Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Novara Transfer

REI's Novara-branded bikes have a reputation of being tough and reasonably priced.   The Transfer is one of their "fully dressed" transportation bikes. The bike includes fenders, rack, dynamo-powered lights, chainguard, etc. -- pretty normal for a bike sold in say, Germany, but rare in the US.

Not much has changed in this model since we mentioned it back in 2010.  This year they've added a single-speed option, Transfer One, with a coaster brake at a lower price.

I had a chance to ride a Transfer this spring.  I found the ride to be surprisingly upright and can be adjusted via the honest quill stem.  The internal hub is an older Shimano 7-speed but it's well suited to the bike and the shifts were solid and quick.  The 35mm tires were more narrow that I would have preferred, but least they have a reflective strip and are puncture resistant.   The frame has an unusual love-it-or-hate-it step-through shape, is made of steel and comes in three sizes.  As you may know I have a thing for step-through frames so naturally I love the Troll-like shape.


Dweendaddy said...

I think this is the most legit ride it out of the store commuter bike out there.
I would upgrade the saddle, lights, handlebars and front rack (lack thereof), but it comes closer to solving all of my needs than almost any bike sold in the Us for under $1000.

Joseph E said...

With REI's 10% member discount, and once-a-year 20% discount on one item in Spring, this becomes one of the most affordable bikes to offer all the key features. I wish they would use a full chaincase, like the Breezer, and the frame shape is more "hate it" than "love it" for me, but this bike a is a great deal. I'm glad that someone at REI "gets it"