Why should I not buy this bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why should I not buy this bike?

    REI has their Novara Ponderosa 29ers on clearance. Orig $900, now selling for $650. For someone who won't be doing anything too crazy technical, I can't see anything wrong with this bike for the price. I was also looking at the Giant XTC 29er-2 and, granted, it's a better bike, but this Novara is literally half the price of the Giant. I could buy a lot of accessories with that extra cash. Besides being on the heavy side (~31 lbs for the large) and having a Dart 3 fork which I know a lot of people don't like, what am I missing? Is it just the fact that it's somewhat of a no-name brand? Look at the specs for $650...

    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 Shimano SLX
    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

  2. #2
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    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=641477

    If it was good, now it's amazing.

  3. #3
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    I was actually considering that as my first 29er, The only reason I didn't get it was b/c I don't have an REI shop anywhere near my house, so if they shipped the bike to my house, I don't know what I would do warranty wise if anything broke. After tax and shipping I think it would have been 780$ or something around that nunmber.... Not a bad deal at all. I wanted my first bike to have bb5 or bb7 brakes, and my local bike shop said they would install some bb7's on the GF Mamba and sell it to me for 950 (which I bought). If you have an REI shop to take the bike to than you should pop in it.

  4. #4
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    You will learn to hate the BB5's. The rest of the components look good.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  5. #5
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    That looks like a great buy. I was thrilled to get a 29er hardtail in May for $600 and the component spec was well below this bike's.

    My only concerns (minor) would be 160mm front rotor instead of 185mm, I hate those crappy Avid FR-5 levers that so many bikes have, and there's really no information provided about the headset. Worst-case, a nice-enough headset is under $40. I can't see anyone except a DH guy hating the BB5's. Personally, I think they're okay (but certainly not great), especially with a larger front rotor.
    I'm gonna miss me when I'm gone.
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  6. #6
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    Let me rephrase: If you've never had BB7's, you might like the BB5's just fine. If you've had BB7's, you will learn to hate them. They will work great if you bust out the allen wrench and adjust them every time you walk by your bike, every time you ride your bike, and every time you use them to stop your bike.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  7. #7
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    Go for it. I bought a second-hand Novara mtb back in the early 90's, very solid, in Tange steel, no less. It served me well for many years until I finally sold it last year.

    Did they make Ponderosas back then? I think that's what it was, but not sure as I repainted and rebuilt it eventually. I wouldn't hesitate to buy REI. They stand behind their products and are super helpful in the store...
    2015 Santa Cruz Tallboy
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  8. #8
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    Since you were looking at Giant XTCs did you happen across these?http://giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bike...11/6966/43133/

    Threw those in just for arguments sake. I know theres not enough of that goin' around.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koppuh Klyde
    Since you were looking at Giant XTCs did you happen across these?http://giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bike...11/6966/43133/

    Threw those in just for arguments sake. I know theres not enough of that goin' around.

    I test rode the Talon 2. Not bad, but I wasn't crazy about the fork. It just felt kinda cheap. As much as I love my old steel Giant ATX 760, I'm leaning away from Giant for my new purchase and towards this Novara or a Marin Alpine Trail or possibly a Kona Kahuna. The Marin is probably the most entry level, but it had a very sweet ride when I test rode it, followed closely by the Kona. I would say the Novara was third as far as feel, but that low price keeps it in the running.

    Any thoughts on the Marin or Kona?

  10. #10
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    I have a Marin Palisades Trail 29er which i believe is the same frame as the Alpine Trail, with different components and i couldn't be happier. Admittedly i paid way more than what that Novara is, and it looks like it has some pretty good components on it. Ultimately i would go with the one that rides the best or fits the best that falls into your price range. Any one of those bikes isn't going to need immediate changes/upgrades except maybe for the personal stuff, ie saddle, grips, pedals.

    -Bryce

  11. #11
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    After riding it for a while, you will probably see how light the other bikes are and wish you had purchased something lighter. I know.
    I got a Speicalized Rockhopper Comp Disc 29 - nice bike, but I can't wait to get the weight off it!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewMiller
    I was actually considering that as my first 29er, The only reason I didn't get it was b/c I don't have an REI shop anywhere near my house, so if they shipped the bike to my house, I don't know what I would do warranty wise if anything broke. After tax and shipping I think it would have been 780$ or something around that nunmber.... Not a bad deal at all. I wanted my first bike to have bb5 or bb7 brakes, and my local bike shop said they would install some bb7's on the GF Mamba and sell it to me for 950 (which I bought). If you have an REI shop to take the bike to than you should pop in it.
    REI won't ship (most) bike to customers houses. They must be assembled by a certified technician in an REI shop, for liability reasons.

    I actually just sold 10 of these to the local police department yesterday, but they will be switching out the X7 rear derailers for X9s. I guess that's what happens when they let the one rider on the force help pick the bikes. They had budgeted 1000$ per bike but wound up paying about 700 each.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Polishdog
    After riding it for a while, you will probably see how light the other bikes are and wish you had purchased something lighter. I know.
    I got a Speicalized Rockhopper Comp Disc 29 - nice bike, but I can't wait to get the weight off it!!
    Point taken. That's one reason why I'm leaning towards the Kona Kahuna. It weighs 29 lbs vs 31.5 for the Novara. Not a huge difference, but the Kahuna did have a nicer feel to it and over time I imagine I can cut some more of that weight back if I so choose.

  14. #14
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    I have a Giant XTC2 29er in lay-away right now, LBS price 1000.00, I've read alot of complaints here about the dart2 and if you just look at the difference between it and the Bomber on the Giant in person you'll see that the Bomber is twice the fork. I went to my shop wanting a Giant XTC 2 that comes with the Dart2 but once my sales guy showed me the 29er for just 200.00 more the choice was a no brainer esp for a clyde like me. IMHO this sounds like a case of getting what you pay for, half the price for half the bike, if a 650 dollar bike will make you happy go for it.

  15. #15
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    I bought one of those REI Ponderosa 29ers last night as my first 29er and my first MB since I was a kid many moons ago. From looking at the other options in my area it seemed like an awesome value.

    So far I'm really liking it but I can see what you guy are talking about with weight. It does seem heavy.

  16. #16
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    the fork is the weak link

    The bike looks nice other than the fork. The dart 2 is a coil sprung, heavy pogo stick. It weighs more than five pounds. The fork upgrade you will soon seek will push you over the original price of the giant, Kona or specialized. Beware of the hidden costs of bargain bikes.

    Bikes direct has smoking deals on 29ers. For under a grand you can get a bike with a reba fork and great components.
    29ers are more fun!

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