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REI adv 2.1 versus Novara Safari or Randonee a few years back?

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REI adv 2.1 versus Novara Safari or Randonee a few years back?

Old 07-17-23, 07:15 PM
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REI adv 2.1 versus Novara Safari or Randonee a few years back?

So, I've been researching for months and trying too learn as much as I can. This is what I notice on forums and on past reviews - people loved the Novara Safari and Novara Randonee, but I've also heard they are a little long, so not suited for all builds. Then another search tells me that the REI 2.1 bike is basically the Randonee bike - at least that was true a few years back. But when I see reviews of the REI Adv. 2.1, I'm not seeing glowing reviews. Has it changed? Have other manufacturers just done better in the last few years?

Thoughts?

EDITING - maybe it wasn't the 2.1, but the 1.1 or even the 3.1 = but are any of these considered as good?

Last edited by mams99; 07-17-23 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 07-17-23, 07:36 PM
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The Randonee was a "real" touring bike with oversized tubes and 36 spoke wheels and 3x10 drivetrain and mounts for front and rear racks. The ADV 2.1 (https://www.rei.com/product/159858/c...es-adv-21-bike) is not a "real" touring bike, doesn't have the wide range drivetrain and all the rack/fender mounts.

The ADV 1.1 (https://www.rei.com/product/220761/c...es-adv-11-bike) is a "real" touring bike, is kind of the successor to the Randonee.
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Old 07-18-23, 08:25 AM
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Did some Safari bikes have 26 inch wheels?

If so, that size is becoming problematic, as most bike manufacturers for reasons that I do not know abandoned that size, and once that happened the tire and component manufacturers started cutting back on production in those sizes too. I have two touring bikes with that size wheel, great bikes, but tire availability is getting problematic.
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Old 07-18-23, 09:27 AM
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Well, I hope they don't completely abandon that size - my electric cargo bike is a 26" wheel.
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Old 07-18-23, 09:29 AM
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But how does the current, closest variation of it at REI compare? So the 1.1 Adv gets middling reviews. Yet people who have the Novara Randonee and the Safari seem to love them... or is it all selective bias and even nostalgia?

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Old 07-18-23, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by mams99
Well, I hope they don't completely abandon that size - my electric cargo bike is a 26" wheel.
I am sure they always will make tires in that size, but some of the ones I might want to buy might only be available in other sizes. My folding bike takes a very odd size,I have bought several spares to keep on hand.

But 26 inch was common enough, that some will always be available. I am not stocking up on lots of spares, I have several more years worth of that size already in storage. I have three bikes in that size.

A neighbor is a bike mechanic at a large shop near a large university campus. A lot of the bikes you see on campus are decades old, my neighbor was telling me that they keep a good stock of 27 X 1 1/4 inch tires for that reason, but you won't find any other store in town that has any in stock, nobody has built a bike with that size in quite a few decades.

If you bought a touring bike that is 26 inch, you might want to carry a spare on any tours you do. A lot of shops won't have a spare of that size.
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Old 07-18-23, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mams99
But how does the current, closest variation of it at REI compare? So the 1.1 Adv gets middling reviews. Yet people who have the Novara Randonee and the Safari seem to love them... or is it all selective bias and even nostalgia?
I suspect the ADV 1.1 is just about as good as the Randonee was. But fashion has moved on to gravel bikes instead of touring bikes, so touring bikes are passe'.

One thing, the ADV has wider tires. I think the Randonee was sold with 32 tires 15 years ago, while the ADV has 38s. The wider tires are more stylish because they're gravel-ish. However, they're going to be slightly slower and heavier to pedal. If you're comparing them to a lightweight 28 tire, the extra width of the 32 is kind of marginal, but 38s are going to be perceptibly more sluggish. So compared to a lightweight road or gravel bike, the ADV 1.1 is going to be heavier in the frame and slower in the tires. OTOH it's still a solid pickup truck kind of bike for hauling stuff across the continent!
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Old 07-18-23, 03:28 PM
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Sigh... of course, I probably could have gotten this during their sales, but I wasn't ready too jump yet. But the more I think/learn, I'm leaning toward getting something new versus secondhand, though I've always had luck with secondhand bikes.
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Old 07-18-23, 03:35 PM
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I have done tours on 37mm, 40mm, 50mm and 57mm width. My road bike is 28mm width and my rando bike is 32mm. I think a 35 to 37mm tire for touring is just fine.
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Old 07-27-23, 07:52 AM
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The ADV 1.1 has a significant upgrade to the older Randonee... Disc brakes.
If you decide that a standard touring bike like the ADV 1.1 or LHT is the ticket, you could check out the Fuji Touring also. It is basically the same bike as the ADV 1.1, minus front rack. Additionally, it comes with sub-standard tires while the ADV 1.1 has the right tires on it.


Originally Posted by mams99
Sigh... of course, I probably could have gotten this during their sales, but I wasn't ready too jump yet. But the more I think/learn, I'm leaning toward getting something new versus secondhand, though I've always had luck with secondhand bikes.
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Old 07-27-23, 12:28 PM
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Unless one is planning to tour in Africa or South America the REI ADV 2.1 is more than adequate. It has very wide 35mm tires and 2x8 gears. I toured for many years with 22mm tires and 2x5 gears and that includes trips across the High Sierras. I use brackets to attach the pannier racks and simply put some pieces from an old inner tube to prevent them from scratching the paint of the frame. The REI bike comes with a 11-34t cassette and my own touring was done with a 12-28t and i had no problems going up the longest and steepest grades I have encountered. At $1,300 it is a great value with no need to change anything on the bike to start your first tour.

In terms of frame geometry their Medium and their larges sizes are meant for someone 5'6" to 5'9" and 5'9" to 6' tall. I recommend going to the larger frame size but doing a test ride of the bike. Being scrunched up on a frame is not good for riding long distances day after day and a larger frame makes it easier to position the rear panniers where you heel will not hit it when pedaling. My regular bikes had 54cm and 55cm frames but the custom frame I had made for touring was a 59cm one and I am 5'9" tall.

People tend to greatly overstate what is needed for a touring bike for 99% of the riding people will actually ever do. It is like the people with lifted 4WD trucks that spend all their time on the pavement or an occasional dirt road.
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Old 07-30-23, 06:48 PM
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And a 59 CM wouldn't work for me and I am 5'9". I don't like leaning and reaching so being somewhat "scrunched up" is fine for me.

I see these bikes all the time as I am in REI all the time. Both are excellent bikes.
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