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Old 11-02-07, 01:33 AM   #1
j0nshaw
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San Diego: Need suggestions for first bike investment~!

Hello all,

I'm Jonathan, a second year student at UCSD looking to use the large part of my work earnings to purchase my first bike. I've been lurking around the forum for quite some time now, but have yet to make up my mind. I need your help!

I had my buddy buy me a bike from a swap meet in oceanside, and he got me an old specialized hardrock that was pretty much rebuilt with junk, for $30. It worked for 1.5 days, then the chain snapped, taking the gear shift mech.(derailer?) with it. That bike is hopeless.

1. Budget: I've saved up a decent amount, I believe, to invest in a bike ~ $400
2. I plan to need this to get through campus, off campus to run errands, and take the occasional challenge course

I have been tracking craigslist, but so far everything just gave me an "ehhh" reaction...:x

If you can--suggest:

1. Should I purchase a bike online? Or are there any good LBS in the La Jolla/UTC area to go to instead?
2. What brand and model of bike? I've seen tons in the commuting section of the forum, but I still need some specific ones...

---

side note.--from what I found, there appears to be a 17% off coupon link that works at fogdog.com. They have bikes like the schwinn seneca road bike, and it rings up to $240.69 shipped, not inc. tax. Is this what I should be going for in my case? I'd like to have the freedom to get wider/partially treaded tires for going off road in...but then again, you all know more than me.

Hope to hear from you, fellow SoCal peeps!

-J0nathan
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Old 11-02-07, 01:42 AM   #2
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for a decent entry level road bike you are looking at arpund $700 at least.

the under $750 road bike thread
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Old 11-02-07, 07:14 AM   #3
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Look for something used on craigslist, sdreader, etc... If you're going to ride it at school, it needs to be beyond fugly so that you still have it after the 1st day. You'll get much more bike for your $400 by going used. Something $400 new is going to have low end components. It will also look new which will attract thieves. Oh, there's a bike swap meet at the SD velodrome this weekend not sure if it's sat or sun, you can always get a deal on something decent there. Good luck, and get one that's sized right.
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Old 11-02-07, 07:31 AM   #4
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You might want to check out the San Diego Velodrome swap meet this Sunday. Maybe you can pick up a good deal.
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Old 11-02-07, 08:15 AM   #5
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go to the swap meet or go order from here http://www.bikesdirect.com/

If you don't know your size yet, go to a few bike shops and "look around" and try different sizes to see whats in your ballpark
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Old 11-02-07, 09:08 AM   #6
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UC Cyclery is real close to campus. There is also a bike shop on campus. Personally, I would not buy your FIRST bike online, and I haven't had the best of luck with craigslist. Go to a shop, or a couple of shops, try out several models to see what you like.

A nice looking bike has a greater chance of being stolen on campus. Lock it up properly, or bring it into class with you.

If you're looking to go offroad, most entry level mountain bikes are ~$500. In this price range, bikes with V-brakes (rim brakes) usually have better drivetrain components than those with disc brakes.

Some shops will be blowing out models at the swap meet, and it's this Sunday.
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Old 11-02-07, 10:08 AM   #7
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Also, not sure how your existing hardrock mtb is like; new ones are like this http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...89&language=US. It's probably $40 or so to change the rear derailleur and a chain so that you can use it as a backup or for your occasional challenge courses.

I've never been to this used bike store, but I've heard quite a few nice things about it (http://www.newtosandiego.com/Ye-Olde...oppe-and-Cafe/).

If you're set on online purchasing, remember to get the geometry/sizing of the bike and compare it to your own measurements from calculators like this http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO.

Have fun!
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Old 11-02-07, 10:17 AM   #8
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There is a used bike shop right near you in La Jolla (Bird Rock), called VeloCulture. Large variety of vintage and classic bikes, both road and mountain with single speed and fixed gear conversions. The owner is a huge bike enthusiast and good mechanic.
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Old 11-02-07, 10:31 AM   #9
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Take your time and fix up the Hardrock, (assuming it is your size) use it as a beater/commuter and keep saving your "new bike" money while you educate yourself about what you need/want.

If you are in LA go to the Bike Oven. We have lots of parts and bike knowledge for cheap/free.

http://bikeoven.com/

I even have an extra derailleur that I just took off a MTB I would give you...
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Old 11-02-07, 10:32 AM   #10
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Wow, thanks! I've been looking at ss/fg recently as well.
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Old 11-02-07, 10:54 AM   #11
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You don't say specifically whether you are looking for a road bike or a mtb but I inferred from you comment about "occasional challenge course " that you mean mtb. It's just barely possible to get an acceptable MTB for ~$400 in a local shop. You might check out Performance in Sorrento Valley or Kearney Mesa. They carry Iron Horse and other brands and always have things on sale.
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Old 11-02-07, 01:30 PM   #12
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You could also try to pm BF member adxm. He is a student there and a great rider. He might be able to help.
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Old 11-02-07, 01:36 PM   #13
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Thanks for all those responses! I read each and everyone one of them, and checked out all the links.

Sounds like the velodrome is a very popular suggestion~ I might just try to get there this sunday...Are any of you going to be there?

As much as I'd like to repair that Specialized HardRock I mentioned in the first post, I really have little confidence in it. I'll get a pic up of it when I can.

Thanks for your awesome generosity and constructive comments! I'm really glad I posted here.

-Jonathan
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Old 11-03-07, 07:51 AM   #14
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Buy two bikes: a beater bike for campus travel and a nicer one for your fun rides with friends. Hit your folks up for transportation assistance, at least to cover the beater bike.
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Old 11-04-07, 12:18 AM   #15
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Hmm...it's going to be a strange day tomorrow. Is anyone on the boards going to this event tomorrow? Looks like I'll be going alone, if at all. What should I expect in terms of a price to quality ratio? Are the set prices from sellers fair for new bikes, or is there a lot of leeway to talk down the price?

In an urgent and nervous manner,
-Jonathan
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Old 11-04-07, 10:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j0nshaw View Post
Hello all,


---

side note.--from what I found, there appears to be a 17% off coupon link that works at fogdog.com. They have bikes like the schwinn seneca road bike, and it rings up to $240.69 shipped, not inc. tax. Is this what I should be going for in my case? I'd like to have the freedom to get wider/partially treaded tires for going off road in...but then again, you all know more than me.

Hope to hear from you, fellow SoCal peeps!

-J0nathan

Aaacckk! No no no nononnonono!!!! Every single part of that bike is junk. You simply cannot get a new $250 road bike that won't be junk. If you're want a bike that is good on the road but can do limited off road, you are looking at cyclocross or hybrid bikes. Cyclocross bikes are fairly uncommon, but hybrids are easy to find on Craigslist. Avoid the ones with front suspension as the forks add weight and are useless offroad anyway..

Last edited by Indolent58; 11-04-07 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 11-04-07, 10:09 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j0nshaw View Post
Hmm...it's going to be a strange day tomorrow. Is anyone on the boards going to this event tomorrow? Looks like I'll be going alone, if at all. What should I expect in terms of a price to quality ratio? Are the set prices from sellers fair for new bikes, or is there a lot of leeway to talk down the price?

In an urgent and nervous manner,
-Jonathan
I'm going in a little while. I'll be wearing a "SPAM" t-shirt.
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Old 11-04-07, 10:17 AM   #18
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Don't forget the time change last night. I may bump into you guys too. Most likely a wash-out yellow "Life is Good" t-shirt. I have to admit, I don't know bikes so I wouldn't be of much help.
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Old 11-04-07, 10:18 AM   #19
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I guess I'll be heading there. Sniffing for parts.
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Old 11-04-07, 10:24 AM   #20
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Thanks for the early bump! I'll be heading over there...hope to see some of you. I'm wearing a "Music Mentors" Tan colored polo shirt with my name on it.
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Old 11-04-07, 10:25 AM   #21
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Aaacckk! No no no nononnonono!!!! Every single part of that bike is junk. You simply cannot get a new $250 road bike that won't be junk. If you're want a bike that is good on the road but can do limited off road, you are looking at cyclocross or hybrid bikes. Cyclocross bikes are fairly uncommon, but hybrids are easy to find on Craigslist. Avoid the ones with front suspension at the forks add weight and are useless offroad anyway..

Yea..it seemed too good to be true. i really hope I'll find one at the velodrome today. I'll be looking for your SPAM t-shirt.
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Old 11-04-07, 01:06 PM   #22
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Let us know how the swap meet went...
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Old 11-04-07, 01:43 PM   #23
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Just came back. Didn't see Jonathan. Bumped into Mark and Dan though. None of us got anything; but for me it was a nice morning walk in Balboa Park.
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Old 11-04-07, 04:57 PM   #24
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Hi guys; I walked around from 9 - 11 ish...looked around for bikes. Didn't get anything, nor did I see any of the above described t-shirts...I must be blind. I think I saw a destitute-looking person pick up a bike on the side of the velodrome..not sure if it belonged to him. He kinda walked away with it. ..

But...it did open my eyes to how big of a hobby this whole cycling thing is...people buying parts as if getting ready to modify their "ride". It's excellent!

I stopped by at UC Cyclery on the way home though. I talked to Billy, who, was coincidentally also at the meet. He was one of the ticket people taking entry fees at the small door. He assessed what I really wanted in this bike. I didn't get a bike today, but we came up with a few options:

1. Save up for a Specialized Sirrus ~ $679 sale in store
2. Save up for a Tri-Cross ~ $1049
3. Call up the UCSD Cycling team -- ask if any members have a cast-off road bike they'd like to sell.

-Jonathan
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Old 11-04-07, 05:05 PM   #25
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Interesting...looking at the bike from #2..found this. Same website layout, same bike, same reviews, but different price. hm?

-Jonathan
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