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Thinking about buying a bicycle or fixing one up

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Thinking about buying a bicycle or fixing one up

Old 04-19-16, 01:57 PM
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aspiringcyclist
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Thinking about buying a bicycle or fixing one up

Hello All!
I'm going to go to college next year in Cleveland, and I'm thinking about buying or fixing up a bicycle. I'm 6'2 and I always wear pants (I'm male), and I generally dress fairly nicely. My usual ride would be approximately 2-5 minutes, as I'll be living on campus, but I've heard a bike comes in pretty handy on those cold days. I haven't ridden a bike since I was 12, but I could ride fine and am confident I still could.
These things being said, I was wondering whether it would be worth it in the long run to get a bicycle, and if so, what kind. I'd be carrying a medium size backpack or satchel most days. I have ridden a single speed as well as a six speed before, never ridden a fixie. I would appreciate a recommendation for a type of bicycle/ ideas on where to get one (I prefer under 100 dollars--200 max)
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Old 04-19-16, 02:18 PM
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My sons both used their bikes a lot at college even when they had a car available to them. Avoiding the hassles of parking and the cost of fuel were the major reasons. Older son is now in Denver and commutes by bike in all sorts of weather. So I would think a bike would be a great option.

I would avoid fixies especially on campus. Single speeds, if the campus is fairly flat, would be a good choice. If there are a lot of hills, a geared bike may be a better choice. Keep an eye out for bikes on Craigs List. Avoid suspension and look for brands that are sold in bike stores. And make sure the bike fits you.
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Old 04-20-16, 07:13 AM
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Good advice given. Lots of gems on craiglist. Since you mention that you dress nice, I'd throw out that you might want to pop by a sporting goods store/bike shop, and pick up an ankle reflector...I use one not so much for the safety, but keeping my pant leg out of the drive train...conversely, you could always add a cover for your drive train. I've seen a little bit of everything parked at school campus bike racks, though seemed like a preponderance of hybrids, since they are relatively inexpensive, versatile, and have the rider sitting more upright seeing where they are going.
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Old 04-20-16, 07:33 AM
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Five minute ride around campus, I'd use anything I could keep rolling even one of those $100 big box store bikes. Figure out what size you need, buy something cheap off craigslist. You want the minimum to deter and mitigate theft on campus.

Of course, talking to this forum we, including me, would be inclined to suggest using it for more than the ride across campus. For something that will take you to local events, social events, errands in Cleveland, the criteria will change.
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Old 04-20-16, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by aspiringcyclist View Post
Hello All!
I'm going to go to college next year in Cleveland, and I'm thinking about buying or fixing up a bicycle. I'm 6'2 and I always wear pants (I'm male), and I generally dress fairly nicely. My usual ride would be approximately 2-5 minutes, as I'll be living on campus, but I've heard a bike comes in pretty handy on those cold days. I haven't ridden a bike since I was 12, but I could ride fine and am confident I still could.
These things being said, I was wondering whether it would be worth it in the long run to get a bicycle, and if so, what kind. I'd be carrying a medium size backpack or satchel most days. I have ridden a single speed as well as a six speed before, never ridden a fixie. I would appreciate a recommendation for a type of bicycle/ ideas on where to get one (I prefer under 100 dollars--200 max)
Honestly, if my bike ride was just 2 minutes, I think I would just walk.
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Old 04-20-16, 07:47 AM
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I can remember starting college (way back in 1998!) and all I wanted was to have my car with me on campus. Then as time went on I took it as a challenge to see how long I could let my car sit without driving it anywhere. I was in architecture school, so I was always in the architecture building, and my dorm was right next to the building which was really convenient. At one point I brought my old bike with me, that I got when I was 12 I think, and left it locked up on the balcony outside the whole semester. It was never stolen (surprising), but I think I only used it 2 or 3 times that whole semester. I walked across campus more than anything else.

Nowadays of course I wish I would have just had the bike and not had a car at all on campus.
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Old 04-20-16, 10:22 AM
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Old 04-20-16, 01:17 PM
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Cool! Even though it is a short walk, a bicycle will be great to get to place that are off of campus. I would say check out Craigslist and fix one up. Look for one that has a chain guard to keep your pants out of the drive train. Make sure you get a really sturdy lock or two, as well as a floor pump and a spare tube. Living in dorms, you probably won't have to worry much about grocery shopping, but if you plan on keeping it, try and find one you can put a rack on and eventually getting either full time baskets or a Wald folding basket (or two)...or have some other way of transporting beer and groceries. Other than that, just take care to keep it locked up, whenever you go home after the semester, give it a good scrub and tune up...and if you have an older bike that doesn't have sealed bearings, take an afternoon to overhaul the bottom bracket and hubs.
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Old 04-20-16, 01:33 PM
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I still use my bike at work to grab a snack from the store around the corner from the office. It takes about 5 minutes to walk there, but takes less than 1 minute to bike there, so why not just bike? It's a huge time saver over walking.
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Old 04-20-16, 06:17 PM
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Is it possible to install a chainguard? I have a palisades trail mountain bike in my garage, I'm thinking about just replacing the tires, and putting in a chainguard. It seems like a half decent bike at least, and has a pretty sturdy frame (I think). I also have one of those gel comfort saddles, and I'm thinking it might be able to be transferred. Thoughts? Is it alright to paint my bike?
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Old 04-20-16, 06:25 PM
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The more I read this forum, the more excited I get about the possibility of using my bicycle to commute
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Old 04-21-16, 05:43 AM
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The Palisades by Marin or made by SE? If Marin, that should be a solid bike. And yes, you should be able to find an after market chain guard. Since you wear nice clothes, I would also put some long fenders on (if you ever plan to ride in anything but sunny weather). Does it have a suspension fork, or is it rigid?
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Old 04-21-16, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
The Palisades by Marin or made by SE? If Marin, that should be a solid bike. And yes, you should be able to find an after market chain guard. Since you wear nice clothes, I would also put some long fenders on (if you ever plan to ride in anything but sunny weather). Does it have a suspension fork, or is it rigid?
It is rigid, and is a Marin Palisades. It has no suspension fork, and I was wondering if you have any ideas of where to get fenders/ chain guards inexpensively?
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