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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 12-30-13, 01:38 PM   #1
reiszvanadis
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Help, never had a bike before but will need one for college

Hello everyone, currently I go to college though staying at home. When I go off to university next fall I decided I will get a bike instead of a car because it's simply cheaper. The problem is that I don't really know how to ride a bike. The last bike I had was 10+ years ago and it had training wheels, heh. Suffice to say I lost interest and my parents never forced me to learn. I'm confident I can pick it up pretty quick though. I will during the spring time.

However, I have sat on different bikes before and one thing is for certain, I do not like high seated bikes with thin wheels. That would eliminate road bikes wouldn't it? I also eliminated those cruiser bikes because the university I will go to does have a few hills (Not a lot) and piles of snow (it's right on Lake Ontario). Not practical. I will live on campus but I want to be able to ride the bike in the town too, it is my form of transportation after all. I'm confused because since I never had a bike, I just don't know what quality I should look for.

So the requirements:

- the bike must be durable
- possibly hybrid bike or commuter? Which one is best?
- have relatively thick tires
- comfortable to ride, I'm not going to go fast
- the price range shouldn't be high, around $200-450 but no more
- and anything that I'm ignorant about that I should add here

I'm not looking for a fancy bike, but I'm not interested in the sporty looking bikes either. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
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Old 12-30-13, 01:43 PM   #2
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problem solved ...... even comes with a book basket .........enjoy college
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Old 12-30-13, 01:45 PM   #3
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Black or White Seat?

http://syracuse.craigslist.org/bik/4234208197.html

http://syracuse.craigslist.org/bik/4229414860.html
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Old 12-30-13, 01:49 PM   #4
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College Security cuts locks to clear the bike racks of bikes abandoned when people graduate or drop out,

and then auctions them off. keep an eye out for that auction (& dont bid too high)
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Old 12-30-13, 02:22 PM   #5
reiszvanadis
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I'm not interested in a tricycle. Two wheels. What kind of brand should I look for that is okay?
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Old 12-30-13, 02:24 PM   #6
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How big of hills and how often would you climb them? I'd look for an upright bike with an internally geared rear hub (if lots of hills go for 7 or 8 speed, if a few minor hills then 3 speed should be fine), fenders, as full of a chainguard as you can find, and tires along the lines of 700x34. A step-thru frame might be more comfortable for you as well (BTW, I'm a 6' former football player and bike racer and ride a step-thru Workcycles Omafiets). A bike like this is much lower maintenance than something with an external derailleur, reliable, easy to ride, comfortable to ride, and can easily carry lots of stuff. If you have to ride on ice or packed snow in the winter then get a local bike shop to put some studded tires (I like Marathon Winters) on for you during the winter (keep your old tires to pub back on in the spring).
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Old 12-30-13, 02:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reiszvanadis View Post
I'm not interested in a tricycle. Two wheels. What kind of brand should I look for that is okay?
I wouldn't worry too much about brand except to avoid dept or big box store bikes. There are way too many relatively good brands to list.
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Old 12-30-13, 02:34 PM   #8
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The city is actually pretty flat. From what I could remember when I visited, it appears any hills that were there were smooth and not very large. But I guess I just want to be safe than sorry. Thanks for the information CrankyOne I'll definitely put it to good use.
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Old 12-30-13, 02:50 PM   #9
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Campus security tend not to be the only ones who transfer ownership of bikes on college campuses. Get something that looks rough around the edges and then lock it up as if it were valuable (a $30 U-lock should do, but don't even consider cable locks).

I'd check out your local craigslist looking for a late 90's mountain bike from Trek, Specialized or Giant. Look for something with no suspension fork. Replace the knobby tires with something like Schwalbe Big Apples (or Marathon Plus if you never want to change a flat) and you're good to go. You should be able to find something pretty nice for around $100. The best part is it will still be worth that when you're done with it in four years or so.

You might think you'd rather get something new for peace of mind, but you should understand that bikes aren't like cars in this respect. A 25-year old used bike that you can buy for $100 will often be significantly more reliable than a brand new bike that you'd pay $300 for.
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Old 12-30-13, 06:27 PM   #10
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Figure out the size frame you need first, more important that it fits right rather than price.

Most of the undergraduates in Ann Arbor ride mountain bikes, anything from a Wallyworld Huffy to a tricked out Specialized. If you're on a budget and want a sturdy bike for less than $150 in ready to ride conditon, I'd be looking for a chromoly steel framed mountain bike, rigid non-suspension from the mid 1990s; Trek 830, 850, 930, a Gary Fisher Mamba, Aquila, or Wahoo, a Specialized Hardrock, Rockhopper, or Stumpjumper, or a Schwinn Paramount PDG, High Sierra, Cimmaron, or High Plains. You can look for a GT, Miyata or Univega as well, but probably harder to come by. It's easy enough for $30 to install 26 X 1.5" wide road tires and tubes in place of the knobbies and have a mountain bike ride as nice as a hybrid. Last month, I paid as little as $25 for a HardRock and $62.50 for a Stumpjumper; only the HR needs work.

Most of the college and Rochester/Syracuse probably have bike coops that sell reconditioned bikes and can help you learn to ride as well.

TREK 850 @ $60
http://rochester.craigslist.org/bik/4234453562.html

Giant Nutra Hybrid #@ $90
http://syracuse.craigslist.org/bik/4264895928.html

Trek 930 @ $75
http://ithaca.craigslist.org/bik/4262638257.html

Ideally, the wheel rims should match in color and profile, the rear derailleur would be a Shimano Alivio, STX, or Deore. And don't wait to get approval here if it looks like it's priced low. Just jump on it.
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Old 12-30-13, 07:28 PM   #11
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Areas that get a lot of snow I would look for a mountain bike. While I prefer rigid as good all around commuter, I also don't mind hardtails. You can swap out tires as the season changes.
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Old 12-30-13, 08:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reiszvanadis View Post
the university I will go to does have a few hills (Not a lot) and piles of snow (it's right on Lake Ontario). Not practical. I will live on campus but I want to be able to ride the bike in the town too, it is my form of transportation after all.
SUNY Oswego?

Either way, go for a mountain bike. especially if you're going to ride it snow. wider knobby tires, and it's designed to take a little beating.

i would try to either find one on craigslist for $150-200 to start out with, or grab a bike from Wal-mart or Sears. They are ****ty bikes but they'll get you started - especially if you're just learning again. better to lose your balance and drop a cheap wal-mart bike than a $500 Trek or something.
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