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Old 08-03-10, 08:57 PM   #1
Nick M
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college campus bike suggestion

My son will be off to college in the fall in Boston, MA. I saw quite a few kids riding bikes on campus
the first time we were there. The LBS suggested a Shogun ShockDoctor mountain bike for a bike that
will survive the elements over a dept. store bike. Anybody have experience with a bike on campus that
will be left out in the elements all year?
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Old 08-03-10, 09:13 PM   #2
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I have no idea what a Shogun ShockDoctor is, but it sounds like a mountain bike with a suspension frame. A mountain bike is probably a good idea, but a suspension frame or fork make no sense.

Can you tell us more about this bike? Is this a shop you trust, or are they selling you what they have on the floor? What's your budget?
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Old 08-03-10, 09:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick M View Post
My son will be off to college in the fall in Boston, MA. I saw quite a few kids riding bikes on campus
the first time we were there. The LBS suggested a Shogun ShockDoctor mountain bike for a bike that
will survive the elements over a dept. store bike. Anybody have experience with a bike on campus that
will be left out in the elements all year
?
I don't know about leaving anything halfway decent out in the elements year round. If the harsh New England winters don't take your bike, thieves will.

As far as what to get, you have lots of options. Anything from an old school 10 speed, to an old mountain bike with slicks, to a used hybrid equipped with a rack and fenders would work as a school commuter.
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Old 08-03-10, 10:42 PM   #4
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Second day of my freshman year in college, my roommate rode his $1000 bike to the lecture hall. He did not have time to quick-release the wheels or the seat to lock it up.

An hour later, he comes out of lecture to find both wheels and the seat GONE. The only thing left is the frame locked to the bike rack.

From that incident, I'd recommend that your son get the cheapest piece-of-crap $100 bike from Walmart for college use. No bike thief would bother hitting a piece-of-crap Walmart bike, and if they do, at least it's no big loss.
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Old 08-04-10, 12:33 AM   #5
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The Shogun bike is a mountain bike made by Kent with front fork suspension. It is actually the Shogun Shockwave. The shop is a reputable shop in the area and the owner basically recommended the cheapest thing on the floor considering it will spend its life outdoors. I have since read some info provided by the campus police dept concerning bike theft. They state that the majority of bike thefts were performed against bikes locked up by cable locks. They recommended U locks with a cable lock securing the front wheel and seat. They also mention the remaing thefts occured when bikes were left unattended and not secured by any lock at all, I hope they teach something in college! It makes sense to bring an old working bike if I had one. If I can't find a beater type to send to college I can buy the Shogun and basically send him with what amounts to a dept. store bike that has been put together properly and is in good working order. I think this is the bike I saw in the LBS today.
http://makais.com/products/Shogun-Sh...ke-Womens.html
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Old 08-04-10, 02:12 AM   #6
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IMHO- for campus consider a used mountain bike. Plenty are available and reasonable priced. If possible get one a few years old with LX or XT drive train. Make sure it fits well. Have LBS tune it up. Suggest replacing the tires
with some touring/commuting style tires; Schwalbe Marathon or Conti Contact are good examples.
My son had a Trek 6500 5-6 years old [V-brake model, XT RD], the front shock was blown & leaking. We replaced it with a Surly 1x1 fork, put on Big Apple tires [they were a spare set I had around] and Kool Stop salmon brake pads. When the chain needed replacement, put on a connex stainless steel chain - expensive but reduced rusting. The bike was well used. He carried and used a large U-lock, the bike was not stolen.
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Old 08-04-10, 05:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongIslandTom View Post
Second day of my freshman year in college, my roommate rode his $1000 bike to the lecture hall. He did not have time to quick-release the wheels or the seat to lock it up.

An hour later, he comes out of lecture to find both wheels and the seat GONE. The only thing left is the frame locked to the bike rack.

From that incident, I'd recommend that your son get the cheapest piece-of-crap $100 bike from Walmart for college use. No bike thief would bother hitting a piece-of-crap Walmart bike, and if they do, at least it's no big loss.
Last month I checked out a used Bridgestone Kabucki, which is a 30 year old lower end 10 speed, hi tensile steel frame. Here's the thing. No quick release anything. This was a disadvantage for me, but as a campus bike, it might be better not to have quick release as the chances a bike thief would bother to remove 30 year old steel wheels or saddle with tools is slim.
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Old 08-04-10, 05:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick M View Post
The Shogun bike is a mountain bike made by Kent with front fork suspension. It is actually the Shogun Shockwave. The shop is a reputable shop in the area and the owner basically recommended the cheapest thing on the floor considering it will spend its life outdoors. I have since read some info provided by the campus police dept concerning bike theft. They state that the majority of bike thefts were performed against bikes locked up by cable locks. They recommended U locks with a cable lock securing the front wheel and seat. They also mention the remaing thefts occured when bikes were left unattended and not secured by any lock at all, I hope they teach something in college! It makes sense to bring an old working bike if I had one. If I can't find a beater type to send to college I can buy the Shogun and basically send him with what amounts to a dept. store bike that has been put together properly and is in good working order. I think this is the bike I saw in the LBS today.
http://makais.com/products/Shogun-Sh...ke-Womens.html
From North Jersey Craigslist:

Cannondale http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1879747608.html
Schwinn Super Letour http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1879004676.html
Trek http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1878771439.html http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1873263482.html http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1871406270.html http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1858244243.html
Nishiki http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1876709694.html http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1875979432.html
Schwinn World Sport http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1873212642.html
Miyata http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1872455771.html
Raleigh http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1868896261.html
Panasonic http://newjersey.craigslist.org/bik/1865774568.html

Most of these bikes can be had for at least comparable money to that Shogun. And some might need some work. Not all of these bikes will fit, as you didn't mention whether you need a short or a tall bike.

Last edited by MRT2; 08-04-10 at 05:34 AM.
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Old 08-04-10, 07:45 AM   #9
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My son goes to Bama. He had a cheap Mongoose. He called and said it had been stolen. Whoever stole the bike, the chain, and whatever it was chained to, out of his garage. I just bought him a Genesis/Kent from WalMart. It's a beater and suits his needs but we're not out if it gets stolen or left out in the rain, and is good enough for some off-road riding. If he wants a better bike later we'll look at it then. If I were you I'd buy a cheap beater bike. No reason for bling in a college situation.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:04 AM   #10
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Yep, that Shogun will be fine for school. Buttttttt, a few good locks, and instruction in their use, will still be necessary.

Make sure everything is greasy and oily, to withstand outdoor storage.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:27 AM   #11
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Hey what school? Ill be going to college in 2011

I am looking at Boston University, Northeastern, and Boston College. All great schools.
There's also a few others in Boston that are good. Harvard and MIT haha Wentworth is nice too.

Don't leave it out all year, there's going to be tons of snow. I'm sure they have places where you can put your bike inside during the winter.
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Old 08-04-10, 07:55 PM   #12
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I've worked as a campus police officer for almost 30 years.... Far and away the most popular campus bikes are mid-range or even cheap (think Walmart) mountain bikes. I have no idea why... These bikes never leave pavement. If I were buying, I'd get a decent but entry-level hybrid. You don't need suspension, you don't need gnarly knobby tires...
And hybrids are rarely stolen. The really cheap bikes deteriorate rapidly. Most of these bikes are "out" much of the year and the steel components (there are a LOT of steel components) rust rapidly.

A decent bike will have an aluminum frame, stainless cables, alloy components... Mostly weatherproof.

Check with campus police or security; most (like ours) offer bike registration, locks at a discount, that sort of thing..
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Old 08-04-10, 08:09 PM   #13
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I was able to pick up a Free Spirit 3-speed a while back for $15 and my daughter had it up at college. And my son currently has a Schwinn Heavi-Duti industrial bike (modern bike, not the old classic). It's beat up and has about 3 coats of paint on it, so it's relatively impervious to theft.

Looking around there on his campus, most of the bikes were Walmart type cheapo bikes that wouldn't be too attractive to steal, but there were some nicer bikes (ie, name brand cruisers and hybrids) on the rack as well.
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Old 08-04-10, 08:45 PM   #14
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Lots of great schools in Boston and the surrounding area. He will be attending Northeastern. He needs the smaller frame bike and the Shogun will fit. We have some time to check the used market since he said for the fall he is not going to take a bike, and by Spring semester he will take a bike back with him. Thanks for all the great tips!
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Old 08-05-10, 03:24 PM   #15
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Nick,

I live in the Boston area and spend a lot of time on the Tufts campus, a bit less at Northeastern. I would tend to agree with those who emphasize not having something super valuable chained up outside. I have seen a lot of bikes disappear, and many bikes mangled out of spite when the thieves couldn't actually get the bike free because of a quality lock.

The middle ground that a lot of kids on the Tufts campus choose is to have a decent quality used bike that is not flashy. There's no reason to ride an absolute piece of junk when for about the same money you could get a used bike on craigslist that won't attract attention but is still a reasonable ride. My two cents...
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Old 08-05-10, 04:53 PM   #16
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...or you can get a nice bike, then spray-paint it so it looks like a cheap, abused bike.
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Old 08-05-10, 06:29 PM   #17
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OR keep it in the dorm

I saw the Northeastern dorms haha probably have to hang it up. not much room.

UNLESS he is one of those lucky honor kids that have their own special building with a freaking private gym and restaurant.....
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Old 08-05-10, 06:41 PM   #18
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Pick up a $20 bike at a garage sale or a flea market. Clean it up, replace the break pads, and keep it well lubricated. The uglier the paint job the better ... keeps the thieves at bay. Worse case scenario is that it gets stolen and you have to spend another $20 at the flea market.
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Old 08-05-10, 09:36 PM   #19
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Another option not yet mentioned would be a folder. Keep it inside in the dorm when not in use. Some even have their own carrying cases where you just put the folded bike into its bag.
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