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I bought a new bike yesterday!!!(5 posts)

I bought a new bike yesterday!!!ET
Jul 31, 2001 8:05 AM
The Novara Buzz. Wow!!!!!!!!

Before you say, "I never heard of it" or "It must stink," let me explain. I wanted a bike to commute to work in (not my road bike), something very agile and maneuverable in traffic, and yet blazing fast. To that end, I sold my sluggish '97 Trek hybrid triple. What I wanted was one of those new killer hybrids, variously called fast hybrids, city slashers, urban road bikes, street bikes, stealth bikes, flight bikes, which are essentially stripped down lightweight hybrids with decent-quality frames giving road bike-type performance but with upright handlebars (although a few have road bike bars positioned higher than usual). The genre has not been adequately defined yet (some say it may disappear before it is), and as such the setup on some of these bikes can be somewhat weird, e.g. the Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra, with a Caad4, a double and 700x23 road bike tires and yet with a lockout front shock(!), the Specialized Sirrus series and Trek 7500FX, both with what some would say are unnecessary triples. There are many more examples in this genre (e.g. Cannondale Road Warrior series). The frames, and the rest of the bike for that matter, typically look like something out of an apocalypse, like in the movie Road Warrior 3, typically all battleship gray or matte black. That is, mean.

What I ended up getting is the Novara Buzz, available from REI, and now on sale due to (bike) year-end clearance. Here is the link.

http://www.rei.com/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/ProductDisplay?prmenbr=8000&prrfnbr=6076034

Sizing chart is here:

http://rei.com/reihtml/novara2000/sizing_town.html

I am 5'10", 84 inseam and fit great on the Large. Before I went to the store, I emailed REI, which were very helpful and after checking got back to me with the recommended size.

This thing is a rocket! Trust me! (I took it the 8 miles to work today and made it in record time.) All for an unbelievable price ($460). It was reviewed in the February '01 issue of Bicycling (glad a co-worker showed the review to me, as I would never have heard of the bike--not that I hold of this magazine, but the review was reasonable within the context of its one-liners, although not doing it justice), but seems to be otherwise unknown—a real sleeper deal. I went to my nearest REI and they had just one size L left (was it also the only one they ever had in stock?). If you don't have an REI near you or they're outof stock, you can still do mailorder and live with the shipping costs. Test-rode it, loved it, bought it. (PS--I get one free tune-up at REI.) Swapped out the wide foot pedals to ones with clips and straps (don't want to be bothered with clipless for commuting). The ride is so smooth and comfortable (and no need to change saddles). I can take corners very sharply at high speed. Boy, did I ever surprise that co-worker I commuted with! (He owns many bikes of different types.) The Buzz has a single chainring with 9 in the back, producing a very wide gearing, yet the spacing between is not annoying at all and I never needed the ends, emphasizing the point of not needing or being burdened by a triple, let alone a double,and drastically reducing rotating weight. It is mean-looking in all matte-black. It has 26x1.4 city slicks, and given the rear tire clearance, can be swapped out for off-road tires if desired. It is rather light for a hybrid (24.3 lbs in size L but feels less). This is an unbelievable buy for the money, especially when compared to Cannondales and Specializeds selling way over $1000. The 7005 aluminum frame is real quality both in performance and ride (which is not at all harsh, at least over my commuting distance) and so while the some of the components may be lower-end and perhaps suspect in the longer run (they are working great now), you can upgrade when necessary and still come out way ahead of the game, and eliminate weight further if you really want to.

I know no one will list
Oops! It ran out. Here's the rest.ET
Jul 31, 2001 8:07 AM
I know no one will listen to me, but if you don't want to use your road bike for commuting and are looking for a very affordable stripped-down fast hybrid to commute in style and do so faster than anything out there other than road bikes (I'd bet you could pass some of them too), this is it. I love it! (Unfortunately, because I took the Buzz in to work today, I end up missing the lunchtime training ride I would've taken in my road bike, which I would have taken to work in my station wagon (which I don't always get due to needs of sig other). I got to figure out how to split things between the two bikes.
Oops! It ran out. Here's the rest.duh
Jul 31, 2001 11:43 AM
congratulations... so what, do you want a medal???
Sounds like a neat bike to me!Kevin M
Jul 31, 2001 12:20 PM
Unlike some roadies I like bikes that buck the "if it doesn't weigh < 18 lbs it's piece of crap" trend.

This sounds like a cool bike for commuting or just all around fun. 24 lbs is pretty light for that size bike. I am the same height as you and my Bianchi Eros (3x8 spd) weighs the same.

Enjoy your new ride!
too late, but...ak
Aug 1, 2001 6:47 AM
did you consider a cyclocross bike before you went to the hybrid section? They're more upright than road & touring bikes, but still nice and light (usually under 20). Just wondering if you thought about them and if so why you went to the hybrid-underworld.