Novara X-R Hybrid Bike - Brown
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.)
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.