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  1. #1
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    Won an REI bike - which one to get?

    I won an REI Novarra Buzz bike in a raffle last week. It's $400 which I can apply to another bike if I want. I have a $500 gift card as well. What should I get for commuting in Southern California over road, bike path and sandy dirt roads with some hills?

    I have a mtb and a road bike. I want something that I can put a rack on and carry stuff.

    It has to be a bike that REI sells.

    Your help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Which way? Uphill.
    Reputation: nepbug's Avatar
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    The Novara Transfer is pretty nice at $599, if you want 700C wheels you can get the Fusion for $749. I think the Transfer is the better way to go personally.

    It looks like you have good mountain bikes so if you're not going to be commuting often, maybe get a road bike so you can try that out.
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  3. #3
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    I agree on the Fusion. Sweet commuter.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the advice. Those are both really cool looking bikes.

    My problem is that I think all bikes look great. I'm going to go to REI and ride a few. Hopefully that will help me decide.

  5. #5
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    I have the Big Buzz with 700c tires

    I've never changed a thing on this bike and have over 3000 miles on it. Its pretty relaxed and not as fast as a comparable road bike, but its fun and durable. The bonus is that disk brakes on a road bike really piss off the roadie purists, especially when I pass them by (which really doesn't happen all that much, since I'm usually too busy smiling and enjoying my ride).
    Just Ride!

  6. #6
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Whoa- cool! I think you need to get a Randonee (52cm) and ship it to me. Otherwise, follow your own suggestion and go ride what they have. The cool thing about your situation is that all the options will be available to check out in person- much better than than the research, ask, cross your fingers and order routine that`s needed when you can`t find one is stock to ride.

  7. #7
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    I agree...go with the Randonee. It's the best value of a commuter bike around.

  8. #8
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    Again, thanks for your advice. I have written down each recommendation and read the reviews from REI's website. They all look great. Hopefully they'll have them to try this weekend.

  9. #9
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    Another option

    The REI in Marina (near Monterey) carries Kona's. The Dew series is a good idea... you could test one out somewhere, then put in an order over the phone. Shipped to your house for not much extra either.

    Some stores carry Marin's, some Cannondales, this one has Konas...

  10. #10
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    I don`t know if it`s the same with all REI locations or for all products, but I recently ordered a large item that would have had shipping fees plus a $30 oversize surcharge and the shipping was completely free to the store. They notified me when it was in and I went down and picked it up.

  11. #11
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    The Randonee looks good. It has all of the rack and fender braze-ons you'd want. Pick up some of the Safari or Ortlieb panniers too.

  12. #12
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    And if you get that Randonee, remember I need a 52
    Really, that`s one of the bikes I`m considering- it`s designed as a medium duty touring bike and would be very well suited to commuting, but I didn`t mean to push it at you. Although it isn`t terribly expensive, you might do just as well with one that costs even less (who can`t find a use for an extra couple hundred bucks !?!), depending on your application. Just ride some and see what turns your crank. You really can`t go too far wrong with any bike out of there- they`re all solid, down-to-earth bikes.

  13. #13
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    Finally Picked One- Big Buzz

    Well I went to the REI store last Friday with the list of everything you guys recommended and checked them out. I decided to get the bike I won; the Buzz V.

    Yesterday I went back to get fitted and ended up getting the Big Buzz afterall. The salesman said the Buzz V is the Dodge Caravan of commuters and the Big Buzz is the Camaro and I think I agree with him. For me, the Buzz V was a much softer ride but it was slower and a bit of a slog. The Big Buzz covers ground quickly and has higher gears for once you get going but it was definitely bumpier. The Buzz V had the look I wanted but I'll like riding the Big Buzz more.

    The best part was that the Buzz V went up in price since I won it and REI credited me with the higher price. They are so nice there. The head of the bike department spent 2 hours with me while I agonized over what I wanted, and for all he knew, I wasn't going to spend a dime. As it is, with the credit and the membership kickbacks, I got an $800 bike for $200.

    So thanks everyone for your input.

    Now I have to learn about racks and panniers, something I have no familiarity with.

  14. #14
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    Awesome!

    I think you'll be happy with the biggun. I put carbon fiber bar ends on either side of the stem, so I can ride it with my arms tucked in.

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  15. #15
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    Those are some blazin wheels! nice

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fender Roads
    The REI in Marina (near Monterey) carries Kona's. The Dew series is a good idea... you could test one out somewhere, then put in an order over the phone. Shipped to your house for not much extra either.

    Some stores carry Marin's, some Cannondales, this one has Konas...
    I LOVE my Dew Deluxe. Hydraulic discs on 700c wheels are a blast. The geometry is perfect for urban assault.

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