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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 09-05-09, 06:42 PM   #1
Dole
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Help me pick out a bike!!!

I know nothing about bikes... but I need one and I don't want to go out and buy one without consulting the experts first. So I'll list my specifications and you all should try and help me with some specific brand and model names.

I'm a college student and will be commuting maybe 3 miles tops every day (over the course of the entire day)
I need something that can go over curbs and down steps (I weigh 210 lbs)
I'm also an outdoorsy person so I could see some trail riding in my future if I had the bike to do it.
Like I said I'm a college student so my budget is $200 tops

So some specific examples would be great (also I'm not opposed to buying a used bike if you think I could get a better bike for my money that way)

Thanks for the help!
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Old 09-05-09, 07:19 PM   #2
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Buy a front suspension mountain bike off craigs list.

With that kind of low mileage, pretty much anything will do. I'd probably just walk. But if you want go off a lot of curbs and steps, the fat tires and straight handlebars of the mountain bike will help.
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Old 09-05-09, 07:49 PM   #3
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I'd say an old no-suspension MTB. Put street slicks on it but keep some knobbies in case you really do want to do some trail riding.

My mount is a 20 year old Specialized Hard Rock. It was a freebie, and I added slicks, fenders, lights, and a rack. It's a great all purpose bike and cost me less than a hundred to get set up, though I didn't add the slicks until the original knobbies were worn out.

It may take a little looking, but bikes like that are out there. But take a friend who is knowlegeable about bikes with you. Make sure the wheels are straight and that everything works and you should be oka.
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Old 09-05-09, 10:09 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies... I know used may be the best way to go but descriptions on craigs list can get sketchy... are there any specific recommendations for a new bike... Like a quality cheap brand to start with...
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Old 09-06-09, 04:52 AM   #5
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A Giant Boulder--classic college kid bike. Cheap.
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Old 09-06-09, 05:05 AM   #6
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Make offer of $200...See if it gets accepted. Maybe get a lot of your friends to offer $75, $100, $110, etc.. Then you offer $200 after a few days. If one of their low bids gets accepted, great for you! If not, maybe he'll see yours as way above the rest..hehe..

http://cgi.ebay.com/GIANT-Boulder-SE...3286.m20.l1116
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Old 09-06-09, 05:21 AM   #7
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210lbs, down steps and over curbs...

I say a front suspension mountain bike. No suspension would be pretty painful on the hands in a little while.
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Old 09-06-09, 05:57 AM   #8
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How many of those 3 miles are steps?

I'd say a solid hybrid/mountain bike with a normal, diamond frame would do. Even over 3 miles, the mushy suspension and tires of a pure mountain bike take a lot of energy. You may want to consider thinner, smoother tires, and walking your bike down the steps. For $200, I don't think you're going to get indestructible rims.

Most importantly for campus use, make sure it's as ugly as possible, and buy a lock that's at least as heavy as the bike.
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Old 09-06-09, 08:53 AM   #9
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I'd say a solid hybrid/mountain bike with a normal, diamond frame would do. Even over 3 miles, the mushy suspension and tires of a pure mountain bike take a lot of energy.
I respectfully disagree.
The difference a front suspension makes in terms of lost energy is MUCH less than what it's made out to be on these forums, especially over such a short distance. The advantages in this case far outweigh any slight loss of speed. Tires can be pumped up harder or even switched out for something less knobby or thinner. IMHO, that would make a much bigger difference and much easier to change if he wanted to hit the trails.

Seriously... if $200 is the budget for the bike (don't forget gear like helmet, bag, tools, etc) then craigslist is the way to go. You won't get anything new worth a darn compared to what you can get off CL.
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Old 09-06-09, 11:00 PM   #10
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So I checked out the Giant Boulder and I really liked it... I also looked at Trek 820, Trek 3500, and Raleigh Mojave 2.0 ... However all of these have price tags over $300... Is there anything comparable for a lower price????
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