all the way to using chemicals to completely dissolve the post (aluminum post in steel frame). I'll see if I can get my hands on a slide hammer, seen several people have good success using a slide hammer. This is all assuming the seat post is indeed stuck. I may be lucky and the bike was greased up and cared for enough to not have stuck seat/handlebar posts
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Old 03-20-18, 06:26 PM
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I've bought some that seller said was stuck and with elbow grease it came right out. On the other hand I have had one that needed be slowly cut out in bits and pieces and drilled etc.

If you are looking from cheap Transportatin it's fine. If not seems like it's not worth it to me.

I agree as well, parts only negotiation if you do.
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Old 03-20-18, 08:08 PM
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+100 May not even be stuck.
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Old 03-24-18, 01:59 PM
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Just an update, I bought the bike. Haven't removed the seatpost but I moved it up and down relatively freely. Bike rode pretty okay as is on my test ride and then ~5 mile ride home. Will certainly be replacing the shifter cables (probably brake cables too) as they are quite worn. The spokes are a bit rusty, was looking at thoughts on replacing all of the spokes and read that people tend to suggest to either replace the wheel or ride it as is assuming the rim is in fine shape aside from the spokes. The tire side wall has some wear on it as well, so I'll probably replace that as well. The cassette and gear rings teeth looked to be in solid shape. Some light rust and paint scrapes so I'll probably do some spot painting, do my best to match the paint at a crafts store or something. Haven't messed with the handlebar stem but the guy has several bicycles and is into fitness so I get the feel he (hopefully) greased it up. It was hanging in his garage so it didn't sit out in the rain under an onning or anything of that nature.

Quite pleased with the purchase considering I live in a relatively expensive used bike market. Appreciate the help ya'll provided.
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Old 03-24-18, 03:58 PM
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Since you bought the bicycle, we should be able to identify the manufacturer and model year from the serial number.
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Old 03-24-18, 06:24 PM
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I can't find any information to make sense of the serial number. Some bike manufacturers have a website you can go to to figure this sort of thing out but I can't find such a thing for REI's Novara Strada

Last edited by dripandrip; 03-24-18 at 06:46 PM. Reason: Realized sharing the SN may be ill advised
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Old 03-24-18, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by dripandrip View Post
I can't find any information to make sense of the serial number. Some bike manufacturers have a website you can go to to figure this sort of thing out but I can't find such a thing for REI's Novara Strada
No need for that- these bikes were contract built by Asian manufacturers that tend to follow a few known, decipherable serial number formats. T-Mar's great at figuring them out.

Oh, and congrats on snagging the bike!

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Old 03-24-18, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by dripandrip View Post
I can't find any information to make sense of the serial number. Some bike manufacturers have a website you can go to to figure this sort of thing out but I can't find such a thing for REI's Novara Strada
REI has never made a bike. Contract mfr by a variety of companies. Don't worry about serial number, it really won't tell you much anyway. The bike in your hands will tell you more (the frame material, the component brand, model and age, etc.).
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Old 03-24-18, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
REI has never made a bike. Contract mfr by a variety of companies. Don't worry about serial number, it really won't tell you much anyway. The bike in your hands will tell you more (the frame material, the component brand, model and age, etc.).
Oh yeah I didn't mean REI manufacturered. I meant REI branded. As far as I understand, they often got their frames from Trek and Giant. If it is Trek then I want to say it's a 610, 613 or 614 22.5" frame from 1980-82 (according to Vintage Trek Bicycle Frame Serial Numbers, bike )
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Old 03-25-18, 06:59 AM
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Does it have a "Made in" sticker that lists the country of origin? Like "Made in Japan" or whatever. If its really a Trek, it will have a Trek serial number. A Giant, it will have the usual Giant date code and serial number. And so on.

Trek serial numbers tell you the year and the frame, the components tell you the model. Not aware of Trek using Tange tubing. Most other brand serial numbers tell you much, much less.

A 61x based bike with Tange Champion tubing? I'm not buying it. But I defer to your research.
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Old 03-25-18, 08:55 AM
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I haven't seen 'Made in' aside from on the handle bars saying Sakae Custom Japan. Now that may just be me not observing close enough for it. T-Mar is helping me with the SN

The components are somewhat mixed. The shifters and rear derailer match. But the crank and brakes don't match the shifter/derailer.

I do not have access to the bike right now, but when I do I'll note all the components brand and look more closely for a 'Made in' engraving or sticker. Could be the sticker peeled off, the chromemoly sticker is a bit worn out
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Old 03-25-18, 10:50 AM
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If the sticker is gone, just google images for your model. Soon enough you will find one with the sticker intact. I'm guessing Taiwan. Very common, almost the norm if crankset and brakes don't match derailleurs.
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Old 03-25-18, 12:51 PM
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I searched online for the bike before posting here. This was the only image I could find for the bike: Vintage REI Novara Strada 48c -12-Speed Tange-CrMo-Japan-Road-Bike - $170 (EVERETT) | Bikes For Sale | Seattle, WA | Shoppok

Claims the frame was assembled in Japan.

I would have shared this link in my original post but I didn't have the 10 posts to post links at the time
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Old 03-25-18, 01:20 PM
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Based on the S/N submitted via PM, the OP's bicycle is a 1983 model manufactured very early in the year by a Japanese company believed to be Tano. It is reminiscent of the very early 1980's Centurion Super Tour, in that it ismanufactured by the same company, utilizes triple chainrings, has dropouts with dual eyelets and uses sidepull brakes. However, the tubing grade on the Novara is slightly higher than the Centurion Super Tour. The other Novara Strada is equipped with Light Action SIS which, if OEM, would make it no older than 1986.
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Old 03-25-18, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Based on the S/N submitted via PM, the OP's bicycle is a 1983 model manufactured very early in the year by a Japanese company believed to be Tano. It is reminiscent of the very early 1980's Centurion Super Tour, in that it ismanufactured by the same company, utilizes triple chainrings, has dropouts with dual eyelets and uses sidepull brakes. However, the tubing grade on the Novara is slightly higher than the Centurion Super Tour. The other Novara Strada is equipped with Light Action SIS which, if OEM, would make it no older than 1986.
Slightly higher tubing grade is a good thing correct? More durable allowing it to be made thinner and therefore lighter?

The bike feels so much lighter than my first road bike, a 1020 steel panasonic sport 500 (which unfortunately got looted of some rather costly components to replace, as well as the frame getting dented pretty good..assume they tried to hammer off my u-lock).
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Old 03-25-18, 02:53 PM
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Panasonic made some great bikes, but the Sport 500 wasn't one of them. Its their bottom basically.

No, higher grade is not more durable. Thinner and thus lighter, sure. If you want more durable, the old heavy Schwinn Varsity was tough to beat. People move up the tubing food chain to get lighter. I went to a frame building school, the instructor brought out a piece of Tange Prestige (top of the line). I was able to dent it with my bare hands.

As important frame tubing is to bike weight, the components on lower end bikes tended to be very heavy too. Wheels, hubs, steel handlebars, steel seat posts, steel chain rings vs aluminum, etc. This is one reason a customized Peugeot UO8 can be upgraded to a pretty competitive light weight even though it had a high ten steel frame.



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