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Old 09-05-11, 03:27 AM   #1
nzube14
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Smile $400-$550 Bike for College and Beyond

So after doing some research on bikes to buy for college, I came across the KHS Urban Xpress with these specs (http://campusbikeshop.com/product/sp...ss-78397-1.htm), Marin Kentfield FS (http://www.marinbikes.com/2011/bike_...1&Kentfield_FS), and the Trek 7.2 FX (http://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en/bikes...ness/fx/7_2_fx).
Prices for each are $419.99, ~$500, and ~$550, respectively.

From what I've read, supposedly the Trek blows everything else out of the water. However, I am at the dilemma concerning stability and component quality. As the 7.2 has an aluminum frame (no rocky areas for me), it may not hold up as long as a chromoly for the ~10 years I plan to use it. Moreover, to subjugate this, I also was considering the 7.1 ($470) which has degraded front and rear derailleurs, along with a reduction to 7-speed. HOWEVER, the components of the 7.2 is higher quality, and nudging me towards it.

Again, as I will be using this for college and getting around the surrounding area, I don't plan to be going up hills or doing wheely tricks (for all those bmx'ers out there ).
Thank you for your time and consideration and any help would be greatly appreciated. Recommendations on other bikes also welcomed.
Oh, and first post.

Last edited by nzube14; 09-05-11 at 03:36 AM.
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Old 09-05-11, 07:44 AM   #2
quattroG
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well, one thing I can tell you from experience sending two kids to college, is bikes get stolen. Now, maybe they didn't do a good job of securing the bikes. But it happens, so you may want to consider how much you spend. I suggest something from Diamondback. They make very decent affordable bikes. I have this bike, and you can find similar at Performance Bike shops for around $300-400.00. It's the Insight 2. The Insight 1 can be found for around the price I mention. Right now, Nashbar has the Insight 3 with better components and carbon fiber fork for around $450.00 on sale.
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Old 09-05-11, 08:04 AM   #3
quattroG
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Or you could go with something a little more versatile like the Specialized Crosstrail.

Last edited by quattroG; 09-05-11 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 09-05-11, 03:17 PM   #4
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Or you could go with something a little more versatile like the Specialized Crosstrail.


Love my Crosstrail Sport...
Once I give in & buy some thinner/faster tires and bar end grips (probably for Spring) I'm sure I'll love it even more. Great all-around bike.
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Old 09-05-11, 03:41 PM   #5
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I was stuck between my current GT Tachyon and a Specialized Cirrus - The 2011 Cirrus is in your price range and is a very nice bike - you should look into it, here's a link for an idea but I'm sure you could find it at a local shop for less. The shop down the street from work has them for $470 - I only chose my GT because it had much better components and rode much nicer but brandwise I like Specialized

http://www.bikeparts.com/search_resu...?id=BPCK100210

http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...rrus&Type=bike

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Old 09-15-11, 05:29 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone. I went with the Diamondback Insight 3, and it just arrived at home yesterday! I won't be setting it up yet, but when I do, I'm sure it will be great! By the way, I intend to get some Pitlocks with the bike. How would I go about finding my Front and Rear skewer lengths? Thanks!
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Old 09-15-11, 11:20 PM   #7
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For college, all those bikes will stick out a little. Get a good lock.

I like my 7.2 FX. Relatively light and versatile.
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Old 09-17-11, 06:33 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I went with the Diamondback Insight 3, and it just arrived at home yesterday!
So did you get the Insight from Nashbar? It was a great price. That's where I got mine as well. Easy to setup. But buying a bike unassembled, I found to appreciate what a LBS does for you. I needed to go over every spoke. There were loose spokes. Do the "pluck" test to get a start on finding those loose spokes. After I got them close, then I started the real truing process. I also tuned the front and back derailures. But all in all. I'd do it again. I enjoyed the assembly and tuning process. Let us know how it goes. And for sure, post a pic when done.
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Old 09-18-11, 06:29 AM   #9
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So did you get the Insight from Nashbar? It was a great price. That's where I got mine as well. Easy to setup. But buying a bike unassembled, I found to appreciate what a LBS does for you. I needed to go over every spoke. There were loose spokes. Do the "pluck" test to get a start on finding those loose spokes. After I got them close, then I started the real truing process. I also tuned the front and back derailures. But all in all. I'd do it again. I enjoyed the assembly and tuning process. Let us know how it goes. And for sure, post a pic when done.
Yes, I got the Insight 3 from Nashbar, for the great price of ~$450 (includes shipping and taxes). I've finished setting up the bike, but haven't trued the wheels yet. I have tuned the rear derailleur and brakes (somewhat). So far, I intend to tune the front derailleur, fix up the brakes a bit (any help in getting the wire to pull each side equally?) and true the wheels. If there's anything else I should tune/look out for, please let me know!

Oh and to lock this bad boy up, I got myself a BikeRegistry Saddle Leash and Kryptonite New York 3000 U-Lock. Pitlocks (Front, rear, seat, and ahead skewers) are on their way. Thieves would think twice about stealing my bike on campus.
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Old 09-18-11, 12:12 PM   #10
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(any help in getting the wire to pull each side equally?)
Yes, you have to have enough slack in the cable as it runs from the front to the back. I mean the entire cable housing. Grab the cable where it is routed under the top tube and pull it forward/backward based on what you need. Too tight and it will pull one way, too much slack, and it pushes the other was.
You got a great bike at a great price. You're going to love that bike. Don't forget pix
Good luck with it.
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