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Which Bike for College Student?

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Which Bike for College Student?

Old 04-11-16, 03:18 PM
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hazben1
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Which Bike for College Student?

Niece attends FSU. She mentioned it would be nice to have a bike to ride around campus. Me being an avid roadie I immediately started thinking about all the sweet rides she could use and the deals I could get. Then reality set in and I realized it would be left outside in the Florida sun and rain. Practically never get any maintenance. Probably 50% chance of getting stolen sometime in the next 2-3 years. Then when she is done with college probably thrown away. My question, is there an industrial type bike which would fit the bill. Should I just cruise Craigslist and look for a deal?
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Old 04-11-16, 03:29 PM
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I'd look for something like a Raleigh "Sports" 3-speed or equivalent from Robin Hood, Hercules, etc. These are tough, pleasant riding, easy to maintain, and usually quite affordable.
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Old 04-11-16, 04:46 PM
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FSU is flat. Get her a flat bar fixie. All the college kids are on those nowadays.
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Old 04-11-16, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by OnyxTiger View Post
FSU is flat.
Compared to what? Tallahassee is pretty hilly if you're from further south in Florida.

That said, any 6+ speed should do her.
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Old 04-11-16, 06:49 PM
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Used $50 hybrid off CL
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Old 04-11-16, 07:08 PM
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Tallahassee is hilly. Get a decent hybrid with lots of gears and a rack so she can carry books, laptop, etc on the back in a truck pack or panniers. Then get a really good lock for the bike.
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Old 04-11-16, 08:01 PM
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My daughter is just finishing up college in Southern Cal. I got her a beach cruiser that they sold lots of at a LBS. she never needed any maintenance except to put air in the tires and she only did that once a semester. By her last year she wanted something a little nicer, we got her a Bianchi Strada. She parks this one inside her room. The beach cruiser was great for the first few years, everyone had something similar and she parked it outside locked and nothing ever happened.
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Old 04-11-16, 10:57 PM
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The cheapest she'll ride.

I knew guys with $50 bikes and guys with $2000 bikes in college. Both got ridden the same, both went on the same racks with dozens of bikes, both were left outside in the rain and snow (granted, Northern Michigan is a bit harsher than Florida, and I'd wager far hillier...). The $50 bikes got ridden day in and day out. The $2000 bikes generally did too, people just laughed a lot more about such a nice bike being tortured tested with Wal Mart bikes getting tossed up against it by careless students late to class.

FWIW, old MTB with slick tires can commute well, and are cheap and strong to boot.

Last edited by jefnvk; 04-11-16 at 11:00 PM.
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Old 04-12-16, 04:52 AM
  #9  
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Some campuses have old bikes that are reconditioned for incoming freshmen and transfer students. Univ of Calif Santa Barbara comes to mind. I was there recently when classes were in session. They have many bikes for students to purchase.

I just saw the FSU site on their own reconditioned abandoned bike program. They rent it out per semester. Maybe that would be a possible solution. That way she can pick out the one she likes. I think it says $35 per semester. What if it gets stolen? Better ask that question there.
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Old 04-12-16, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
The cheapest she'll ride.

I knew guys with $50 bikes and guys with $2000 bikes in college. Both got ridden the same, both went on the same racks with dozens of bikes, both were left outside in the rain and snow (granted, Northern Michigan is a bit harsher than Florida, and I'd wager far hillier...). The $50 bikes got ridden day in and day out. The $2000 bikes generally did too, people just laughed a lot more about such a nice bike being tortured tested with Wal Mart bikes getting tossed up against it by careless students late to class.

FWIW, old MTB with slick tires can commute well, and are cheap and strong to boot.
+1 Go cheap since it will probably just be used to get around campus, and there is always a chance it could be stolen. Logic says cheap bikes are stolen less.
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Old 04-12-16, 07:15 AM
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abandoned bikes at auction by campus security , Campus is a 1 stop shopping trip for bike theft , why get something you dont want nicked?
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Old 04-12-16, 07:27 AM
  #12  
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One with high volume tires since it isn't likely to see a pump more than once or twice a year
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Old 04-12-16, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by hazben1 View Post
Niece attends FSU. She mentioned it would be nice to have a bike to ride around campus.
there's probably a couple bike shops in that area that have used bikes that have been checked out, lubed, etc. we went to a bike shop near my daughter's college and found out there's a lot of bike turnover. so there are always kids coming and going buying and selling. she might look on her own and visit a cpl shops and see what they have that fits her
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Old 04-12-16, 07:49 AM
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Go visit the campus and see if anyone has left their bike unlocked. Then lock it. Now it's yours!
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Old 04-12-16, 08:05 AM
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There are, in fact, "industrial" bicycles. Worksman makes them, and sells to factories. They are used for getting from one end of the production line to the other, or hauling parts or tools. As a base model they have steel rims, a single speed, and a coaster brake, though there are lots of optional upgrades. SCB

I won a Priority Classic in a contest this winter. It has not been so trouble-free as advertised - the rear wheel went seriously out of true, and the belt needed tensioning, after a few hundred miles. But other than that teething, it's been solid, and it's great to ride. It follows the format of the 3-speed Raleigh mentioned earlier but with an aluminum frame and rims, and just a coaster brake. The only question is whether it would make it up the hill with its pretty high gearing. Last year they started offering a "commuter" version with more gears and disk brakes, this year they just launched a beach cruiser version that's pretty similar to the original except it's beach cruiser shaped.
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Old 04-12-16, 08:50 AM
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Old MTB with slicks and fits her. Make sure it has BOMB PROOF shifters, so even when they get gummed up they work. (My old rapid fire shifters on my old schwinn Impact were like this.) In fact, I lost the covers for them, so they were exposed to the elements (when I was riding) for a few years. Never had a problem.
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Old 04-12-16, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by corrado33 View Post
Old MTB with slicks and fits her. Make sure it has BOMB PROOF shifters, so even when they get gummed up they work. (My old rapid fire shifters on my old schwinn Impact were like this.) In fact, I lost the covers for them, so they were exposed to the elements (when I was riding) for a few years. Never had a problem.
This
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Old 04-12-16, 09:01 AM
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Look for an old Raleigh 3 speed and have it serviced. have all the bearings regressed, get a blue can 3 N 1 oil 20w a few drops in the rear hub once every 2 weeks and it is near maintenance free. oh tipple heavy tubes hold air longer than thin ones rino dillow liners to keep flats away. most will have a nice rack on the back for books.

I would not want a bike with derailleurs, they are sure to get knocked out of adjustment or bent.
A 3 speed makes perfect sense. oil the chain 2x a year.

It will last her all 4 years and have a lower chance of being stolen.

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Old 04-12-16, 09:29 AM
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FWIW, I rode a Novara MTB for college, locked it up all over a campus that gets a fair share of rain and snow, and never had any damage or problems with the shifters or derailleurs due to exposure.

The back wheel got stolen once. After that I would hook the front wheel over the rack, and run the cable lock through everything.
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Old 04-12-16, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
The back wheel got stolen once. After that I would hook the front wheel over the rack, and run the cable lock through everything.



I was impressed when I was in Amsterdam last year, these back wheel locks are on virtually every bike. Attaches directly to the frame, when locked runs a bar through the back wheel locking it to the frame so your chain was saved for the frame and front wheel. My bike is getting outfitted with one as soon as I land over there, and coming home with me.

I don't know why they aren't even visible in America, I think they could be incredibly popular with commuters over uber long cables.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:06 AM
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Yeah, when I was a commuter I was seriously considering going with one of those (the nice ones have a matching price tag), but then I got a job that required moving to a new less bike friendly city and my wife and I made the decision to buy a car and move to the suburbs. When my commuter/all rounder gets built, I'll probably put one on it anyway, but that style of riding has more or less come to a halt in the last 3 years and I spend most of my time on my road bike.
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Old 04-12-16, 10:59 AM
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I hear you, I don't understand the price tag on the few I have seen States-side. They hung on the bike shop wall for 20-30EUR over there, nowhere near what they sell for here. My backpack might have a few in them on my return.
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Old 04-12-16, 11:19 AM
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example of shop near college

Used Bikes | Old Spokes Home
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Old 04-12-16, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
these back wheel locks
do you know the name?
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Old 04-12-16, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
do you know the name?
Abus sells them with various model numbers as ring locks or frame locks.
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