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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 07-12-12, 10:42 AM   #1
direwolf92
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Need a commuter bike for uni

Hi all going to start cycling to uni this year to save money and im looking for a bike to get that's good yet cheap.

It just over 5 mile to uni so ill be cycling 10 mile a day nearly 3 days a week.

The bike i am looking at is below, just want some expert guidance to see if it would be a good buy for what i want.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Viking-Pha...ht_2854wt_1037

Ps it rains alot in England
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Old 07-12-12, 11:22 AM   #2
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Welcome To Bike Forums, Direwolf92!

Your link doesn't provide enough information. Anyway, it's usually best to buy a used 80's styled road bike in situations like yours...
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Old 07-12-12, 11:46 AM   #3
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I am not familiar with that brand, but I can tell you that it has absolutely bottom-end components and a frame that is not going to be particularly light.

Will it explode the first time you ride it? No, of course not. For the distance you describe, it will probably be good enough. I have a Hi-Ten bike that I like a great deal, though it is quite different than the one that you link to.

On one hand, you don't want to spend a lot of money on a bike that's going to be locked up outside of a school (I'm making an assumption that you'll be locking it to a bike rack), on the other hand, if you enjoy riding, you will end up wanting something better fairly quickly.

I don't know what the used bike market is like in your area, but you may want to peruse that avenue and see what else is out there. You may be able to find a nicer level of bike for your money, even if several years older.
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Old 07-12-12, 11:49 AM   #4
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Uni ?, you need a Unicycle. 1 wheel.
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Old 07-12-12, 01:31 PM   #5
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The thing is i can go up to about 200 but most of the used bike in my area cost 150 so its not really worth it. i know im not going to get a super light bike for my budget but just want something lighter than my mountain bike at present.
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Old 07-12-12, 01:36 PM   #6
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The thing is i can go up to about 200 but most of the used bike in my area cost 150 so its not really worth it. i know im not going to get a super light bike for my budget but just want something lighter than my mountain bike at present.
What do you mean it's not worth it?

A used chromoly steel frame alone would be worth it, provided that most of your components are in fair to good condition. Chromoly steel frames can last an entire lifetime!
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Old 07-12-12, 01:42 PM   #7
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Ive got an old raleigh 501 frame in my room but the cost of all the parts would be more than a new bike.
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Old 07-12-12, 02:11 PM   #8
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For a used bike, it typically goes like this: cheap, good bike, no extra work/money... pick two.
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Old 07-12-12, 02:41 PM   #9
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Ive got an old raleigh 501 frame in my room but the cost of all the parts would be more than a new bike.
There must be the equivalent of a bicycle co-op in England somewhere. You will be able to build your frame up right there at the co-op, where spare and available parts will be accessible.
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Old 07-12-12, 03:31 PM   #10
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Hiya Ryan,

Im having the same situation, I am just starting out and also going to uni in september in brighton in england...I am looking for a cheapish road bike to travel about 10 miles - 15 miles a day, but they are all over 400 and most second hand ones are like 50 to 80 cheaper then they were brand new! So im stuck aswell.

Ben
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Old 07-12-12, 06:33 PM   #11
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Yeh i feel you ben, i dont know whether the prices differ in usa. But we also dont have bike co-op's which are a great idea most good bikes are around the 300-500 mark and as a student we havent got that money to be splashing out on a bike.
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Old 07-12-12, 06:49 PM   #12
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Hi all just seen this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/T-J-Cycles...#ht_500wt_1287 now would this be a good buy at a reasonable price
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Old 07-14-12, 11:33 PM   #13
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Anymore tips on the viking phantom
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Old 07-15-12, 12:55 AM   #14
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Anymore tips on the viking phantom
You then have only one of two options IMHO:

1) Purchase single speeds which are usually inexpensive requiring only minimal maintenance.

2) Buy really cheap multi geared bicycles where your acquired mechanical skills will be constantly tested.

*****************

PS.

You really must continue to be vigilant and relentless in your search for a nice used chromoly steel framed road bike. Peruse pawn and thrift shops. Attend yard and garage sales.

Last edited by SlimRider; 07-15-12 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 07-15-12, 02:07 AM   #15
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You need to take into account the following factors:
Gearing for the steepest hill/heaviest load.
Mudguard (fender) fittings: threaded eyelets and clearance at brakes and frame for full-length, bolt-on 'guards.
Load-carrying: are you going to use a rear luggage rack or front basket. Backpacks are OK for lighter loads but for a big shop you want rack and panniers. These also enable you to take cheap cycle-touring holidays.
Accessories: Budget for lock, lights, helmet, 'guards, rear rack, panniers, small repair kit.
Tyre upgrades: Seriously consider putting some decent quality, puncture-protected tyres. This is the no.1 cause of troubles. I recommend the basic Schwalbe Marathon as a good all rounder. In 700c size, 28-32mm is a good choice so get a bike to fit it.
Don't forget to pick the correct size bike to fit you.

Low-end race bikes are generally pretty poor quality. You get better value with a hybrid of the same price, just because it is more common. Good used bikes may be better value, as long as they are not too worn out. Check for any bike co-ops or schemes (such as Dr Bike) in your university town. Over 5 miles, the difference in commuting times between bike styles is very little.
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