New 2010 Novara Ponderosa 29er! Ordered and picking it up this weekend!
Hey folks! After FAR TO MANY HOURS researching and obsessing, I decided to purchase my first REAL mountain bike. REI has the Novara Ponderosa 29er listed at $899.99 but members get 20% off through april 16th which in my no sales tax state brought the total out the door price down to $719.99!
I was wondering if anyone else has this 29er and would like to begin sharing experiences with it. There is very little about the bike on this forum or elsewhere for that matter. REI has a youtube video of the bike in use, but otherwise NADA! NIL! ZIP! ZILCH! ZERO! oh, yeah.. so.....
Link to REI video....2009 not 2010 model but still...
Info off the site regarding the bike...
Novara Ponderosa 29er Bike - 2010 Specs
Frame 6061 aluminum
Fork RockShox Dart 3 29 in. with lockout, 80mm of travel
Crankset Truvativ Blaze 44/32/22
Bottom bracket Truvativ Power Spline
Shifters SRAM X-7
Front derailleur SRAM X-7
Rear derailleur SRAM X-7
Rear cogs SRAM PG-950 11/34, 9-speed
Number of gears 27
Brakes Avid BB5 disc
Brake levers Avid FR 5
Rims WTB FX-28 disc
Front hub Shimano M475 Disc, 32h
Rear hub Shimano M475 Disc, 32h
Tires Kenda Karma 29x1.9, with folding bead
Handlebar Butted aluminum 31.8mm
Stem 3D forged aluminum
Seat post Aluminum microadjustable
Saddle WTB Pure V Race
Pedals Alloy platform
Headset Integrated semi-cartridge
Chain SRAM PC 951
Weight - none given. I have read here and there that it is a bit on the heavy side but it is a 29er so hey... Yeah.... I dont have big money to spend to make it lighter.
Seems like one hell of a deal for $720 bucks! I have read horror stories about the Dart 3 but overall the bike seems to be well equiped at this price when compared to others in the same price range ($720 not the retail of course.)
I will put up some photos when I pick it up this weekend and will later write up some personal reviews on 1st rides.
SO! Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?
Just got home with it! Took it for a quick 20 minutes run to see what I think. Initial impression of the 29" wheel? LOVE IT! Thing is like a Maximog! I run it up and down curbs, and down a close to home single track that has lots of tree roots and bumps. Runs over that stuff like my old 26er on regular sod grass. Smoooth. I will take some pictures of it and do a proper write up after my first ride a week from now. I want to run through forest park here in Portland Oregon and will need a better bike carrier for the Jeep first, otherwise I would do it tomorrow. Next weekend for sure!
other first impressions
-Weight: some have said the bike is heavy. I am 38 years old and to me, this bike is super light compared to what I rode in growing up and my full suspension trek in the late 90's. Those who think it is heavy must be younger and do not understand what HEAVY was.... The weight seems very well balanced as well.
- 29" Wheels: Nothing short of amazing for those who like to saddle ride and bomb through single track without getting saddle ass. Will see how it handles in the air soon!
- bb5 breaks are bit spongy feeling but will likely improve over break in time. I hope.
-SRAM x7 shifts better than my older shimano Deore setup did. Longevity?
the frame looks a bit like the performance frames on another thread
but you could get a 29er from other places like BD with hydraulic brakes, higher level fork for less money than $719
for example - this one is $699 delivered
hydro brakes juicy 5's rockshox tora X7 sram stuff
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I did look at the BD bikes. Nice bikes too. But my local shop wanted $80 for assmebly and adjustment which put the bike over that of the Novara. Plus, the return policy at REI rocks. Plus i got to ride one first to be sure it fit me well. At least for me, the REI bike at the sale price was a better way to go this time around. If I still had my Park tool kit I would have built it myself and would have been more likely to purchase the BD bike, but I sold it =(
I am pretty much a returning noobie overall. I rode BMX as a kid, and did a lot of all mountain in the late 90's but have not rode much since then. This is my return to biking you might say. I put this thread up to help others who might be looking into a new 29er on a budget.
Late to the thread here--a good buddy of mine got a 2009 29er Ponderosa last year. He really likes it and it seems to do well for a bike at this price point. He got it during their annual sale and got a great deal on it. My biggest issue with it was that the fork isn't spectacular. But that's an easy (maybe not cheap) upgrade assuming you get back into biking so much that you wear out the stock one. Otherwise, it has withstood the test of time fairly well. Way oversized handlebars (for east coast), so he trimmed those down. He had some rear deraileur issues and he can never seen to find the sweet spot on his brake adjustment, but that's the beauty of paying a bit more at REI, just bring it in. Our local REI has some great mechs that have earned my trust and biz time and time again.
I think you did well with this bike and your month or so of riding will probably confirm this.