Today I bought a new bike and I’m having buyer’s remorse (kind of). I am not taking it back just yet though.
I have been riding my Surly Steamroller (fixed gear) for the better part of a decade. I would commute 24 miles round trip on the Monon Trail when living in Indianapolis and I rode 15-20 miles a day on it when I lived in Washington DC. In theory, it is a very good bike but it is not a good bike for me at this stage in my life. A fixed gear is also not practical for what I’m planning to do long term. The Surly frame was also a size or two too small for my height which created some pretty gnarly lower back strain when riding so it just had to go. It’s listed on Craigslist right now. I have had a few people interested but nothing has panned out just yet.
So while I was also searching on Craigslist for a good replacement, my wife and I decided to take a trip to the REI in East Hanover to just browse. I was taking a look at the CO-OP ADV 3.1 but I couldn’t justify the price. While chatting with a REI rep about the ADV, he informed me of a 2016 Novara Mazama they had still on the floor.
Novara was the REI in-house cycling brand until Q1 of 2017. At that point, they went through a rebranding where Novara was replaced with the CO-OP line. It was just my luck that the Novara Mazama was the 2016 model of the CO-OP ADV 3.1 and they were motivated to get it off the floor as not only was it an old model, but it was the wrong brand! Now the money-saving gears were spinning! We left REI that day determined to talk that price down.
We headed back today and I asked them to toss some pedals on so I could take a ride. The bike felt pretty good, at least compared to my Surly, but it was still a smidge too small. There are a few modifications I can make – namely to the stem to rectify this. I began trying to push the price down more than the clearance listed. Pointing out issues, scuffs and the fact that I knew they were trying to get it off the floor. Ultimately it worked and I got the bike for just over 50% off retail.
It was a steal and while I’m having buyer’s remorse because of the frame size, I am not concerned as REI has a very good satisfaction guarantee program. If you are not happy with a product you purchase there, you can take it back for full refund/replacement within the first year.
Planning to get a few rides around the neighborhood in and see how it feels. Based on that experience, I may return and hop back on Craiglist.
I was pretty underwhelemd by the bikes being sold on Craigslist. I don’t know if it’s my region or what. They all either seemed stolen, in horrible shape, or over-priced. There was a 3 year old Surly Long Haul Trucker listed for almost double what I paid for my Mazama new from REI. the LHT is a pretty awesome bike but not thanks.
I am looking forward to ferrying the little Live Free(s) around in the trailer for the balance of this year and I think the Mazama will prove to be a good workhorse for this.
Long term, I am thinking about popping on a electric motor and using it to commute to work. See a similar DIY EV on Mr. Money Mustache. There are a few other geographical balls in motion before this will happen though. This would not be my first EV…did you know I have an EV electric scooter?
Have you bought a bike recently? Do you commute to work? Have you considered EV conversions for your bike?