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Novara Mazama vs Randonee

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Novara Mazama vs Randonee

Old 05-25-15, 09:13 PM
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Novara Mazama vs Randonee

I'm on the eve of replacing my current commuting bike (an $80 mountain bike) with something more serious that will last a good # of years. Because I would like to leave the window open to touring, I'm looking at touring bikes. This will be my entry bike into touring, and the first time I've ever spent a decent amount of dough on a bike.

The two bikes I'm looking at are Novara brand because I get a 15% REI discount for being a new member. I'm having a hard time deciding between the Mazama--Novara's first gen adventure touring bike--and the Randonee.

Novara Mazama - $934 after discount
Novara Mazama Bike - 2015 - REI.com
Pros: lighter weigh, love the paint finish/look, has an off-road option, same frame as famous randonee, disc brakes
Cons: weird handlebars, few reviews available online, first generation product, jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none?

Novara Randonee - $1019 after discount
Novara Randonee Bike - 2015 - REI.com
Pros: The most famous/well-reputed Novara bike, comes with rear rack, love the look, great reviews all over the internet
Cons: more expensive, heavier, no disc brakes

My main concern with the Mazama is that as a cyclocross bike, is it too much of a compromise in road performance just so that I can get wider tires? I see posts on Bike Forum and elsewhere saying to beware of a bike that isn't very good at any one particular thing.

Also, does anyone know off hand how much it would cost to get a rear-rack installed at REI?

Thanks!

Last edited by jahnreektor; 05-25-15 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 05-25-15, 09:45 PM
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The Mazama has dirt drop bars. More of a monster cross/bike packing bike.
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Old 05-26-15, 08:27 AM
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I actually just hit up REI for the first time this past weekend(there isnt one near me yet, but coming soon).
The Randonee is a fantastic looking bike for the money. What you get new for under $1000 seems like quite a good package.

The Mazama looks well spec’d, but its an off-pavement bike.



You will be commuting mainly- so road/trail/sidewalk/pavement riding right? Is a 40mm tire that comes on the Mazama needed or would it be overkill and just heavy?

The dirt drops on the Mazama are funky looking, but provide a ton of position options to keep you from hand fatigue and back strain while riding for a long time.

If you think you will go off-pavement a lot on your commute or touring- perhaps the Mazama is the way to go. If your commute is full of bad pavement that will pinch-flat even 32s- perhaps the Mazama is the way to go.
If your commute pavement is typical and you will stay on pavement while touring- perhaps the Randonee is the way to go.


As for a rack- you can install that yourself. I just toss that out as a suggestion as if you are going to commute and tour with it, itd help for you to understand how it works and how it adjusts so when it needs to be adjusted while on a ride, you can do it quickly and confidently.
Racks arent too difficult as both bikes have points for them to attach. Itll just be 4 attachment screws and then loosening the rack adjustment points, leveling the rack, and tightening the adjustment points.
I have no idea how much REI charges, but it’s a rack- if you buy it from them they should install it for free. Maybe that’s unrealistic, but I certainly don’t think so.
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Old 05-26-15, 09:27 AM
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I've had up to 700Cx37 tires on my Randonee, although over the years I've gradually moved to 32s. It's a bit compromised on deep mud or 2" gravel, but I don't really enjoy riding either of those.

REI installed fenders on my daughter's bike for free when we bought bike + fenders. I'd expect the same for a rack. I did notice that the mechanics weren't any better at installing the fenders than I was, given the time it took for them to mount them. I wonder if they install more racks than fenders.
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Old 05-26-15, 11:23 AM
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I was interested in purchasing the Mazama from REI. I went to REI and took a size medium and size large for a demo ride and was not very impressed with the Mazama. Next I took a size large Novara Randonee for a demo ride and was amazed by the difference. No question for me after my Randonee test ride. I purchased my 2015 Novara Randonee on May 15, 2015 during the REI Anniversary Sale. I think it's a great bicycle for me, I absolutely love riding my Randonee.
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Old 05-26-15, 12:02 PM
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REI will install accessories for free when you purchase a bicycle from REI. Also The Novara Randonee includes the rear rack. All 2015 Novara Randonee's come with the rear rack.
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Old 05-26-15, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by jahnreektor
I'm on the eve of replacing my current commuting bike (an $80 mountain bike) with something more serious that will last a good # of years. Because I would like to leave the window open to touring, I'm looking at touring bikes. This will be my entry bike into touring, and the first time I've ever spent a decent amount of dough on a bike.

The two bikes I'm looking at are Novara brand because I get a 15% REI discount for being a new member. I'm having a hard time deciding between the Mazama--Novara's first gen adventure touring bike--and the Randonee.

Novara Mazama - $934 after discount
Novara Mazama Bike - 2015 - REI.com
Pros: lighter weigh, love the paint finish/look, has an off-road option, same frame as famous randonee, disc brakes
Cons: weird handlebars, few reviews available online, first generation product, jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none?

Novara Randonee - $1019 after discount
Novara Randonee Bike - 2015 - REI.com
Pros: The most famous/well-reputed Novara bike, comes with rear rack, love the look, great reviews all over the internet
Cons: more expensive, heavier, no disc brakes

My main concern with the Mazama is that as a cyclocross bike, is it too much of a compromise in road performance just so that I can get wider tires? I see posts on Bike Forum and elsewhere saying to beware of a bike that isn't very good at any one particular thing.

Also, does anyone know off hand how much it would cost to get a rear-rack installed at REI?

Thanks!
What is the climate where you live, or where you will be doing most of your riding? I live on SoCal, so I am fine with rim brakes, but if I lived in Seattle I would seriously consider a bike with discs.

If the above is not an issue, I like the Randonee much better (you are in the Touring forum!). I hope I am not confusing the issue too much but there are a lot options other than REI take a look at this thread about the Fuji: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...und-739-a.html
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Old 05-26-15, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by timdow
What is the climate where you live, or where you will be doing most of your riding? I live on SoCal, so I am fine with rim brakes, but if I lived in Seattle I would seriously consider a bike with discs.

If the above is not an issue, I like the Randonee much better (you are in the Touring forum!). I hope I am not confusing the issue too much but there are a lot options other than REI take a look at this thread about the Fuji: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/10...und-739-a.html
I live in Portland, OR, which is slightly drier than Seattle but still fairly wet.

I looked into the Fuji Touring bike! It looks great, but the bike service I would get at REI sounds like it could be really important!

Based on the comments so far, I'm almost certainly going to go with the Randonee!
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Old 05-26-15, 07:15 PM
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IMHO weight is sort of a non-issue on a touring bike, for me at least since I was carrying about 40lbs of gear and water on my last tour.

Anyhow, part of the 2 - 3 lb weight difference between the two will go away when/if you add a rear rack to the Mazama.

As for tires, browsing around I found a 2010 post to the effect that....

REI Bikes

"The Novara Randonee will accept tires 28 to 47mm in width.

Which further blurs the lines between the bikes.

Handlebars are easily replaced, and tires certainly WILL be replaced.

I would go with the one that fits you best.

Mike
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Old 05-26-15, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharpshin
IMHO weight is sort of a non-issue on a touring bike, for me at least since I was carrying about 40lbs of gear and water on my last tour.

Anyhow, part of the 2 - 3 lb weight difference between the two will go away when/if you add a rear rack to the Mazama.

As for tires, browsing around I found a 2010 post to the effect that....

REI Bikes

"The Novara Randonee will accept tires 28 to 47mm in width.

Which further blurs the lines between the bikes.

Handlebars are easily replaced, and tires certainly WILL be replaced.

I would go with the one that fits you best.

Mike
The tire width quote is perfect and firmly plants me in Randonee partisanship. Thanks!
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