Opinions on REI brand bikes (Novara)?



T

Tim McNamara

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
jim beam <[email protected]> wrote:

> eh? who mentioned "damping properties"? metal frames/wheels don't
> do that - they essentially have no hysteresis loop. and we haven't
> yet discussed carbon composites, which /do/ attenuate force
> transmission depending on rate of application, but that's a whole
> different debate.
>
> getting back to the original point, we agree, tires affect the
> magnitude of road force transmission to the structure, but where we
> don't seem to agree is recognition of the fact that once this road
> force has been transmitted /to/ the structure by the tire, the way
> the structure reacts to that force will entirely determine "feel".


jim, it seems as though those two paragraphs contradict each other
(ignoring the comment about CF frames). Perhaps you could clarify.

As far as I can tell from what you've said in your first paragraph, if
frames provide no damping, then they would act as solid objects and thus
would not contribute to differences in road feel through flex or shock
absorption. Yet in your second paragraph you imply that frames have
some kind of damping or flex that affects "feel."
 
Q

Qui si parla Campagnolo

Guest
Michael Wileman wrote:
> In <[email protected]> "Mike Reed" <[email protected]> writes:
>
> >I've given the green light to some friends who were considering
> >Novaras. Everyone I know who has one likes it, and I don't know of any
> >problems with them.

>
> My wife has a Novara hybrid that's about 15-years old now.
> The fork failed catastrophically while still in warranty,
> but they refused to replace it under warranty, claiming it
> had been abused. They seemed to just assume that it could
> only have failed if it had been abused. In other words,
> their warranty didn't really cover the fork.
>
> After some insistence, they did eventually replace the fork,
> but didn't bother to find one that matched the frame, and
> didn't bother to paint the green fork before installing on
> it on the black frame.
>
> That said, I still have the black bike with the green fork,
> and it still works well. It has been a pretty good book for
> its price point.
>
> Mike


Like I said, ya buy a good or bad bike shop. A local bike shop here,
that stopped selling a certain brand, also stopped covering warranties
for that brand. Not to mention the ones they had already sold but they
gave away the $ for them to take apart and reassemble-dummmm, we'll
take it!!
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
jim beam <[email protected]> wrote:

> Tim McNamara wrote:
> > In article <[email protected]>,
> > SMS <[email protected]> wrote:
> >>
> >>If you look at the real reasons behind many so-called "advances"
> >>they all come back to being able to lower the production cost. As
> >>an after-thought the manufacturers will create reasons why the
> >>change is an "advance." Sometimes there is some advantage to the
> >>end user that falls out of the change, but often not.

> >
> > I think that there are many examples of changes done to facilitate
> > manufacturers which were belatedly heralded as improvements for
> > riders- cassette hubs, cartridge BBs, threadless headsets and
> > V-brakes all being examples.

>
> 1. cassette hubs [old shimano style at any rate] are better because
> they address the bearing load/axle fatigue issues.


Those problems were entirely fixable with freewheel hubs, as was shown
by Maxi-CAR, Phil Wood and Roger Durham (Bullseye). Eliminating the
"horizontal" dropout in favor of "vertical" dropouts provides better
support for the axle and significantly improves axle life even with
small, threaded axles. There are examples of that dating back to the
late 40s.

> 2. threadless headsets are an improvement as they eliminate stem
> wear.


Hmmm. In 40 years of being a bike nut and years of working in bike
shops, I've never ever seen a problem with "stem wear." What are you
referring to?

There are problems with the threadless design as it currently exists.
One is that the stem clamping force and the bearing preload force are
maintained with the same bolt(s)- the pinch bolt(s) on the stem. Once
the pinch bolt(s) is (are) tightened, the bearing adjustment bolt no
longer does anything useful. This means that in the event of a crash or
the bike getting knocked over and the bars being put out of alignment
with the wheel, you can't just twist them back. You have to readjust
the bearing preload as well. Separating the bearing preload and
clamping the stem to the steerer makes more sense. The old French
constructeur method of a threaded headset and a stem that clamped to an
insert brazed into the steerer was a better solution IMHO.

Both of those solutions, however, also have the problem of poor
adjustability of handlebar height. To adjust the height, you have to
replace the stem. Normally this is not a problem, assuming you know
your proper bike fit. I don't know about you but I rarely adjust the
height of my handlebars- after all these years I know where they belong.
However, a month ago I injured my lower back and did have to raise the
bars a bit to avoid aggravating my back. Nice to be able to do it in
two minutes without having to buy a new stem and adjust the fit by trial
and error (although Mark Hickey- nonscientist though he is in your eyes-
offers a helpful guide to fitting threadless stems which eliminates most
of the guesswork).

> 3. cartridge bb's are an improvement because they're more tolerant of
> misaligned bb shells and inability to adjust bearings properly.


The simple steps of facing the BB shell and chasing the threads
eliminate two of these problems. Learning to adjust preload for BB
bearings is simple, which eliminates the third. OTOH the tools (e.g.,
hook spanners and pin spanners) are less than optimal. Cartridge
bearings also come with the downside of smaller ball bearings and
shorter service life, not to mention being unable to be rebuilt and thus
more expensive over time. And finally the bearings are further inboard,
with also reduces bearing life ("solved" by developing "external"
bearings).

The real benefit is for bike manufacturers who get to skip one step
(facing the BB) and don't have to worry about precisely cutting threads.
It also makes TIG welding more practical, because that process distorts
the BB shell more than brazing did.

> 4. v.brakes are an improvement because they're less prone to cable
> fouling.


They come with significant downsides such as poor modulation and poor
tolerance for brake pad wear, as well as poor interoperability with
various brake levers.

All of the benefits that you cite are minimal. These technologies were
developed to solve problems for bike manufacturers, not for riders.
Benefits to the riders are accidental.

> another example would be oversize stems/handlebars. they offer
> /much/ better resistance to the bars rotating, something to which i'm
> prone. they should be better in fatigue too.


At 200-220 pounds, I've not had bars rotate in the stem in many years.

> > There are also many changes to facilitate manufacturing that
> > don't end up on the bike, like packaging of components to be more
> > efficient for bike factories to deal with.
> >
> > I don't think that primarily ergonomic changes like brifters fall
> > into the same category. Those didn't make bike manufacturing any
> > easier.

>
> but you agree that they improve the bike though, right?


No. I don't find these things to necessarily be an improvement. I
think that there are some circumstances where brifters are better (e.g.,
racing, people with arm mobility or balance problems, etc.) but I prefer
bar-end friction shifters by far. But we've already had *that* thread
ad nauseum. No need to go there again.
 
P

Pat Lamb

Guest
David wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>, Zix
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> Zix,
>
> If you are buying a Novara bike, you are buying a house brand frame.
> Everything else just get slapped on just like another other bikes. So,
> basically, buy the bike if the frame fits you.


And that has its good points. All the other components that get slapped
on are "standard" parts. These are easy to find now when something
wears out or breaks, and you've got a decent chance of finding
replacements in the future. Buying the Novara, you miss out on the
opportunity five years hence to find a bearing made in the first part of
2006 for Boomer Bike, which sold out by December of that year.

OTOH, depending on the REI, you may be on your own for fitting (as
others have pointed out). At a nameless REI last weekend, the sales
person was amazed when I told him I needed the seat moved up, back and
rotated, and astounded when I took the bike outside the parking lot.

Pat
 
S

SlowRider

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> That may be pushing it. Comparing chinee made bikes to Cannondale and
> Lemond? You obviously have bike envy. Trek and spec. make their
> bikes there so they are closer.


Are you kidding? I can't afford high-end bikes -- I envy just about
every decent bike I see. Bike shops have to rust-proof their display
models before I come in. ;-)

You're right that I don't know much about Cannondale or Lemond other
than I've seen them at reputable bike shops and I did some comparison
shopping ~5 years back. If memory serves, both brands were ~$100-200
more than Trek/Specialized bikes with the same components.

I've been happy with my entry-level Specialized roadie, but can you
tell me what makes Cannondale/Lemond superior to
Trek/Specialized/Novara?


-JR
 
R

rdclark

Guest
David wrote:
> In article <[email protected]>, Rich Clark
> <[email protected]> wrote:
>
> > "Sorni" <[email protected]> wrote in message
> > news:[email protected]
> > > [email protected] wrote:
> > >> just curious, I'm more than a beginning rider but not advanced yet. I
> > >> have an aluminum frame and love it, although I'm not sure what I'd be
> > >> looking for not to love it. However I've heard people knock aluminum
> > >> before and I'm just curious what's all the beef about?
> > >
> > > Prejudice. Myth. Snobbery.

> >
> > Maybe.
> >
> > I once test-rode (i.e., 10-mile hilly loops) a Fuji Roubaix and a Roubaix
> > Pro in quick succession.

>

[snip]

> This is exactly the same as with a bike. Riding any bike for a very
> short distance barely stresses any of your strong and weak muscles.
> What makes a bike ride so uncomfortable is the fit. A poor fit will
> show its true colors once your muscles are stressed. That's why, fit
> professionals usually advise people to ride at least 100 to 300km
> before they come back for a second fit. Or if they need to. Just
> minute changes in the seat height, stem length or rise or even bar
> width can make a big difference in comfort or torture.


I agree with all of that, even though it's quite irrelevant to what I
said.

I compared two bikes with identical fit (and geometry and components),
and the characteristics that distinguished them seemed to proceed
largely from the frame material, which is all I said in my post.

RichC
 
A

Alex Rodriguez

Guest
In article <[email protected]>,
[email protected] says...
>
>
>>>I've always thought the Novara bikes were right up there with

>Specialized, Trek, Lemond, Cannondale and other popular brands. They
>do seem to give you great components for the price. If the bike fits
>and you can get a good deal, then go for it! <<
>
>That may be pushing it. Comparing chinee made bikes to Cannondale and
>Lemond? You obviously have bike envy. Trek and spec. make their
>bikes there so they are closer.


Specialized doesn't make anything. They design and then have someone else
make the bike for them. Nothing wrong with that. I really like Specialized
bikes. I've owned three, still have one. I recently rode their new carbon
framed bike and it was nice.
---------------
Alex
 
D

dvt

Guest
Michael Press wrote:
> And people are not proportioned the same. Ask a tailor. A
> bicycle must be constructed as painstakingly as a good
> suit.


I don't agree. The human body has a high capacity for adapting to
various positions. Even if it didn't, very few people ride far and long
enough to require a carefully tailored bicycle fit.

If you need proof of this, stand near a bike rack on a campus near you
and estimate the number of people with carefully fit cycles.

--
Dave
dvt at psu dot edu
 
Mike Reed writes:

> Where something is made does not determine its quality.


> For instance, Fords, GMs, and Dodges are made in the United States
> and are low quality. Yet, Honda Accords are made in the United
> States and are fairly high quality.


This gets down to the root of the problem, management, and that
reflects the very top. Bad board of directors hire bad CEO's hire
incompetent division managers and all the way down. We have many
classic cases of this in the USA. Take Montgomery Ward (gone),
Southern Pacific RR (gone), Morrison-Knudsen Construction (gone) and
so many smaller firms that were leaders in their field at one time.
ENRON, of course, is obvious but there are a lot of top managers who
are only building golden parachutes together with their board of
directors while being damn good at giving all the appearances of
running a solid company.

Of course the same goes for government, the biggest management job.

Jobst Brandt
 
T

Tim McNamara

Guest
In article <[email protected]>, dvt <[email protected]>
wrote:

> Michael Press wrote:
> > And people are not proportioned the same. Ask a tailor. A bicycle
> > must be constructed as painstakingly as a good suit.

>
> I don't agree. The human body has a high capacity for adapting to
> various positions. Even if it didn't, very few people ride far and
> long enough to require a carefully tailored bicycle fit.


I read a quote from a framebuilder once to the effect that "a bicycle is
a somewhat adjustable machine ridden by a person with a somewhat
adaptable body."

The people who "need" a custom bike are few, primarily those with some
physical condition that affects their ability to adapt to a "normal"
bicycle or who are outliers in terms of physical proportions. But a
custom bike is nice to have, especially of you want non-trendy design
features like long chainstays or a fork with more than 45 mm offset.
 
S

Sandy

Guest
Dans le message de news:[email protected],
Alex Rodriguez <[email protected]> a réfléchi, et puis a déclaré :
> In article <[email protected]>,
> [email protected] says...
>>
>>
>>>> I've always thought the Novara bikes were right up there with

>> Specialized, Trek, Lemond, Cannondale and other popular brands. They
>> do seem to give you great components for the price. If the bike fits
>> and you can get a good deal, then go for it! <<
>>
>> That may be pushing it. Comparing chinee made bikes to Cannondale and
>> Lemond? You obviously have bike envy. Trek and spec. make their
>> bikes there so they are closer.

>
> Specialized doesn't make anything. They design and then have someone
> else make the bike for them.


That's a pretty lame criticism, if it was so intended. There is no
"company" that produces stuff, unless you have 100% robotized construction.
So, entrusting the execution of a design to a worker, be that in one
locality or another, is irrelevant.

Except, of course, to ideologues.
 
O

Ozark Bicycle

Guest
Tim McNamara wrote:

<snipped>

-the virtues of a custom frame-

> But a
> custom bike is nice to have, especially of you want non-trendy design
> features like long chainstays or a fork with more than 45 mm offset.


Or lugged construction, the paint of your choice, the absence of
garish, oversize logos in ten different places, etc., etc.

And the idea that the frame was made by a skilled craftsman, not welded
by a robot in a "dark factory" nor popped out of a mold.
 
M

Mike Reed

Guest
He means it's outsourced to another company with different management,
employees, and payroll.

Nike does the same thing. They don't own any shoe factories.

Coca Cola is also similar, as they don't produce any consumable
beverages. They produce syrup and independent bottlers produce the
beverages using it. It's even funnier for water because Coca Cola
produced a purification process for local tap water, so they don't
produce anythig tangible for Dasani. On top of that, Dasani costs more
money to produce than Coke, including the syrup.
 
S

SMS

Guest
Mike Reed wrote:
> He means it's outsourced to another company with different management,
> employees, and payroll.
>
> Nike does the same thing. They don't own any shoe factories.
>
> Coca Cola is also similar, as they don't produce any consumable
> beverages. They produce syrup and independent bottlers produce the
> beverages using it. It's even funnier for water because Coca Cola
> produced a purification process for local tap water, so they don't
> produce anythig tangible for Dasani. On top of that, Dasani costs more
> money to produce than Coke, including the syrup.


Maybe they should introduce a new high end variant of Coke, that is
based on purified Dasani water, and that uses cane sugar instead of corn
syrup.
 
O

Ozark Bicycle

Guest
SMS wrote:
> Mike Reed wrote:
> > He means it's outsourced to another company with different management,
> > employees, and payroll.
> >
> > Nike does the same thing. They don't own any shoe factories.
> >
> > Coca Cola is also similar, as they don't produce any consumable
> > beverages. They produce syrup and independent bottlers produce the
> > beverages using it. It's even funnier for water because Coca Cola
> > produced a purification process for local tap water, so they don't
> > produce anythig tangible for Dasani. On top of that, Dasani costs more
> > money to produce than Coke, including the syrup.

>
> Maybe they should introduce a new high end variant of Coke, that is
> based on purified Dasani water, and that uses cane sugar instead of corn
> syrup.


Ah! Charging a premium for using cane sugar syrup. The final piece of
the Coke/New Coke/Coke Classic gambit pays off at long last.
 
Lemond still makes steel bikes that are race ready.They use traditional
geometry instead of the compact garbage. There is no way to describe
it. Ride a steel Lemond and then an aluminum specialized and its like
going from a hunday to a BMW. Cannondale makes handmade in USA frames
and are world class. I have a 'cross and MTB from them and they are
great. Trek carbon is nice but many of their lower end bikes are
generic chinee made. Novara bikes may be just fine. They will provide
good service and so forth .You will notice a difference in a generic
private label bike and a high quality name brand one. Many people love
motobecanes and the high end ones are rebadged Fujis.
 
D

Dane Buson

Guest
In rec.bicycles.misc Ozark Bicycle <[email protected]> wrote:
> SMS wrote:
>>
>> Maybe they should introduce a new high end variant of Coke, that is
>> based on purified Dasani water, and that uses cane sugar instead of corn
>> syrup.

>
> Ah! Charging a premium for using cane sugar syrup. The final piece of
> the Coke/New Coke/Coke Classic gambit pays off at long last.


You think too small, it's obviously part of the international Communist
conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
That's why I drink only distilled water, or rain water, and only pure
grain alcohol.

--
Dane Buson - [email protected]
The Official MBA Handbook on business cards:
Avoid overly pretentious job titles such as "Lord of the Realm,
Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India" or "Director of Corporate Planning."
 
S

SlowRider

Guest
[email protected] wrote:
> Lemond still makes steel bikes that are race ready.They use traditional
> geometry instead of the compact garbage. There is no way to describe
> it. Ride a steel Lemond and then an aluminum specialized and its like
> going from a hunday to a BMW.


Cool, another excuse for a test-ride!


-JR
 
Slowrider,
Be aware that Lemond uses a slightly longer top tube proprtional to
size than other makers. I normally ride a 56cm road bike but I
required a 55cm Lemond. Try a steel bike and youll buy one. Jamis
makes a nice one called the Quest too and its cheaper