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Fillet-brazed Novaras from the early '90s?

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Fillet-brazed Novaras from the early '90s?

Old 05-02-16, 10:12 AM
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Dylansbob
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Fillet-brazed Novaras from the early '90s?

Anyone seen one stripped? Fully filleted or full of putty to look smooth? Any other info on them?


I know there was the Ponderosa on the mtb line, the XR hybrid (which I just picked up an example of). I don't know if there was a road version or not, probably not as they do seem to be a bit heavier than their TIGed competition of the era. Alot of the late '80s/early '90s Novaras seem to be real steals on the secondary market as there isn't much name value.
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Old 05-02-16, 10:34 AM
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That's some really interesting info!

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Old 05-02-16, 10:48 AM
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I think Nicol only was involved for a couple years, but I'm sure they built from his foundation. The original XR that has been credited to Scott Nicol had 26" wheels, but the later ones 700c. I think either 92 or 93 was the last year for filletbrazed models.
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Old 05-02-16, 03:19 PM
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I've got the 1990 and 1991 product lists:

Road models, all lugged: Corsa (SIS, 90 only), Randonnee (Deore DX), Strada (105SC), Trionfo (Ultrgra), Team Road (Dura-Ace, 90 only)

ATBs, all TIG except as noted: Runabout (Tourney in 90, 200GS in 91), Aspen (300EX in 90, 200GS in 91), Arriba (Deore LX), Ponderosa, fillet brazed in 90, TIG in 91), Team Mountain (Deore XT)

Hybrids, all TIG unless noted: Corsa (200GS, 91 only), X-R (Deore LX. fillet brazed in 90, TIG in 1991)

Note: Corsa went from road sport in 90 to hybrid in 91.
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Old 05-02-16, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I've got the 1990 and 1991 product lists:

Road models, all lugged: Corsa (SIS, 90 only), Randonnee (Deore DX), Strada (105SC), Trionfo (Ultrgra), Team Road (Dura-Ace, 90 only)
I was wondering if you have the catalog pages/ scans or know which Japanese manufacturer built the frames. I have a 1990 Trionfo (Full 600 tricolor, lugged Tange double butted seamless CR-MO, purple with neon decals). Thanks!
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Old 05-02-16, 09:50 PM
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[QUOTE=T-Mar;18735707]I've got the 1990 and 1991 product lists:QUOTE


By any chance does your product list what steel (Tange Ultimate Superlite?) was used on the Team mountain? I also have one that I thought was a '92, per Bikepedia but the decals do match my new XR.
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Old 05-02-16, 10:07 PM
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You know, I hadn't thought to ask since T-Mar came back! My Dad had a yellow MTB with a suspension fork, I think it was a Ponderosa and had nice components, but I don't think it was anything really special edition. I had a blue MTB that I think was named either Arriba or Arroyo with Light Action, I think? Integrated brake lever and thumbie, lots of plastic. It was a full sized bike, my first. They were both somewhere around this vintage. I bent the fork on mine doing bad wheelies around 1998 and dumped it on a girl who dumped me... if I knew then about REI return policy I probably could have wheeled it in and walked out with a new bike! The yellow one was sold by Mom just a couple of years ago.

My shift/brake levers looked like this:


My mother and sister both had Aspens of mid-later 90's vintage.
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Old 05-03-16, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
I was wondering if you have the catalog pages/ scans or know which Japanese manufacturer built the frames. I have a 1990 Trionfo (Full 600 tricolor, lugged Tange double butted seamless CR-MO, purple with neon decals). Thanks!
Sorry, product list only. There are no pictures. There are a few Novara in my S/N database from a couple different sources but the identities are unknown. Regardless, since these were contract manufactured, the sources could have changed fairly frequently and it's best just to post your serial number to see if anyone recognizes it.
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Old 05-03-16, 05:21 AM
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[QUOTE=Dylansbob;18736607]
Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
I've got the 1990 and 1991 product lists:QUOTE


By any chance does your product list what steel (Tange Ultimate Superlite?) was used on the Team mountain? I also have one that I thought was a '92, per Bikepedia but the decals do match my new XR.
The tubeset is not listed for 1990 but in 1991 is listed as being Tange Prestige. I assume it is actually the slightly heavier gauge Tange Prestige MTB, which had been available for several years by 1991, but the product list does not specifically mention that it is the MTB version.
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Old 05-03-16, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by T-Mar View Post
Regardless, since these were contract manufactured, the sources could have changed fairly frequently and it's best just to post your serial number to see if anyone recognizes it.
Thanks for the info. I'll just run this serial out there: N1S5244
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Old 05-03-16, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Clang View Post
Thanks for the info. I'll just run this serial out there: N1S5244
The serial number actually indicates that the frame was built during weeks 37-38 of a year ending in 1. Based on the Ultegra, I'll assume it was 1991. However, weeks 37-38 is late enough in the year that this may actually be a 1992 model. I don't know the identity of the manufacturer, but the serial number format is consistent with the source for many 1980s Centurion models. Given the Ultegra, it sounds like it may be the equivalent of the very late 1980s Centurion Ironman Master.
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Old 05-03-16, 09:48 AM
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According to Wikipedia, Novaras are made by Farily in Taiwan, or at least they were in 2009. Wikipedia's citation link is busted but the story is still there for the Googling.
Review: Novara Randonee: It?s a Wrap | Bicycle Times Magazine

I've seen a couple of posts around this forum saying that the late 80's vintage roadies were nearly identical to Centurion frames.
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Old 05-03-16, 09:55 AM
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My Dad's REI member number was about three digits shorter than a new one today, he enjoyed pointing that out to the cashiers. He discovered them in the 70's, when visiting Boeing in Seattle (he worked for Sperry which later became Honeywell doing autopilots). When they opened a store in Phoenix he was always glad to find an excuse to go, even though it was way across town.
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Old 05-03-16, 02:01 PM
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Here are pics of the XR and my other Novaras

The XR just looked too good of project base to pass up. Made in Taiwan. 54cm ST/56cm TT, looks like ~52mm fork rake. I really like the brazing on the canti mounts. I can't make out the serial number. It's kind of faint and covered by the cable guide.

My Team is a 93. Made in Japan. I discarded the blown Struts fork and put this disc Kona P2. Seems to keep the geometry close.

The Strada is Tange 1. I think it had a Made in Taiwan sticker on it. I used it alot with 650b wheels and PariMotos. Very, very fast. Currently getting prepped for sale.
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Old 05-03-16, 09:05 PM
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Novara X-R, 700c model, TIG welded. This bike started with a frame that was going to be scrapped by our community bike shop. Tange MTB butted tubing, converted to drop bars with Tektro cyclocross interrupter levers, Tektro drop bar levers, and 8-speed Ultegra bar end shifters. 48/36/24 triple to an 11-32 cassette. The tires are 38 mm Vittoria Hyper RFX folders.

Novara X-R, drop bar conversion with 8-speed Ultegra bar end shifters. by galoot_loves_tools, on Flickr
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