Saturday, February 2, 2008

Touring Bike

With the touring season approaching, the thoughts of a sport touring bike began to simmer. After lots of research, Novara Randolee looked to be the best fit. Today was the day for a trip to REI in Cranston R.I. where there was a good selection of Randolees in stock. I was not impressed with the ride. Not disappointed, but it didn't strike me as being any different from the Marin I now own.

The Novara Safari sitting on the end caught my eye. Since I didn't know anything at all about disk brakes, I never paid much attention to bikes with them. The wrench at REI who had lots of experience with touring customers, answered all my questions and pretty much eased all my concerns. I decide to give the Safari a test ride and liked it a lot.

REI has a thirty day satisfaction policy, and with that, I decide to make the purchase. I have to say that dealing with REI was a very good experience. The two staff, sales and wrench, worked very well together, answered all my questions and didn't make any kind of pitch on a bike unless I asked.

I do three distinct types of riding. Road, commute and sport touring. I have a bike for each now and feel like I'm covered for any comeuppance. Like having all the right sport coats in the closet.

Now for the tent.


  1. I've always wanted to try a set of those bars. Tell us what you think of them.

  2. You can never have too many bikes in your quiver. But it does sound like you a few bases covered now.

    Topeak makes a nice little compact tent specifically for bike touring. It even uses the bike if you want to add front porch room to your tent for gear etc. It is a one man tent. Packs up smaller than a basketball. Only around $200 or less.

  3. Looks like that bike is ready for anything. What size wheels are those? 26",700c?

  4. Great bike! I've never seen one in person myself, but they seem like they'd be nice. And I can't remember if I mentioned this before or not, but Spiral Cage of the "Those who look at the sunset" blog has a Novara Safari as his backup bike. It was his main ride until he got a Rivendell Atlantis (lucky guy!)

  5. That's a nice bike. I was at an REI last fall and a Safari caught my eye as well. I also like the Randonee. Next Saturday I'm picking up my new touring bike. I went with the Surly Long Haul Trucker. The Atlantis just wasn't in my price range.

  6. I want a touring bike. Let us know about the bars. I got my son a Sierra Design Light Year 3 season, 1 man tent. He really likes it. I like REI. I've always gotten good service from them without pressure.