Novara Torero vs. Novara Matador vs. Novara Ponderosa-
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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Novara Torero vs. Novara Matador vs. Novara Ponderosa

    Hi All,

    I posted in the 29er group but was suggested to post here.

    I'm a big guy - currently at 315 pounds and 6'1". I've lost 45 pounds over the last 3 months by eating better and working out more. I want to help continue to drop the weight by biking in the spring/summer/fall. Friends of mine bike on some local rails to trails and pavement every weekend and I want to join them.

    I'm looking for an entry level 29er. I'm considering the Novara Torero from REI, which is currently 20% off - so would be $520. I haven't seen many reviews about this bike, but it appears to have some good components for the price.

    Any thoughts about it? Feel this bike would hold up for a guy my size? Any down faults if I want to use this bike just on regular paved roads when I'm not on the trails?

    I would like to stay around the $500-$600 range for my budget but could stretch slightly.

    In the 29er forum, I was told that I should look at the Ponderosa as it has a better air fork. Thoughts about that? Is it really worth the additional $280 upgrade for the fork and hydraulic brakes, plus a few other components?

    I'm also looking at the Matador as an option, but figure if I'm going to spend a little more than the Torero then I might as well get the Ponderosa.

    Thanks all!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: thrash_273's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    i have my 1st mtb torero for 3 months now. so far i have improve on my ride both trail and road. i have buddies with high quality and more expensive bikes range from $1500-$3000. i tell you that i can out run most of them just by using this bike. i can see a quality difference though by trying there bike, i just train harder. but its a very capable bike. i have upgraded my grip, handel bar and my stem should arrive later. im planning to replace the fork maybe next year, i have my eyes on rockshox i forgot the model. price range is around $199-$250

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Midtown's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Interesting. I never heard of this bike. What do you think the weight limit would be?

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Nubster's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Air fork is definitely worth the extra $$$, especially for a clyde. Now if you don't plan to ride on trails then you can get by without the air fork. But if you think you'll be on trails with rocks, roots, and some tight single track with lots of curves, the air fork will serve you well. To this day, upgrading my fork when I had my RockHopper gave me the biggest improvement of any upgrade I ever did to a bike.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: GOTA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Midtown View Post
    Interesting. I never heard of this bike. What do you think the weight limit would be?
    Novara is the house brand for REI stores.
    He who dares....wins!

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    The fork on the Torero is gonna be a wet noodle under you. If you can buy more bike than I'd recomend that, not sure the Ponderosa is the one though. There are other online options if you are interested, you won't be able to test ride those though. If you can't afford more, get the Torero and plan on spending $300 on a new fork sometime in the near future.

    As a 300+ guy, normal guys don't understand how hard big guys can be on bikes. The wheels, seatpost, and maybe crankset won't last. They will for a certain amount of time but hard to estimate without knowing exactly how you ride, what trails you're riding, and how hard you ride. Steam and bars would be a good thing to upgrade too, breaking a stem or bar can cause some nasty injuries.

    For reference, for a big guy to build up a tank that you can ride anywhere over anything, you're gonna need $1500 to $2000.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I ended up getting the Ponderosa and have been very happy with it. Have taken it out on Mountain bike trails and have had no issues so far (besides me being out of shape! ).

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