Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Another College Student - Suggestions for a Bike?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Another College Student - Suggestions for a Bike?

Old 07-13-12, 07:46 PM
  #26  
animabella
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 41
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
...

Last edited by animabella; 03-06-14 at 09:55 AM.
animabella is offline  
Old 07-13-12, 08:32 PM
  #27  
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,804

Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by animabella View Post
Thanks guys! I had another talk with my dad, and he seems a little more open to the possibility of getting a used bike from Craigslist in the Atlanta area when it gets a little closer to me flying back to GA, so I will keep searching around there. All of your input is really helpful in giving me ideas about what to look for; thanks!
Actually, buying used for a college bound bicycle, makes more sense than buying new. Buying a brand new bicycle of your choice, seems more like a present you would present to yourself upon graduation day
SlimRider is offline  
Old 07-14-12, 02:00 AM
  #28  
LeeG
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 4,957
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
When my daughter went to college I gave her a 8lb. plastic covered chain to lock it with. It easn't stolen.
LeeG is offline  
Old 07-14-12, 07:39 AM
  #29  
dedhed
SE Wis
 
dedhed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 7,904

Bikes: '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400, 2013 Novara Randonee, 1990 Trek 970

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1698 Post(s)
Liked 1,343 Times in 867 Posts
https://tuscaloosa.craigslist.org/bik/3087758110.html

https://bham.craigslist.org/bik/3127761791.html

Last edited by dedhed; 07-14-12 at 07:42 AM.
dedhed is offline  
Old 07-14-12, 05:43 PM
  #30  
DVC45
Senior Member
 
DVC45's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,879
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
https://tuscaloosa.craigslist.org/bik/3126160782.html

This one too https://bham.craigslist.org/bik/3138785078.html

But if I am the one buying it would be this https://tuscaloosa.craigslist.org/bik/3092706477.html
Then I'll flip it for more $$ when I am done with it.
DVC45 is offline  
Old 07-14-12, 09:19 PM
  #31  
MadCityCyclist
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 305

Bikes: Brompton M6R, Salsa Mukluk II, Trek 7500, Raliegh fixie, 3 SS cruisers, JC Higgins Color Flow, Junker Flying Jet, KHS F20-A, Worksman trike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There's a big risk of a n00b buying a bike off craigslist: you don't know what to look out for, as many of the bikes should be immediately disqualified for things like wrong frame size or bent frames. Craigslist is a great place to find bikes once you are familiar with bikes in general.

Most college towns have an abundance of low-mile, fairly new bikes that were purchased by students, ridden lightly, and then sold when the student graduates. Check in town for bike stores that buy & sells these bikes. Most "new" bike shops also sell used bikes because they are traded in just like cars, or people are willing to sell them cheap when they leave town. For example, my hometown of Madison, WI, is also a college town (University of Wisconsin). Here's one of the store's used bike selection:



To be fair, Madison is a bike-friendly town and a lot of other people ride bikes and fuel the supply chain, but college towns in general have a ton of good/cheap bikes, you just need to know where to find them. Also check to see if there is a bike co-op nearby. Bike co-ops usually sell used and/or refurbished bikes, and a tune-up/brake check/etc is normally included in the price and performed before the bike is sold (otherwise, they would be selling an unsafe bike). Both entities should be willing to let you take as many test rides as you need until you are comfortable with making a purchase, and they should provide plenty of guidance to help steer you to the right type of bike (if it's a good bike store/co-op, anyway).

My advice to you, regardless of where you find the bike, is:

1) When taking the bike for a test ride, try to ride it the exact same route you would ride after you bought the bike. If that is not possible, try to replicate it in terms of elevation (hills), traffic, and distance. You don't want to test-ride a bike around the block, buy it, and then find out it makes your hands numb or back hurt on longer daily rides (additionally, if you've had back problems you might want to forget about bikes with road bike frames/drop handles and look at bikes with a more upright riding style).
2) It's OK to be unsure of a certain bike when you ride it the first time. If something is a red flag about the seller or bike shop, you are usually right before you know it.
3) Shop around. Ride many bikes and make the most informed decision. There is absolutely no law that says you have to buy a bike after you ride it once.
4) You'll want fenders, unless you're happy with a stripe of mud up your back and in your hair every time it rains.
5) Check out the local laws before buying. You may have to buy lights, reflectors, and/or a helmet to be legal when riding. The college may require bike registration as well, but that's usually pretty cheap.
6) The bike should be at least $100 less than your maximum budget, because you may need to buy the things listed in #5, or a rear rack & panniers.
7) College campuses usually experience high bike theft rates. DO NOT buy a cable lock as they can be quickly defeated by even the most inexperienced thief. Buy a decent U-lock (the good bike lock companies will have multiple levels of security in their offerings, which will normally be reflected in the price of the U-lock). Do not secure the bike to something the thief can overcome instead of the lock itself, like a street sign (the thief simply unscrews the sign and lifts the bike over the pole, U-lock and all).
8) For a 5 or 6 mile ride, I'd recommend staying away from a single speed and sticking with a multi-geared bike. The main reason is, even with a relatively flat ride, you may be running late some days and you can move a lot faster with the other gears. Things may change during the next four years as well, and you may move to a different part of town with hills or a longer distance.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
bike-store-madison.jpg (53.0 KB, 11 views)

Last edited by MadCityCyclist; 07-14-12 at 09:33 PM.
MadCityCyclist is offline  
Old 07-14-12, 09:38 PM
  #32  
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,804

Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MadCityCyclist View Post
There's a big risk of a n00b buying a bike off craigslist: you don't know what to look out for, as many of the bikes should be immediately disqualified for things like wrong frame size or bent frames. Craigslist is a great place to find bikes once you are familiar with bikes in general.

Most college towns have an abundance of low-mile, fairly new bikes that were purchased by students, ridden lightly, and then sold when the student graduates. Check in town for bike stores that buy & sells these bikes. Most "new" bike shops also sell used bikes because they are traded in just like cars, or people are willing to sell them cheap when they leave town. For example, my hometown of Madison, WI, is also a college town (University of Wisconsin). Here's one of the store's used bike selection:



To be fair, Madison is a bike-friendly town and a lot of other people ride bikes and fuel the supply chain, but college towns in general have a ton of good/cheap bikes, you just need to know where to find them. Also check to see if there is a bike co-op nearby. Bike co-ops usually sell used and/or refurbished bikes, and a tune-up/brake check/etc is normally included in the price and performed before the bike is sold (otherwise, they would be selling an unsafe bike). Both entities should be willing to let you take as many test rides as you need until you are comfortable with making a purchase, and they should provide plenty of guidance to help steer you to the right type of bike (if it's a good bike store/co-op, anyway).

My advice to you, regardless of where you find the bike, is:

1) When taking the bike for a test ride, try to ride it the exact same route you would ride after you bought the bike. If that is not possible, try to replicate it in terms of elevation (hills), traffic, and distance. You don't want to test-ride a bike around the block, buy it, and then find out it makes your hands numb or back hurt on longer daily rides (additionally, if you've had back problems you might want to forget about bikes with road bike frames/drop handles and look at bikes with a more upright riding style).
2) It's OK to be unsure of a certain bike when you ride it the first time. If something is a red flag about the seller or bike shop, you are usually right before you know it.
3) Shop around. Ride many bikes and make the most informed decision. There is absolutely no law that says you have to buy a bike after you ride it once.
4) You'll want fenders, unless you're happy with a stripe of mud up your back and in your hair every time it rains.
5) Check out the local laws before buying. You may have to buy lights, reflectors, and/or a helmet to be legal when riding. The college may require bike registration as well, but that's usually pretty cheap.
6) The bike should be at least $100 less than your maximum budget, because you may need to buy the things listed in #5, or a rear rack & panniers.
7) College campuses usually experience high bike theft rates. DO NOT buy a cable lock as they can be quickly defeated by even the most inexperienced thief. Buy a decent U-lock (the good bike lock companies will have multiple levels of security in their offerings, which will normally be reflected in the price of the U-lock). Do not secure the bike to something the thief can overcome instead of the lock itself, like a street sign (the thief simply unscrews the sign and lifts the bike over the pole, U-lock and all).
8) For a 5 or 6 mile ride, I'd recommend staying away from a single speed and sticking with a multi-geared bike. The main reason is, even with a relatively flat ride, you may be running late some days and you can move a lot faster with the other gears. Things may change during the next four years as well, and you may move to a different part of town with hills or a longer distance.
+1 ^ This is the very best advice within this entire thread...Please do take it seriously!

PS.

That said...However, I do most vehemently disagree with the philosophy concerning single speeds. As long as there are no serious hills to speak of, a single speed will always suffice.

Last edited by SlimRider; 07-14-12 at 09:58 PM.
SlimRider is offline  
Old 07-16-12, 10:19 AM
  #33  
SlimRider
Banned
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,804

Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think that once you get your living situation confirmed, you should then canvass area bicycle shops for a used chromoly steel bicycle. If you exhaust all efforts to find a chromoly steel framed bicycle, then you should settle for aluminum. If an acceptable used bicycle in fair to good condition cannot be found, then you should focus all energy towards acquiring the Giant Via 2 bicycle, that was referenced earlier within this very thread.

Otherwise, you should Google both the Schwinn Varsity and the Schwinn Empire XL, at your friendly neighborhood big box store outlet. If a large Varsity doesn't fit, then an XL Empire will for certain!

Of course, I would only select the big box store outlet option, as a last resort. Most certainly after the single speed exercise that I've already PM'ed you about.

Last edited by SlimRider; 07-16-12 at 10:29 AM.
SlimRider is offline  
Old 07-16-12, 02:15 PM
  #34  
threecarjam
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Chicago!
Posts: 214
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If you're within shouting distance of Gaylord, go get this (or see if the seller will deliver): https://nmi.craigslist.org/bik/3092987079.html

A nice, tall, 80's Japanese-made CrMo steel mixte - not the most common thing in the world! I actually have a few friends in Chicago who'd love to get this bike if it was a couple of hours closer.

If you can locate a bike where you are right now, you could find a decent Atlanta or Tuscaloosa-area bike shop that will take delivery of the bike, re-assemble and tune up - you'll want new cables at least, and probably new tires, and probably a re-greasing of all moving parts (hubs, bottom bracket, headset, pedals maybe). Shipping a bike should cost roughly $50-60 if it's packed right - there are plenty in the Classic & Vintage forum who could walk you through how to best pack a bike for safest and cheapest shipping - and a good tune-up from a reputable shop should run you $80 -120 including cheap but reliable tires (Vittoria Zaffiro is a good, cheap 27" tire).

Seriously, it might seem crazy to get/find a bike where you're at right now and have it shipped around, but if you can find a good deal (and out in the boonies is where the good deals live) for $100 or less, you can probably be rolling right away when you get to school for well under $300 total with a freshly tuned bike. And that Shogun is a perfect college bike to me - nice enough to be fun to ride around, and cheap enough to not break your heart.
threecarjam is offline  
Old 07-16-12, 09:21 PM
  #35  
MNBikeguy
Senior Member
 
MNBikeguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 1,834

Bikes: 05 Trek 5200, 07 Trek 520, 99 GT Karakoram, 08 Surly 1X1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a different take here.
1. Campus environment
2. Theft is a big concern
3. Short 5 mile commute
These three things point to a crap-frame that ideally would appear under the radar. But you still want decent components. Rather than Craigslist for your first bike, I'd recommend looking at a few LBS's. They usually have trade-ins, or other used bikes that can be worked over. Then you'd get the correct frame size and set-up well under your budget. You may even have room for an additional nicer bike for longer recreational rides.
MNBikeguy is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
carleton
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
352
05-01-15 01:58 PM
MathBunny
Commuting
62
01-30-15 11:20 AM
SethODucks
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
7
07-05-11 11:38 AM
RoboCheme
Pacific Northwest
3
04-20-11 09:56 AM
popiyo
General Cycling Discussion
12
02-04-11 08:39 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.