Fusion is all about commuting and delivers the confidence and performance to pull off long rides in any weather, at any time of day
Frame offers an easy-mount design; powder-coated steel construction provides a smooth ride quality and delivers plenty of strength to withstand regular use on rough roads
Shimano Alfine internally geared rear hub provides 8 smooth-shifting speeds and is remarkably maintenance free compared to conventional cassette systems
Shimano RapidFire trigger shifter quickly snaps through the 8 gears; paired with its 20T rear cog, the Alfine system has a gear range equivalent to a 12 - 38T cassette
Basta LED headlight is powered by an Alfine dynamo front hub and remains on for 4 min. after stopping to ensure your path is lit, even when stopping for lights
Battery-powered taillight provides rear visibility and is motion- and photo-sensitive; battery indicator lets you know when its time to replace the battery
Shimano mechanical disc brakes provide positive stopping power no matter the terrain or weather—great for worry-free navigating on rainy days
Tektro brake levers feature an integrated bell to alert others of your whereabouts
Rear rack quickly accepts panniers and trunk bag (sold separately), letting you tote along your essentials with ease
Puncture-resistant Vittoria Randonneur tires feature reflective sidewalls, sure grip and a fast, smooth ride
Cockpit has been designed for comfort, thanks to the plush Velo saddle, mustache-style handlebar, cork grips and height-adjustable quill stem
Rounding out the package are fenders and chain guard to keep clothes protected; kickstand makes storage/parking easy
Just get on and ride, no fancy shoes required—alloy platform pedals accommodate a variety of shoes
Specs on the Novara Fusion 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.
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by RoostarfromGeared hub and disk brakes for commutersI have commuted about 17 miles a day for over 3 months on this bike rain or shine. The internal geared 8 speed covers most commuter needs though you might need a lower gear if you have lots of hills.
Dynamo light is nice safety light on front. But rear Basta lamp chews through the batteries so I use an alternate.
Some components may not be as good as expected on this relatively expensive commuter bicycle. Traded out the 70 psi std tires for some 100 psi ones for an easier commute. Chain wore out after only 3 mo (?) with winter rains and road dirt despite regular lube. REI replaced it.
Now I already have loose rear spokes and have to re-true the wheel.
A generally good commuter ride, where you can easily shift through all 8 gears without derailleur troubles. But not quite up to the promise: "Fusion is all about commuting and delivers the confidence and performance to pull off long rides in any weather, at any time of day." I have to take the bus now until I get time to fix the rear wheel.
Date published: 2011-05-17
Rated 4out of5
by DennisSDfromGreat BikeThis is a comfortable bike. It looks good and is well set up. It shifts smoothly and I have found the eight gears to be just enough to tackle whatever terrain I need.
Date published: 2013-05-20
Rated 4out of5
by NoPo MattfromGreat Urban RideI commute to work 4 miles each way (and 8 miles if it's my day to haul the kiddo to daycare in the trailer - more on that later) about 4 days a week, and I was looking for a reliable, well-built, low maintenance commuter. I'm not the type to go on long rides on the weekends or sign up for a century. Point A to Point B is pretty much how I roll.
Enter: Fusion. The Fusion comes with so many nice features out of the box. Fenders, rack, disc brakes, a bell, front-wheel-generating headlight, and the super-smooth-shifting Shimano Alfine 8-gear internal hub. I couldn't find a bike at this price point that had nearly this much good stuff that comes standard, and that was before I applied my 20% off coupon back in April.
I had never ridden a bike with an internal hub, and wanted to make sure it had the range to go up and down some modest hills on my commute. This hasn't been a problem - I'm only in first or 8th gear with steep hills... The range is great, and the shifting is like buttah. As a bonus, it's nice having the entire shifting operation on one side of the bike. Also, having disc brakes in the rain (since I live in Portland) is pretty huge - the improvement over my old bike with cantilever brakes is immeasurably positive.
The handlebar setup makes the ride super comfortable - it lets you sit upright, which I find helpful on the road where having a wide field of vision is important. The only tradeoff on that front is wind resistance, but that's marginal.
Only two downsides that make this short of a 5. The first is that it's heavy, but I knew that going into the purchase. This is minor tradeoff that I was definitely willing to make given the other amenities. It's a lot of metal, but the metal is super functional.
The other slightly annoying thing I discovered was that I have a Burley Solo trailer for my 18 month old son, and getting the hitch installed was problematic. Burley has two types of hitches - one that you can't use with a bike that has disc brakes (so that was out), and the other standard hitch that doesn't fit this bike. I'd have to use a diagram to explain it, but the forged aluminum hitch (which is pretty small) is too big for the Fusion's small cutout where the hub meets the frame. To solve this, I had to buy a metal file and file down a significant portion of the hitch. I'm sure Burley wouldn't officially approve and I'm a horrible unsafe parent or something, but it's done just fine as a workaround.
All around, it's a great bike. I've been riding it for almost two months now, and I'm guessing it'll be the only bike I'll need for a good decade or three.
Date published: 2011-05-18
Rated 4out of5
by routesevenfromPerfect commuter with a few adjustmentsAfter TONS of cycling research I decided to shell out my meager teacher's salary for this beauty in hopes it would help me improve my health and cut down on gas costs at the same time. I'll be honest--this is my first bicycle since I was an adolescent, so I can only give a novice's review. It's gorgeous with a smooth ride and comes with all kinds of gadgets already--head & tail-lights, rack, 8 speeds, etc. The brakes are fabulous, though the pedals can be a little slippery. My only caution is that even after months of riding, the saddle is uncomfortable for my wide-set hipbones. I'm about to purchase a Brooks saddle to replace, so I can ride more upright and comfortably in work clothes.
Also notice that this bike doesn't include a water bottle cage, so you may want to purchase one separately.
Date published: 2012-06-21
Rated 5out of5
by MarcenefromLove the BikeMy husband had been trying for some time to get me to buy a new bike. I loved my old bike, but it was a little big for me. He showed me the Fusion and explained the features and said it was an anniversary gift. I was immediately sold! After a trial ride, it followed us home.
I thought I was not able to ride as fast as on my old bike. However, on a ride yesterday, I was waaaay ahead of my husband. I think that the heaviness of the bike makes it seem like it's going more slowly.
The bike feels so solid and safe.
I just can't wait to put more miles on it!
Date published: 2011-06-05
Rated 5out of5
by ret3fromThe Commuting MachineAfter a quarter-century hiatus, I returned to two wheels to combine my commute with my exercise. I cheaped out the first time, settling on a GT Aerostream I found on clearance here on rei.com. It got me going, but with three speeds and a beach-cruiser configuration, the way I used it was just cruel. When it became unusable, I set out to find a real commuting beast to repace it. I had a year and a half of my own experience plus the advice of the kind folks at my local REI to guide me, and settled after much consideration on the Novara Fusion. I had cross-shopped a few others, including a Raleigh and the Novara Transfer, but the Fusion offered the all-in-one package with the range of gears and disc braking that I wanted.
I ride Ivy Mike, as I've dubbed it, on my 3.4-mile round trip almost daily in all sorts of weather. The disc brakes are a miracle in terms of stopping confidence, even coming down a steep hill to a railroad track in the rain. The Shimano Alfine 8-speed internal hub has made the same hill much more manageable to surmount going the other way. Although I've supplemented the included head- and taillights with the Planet Bike lights I kept from my previous ride, plus a Monkey Light for those post-autumn time change change dark rides home, I've found the set of Basta lights quite adequate when I don't have the time or inclination to clip on the full illumination regalia.
The frame feels sturdy, even under my 260lb mass (plus cargo in panniers), and I very much appreciate the comfortably shaped grips, which don't make my hands numb like round ones do. I do plan to upgrade the pedals, which can get a touch slipery in the rain, to a set of Ergon PC2.
If you're looking for a premium commuter, but don't want to piece one together, the Fusion is an excellent value.
Date published: 2012-05-07
Rated 5out of5
by Bikes not bombsfromI ride it just about every dayI have the 2011 version, which seems pretty close to the 2012. My son bought the 2010 and liked it so much I decided to get it as well. I put 2200 miles on it in the first year and never had so much as a flat. It still shifts as well as the day I bought it. The only maintenance has been lubing the chain and pumping the tires. I ride it year round for commuting, errands and shopping and in the winter much of that is in the dark. The front light is bright, but doesn't shine very far ahead. The rear blinker only just ran out of batteries after more than a year of use.
The only downside is the weight and the extra energy to power the dynamo. It is not fast. I knew that going in and think of it as my weight training bike. My road bike feels so light in comparison.
Date published: 2012-07-17
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