Author Topic: Any eleventh hour opinions! Novara Bike choice.  (Read 566 times)

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Offline travellingfoxes

Any eleventh hour opinions! Novara Bike choice.
« on: March 03, 2014, 03:25:03 am »
Gday guys

We have finally narrowed our decision of bike choice for our 7000mile ride to either a Novara Safari or Randonee.

We know this is a personal choice but if there are any last minute opinions either (good or bad) regarding either bike or previous experiences we are all ears!!! Any improvements etc also welcome!

Travellingfoxes
Ken and Jules
 


Offline DaveB

Re: Any eleventh hour opinions! Novara Bike choice.
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2014, 09:58:22 am »
The differences are pretty major. 

The Rondonee is a drop bar dedicated touring bike and pretty much a duplicate of other well regarded bikes like the Trek 520 and Surly LHT.   It has barend shifters, appropriate gearing and proper sized road tires.

The Safari is more of a Hybrid with moustache bars, MTB components and wider and heavier tires. 

So, it you are used to or prefer drop bars and plan on little off-road use, get the Randonee.  If you expect to ride on a lot of unimproved roads or trails, the Safari is more suited. 

The Rondanee is more expensive but, to my thinking, the extra money is well spent and it would be my choice for a long road tour.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Any eleventh hour opinions! Novara Bike choice.
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 10:17:01 am »
In general I agree with Dave; mostly on-road tour, go with the Randonee / more off-road, go with the Safari.

However, there's also the personal preference aspect.  If either of you prefers a hybrid-ish style bar, that could push you towards the Safari.  With slick tires, it can roll 90% as well on pavement with higher tire pressure, and the fatter tires of the Safari will let you drop the pressure a bit and soak up some nasty road shocks (like old concrete roads from Missouri west).  Heck, try them both out and buy the one you ilke better!

Either way, tell the mechanics at REI what you're going to be doing with the bike, and ask them to check it over thoroughly.  I've had new wheels on a Randonnee start breaking spokes within 1,000 miles, and another set of wheels that they checked over now has over 12,000 miles with no broken spokes (that I can remember).

Offline DaveB

Re: Any eleventh hour opinions! Novara Bike choice.
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 10:52:37 am »
Either way, tell the mechanics at REI what you're going to be doing with the bike, and ask them to check it over thoroughly.  I've had new wheels on a Randonnee start breaking spokes within 1,000 miles, and another set of wheels that they checked over now has over 12,000 miles with no broken spokes (that I can remember).
+1.  Unevenly and inadequately tensioned spokes are epidemic on new bikes and lead to premature breakage.  Have the REI mechanic check and, if needed, improve the spoke tension and trueness.  Done properly you should almost never break a good quality spoke if you don't mechanically damage it.

Also, remember neither bike comes with pedals so leave a few dollars in your budget to add them. 

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Any eleventh hour opinions! Novara Bike choice.
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2014, 11:38:08 am »
A friend bought the REI Novara Randonee 2-3 years ago.  I overhauled it before it went into service.  Seemed like a very good bike with good components.  Nothing major in the overhaul.  It would be one of my top choices for riding across the USA with panniers.  Equal to the Trek 520 or Surly Long Haul Trucker.