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noobie commuter to work and school...few questions

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noobie commuter to work and school...few questions

Old 07-31-12, 02:10 AM
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supfresh
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noobie commuter to work and school...few questions

Ok so something has been going on this past month in my life which suddenly started this surge to go biking, and freely roam on a bike around where I live. I just realised how sad it has been just driving to work/school and coming home and doing this pretty much everyday (xept the weekends) I did quite a bit of research and I think I have nailed the bike I want, which is a trek 7.1, it seems to do what I want at a very affordable price point. But there is a different side this whole powerful urge of biking and that is actually having my bike, and not having it stolen.

I dug myself in this deep dark path that I might actually not want to buy a bicycle for this commuting strat and save my money. I have been reading an awful lot of stories of people securing their bikes, and coming back and its gone. I will be mostly commuting to work, which tbh, is in a very safe place and set in an extremely public area. The school is what I am worried about. I go 3 times a week and stay inside for almost 8-9 hours and more than likely it will be dusk when I go home. I can remember where the bike rails are to put your bike, and its litteraly infront of the school, but its in a town, and the people that stand around there are pretty sketch. I used to chuckle at why people got mad about their bike getting stolen, but now learning how much time and money is dedicated to such a machine, It would really piss me off if some, or even me got their 500$-10k bike stolen.

Anyone have any good feedback or recomendations of bike protection or is it even worth riding a 500$ bike into areas like this? would be awesome thanx!
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Old 07-31-12, 03:16 AM
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Welcome To Bike Forums, Supfresh!

First of all, you need to drastically cut your losses, if the theft risk is that high. However, you need not deprive yourself of the privilege and luxury of cycling.

If your commute doesn't include any serious hills or inclines, you can buy a very affordable single speed. Since single speeds are both inexpensive and low maintenance, as well, it'll be just perfect for a student who would prefer to concentrate upon his studies, and not his bike so much.

Alternatively, you could just monitor your local Craigslist for a good commuting candidate. I would suggest that you look for an old used chromoly steel road bike of the 80's era, or perhaps even a rigid forked steel mountain bike from the 90's era.

Also, if you have a bicycle co-op near your vicinity, you could start there. They sometimes have donated bicycle frames, from which you can build your own bike under the watchful eyes and guidance of seasoned veteran bicycle mechanics.

Just food for thought...

PS.

Whatever, you get cheap or used, place an old ugly (but comfortable) saddle on it and spray paint the bike, either matte black or some outlandishly ugly, standout, easily discernible color...

Don't get the Trek, until it's completely safe!

Last edited by SlimRider; 07-31-12 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 07-31-12, 10:18 AM
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hey slim, thanks for the response. I was also thinking about buying something from like a walmart or target ect just to get the job done. But there is never a way to really to remove theft 100%, I would just feel less upset if a 100$ bike got stolen. Guess I will just have to wait on buying a lux bike for a while, I did mention his is my first bike right? hehe. I will for sure look into that mongoose sinsure, it looks like a good deal
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Old 07-31-12, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by supfresh View Post
I did mention his is my first bike right?
Have you EVER ridden a bike? Just curious.
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Old 07-31-12, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ckaspar View Post
Have you EVER ridden a bike? Just curious.
OP - disregard snotty comments.

Have you looked into adding an insurance policy for your bicycle? I know that I can add my bicycle into my renters insurance (which I have bundled with my car insurance, i.e., it is very reasonably priced) and they will cover losses outside of my home, e.g., if my bike gets jacked while I'm in class or a store. As far as whether this is worthwhile for you to commit to...only you can determine that. You can double and triple up on protection with hefty Kryptonite U-locks and chains (which can add up $$ real quick) or you can just buy something super cheap. Sometimes it's all in how you secure your bike; a thief of opportunity is going to notice the easiest target, and if your bike is locked up to a wrought iron gate, the front wheel off, with a hefty u-lock going through both wheels, the frame, and the gate, then it will be quite difficult to get away with that.
Then again, when it comes to city commuting, most of the time an x-mart or craiglist mtb beater will do just a good of job as any road bike.
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Old 07-31-12, 04:32 PM
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It's usually best not to buy bikes from any Xmart outlet. However, if you insist, try to avoid any bike that has derailleurs or suspended forks. Only risk getting a single speed if you can't help it. A single speed carries less risk.

Avoid the Thruster!

Have a LBS inspect the bike before riding, if you do buy from an Xmart.

Try to avoid buying from an Xmart, if you can help it, please!
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Old 07-31-12, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
OP - disregard snotty comments.
I was not intending to be snotty. I was simply asking because going from having never ridden to commuting daily is a big jump depending on distance and location. It was not meant to be snotty or anything like that. Since he said this will his first bike I wanted to know if that meant ever or what. That is why the question of whether he has ever ridden or not.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:01 PM
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How far is your commute and what's the terrain like? Also, are there any storage options other than locking on a rack?

A decent lock can protect your wheels and frame to some extent on a rack, but they can't keep the ebay thieves from stripping the rest of it.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by ckaspar View Post
Have you EVER ridden a bike? Just curious.
ahahah, yea, I guess thats what happens when you write at 2:30am half sleeping. But yes I have ridden many bikes although mainly mountain like mongoose but I have never ridden a road or hybrid bike. And by my first bike, I meant my first real LBS, Factory store bikes which are creme of the crop 400-1k price tags bikes.
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Old 07-31-12, 05:11 PM
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How far is your commute and what's the terrain like? Also, are there any storage options other than locking on a rack? A decent lock can protect your wheels and frame to some extent on a rack, but they can't keep the ebay thieves from stripping the rest of it.
10-15 miles a day, 50-65 miles a week. I was gonna see if I can bring in my bike into both school and the store I work at, havent found out yet
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Old 07-31-12, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by jfowler85 View Post
OP - disregard snotty comments.

Have you looked into adding an insurance policy for your bicycle? I know that I can add my bicycle into my renters insurance (which I have bundled with my car insurance, i.e., it is very reasonably priced) and they will cover losses outside of my home, e.g., if my bike gets jacked while I'm in class or a store. As far as whether this is worthwhile for you to commit to...only you can determine that. You can double and triple up on protection with hefty Kryptonite U-locks and chains (which can add up $$ real quick) or you can just buy something super cheap. Sometimes it's all in how you secure your bike; a thief of opportunity is going to notice the easiest target, and if your bike is locked up to a wrought iron gate, the front wheel off, with a hefty u-lock going through both wheels, the frame, and the gate, then it will be quite difficult to get away with that.
Then again, when it comes to city commuting, most of the time an x-mart or craiglist mtb beater will do just a good of job as any road bike.
Ya, I was thinking about getting biking insurance, but I havent really gotten to the point to look all that up, but I might if my bike will turn out to cost a bit. I went to target, and walmart and found 2 of their "best" road bikes, it was a joke..because after all of this I went to my LBS, and wow they were so helpful with explaining how fit is important, they told me that is not the best idea to ride a frame under 20'' (because im 6'4) so instead of the trek 7.1, they gave me a 7.2 to ride on, was awesome, and I didnt feel cramped. In general I didnt know that you can get frame sized in L,XL,XXL depending on the company. So my original intension to buy from a walmart or target is really out of the pick, unless I just want some 90$ MTB =/

Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
It's usually best not to buy bikes from any Xmart outlet. However, if you insist, try to avoid any bike that has derailleurs or suspended forks. Only risk getting a single speed if you can't help it. A single speed carries less risk.

Avoid the Thruster!

Have a LBS inspect the bike before riding, if you do buy from an Xmart.

Try to avoid buying from an Xmart, if you can help it, please!
Ya, I dont like how the bikes feel in the xmart stores I went to, it felt to small after LBS gave me a proper sized bikes. Now I really need to invest money in a bike and cant get away from the cheap route. Unless I craiglist it...but I really just want a bike within the next two weeks...
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Old 07-31-12, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by supfresh View Post
ahahah, yea, I guess thats what happens when you write at 2:30am half sleeping. But yes I have ridden many bikes although mainly mountain like mongoose but I have never ridden a road or hybrid bike. And by my first bike, I meant my first real LBS, Factory store bikes which are creme of the crop 400-1k price tags bikes.
I figured but wanted to ask anyway. If not I am sure suggestions would be a little different. The "first bike" threw me off. I assumed you meant LBS type of bike but wanted to confirm.
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Old 07-31-12, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by supfresh View Post
Ya, I was thinking about getting biking insurance, but I havent really gotten to the point to look all that up, but I might if my bike will turn out to cost a bit. I went to target, and walmart and found 2 of their "best" road bikes, it was a joke..because after all of this I went to my LBS, and wow they were so helpful with explaining how fit is important, they told me that is not the best idea to ride a frame under 20'' (because im 6'4) so instead of the trek 7.1, they gave me a 7.2 to ride on, was awesome, and I didnt feel cramped. In general I didnt know that you can get frame sized in L,XL,XXL depending on the company. So my original intension to buy from a walmart or target is really out of the pick, unless I just want some 90$ MTB =/



Ya, I dont like how the bikes feel in the xmart stores I went to, it felt to small after LBS gave me a proper sized bikes. Now I really need to invest money in a bike and cant get away from the cheap route. Unless I craiglist it...but I really just want a bike within the next two weeks...


Alright then, Supfresh!

Just one question:

Does your commute include any serious hills or inclines?

TIA

Last edited by SlimRider; 08-01-12 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 07-31-12, 09:14 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Alright then, Supfresh!

Just one question:

Does you commute include any serious hills or inclines?

TIA
to school no (5.4 miles) to work...well there is a huge down slope ride in 3 of the locations that I can take, but after that ends, I am back to flat ground, so I can say 70% of the ride will be on flat ground
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Old 07-31-12, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ckaspar View Post
I figured but wanted to ask anyway. If not I am sure suggestions would be a little different. The "first bike" threw me off. I assumed you meant LBS type of bike but wanted to confirm.
its all good, and no offense taken, I would have asked also the same question...first bike to be a road or hybrid would be sort of interesting if you never road a bike before LOL
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Old 07-31-12, 11:33 PM
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Campus theft of bicycles is so rampant in some places that it just seems silly to really go all out and make a genuine investment in a quality bicycle.

Therefore, since you do have at least one huge hill, I will recommend a budget chromoly steel road bike. The frame will most likely outlast your lifetime. However, the components will most probably last for the remainder of your time in college. The frame will still be around for a component upgrade at your leisure, whenever you feel the need.

I'm therefore recommending the Motobecane Mirage ~ $330
www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mirage_xi_steel.htm

Otherwise, without the hill:

I would have recommended the Nashbar SE Lager ~ $275
www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_543181_-1__20216
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Old 08-01-12, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by supfresh View Post
Ok so something has been going on this past month in my life which suddenly started this surge to go biking, and freely roam on a bike around where I live. I just realised how sad it has been just driving to work/school and coming home and doing this pretty much everyday (xept the weekends) I did quite a bit of research and I think I have nailed the bike I want, which is a trek 7.1, it seems to do what I want at a very affordable price point. But there is a different side this whole powerful urge of biking and that is actually having my bike, and not having it stolen.

I dug myself in this deep dark path that I might actually not want to buy a bicycle for this commuting strat and save my money. I have been reading an awful lot of stories of people securing their bikes, and coming back and its gone. I will be mostly commuting to work, which tbh, is in a very safe place and set in an extremely public area. The school is what I am worried about. I go 3 times a week and stay inside for almost 8-9 hours and more than likely it will be dusk when I go home. I can remember where the bike rails are to put your bike, and its litteraly infront of the school, but its in a town, and the people that stand around there are pretty sketch. I used to chuckle at why people got mad about their bike getting stolen, but now learning how much time and money is dedicated to such a machine, It would really piss me off if some, or even me got their 500$-10k bike stolen.

Anyone have any good feedback or recomendations of bike protection or is it even worth riding a 500$ bike into areas like this? would be awesome thanx!
So, what? You're white and you saw a black guy once and you thought it was scary?

I guess I just don't get the culture of fear surrounding locking up your bike. I lock mine wherever and its typically been whatevs. But what, you'd drive your $10,000 car to the same low income neighborhood and park it, but not lock your bike up?
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Old 08-01-12, 05:15 AM
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Originally Posted by oneeyedhobbit View Post
So, what? You're white and you saw a black guy once and you thought it was scary?

I guess I just don't get the culture of fear surrounding locking up your bike. I lock mine wherever and its typically been whatevs. But what, you'd drive your $10,000 car to the same low income neighborhood and park it, but not lock your bike up?
Black?...White?...Where'd ya see all of that?...R U on something?





PS.

BTW

Here in the Bay Area bike thieves come in all shapes, sizes, age groups, hues, and colors. It looks like Bike Thieves International is having a convention or something.

Thievery has nothing to do with skin color or ethnicity...

Last edited by SlimRider; 08-01-12 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 08-01-12, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by oneeyedhobbit View Post
So, what? You're white and you saw a black guy once and you thought it was scary?

I guess I just don't get the culture of fear surrounding locking up your bike. I lock mine wherever and its typically been whatevs. But what, you'd drive your $10,000 car to the same low income neighborhood and park it, but not lock your bike up?
a black guy huh, so typical that someone would say that. No its not blacks, or hispanics, its just sketch people. Its a community college in a large town, with tons or randoms coming and going. First impressions are everything, some of them might be great people perhaps but the vibe they bring out makes me feel insecure to leave my 500$ bike out...thats all
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Old 08-01-12, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Campus theft of bicycles is so rampant in some places that it just seems silly to really go all out and make a genuine investment in a quality bicycle.

Therefore, since you do have at least one huge hill, I will recommend a budget chromoly steel road bike. The frame will most likely outlast your lifetime. However, the components will most probably last for the remainder of your time in college. The frame will still be around for a component upgrade at your leisure, whenever you feel the need.

I'm therefore recommending the Motobecane Mirage ~ $330
www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/mirage_xi_steel.htm

Otherwise, without the hill:

I would have recommended the Nashbar SE Lager ~ $275
www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_543181_-1__20216
So know that I know my size for a bike, I can pretty much buy it online? How will I know if the bike is comfy and stuff? I like bikesdirect stock, very nicely priced bikes

EDIT: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...fe_latte_x.htm

opinion on that bike?

Last edited by supfresh; 08-01-12 at 12:10 PM.
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Old 08-01-12, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by supfresh View Post
So know that I know my size for a bike, I can pretty much buy it online? How will I know if the bike is comfy and stuff? I like bikesdirect stock, very nicely priced bikes

Unfortunately, that's the catch and the risk that everybody has to take when buying online. Of course, as long as you don't buy a frame size too large, there are several adjustments that can be made in order to accommodate your comfort level. Seat adjustments or replacements. Handlebar adjustments or replacememts. Bar stem changes...etc...


Actually, the one thing that you absolutely don't want to do, is buy too large a frame!


Push come to shove, you can return the bike within 30 days, if you screw up, but the shipping costs are on you....
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Old 08-01-12, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Unfortunately, that's the catch and the risk that everybody has to take when buying online. Of course, as long as you don't buy a frame size too large, there are several adjustments that can be made in order to accommodate your comfort level. Seat adjustments or replacements. Handlebar adjustments or replacememts. Bar stem changes...etc...


Actually, the one thing that you absolutely don't want to do, is buy too large a frame!


Push come to shove, you can return the bike within 30 days, if you screw up, but the shipping costs are on you....
Are motobecane bikes a worthy company to buy? I know its not the real company from france, but rather taiwan. I have seen some good reviews on them
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Old 08-01-12, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by supfresh View Post
Are motobecane bikes a worthy company to buy? I know its not the real company from france, but rather taiwan. I have seen some good reviews on them

Absolutely! Kinesis makes Motobecane! Kinesis also makes bikes for Raleigh, Diamondback, Trek, Mercier, Windsor, Felt, GT, Schwinn, Jamis, Kona, and Dawes USA, just to name a few. Kinesis is based in Taiwan, although they have a factory in China. Kinesis is world renown for having high quality control standards.

Motobecane USA warranties all of it's bikes:
http://motobecane.com/warranty/
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Old 08-01-12, 06:30 PM
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Have you tried looking around on craigslist for a good, used bike? You can likely find a nice $500 new bike selling for around $300 used.

That will give you a chance to see for yourself what the bike security climate is like at your school, with a lower risk than buying a nice shiny new bike.
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Old 08-01-12, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by ottawa_adam View Post
Have you tried looking around on craigslist for a good, used bike? You can likely find a nice $500 new bike selling for around $300 used.

That will give you a chance to see for yourself what the bike security climate is like at your school, with a lower risk than buying a nice shiny new bike.
I have, not much of a choice, more MTBs than hybrid road bikes...I found a trek 7.2fx for $500 but my LBS sells a 2012 7.2fx for $467, but bikesdirects has some good bikes, im really interested in that motobecane bike, and other models
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