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  1. #1
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    Got a new bike...what should I upgrade first?

    I just got a new bike(http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../messenger.htm) that I plan to use as my primary method of transport when I go to college next year. I have some money to spend on upgrades and such. What do you guys suggest I buy?

  2. #2
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    Very nice bike, going to college, hmmm. I'd buy the absolute best lock there is. bk

  3. #3
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    Which is what? A U-Lock?

  4. #4
    Senior Member Hammer02's Avatar
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    Here's a thought......don't upgrade anything yet.

    Ride it some....see what you are unhappy with...and upgrade that.

    Call me crazy but I think that's the way to go.

  5. #5
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    You have a new bike and wanna upgrade?
    Ride it as is unless something breaks/wears out.
    Does not pay to ride nice new bike in college, it will get ripped off.
    An ugle looking bike is a better choice.
    U-lock + steel cable lock may save the day but parts will be stolen.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    You have a new bike and wanna upgrade?
    Ride it as is unless something breaks/wears out.
    Does not pay to ride nice new bike in college, it will get ripped off.
    An ugle looking bike is a better choice.
    U-lock + steel cable lock may save the day but parts will be stolen.
    That's what I think too.

    Use your upgrade money to buy a garage sale special to ride to class.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMaples View Post
    I just got a new bike(http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../messenger.htm) that I plan to use as my primary method of transport when I go to college next year. I have some money to spend on upgrades and such. What do you guys suggest I buy?
    1) Somebody else mentioned a good lock; I like the New York lock & chain. Big & heavy, the way it should be. Get the 5-footer (so you can lock up both wheels without taking them off...) and wear it like a bandolier while riding.

    2) I tend to advise people (who can afford to choose) to get some kind of puncture-resistant tire setup, even though they add a lot of rotating weight. If a bike is your transportation, you can plan on being slower, but you can't plan on when you'll get flat tires. I like Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires but don't know what will work on the particular bike in question. Flats are probably the most common type of breakdown that bicycles suffer, and spending to avoid them is money well spent (-and fixing flats is especially a bummer when there's no easy way to get the wheels off...).

    3) If you're going to take a nice bike to college, get rid of all your quick-releases. Get bolts for everything, including the axles, which is why you then will need that lo-o-o-o-ng chain to lock it up with. Bike parts get swiped left and right at most colleges, don't make it easier than you have to.
    ~

  8. #8
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    I'm with Hammer02--don't buy anything until you've ridden the bike enough to know what it needs or what you don't like. If nothing stands out, don't buy anything. Nothing wrong with having some money in your pocket when you go away to college. Who knows, you might want a hamburger or a beer or some condoms or something.
    Do get a good lock and learn to use it, though. Bike theft is a huge problem on college campuses. Keep the bike in your room if you can.

  9. #9
    some new kind of kick Suttree's Avatar
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    If you are competent with working on your bike take out the seat post and bottom bracket
    and put some framesaver in the frame. I would have suggested putting it in the steerer tube too but when I did it made my star nut move.

    Framesaver coats the inside of the tubes where rust can get at them. Water will get inside that thing
    when you leave it in the rain during class. Treat that bike right.

    If you uncomfortable working on your bike (as we all are or were at times) then maybe get a mechanic to take out the bottom bracket for you and then spray it in there and then reinstall.

    http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...rosol+Can.aspx

  10. #10
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    Get several good locks so you can keep 1 at each place you want to leave your bike. 10 keys are a lot lighter than 1 lock. Get a wedgie bag to fit under the saddle for spare tube, punture repair kit, etc.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    The bottom bracket. I put about 30 miles on one of these, and the BB was trashed. They use a really cheap no name POS that is installed too tightly. Replace it with a Shimano UN54. The wheels come as bolt ons, so don't worry about removing QRs and stuff. A good lock, and good locking method, is the best thing for a college campus.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mechBgon's Avatar
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    Also, besides a lock and the other good suggestions, how about some basic lights to help you be visible to others, and a steel pants clip or reflective legband to keep your pants out of the chain. And if you use toeclips, get the two-tongue variety, they're considerably easier to get into.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMaples View Post
    I just got a new bike(http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/.../messenger.htm) that I plan to use as my primary method of transport when I go to college next year. I have some money to spend on upgrades and such. What do you guys suggest I buy?
    Derailleurs, shifters, and cables.
    Laterally stiff yet vertically compliant.

    Viscount Aerospace Pro Trek 770 Cannondale Synapse

  14. #14
    Ride that pony. fourteenbucks's Avatar
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    I'm surprised no one mentioned front and rear lights. I find myself having to travel to the computer labs late at night to work on projects that require the software only on university computers. That's when I bust out the two locks to protect my bike from the night stalkers on campus.
    Schwinn Skyliner - you'd be surprised what I can do with a $200 bike.
    Blogs are useless. Write a real journal.

  15. #15
    Senior Member roseskunk's Avatar
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    do what i do. start by replacing all the components, brakes, deraiilleurs, shifters, cables, bottom bracket, crank, wheels. then replace the frame. then paint the new frame. then start buying other stuff to hang off it, racks, lights bags.

    welcome to the club.

  16. #16
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
    Derailleurs, shifters, and cables.
    +1

    Add more gears to that thing, it only has one...

    Seriously, I agree with the bulk of the messages here, don't upgrade a thing... especially with a fixie, don't replace anything unless it breaks, works ineffectively or hurts. Save your money for when you find something you really need.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
    The bottom bracket. I put about 30 miles on one of these, and the BB was trashed. They use a really cheap no name POS that is installed too tightly. Replace it with a Shimano UN54. The wheels come as bolt ons, so don't worry about removing QRs and stuff. A good lock, and good locking method, is the best thing for a college campus.
    This brings up a good point, one I should have mentioned in my earlier post: Bikes and components are often shipped poorly adjusted and poorly lubricated. I bought some fairly expensive platform pedals for my singlespeed from Rivendell, and they didn't seem as smooth as I'd expected. When I tore them down, they'd been assembled almost dry and with one ball missing from the bearings. Same thing could certainly happen with a bottom bracket, which is the only way I can think of that you could use one up in 30 miles (mine typically go several thousand miles).
    If you haven't learned to check and fix small things like that yourself, you can at least open them up enough to drizzle in a flowable lubricant, like Phil's Tenacious Oil. I've used it on hubs for years when I didn't feel like repacking them.

  18. #18
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    Quality U-Lock.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  19. #19
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
    Very nice bike, going to college, hmmm. I'd buy the absolute best lock there is. bk
    To some extent that depends on where you are going to school.

  20. #20
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    Nothing, just ride the friggin thing.

    The saddle is a reasonable first upgrade if after a sufficient amount of conditioning and experimenting with position, you just can't tolerate it.

    But everything else should be ridden as is. Logically, if it's new and you want to upgrade something already, shouldn't you just have bought a bike with what you want on it already? Upgrade as things wear out and need to be replaced.

  21. #21
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    Crazy glue ball bearings into the allen bolt heads to help slow down/deter thievery. Acetone will quickly dissolve the glue but not too many people carry that around.

  22. #22
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    what accessories do you think I need? so far I was thinking a light/reflector, better helmet, and a kryptonite mini ulock.

  23. #23
    Senior Member moshimitsu's Avatar
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    helmets and reflectors?! you ride a fg now son, get your accessories straight: you are to get an aerospoke, pink deep v, chrome messenger bag and cliche asian girlfriend. go go go.

  24. #24
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    New bike + Needs or wants upgrades = you bought the wrong bike.

  25. #25
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    Check the other thread where the OP wants to know if the bike he bought was a fixed gear.

    He hasn't a clue, but I suppose at least he is asking questions. Asking the most basic one before buying the bike might, however, have been advisable.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

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