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  1. #1
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    College student's dilemma

    Hi everyone! I've been going through all the threads here, and I must say, this is a great community that's been built.

    I am in the process of getting a bike for the spring, and I think I've decided on getting a Trek Navigator 50 (2005) currently sold used for $175 w/o tax. I haven't ridden a bike since I was 10. I'd love to get off campus and explore, start a new hobby, and am anxious to do something I can fall in love with. I'm basically bored. I'd love to lose some weight. I don't really see myself going on any trails in the beginning, but am not too adverse to the idea. Hoping to do up to 20 mi rides couple times a week once I get back into shape.

    At first, I was hoping to get any dinky bike for under $100, but I like the Trek Navigator 50 now. Its relatvely cheap when compared to good bikes right? But I didn't realize it wasn't a hybrid, which was what I was looking for. I rode one of the Trek FX series and liked it, but felt as if it were stiffer than the Navigator.

    Now the dilemma: my school offers free bicycles for those who are willing to fix up these bicycles left for dead by their owners. They have bikes with quality names: Treks, Raleighs, Bianchis but because I don't have any bike maintenance experience, I have no idea how much work/time/ money I have to spend into the bike I choose. Some are rusted, some don't have working brakes or no working shifting gear cables (whatever you call those) I mean, should I just get the Trek Navigator? Once fixed up, would old the Treks/ Raleighs ride like new?

    Any other recommendations for a cash-strapped college student who will not be taking this bike home, but keeping it on campus for another 3 yrs?

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    To answer your question, here are my three bikes....I have less than $300.00 wrapped up on my whole stable and I'd ride any one of them anywhere on the planet and not worry and they all ride nicely!
    My favorite: 1986 Schwinn Passage. I'm riding it this Summer on a 660 mile tour.




    My road racing and trainer bike: 1988 Raleigh Pursuit:




    My old cheap bomber, I use it for commuting and light trail riding/single track, set up for a short weekend tour from last Spring, a Royce Union:

    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  3. #3
    kit
    kit is offline
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    that sounds like a great program at your school. i did something similar to that when i first got into biking and here are the most common questions that i asked anyone in the shop who looked like they knew what they were doing:

    is this supposed to make this evil grinding noise?
    what's this green stuff and where do you keep the grease?
    what exactly do you mean by the phrase "catastrophic failure"?

  4. #4
    Senior Member drissel's Avatar
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    Hey Tom that 3rd picture you look like Sadamm Hussien!!! Before he was hung though!!
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
    in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW--What a ride!!!"

  5. #5
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drissel
    Hey Tom that 3rd picture you look like Sadamm Hussien!!! Before he was hung though!!
    I know, what's scary is there was a site that did montages of who you looked like that was either famous or infamous and the number 1 hit was his son Uday! Here it is!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  6. #6
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by drissel
    Before he was hung though!!
    You mean "hanged", unless you know something about Saddam we don't.

  7. #7
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skybaker05
    Hi everyone! I've been going through all the threads here, and I must say, this is a great community that's been built.

    I am in the process of getting a bike for the spring, and I think I've decided on getting a Trek Navigator 50 (2005) currently sold used for $175 w/o tax.

    Trek is a quality bike brand and you will get a decent bike if you buy the Navigator. However, from older pictures I found online, it looks like a bike intended for very casual use, or intended for an older, non-athletic person. I say this because it has a very upright body position, with the handlebars much higher than the seat. This is fine for short trips and relaxed sight seeing along a boardwalk, but not for your planned longer trips of 20 miles. You will likely find the upright position to be quite slow and frustrating due to greater wind resistance and the fact you can't exert as much leg power in that position. You will ride faster and more efficiently on a bike set up so the handlbars are about the same height as the seat, and your torso is tilted forwards 45 degrees. In fact, racers generally have the handlebars well below the seat level, and their upper back is nearly horizontal.

    If you get one of those other bikes for free ,you may score a great ride, but it's important that it fit you. To get an aproximate idea, you should be able to sit on the seat and almost straighten your leg with the ball of your foot on the pedal at the lowest pedal position, or actually straighten your leg if you put your heel on the pedal. If you can do that without raising the seat above the maximum mark on the seat post, you know you are in the right ballpark. If the bike looks to be in good shape, and the wheels spin smoothly and the frame doesn't look badly rusted, you can get the bike tuned for a reasonable price at a bike shop and you should be good to go. Even if you have to end up spending over $100 on some new part like the bottom bracket (where the pedals attach to the frame) it'll still be cheaper than the Navigator and possibly better.
    Last edited by cooker; 03-18-07 at 09:00 PM.

  8. #8
    I am the Eggman Mooo's Avatar
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    Look at it this way:
    a $175 bike that you don't feel comfortable working on and end up paying $20 or more per year for basic maintenance, but you don't have to mess with it at all.

    vs

    a bike into which you've put somewhere between $30 and $150 and about which you know every detail, how to repair any part of it, and have the confidence to so.

  9. #9
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    I like the Navigator 50 because of its smooth ride, but I really do hope I can use my new bike as a fitness tool. I guess I really did pick out a comfort bike....maybe I'm just comparing with the wrong bike. Any other suggestions?

    Alternateively, should I be assured that if I pick out an old (free) Trek, or Bianchi, or any other well-established bike company's bike, and I fix it up, that I will be getting a good bike in the end, because of the quality in the brand? Will I be able to restore it to its original glory?

    I'm starting out with high hopes, eh? =)


  10. #10
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    If you like the Navagator 50, go for it. It's technically is a hybrid...the only difference is it is equipped with 26" tires/wheels instead of 700c tires/wheels. You have to decide whether or not the more upright riding position fits your personal preferences and comfort level. For $250 new, it's quite a bargain but since you are looking at a used one, you might have to inspect it more closely since the bike may have seen mtn riding or used for doing tricks. Changing the stem to lower the handlebar rise/height isn't a big deal nor an expensive one. I've seen quite a few of them around the local campus'.

    If you want more speed, then look at a hybrid. For longer distance riding, look at a road bike. It all depends on what you want to use the bike for. As long as you enjoy riding the bike and it does what you want or need it to do, it's all good.

  11. #11
    Senior Member drissel's Avatar
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    I guess I show my age... I found this in Wickpedia




    Originally these words were pretty much interchangeable, but “hanged” eventually came to be used pretty exclusively to mean “executed by hanging.” Does nervousness about the existence of an indelicate adjectival form of the word prompt people to avoid the correct word in such sentences as “Lady Wrothley saw to it that her ancestors’ portraits were properly hung”? Nevertheless, “hung” is correct except when capital punishment is being imposed or someone commits suicide
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely
    in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -- WOW--What a ride!!!"

  12. #12
    Walks with a limp dijos's Avatar
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    that program at your school sounds great. At least go there and see what you can find; you can generally get a much higher quality bike used than new. don't worry about the upright riding position. If you're uncomfortable on a bike, you won't ride it.
    I am looking for a 52cm-ish lugged mixte or ladies frame. Pm if you got one.
    Quote Originally Posted by thebristolkid
    Last I checked, most college campuses were firmly attached to solid earth, which, in my experience, is typically adequate for riding a bicycle upon.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Curiouswill's Avatar
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    try asking around for somebody who knows bikes. maybe talk with the local bike shop about having somebody come by to help you pick out a bike in exchange for paying for a tune-up and whatnot. Doing it this way may still be cheaper than buying a new bike and you could be able to find a better bike for the long distance you want to ride this way. I'm extremely cash-strapped myself too and had to look around for a used bike cause when I went and looked at the new bikes at the local bike shop, the cheapest one would not have fit me as well and would have ended up costing me more even if I pay for a tune-up and whatnot for my used bike.

    P.S. I'm new to cycling myself so there may be something wrong with my suggestions but I thinks that other's here would crit my suggestions if this is indeed true anyway.

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