Novara X-R Hybrid Bike - Brown

novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - side view
Brown bike on a grey day

At its core, the Novara X-R hybrid was just another Taiwanese bike that you could buy in a sporting-goods store, specifically REI. Built around a chromoly frame, the Novara X-R had a 21-speed Shimano SIS drivetrain with GripShift shifters and Alivio derailleurs, Tektro brake levers, Avocet tires, Shimano Acera hubs, an alloy seat post, and "Superlight" cranks.

Based on the X-R's geometry, low handlebars and wide rims, I suspect that the hybrid tires were a later addition; the X-R may have started life as a mountain bike, and with a new set of knobbies it would have been just as comfortable on the trail as on the street.


(Be sure to check compatibility before ordering parts for your hybrid bike.)
novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - front angle view
A jaunty pose

Hybrid, mountain bike or none of the above, there was something special about the Novara X-R. It was brown. Metallic brown. How many metallic brown bikes are there? Not enough. The X-R's chromoly frame and alloy parts kept it lightweight, and without any racks or fenders to get in the way, it had a sleek, low, aggressive stance that made it look nimble and fast.

And it rode like a dream. It was smooth, with quick handling and instant acceleration. The brakes were snappy and the grip shifters ran through the gears easily. The bizarre Diatech headset-slash-cable-guide was perpetually loose, which was annoying, but I'm sure I would have eventually figured out how to keep it snug.

I wish I'd had a reason to ride the Novara X-R hybrid, or that it was a little taller. I might have kept it. Probably not. But I did shoot a few photos of it on a beautiful overcast day. Scroll down to see the rest.

novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - front end
This front end looks pretty MTB-ish to me
novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - frame
Is it brown? Get down!
novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - stem
Diatech headset/cable guide (perpetually loose)
novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - drivetrain
Shimano Alivio derailleurs
novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - rear brake and seat post clamp
It's like a big diaper pin
novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - bottom bracket
Ovalized bottom bracket junction
novara x-r hybrid bike - brown - rear hub
Shimano Acera hubs