A couple of months ago I bought a 2009 Novara Fusion bikes on closeout from REI:
The REIs around Seattle had a small number of these for half of their original price. The bike came with front and rear Alfine hubs, generator lighting, fenders, a rear rack (that I removed), a chainguard, and disk brakes. Not bad for under $500!
There are some nice details. This taillight is battery powered and turns on automatically turns on if the bike is moving and it is dark out. Sadly it uses a non-standard N battery, otherwise it is nicer (in brightness and function) than the Planet Bike Fenderbot.
There is a cool bell that is built into the brake lever that I’ll have to take a photo of later.
The disk caliper is tucked away on the chainstay, out of the way of the seatstay and rack and fender mounting. The dropout even has provisions for the included kickstand:
I did replace a few components. The stock cranks were wide and not very nice, so I put on something better. I also replaced the tires, pedals, handlebars, and grips.
My next project is to replace the fork and frame with ones that I build. The Novara frame has a reasonable geometry and fits me alright, but I don’t like the very stiff aluminum. The fork needs more rake if it is going to work well with a porteur rack.
Tubing arrived for the new frame this week. I’m using Pacenti Slant Six lugs with True Temper Verus HT 8/5/8 oversized tubing. The lugs will keep the sloping top tube of the Novara, a feature that I like because it makes it a bit easier to loan the bike to friends who are shorter than me. I don’t like the chain tensioner that came with the Novara, so I’m going to switch to the Engin/Paragon Rocker dropouts which have chain tensioning built in:
I think I’ll make my own front dropout that incorporates the disk mount and which extends high up the fork blade.
I’ve also been riding my last project all summer, but haven’t posted a photo of it since having it powder coated. I still don’t consider the bike done because I haven’t built the light weight rear wheel or had the stem and rack chromed. I’ve still put over 1000 miles on the bike in this unfinished state, so I maybe I should call it finished.
I love this bike. It is fast, light, handles well, and looks nice.