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Old 07-26-09, 04:12 PM   #1
hornedfrog2012
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Am in DESPERATE need of Help! Please...

Alright. So I am a tall(ish) female college student in north Texas who is looking for a bike. For the most part at my school the streets are smooth with small to medium sized hills.

I am looking for a bike but I know very very little about bikes. I read something else saying something about a mountain bike with city tires would be preferable for college? I know what a mountain bike is but I don't know what city tires are. I went on target.com and they had a lot of huffy bikes. Are they decent bikes? Would I be better off going to a bike store? Anyone know any good ones in the DFW area?

Help?
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Old 07-26-09, 04:22 PM   #2
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If you're looking for a bike to ride to class my advice is to find a cheap used bike. That way you won't feel so bad when it gets stolen.
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Old 07-26-09, 05:45 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by hornedfrog2012 View Post
Alright. So I am a tall(ish) female college student in north Texas who is looking for a bike. For the most part at my school the streets are smooth with small to medium sized hills.

I am looking for a bike but I know very very little about bikes. I read something else saying something about a mountain bike with city tires would be preferable for college? I know what a mountain bike is but I don't know what city tires are. I went on target.com and they had a lot of huffy bikes. Are they decent bikes? Would I be better off going to a bike store? Anyone know any good ones in the DFW area?

Help?
You can probably find something worthwhile at the Salvation Army or someplace like that, for less than $50 (you could here; maybe not in a college town where demand is higher). For the kind of riding you've described, a used mountain bike, "city bike" (that's actually more of a marketing distinction than a specific type of bike), hybrid or "comfort bike" all would work fine, or even an old single-speed cruiser if the hills aren't too steep.
Huffy bikes are generally very low quality. If you can learn enough or have a friend who's knowledgeable enough to help you choose, you'd be much better off with a used bike with a recognized name than with a new Huffy. There are millions of old bikes in people's garages that have barely been ridden, and they show up in thrift shops all the time.
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Old 07-26-09, 05:53 PM   #4
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First, think price. I don't know your cash status so I'll try to give a few generic suggestions.

1. The cost of the bike is just the first investment. There are other things to purchase:
Bike pump, tools and/or toolkit, extra tubes, lock, rack and pannier bags/or back pack, lights, helmet, gloves, cycling clothes. Not all are mandatory, or even necessary, but mostly a good idea.

2. A good commuting bike can be road, hybrid, or MTB. I prefer a MTB with 1.75" slick puncture resistant tires with NO SUSPENSION. Suspension adds weight, complexity, and price. Check the Commuting section for additional suggestions and examples.

3. Department store bikes are usually lower quality, but you can make them work for commuting. Please avoid full suspension models in department stores. They will usually fail within the first year of use. Avoid gimmicks.

4. Local bike shops (referred as LBS's here) are hit and miss. They are like finding a reputable auto mechanic (one that won't lie to you at every turn). Word of mouth helps. Buying from an LBS will be more expensive but they (the good ones at least) will fit you properly to a bike, and help you with information.

5. You get what you pay for. Don't expect a $100 bike to last you forever, but if that's all you have (and I would understand), then you can make it work.
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Old 07-26-09, 05:53 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums.

My kids are going to North Texas. About 80-90% of the bikes that I see on campus there are old junky bikes that nobody would steal. And still locked up, anyway. That's one strategy. Expect on a cheap bike, you may have crappy brakes, may have shifting that doesn't work right all the time, etc.

The biggest local bike store is Richardson Bike Mart in Richardson, off of Campbell Road. There are some pretty good size bike shops in Fort Worth (I assume you're at TCU from your name), but I'm not familiar with them. You might check the "Texas" subforum for that. You should be able to get a pretty decent bike for riding around campus for $300-$400.

"Tall" is relative. Cheap bikes tend to be a one-size-fits-all type frame, and if you're tall enough that the normal cheap women's frames don't fit well, just use a men's frame. If you're buying new at a bike shop, you should have some choice of frame sizes.
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Old 07-26-09, 06:05 PM   #6
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HEllo HornedFrog IF your 6' or close I like my 28" light treaded tires on my trek7300 for all round use there are some other 28 and 29" tires/wheels on other bikes I think an odd tire size might not get borrowed so much eitherKenneth
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Old 07-26-09, 06:34 PM   #7
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Though Huffys are not known as "high end" bikes by any means, they're not all that terrible. Neither are the other big box store brands. (though a certain percentage will be defective in some way)

You will have to have a handful of tools and the ability to use them. But you'll have the very same problem with more expensive bikes, maybe less often. You'll still have to tinker with even them.

So I'd go for the good price and be prepared to tinker a bit. It's not so bad. In fact, it's satisfying.
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