Novara Buzz Fly By

In our latest Huggacast episode, we check out Novara’s new Buzz Fly By. The Fly By is a folding bike designed by Dahon that features a Nexus hub, unique graphics, seatpost pump system, and lots of attention to detail. Of all the bikes Novara showed us, the Fly By is my fav.

flyby.jpg

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13 Comments

This looks great.

My main problem with the Dahon experience so far is the lack of a local outlet to back up their work. 

Buying from your local REI should ensure that the bike gets a good once over before you buy it (checking the spoke tensions is key - I had to rebuild my wheels after only a few months because the original wheelbuild was pretty crappy).

When my frame broke, it was a pain in the a** dealing with Dahon and a shop from whom I didn’t buy the bike.  Buying from REI would have alleviated this problem!

Sweet.

That’s a good point—REI’s warranties are the best. When I needed the Airporter suitcase for the [Breezer](http://bikehugger.com/2007/04/dorky_little_folding_bike.htm) I took to [China](/tag/beijing), Gregg’s helped me, but I don’t think they’re a stocking dealer. I also suggested to Novara that they stock the Airporter, as the travel bag accesory for the Dahon’s is really meant for buses, trains, and ferries.

The bike really looks good. Wiith graphics like “no gas pumps” and other surprises.

Are these ‘08 bikes? Does Novara/REI have availability and pricing information yet?

Happy to see a Nexus hub too. This looks pretty nice, now, when can I try one! :)

Bob,

Yep the Fly By is new for 08 and we’ll show Novara’s entire 08 line in the Huggacasts.

I’ll check with REI on pricing/availability and I expect those are going to sell well.

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for checking out the Buzz Fly-By huggacast.  It’s great to see all the interest. The retail on this little gem has been set @ $599.usd and will come with our version of the El-Bolso soft bag.  ETA is still being confirmed but we’re shooting to have it in-store and on-line sometime in Jan.

i had one more question that i haven’t yet seen addressed - what will this puppy weight? similar to the dahon curve sl?

http://www.dahon.com/us/curvesl.htm

Bob,

Yes it is. I’d expect it to weigh the same, with the biggest difference being the Nexus hub v. the Sturmey-Archer spec’d on the Curve.

Actually, the weight would be closer to one of Dahon’s Mu bikes… the Curve SL is a 16” wheel bike… the Fly By is a 20”. http://www.dahon.com/us/mup8.htm

Just a little clarification from someone very familiar with Dahon’s excellent lineup… ;)

REI members (membership is free) save 20% on merchandise, including bikes, through March 2008. That lowers the FlyBy to $479 (USD). Strike while the iron is hot.

Doesn’t Dahon bikes havea 200lb rider weight limit?  What is the weight limit on this ride?

I just ordered my Novara Buzz Fly By on REI.com!  The March members’ discount is a great deal if you’re buying something at list price.  Plus, I applied my ‘07 dividend and am having the bicycle delivered to my local REI, so no shipping charge.  And they’ll assemble it for me.

My out-the-door total was under $400!

At that price, even if the bicycle is just okay, it’s a deal. 

(And, yes, in case you’re wondering, I do own several non-folding bicycles.  I will use the Fly By for air travel, quick trips to the coffee shop, that sort of usage.  Definitely not my primary bicycle.)

I’ll repost later after I’ve ridden my Fly By and tell you how it is.

That’s a total, absolute deal. Congrats—as there’s not a whole lot of those available

hey everyone,

I posted here on March 15 that I’d ordered a Buzz Fly By from REI.com and I picked it up from my local REI store last week.  I have since ridden it five times and can share my thoughts now (call it a “micro-review”).

Overall, the bicycle is better than I was expecting.  Purportedly it weighs 27 lbs but it feels lighter, more like 23.  Not sure why this is — maybe a sensory thing because it’s small-shaped?  (One of my bicycles is a carbon-fiber Specialized road bike that weighs 18 lbs so I know light when I feel it.)  The Fly By is also more solidly put together than I was expecting for my $400.  The frame is stiff and squeak-free despite needing to fold in half.  The other parts and pieces are solid too with the exception being when you stand and stomp.  Then you feel the slight bends and twists (no cracks or breaks, though, so far!).  But you don’t ride this bike that way.

The ride is smooth and way-upright, almost like you’re pedaling a unicycle.  You cannot “get aero” on the Fly By.  Then again, I find the “hello I’m here!” position good for riding in dense traffic, sidewalks, etc. — places where you’re not head-down hammering.  She rolls smoothly too, and the fattish tires give ease to road vibration and bumps.  The saddle is nice also, nicer than I was expecting.  I had pre-decided to upgrade the saddle once I picked up my bike at the shop but after I sat on it, I decided I liked the Novara saddle as-is. 

The riding position and the fat tires mean you don’t zoom.  This isn’t a fast bicycle.  But you don’t feel slow — you feel relaxed.  The brakes stop well enough but aren’t precision-crafted attenuators. 

The Nexus internal hub is cool.  It works.  The grip-twist shifter works well too, and there’s a little window that shows you a number (1-7) corresponding to what gear you’re in.  I am liking this internal hub thing.  And that’s coming from a man who thinks the derailleur is a high art form.

No one at REI bothered to demonstrate how to fold my bike when I picked it up, and, to be fair, I didn’t ask them about it.  I read the manual first and then tried it myself.  Easy peasy!  You need to do it a few times to get the settings just right (e.g., how low do the handlebars need to be set for tighter folding) but you figure it out quickly and it truly does fold down as promised in less than one minute.

Other tidbits: 

The handlebar grips are really nice.  Silly maybe to highlight, but again, the quality surprised me.  The pattern and the texture of the grips are very pleasant. 

There’s an integrated bell in the front brake lever — how cute!  You flick the ringer with your left index finger and ding you’ve warned that jogger that you’re coming up on his left.  Very cute integration and very useful for the kind of riding I’ll likely be doing.

The included carrying bag is an thick-fabric open sack type of job, not a snug-fitting zippered case.  It’s like putting your folded bike into a super-sized Whole Foods canvas bag, if that image helps.  It works but it’s not as elegant and cool as I was hoping for.  The carrying bag does come with its own nylon carrying sack (yes: a carrying sack for the carrying bag!) and that sack can be worn as a backpack, so that’s kinda nifty.

Speaking of nifty, I tried the seatpost-that-doubles-as-a-Schrader pump —- and it works!  It’s flimsy, though, so I wouldn’t use it frequently.  Good for emergencies or just whipping out to impress friends and family.  A likely upgrade target:  Replace this trick seatpost with a real stiff lightweight seatpost.

I removed the included fenders and reflectors, BTW, and the Fly By looks way sharper that way, IMHO.  I kept the kickstand, though, so call me contrarian.  I like the utility the kickstand provides, and this bicycle is all about utility.

Surprisingly (there’s that word again), the bicycle is pretty cool-looking.  I must admit to being a bicycle esthetic snob of sorts — but com’on, the sport is a beautiful sport with beautiful machines.  So my personal tastes are high.  But the Fly By looks cool.  It definitely looks cute.  Call it the MINI Cooper of bicycles!

I am loving it, in case that wasn’t obvious :-)

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