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Old 03-17-2007, 08:44 AM
lawtalker lawtalker is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2007
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Default Novara Fushion Commuter - Any Opinions?


After a long period on the East Coast, I'm moving back to Portland at the end of the year. I can't wait! I'm a big fan of local living, and want to work and live in the same area. I'll be working downtown and plan on living somewhere in shallow SE. My wife plans on having a car, but I plan on using bike and bus to get around. I'm a recreational rider right now, but plan on riding to work once I get back home.

I had no idea there was such an active commuter sub-culture in PDX! I'm very happy to discover this because I think it will help me stay motivated to use the bike more than the bus.

I've done some reading and comparing on commuter-style bikes. I'm inclined to get a Klein because I have an Attitude and it has served me well over the years. However, most of the sweet, mountain-bikey rides seem impractical for everyday use and would still need commuter upgrades. I would like a bike that allows me to sit relatively upright and has most of the bells and whistles already attached. The Cannondale Street Premium <http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/cusa/urban/street/model-7SS8.html> seems to be the frontrunner for me so far.

However, I keep coming back to the Novara Fushion <http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000& productId=48075197&parent_category_rn=0> at REI. I'm really interested in this bike it seems less like a bike and more like a RIDE. It looks nice and seems to have everything a commuter needs already fit onto it. I'm also interested in the internal hub shifting and braking.

I checked for reviews on this forum and others, but I haven't found much commentary. Does anyone have an opinion on the Novara Fushion? Experience with it? Or, is there a better bike package that captures those features that I haven't found yet? I am realizing this is a more rich and complex world than I had imagined, and I'm still in the process of self-educating. I'd appreciate any advice.

Thx PDX. See you soon.
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Old 03-17-2007, 01:04 PM
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donnambr donnambr is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SE Portland
Posts: 152

I haven't tried out the Fusion myself, but I've heard some great things about it, and the couple of regular commuters I've seen on it around downtown look, well, like they're on it regularly. I have a Breezer Uptown 8, and I'm very happy with the internal hub gearing, and with the bike as a whole. The only issue I might have with the Fusion is that it has a standard Nexus 8 hub. I tried out bikes with the Nexus 7, the standard Nexus 8, and the premium Nexus 8 (red band), and I chose a bike with the premium because I though it a much smoother ride. Also, I have no experience with roller brakes. Have you? All I've heard is that they make it more difficult to remove the wheels, but again, I don't really know.

I'm sure you could give one a good test ride at any REI. If you're looking for more personal experiences with internal hub gear bikes, there are quite a few people who post on Bike Forums who have shared their experiences with riding, maintenance, and overall satisfaction. You can run a search. Have fun choosing your bike!
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Old 03-26-2007, 11:03 AM
djkenny djkenny is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: SE Woodstock
Posts: 74
Post Fusion

Here is my take on the Fusion. I wasnt that impressed. On paper they were fab...


For a commuter "style" bike. I would go for the Amsterdam (-$550) or a more entry level Breezer (-$440 for 3 spd entry level or under $750 for the Neat 7 spd Villager).

For a speedier or over 5 mile commute, something like a Hybrid flat bar with some upright stance. Trek has several available.

add racks, panniers, etc...you are set.

Last edited by djkenny; 03-26-2007 at 11:08 AM.
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