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EdgeOf17
10-14-2007, 04:52 PM
Hello there,
I am new to the area, from Colorado to Portland for school. Where I came from, commuting on bike was not too popular, but I love the idea and want to commute on my bike around town. Since I am new to biking, I have lots of questions, gear, clothes, etc. I am reading my Oregon Bicycle Manual, that's the first thing!

But first, I need a bike. The bike I have right now is a MTB, but would like something designed for commuting. I now work at REI and receive a discount on the Novara line of bikes. I am currently looking at the '07 Forza. The price is in range for me a after the deep discount. I've done some Googling on it and read some pretty good reviews. Anyone have any opinions here? I will be using it to commute to work downtown, about eight miles round trip and then to school, up to 20 miles round trip. I won't be doing any long distance cycling/racing, yet, I think. The Forza is really the only commuting bike from Novara available right now, I don't have much money.

Is it best to try the bike out for a spin before buying? If so, what exactly am I looking for in a test drive?

Thank you for your input and I look forward to getting into the forums more and more as I learn!

The Forza http://www.rei.com/product/744791

J

K'Tesh
10-15-2007, 12:49 AM
Hello there,
I am new to the area, from Colorado to Portland for school. Where I came from, commuting on bike was not too popular, but I love the idea and want to commute on my bike around town. Since I am new to biking, I have lots of questions, gear, clothes, etc. I am reading my Oregon Bicycle Manual, that's the first thing!

Welcome to Oregon... Always glad to meet another bicyclist...

Suggestions for Gear so you can survive Oregon's weather...hmmm:rolleyes:

FENDERS! Gotta love em!

Lights! Can't have enough (unless you can vaporize cars already)(if you can, lemme know where you found em)

Cycle computer (just for bragging about how far you've gone this year){I'm at 4.1K+ this year}:D

Clothing (optional, there's no Oregon state law baning public nudity);)

Pedal Power... you've already read about that.

Rubberside rolls better
K'Tesh :)
http://beam.to/ufobike

wyeast
10-15-2007, 08:49 AM
Welcome to Portland! :D

I can't speak much on Novara's - they seem to be decent bikes, particularly since you already work there and can get a discount. The Forza should do you well - heed K'Tesh's advice and put some fenders on that bad boy. ;)

Absolutely take it for a test ride. You want it to fit you well, even 20 miles is a long way to go on an ill-fitting bike.

Other gear to consider:

Lights - it'll be dark soon, and even in the daytime they're helpful in foul weather. Downtown core can get pretty dark with all the buildings. You might want to even consider two - one on the bike, and another mounted high on a bag or your helmet so that you can be seen among traffic. Careful with the bag-mounted option. I see a lot of bicyclists with lights on bags that end up pointed at the sky, helping nobody.

Rain Gear - good jacket, and some shoe covers at least.

LOCK - Bike crime in the city is ridiculous. Get yourself a solid lock and/or chain. Don't consider cables unless you're locking the bike to your desk at school. ;)

Hope that helps. Welcome again!

bikieboy
10-15-2007, 12:15 PM
Edge, check this out for a plethora of bike maps for getting around the Portland (http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=34809)

Also, you may be interested in the Portland Ride Guide (http://www.portlandonline.com/transportation/index.cfm?c=34811)

welcome to Stumptown!

lazlo
10-16-2007, 11:05 AM
Welcome to Portland! Yes, test ride many bikes before you buy. I did a lot of research and thought I knew what I wanted, but once I road a few I knew for sure. When you find the right bike you'll just feel it.

geoff
10-16-2007, 12:18 PM
Even though they are out of your price range, test ride some $1000+ bikes. Ride some cheaper bikes too. Ride some mtbs, hybrids and road bikes. That way you can get a feel for the style that you're going to be most comfortable on.

For commuting, I would reccomend something that has mounts for racks and clearance for FULL COVERAGE fenders. You may not want them today, but after you ride for a while, you might...

Personally, I would not buy that bike to commute on. The front shock is heavy, and virtually useless on a commuter unless you have tendonitis or something.

However, with your discount, I'm sure you'll find a novarra that is comfortable for you.

EdgeOf17
11-05-2007, 09:58 AM
Well, I ended up sticking with the old Novara MTB that I've had for years. Got it tuned up, put on some full coverage fenders and some slicks, it gets me around just fine. I'll wait and see what the new 2008 lineup has to offer. The Forza was not at all comfortable! Thanks for the advice though!

K'Tesh
11-05-2007, 09:24 PM
Congrats on the newly tuned up MTB...

Besides the fenders... what about the safety equip? Did you get any of that?
'Cause it's dark out there early.

Be Seen! Be Safe
K'Tesh

EdgeOf17
11-05-2007, 09:58 PM
Congrats on the newly tuned up MTB...

Besides the fenders... what about the safety equip? Did you get any of that?
'Cause it's dark out there early.

Be Seen! Be Safe
K'Tesh

Yep, picked me up a Cat-Eye Headlight, a really cool and VERY bright Planet Bike Blinky Super Flash Tail light, ummm, helmet (fitted very well), new jacket, with nice reflectors on the elbows, so that is where I am at. I am very surprised though, at the number of bikers who don't use any kind of lighting at all. I just got home from work, and almost nailed another biker at Williams and Dekum, the guy had NO lights on him at all and I didn't see any reflectors. I saw three cyclists tonight with no lights, grrrr.

djkenny
11-05-2007, 10:51 PM
I had the same experience. Amazing that people can feel safe not having any blinky on the back. Also, what is up with people deciding to ignore the stops signs on Ladd's addtion?? It was after 6pm and quite dark. Some people.

Oh yeah. I think the Randonee is a sweet bike at REI. Well made, quality, steel frame road bike. Many seem to enjoy touring on them as well.

For a more upright bike fit for under 12 mile trip each way, the Fusion commuter has a great deal to offer. Fenders, internal hub gearing, lights, etc. They were on sale over a yr ago for just over $350. That was a steal. Sometimes Randonee's can be marked down as low as the mid-to low $400's.

Granted, your MTB is plenty good enough. Should hold up the best over years of falling on RR tracks (gulity of that tonight:( ) Ruined a 10 yr old pair of my fave Diesel jeans.

Welcome to Portland...

... Been here for just over a yr and I love saying those words.

EdgeOf17
11-06-2007, 12:12 AM
Ah, geez, sorry about the jeans! Ouch! The 2008 models will be out this month, so we may see some markdowns soon... I found the Forza at the REI Garage Sale, mint, one broken spoke, $149, it was a Large though, just too big for me, but what a steal! I will be looking at a better bike come spring though I think, when I have some money and have time to really look around. I walk into some of the bike shops around town and feel so intimidated by the employees and selections. They all seem to have the "mechanic" feel to them, haven't yet found one to be helpful to a newbie.

I know that I am thoroughly enjoying the city on bike though! I hate being in the car now!

Thanks for the welcome too!