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  1. #1
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    My college-aged son would like a bike as part of his Christmas - what should I get?

    My son wants a bike to ride on campus, to his job and then occasionally on weekend bike rides. From what I have read to this point I am leaning toward a hybrid of some type. I would like to get him one that would be very durable, but I really know nothing about what brand or type would be best. I have even considered getting him a used bike. I would appreciate any advice.

  2. #2
    Hooligan Abneycat's Avatar
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    Well, you would know your son best - would he like off road weekend bike rides? Does he want something aesthetically or for comfort reasons? It would help to know what he might do with it outside of commuting. If you're completely unsure,

    A cyclocross bike sounds like a great choice. They're a top pick for having good road speed and high durability. They can even off-road to a degree quite well. *Very* versatile pick.

    or,
    would you be comfortable picking out a used bike, and would he like one?

    There are some killer old steel bikes out there waiting to be loved.
    Last edited by Abneycat; 11-01-08 at 12:41 PM.

  3. #3
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Personally, CRAIGSLIST for an 80's generic steel bike for me, but
    my college Son just got one of these :

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/uno.htm

    Just a thought
    -ADVOCACY-☜ Radical VC = Car people on bikes. Just say "NO"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'm a believer in using an expendable POS bike for daily college campus use. Unfortunately, I've talked to way too many people who have had bikes stolen on various college campuses.

    I can see value in having a nicer bike for weekend recreational rides. I'd want to find out what kind of bikes his friends used. If they're into real mountain biking for example, a hybrid or a cyclocross bike probably isn't going to cut the mustard.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Depends on where he is going to be able to store it, also where he is going to school. My son has the family curse of being well over average height so most "standard" sized bikes don't fit him. We bought him a Haro GT4? to use at college. It wasn't bottom of the line but near it. We also spent money on a couple of good locks. Bike survived college and is now at home. He is in grad school in England and bought a thrift store Raleigh for getting around in Leeds.

    Find out what type of "weekend" rides your son is interested in and purchase accordingly. IMHO the best campus bike is something cheap that you won't be too upset if it goes missing.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  6. #6
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Find out what type of "weekend" rides your son is interested in and purchase accordingly. IMHO the best campus bike is something cheap that you won't be too upset if it goes missing.

    Aaron
    This is the main thing- College bike walk very quickly. Especially if they look good or have a "Known" name to them.

    I built up an MTB type bike for a friends daughter. It was a Kona Frame so all name decals taken off. Sprayed it poorly in two different colours. Rebuilt an old set of wheels that were sound- but looked rough- and put on a basic Groupset. The bike was good but looked very poor quality and was still about 4 years later.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  7. #7
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    Single speeds seam to be the rage these days. He might like something like this.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3040

  8. #8
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    From what I can tell at the local colleges, everyone rides bikes that aren't worth more than $50. So I think you're looking at a two bikes, a nice one for recreational riding, a crummy one for campus. On the campus bike, if he didn't leave it there overnight, it wouldn't be as bad. Make sure he has a good U-lock, not some $15 cable lock on a $1,500 bike.

    On the actual bike, I'd give him a budget and send him to the local bike store.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #9
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    look into a specialized hardrock sport..very durable, and versitile...

  10. #10
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Bicycles are a very personal item. If you know nothing about bicycles then you should NOT be buying used. You might very well be throwing your money away.

    Just give you son the cash, suggest it is for a bicycle and let him make the decision. If he has not ridden before, let him do the homework and get idea of what he wants to ride. Then take him to a couple of bikes shops and let him do a test ride.

    IMHO, I would not buy any bike with a suspension (shocks), unless I sure I would be using it for off road / off bike path use. You see so many people with these tanks on a bike path. There really is no need to carry that extra weight and the shocks are just one more thing that can break.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  11. #11
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    My daughter just graduated from college and we bought her a bike that nobody would really want to steal. And it worked. It was brand new and not from a bike shop. I think its a Nishiki but that doesn't matter because its still cheap. The University campus has low cost repairs for students right on campus. That worked. She used it only partially, mostly walking and some riding. But she would ride into town to the supermarket.

    If your son wanted a bike, he would have told you exactly what he wanted. If he already had a bike at home, then that's where you would start. You gotta know about the campus. Storage, weather conditions, number of bikes to students ratio. Some schools are bike friendly and some are less. University of California, Davis is big on bikes. UCLA is not that much.

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