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Old 04-13-11, 07:24 AM   #1
matlock123
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Looking for a cheap commuter bike

Hey,

I am in the market looking for a reliable bike, which I plan to use to commute to college each day which is about a 3-4 mile commute. I have a budget of about 200-250$ for the bike, I realize accessories (locks and helmet) will cost a bit more. I will post a few of the bikes I am looking at, but my main goal of posting this was to get advice and recommendations from experiences bikers. What is the best budget bike I can buy that will fit my needs?

http://www.target.com/gp/detail.html/176-5314333-3492657?asin=B000FGI99I&AFID=Froogle_df&LNM=|B000FGI99I&CPNG=health%20beauty&ci_src=14110944&ci_sku= B000FGI99I&ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001

http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...LAID=695161996

http://www.walmart.com/ip/700C-Men-s...ndingMethod=rr

Overall, my main concerns are these: How important are the handle bars? I like the appearance of the curved handlebars that are found on high end road bikes, however do I really need them for a 3-4 mile commute? Are they more comfortable? What are the pro's and cons?

Also im looking at hybrids. Again what would you guys recommend for my needs? Im a little worried about the wear and tear on the wheels of a road bike. Ive seen all too many bent wheels on abandoned bikes around campus.

Ive notive that fixed gear bikes are much cheaper (cheaper is good im a budget remember!), and im told more reliable...however There is a somewhat steep hill maybe 20 degrees or something. Im worried if I would be able to handle that one a fixed gear back, along with my 20-40 lb bookbag (depending on what books im hauling).
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Old 04-13-11, 10:40 AM   #2
travelmama
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Check with this link as it is nearly the same question http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...40-Help-Please!!
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Old 04-13-11, 01:41 PM   #3
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I would strongly suggest steering away from department store bikes, not that there's necessarily anything wrong with the bike (considering the level of components, etc.), but simply for the fact that there will not be knowledgeable salespeople there to help with things such as sizing issues, nor will the bike likely be assembled and adjusted properly.

Of course, if you are knowledgeable and experienced enough to go it on your own on these issues, then go for it. But if you are that knowledgeable and experienced, it's not likely that you will consider a department store bike in the first place.

Be that as it may, if you want to go cheap, I think you'd be better off looking at Bikes Direct. Presuming that you can handle routine adjustments of brakes, derailleurs, and those necessary for fitting.
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Old 04-13-11, 02:00 PM   #4
matlock123
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http://www.cyclefg.com/shop/product....cat=351&page=1

Does this bike look like a good deal? Ive never heard of the company before.

I mean I have basic mechanical knowledge Ive chained tire tubes on mountain bikes, I know how to use an alan key.
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Old 04-13-11, 02:05 PM   #5
Dauphine
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Oy.

Is there craigslist where you are? I bet there are plenty of bikes on craigslist that will suffice for a 3-4 mile commute and be well within your budget, as well as being in need of a loving home, a warm place to sleep, and so forth. Especially if you are 'new' at biking, I am always a big advocate of buying an affordable used bike, riding it for a year or two, deciding what you like/dislike about it, and moving on from there.
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Old 04-13-11, 02:12 PM   #6
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I second craigslist or buying a used bike for cheap from a graduating senior.

Bicycle theft is very common on most college campuses, and nobody has time to quick-release the wheels or seatpost to lock everything up securely when rushing off to class. If your bike is anything halfway decent (i.e. non-department-store brand like a Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc.) You will most likely come out of lecture to find someone has stolen your wheels or seatpost if you haven't quick-released those to lock them up too.

While you are in college, just use a cheap beater bike that no self-respecting bike thief would bother to hit. Then pass the beater bike on to a freshman when you graduate.

You can buy yourself a nice, expensive bike as a graduation present to yourself when the time comes.
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Old 04-13-11, 02:15 PM   #7
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Bike theft where I went to school was so bad! Really worse than Brooklyn. I never (knock on wood) have had anything happen to my bike here, but in the scant 3 years I lived in Richmond going to school there, I had 3 bikes stolen from me. Someone even dismantled a gas pipe to get at my bike once.
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Old 04-14-11, 12:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dauphine View Post
Someone even dismantled a gas pipe to get at my bike once.


Whoa.. If someone had accidentally struck a metal tool against a metal pipe while doing that and created just a little spark, that would have had consequences!

Then again if a gas explosion had occurred I guess it would have been poetic justice for a bike thief.
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