Novara 09 Buzz Road

We’re riding this bike at Interbike, zipping around and to and from the Mobile Social. Novara is attending the event, hanging out with us, and wants to hear what you think of their new Buzz Road.

Our take:

All the attention to detail is evident
Urban Assault intended for commuters
Novara branded tires; interesting
Did China run out of steel building the Bird’s Nest?

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had a test ride on it a couple of months ago. I wish I had waited before I bought my flatbar one…

It’s cool… and the paint is nicely done.

What is the deal with those spoke patterns?  Yuck.

For someone like me that despises twin-paired spokes, tri-paired spokes are tres worse! Not my favorite aesthetic, but I’m sure strong and true. Those tires are made by Vittoria for Novara.

It looks pretty, but what are the specs?

No me gusta the slanted top tube.  Keep ‘em parallel to the ground, I say!

Get the rear brake on the chain stay! It just makes it harder to mount a rear rack or fenders. Looks like you might have some toe over on the front there. Did this replace the element?

Is it named for the road noise coming through the aluminum frame?  And what’s with disk brakes on road(ish) bikes?  Learn to set your brakes properly, and how to use your fronts.  Geez.

@jamesmallon - you must not be from a wet, hilly place.  I have a downhill into a stopsign “T” at the bottom of my steep hill.  On a wet morning it was a 50/50 shot that I could slow down quick enough to not roll into traffic with calipers.  Disc road bikes are perfect for around my area (Seattle).

I ride through all seasons in Toronto, including wet springs and slushy winters: I know my $#!t.  I can choose to lock wheels on all my three bikes, should I wish: each of them rim-braked.  It just takes using your front and throwing your weight aft of the saddle.  If one’s grip is less strong, get kool-stop pads.

James, there’s no reason to start a pissing match. 
Personally, I happen to agree with Andrew, the all weather capability of discs is unmatched as they’re totally unaffected by the sort of things that cause rim brakes to lose effectiveness.  Even someone who supposedly knows “their $#!t” can’t argue that it doesn’t take more effort and skill to stop in wet slushy conditions with rim brakes than it does a properly tuned disc brake package.  I’m sure you’ll agree that more confident braking is safer braking and may help others make the plunge towards becoming a full time rider like yourself.

Hang on, Hang on - I might have been the first to challenge so I’m sorry for that

I’m not sure how hilly Toronto is, but I live in a 2mi hill where you coast to 40mph easy.  I went through brake pads every month and rims once a year when I had traditional road brakes and I never felt that sure of my them.  I could lock them up - sure, but that was usually the last thing I needed.  The modulation on the discs is super nice.

Most folks who challenge the value of discs have been from the midwest :).

Check out the ‘09 Trek Portland.  They down graded the drive train from 105 to Tiagra, brakes from Avid BB7 to Shimano but kept the $1699 price tag.  Novara is offering almost the same bike (sans carbon fork) for $600 less.

Did anyone else notice the down grade trend on components on the ‘09 models.  Also check out Redline conquest pro.


Yes and that’s a good point to mention. The value of the dollar and demand for materials from China, as well as the Olympics, has affected price/value.

We’ve got the Redline on test and for Cross Season.

To discs, I’ve got them on the Bettie and wouldn’t have it any other way. I prefer long-reach brakes for rain bikes than discs, but understand why cyclists are doing it. The problem is wheel availability and of course the squealing.

this thread has a lot of squealing too…


I have 2004 Conquest Pro that has disc brakes.

The stock 130 spaced wheels were disc compatible but were pinched into a 135 spaced frame and broke spokes (28h).

I had a set of wheels built - Velocity deep V’s 32h, Deore XT hubs, and 3x lacing with beefier spokes.

Not the lightest solution but for commuting it doesn’t matter a whole lot.

For me the whole point is having a ton of stopping power and NOT locking up.

I think Novara’s offering is great.

It is similar to a bike that disappeared from the Redline lineup a couple of years ago - the Conquest Disc-R I think it was.

Any idea when the 2009 Novara catalog will be posted on  I’m really interested in some of the bikes show in Bike Hugger and wanted some details…

This bike could be the one I’ve been waiting for! I’ve been pining for a Randonee but the 09 color is the most ugly green ( I thought last years brown was bad and now the green, ugh). Plus I really wanted a touring bike with discs. Now I see the Buzz Road in a good color and with disc brakes,... but Aluminum??? Steel Please!!!, and do you know the chain-stay length? I want to add panniers so need some longish chainstays like the Randonee. Or better yet,, make the Randonee with discs in a more up beat color.

The CS length is, I believe, 445mm and the wheelbase is like 107cm. Longer than the Randonee in both respects.

The only problem I can see is the fork- I wish they could’ve given it a steel or carbon fork.

The issue with Novara’s line is the weight. Understandably they’re balancing budget and features, but we hope in future product cycles they go on a diet.

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