Hybrid Bicycles - Women's Hybrid Bicycle Recommendations for First-Time Users
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03-09-11, 03:46 PM
Hi everyone, I'm looking for a bicycle to commute to class in Gainesville. It's pretty hilly there, so it takes me 25 minutes to get to class on my mountain bike from Target. I was hoping a road bike would be better, but I tried out a few road bikes and they didn't seem comfortable to use with a heavy backpack on my back, so I was thinking hybrids. I tried the Diamondback Clarity 1 at Sports Authority, and it runs pretty nicely, but some people at local bike shops said that Diamondbacks aren't good to have that will last a while. I found a deal for it, though, at So I checked around other shops and one shop had a used Cannondale Adventure 400 my size for $300. I'm afraid if I get something too nice, it'd get stolen quicker. Do you guys have any recommendations for bikes?
I am a 5'2'' lady with relatively short legs, looking for a good quick way to get to class for daily workout. Gainesville is mildly, but not too hilly. My budget limit was 200-250. But, I'm now a bit more open and my max is 300 if it's a good bike. I want something most worth the money that will last at least six years of daily riding.
03-09-11, 04:17 PM
How about just changing out the knobby offroad tires on that Target mountain bike for some slick road tires, and if it has a rear suspension, make it as stiff as it will go? It will make the bike a bit faster.
Those piece-of-crap bikes from Target, Walmart, Sports Authority etc. are perfect for commuting to college, because you can lock them up in the open and no self-respecting bike thief would bother to rip it off. And if it does get ripped off, at least it's no big loss.
03-09-11, 05:54 PM
I have thought of that. But my mountain bike is rusting away pretty badly. I was riding it the other day to class and the thing was leaving rust trails on the street. I lived at the dorms last school year so I couldn't bring it inside. But I live at an apartment now, so I'm going to take better care of this bike.
03-09-11, 06:54 PM
If your Target POS bike is becoming unserviceable (the rust is that bad, huh?), then another possibility is to look on Craigslist for your local area and see if you can score another POS Walmart bike for cheap. I think they got some of those for like $40 on the Gainesville Craigslist. http://gainesville.craigslist.org/bik/
Ride a theft-proof cheap POS ( :D ) for another couple years until you graduate, then pass it onto a freshman or something. And once you graduate from college, get a nicer bike.
If you just can't wait to get a better bike and want to jump on that used Cannondale Adventure 400, be advised that it is at least 4 years old (the last time that model was made was 2007), and the '07 model MSRPed for $550 new. I would try to talk the price down to $200 if possible.
03-10-11, 09:40 AM
If your bike is leaving rust trails on the street, as you say, then it must be in extremely bad condition!
The trick is to keep your bike inside and to lube it up from time to time ... use those neat lube spraycans to make the work easy :)
For 300 I don't see any nice bikes you could buy new though. :(
Maybe used is the way to go ... make sure you know what you're looking for in that case.
03-10-11, 01:47 PM
Thanks for your input, guys! I ended up buying a really old one today: Trek Antelope 800 for $80. No one's going to steal that for sure. Haha, I'm thinking about refurbishing it. It's a bit embarrassing to take around, but it rides real nice. And I'm at an apartment now, so I'm keeping it inside, for sure. XD
03-11-11, 03:58 AM
Try to learn how to service it yourself if at all possible.
You don't need to know everything just everyday maintainance.
Upgrade parts over time when they wear out ... as long as you keep the frame in perfect condition a bike can last for decades if maintained properly.
03-11-11, 10:26 PM
I had a Trek Antelope once. They were SOTA at one time. Great choice on a budget! You can always upgrade the tires or saddle if need be.
03-12-11, 08:03 PM
I washed, scrubbed off the rust, waxed, and polished the bike. Now it's looking better. Has some paint chipped off with rust, but it runs wonders. I got skinnier tires for it and new tire tubes, and greased the chains. The gears work nice. I'm in love. <3 During my washing escapades, I discovered that the owner put a lot into this bike. All the accessories were Shimano and made in Japan. The front and rear derailleurs, the chainrings, and both brakes. And the frame's 100% chromoly. I don't want to paint it anymore or else all the labels will go away, though some of the wording is faded already. :D
03-13-11, 06:17 AM
Congratz! ... good riding :)
Post a picture in the pictures thread once it's completely done.
03-14-11, 02:50 PM
Alrighty! Mom's got the camera and I'm waiting for an adapter to come in. My roommates are letting me keep it inside. It's getting assistance in a retirement home. XD
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