Help with touring bike recommendation - REI Randonee!

Discussion in 'Touring and recreational cycling' started by mossygyrl, Nov 8, 2004.

  1. mossygyrl

    mossygyrl New Member

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    I am new to the touring world, and was hoping some kind folk may help me in my decisions on the purchase of a new bike. I am interested in buying the REI brand -Novara- Randonee touring bicycle, in part due to their
    good prices on what appears to be good bicycles. and also in part due to their lifetime satisfaction guarantee. The bike specs are as follows, if anyone has any comments on insights on this bike, and what it might offer for the long haul...? And if I could bargain with the store to upgrade, what would be some key upgrades I should try to push for? Thank you, so much for any insight and help, and perhaps I will see you on the road someday!

    Elaine

    2004 Novara Randonee Specs:

    SpecificationDescriptionFrameReynolds 520 Cro-MolyFork<unknown>Head setRitchey Scuzzy Logic compRear derailleurShimano Tiagra x9Front derailleurShimano Tiagra x3ShiftersShimano ST-R500Brake leversShimano ST-R500BrakesShimano BR-R550CranksetShimano Tiagra 30/42/52CassetteShimano Tiagra 11/28 x8Bottom bracket/axle<unknown>RimsMavic A319TiresContinental Top Touring 2000 700x28StemRitchey ProHandlebarRitchey BioMaxSaddleLookin XseniumSeat postRitchey AlloyWeight?? lbs. (52 cm)
     
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  2. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    For the money it is a great bicycle. I know a couple of teachers that road across the USA on them. They had support through the mountains so they didn't carry the weight.
    Are you planning to use it for loaded touring?
    Many, if not most, touring bicycles have 135 mm Over Locknut Dimension. Randonee uses 130 mm. 5 mm additional width makes the rear wheel more durable.
    If you ride with a full touring load in mountains you will want lower gearing... like mountain bicycle 44/34/24 front and 12/34 rear. If you ride gravel roads you will want 32 mm wide tires. 14/15 Double Butted spokes from DT, Wheelsmith, or Sapim hand finished (spoke aligned, tension balanced, and stress relieved) will make you wheels much more durable.
    KoolStop Salmon color brake pads.
    Saddle is always something to make sure it matches your anatomy such that it provides proper sit-bone support and shape the provides long term comfort.

    That's my rant; but if you are ready for Bruce Gordon's rant:
    http://www.bgcycles.com/bruce.html

    I worked at REI and sold lots of Randonees for comuting in the Chicago area. They are nearly perfect for that application with the addition of fenders, rack(s), and lights. REI provides very good support for it's customers and products.
     
  3. Margaret

    Margaret New Member

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    My BF and I both have REI Randonees that we bought to use on a cross-country self-supported trip that we are taking in the spring. We bought them early on so we could use the same bikes to train that we will be riding on the trip. So far we have been very happy with the bikes and with the REI service. We are changing the gearing, though, to give a wider range of gearing at the low end. My BF is capable of doing this himself, so it's just a question of the cost of the parts, which is not that significant. But if you need a bike shop to do it, you might consider talking to the staff at your REI bike shop about assembling the bike with lower gearing than the standard it comes with -- this should save you some money when compared with doing it later. If you are doing more supported touring (i.e. with a van to carry most of your stuff), you may not need the lower gears unless the terrain is very hilly. I have also changed the seat on my bike, because the seat just wasn't right for me (major pain in my sitbones after even short rides), but my BF has been very happy with the seat, and that is really an individual thing that has nothing to do with the quality of the Lookin seat, which I understand is very good.

    I think the Randonee is a very good bike for the price, and it has been very easy to attach racks, fenders, lights, etc.

    Good luck!
     
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