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Old 11-15-08, 12:22 AM   #1
drumthumpa
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New Rider Needs a New Bike

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,
Jake.
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Old 11-15-08, 01:19 AM   #2
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It wasn't assembled well, my Dad fixed the spokes and re-aligned the tires and I messed around with the breaks.
Yeah, Spring Break was always great. Oh, I think you meant brakes.

Now on to your question... How far of a commute do you have? What does "get to class quickly" mean? If you only have a 3 or 4 mile commute, any type of bike will do. But, since you like to do jumps and ride up curbs, I would recommend an older late 80s early '90s mountain bike. You should be able to find a very nice double butted Cro-Moly bike in your price range with extra money for a rack, slick road tires and other options. I like the Trek 800 and 900 series, the Specialized Hardrock or Stumpjumper.

The older mountain bike steel frame should be able to take any beating you dish out. The slick road tires will allow for easier pedaling on pavement. The more relaxed geometry and upright sitting postion should make for a comfortable ride.
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Old 11-15-08, 02:42 AM   #3
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There's no such thing as a sport bike. You can't get a new road bike for $500. I suggest used. Just post here before you buy so you don't get ripped off.
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Old 11-15-08, 05:11 AM   #4
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SweetLou has a good suggestion.

Also, welcome to the forums.
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Old 11-15-08, 05:41 AM   #5
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Sport bike is sometimes used to describe a road bike with light-touring capability, they make excellent general purpose bikes but are a rare breed.
Most city commuters can do without suspension, its adds weight and maintenance.
You need to decide what size tyres are most appropriate for your riding. For MTBs it is probably a 1.5-1.75" slick, for hybrid bikes a 28-35mm and for a road bike a 25-28mm. You need a frame with suitable tyre clearance; road bikes can sometimes struggle to fit medium tyres such as 28mm.
You probably need threaded eyelets for a rear luggage rack and fenders. These are always useful on a commuter even if you chose to use a backpack. Even a road bike with eyelets can haul a heavy load of shopping a couple of miles. Clip on solutions such as seatpost racks carry less, weight more and are not as stable. Same goes for fenders: bolt-on fenders always perform better than clip-on versions.
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Old 11-15-08, 08:36 AM   #6
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yep, a used mountain bike. you can get wider road tires (slicks) for it, fenders if you need 'em and a rack. then get yourself a cool messenger bag, in black. you'll be a rockstar and that set up is perfect for a campus bike.
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Old 11-15-08, 05:57 PM   #7
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I'd recommend going for the Remedial English before the English 101.
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Old 11-16-08, 12:14 AM   #8
drumthumpa
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thank you all for your suggestions
I'll post after I've tried out some of these bikes.
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Old 11-16-08, 12:19 AM   #9
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Take a long look at those other bikes on campus, the one's on those bike racks that you mentioned. Start from there.
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Old 11-16-08, 10:02 AM   #10
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If I was you I would get a single speed MTN bike. Then I would set it up with a rack and some 35mm slicks.

I would probably look at getting something used also. Check out any Surly 1x1. I could build that into the ultimate campus bike.
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Old 11-16-08, 10:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by drumthumpa View Post
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.
One word. Jamis Coda. Wait -- that's two words.
Anyway, we sell a bunch of these bikes at my shop and it's an awesome bike for the $$.
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