Novara, the in-house bike brand at REI, was launched 30 years ago in Washington state. It is today a major player in the cycling world, with six categories of bikes, apparel, and accessories. For 2013, Novara adds and updates with road bike models, folding commuters, a women’s 29er mountain bike, and more. Here are a few 2013 items that caught our eye. —Amy Oberbroeckling
FlyBy Folding Bike — Telescoping handlebars and a fold-in-half frame make the $599 FlyBy a bike you can take on trips or store away in small spaces. It comes stock with a Shimano internally-geared rear hub and an encased chain to keep grease at bay. To fold it up, you open a lever and split the frame in two. Next, bend the bike back on itself — magnets in the frame keep the folded bike compact in a 33 × 25 × 13-inch shape for taking up an elevator or cramming into the trunk of a car.
Tube2Go — No boxes, no rubber bands. The Tube2Go is a regular inner-tube that comes shrink-wrapped in a plant-based, biodegradable, compostable package. Smart! 700c tire size only. $7.
Safari — Novara takes on the niche category of “adventure-touring bicycles” with the Safari, a steel workhorse with weird handlebars that’s made to haul copious amounts of gear and roll for hours on dirt or road. Built standard with 27-speed gearing. The size small Safari comes with 26-inch wheels; medium size and larger, 700c wheels. $899.
Madrona 29 — A 29er designed with female-centric geometry in mind. That’s the theme with the Madrona 29, a hardtail mountain bike with beefy 29-inch wheels, aluminum frame, and hydraulic disc brakes. Solid entry-level steed for women looking to ride trails or dabble in racing. $799.
Edgewater Jacket — Utility and style are goals with the to-be-released Edgewater jacket, a water-resistant trenchcoat made for biking. Visibility comes from a reversible belt that flips over to become a reflective band that glows when car headlights shine upon it in the night. $199.
Buzz One — Its color scheme was inspired by a 1976 Volkswagen bus design. The Buzz One, a single-speed city bike, has a steel frame and playful details like deep-dish rims, a white crank, alloy chain guard (painted white to match), and a retro saddle with a motif of green plaid. $449.
—Amy Oberbroeckling is an assistant editor and a confessed “bike junkie” originally from Iowa. She lives in Minneapolis.