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My brand new Novara Safari

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My brand new Novara Safari

Old 04-02-11, 10:16 PM
  #1  
danguskhan
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My brand new Novara Safari



My Safari finally came today. The first one I ordered came with a bent frame and had to be sent back so I have been waiting anxiously for 3 weeks. I can definitely say this bike was worth the wait. Ive only put 10-20 miles on it but so far I'm loving it. This bike rides so smooth. I dont even mind the grip shifters (the one thing I was worried about when I first ordered it).

Ill be taking her on a micro tour next thursday and friday. Its a 60 mile round trip on a rail trail with one night of camping. Ive loaded it up with my sleeping bag, tent, jacket, multi tool, flashlight, and pad and it still seems to have a great deal of room even in my small pannier/trunk. Needless to say, I am really excited to put some miles on her and I am looking forward to a summer of touring!
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Old 04-03-11, 05:55 AM
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Great bike you go there. I really like the change to a steel frame for this year. If they had that as an option last year it would have put the Safari on my radar for a new bike. Enjoy!
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Old 04-03-11, 07:23 AM
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Nice! I changed out the pedals immediately on mine for some SPD-SLs. I took off the reflectors and cassette disc as well. Also the Novara headbadge was coming off a bit so I just pulled the whole thing off - dramatically improved the look of the bike! It's kind of a cheap plastic-thing and comes off easily.

Next to go is the seat which I am not crazy about. I'm going to put a harder seat on like the one on my CAAD9 - I just seem to prefer that kind of seat. Still looking for a handlebar replacement as well - don't want the trekking bars but I didn't buy the bike for touring - I bought it for 30 mile roundtrips.

Enjoy!
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Old 04-03-11, 09:00 AM
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It sounds like you wasted no time personalizing it! Im gonna leave mine stock for a while mainly because I am an unemployed college student and cant afford any upgrades. Are you keeping the stock tires for a while. Ive heard the ones from previous year safaris were lower quality and was worried they might not hold up to long miles of touring.
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Old 04-03-11, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by danguskhan View Post
It sounds like you wasted no time personalizing it! Im gonna leave mine stock for a while mainly because I am an unemployed college student and cant afford any upgrades. Are you keeping the stock tires for a while. Ive heard the ones from previous year safaris were lower quality and was worried they might not hold up to long miles of touring.
I'm a big Continental tire fan. I use GP4000S tires on my road bike and can usually get upwards of 2000 miles on them - and that's with 23mm tires and hard road biking. I see getting way more mileage out of the stock Continental tires on my Safari.
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Old 04-03-11, 01:46 PM
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clayton c
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I'm envious. I wonder why the jump from 26 inch wheels to 29 inch. Would that be a comfort sacrifice ? I do do appreciate the steel though, I've been kind of considering one.
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Old 04-03-11, 03:32 PM
  #7  
DW99
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Nice looking bike danguskhan, congrats!
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Old 04-03-11, 10:15 PM
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Nice Wheels!
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Old 04-05-11, 05:57 AM
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congrats, Mine is on its way to my REI store, I will loook at pedals and seat change also, not until I give it a good break in.
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Old 04-05-11, 06:00 AM
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Great looking bike....Happy safe miles.
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Old 04-11-11, 02:54 PM
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Just picked up my new Safari this weekend! I haven't been out on it yet, other than a quick spin around the block with the kids. I'm really excited though. Also happy to find that it had four H2O mounts, instead of the two pictured on REI's website. I swapped my Speedplay Frogs on there, had REI put a set of PB fenders on, and moved my lights and stuff over. I'm planning to take it out on my commute tomorrow. Can't wait!
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Old 04-13-11, 12:38 AM
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They took off the disc brakes & aluminum frame, all the fun bits IMHO. But enjoy, I have a 2008 Novara Randonee, best bike for the price despite it's faults.
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Old 04-13-11, 05:06 AM
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novaras dominate. nice ride
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Old 04-13-11, 03:11 PM
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They took off the disc brakes but left the mounts and disc hubs, so you retain the option to go to discs if you want. I was really excited about the switch to steel. I had a 90's vintage Trek aluminum road bike that just killed me on long rides with the vibrations. (It also had an aluminum fork...) I'm sure most AL bikes out there today would be much smoother than that, but I suppose I'm just scarred!
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Old 04-18-11, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by edenooch View Post
novaras dominate. nice ride
Hard to beat the value I guess. My Randonee has done OK but my main gripe is that the ride is unnecessarily harsh over bad surfaces. Not horrible but a bit fatiguing on longer rides. Sorta wish I had sprung for the LHT since it has a longer wheelbase.

When I bought the Randonee I thought it was just a name but now I realize that most production tourers are basically race-geometry frames that are a bit stretched & heavier. I'd like to see touring frames that are more compliant so that one could use skinnier tires yet maintain comfort. That way fewer tourers would need to opt for the expedition-type bikes/mountain bikes just to get fat tires for comfort.

Look at the old-time racing bikes, shallow angles & ample fork rake, but those guys made good speed!
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Old 04-18-11, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by kbblodorn View Post
They took off the disc brakes but left the mounts and disc hubs, so you retain the option to go to discs if you want. I was really excited about the switch to steel. I had a 90's vintage Trek aluminum road bike that just killed me on long rides with the vibrations. (It also had an aluminum fork...) I'm sure most AL bikes out there today would be much smoother than that, but I suppose I'm just scarred!
That's nice they left the disc hubs/mounts, I hope other builders follow suit. I haven't ridden an aluminum Safari but I assume the fat tires soak up a lot of road shock & vibration. I had a Cannondale T400 touring bike with aluminum frame back in the 80's. I liked the stiff frame until I got tired of the pounding from DC city streets as a courier. The widest tires I could mount (w/fenders) was 32mm, not enough to give a comfy ride over bad streets. But this begs the question, why do both alu & steel builders make touring frames that give an unnecessarily harsh ride? Quick handling means little for tourers. After the T400 I bought a (steel) Specialized Rockhopper & converted it to drop bar. Long wheelbase, ample fork rake--I used 1.5" hi-pressure slicks & it had a sweet ride that floated over rough surfaces. I'd like to see an alu frame with similar geometry for touring or even carbon tourers.

My Randonee has been pretty sturdy but it's durn heavy too. Alu or carbon would cut a kilo off the weight & a compliant frame design would allow for skinnier lighter tires.
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Old 04-18-11, 11:19 PM
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I have my trekking bars Double wrapped with padded tape..
I like the added diameter..
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Old 04-20-11, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I have my trekking bars Double wrapped with padded tape..
I like the added diameter..
I've seen a lot of posters that endorse padded tape...I bought some last year but haven't installed it since I haven't made up my mind over getting a new bike. I currently don't use bike gloves either, I read that some folks don't like the heavily-padded types, but I really should get at least some type of glove for safety.

OTOH I sure wish more production tourers would have a softer ride. For instance some local bike paths tend to be very rutted right at the bottom of hills when the speed is highest. My Novara Randonee is quite rough on these segments, pointlessly so.
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Old 04-23-11, 02:20 PM
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I have about 75 miles on my new safari, she is a tank compared to my tri bike. I find I am getting use to itand I like it. I also am not to worried about the spring pot holes. My tour is next march and I have a few upgrades I would like to do. Plus fenders front rack gadgets . I just got a pair of mtb shoes ordering the m24 or shimano m30 pedals soon so far great bike.
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Old 04-23-11, 02:32 PM
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Wow! they got rid of the disc brakes and aluminum??? What size wheels does it use now? If they've got it with 26" wheels, I may head out to buy one! My son had the Safari on our journey and he basically had no rear brakes due to the way they mounted them. We fixed them, then within 300 km he was back to no brake. Over and over and over and over...
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Old 04-23-11, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
Wow! they got rid of the disc brakes and aluminum??? What size wheels does it use now? If they've got it with 26" wheels, I may head out to buy one! My son had the Safari on our journey and he basically had no rear brakes due to the way they mounted them. We fixed them, then within 300 km he was back to no brake. Over and over and over and over...
I believe the small and medium sizes use 26" wheels. The large and x-large are 700C. I could be incorrect and maybe only the small is 26" however.

Awesome bike! I have the x-large and love it!
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Old 04-23-11, 10:15 PM
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Ah cripes - that ruins it for me. I have decided I will never - I mean NEVER - take a 700c bike out of the USA again.
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Old 04-25-11, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
Ah cripes - that ruins it for me. I have decided I will never - I mean NEVER - take a 700c bike out of the USA again.
Alaska to Argentina--well you definitely qualify as someone who needs a tire that can be replaced when the availability is spotty. A friend went car-touring in Chile & Argentina & enjoyed it much. Last July 4 I saw a local family with a Burley (IIRC) triple tandem, an impressive piece of machinery! I also like 26" wheels since with a couple bike the wheels can fit easily inside an airline-reg case.
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