Novara 2011 Preview

Visited REI HQ yesterday for Carnivelo, a celebration of bike culture and a preview of Novara’s 2011 line. Highlights include:

Single Speed

novara_2011 1.jpg

Mixed feelings on the combination of colors with a minimalist single speed, but still a nice bike and Novara’s take is to do a single speed without a flat bar or ridiculously uncomfortable drop. It has bottle cage bosses too.


novara_2011 3.jpg

With the exception of their folding bike, the urban line is all steel like this one. That’s a good industry trend to forego crap aluminum for steel.


novara_2011 2.jpg

Seeing this, I said, “don’t tease, build this please.”

We’ll have more details as this line gets finalized. REI is also returning to Interbike with us this year, as a sponsor of the Mobile Social Interbike Remix.

More Carnivelo photos on Flickr.


Belt drive? Replaceable Paragon sliding drop outs? Internal hub? Disc brakes?

Be still my beating commuter heart. Is that bike drop barred or flat barred?

Which one you mean? The prototype?

That first bike cracks me up. When I worked at REI 4-5 years I told Steve G. that Novara should do a simple, single speed, lightweight street bike with an upright, sweptback bar. I even gave him a name: the Novara Whisper.

As for steel versus aluminum, I’m not so sure. A lot of the more inexpensive steel bikes are built from pretty hefty over sized tubes that deliver a pretty dead ride in my experience. Anyone who thinks a Surly or Soma delivers the “steel if real” feel truly hasn’t ridden a high quality steel bike. An older bike made from 531 or SL on the other hand is a very different story.

Or take a dull steel frame and liven it up with a set of velocity rims . . . a reader on Flickr [thought the color mix]( was off on the bike and distracted from the minimalism of a single speed. I didn’t disagree. Also to your point, I didn’t ride any of this bikes. I did ride the new XTR from Shimano’s booth and that’s another post.

You should get out of your cloistered backyard, land in Thailand or India and the bulk of touring bikes being ridden out of Europe across the world are Aluminium with a smattering of steel.I have owned both and find that the differences are minimal, been riding steel since I was six (1957) and am still riding a 1983 Mountain bike (Tange steel) around as well as two folders that are aluminium.In the interim have had a number of “modern” bikes with a great many shortcomings for an old road runner like me.Will stick with what I have till I get to England and buy a handmade Thorn tourer or the like for the trip back , once again.From the road to England via Asia.

Have you been reading us long? Check the [travel tag]. We’re ridden all manner of bikes all over, including India, and on aluminum folding bikes. What I’m referring to is an industry that sold consumers harsh riding frames because they got better margins and we’d rather see new bikes that are better made. That opinion excludes all them old bikes out there.

Yes, the commuter prototype.

I think this is a savvy move by Novara. They’re carving out a niche away from racing bicycles where the big names duke it out with ProTour sponsorships and focusing on where they can make an impact.

Plus, look at where most REI stores are located: places with wet or snowy weather through a large chunk of the year. The bike is clearly meant to address that use.

And my question still stands: drop bar or flat bar?

Yep—that bike has a swept back bar like the single speed shown above.

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