Hi, I'm a college student and I need to get a bike this year because it takes 20 minutes to walk to class. Anyway, I found several bikes I'm interseted in online at craigslist. One is a Fuji Mountain bike, the other is a Specialized Rockhopper Sport, and the other is a 80's Schwinn Continental. I know that it is important to have a bike that fits, but what is the general opinion about these bikes? I have pictures of the Fuji and Schwinn. BTW, each one of these bikes is selling for about $50 (a great price right??).
I thought at first I wanted a road bike so I can ride easier (I'm not planning to go off-road really) but if I can get a nice mountain bike that rides well in the city, I will accept that too.
Here are the two pictures. If anyone has any advice it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
Go with the mountain bike - you'll have less chance of getting a flat on route to class. Can you just see it now, "Sorry I missed the exam professor, but I had a flat on the way to class." I'm sure they've heard that one before.
Better yet, if you have no hills to climb - get a beach cruiser and put bmx pegs on the front. Never know when a coed will need a ride to class on your handlebars.
Roadsters are purpose-made for riding on pavement. As the old saying goes, "if you want to go fast and far, get a roadster". Doesn't sound like you are particularly in need of speed or distance at this point for your 20 minute commute, so it's probably not too important. A well-set-up roadster is quite comfortable, but many folks are put off by what they see as an uncomfortable riding position. They don't seem to realize that you're not supposed to ride with your hands "in the drops" all the time.
Mountain bikes make great commuters. They are durable, unlikely to flat, and can easily be fitted with racks and such for your books and gear. The components are rugged and will stand up to much neglect and abuse.
One thing you may consider (I'm in "campus" law enforcement) is that MTBs are far more likely to be stolen. I can't recall taking a theft report on a roadster in the last 6-7 years. We get mountain bikes stolen constantly. At my school, with maybe several thousand bikes present during the school year, I'd say that 95 percent are mountain bikes.
Okay so I took a look at the Rockhopper sport today. It seemed to be in kind of crappy condition, but I liked the way it rode. It couldn't shift to the lowest gear, but, maybe after some tuneups it could be fixed. How much would it cost to put on some slicks? For $50, should I get it just because it's a Specialized Rockhopper Sport?
The Fuji is sold when I contacted the buyer.
I also actually bought a bike today for $15. It's just a simple road bike.... but I think it's too big for me. (I have to stand on my very tip-toes when I straddle the frame. And.. I slipped when riding it and hurt myself, and I don't want to have to deal with this!). So I think I'll try to sell this one.