Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Good bike for College?

    Howdy, I'm new to the forums...So the story goes I've been living in an apartment a few blocks off campus for about 2 months now and I've already grown tired of having my life revolve around the bus schedule...wanna study, better make sure the bus is running otherwise you're stuck walking about 3/4 a mile back home, or there for that matter.

    I want a cool bike that wouldn't look nerdy (I'm in college not trying to offend you guys, but I gotta be cool ) and that would be good for on/off road riding. I was thinking maybe a cheap Trek or something like that would be nice...I'd like to spend under 200 bucks if possible...I just thought I'd ask you guys cause no way am I throwing down 150 on a walmart huffy if I can get something better for around the same price.

  2. #2
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross, 2011 RM Flow1
    Posts
    11,316
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Check Ebay, CL, and local garage sales if you're looking for a college bike.
    Don't get anything really fancy for a college commuter. Assume that campus bikes are theft targets, and you'll keep yours a lot longer.
    Make sure you get a good lock and learn how to properly lock up your bike.
    If you get something nice, consider "unbranding" it to make it low-key. I never had problems with people messing with my bike through 4 years of college and 5 more of commuting in the same town. Unbranded frame and components, locked up like crazy.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  3. #3
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    4,083
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sub $200 start looking around for a used old steel road bike. For extra cool points convert it to single speed or fixed gear.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yeah, I sometimes worry about that, but there are bike cops on campus, and bike racks that are always very full, and the bike cops usually tend to keep an eye on them it seems so I would probably leave it there.

    I have a couple bmx bikes from when I was a kid I think I'm gonna take to the local bike shop and see if I can get a couple bucks out of them.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    Sub $200 start looking around for a used old steel road bike. For extra cool points convert it to single speed or fixed gear.
    I wouldn't mined a bike with gears, I don't wanna be dog tired day after day from riding uphill.

  6. #6
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    My Bikes
    '08 Surly Cross-Check, 2011 Redline Conquest Pro, 2012 Spesh FSR Comp EVO, 2009 Spesh Singlecross, 2011 RM Flow1
    Posts
    11,316
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you do go the single/fixed conversion route and you're worried about hills, you can certainly set it up with a gear appropriate for hills. There's plenty of cyclocross riders that do the singlespeed thing, and rock a 36 or 40 up front to an 18 or so in the back.
    Old steel frames get cool points among people that know bikes. If you had an old, restored 10 speed friction-shift steel frame, that would be a whole barge full of awesome.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Oregon
    My Bikes
    2003 Jamis Nova - commuter setup
    Posts
    270
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It is a bit more, but I've seen this locally in Portland for $379. This might fit the bill and isn't too flashy.

    http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...d=1033060&f=21

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,283
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For under $200 you can get an awesome used bike. If you want to do road/trail riding, get a Trek mountain bike. You can get a used cromoly steel bike for well under that $200. Don't shy away from it because it's steel; it will outlast aluminum. You can also probably pick up an aluminum Trek for under $200. Avoid shocks-- you won't need them, and they just add weight and maintenance expense to your bike; worst of all, they convert your energy that you're trying to apply to forward motion into up and down motion-- an extremely inefficient way to travel. If you're riding mostly on roads, you can take the off-road knobbies off and put on some commuter slicks for an even more efficient ride.

    Another good choice would be a cyclocross bike, which would also be capable of on road and off-road riding, as well as having that "cool" cachet. But you probably won't find one in that price range.

    The key to keeping your bike is to lock it better than the other bikes are locked. Buy a GOOD U-Lock (Kryptonite New York and Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit are the best; expensive, but not as expensive as replacing your stolen bike.). Do NOT buy a cable lock, unless you're ONLY using it as a second lock for your front wheel. A cable lock can be cut in seconds. A GOOD u-lock will take 20 minutes or so to cut with power tools. The thief won't bother doing that for your $200 bike when there are tons of bikes locked with cable locks right next to your bike.

    Once you've got a lock, use it properly. Here are some links:

    Sheldon Brown's Method
    MechBgon's Method

    You should also consider replacing any quick release mechanisms on the bike (wheels, seatpost) with pitlocks. That way, you won't lose your wheels or seat to a thief who can't break your u-lock, and you won't have to use a cable lock for your front wheel, and you won't have to take your seat with you when you lock up.

    Yes, it seems like a lot of expense to lock up properly, but replacing your bike is still more expensive, and college campuses are notorious bike thief magnets. If your bike is properly locked, the thief will move on to the next, inadequately or improperly locked bike.

    Finally, remember to remove any easily removable items like lights before you leave your bike unattended.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Zero_Enigma's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    North of the 49th Parallel (GPS grid soon)
    My Bikes
    MTB Peugoet Canyon (forgot the model), Nikishi? roadbike, MTB custom build,
    Posts
    1,775
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 03SVTCobra
    Howdy, I'm new to the forums...So the story goes I've been living in an apartment a few blocks off campus for about 2 months now and I've already grown tired of having my life revolve around the bus schedule...wanna study, better make sure the bus is running otherwise you're stuck walking about 3/4 a mile back home, or there for that matter.

    I want a cool bike that wouldn't look nerdy (I'm in college not trying to offend you guys, but I gotta be cool ) and that would be good for on/off road riding. I was thinking maybe a cheap Trek or something like that would be nice...I'd like to spend under 200 bucks if possible...I just thought I'd ask you guys cause no way am I throwing down 150 on a walmart huffy if I can get something better for around the same price.
    TIme to watch Revenge of the Nerds again (good movie ). I take it someone here wants to get some opposite attraction action thus the non-nerd factor. LOL

    Dood, I'd check the local bike shops for used bikes and as said before the garage sales. I was going for a petro run last night and drove by a street with a pink (I think female model) bike with decent tires and the front break worked well. Too bad my car was loaded up at the time so I must have missed that opportunity to get it and fix it. Anyways what I'm trying to say is also check for when your local garbage day is and go trolling with some friends at night or by yourself in the neighbourhood or a few blocks away in the more house area and check if bikes are being thrown out. If they are check if it'll fit you or you can live with the size and take it home. WD-40 the chain and give it a test out. If the chain is gone then Wally should have a replacement chain to put on. Check the brakes and replace them if you need to. I'm not sure if WD-40 is the right thing to use in the shifters to lube it but I'm sure someone else here will chime in on if it's a good idea or not. Lube the shifters and see if you can get some shifting out of it so you're not oging single speed if the bike is a multi-speed.

    Lastly at your local Wallys I'd probably get some cheap spray paints of the TrimClad brand as that stuff can spray on metal without a priming coat as the people at Home Depot told me a week ago when I was looking for something to fix the house siding trim. If the paint is flaking then sand the flakes down then just spray it up. Heck want cool? Then get OD green, black, and brown and camo paint that bike. Add a bell, light, taillight and a rack and you're good to go. Fenders if you want to keep the day-after rain off the pants if you're using it was a day to day bike in all weather other then dry. Oh don't forget to get a good bike lock. Best to have a Ulock and chain combo. Two different methods of attack for the thief to slow them down.

    PS if mom calls tell her to send more MRE's.

    Zero_Enigma
    Last edited by Zero_Enigma; 10-03-06 at 03:51 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    959
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Whatever you get for god's sake lube your chain.

    The bikes on our campus have chains that look and sound like they were just pulled off of a shipwreck and thrown on a bike.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cool, Well I'm going home for the weekend for my High School's Homecoming game, I live a few minutes from the Richardson Bike Mart, alot of people tell me its a good place...I was thinking if I could find a used Trek 3500 or something of that nature it'd be a good bike to start out with. I also wouldn't mind having something I could use in the summertime for bike trails around the city.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Atlanta, Decatur, Merritt Island
    My Bikes
    2005 Fuji Silhouette
    Posts
    53
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't get new! Does your school have its own online classifieds? Our school has one with a bike section in it. Also, try asking your bike shops what they have used, then ask if they know anyone selling a used bike if they don't have any. I agree with avoiding shocks if you don't think you'll use them. One more thing to maintain and pay for.

    Good lock, used properly!

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    385
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    3/4 of a mile walk? My god, man, how do you manage?

    craigslist, buy something cheap and expendable.
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ducati
    3/4 of a mile walk? My god, man, how do you manage?

    craigslist, buy something cheap and expendable.
    Its rough, walking through traffic isn't my favorite past time.

    I found a used Trek 3700 for 250? If its in good shape does that sound about right?

  15. #15
    Junior Member Shorty_McHotdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    So. Cal
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    For under $200 you can get an awesome used bike. If you want to do road/trail riding, get a Trek mountain bike. You can get a used cromoly steel bike for well under that $200. Don't shy away from it because it's steel; it will outlast aluminum. You can also probably pick up an aluminum Trek for under $200. Avoid shocks-- you won't need them, and they just add weight and maintenance expense to your bike; worst of all, they convert your energy that you're trying to apply to forward motion into up and down motion-- an extremely inefficient way to travel. If you're riding mostly on roads, you can take the off-road knobbies off and put on some commuter slicks for an even more efficient ride.

    Another good choice would be a cyclocross bike, which would also be capable of on road and off-road riding, as well as having that "cool" cachet. But you probably won't find one in that price range.

    The key to keeping your bike is to lock it better than the other bikes are locked. Buy a GOOD U-Lock (Kryptonite New York and Kryptonite Fahgettaboudit are the best; expensive, but not as expensive as replacing your stolen bike.). Do NOT buy a cable lock, unless you're ONLY using it as a second lock for your front wheel. A cable lock can be cut in seconds. A GOOD u-lock will take 20 minutes or so to cut with power tools. The thief won't bother doing that for your $200 bike when there are tons of bikes locked with cable locks right next to your bike.

    Once you've got a lock, use it properly. Here are some links:

    Sheldon Brown's Method
    MechBgon's Method

    You should also consider replacing any quick release mechanisms on the bike (wheels, seatpost) with pitlocks. That way, you won't lose your wheels or seat to a thief who can't break your u-lock, and you won't have to use a cable lock for your front wheel, and you won't have to take your seat with you when you lock up.

    Yes, it seems like a lot of expense to lock up properly, but replacing your bike is still more expensive, and college campuses are notorious bike thief magnets. If your bike is properly locked, the thief will move on to the next, inadequately or improperly locked bike.

    Finally, remember to remove any easily removable items like lights before you leave your bike unattended.
    haha, I can't believe i actually know what you're talking about! (newbie ) It's true though, I've carried my seat to bio lecture a few times. It fits in my backpack so i don't look weird carrying it around. Also, the other day I was parking my bike and right beside there was my same bike (just different color), but it was locked so bad! The person had a U-lock, locking the front tire to the bike rack and that's it. The wheels are quick release, so if anyone really wanted, there was a bike up for grabs right there. :\ Although i must say, sometimes it's hard using the u-lock because the racks are soo crowded.
    Last edited by Shorty_McHotdog; 10-04-06 at 03:23 AM.
    I'm KILROY! Kilroy! Kilroy...
    Hi folks!! :D

  16. #16
    Junior Member Shorty_McHotdog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    So. Cal
    Posts
    18
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 03SVTCobra
    Its rough, walking through traffic isn't my favorite past time.

    I found a used Trek 3700 for 250? If its in good shape does that sound about right?
    Hey, that's my bike!! I found mine on craigslist from another student who was moving back East. Anyway, I paid $200. Previous owner got it new for a little over $300 and had hardly used it. So far it's a good bike. It doesn't shift well sometimes, but not often and it's not a problem.
    ..What color is it? haha
    edit:Mine's grey/green
    I'm KILROY! Kilroy! Kilroy...
    Hi folks!! :D

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    385
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 03SVTCobra
    Its rough, walking through traffic isn't my favorite past time.

    I found a used Trek 3700 for 250? If its in good shape does that sound about right?
    Honestly: with that short of a commute I'd be buying something cheaper. If you buy a bike with a quick release seatpost and wheels you would spend more time locking the darn thing up (and dragging your seat to class) than you do commuting. What a drag.

    Seriously, buy something in the $50 range from craigslist and commute on that.

    NOW... If you want a bike for FUN and not commuting, a 3700 would be a fine choice. Personally, I'd buy new and buy an 820 ($259 list, I bet you can easily find one for 229). Same stuff on it, but a steel frame. You don't get much for your extra money with the 3700 frame, IMO. I rocked the K2 equivalent this summer on MUPs, roads, and trails in Teton Valley, ID and enjoyed the heck out of it. I was going to buy the 820 but the local shop had a K2 instead.

    It is my experience that college towns are full of would-be theives, and I wouldn't want the real pita of locking up a treasured bike for every class. I probably would have stayed home in bed at the thought of all that work for a 3 minute ride..
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  18. #18
    Cube-farm Boy dustinvallier's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Lakewood, CO
    My Bikes
    Specialized Allez, Mongoose IBOC Comp, Peugeot U08, Novara Forza
    Posts
    71
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    +1 on the U-lock/cable combo. Everyone I met at college had at least one bike stolen. Mine happened to be recovered by the police, because they watched the theif clip my cheap combo lock.

    And just get a solid bolt for the seatpost clamp, which should cost you under a dollar. If you really need to adjust the seat, a hex-key will do the job almost as fast as a quick-release. It's not cool to ride around with no seat for 2 weeks, waiting for a paycheck (no police that time).

  19. #19
    BAH
    BAH is offline
    Senior Member BAH's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Centralia, WA
    My Bikes
    xtracycle
    Posts
    552
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    cool bike? Look into electras. They are comfy to ride, cool and the ladies love them

    They start at a little over 200. I paid 235 for this one


  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    385
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    He did say he wanted to do trails, though. I've done some gravel on my Nirve cruiser, but I don't think I'd enjoy huffing it up the local singletrack
    My bicycle commuting blog: lop

  21. #21
    Senior Member fenester's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Brooklyn, NY
    My Bikes
    '01 Trek Clyde 4-speed, Surly Cross-check ss/fg
    Posts
    174
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had a couple different mountain bikes in college and they did good service. For the street/trails bit, I put skinny slicks on the stock wheels (w/o quick release) and I got a spare set of used wheels and put knobbies on them (w/ quick release). Quick easy way to trade out and you get to have the best tire for both conditions.
    "Mobility without effort constitutes a kind of unreal happiness, a suspension of existence, an irresponsibility."

  22. #22
    cyclist/gearhead/cycli... moxfyre's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    DC / Maryland suburbs
    My Bikes
    Homebuilt tourer/commuter, modified-beyond-recognition 1990 Trek 1100, reasonably stock 2002-ish Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo
    Posts
    4,172
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by barba
    Sub $200 start looking around for a used old steel road bike. For extra cool points convert it to single speed or fixed gear.
    ++++1 ...

    I've bought at least half a dozen used steel road bikes in rideable condition. They are rugged and yet comfortable for the road, undesirable to thieves, and cheap if you know what to look for. I'm particularly fond of the Japanese brands from the 80s: Fuji, Nishiki, Centurion, etc. No one makes an affordable light-touring steel road bike with medium width tires and rack mounts these days, so it's fortunate that there are so many used ones floating a round.

    Also, single speed and fixed gear bikes are definitely considered super cool these days, if that's what you're into. Check out my fixed gear bike, built up from an 80s Fuji for a total price under $160

    PS- And, as everyone else has pointed out, craigslist is a godsend for finding affordable used bikes.
    My bikes | Linux and Python stuff | Photo gallery

    Sheldon Brown, I miss you. Thanks for the advice, ideas, humor, and infectious enthusiasm for everything bikes...

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think I'm gonna borrow my dad's full suspension mongoose for a while, take it to a couple trails around the area and what not.

    If I like it I'll look into a nice Trek or Specialized for xmas I think. Just gotta make sure I lock it up well at all times.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    7,283
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by 03SVTCobra
    I think I'm gonna borrow my dad's full suspension mongoose for a while, take it to a couple trails around the area and what not.

    If I like it I'll look into a nice Trek or Specialized for xmas I think. Just gotta make sure I lock it up well at all times.
    Well, be careful as to what conclusions you draw as to whether you like it or not, because a full-suspension bike will be less efficient for commuting. The suspension is really only useful for rough off-road riding. For on-road riding, it's doesn't provide any benefits, and does divert some of your forward motion energy into up-and-down motion.

    Try the bike out, and try some others out, if you can. Then decide.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    51
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Order
    Well, be careful as to what conclusions you draw as to whether you like it or not, because a full-suspension bike will be less efficient for commuting. The suspension is really only useful for rough off-road riding. For on-road riding, it's doesn't provide any benefits, and does divert some of your forward motion energy into up-and-down motion.

    Try the bike out, and try some others out, if you can. Then decide.
    Will do, I'm going to the bike shop this weekend and gonna see if they'll let me test ride some bikes around.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •