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Recommend me a bike for UC Davis? (noobie)

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Recommend me a bike for UC Davis? (noobie)

Old 05-03-11, 01:33 PM
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sequencius
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Recommend me a bike for UC Davis? (noobie)

Hello I'm new here and this is my first post. I'm trying to get into the bicycle hobby; my uncle is a professional racer but I'd like to see what you guys have to say also.

I've never had a road bike and I'm looking for an entry level bike to get me started. UC Davis is known as the bike capitol of the country supposedly... everyone ditches their cars for bikes. But bike theft is high and so I'm hesitant to get something flashy and expensive.


Anyone?
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Old 05-03-11, 01:42 PM
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If you want to get a bike just for riding to class, I'd suggest something off craigslist. You want something mechanically sound but ugly as hell. I rode an old Schwinn World Sport when I was at King Hall. Never got stolen.
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Old 05-03-11, 01:42 PM
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A used 3 speed.. Davis is a Big Flat Land Grant University
on the floor of the Sacramento end of the Central Valley.

gear 2 in middle should be comfortable cruising, ratio.
+ high for tailwinds, and a low for headwinds.
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Old 05-03-11, 01:44 PM
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Are you in Davis now? Or are you starting in the fall?
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Old 05-03-11, 01:53 PM
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If UC Davis is like some of the campuses i've visited improper locking technique is usually to blame for bike theft more than anything else.

Do you currently have a bike or will you be purchasing one, and where? How long of a commute will you have as well? What will you be carrying?

Pretty much any bike can be used as a commuter. If you have something already and it fits no reason on getting something else.

I can understand your hesitation about something flashy and expensive, but if locked properly you probably won't have many problems. Probably replace the skewers with locking ones. Get a good Ulock for your rear wheel and frame and lock it to a rack. Use the cable lock for your front wheel, frame, and lock it to the rack as well. Probably get a saddle leash as well.
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Old 05-03-11, 01:55 PM
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Does UC Davis have a lot of bike theft? I know this sounds terrible but you may want to delay any ideas of buying a nice/new bike. Get the cheapest ugliest functional bike you can and view it as a tool, not an investment. I won a bike in 6th grade and it was too large for me to use so I brought it to school. The thing was in terrible shape. I mean brakes didn't work, gears didn't shift etc but it lasted me 4 years and guess what, nobody stole it. I went to UCSB and that's the capitol of bike theft.
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Old 05-03-11, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Are you in Davis now? Or are you starting in the fall?
I start in the Fall

Originally Posted by exile View Post
Do you currently have a bike or will you be purchasing one, and where? How long of a commute will you have as well? What will you be carrying?.
I don't have a bike right now, I'm looking to buy one. The commute is small I'll be living down the street from campus or on campus, but the idea is that everyone uses a bike to get around the campus itself which is fairly large. I don't imagine myself carrying a lot of things, just my backpack with no more than 2 textbooks?
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Old 05-03-11, 05:06 PM
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Cheap, ugly but functional craigslist baby has my vote, too. Like you said, it's not far. Just about anything that fits will do the trick.

I wish I'd gone to college in a sunny, warm place that was bike friendly. Good luck.
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Old 05-03-11, 10:34 PM
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Please, for the love of God, do NOT buy anything with cruiser bars. The guy parking next to you will thank you. I will thank you.

To tell you the truth, like the others have said, it's really a toss-up and it's really how you lock it. For instance, I ride a 2009 Rockhopper and it's been untouched compared to my previous bike (a worn-out freebie Sears bike)as I now lock the frame AND wheels together. Saddle too. Lock the wheels to the frame and the frame to something solid and you're good to go. Take your lights as well. Failure to lock properly will mean that I can pick up what's left of your bike for $5 at the auction (I actually bought a Marin frame with cranks for what looks like that reason).

The "hot" thing on campus now is SS/fixed - it's almost hilarious to see a bike with Aerospoke and/or Deep-Vs parked next to a bike worth 1/10th of the wheels.

Recommendation? Find a bike. Is it mechanically sound and it fits? Are you alright if it gets ripped off, slammed against a metal pole, or crashed? If your answers are yes to all of the above, buy it.

Last edited by graytotoro; 05-03-11 at 10:38 PM.
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Old 05-05-11, 03:13 PM
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If I were you, I'd check out these folding bikes. They have full-size wheels, and you can just fold it up at night and store it in your dorm room, so you won't have to worry as much about theft.
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Old 05-05-11, 08:03 PM
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I've spent some time in Davis. Not necessarily on campus but around town. Most people "commute" on beaters and everyone locks them. You'll want something that has an upright riding position like a flat bar road bike or a MTB.

Davis is a great city! U R gonna love it.
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Old 05-06-11, 06:04 PM
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I went to Davis in the 90's and had a beach cruiser with gears. I got the bike for free, as it was left in a friend's garage when she moved in, and needed repairs. Get something cheap and lock it down solid. I had friends have parts stolen off of good bikes (seats, r. derailleurs, etc.)
You want ugly, with solid mechanics, a few gears, and a rear fender.
Hit up garage sales and CL.
You have some really good times ahead of you, enjoy being an Aggie.
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Old 05-06-11, 06:10 PM
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Yes, definitely a fender. Winters are rainy in the valley and you want to avoid the "Freshman Stripe."
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Old 05-06-11, 07:24 PM
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I suggest you buy this, then take it to a local bike shop to make sure it's in good mechanical condition.

While Davis is a great place for biking around, you don't need much of a bike to get around. More importantly than getting the right bike, I would suggest spending some time learning how to ride properly. Get comfortable riding in traffic, maybe even navigating a traffic circle.

Also, it might be a good idea to learn a bit of bike maintenance, I suggest stopping by Bike Forth when you arrive.

Also, learn about Davis Wiki. See, I'm just full of help for incoming freshman.
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Old 05-07-11, 08:24 AM
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I rode a pretty "flashy" mountain bike and just locked it up really good (popped off the front wheel and brought it to the back so both wheels and the frame went through the ulock. I also had a cable lock for my seat). The worst part about riding your bike to school is when you're late and there's no more room at the bike rack.

Suggestion for a real nice ride in the summer: ride out to the wetlands in between Davis and Sac. There are picnic tables where you can chill out. Stop at the fruit market right before the entrance to the wetlands.
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Old 05-07-11, 09:49 AM
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Buy a used bike. There should be plenty of used bikes for sale in that area and they should be fairly inexpensive. Then buy a decent lock but not a cable lock unless you use two locks which is what I recommend anyways. Your first primary lock should be a large U-Bolt from Krytonite.

And here's a web site to show you how to properly lock your bike using a long U-bolt: http://www.missinglink.org/page/how-lock-bike there is one flaw with this locking method, if they cut the rims they got the bike, thus make sure that both rims are locked as pictured but run the U-Bolt around either the seat tube or one or both rear stays depending on what the U-Bolt will fit around.

Then as an option, which I would do, is to buy a the thickest cable lock system you can find and run the cable through the wheels and frame to the bike stand. Two forms of different type of locks will stop a thief since they won't be running around with two sets of tools to use.

But none of these locks will stop a parts thief, so you have to find out if part theft is a problem there, if so then you have to invest about $140 in a complete parts lock system from PitLock that locks your wheels (though the U-Bolt will do that too as does the cable), locks your seat, your forks, and your handlebars.

But if you buy an inexpensive bike with relative inexpensive parts a thief won't be inclined to steal yours, they'll just move on to the rich dope that rode his $3,000 plus bike in parked next to yours!! Thus buying the PitLocks may not be necessary. Make sure though that you take your pump, computer, and lights off and put them in your backback or else they will be gone the very first day.

Last edited by rekmeyata; 05-07-11 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 05-07-11, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by sequencius View Post
I start in the Fall

I don't have a bike right now, I'm looking to buy one. The commute is small I'll be living down the street from campus or on campus, but the idea is that everyone uses a bike to get around the campus itself which is fairly large. I don't imagine myself carrying a lot of things, just my backpack with no more than 2 textbooks?
For a short commute, any bike will do. Just get something that fits and you enjoy riding. I like the late 80's to mid 90's rigid MTB's because they were so versatile. However, just get something that you want to ride. The most important thing is to lock it up properly.
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Old 05-07-11, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
But if you buy an inexpensive bike with relative inexpensive parts a thief won't be inclined to steal yours, they'll just move on to the rich dope that rode his $3,000 plus bike in parked next to yours!! Thus buying the PitLocks may not be necessary. Make sure though that you take your pump, computer, and lights off and put them in your backback or else they will be gone the very first day.
Davis isn't that bad in terms of theft. I tend to ride nice bikes and I haven't had a single bike stolen. The only secret I've found is to use a decent U-lock and don't leave it out overnight. It's been about 5 years, and no one has touched my 531 framed touring bike, or my 531 framed single speed, or any of my True Temper OX platinum mountain bikes. No one has taken a single one of my leather saddles, despite them sitting on top of quick release seatposts.

The only secret that I've found is to not leave your bike anywhere overnight. For a few hours when you're in class no one will touch it. It's only when you leave the bike out overnight, or worse, over breaks, that theft really becomes an issue.
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Old 05-07-11, 07:34 PM
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try the police auction in Davis. My daughter just picked up two good bikes for under $100 (total) to replace the bike that was stolen on campus. BTW, it was not left overnight but was stolen after dark.
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Old 05-08-11, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
Davis isn't that bad in terms of theft. I tend to ride nice bikes and I haven't had a single bike stolen. The only secret I've found is to use a decent U-lock and don't leave it out overnight. It's been about 5 years, and no one has touched my 531 framed touring bike, or my 531 framed single speed, or any of my True Temper OX platinum mountain bikes. No one has taken a single one of my leather saddles, despite them sitting on top of quick release seatposts.

The only secret that I've found is to not leave your bike anywhere overnight. For a few hours when you're in class no one will touch it. It's only when you leave the bike out overnight, or worse, over breaks, that theft really becomes an issue.
I would still change the quick release and/or get a saddle leash. I had my Brooks stolen when it was unattended for only about an hour during the day. I got to complacent because no one had messed with it for over the year that I was riding it. With thieves you never know what they will do or want. I now have a Velo Orange Model 5 locked up using an old bike chain.
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Old 05-09-11, 03:38 PM
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I'm a UCD alum. Mathematics '81.

If you're living a couple of miles or less from campus, just about anything works. Simple has its benefits. You'll never worry about derailleur adjustment if you're riding a one speed. It's mostly flat, but you'll get wind sometimes. A couple of gears won't hurt.

Good quality used is a great idea. Get it all tuned up. Learn how to lubricate the parts that might get wet (especially chain, der if you have 'em). Fenders are nice in the winter. I never had them. I tended to walk if it was rainy and I could make the class changes. The winter gets rainy (usually). You'll do well to have a rain plan (fenders, rainwear, footwear vs. walk vs. other) Unitrans was a good alternative when I got farther from campus.

I lost one bike in my four years there. Left overnight near the MU but terminal, not locked to anything, just the cable around the frame and back wheel. Probably got tossed into a truck and taken. Lock to a sturdy object and your theft odds go way down.
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