Author Topic: Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe  (Read 11422 times)

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Offline MVDan

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« on: December 22, 2006, 04:58:41 pm »
Looking at the Randonee and the Bianchi Volpe. I'd like the opinions of people who have bought the Randonee and what their experience was (what store) in dealing with set up and assistance with REI. I've read that some of their shops' mechanics are less than great.
Going through a bike shop for a Volpe has some great advantages.
Wondering if some shops will turn their nose up at an REI product, like they sometimes do at any product not purchased through them.
Looking to use whatever I get for charity rides too. Not just light touring.
Any experience with either bike will be greatly appreciated.

thanks

This message was edited by MVDan on 12-22-06 @ 1:16 PM

Offline RussellSeaton

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2006, 07:15:02 pm »
"Wondering if some shops will turn their nose up at an REI product, like they sometimes do at any product not purchased through them."

Not sure what you mean by this.  You have bike shops that will not service bikes purchased elsewhere?  You have bike shops with that much business they will turn down service work from people who want to pay them for work?  Wow.  So all of the bicyclists in your town who moved there and brought their bikes with them, as I do when I move, are sort of forced to buy a nuew bike from the local shops to get service work.  And they can never get service work on the old bikes brought with them to town.  If someone who brought in their $15,000 Serotta Hors Categorie, Record, SRM, Lightweight bike to one of your bike shops, purchased elsewhere, your shops would tell this person to go away and not do any work on it?  I find it hard to believe a shop would turn down a customer who walked in with a $15,000 bike for service work.  I think they would quite happily work this person into the queue.

I'm awfully glad car mechanics don't work the way bike shops in your town work.  All the mechanic shops I've dealt with are quite happy to work on any car you bring to them.  They don't care if they sold it to you.  They can order parts from NAPA or wherever parts come from and charge you labor rates without much trouble.

I'll bet you the shops in your town will happily work on whatever bike you take into them.  They will charge you for it.  It won't be a free tune up or whatever.  But they will inspect, tune, service an REI bike just fine.  It may be they will let people who bought their bikes from the shop jump ahead of you in the queue if there is a good reason.  That is something you can get from a shop if you buy your bike there.  But they will work on your bike too.  It just might take a week to get serviced whereas the guy who bought his bike there will get it done within two days of drop off.


Offline MVDan

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 08:22:38 pm »
 Yes, in this area, a new bike, bought locally, not at their shop, will not be received well.
Of course a bike bought years ago, like my old Raleigh, is different. But a brand new Bianchi or Novara, not a Jamis, Trek or Gary Fisher, which CAN be bought locally, is brought to one of the two shops here, a week for a tuneup turns to two and alot of extra "broken" parts get replaced. Alot of people go off-island for a spring tuneup just to avoid the hassles.

I asked for insight about two brands, not an inquiry and lecture about local bicycle politics.
thanks

This message was edited by MVDan on 12-22-06 @ 4:47 PM

Offline Raine

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2006, 09:39:45 am »
I bought Novara Randonnee in december 2003. The bike was 2004 model if I remember correctly. REI set up the bike with fenders, Blackburn rear rack, lights and bike computer as I requested, all in one evening. Nothing else to complain here, just that the computer wasn't set up correctly (wrong wheel size).

I've ridden the bike since without any problems and like it very much. Novara might not be as high profile brand such as Cannondale & Trek etc. but I don't have anything negative to say about the bike at all. I changed the saddle to another one because the original got damaged, but thats all.

I'm going to get it repainted full black this winter to please my eye more and to look more ie a tool. Also getting Brooks B17 saddle.;)


Offline MVDan

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2006, 08:44:33 pm »
Hello,

Thank you so much for your insight and experiences. I appreciate it.
Yes, Novara, doesn't have the same high profile, but maybe that results in the lower prices.
great to hear that the store too treated you with seeming very competent support.
Continued success with you bike!
I agree, the brown color is best painted over.
Dan


Offline roadrunner

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2006, 12:55:38 am »
My experience with the REI bike mechanic at the Tempe, AZ, store was very good.  He did a fine job of assembling the Navara Safari I purchased 2-1/2 years ago.  The process included adding a stem riser and tire liners, checking the trueness of the wheels, and several interations of adjustments to get the fit right.  While I don't have the Randonee you're considering, the Navara Safari is a great bike.  I did a 1,200 mile tour with it this fall, and it performed great -- totally reliable and comfortable.


Offline Raine

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2006, 05:36:31 am »
Actually, my Randonee is blue / silver. I would have preferred more earth-toned colors such as the newer brown one. ;)


Offline MVDan

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2006, 09:37:15 pm »
thank you very much for replying. I am also considering the Safari as an alround touring/bike path/charity training and riding bike.
Roads and paths here are rough on Martha's Vineyard. I like the 1.9 tires and wider wheels.
Glad to know your experience with the Safari and REI too has been good.
Great to hear.
Dan


Offline MVDan

Novara Randonee and REI vs. Volpe
« Reply #8 on: December 30, 2006, 09:39:14 pm »
Thank you for the reply. I guess you buy the bike. Anything can be repainted, right?
What has your experience been with both the Randonee and REI? How long ago did you purchase it and where?

thank you again,
Dan