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Old 08-16-13, 02:48 PM   #1
nametagnarly
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Which bicycle(s) to bring to college?

I'll be heading off to college in a couple days (yikes) and I'm having trouble deciding which of my three bikes to take with me. I'm living on campus and there isn't any secure bike parking. There are only outdoor bike racks. I've got a 1990 Trek 930 mountain bike/commuter that I'll definitely be bringing. So the question is, do I bring my road bike or my bmx bike?

I live on the 4th floor of my dorm so which ever extra bike I bring, I'll be lugging it up to my room.

The bmx is a 2012 DK Helio. I just started getting into BMX and is quite fun. I could also use this bike to zip around campus since I'll be able to hop over obstacles and sidewalks and such. It is also easier to lock up, store away and there's no derailer to bend.


The road bike is a 1986 Trek Elance 400. I mainly used it for club rides and bringing it with me to college would give me something to do on the weekends. It's my go-fast bike and let's me go long distances quite quickly and efficiently. I get antsy locking it up mainly due to the Brooks saddle.



I could always do the club rides on my commuter bike but the road bike is such a joy to ride.

So which one should I take along to supplement my commuter bike? Or should I only bring my mountain bike commuter?

Any advice would greatly be appreciated!
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Old 08-16-13, 03:11 PM   #2
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I brought all 3 of my bike with me to school and managed to find space for them. I would take which ever one you think youll get the most use out of , personally i brought my conversion fixed gear as my commute, my garry fisher mountain bike for city street goofing around and tril rides and i brought my road bike so i could keep up my conditioning rides. It helps to get a double vertical bike stand or wall hooks.
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Old 08-16-13, 03:12 PM   #3
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You should bring them all and buy more while you are there.
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Old 08-16-13, 03:26 PM   #4
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If it's still like when I was a kid, dorm rooms are small so I'd be reluctant to bring even one extra bike. Unless it's a long way from home making it difficult to bring up a bike if you needed to. Colleges are notorious for bike thieves so I'd have a priority of having access to a spare, but if that's not a problem then just the one bike.

Oh, it would be the commuter.
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Old 08-16-13, 03:30 PM   #5
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Unless you're competitively cycling, none, beyond the cheapest nastiest ride that you don't mind locking up outside, having abused by others, possibly getting stolen and to which you have no emotional attachment.
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Old 08-17-13, 09:33 AM   #6
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Unless you're competitively cycling, none, beyond the cheapest nastiest ride that you don't mind locking up outside, having abused by others, possibly getting stolen and to which you have no emotional attachment.
I'm with Fred. My kids went to school (about 10 years ago) with mid-'80s mountain bikes I bought in thrift shops for less than $40 (OK bikes, too, a Hard Rock and BStone MB3). I tuned them up and put on road tires, and they were solid, reliable (the kids don't do wrenches), not bad to ride and don't attract thieves, though my daughter's did get stolen. My son's 32 and still has his.

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Old 08-17-13, 10:49 AM   #7
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Unless you're competitively cycling, none, beyond the cheapest nastiest ride that you don't mind locking up outside, having abused by others, possibly getting stolen and to which you have no emotional attachment.
Yes, this.

It is going to sit outside rusting and corroding. It will likely get stolen. It will suffer the slings and arrows of over crowded racks with ham handed brutes who are late to class bashing the hell out of it while trying to untangle their bike. Etc. etc. Find a barely adequate beater that will get you around campus and a big lock. Later after you have lived with the local bike culture you can make a better decision about more/better bikes. The fewer extraneous things you have to worry about during the first year of college the better.
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Old 08-17-13, 01:11 PM   #8
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If you plan on joining your college cycling team, or even if you plan on serious hammerfests, you'll need your road bike.
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Old 08-17-13, 01:13 PM   #9
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...It is going to sit outside rusting and corroding. It will likely get stolen. It will suffer the slings and arrows of over crowded racks with ham handed brutes who are late to class bashing the hell out of it while trying to untangle their bike. Etc. etc.....
In college and grad school my road bike stayed in my room or office so experienced none of that. I didn't use to run between classes or for random errands, just road rides. Of course that's not the norm, as most bikers in college aren't "cyclists", per se, and just use beaters as a matter of convenience to get around.
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Old 08-17-13, 02:24 PM   #10
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I'd take the road bike, and if I were going to do club rides, I might try to find a member of the club who has room to store the bike in a secure place.

A lot depends on where your campus is located, and what bike theft there is like. Even for your commuter, you want a lock that is better than the locks on the other bikes around it.
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Old 08-17-13, 04:03 PM   #11
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Being an employee of a University for 10+ years there is some good advice above. If using it between classes the sidewalks generally have alot of foot traffic so riding anywhere fast is difficult and you will likely be more hindered by a bike while doing this. However not every campus is like mine (which is pretty big) yet still there is always foot traffic.
Bike thieves are clever. In this town and this university you can register the bike with the campus police or the city police so when it is stolen and recovered they can return it to you. Most aren't recovered if stolen and most that are stolen and recovered aren't registered. The campus police have an auction every year or two and if you know what you are looking for you can get them cheap, or get bikes cheap for parts. They campus police also cut locks and take the bikes into possession after the school year when they have been determined to be abandoned and left locked to bike racks (there is a long process of tagging, posting and notifying bikes and they very rarely ever take one into possession that is legitimately still locked to the racks).
Bike racks sit outside therefore your bike will be rained on, snowed on, jostled around, tampered with etc. The advice to get a cheap 1/2 junk bike for commuting isn't a bad idea at all, at least till you determine how often and how much you ride.
What college are you going to?
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Old 08-17-13, 04:25 PM   #12
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You should take the bikes that you would want to ride near your campus. The risk of theft will always be there. You just have to be creative so that it won't get stolen. Even if you have to store it off campus and pay for some type of storage. There will be a price to pay, one way or another.

I see that as a different question as to which bike to bring. Also, I hope that the college campus is in a nice warm climate with no cold winters. That might make a difference, global warming notwithstanding.
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Old 08-17-13, 04:54 PM   #13
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None of the above. Get yourself a cheap, but serviceable fixer upper. That way, you reduce the risk of having someone mess with you bike while at class. If it looks like it's worth something, then odds are, it will be at risk of being stolen.
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Old 08-17-13, 06:51 PM   #14
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My kid started college last year and I got a beach cruiser when I dropped them at school. It's just like everyone else's so it doesn't stick out and it's cheap. They didn't want anything too fancy to be stolen
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Old 08-17-13, 07:59 PM   #15
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no need to bring any . Hit the Campus Security auction for stuff that last year's class abandoned in the bike racks.
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Old 08-18-13, 12:15 AM   #16
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Thanks for all the advice everyone! I'm going to UT Dallas here in Texas so the weather is perfect for cycling. I wasn't planning on using the bike to get between classes since the campus is quite small. I was thinking grocery getting and exploring the city. As a student, I also get a free DART (Dallas' transit system) pass so I'll have the entire city laid out to me. All of my bikes were inexpensive (under $150) but I can see how they'd be valued more.

This is my commuter and the fenders cost the same amount as the bike. It's really hodgepodge of various bargain bin parts. Nevertheless, I think I'll just store it in my dorm since I'll realistically only be riding it once a week for errands/fun outings, etc.
It will be my one and only bike whilst I'm in college. At least for the first couple of weeks until I get an idea of the amount of theft/cycling vibe. Then depending on which ever bike I crave the most, I'll take a bus back to Austin and pick it up.

Once again, thank you to everyone for the advice!
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Old 08-18-13, 07:57 AM   #17
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Every time a college student asks about what bike to buy or bring, there is the automatic knee jerk reaction about theft. There's theft at the dorms unless you don't have a roommate and keep the door locked at all times. By the time the student reaches 3rd year undergrad, he leaves the dorms for a shared apartment or room.

An experienced rider assesses the risks and takes the necessary steps. Just like when riding in traffic or a stop at the coffee shop. Same goes for storage and campus type riding.

College riders just need to find different strategies to reduce or eliminate these kinds of risks.
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Old 08-18-13, 08:14 AM   #18
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Every time a college student asks about what bike to buy or bring, there is the automatic knee jerk reaction about theft. There's theft at the dorms unless you don't have a roommate and keep the door locked at all times. By the time the student reaches 3rd year undergrad, he leaves the dorms for a shared apartment or room.

An experienced rider assesses the risks and takes the necessary steps. Just like when riding in traffic or a stop at the coffee shop. Same goes for storage and campus type riding.

College riders just need to find different strategies to reduce or eliminate these kinds of risks.
So if somebody posts and asks for advice what's wrong with giving advice? The thread topic couldn't be more clear. If it's a topic that you don't want to read about, don't open it.
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Old 08-19-13, 06:37 AM   #19
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So if somebody posts and asks for advice what's wrong with giving advice? The thread topic couldn't be more clear. If it's a topic that you don't want to read about, don't open it.
Retro Grouch (no pun intended), it was meant as a suggestion more than a criticism taken in the wrong way (humility). Say I want to go on a trip and take my road bike. Yes, it might get stolen in Europe but there's got to be some way that I can still enjoy my rides and still find it safe. There's the added benefit from other riders about how to develop strategies for my trip.

Yeah, college is a real trip.
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