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  1. #1
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    Best bike for a daily college-campus rider?

    Hey everyone, I am a college student looking to purchase a new bike, which I will be riding everyday around the University of Florida campus. My budget is under $200. I am looking for a bike that is comfortable (lots of bumps in the road), efficient and fast. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions on particular types, brands, and models. Thanks in advance.

    -Jibu

  2. #2
    Senior Member spunkyruss's Avatar
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    My personal suggestion would be a good-quality used mountain bike with "city" tires and a good lock. A good-quality used hybrid (and a good lock) would also suit.

    I doubt that you would have much trouble finding a bike shop that sells used bikes near the University of Florida.

  3. #3
    100% USDA certified the beef's Avatar
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    Something not flashy. I'd suggest a used mountain bike / hybrid (a good idea would be a front suspension fork, those absorb bumps very well) with street tires, you can find plenty under $200.

  4. #4
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    In your budget, go to garage sales. You might get lucky & find a 1970's vintage "10-speed racer" for under $10. If it fits (and ONLY if it fits!), buy it. Otherwise, looking for a used MTB is also good advice. MTB's won't be as "fast" as a road-style bike, but they are more comfortable to ride over bumps (you can DO it on the road bike, it'll just beat up your wrists & butt more). If you can't find a MTB or a road bike, just buy a new coaster-brake cruiser (from the local BIKE SHOP - NOT the local discount store!). Happy riding!

  5. #5
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    Colleges are notorious for bike theft. You would be better off with a rusty thirty year old bike that is in excellent riding condition than with a shiny new bike. For $200, you get get a dented and rusted 1985 bike that will ride as well as a new $1,000 bike.

    If you STILL want to buy a new bike, spend about $250 on a mountain bike (the price of a Trek, Specialized, or Giant from a shop with good service), then spend fifty bucks for a u-lock for the rear wheel, and twenty-five bucks for a u-lock for the front wheel.

    Spend less than that, you will have to cut corners, and cutting corners is expensive in the long run. If you buy from a shop close to campus it will be easier to get service when you need it.

  6. #6
    cab horn
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    My budget is under $200
    So you're actual budget is around $100 since the other part is spent on locks.

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  8. #8
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    For campus use you could do a lot worse than to find an old 3 speed
    Raleigh or Schwinn bike from the past. Simple to own,ride and operate.
    Sorta theft proof (it's a no bling bike) while always being ready to ride.

  9. #9
    cab horn
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    Trust me, on campus or anywhere near it, even a crappy bike gets stolen. Having it be a pos is not a substitute for a good lock.

  10. #10
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    Go early eighties and Japanese

    Search ebay for your size roadbike, sort by lowest price. Look for some mid level road/touring bike with low mileage and a seller with impeccable rep. Roadbikes are so much more fun to ride, and a decent Japanese lugged steelbike from the eighties is where you will get most wheels for the money IMHO.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spunkyruss
    My personal suggestion would be a good-quality used mountain bike with "city" tires and a good lock. A good-quality used hybrid (and a good lock) would also suit.

    I doubt that you would have much trouble finding a bike shop that sells used bikes near the University of Florida.
    And a good lock!

    My suggestion was at least a little more recognisable and a little less nice than the bike next to it.

    As you may have figured out bike theft is a major problem on most college campuses.

  12. #12
    Senior Member zoridog's Avatar
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    At the end of the month, people move and leave 10 speed bikes at the curb as trash. Yard sale prices around here are $10 - $25 for garage kept "nice" bikes.

    Get a new set of tires and tubes for about $35 at Nashbar or Performance. Buy a lock and you'll still have $100 left for beer and pizza.
    I miss bicycle commuting.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zoridog
    At the end of the month, people move and leave 10 speed bikes at the curb as trash. Yard sale prices around here are $10 - $25 for garage kept "nice" bikes.

    Get a new set of tires and tubes for about $35 at Nashbar or Performance. Buy a lock and you'll still have $100 left for beer and pizza.
    Yeah, go for the cheap used bikes. Garage-sales or police-auctions, the cheaper the better because you can count on losing 3-5 of them during your time at university.

  14. #14
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Yeah, go for the cheap used bikes. Garage-sales or police-auctions, the cheaper the better because you can count on losing 3-5 of them during your time at university.
    That's perhaps a little premature. It very much depends on the area and whether or not you're smart about locking it up. Even the best lock can be defeated, but it takes quite a bit of effort to get through a decent U-lock. Thieves know a lot of college students neglect security of their bikes, so they target the campuses, but campuses are also usually busy enough that to force the thieves to be opportunists. Lock it up in high visibility areas during the day, keep it inside at night if at all possible. The best combination is a U-lock around the frame, plus a cable looped through the wheels (and seat rails if there's cable to spare) to keep the easy to remove parts from walking away.

    For what it's worth, my bike survived college fine with just a cable lock, BUT (notice the bold and capitals on that but) I never left it for more than about 10 minutes with just the cable around it. It spent the rest of the time in my room or locked up in the school shop, and my heart was jumping in my throat every time I ran into the grocery store.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Yeah, go for the cheap used bikes. Garage-sales or police-auctions, the cheaper the better because you can count on losing 3-5 of them during your time at university.
    When I bought my Diamondback, I left the Huffy unlocked in the stairwell. It was there for 4 days before somebody stole it. I told the downstairs trannies to tell whichever one of their buddies "thanks" for getting it off my hands. The Diamondback stayed in my apartment or in my lab.

  16. #16
    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Yeah, but the locks last forever. I was using 25 year old Krypotonite locks from high school, until I turned them in for new ones !!!


    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    So you're actual budget is around $100 since the other part is spent on locks.

  17. #17
    cab horn
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    Thieves know a lot of college students neglect security of their bikes, so they target the campuses, but campuses are also usually busy enough that to force the thieves to be opportunists. Lock it up in high visibility areas during the day, keep it inside at night if at all possible.
    That's not really a deterrent at all. Anecdotal story follows: friend had his bike lock cut in front of one of the most busiest buildings on campus in broad daylight. They left his bike and took his helmet.

  18. #18
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by operator
    That's not really a deterrent at all.
    I think it is somewhat of a deterrent. I think most bike thefts do happen after dark. I had two bikes stolen from me, and a rear wheel off the third, and all three times it happened at night. Anecdotal too, of course, but must be statistics floating around. Would be interesting to see...

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