I'm ashamed to say it but somehow I ended up with a Wal-Mart bike.
I don't know what happened. I remeber some blue letters and a rack and then I was at my house with an Envoy...
Anyway, it is total crap. I've been at Univ of Texas at Austin for one semester and I have run my bike into the ground. It wasn't assembled well, my Dad fixed the spokes and re-aligned the tires and I messed around with the breaks.
But after 3 months of taking it up and down hills (and curbs) around campus I have lost two reflectors, my chain frequently jumps and one of my pedals has essentially ripped off.
I'm looking to buy a bike in the $400-$500 range that can take a beating getting locked up next to a bunch of other bikes, but can also get me to class quickly. I've done some research but I still don't know any reliable brands to look at and I'm still unsure which type to get: hybrid? sport? road?
I'm leanding towards a road bike, but if I'm wrong about that PLEASE let me know.
Thank you all for your expertise,