Reynolds 520 butted steel frame supplies a smooth, buttery ride quality and responsive handling
RockShox Recon Gold TK 29 suspension fork delivers 80mm of travel and saves weight with an aluminum steerer and upper tubes; preload adjustment and lockout tune the ride
SRAM X7 shifters and front derailleur and X9 rear derailleur quickly guide the chain, and your power, through the drivetrain
2x10 drivetrain offers nearly identical gearing range as a 3x10 without the weight and supplies improvements in shifting performance and mechanical reliability
Shimano hydraulic disc brakes offer the all-weather, powerful benefits of hydraulic braking and use CenterLock 160mm rotors for enhanced performance and low profile
Double-walled Weinmann rims are decked out with the lightweight, 60 TPI WTB Nano Race aramid beaded tires for fast-rolling performance
WTB Pure V Race saddle features a leather cover for comfort and durability
Specs on our new Novara Intrepid 29er hardtail mountain bike are subject to change
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RockShox Recon Gold TK 29, 80mm of travel with lockout
SRAM S1000 GXP, 38/24
SRAM GXP External Bearing
SRAM PG-1030, 11-36, 10-speed
Shimano BR-M505 hydraulic disc
Shimano BR-M445 disc
Weinmann Taurus 2000
Shimano M435 Disc, 32h
Shimano M435 Disc, 32h
WTB Nano Race, 29 x 2.1
WTB Pure V Race
FSA Orbit MX
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Bike frame material
Number of gears
Novara Intrepid 29er Bike - 2013
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Rated 4.7/5 based on 10 reviews
Rated 4out of5
by long memberfromNovara Intrepid XL 29'I struggled with frame size choice since it was only avail online & I couldn't test ride the bike. A previous reviewer (my height) had chosen a Large based on some notion that this frame was shaped somehow differently or something. I don't see it, but I'm not an experienced mountain biker. I'm 6'3", 200#, 32" inseam. Local REI store put a different handlebar stem on it for me when it arrived (one that puts the bars up rather than out away from me). I have lower back history (surgical), so upright is better for me. I'm very happy with the XL frame. I don't have much experience comparing steel vs. aluminum so can't comment on that for you, but this steel bike does not strike me as especially heavy (and others say steel dampens vibrations better).
I put the Wellgo ATB / BMX pedals on it, thinking I'd add either clips or baskets later, but I haven't needed either... the metal studs around the pedal perimeter keep my shoes pretty well stuck on the pedals, and I like to be able to get out of them quick if I"m in dangerous terrain.
Haven't actually been off road yet, but I really enjoy getting around town (suburbia) on this bike. 29" wheels are new to me, and I'm sure they add at least five mph. I'm no longer the bunny-hopping, jump-seeking, kid I once was, but these big wheels will go up over curbs with just the slightest of handlebar pull (even easier when you bounce off the front shocks). My kids are in awe. This is also my first experience with disc brakes... wow! Grips aren't great, but I think after-market will easily/cheaply fix that. I got used to the same-direction-shifting very quickly (meaning you push both the upshift and downshift levers vs. the more common, push upshift/pull downshift levers). The highest gear of the rear sprocket still skips a little under load (every 3-4 revolutions), but I'm hopeful my free REI tune-up will correct that. Shifting itself is very smooth, even under moderate load (i.e. uphill, standing up even). I do most of my riding in the top 10 gears too, which means the 2x10 gearing really does meaningfully simplify your ride (haven't used my left hand to shift yet).
It's way more bike than I need for sidewalks & parking lots, but I got it at 40% off when they started selling the 2013 models for a song, and I do plan to take it down into the canyon when my kids get a little more confident on their own bikes. If REI makes this model again in 2014, and puts 'em in their stores, I imagine they'll sell well.
I also have a Novara Strada road bike (2011). Very happy with the brand. IMHO, you get better components for your money so they can compete with the more popular name brands. In fact, wIth the sale on the Intrepid (and free REI store shipping), I paid about half what comparable bikes cost from the big brands.
Date published: 2013-10-20
Rated 5out of5
by Happy in BendfromThanks for making an amazing bike!This review really is mute, as I know this bike is discontinued, but I rode it today and it was perfect!
Date published: 2013-09-12
Rated 5out of5
by NewbieBfromVery good bang for the bucks!!!!When I thought about other ways to lose weight, I thought about biking. When I went to my local LBS they suggested the 29er bike because of my height and size. So I looked into every 29er I could find. I do not remember how I came across REI, but when I looked at the bikes, I saw everything I wanted on their bikes.
When I started really looking at the Novara brand bikes, I saw the Ponderosa first and was impressed by the components and the bike, but when I saw the Intrepid, I was shocked at the components, the frame, and the price. After doing my own research, I knew the Intrepid was the bike for me. After the numerous test rides I've done over the past six months, I settled on the Intrepid. The only issue was I had to wait. After my wife gave my the okay, I got the Intrepid and man am I satisfied, this bike is great for me. It is sturdy, rides smooth and performs better than I thought it would.
I use it mainly as a commuter to work and I have to say, it was the right choice. My route to work is city streets, but some of those streets are not kept as well as others. The size of the tires roll very well and make it easy to maintain momentum and speed. The frame is sturdy and absorbs a lot of the bumps and jumps I encounter. The fork, Rock Shox Recon Gold, perfect for my needs and wishes. The components are smooth and the brakes are splendid.
Initially, I was going to complain about the seat, but after the first few rides, my rear end toughen up, so the only thing I will mention as a negative, is the paint job. The OD green will keep the lookie-loos away, but those that know bikes will see the SRAM components and smile.
I am glad I discovered the Intrepid, because the bang for my buck is perfect. I feel I have a great bike that I can grow with and not have to upgrade for a long time. Lastly, knowing the REI return policy, really makes me feel good about this purchase.
Date published: 2013-10-28
Rated 5out of5
by LexingtonrambonefromWow. What a bike.Wow. What a bike. Steel frame and light weight. Great front shock, only 80mm of travel though... Who needs more on a 29er though. X9 rear derailer needed adjustments shortly after first ride, common though. Doesn't include pedals, but allowed me to get platform instead of clipless ones. Brakes work well with bike and wheels and tires are very good quality. With coupon bike is a even better deal. Regular price is still hundreds less than competition.
Date published: 2012-04-15
Rated 5out of5
by aparkhifromPhenomenal bike for the $$$$$If you're looking at the Ponderosa, stop... You should should get this instead. I had the Ponderosa and it's just not enough bike if you have aspirations of riding hard once you're stronger. The suntour fork is the ponderosa's weak link... The intrepid on the other hand has a nice Rockshox Recon Gold which itself is 300-400 dollars. On top of that it's a steel bike which I find makes for a smoother ride. The SRAM drivetrain I feel is better in every way. Shifters are smoother with more of a smooth ratchet feel where the Shimano on the Ponderosa was ok but lacks the feel of the SRAM. The 2x10 drivetrain simplifies the gearing and just seems to climb easier with better ratios. Also the brakes being Shimano hydraulics are fan-freekin-tastic. It allows you to use one finger braking with confidence therefore making you faster overall. Oh yeah, wanna wheelie easier? Just adjust the rebound on your fork to high speed and it helps push the front up easily once you compress it. My day today included 10 miles commuting to work (which it handles well) and straight to Palmer Park after work. I just can't believe the difference you get for just $450 more. Use a coupon and feel great about this bike. One last thing, this bike is a full pound lighter than the Ponderosa...
Date published: 2012-05-11
Rated 5out of5
by jwachsfromGreat Steel 29er HardtailWas looking for a steel 29er hardtail with good components so when I found this one it seemed to good to be true. There aren't very many steel 29er hardtails with good components available for less than $1,800 or so. I just can't buy anything else, but steel and so far this bike hasn't disappointed me at all. It handles climbs very well, rolls over roots, rocks, and other obstacles with ease, and can handle the abuse of technical singletrack. I am an avid cross country rider that likes both technical climbs and decents. If you are looking for a great steel 29er hardtail for the money I would look no further.
Date published: 2012-06-02
Rated 4out of5
by Gray bikerfromGood bike for the moneyI am just under 6'3", ~210 lbs. I ride 2/3 off road, mostly forest single track and double track (bridal path) with hills. I like hills. I average 3 rides per week at 15 miles per ride. I have ~250 miles on this bike.
I got a Large (as opposed to XL) frame because the greater wheel diameter height changed the stance fit. I like steel frames as they seem to dampen vibration better.
This is my first experience with: 29", disc brakes, 2x10 gears.
the 29" wheels make the thing just fly..seemingly adding 5 mph on the flats for equivalent cadence.
The brakes work great! what comes to mind is the expression "stops on a dime with three cents change". Plus they make no noise.
the gears work well for all of my riding: hills and flats. some careful adjustment is required to get all 10 gears on the rear to work with the two front gears. More typically it is 2x8. The shifters work very well. It takes some getting used to the fact that gearing both up and down requires a push of the finger.
the front fork lock out is dead simple to use and does the job. As riding out of the woods onto the road, simply reach down and engage the lock.
The color scheme and such is not a stylish as the big name brands. The plus could be that it is less attractive to thieves.
I wanted a bike that would serve me well for both off and on road and was a good value. This bike well meets those requirements.
My only hold back on the 5th star has to do with the frame shape with regards to the 29" wheels. Some bike models drop the frame near the seat post so as to compensate for the taller wheels. I recommend care with regards to frame sizing.
Date published: 2013-06-08
Rated 4out of5
by Chris1975fromAlmost Great...Overall this is a great bike. I purchased it on sale and it had an additional 10% off because some very minor cosmetic issues on the one I purchased. I almost feel bad about giving it less than the full 5 stars.
Unfortunately after only two rides (maybe 15 miles) I noticed that the gear cassette was making grinding noises when the rear wheel spun free. It also felt like the bearings in the cassette were grinding in addition to the noise. There was also a noticeable wobble and some play in the rear gear cassette.
I took it to the Sandy REI and the bike tech there simply told me that a grinding freewheel was normal and the play and wobble were due to inexpensive components (rear wheel hub and cassette).
I'm going to go back into REI today to pick up the bike and check similar bikes to see if their cassette also grind when the rear wheel spins free. If it isn't "normal" then I'll be force to take it to the only other REI in Utah which is much further away and hope their bike techs can resolve the freewheel grinding issue.
I would recommend this bike due to the overall decent quality at a very reasonable price.
Date published: 2013-06-26
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