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Our Novara FlyBy is a nimble, take-it-everywhere folding bike. Lightweight yet sturdy, it has 7 internal gears. Ride it, fold it, then stash it in the trunk, closet or office.
FlyBy folds in under a minute while magnets hold the folded bike together for a compact, easy-to-handle package; folded dimensions are 33.5 x 25.6 x 13.4 in.
Strong 6061 aluminum frame is designed to minimize flex and deliver a stiff, responsive platform for efficient transfer of your pedaling energy
Frame hinge provides a secure joint that's controlled with a smooth, easy-to-handle lever
Telescoping, folding handlepost offers excellent strength and longevity; when hinge lever is closed, an automatic lock secures the lever shut for extra safety
Shimano Nexus internally geared rear hub is low maintenance compared to conventional cassette systems and provides 7 smooth-shifting gears
Nexus twist shifter is intuitively simple, providing smooth, easy shifting with a flick of the wrist
Linear-pull brakes deliver dependable and easy speed management
20 in. Schwalbe Citizen tires feature a protective Kevlar® layer to deter flats; reflective sidewalls enhance visibility of bike and rider
Chain features a continuous enclosure to keep clothing protected from grease and road grime
Specs on our Novara FlyBy folding bike are subject to change
After its initial break-in period you might notice your bicycle performing less responsively than the day you brought it home. Not to worry, this is typical of all new bicycles and simply reflects that cables have stretched or their housings have seated themselves into final position. To keep running at peak performance, all REI bicycles come with a FREE warranty tune-up, which should be accomplished between the first 100-200 miles of riding or after the first two months if you're accumulating miles less quickly. Contact your nearest REI bike shop for details and an appointment for this important service.
Members: earn a $20 bonus card
When you spend $100 April 14—29
Single-use bonus card redeemable by REI members MAY 2—12, 2014. Details
Novara FlyBy Folding Bike - 2014is rated4.2308out of5by13.
Rated4out of5byCornfuzed2fromVersatile and reasonably pricedAfter much research on price and comparing other folding bikes. I broke down and got the Flyby. It is a nice little folding bike. Use it as a secondary bike to my road bike. Didn't want to spend close to $1K on a high end folder. Great for short rides with little ones. On a road bike it is hard to not ride off and keep at the kids' pace. Number of gears are adequate for bike paths and some small hills. Great to leave in the car for unscheduled rides, emergencies, quick errands, or take on the Metro. Even used it when I couldn't find a parking space anywhere close to my destination.
The Flyby features an internal hub for gears. Not the best but nice to have. The chain has a plastic wire loom to cover it. Does make some noise. But after a few min and rides, barely notice it. No messy chain and derailleur.
It is not the lightest folder, for the price its hard to beat. This particular bike is a Tern bike branded for REI and is about $100 less than comparable Tern. The $100 less in price seems to show up in some of the parts. A piece that holds the screw to adjust the brake is plastic. It shouldn't be plastic as it strips easy. The techs at REI was nice to replace the brake with an upgraded model. Other than that no problems with rides on most types of trails.
REI doesn't carry the fenders and racks for these bikes. You would need to order from Tern. They're not expensive and well worth it.
Plan on buying another.
Date published: 2014-03-16
Rated4out of5byxantiandiafromFolded transportOther reviews are comprehensive regarding the ride, as a ride it is a great combination of components, decent gearing, and excellent value. I take it up and down the Eastern Seaboard on Amtrak and commuter rail, and commute to my final city destination. NYC on a bike is a blast. Shame it does not come with fenders, but you can mail order somewhere and mount them (REI does not sell 20 inch fenders). Fenders are essential on a commuter bike, so you can walk in to your meeting cleaner.
I will focus on the carry and transport. This is a bike to carry in trunk of a car or on a train. It is hard to lug if you need to (say subway, stairs, etc.) If you just pop it out of the car and ride it, or on a commuter train were you can fold it and unfold it in and out of the train, it is a great bike. If you need to lug it and walk any distance, look for another bike, think of a 16 inch wheeled bike rather than a 20, and look at how it folds, and how it rolls when you transport it.
Date published: 2014-02-01
Rated4out of5byTim FfromGood so far...I've only had it for a bit over a month, but it's been great so far. Quick to fold and unfold, lightweight, shifts reliably. In our small house, it's much easier to leave a collapsed bike out in the sunroom, grab it, and take off around the neighborhood versus dragging my road bike out of the shed, hunting down my biking shoes, etc. Definitely doesn't replace a full-size bike but has led me to choose biking over short car rides or long walks several times since purchase.
Date published: 2013-10-11
Rated5out of5byAlaskan BevfromAlways ready for action!My brother, a pilot, often takes his "folding bike" in his plane; this gave me the idea of using one for geocaching around town. It is conveniently lightweight and reliably strong and solid feeling. I can easily lift it in and out of the back of my small SUV; this is so much easier than struggling to maneuver my mountain bike up onto a back rack, then wiping it all down when I'm ready to ride. So far, my FlyBy is a great buy for my money.
Date published: 2013-08-29
Rated4out of5byBrimstonefromFantastic buyThis is hands-down a great deal. I really doubt you'll find another folding bike of this quality with an internal hub for anywhere near the price. Including this one, I have owned several folding bikes of various wheel sizes (and several rigid-framed bikes). My current primary bike is a Dahon model with a similar frame ('Mu' frame, which the Tern bikes are also based on) and 90% of the same components as the "FlyBy". Mine costs twice as much. Differences are, the FlyBy has a cheaper 7-speed Shimano hub, and it does not have the three-hole mounting block on the headset which allows one to mount a front rack or bag directly onto the frame where the weight will not affect steering so much. The 7-speed is a still great hub and can be upgraded to newer models with more speeds and smoother operation. The mounting block is nice but a bit tricky and expensive to get mounts and bags for; note it is quite possible to mount a Dahon or Tern front rack to the FlyBy. Or a rear rack, highly recomended, for about thirty bucks. Other differences include cheaper plastic folding pedals whereas the Dahon and Tern have nicer, quick-release metal pedals; easy to upgrade when desired. The 'Citizen' tires are lower end for a Schwalbe tire, all of which are high-quality. I run and recommend two-inch wide Schawlbe 'Big Apple' tires. These are a high air volume, modern 'balloon' style tire. They go a LONG way towards eliminating the main complaints of small-wheel bikes which are harsh ride and 'road buzz' felt through the handlebar and they are still very fast. Totaly different ride with the Big Apples.
Though this is no mountain bike it will certainly handle smooth dirt trails and with the Big Apples a bit more. The main difference in ride is that the small (20") wheels give a quicker turn. This takes a bit of getting used to, about five minutes of riding around. It does make the bike very manueverable which is a big plus in the city. The bike is just as fast as a comparable larger wheeled bike. I routinely pass younger, hipper dudes on 'go fast' bikes. With my Bichon Frise in a basket on the back. No kiddin'. The internal hub is a bit heavier and very slightly less effecient than a derailluer, but not much so and it's a LOT less messy and trouble to deal with. It does make changing a rear flat a bit harder but it's still do-able on the road. The 16 tooth rear cog can be fairly easily changed out to get a higher or lower gear range to go really fast or make hills easier. The chain cover works great at keeping both you and the chain clean. It's a bit noisy at first but quiets down with use and eventually becomes silent.
Folding is a bit awkward at first. Pay attention to the included instructions, follow them precisely in order and go slowly till you get it down. Soon you'll be doing it in seconds. There are magnets that hold the bike together when folded and they work well though many folks slip a bungee or velcro strap through the wheels for more security when carrying over long distances. Nishi-dake, the magnets are adjustable and may need to be centered so the are making full contact with each and giving full stiction. It is possible to buy zippered cases, some very expensive, for folded bikes. I wouldn't spend more than about thirty bucks. This makes it possible to take the beast on public transport which does not normally allow bikes. Look for a shoulder strap as even a light bike is not light to lug around. I routinely pack my bike (very carefully padded with other travel items) in such a bag and check it as regular airline baggage. Though it is very slightly over the allowed deminsions for checked luggage, I've never had to pay the $100 special airline bike fee. Arrive at destination, unpack bike, roll onto a bike tour or bike/rail/bus tour. Nice.
Here's what I've been able to upgrade on my bike: Schwalbe Big Apple tires, fenders, front rack that accepts small panniers, dynamo hub w/USB charging port, phone mount, special looong handlebar bag that takes advantage of the looong stem of small wheel folding bikes, small insulated water bottle bag slung from handlebar which takes advantage of the long stem and allows use any type of waterbottle at all, quick-release aluminum MKS pedals with 'Power Straps', armored cable lock which allows me to lock the bike when folded or unfolded, sprung leather saddle, cable to run through saddle & helmet to lock them, wide-spreading double-footed stable kickstand, spring to keep the front wheel from flopping to the side when parked, rear tour rack which takes full sized panniers or removable Basil grocery baskets. Removable doggy basket (plastic basket from dollar store).
To wrap this up- if you are considering a folding bike, or just a bike for any casual purpose other than racing or off-roading, this Novara FlyBy is a top choice. If you know you want features such as a better rear hub you might consider shucking out a thousand bucks or more for a higher end Dahon or Tern especially if you MUST have that mounting block. Otherwise this is a high-quality very usable and upgradable set of wheels. Highly recommended.
Couple of last notes. The shape of the frame does not use a rear 'chain-stay' tube. This means it is theoretically possible, unlike 99% of bikes, to outfit this bike with a belt drive that replaces a messy noisy rusty chain. A few folks have hacked this already, and this is the future of bikes. And folding bikes are like convertible cars- they hold their resale value much better.
Date published: 2013-05-17
Rated4out of5byBoise swimmerfromGreat ride. Fits in apt & hatchback car.After years of wanting a folding bike, I finally sold my behemoth comfort bike and bought this one during an REI sale. After a month, I love it. No regrets, just elation that I finally got what I want: something that can be folded to fit inside my hatchback car, and inside my apartment. I live in a city with a high rate of bike thefts, including a former bike of mine locked right outside my front door, so I want my bike inside. The bike is reasonably comfortable, rides relatively smoothly and goes fast enough for commuting or touring. I'd say I average 12-15 mph on this. I've ridden this bike to work and back (5 miles RT) and to the gym (6 miles RT) almost every day since I bought it and I love it. Yesterday I gave it a real haul and rode it 35 miles round trip on a paved mountain road. It exceeded my expectations in terms of speed and hill climbing, though of course it won't match a road or racing bike for speed. You still get your exercise and get to enjoy the views too! When going uphill, I sometimes kept the bike in a higher gear and stood up to climb and it worked fine. The main con for me is that the handlebars & stem do not easily fold between the wheels as shown on the instructions. I've tried this several times with no luck. Something was always in the way from keeping the magnets from sticking together, no matter how much I tried to follow the instructions that came with the bike. It also involves adjusting the handlebars and stem, which is annoying since you have to re-set them when you unfold it. However, I've resolved this by folding the bike in half first, then folding the stem down to one side of the bike. Works much better and is still compact. Plus, it is ready to ride as soon as you unfold, unless you've put the seat down (which you don't have to do all the time depending on your height space available). Also, I find the saddle uncomfortable like a previous reviewer, but I kept the comfort seat from my previous bike (large with thick gel pads and spring suspension underneath) and installed that. I am so glad I did this! It makes the ride much smoother on your rear. Also, it would be nice if it came with a rack and fenders, but I bought a universal rack on clearance when I ordered the bike, and REI staff said it would fit and even installed it for me. Works great. I also know there are fenders that will fit this bike from research I've done on the web. If you want to ride fast and hard, this is not the bike for you, but if you want something that gets you enjoyably and fast enough from point A to point B and can be tucked away in your cubicle at work, your small car, or in your apartment, then this is your bike! Compact living at its best.
Date published: 2013-05-13
Rated4out of5byMtHandedfromGood Folder for the MoneyGot the FlyBy in order to be able to bring all my toys and family members along on a weekend, i.e. spouse, bikes, kayaks, trailer, and husky dogs. It's very easy to fold and takes up very little room (1/2 of the back seat of a 4Runner). The bike isn't a full-sized road bike or mountain bike, but it moves along nicely, and I've taken it up a couple of mountain passes already and on some dirt roads as well, just to see if it could handle it. I am pleased with the bike's performance. I also like how both my petite wife and I can easily size the bike so it works for either of us. Those small wheels take some getting used to. The lack of a front suspension, adds to the rough ride on our Montana roads, but I added a gel seat cover/pad and that helps take away some of the rough ride. I like the handlebars, hand grips and shifters, and the folding pedals.
I had one of the Schwalbe Citizen tires get a slit, and am looking to upgrade to a more durable tire. I freely admit that I am harder on this bike than it is intended to be used for, but it seems to be up to the task so far. I really like the internal hub and chain cover -no grease on the seats or the clothes. Fenders would have been nice, but I found some that work okay.
So, overall, the bike isn't lightweight, has a few compromises, but for the money I'd say it was a bargain, and I did a FlyBy on more than a few full-sized bikes last weekend, so it must be working well enough.
Date published: 2013-05-12
Rated4out of5byHafezfromGreat bike but not without problemsGreat little bike so far. My biggest complaint is the chain guard which makes a lot of noise as I bike. This is the same problem I had with the floor model when I took it for a test ride. I think this might be a flaw with this model.
Date published: 2013-04-17
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