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LanEvo
07-22-2010, 06:14 PM
Hey guys, I will be attending UC Davis this fall. And I am in need of a bicycle. I wanna stay below the $200 range when getting a decent bike, any suggestions for one? I will be riding everyday commuting between classes, looking at road bikes, or a cruiser. Have read around that a mountain bike would not be made for this kinda terrain in the area. I recently purchased a Huffy Cruiser from Wal-Mart and it is utter crap, will be returning. Currently, I am looking at this one as well, http://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Men-s-Schwinn-Landmark-Cruiser/14321284. But will take any suggestions, school starts in a month or so, and I'd really like something that will last for 2yrs or so, and won't break the bank.

new_tennis_player
07-22-2010, 06:41 PM
Please avoid anything sold at wal-mart. Go to a good bike shop. There should be plenty in the davis area.

If you are going on shorter commuting rides of 5 miles or less, one option would be flat handlebar road bikes. They have skinnier tires so they are fast, but they have flat bars so your seating position is a bit more upright.

I STRONGLY recommend you invest a bare minimum of $300 on the bike itself, but $400 to $450 will get you a much higher quality bike which can last you for decades.

Oh, and the quality of the bike is almost completely dependent on the quality of the shop that builds/assembles your bike. A shoddy job will reduce the life span of your bike drastically.

My first bike, I went to a shop that didn't know what it was doing. After one quick ride in the rain, the bottom bracket was squealing and I couldn't pedal the bike properly.

Another shop disassembled the bottom bracket and a small flood of water flowed out! The original shop hadn't even bothered to grease the bottom bracket!

Hey guys, I will be attending UC Davis this fall. And I am in need of a bicycle. I wanna stay below the $200 range when getting a decent bike, any suggestions for one? I will be riding everyday commuting between classes, looking at road bikes, or a cruiser. Have read around that a mountain bike would not be made for this kinda terrain in the area. I recently purchased a Huffy Cruiser from Wal-Mart and it is utter crap, will be returning. Currently, I am looking at this one as well, http://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Men-s-Schwinn-Landmark-Cruiser/14321284. But will take any suggestions, school starts in a month or so, and I'd really like something that will last for 2yrs or so, and won't break the bank.

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 08:47 PM
Please avoid anything sold at wal-mart. Go to a good bike shop. There should be plenty in the davis area.

If you are going on shorter commuting rides of 5 miles or less, one option would be flat handlebar road bikes. They have skinnier tires so they are fast, but they have flat bars so your seating position is a bit more upright.

I STRONGLY recommend you invest a bare minimum of $300 on the bike itself, but $400 to $450 will get you a much higher quality bike which can last you for decades.

Oh, and the quality of the bike is almost completely dependent on the quality of the shop that builds/assembles your bike. A shoddy job will reduce the life span of your bike drastically.

My first bike, I went to a shop that didn't know what it was doing. After one quick ride in the rain, the bottom bracket was squealing and I couldn't pedal the bike properly.

Another shop disassembled the bottom bracket and a small flood of water flowed out! The original shop hadn't even bothered to grease the bottom bracket!

Well, you see i would, but I believe spending on a cheaper bike, wont hurt as less, when it gets stolen, or something happens. Thieves know nice bikes right off the bat. Especially, in a city like Davis.

new_tennis_player
07-22-2010, 08:58 PM
Buy a lock.

Well, you see i would, but I believe spending on a cheaper bike, wont hurt as less, when it gets stolen, or something happens. Thieves know nice bikes right off the bat. Especially, in a city like Davis.

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 08:59 PM
Buy a lock.

Yea, I know, but money's a bit tight, and all I want is a bike that can handle a daily commute. Something that is quality, but will not break the bank.

OrangeOne
07-22-2010, 09:01 PM
Why is it every time someone posts a budget related post on here: "I want to spend X"... the first replies always involve spending "X+Y", or worse "2X+"?

Back to topic, you want to buy second hand. Do you have any friends into cycling? Most people know someone who can help, heck, you could even post bikes you find on here and get some thoughts. You might not find something of the same, err, 'style', but it's perfectly possible to find great bikes second hand. My father bought both of his bikes 2nd hand with my help, and both were owned by people who had barely ridden them, and then realised they should get rid of them 6 or 12 months later, both for half or less of retail.

You are 1000 times better off buying a good brand second-hand than buying from wal-mart or similar.

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 09:32 PM
Why is it every time someone posts a budget related post on here: "I want to spend X"... the first replies always involve spending "X+Y", or worse "2X+"?

Back to topic, you want to buy second hand. Do you have any friends into cycling? Most people know someone who can help, heck, you could even post bikes you find on here and get some thoughts. You might not find something of the same, err, 'style', but it's perfectly possible to find great bikes second hand. My father bought both of his bikes 2nd hand with my help, and both were owned by people who had barely ridden them, and then realised they should get rid of them 6 or 12 months later, both for half or less of retail.

You are 1000 times better off buying a good brand second-hand than buying from wal-mart or similar.

Any suggestions? My location, is my actual location Stockton, CA.

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 09:35 PM
I have absolutely no knowledge of bikes.

OrangeOne
07-22-2010, 09:44 PM
Any suggestions? My location, is my actual location Stockton, CA.

I'd look on the popular second-hand websites for second-hand bikes, and focus on major brands: Giant, GT, Trek, KHS, Mongoose, Merida, Scott, Specialized, Santa Cruz, Cannondale.

I'm in Australia, but that's ^^ a list I'd give to someone here, and it should be fairly universal. Maybe people will add a few on for the US, or take a few off, but it's a good starting point. Knowing me I've probably forgotten a few big ones too, again, it's a starting point.

For the uses you've described, I'd be most tempted to get either a commuter, or a basic mountain-bike - a 'Hardtail' (no rear suspension - only front suspension). You do NOT want dual-suspension, it's pointless for commuting, and adds complexity for the $$ too. The good thing about the MTB option is that they're built for things tougher than you'll likely need, even at the cheap end of the market.

Also: Don't be trapped by looking for the best or most gears or similar. What you want is a main-brand bike, which will be solidly built and will have decent quality 'safety' components - seat, seatpost, brakes, handlebars - on a name brand bike these will all be at least reliable. I've seen some k-mart style bikes here, and the fit & build quality can be abysmal.

If you do shop second-hand, as in my last post - look for something that's been used a few times and left to gather dust, much better than than something that's been thrashed. There are 1000s of people who buy bikes with the intention of riding to get fit etc, and it's just a fad that barely lasts a month.

OrangeOne
07-22-2010, 09:50 PM
For example, the entry-level Giant Mountain Bike appears to be $330 in the US. If you got one of these that was a year or two old, you'd be getting it for your budget (under $200), and it'd be perfect for your needs. You might even find the "SE" version, which is aluminium-framed (and thus lighter - easier to ride), for the price you're looking for.

I'd take one of these - even second-hand - over anything from any wal-mart / k-mart / etc etc any day. I would encourage you to try and find a mate that knows a bit about bikes locally to help you find one though.

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/model/boulder.white/3880/36244/

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/_generated/_generated_us/bikes/models/images/700/2010/Boulder_white_GU_72dpiWIDE.jpg

Leelord337
07-22-2010, 09:54 PM
why don't you try your local craigslist listings? you could find good deals on brand name bikes like trek, cannondale..etc...

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 09:59 PM
hows this? http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/1857877691.html

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 10:02 PM
ot this? http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/1856385962.html

OrangeOne
07-22-2010, 10:14 PM
ot this? http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/1856385962.html

Boulder SE. Looks quite old though, might be worth asking the seller if they know how old it is. Looking at the pedals and forks I'm guessing more than 5 years - you'll probably find a younger version for not much more.

Also, it looks like it's a very small frame - designed for a short person, which reminds me: All bikes come in frame sizes, so you'll need to make sure you find one of the approx size for you.

There's many size guides on the web, like: http://bicycling.about.com/od/howtoride/a/MTB_sizing.htm, http://www.bikes.com.au/g/8708/bicycle-size-guide.html, and probably dozens more, found them with a very quick google.

Oh - the other bike you found - I probably wouldn't recommend. Very old, and not that robust, won't take kindly to being ridden on anything but smooth pavement, certainly not up for use by the average schoolkid I'd think. Also, about as low as you could go on 'cool' factor, if that matters....

new_tennis_player
07-22-2010, 10:55 PM
The extra price is worth the peace of mind, IMO.

If you are buying a bike in a shop, the cutoff is typically around $300 or a bit higher than that. The advantage of a quality shop is that you know the bike was assembled properly and can come back periodically for necessary tune ups.

Who knows how that bike on craigslist was maintained, or if it was at all?

Also, the price of the bike is just a starting point. A U lock and cable are necessary, as is a helmet. You also want to invest in a couple of good lights front and rear. A rear view mirror is also necessary.

$200 is simply not a realistic budget for a quality trouble free bike that can be ridden safely.

If you are handy with bike maintenance already, and are willing to invest in things like new tires, tubes, pedals, etc. as they wear out or go bad on an older bike, that's fine.

But it doesn't sound like the OP is mechanically inclined, at least not as far as bicycles are concerned.

A bike is not a toy or an appliance. It is a vehicle and you can travel long distances at very high speeds with the proper equipment. But safety at least for me, is paramount. That means having the bike built the right way and having all the proper accessories to protect your investment and safe on the road.

Also, if you're buying second hand at a low price, you will typically be buying from an owner who knows little about bikes and therefore did not have the knowledge or interest to maintain it properly.

When it comes to safety, it is not wise to cut corners.

edit: I just checked prices online and you can get a $300 quality mountain bike new in a quality bike shop. Add $45 for skinny tires and tubes and your bicycles needs are met. Very easy. Then negotiate a discount on necessary accessories like lights and helmet if you buy all at the same time. Good luck!

Orangeone: do you ride?

Why is it every time someone posts a budget related post on here: "I want to spend X"... the first replies always involve spending "X+Y", or worse "2X+"?

Back to topic, you want to buy second hand. Do you have any friends into cycling? Most people know someone who can help, heck, you could even post bikes you find on here and get some thoughts. You might not find something of the same, err, 'style', but it's perfectly possible to find great bikes second hand. My father bought both of his bikes 2nd hand with my help, and both were owned by people who had barely ridden them, and then realised they should get rid of them 6 or 12 months later, both for half or less of retail.

You are 1000 times better off buying a good brand second-hand than buying from wal-mart or similar.

film1
07-22-2010, 10:59 PM
You might try a used trek 700 or 720 or a steel road bike like a Jamis etc.
Something made about 2001-2008.

OrangeOne
07-22-2010, 11:12 PM
The extra price is worth the peace of mind, IMO.

That's evidently because you have the money. LanEvo has already said that money's a bit tight, and for many, spending even $100 would be too much. Look, no-one is going to doubt the fact that a $1000 bike is likely better than a $500 bike which is likely better than a $100 bike, but it's important when assisting people to realise that a budget is a budget.


If you are buying a bike in a shop, the cutoff is typically around $300 or a bit higher than that. The advantage of a quality shop is that you know the bike was assembled properly and can come back periodically for necessary tune ups. Yes, as I posted the Giant Boulder is around $330 in the US. A great first bike. But if the bike itself is outside of the budget, it doesn't matter if it's the best bike in the world if the person buying it doesn't have the funds.

Who knows how that bike on craigslist was maintained, or if it was at all?True of any second-hand bike. But go back over my posts, and read the specific second-hand bike I've said to target - less than a year or two old, and barely ridden.

Also, the price of the bike is just a starting point. A U lock and cable are necessary, as is a helmet. The OP has said he had a bike already, so I'm assuming he's sorted on the basic accessories front, or has separated that from his bike budget, which is the one he gave us.

You also want to invest in a couple of good lights front and rear.Only if you're riding in the dark. The OP wants a bike for the school run, so darkness may never ever be an issue for him.

A rear view mirror is also necessary. I'm not going to laugh here, I'm going to simply say that a rear view mirror on a bike is not necessary (unless the bike in question is a recumbent, which in this case it absolutely isn't). Awareness and skill are necessary, a rear-view mirror is not.

$200 is simply not a realistic budget for a quality trouble free bike that can be ridden safely.a. It is.
b. It is the budget. You obviously have enough money that $300-500 is not a question for you - great for you. It is for some people.

If you are handy with bike maintenance already, and are willing to invest in things like new tires, tubes, pedals, etc. as they wear out or go bad on an older bike, that's fine. Again, read my posts, check out the sort of specific bike I said to target. A 1-2 year old, barely-ridden bike will not need new pedals, hell, many bikes that are sold 'almost new' won't even need new tubes, let alone new tyres.

A bike is not a toy or an appliance. It is a vehicle and you can travel long distances at very high speeds with the proper equipment. But safety at least for me, is paramount. That means having the bike built the right way and having all the proper accessories to protect your investment and safe on the road. You had a bad experience with a bike build, that can happen. All of the bike brands I suggested are usually only sold through bike shops, and assembled by bike mechanics. MOST (not all) but most will be assembled correctly - and much more correctly than a k-mart / wal-mart bike. Additionally, the few $ for a basic service at most bike shops could put even the most cautious person at ease.

Also, note how I repeatedly suggested to the OP to find a local friend with bike knowledge to help the purchase.

edit: I just checked prices online and you can get a $300 quality mountain bike new in a quality bike shop. Add $45 for skinny tires and tubes and your bicycles needs are met. Very easy. Then negotiate a discount on necessary accessories like lights and helmet if you buy all at the same time. Good luck!
And now, you're 100% over budget. DOUBLE the budget. Think of something you have a budget for, and then double it, and maybe you'll see how unacceptable that is.

Orangeone: do you ride?I'll let you figure that one out. There aren't many people who can write 100s - 1000s of words on bikes off the top of their head without a good 5 or 10 years riding behind them.

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 11:24 PM
The extra price is worth the peace of mind, IMO.

If you are buying a bike in a shop, the cutoff is typically around $300 or a bit higher than that. The advantage of a quality shop is that you know the bike was assembled properly and can come back periodically for necessary tune ups.

Who knows how that bike on craigslist was maintained, or if it was at all?

Also, the price of the bike is just a starting point. A U lock and cable are necessary, as is a helmet. You also want to invest in a couple of good lights front and rear. A rear view mirror is also necessary.

$200 is simply not a realistic budget for a quality trouble free bike that can be ridden safely.

If you are handy with bike maintenance already, and are willing to invest in things like new tires, tubes, pedals, etc. as they wear out or go bad on an older bike, that's fine.

But it doesn't sound like the OP is mechanically inclined, at least not as far as bicycles are concerned.

A bike is not a toy or an appliance. It is a vehicle and you can travel long distances at very high speeds with the proper equipment. But safety at least for me, is paramount. That means having the bike built the right way and having all the proper accessories to protect your investment and safe on the road.

Also, if you're buying second hand at a low price, you will typically be buying from an owner who knows little about bikes and therefore did not have the knowledge or interest to maintain it properly.

When it comes to safety, it is not wise to cut corners.

edit: I just checked prices online and you can get a $300 quality mountain bike new in a quality bike shop. Add $45 for skinny tires and tubes and your bicycles needs are met. Very easy. Then negotiate a discount on necessary accessories like lights and helmet if you buy all at the same time. Good luck!

Orangeone: do you ride?

Yep, I have someone who will take care of maintenance for me, my dad. He's a handyman in almost everything.

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 11:27 PM
what do you guys think of this one? http://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Men-s-Schwinn-Landmark-Cruiser/14321284

LanEvo
07-22-2010, 11:31 PM
I was doing a bit of research earlier, and some people said mountain bikes don't last as long as road bikes and cruisers. In Davis, CA most of the terrain is very flat and all the roads are paved, now a mountain bike wouldn't be a bad idea either, but its just all confusing on what I should get. I was thinking of going to a bike shop I know nearby, family owned and everything and just asking them for advice, however, I'd feel embarrassed walking into a small store, asking them for all this info. on bikes, then walking out not buying anything.

OrangeOne
07-22-2010, 11:57 PM
what do you guys think of this one? http://www.walmart.com/ip/26-Men-s-Schwinn-Landmark-Cruiser/14321284

Schwinn used to be a good brand, many years ago. I'd be very scared of buying anything in a 'big box' style store, and while I don't know for sure, I can't help but think either Schwinn's gone very down market, or they're lending their name to cheap stuff. (The same way that you get cheap, lower-quality racquets in big-stores too, that aren't found anywhere else).

Additionally, it's a very odd styled cruiser, but each to their own I guess.

I was doing a bit of research earlier, and some people said mountain bikes don't last as long as road bikes and cruisers. In Davis, CA most of the terrain is very flat and all the roads are paved, now a mountain bike wouldn't be a bad idea either, but its just all confusing on what I should get. I was thinking of going to a bike shop I know nearby, family owned and everything and just asking them for advice, however, I'd feel embarrassed walking into a small store, asking them for all this info. on bikes, then walking out not buying anything.

Mountain bikes (MTB) are built for tough terrain. All things being equal (ie. if ridden on the same terrain as a road bike), they will outlast most other bikes.

Yet my MTB has been broken a lot, lot more than my road bike.... why? Because I ride it off-road, on technical trails, I crash, I hop off things, rocks flick up, etc etc. If i rode both bikes only on the road, the MTB would outlast even my ever-reliable roadie, and it'd get maybe 1/10th the punctures, even if I went down to very narrow slick 'MTB' tyres.

If the roads are paved and you don't intend to go off-road at all ever, a cruiser would be fine. If you think you're likely to get even a fraction adventurous, get a MTB.

Any-which-way, I'd advise against a road bike. Too fragile for school use, compared to the alternatives anyways. Additionally, cruisers or MTBs are better suited to bike-racks (should you want to put one on) or any other modification, and they're much better for most of the population as they have a relaxed riding position.

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 12:08 AM
Schwinn used to be a good brand, many years ago. I'd be very scared of buying anything in a 'big box' style store, and while I don't know for sure, I can't help but think either Schwinn's gone very down market, or they're lending their name to cheap stuff. (The same way that you get cheap, lower-quality racquets in big-stores too, that aren't found anywhere else).

Additionally, it's a very odd styled cruiser, but each to their own I guess.



Mountain bikes (MTB) are built for tough terrain. All things being equal (ie. if ridden on the same terrain as a road bike), they will outlast most other bikes.

Yet my MTB has been broken a lot, lot more than my road bike.... why? Because I ride it off-road, on technical trails, I crash, I hop off things, rocks flick up, etc etc. If i rode both bikes only on the road, the MTB would outlast even my ever-reliable roadie, and it'd get maybe 1/10th the punctures, even if I went down to very narrow slick 'MTB' tyres.

If the roads are paved and you don't intend to go off-road at all ever, a cruiser would be fine. If you think you're likely to get even a fraction adventurous, get a MTB.

Any-which-way, I'd advise against a road bike. Too fragile for school use, compared to the alternatives anyways. Additionally, cruisers or MTBs are better suited to bike-racks (should you want to put one on) or any other modification, and they're much better for most of the population as they have a relaxed riding position.

Ok then, i have looked at it all wrong, a MTB, maybe the one I am looking for. I will be using a bike 2-3 times a day at least for in between classes. And I am sure I'll be cutting across grass filed and such, and a bike that I can handle a bit of a beating at time, and for all weather, bc Davis has all four season and an average of 16inches of rain. Oh, that was the reason I was looking at cruisers and such, bc they have built on fenders.

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 12:10 AM
Here's info. on the bike I was asking about earlier: http://milo.com/26-schwinn-landmark-men-s-cruiser-bike

OrangeOne
07-23-2010, 12:27 AM
Ok then, i have looked at it all wrong, a MTB, maybe the one I am looking for. I will be using a bike 2-3 times a day at least for in between classes. And I am sure I'll be cutting across grass filed and such, and a bike that I can handle a bit of a beating at time, and for all weather, bc Davis has all four season and an average of 16inches of rain. Oh, that was the reason I was looking at cruisers and such, bc they have built on fenders.

You can get fenders / mud guards for (almost) any bike, especially no problems with mountain bikes.

The bikes you're looking at (the schwinn cruisers), aside from being cheaply made, would be almost impossible to ride on any sort of grass other than, well, Wimbledon's grass.

Based on what you've said there, my recommendation is now up from "a mountain bike is probably best for you" to "you pretty much need to choose a mountain bike".

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 01:03 AM
You can get fenders / mud guards for (almost) any bike, especially no problems with mountain bikes.

The bikes you're looking at (the schwinn cruisers), aside from being cheaply made, would be almost impossible to ride on any sort of grass other than, well, Wimbledon's grass.

Based on what you've said there, my recommendation is now up from "a mountain bike is probably best for you" to "you pretty much need to choose a mountain bike".

Now, the problem is finding one...

GRANITECHIEF
07-23-2010, 09:38 AM
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1858342040.html

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 09:55 AM
http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1858342040.html

Outta my price range, I was looking to spend $200 max. Thx, for the help its greatly appreciated.

AmericanTemplar
07-23-2010, 10:25 AM
How tall are you again? Heed OrangeOne's advice & don't spend $200 at a big box store. The bike will weigh a ton, be super low quality, & worst of all be assembled without any grease, meaning that it will be virtually unridable & sound like a hamster wheel within a matter of months.

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 10:26 AM
How tall are you again? Heed OrangeOne's advice & don't spend $200 at a big box store. The bike will weigh a ton, be super low quality, & worst of all be assembled without any grease, meaning that it will be virtually unridable & sound like a hamster wheel within a matter of months.

I am around 5'8", weighing in at 202 or so lbs.

120mphBodyServe
07-23-2010, 10:27 AM
Spend the money on a decent bike or WALK/public transport.

new_tennis_player
07-23-2010, 11:16 AM
Well it seems you are getting a bit defensive, rebutting everything I wrote line by line counterpoint style. :)

In my way of reasoning, an extra $200 or $300 is worth it if it's going to save your life. For you, it may not be. An extra $250 can be had by working one week in the summer at a part time job.


That's evidently because you have the money. LanEvo has already said that money's a bit tight, and for many, spending even $100 would be too much. Look, no-one is going to doubt the fact that a $1000 bike is likely better than a $500 bike which is likely better than a $100 bike, but it's important when assisting people to realise that a budget is a budget.


Yes, as I posted the Giant Boulder is around $330 in the US. A great first bike. But if the bike itself is outside of the budget, it doesn't matter if it's the best bike in the world if the person buying it doesn't have the funds.

True of any second-hand bike. But go back over my posts, and read the specific second-hand bike I've said to target - less than a year or two old, and barely ridden.

The OP has said he had a bike already, so I'm assuming he's sorted on the basic accessories front, or has separated that from his bike budget, which is the one he gave us.

Only if you're riding in the dark. The OP wants a bike for the school run, so darkness may never ever be an issue for him.

I'm not going to laugh here, I'm going to simply say that a rear view mirror on a bike is not necessary (unless the bike in question is a recumbent, which in this case it absolutely isn't). Awareness and skill are necessary, a rear-view mirror is not.

a. It is.
b. It is the budget. You obviously have enough money that $300-500 is not a question for you - great for you. It is for some people.

Again, read my posts, check out the sort of specific bike I said to target. A 1-2 year old, barely-ridden bike will not need new pedals, hell, many bikes that are sold 'almost new' won't even need new tubes, let alone new tyres.

You had a bad experience with a bike build, that can happen. All of the bike brands I suggested are usually only sold through bike shops, and assembled by bike mechanics. MOST (not all) but most will be assembled correctly - and much more correctly than a k-mart / wal-mart bike. Additionally, the few $ for a basic service at most bike shops could put even the most cautious person at ease.

Also, note how I repeatedly suggested to the OP to find a local friend with bike knowledge to help the purchase.

And now, you're 100% over budget. DOUBLE the budget. Think of something you have a budget for, and then double it, and maybe you'll see how unacceptable that is.

I'll let you figure that one out. There aren't many people who can write 100s - 1000s of words on bikes off the top of their head without a good 5 or 10 years riding behind them.

AmericanTemplar
07-23-2010, 11:44 AM
I am around 5'8", weighing in at 202 or so lbs.

Alright, well I'm guessing that you'll need around a 15". Go to Craig's List, put your max price & look for something that is made by one of the more dependable brands. If you see anything that looks about right, feel free to post it up here & I may be able to give some input & I'm sure that some of the other posters would be happy to do so as well.

GRANITECHIEF
07-23-2010, 02:08 PM
Outta my price range, I was looking to spend $200 max. Thx, for the help its greatly appreciated.

It wasn't that particular bike, athough it does look like a sweet full susp ride, moreso the idea that a 2 minute search on Craigslist produce viable results. There are some real gems to be found amongst the rubble on Craigs.

Also, spending just a little more $$ would be well worth it as it would open up a lot of terrain, like the flume train in tahoe:

http://www.vistagallery.com/assets/images/Peter_Spain_027__lake_Tahoe_Flume_Trail__Mountain_ Biker__web.jpg

http://dale.bewley.net/camera/2001/10/06-tahoe-flume-trail-5-che.jpg

http://api.ning.com/files/CuPcKm3FzC7KJ26-unTeCBFT*L0tm5xEXoJ*KLBXt89zN9UkEMPF5HPMJJaPPeJ4QH 33jBrACxBGkKXbZeFzGqTcwhWfTcwV/biketahoe.jpg

and countless others where a lesser bike would be outgunned.

That is, if you're into that sort of thing.

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 02:21 PM
It wasn't that particular bike, athough it does look like a sweet full susp ride, moreso the idea that a 2 minute search on Craigslist produce viable results. There are some real gems to be found amongst the rubble on Craigs.

Also, spending just a little more $$ would be well worth it as it would open up a lot of terrain, like the flume train in tahoe:

http://www.vistagallery.com/assets/images/Peter_Spain_027__lake_Tahoe_Flume_Trail__Mountain_ Biker__web.jpg

http://dale.bewley.net/camera/2001/10/06-tahoe-flume-trail-5-che.jpg

http://api.ning.com/files/CuPcKm3FzC7KJ26-unTeCBFT*L0tm5xEXoJ*KLBXt89zN9UkEMPF5HPMJJaPPeJ4QH 33jBrACxBGkKXbZeFzGqTcwhWfTcwV/biketahoe.jpg

and countless others where a lesser bike would be outgunned.

That is, if you're into that sort of thing.

I have searched craigslist high and low, and even when I find something, I do not understand the terminology when people talk about suspension, wheels, and such. I will need to take the time to understand, like all the tennis terminology and such. But all I want is a basic commuter bike, this sport is too expensive for me to get into, much like tennis but tennis is still cheaper.

Kevin T
07-23-2010, 02:23 PM
It wasn't that particular bike, athough it does look like a sweet full susp ride, moreso the idea that a 2 minute search on Craigslist produce viable results. There are some real gems to be found amongst the rubble on Craigs.

Also, spending just a little more $$ would be well worth it as it would open up a lot of terrain, like the flume train in tahoe:

http://www.vistagallery.com/assets/images/Peter_Spain_027__lake_Tahoe_Flume_Trail__Mountain_ Biker__web.jpg

http://dale.bewley.net/camera/2001/10/06-tahoe-flume-trail-5-che.jpg

http://api.ning.com/files/CuPcKm3FzC7KJ26-unTeCBFT*L0tm5xEXoJ*KLBXt89zN9UkEMPF5HPMJJaPPeJ4QH 33jBrACxBGkKXbZeFzGqTcwhWfTcwV/biketahoe.jpg

and countless others where a lesser bike would be outgunned.

That is, if you're into that sort of thing.

Granite,

Just did the Flume Trail over the weekend of the 4th...fantastic! Had to take it easy on the way up, as my father-in-law was with us but the way down was incredible. We didn't have bikes with us, so we rented Specialized bikes at the trailhead.

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 02:23 PM
As well, GraniteChief, I understand what you mean, but I do think I'll be biking on any trails like that anytime soon, as in those pictures. I don't believe I'll be needing a bike this "rugged".

AmericanTemplar
07-23-2010, 02:54 PM
I have searched craigslist high and low, and even when I find something, I do not understand the terminology when people talk about suspension, wheels, and such. I will need to take the time to understand, like all the tennis terminology and such. But all I want is a basic commuter bike, this sport is too expensive for me to get into, much like tennis but tennis is still cheaper.

I'd avoid suspension at what you're looking into spending, unless you want a "Sledgehammer" like Pedro's from Napoleon Dynamite. For $200 there's not really much you need to consider other than whether or not it is your size & it meets your price. Davis is totally flat, so you don't really need gears either. Just buy something that would have been originally purchased from a proper bike shop (Giant, Trek, Specialized, Raleigh, Bianchi, etc.) rather than a hardware store or Walmart.

new_tennis_player
07-23-2010, 02:55 PM
Try a local bike shop that sells used bikes.

OrangeOne
07-23-2010, 03:18 PM
Well it seems you are getting a bit defensive, rebutting everything I wrote line by line counterpoint style. :)

And your point is? You wrote a lot. I didn't rebut everything you said - just almost everything -because much of it was, in my opinion, requiring a more balanced view.

In my way of reasoning, an extra $200 or $300 is worth it if it's going to save your life. For you, it may not be. An extra $250 can be had by working one week in the summer at a part time job.Do you study drama? Because you're going over the top there, way way over the top with the save your life line. Myself, and others, are clear in recommending the OP buy a decent brand bike, one that has likely been put together well. I've even said, if need be, having a quick service done at a LBS who will check everything anyways. The OP has also mentioned he has a mechanically-inclined father. Someone like this will likely be able to perform a thorough safety inspection on any bike he buys, and help him maintain it if need be.

As for the extra $250 - it's worth it to you, not to everyone. I know almost nothing about the OP, but I do know people who would need a bike for transport, and have a budget of X, and they pay it. Anything more than that goes to food / clothing / shelter / education, basic necessities of life. It's such a shame you're so unable to understand what a real budget is, nor are you able to put yourself in someone else's shoes.

OrangeOne
07-23-2010, 03:23 PM
Spend the money on a decent bike or WALK/public transport.

Neither of these is an option for everyone. Public transport doesn't go everywhere all the time.

If the OP lives in a flat area, which apparently he does, then a bike can massacre public transport in terms of convenience and time taken, and compared to this or walking, provide more time for things like tennis and, as a student, study.

fundrazer
07-23-2010, 07:50 PM
I definitely agree with orangeone about visiting a local bike shop before purchasing. I've been looking into getting a road bicycle and the shops have been very helpful in regards to what size bike I need as well as components and other stuff. Oh and if you can, make sure you're comfortable on the bike before buying. Cheaper bikes are usually very similar and it all just boils down to what feels better.

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 07:53 PM
Neither of these is an option for everyone. Public transport doesn't go everywhere all the time.

If the OP lives in a flat area, which apparently he does, then a bike can massacre public transport in terms of convenience and time taken, and compared to this or walking, provide more time for things like tennis and, as a student, study.

I am living, on UC Davis Campus, there are no buses running from building to building. And walking is walking a lot, which I don't mind, but there wont be enough time to get from class to class.

LanEvo
07-23-2010, 07:54 PM
I definitely agree with orangeone about visiting a local bike shop before purchasing. I've been looking into getting a road bicycle and the shops have been very helpful in regards to what size bike I need as well as components and other stuff. Oh and if you can, make sure you're comfortable on the bike before buying. Cheaper bikes are usually very similar and it all just boils down to what feels better.

Yep, I'll probably do that these next few days.

120mphBodyServe
07-23-2010, 08:45 PM
If you can't afford a decent MTB than get a larger BMX...
Or some cheap old school road bike that's only single speed..
Look on the fleaBay?

120mphBodyServe
07-24-2010, 11:55 AM
I am around 5'8", weighing in at 202 or so lbs.

Get on your bike, big boy...

Vermillion
07-24-2010, 10:42 PM
Just bike-curious at the moment. Maybe in a few years.

Eph
07-25-2010, 07:47 PM
Just buy a used bike.

Ignore suspension - you can't afford it.

Get skinny tires.

Take used bike to bike shop, have them service it, including truing your wheels. You'll be happy, and you'll probably only pay $150 for your "new" bike (plus $50 for the service).

AV1
07-25-2010, 08:04 PM
I am living, on UC Davis Campus, there are no buses running from building to building. And walking is walking a lot, which I don't mind, but there wont be enough time to get from class to class.

You're not going to be much of a bike for $200.
You should look in to this instead - but with some big soft wheels:

http://www.gravityboard.com/pages/gstore/boards/mc1.html

Eph
07-25-2010, 08:05 PM
You're not going to be much of a bike for $200.
You should look in to this instead - but with some big soft wheels:

http://www.gravityboard.com/pages/gstore/boards/mc1.html

I bought a nice C-dale for getting around Cambridge for $100. Plenty of good deals out there- if you avoid the hype (e.g. suspension is a must!!!!).

Eph
07-25-2010, 08:13 PM
It wasn't that particular bike, athough it does look like a sweet full susp ride, moreso the idea that a 2 minute search on Craigslist produce viable results. There are some real gems to be found amongst the rubble on Craigs.

Also, spending just a little more $$ would be well worth it as it would open up a lot of terrain, like the flume train in tahoe:

http://www.vistagallery.com/assets/images/Peter_Spain_027__lake_Tahoe_Flume_Trail__Mountain_ Biker__web.jpg

http://dale.bewley.net/camera/2001/10/06-tahoe-flume-trail-5-che.jpg

http://api.ning.com/files/CuPcKm3FzC7KJ26-unTeCBFT*L0tm5xEXoJ*KLBXt89zN9UkEMPF5HPMJJaPPeJ4QH 33jBrACxBGkKXbZeFzGqTcwhWfTcwV/biketahoe.jpg

and countless others where a lesser bike would be outgunned.

That is, if you're into that sort of thing.

Wow... you're telling someone who needs a bike to commute to buy a 3k+ bike. What a worthwhile comparison. :shock:

That's about as useful as telling him he should buy my Turner Spot that I don't want anymore.

I have searched craigslist high and low, and even when I find something, I do not understand the terminology when people talk about suspension, wheels, and such. I will need to take the time to understand, like all the tennis terminology and such. But all I want is a basic commuter bike, this sport is too expensive for me to get into, much like tennis but tennis is still cheaper.

LanEvo, stay away from suspension. You simply can't afford it and cheap suspension will make your life hell (okay, it will make it much more difficult as you'll lose way too much energy).

Post a few links of bikes you'd consider, and I'll look at them and let you know.

pyrokid
07-25-2010, 09:12 PM
If you've got a few hours, just find a frame you like and put it together from parts yourself.
Worked for me, and I ended up with a VERY nice bike for $460 ish.

Eph
07-25-2010, 09:13 PM
If you've got a few hours, just find a frame you like and put it together from parts yourself.
Worked for me, and I ended up with a VERY nice bike for $460 ish.

You will never do that for $200 or under.

OrangeOne
07-25-2010, 09:41 PM
Just buy a used bike.

Ignore suspension - you can't afford it.

Get skinny tires.

Take used bike to bike shop, have them service it, including truing your wheels. You'll be happy, and you'll probably only pay $150 for your "new" bike (plus $50 for the service).

You've given good advice, ATemplar and myself said similar things earlier in the thread. The only thing is to remove the skinny tires perspective - earlier in the thread the OP has said he'll be crossing wet fields, that sort of thing.

If he gets a used MTB (which he should) then he should go for semi-slicks, but sure, below 2" (maybe even 1.5 inch)....that sort of thing.

OrangeOne
07-25-2010, 09:41 PM
You will never do that for $200 or under.

Thank $deity, someone else who understands the concept of a budget. You could have been quite useful earlier in the thread! :D

Leelord337
07-25-2010, 10:09 PM
Just buy a used bike.

Ignore suspension - you can't afford it.

Get skinny tires.

Take used bike to bike shop, have them service it, including truing your wheels. You'll be happy, and you'll probably only pay $150 for your "new" bike (plus $50 for the service).

he wouldn't want suspsension anyway. not for commuting...suspension on bikes is overrated imo as it was a trend that spread onto normal mountainbikes as suspension was required for downhill mountainbikers. for daily use around a city etc..pedaling a bike with dual suspension for example would result in a lot of wasted energy pushing the shocks downward and it exhausts you quickly.

i would stay away from the schwinn though...my sister bought the same cruiser and its all rusty (even though it is kept inside a shed) and its super heavy and hard to pedal. go for a light mountainbike with good shimano gears and you'll be set

You will never do that for $200 or under.

also..the best bike i ever bought (5 yrs ago) was a trek 4500 at a pawn shop! got it for $200

LanEvo
07-25-2010, 11:16 PM
SO, anyone know of any thrift stores and such that sell used bike? (Like Goodwill?) I am currently shopping around swap meets and such, hoping to pick up something. And when I do go shopping for a bike, how to I identify a good bike, like one that's "good for the money"?

LanEvo
07-26-2010, 12:49 AM
hows this bike? http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/1861508232.html

LanEvo
07-26-2010, 12:50 AM
or this one: http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/1860924516.html

Leelord337
07-26-2010, 12:52 AM
that specialized rockhopper is an amazing deal, i'd buy it for 150 all day and it looks to be the right size for your height as well. its a 400$ bike and looks to be in great shape, you would love it--plus front suspension won't kill your legs as much as rear suspension when pedaling up hills etc...its a much better bike than the schwinn. specialized frames are tig welded unlike the mass produced walmart bikes etc..and have better components overall

OrangeOne
07-26-2010, 01:38 AM
^^ What leelord said, ...and it has a rear mini-rack, perfect for the intended use, and doubles as a mud-guard. Definitely the best of the options seen so far.

That said, I'd still prefer something 1 or 2 years old and relatively unused for the OP, but not the schwinn.

Eph
07-26-2010, 02:39 AM
he wouldn't want suspsension anyway. not for commuting...suspension on bikes is overrated imo as it was a trend that spread onto normal mountainbikes as suspension was required for downhill mountainbikers. for daily use around a city etc..pedaling a bike with dual suspension for example would result in a lot of wasted energy pushing the shocks downward and it exhausts you quickly.

He would, if he bought into the marketing hype. Suspension on sub-1500 bikes is crap. Especially full suspension bikes; oh what a chore I don't even want to imagine.

And I disagree, I ride my Turner Spot or Santa Cruz Blur XC with knobby tires and Fox front and rear suspension 3 miles 5 times a week to get to the woods and the only thing that slows me down is the damn 2.3" tires. But, of course, both bikes were over 4.5k and the suspension was tuned by PUSH.

also..the best bike i ever bought (5 yrs ago) was a trek 4500 at a pawn shop! got it for $200

Cool. I had a Trek 6000 at one point in my life.

Eph
07-26-2010, 02:41 AM
The Specialized is nice, except it has a fork (front suspension). Avoid. Costly in maintenance, but the real problem is the crappy internals. You'll lose SO much energy, it's not even funny.

And those tires... get a pair of slicks (it can handle biking around campus). I hate getting blown away by kids on $50 bikes when on the road, biking to the mountains, only because they are using slick tires and I'm on 2.3" knobby MTB tires.

Leelord337
07-26-2010, 01:31 PM
^^^what eph said :), from one fellow biker to another

AmericanTemplar
07-26-2010, 04:53 PM
^^Did you mean "cyclist," or do you both own Harley's as well? :)-

FastFreddy
07-26-2010, 05:10 PM
You could get a great brand new fuji for 200.00 back in 1980 just find a time machine. 5'8 200 sounds like you might need a motorcycle instead?

OrangeOne
07-26-2010, 11:42 PM
^^Rude and uncalled for much?

yellow ball player
07-27-2010, 12:41 AM
a friend of mine moved to texas, had a very old mountain bike so gave it to me. i am one of those people who would ride rather than drive. never had a problem.

since you talk about school purposes, just let me point his out.

+ easier to park than a car (where i went to school, sometimes people have to drive around 10 minuntes before they find a spot)
+ no traffic jam, so always on time when leave on time
- yes, get a lock

---personal opinion---
if you get a second hand and/or old one, no worries about coming back home on foot because the bad guys would steal a better bike before they get to yours.
if my bike were stolen, i would just say" shoo, i have to walk home today, or call for a ride". i would not cry, i would not curse.

- but comfort is important? yes it is, however, you are not going for the tour de france, you are going to school.
-all the pics you showed look good to me, i would go with either one.
just make sure you bring a flashlight along when you know you will have to ride in the dark.

-and get those tubes that don't get flat unless your itinerary is always road.
- afraid of bike problems? come on, there really isn't much to fix in a bike, plus like you said, dad is a handyman so you are good whether your bike is new or old.

now about bike and quality, i have no clue so please rely on the other great posters.

fact.
i heard you can get a ticket if you ride bicycle with earphones on.

LanEvo
07-27-2010, 01:07 AM
a friend of mine moved to texas, had a very old mountain bike so gave it to me. i am one of those people who would ride rather than drive. never had a problem.

since you talk about school purposes, just let me point his out.

+ easier to park than a car (where i went to school, sometimes people have to drive around 10 minuntes before they find a spot)
+ no traffic jam, so always on time when leave on time
- yes, get a lock

---personal opinion---
if you get a second hand and/or old one, no worries about coming back home on foot because the bad guys would steal a better bike before they get to yours.
if my bike were stolen, i would just say" shoo, i have to walk home today, or call for a ride". i would not cry, i would not curse.

- but comfort is important? yes it is, however, you are not going for the tour de france, you are going to school.
-all the pics you showed look good to me, i would go with either one.
just make sure you bring a flashlight along when you know you will have to ride in the dark.

-and get those tubes that don't get flat unless your itinerary is always road.
- afraid of bike problems? come on, there really isn't much to fix in a bike, plus like you said, dad is a handyman so you are good whether your bike is new or old.

now about bike and quality, i have no clue so please rely on the other great posters.

fact.
i heard you can get a ticket if you ride bicycle with earphones on.

Very true, as well, a BUI is the same as a DUI on your record.

ProgressoR
07-27-2010, 03:29 AM
good thread and some great advice on here. The bit about must get a rear view mirror was funny.

Power Player
07-27-2010, 06:18 AM
I was looking for a friend for a new MTB, and the starting budget for anything decent seemed like around 4-500 bucks. This was for a new one that could handle harder riding. I am sure you could do about 300ish for a more base model.

Like everyone said, suspension is not needed. I have front suspension on my bike, and I am going to get a new one, since the stock one is pretty crappy. Usually stock suspension sucks on a bike that is under 1,500 or so. Once you get to that price point, it is probably better to build the bike custom anyway.

The other thing that you will not need is disc brakes. Yes, they are nice to have, but not needed. I have seen rigid bikes without disc brakes brand new for around 300 made by specialized, trek..etc.

I like Craigslist for BMX bikes. The reason is because some kid got the bike from his folks, they spent a ton, and then he realized how hard it is 4 months in and gave up. Or you can get lucky and buy a custom bike from a pro who is broke and needs coin fast. That happened to me, and I got a really sick custom build for less then half price.

It sounds like you may be looking more for an MTB type of bike just to get you to and from. If so, just look for new ones by good makers who are selling rigid frames without disc brakes, and you may find a good deal.

The problem with MTB is it is very expensive. I would say overpriced to be honest, so unless you get lucky on CL, you will have to spend a little more then you wanted.

Eph
07-27-2010, 08:41 AM
Eh, about getting bikes stolen: now I feel I need to tell my story. And with this story, I guess you could identify who I am if you wanted.

I locked up my old Santa Cruz Blur (not the Blur XC) in Harvard Yard, right in front of my House (Dudley House) and went on a date. Came back, and my bike was stolen. It was one of the saddest days of my life. Not because it was a monetary loss, but because someone had the nerve to take something that was not theirs. When the Harvard Police came, they asked if I had any type of insurance, after learning the value of the bike. I said "renter's insurance". They told me to contact them, so I did. It was a nice surprise to learn that even though the theft did not happen in my house, it was covered because the property is from my house. Two weeks later, I got a nice check for $3800 to build a new Santa Cruz Blur XC.

Moral of the story, I guess, is make sure you get renter's insurance when you go to college. Deductibles can be $100, it's very cheap, it covers dorm rooms, and it's worth it. It may not replace your bike since you're looking to spend $200 (but keep your receipt anyway), however, sh*t happens. Add up the value of your clothes and I bet you'll be astonished. Add up the value of all your electronics, etc.. Ask your parents to bundle it on with all their other insurances, but don't neglect doing your own searches on the Internet.


A few comments from the above posters: no such thing as tubes that don't go flat. You can get downhill tubes put in most tires, but they still go flat. And don't even get me started with UST tubeless systems.

If you have a budget of 1,500, it's going to be tough to build a good, custom bike for that much, even going through mail order shops. Honestly, I look around MTBR a lot, and find some screaming deals on mountain bikes. Typical markdown for a used top-of-the-line bike is over 40%. (That includes my Turner Spot, if anyone wants it for $3000, it's yours... :P) Now if your budget is 4k+, THEN you could build a great custom bike.

I would argue disc brakes *are* needed. However, the OP simply can't afford them. Disc brakes pay in dividends once it starts raining. It rains in California, right? :) So he'll have to make due with V-brakes, and will have to be extra careful when it rains (brake sooner. And while we're on the subject here's some knowledge for you: 70% of your braking power comes from your front wheel. The rest is your rear. That does not mean you only brake with your front. You should break evenly (and the bike shop *will* know, when they replace your brake pads if you were, so you better for goodness sake ;-)). And you brake slowly, building up pressure to stop. Do NOT lock your brakes unless in emergency. When going around corners with loose gravel/dirt, use your rear brake only to slow down, it will help guide you through the troublesome area).

Don't consider a BMX bike. You won't go as fast and lose too much energy.

I have a friend in Switzerland who got a 400 CHF (roughly $400 USD) fine for riding his bike on a one way street in the wrong direction while talking on his cell phone.

yellow ball player
07-27-2010, 09:06 AM
nice story,
no such thing as tubes that don't go flat,... couldn't think of the right terms but was hoping readers would understand. by this, i meant those tire tubes that have like a liquid that prevent you from going flat when you run over thorns or glass shards....and it was just a suggestion because where i rode, that happened to me a couple of times so i invested less than 15$ for both tires. no more flat tires.
time to go to BOW...

Eph
07-27-2010, 09:07 AM
Oh, you're talking about a Stan's NoTube system or the like? Or ghetto tubeless? :)

Those systems are nice for pinch flats, and do work quite well, but I'm not sure it'll be a worthwhile investment given the terrain he'll be on.

Power Player
07-27-2010, 09:12 AM
Agreed, but you said "great custom bike". I just said custom bike. Big difference. MTB components can get out of control if you want to go to the level of great.

I priced out a build for a Santa Cruz Chameleon that would have clocked in at around 2k. Not a great build, but still an awesome setup for a very versatile frame.

Since the OP is at the very bottom of the price range, he is going to have to either hope he finds a steal on CL, or go with the most basic model of MTB he can find. And we all know that the disc brakes and forks you get on the $500 MTB pretty much suck anyway and will need to be upgraded sooner then later. Better to go without, then if you get really into riding, sell that bike and put the money into a better one.

AmericanTemplar
07-27-2010, 09:35 AM
Here's something for $200 new that the 8 reviewers all seemed to like. I would imagine that it would be fine for your purposes:

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_172828_-1_201511_10000_200516

If I were you though, I'd save up a little more & get a rigged forked SS 29er like one of these:

with disk brakes: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/windsor_cliff29_1.htm

without disk brakes:
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/outcast29_08.htm

atatu
07-27-2010, 09:45 AM
Jeez, this takes me back to 1981 when I was a freshman at Sacramento State. I bought a Ross Road Bike, but a couple of years later transferred to UCSB and traded in the road bike for a Specialized RockHopper. You don't need slicks, a good sturdy mountain bike is all you need. Keep checking Craigslist and get a good used bike, or go to a bikeshop in Sacramento and look on the "for sale" board, you'll find something.

LanEvo
07-27-2010, 10:44 AM
Ok, I'll be looking for bikes now. I asked this before, but never really got an answer, how do I spot a find, when I go out shopping for used bikes? Like whats the easiest thing to spot, that lets me know I have a good bike that's worth the money?

OrangeOne
07-27-2010, 12:40 PM
Ok, I'll be looking for bikes now. I asked this before, but never really got an answer, how do I spot a find, when I go out shopping for used bikes? Like whats the easiest thing to spot, that lets me know I have a good bike that's worth the money?

I've said a few times now, I think the best thing for you to spot is a bike from a major manufacturer (I published a list of about 10 brands, so did someone else) that is less than 2 years old, that someone bought 'for fun / fitness' and decided it was too hard and they ran out of time. Something at the entry-level would have been 300-400 new, and should be 100-200 second hand, barely ridden.

Personally, I think that's the easiest thing for you to spot. Many people will write this in their ad: 'barely ridden, almost new'.

There are many, many other things that will combine to make something the right bike, but that, to me, is the only dead-easy thing to spot.

TheJRK
07-27-2010, 01:02 PM
On your first day of school, find a girl who has a car and date her.

LanEvo
07-27-2010, 02:41 PM
On your first day of school, find a girl who has a car and date her.

Nice suggestion. Made me laugh there.

Raidenx
07-27-2010, 03:43 PM
If it's for commuting to/from/around school, I think you should just find something that rides decently well and is in good condition (no rust, working components).
Locks only keep people from stealing your frame/wheels, everything else can be easily stolen with a simple multi-tool; it wasn't uncommon for me to see vandalized bicycles with bent rims or missing components that were locked outside on campus. I only took my bicycle to school on weekends when I would be able to bring my bike inside the classrooms with me since I never trusted locking it up outside...

ProgressoR
07-28-2010, 12:36 AM
OP i know your budget is $200 but I suggest you changing that to $2,000 and getting a fantastic bike. You say just running to school and in between lessons, but from that it is easy to get together with friends, hire a van, 6 of you drive into the mountains and spend the whole day or weekend riding on real trails, and having a great time. So prepare for that. You should get this bike you will really like it

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/trek/8000-2010-mountain-bike-ec020727?currency=USD&country=UNITED%20STATES

its barely over the $2000 we just agreed on. You wont notice the difference in price, but you will notice that its a great bike.

Please be aware if you continue to be small minded and insist on sticking to your $200 budget, then I suggest you purchase the handlebar stem of the above bike first and then buy each component as and when you can.

OrangeOne
07-28-2010, 04:18 AM
OP i know your budget is $200 but I suggest you changing that to $2,000 and getting a fantastic bike. You say just running to school and in between lessons, but from that it is easy to get together with friends, hire a van, 6 of you drive into the mountains and spend the whole day or weekend riding on real trails, and having a great time. So prepare for that. You should get this bike you will really like it

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/trek/8000-2010-mountain-bike-ec020727?currency=USD&country=UNITED%20STATES

its barely over the $2000 we just agreed on. You wont notice the difference in price, but you will notice that its a great bike.

Please be aware if you continue to be small minded and insist on sticking to your $200 budget, then I suggest you purchase the handlebar stem of the above bike first and then buy each component as and when you can.

Hire a van? Buy a van. I'm with you, if it's not done properly it's not done at all. Should be room for quite a few bikes on the roof of this van. Could save by going for some vinyl instead of leather, and change the no-doubt 24 inch rims back to 23's.

http://www.caroffice.com/articles/wp-content/uploads/luxury-van.jpg

ProgressoR
07-28-2010, 04:33 AM
^^^ so true. My mistake I was not thinking big enough, assuming that biking was the end game here. But you are right, if you are gonna do it, do it right, dont cut corners.

So OP, you now just have to consider what brand of luxury van you need for your cycling needs? I would suggest starting a new thread on that.

And then we can talk about the Bang & Olufsen system every self respecting person should surround themselves with.

If you do not come to this way of thinking, you are selling yourself short and telling the world you do not respect yourself, and so how can you expect others to respect you?

OrangeOne
07-28-2010, 05:28 AM
^^^ so true. My mistake I was not thinking big enough, assuming that biking was the end game here. But you are right, if you are gonna do it, do it right, dont cut corners.

So OP, you now just have to consider what brand of luxury van you need for your cycling needs? I would suggest starting a new thread on that.

And then we can talk about the Bang & Olufsen system every self respecting person should surround themselves with.

If you do not come to this way of thinking, you are selling yourself short and telling the world you do not respect yourself, and so how can you expect others to respect you?

There is indeed no point in purchasing said van without some B&O (after all, there will indeed be some BO in there from 6 guys after some MTB).

I'm thinking these will do, rumour is about $30k will cover the speakers, which come with around 2500w to play with. Now, at 61kg per speaker they will harm the 0-100 time a little, but perhaps the van could use some nos to counter them?

I am aware that 30k is a little over the original budget, but indeed, having self-respect is more important than skimping on the essentials.

http://images.gizmag.com/hero/1949_01.jpg

I wonder what the next priority should be: Air Purification or making the van a hybrid?

Eph
07-28-2010, 06:36 AM
The B&O system in my Audi is amazing. :)

ProgressoR
07-28-2010, 07:34 AM
good idea Orange, the weight is not an issue, you just get a larger more luxurious van with a larger engine to handle the extra weight. Remember spending a bit of extra money is not an acceptable objection, unless you really want everyone to realise you have no self esteem.

Naturally to fully enjoy the facilities of said vehicle, you need a driver to take you to the mountains, so you and mates can play PS3 whilst hooking the sound up the B&O.

6 of you, so you need 2 or 3 consoles and TV's, unless you want your mates to be sitting there doing nothing, that would show you really have little respect for their needs.

LanEvo
07-28-2010, 02:35 PM
hey guys, hows this bike http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1868444646.html?

Capt. Willie
07-28-2010, 02:43 PM
I just noticed this topic and at first I thought it was about motorcycles not bicycles. I was picturing fat hairy guys with tattoos in tennis whites.

Leelord337
07-28-2010, 02:43 PM
^^^i would buy that in a second, thats a heck of a deal for a trek

GRANITECHIEF
07-28-2010, 02:50 PM
hey guys, hows this bike http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1868444646.html?

Might be a good deal on a road bike, need to see pictures.

Here is another, which is a mtn bike. You could probably talk him down to $200.

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1867106787.html

GRANITECHIEF
07-28-2010, 02:58 PM
Or a slightly out of budget, lowball offer type deal on an older high performance mtn bike:

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1867064600.html
http://users.telenet.be/ON7NQ/Aboutme/GT%20I-Drive%206.JPG

or a Marin in Davis

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1865630821.html

hollywood9826
07-28-2010, 03:36 PM
The Marin may be a bit small for a almost 6 foot guy. But could be worth it possibly.

Theres not much in My area in the used bike market in his price range. But Batimore isnt exactly MTB Mecca either. I got my Klein and that all I need.

But I commend OP for sticking to his ghuns on the budget. If your patient you get a deal

OrangeOne
07-28-2010, 04:50 PM
hey guys, hows this bike http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1868444646.html?

It's a road bike. Not good for going across anything that isn't perfectly smooth pavement. Certainly not good for fields, wet grass, etc.

^^^i would buy that in a second, thats a heck of a deal for a trek

There's many reasons things are a heck of a deal. Some of the many reasons are not good things.

OrangeOne
07-28-2010, 04:55 PM
good idea Orange, the weight is not an issue, you just get a larger more luxurious van with a larger engine to handle the extra weight. Remember spending a bit of extra money is not an acceptable objection, unless you really want everyone to realise you have no self esteem.

Naturally to fully enjoy the facilities of said vehicle, you need a driver to take you to the mountains, so you and mates can play PS3 whilst hooking the sound up the B&O.

6 of you, so you need 2 or 3 consoles and TV's, unless you want your mates to be sitting there doing nothing, that would show you really have little respect for their needs.

There is only 1 acceptable person for the task.

Some say he sucks moisture out of ducks and he models his crash helmet on Britney Spears' head. All we know is....

http://www.motorward.com/wp-content/pictures/2009/06/stig.jpg

OrangeOne
07-28-2010, 04:58 PM
Or a slightly out of budget, lowball offer type deal on an older high performance mtn bike:

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1867064600.html
http://users.telenet.be/ON7NQ/Aboutme/GT%20I-Drive%206.JPG

or a Marin in Davis

http://sacramento.craigslist.org/bik/1865630821.html

The Marin looks a little trashed (and even the ad admits to some touch ups being required), but I'd rather have it for day to day commuting than the i-drive. Also, should be much lower on the theft-factor, keeping in mind theft of a bike is usually just a matter of someone having a saw or some bolt-cutters.

LanEvo
08-01-2010, 08:32 PM
Hey guys, hows this bike?

http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3807052&CAWELAID=411513564

I went with my dad today, he said he'd chip in a bit if I found a nice bike, I went with him to see this one today. It looked nice, had disc brakes front and back.

Eph
08-02-2010, 07:06 AM
You don't listen, so I've given up trying to advise.

Power Player
08-02-2010, 09:10 AM
Hey guys, hows this bike?

http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3807052&CAWELAID=411513564

I went with my dad today, he said he'd chip in a bit if I found a nice bike, I went with him to see this one today. It looked nice, had disc brakes front and back.

Do you not have a Bike store near by that sells good brands? Did you not read what we said about not needing all the bells and whistles at the pricpoint you are looking at?

The shocks and brakes on a bike under $1,000 usually suck or are average at best, so buy a lesser expensive bike for it's frame and accept that the components will need to be upgraded, or that you will want to spend more on a bike if you get really into it. That means, get a Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Giant, Gary Fischer..something like that because the frame will be halfway decent.

I would rather ride a fully rigid Specialized Rockhopper with no disc brakes then the bike you posted from Sports Authority. I hope this helps and clears up what people are trying to say.

This bike you posted does not have a good frame or good components. They suck you in because it has suspension and disc brakes.

AmericanTemplar
08-02-2010, 11:33 AM
"Eeets a Sledgehammer."

mtommer
08-02-2010, 12:21 PM
If you want to learn about bikes then go to mtbr.com and read through the beginners, commuters and general section. In a couple of days you'll have probably learned the basics of what you need to pick out a decent bike on your own.

Otherwise, as stated before, bikenashbar has a decent enough Nashbar mtn bike or singlespeed Schwinn bike at $199.00. They'll be good enough for you. As your dad is willing to chip in a little extra make sure you get a good U-Lock and cable lock and learn how to use them in the commuting section of mtbr.com

new_tennis_player
08-02-2010, 01:20 PM
Hey guys, hows this bike?

http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3807052&CAWELAID=411513564

I went with my dad today, he said he'd chip in a bit if I found a nice bike, I went with him to see this one today. It looked nice, had disc brakes front and back.

How many times have I told you to go to a decent bike shop? Sportsauthority is also one of the worst retailers around, period.

How long will it take you to find a bike anyway? You come across as a serious knucklehead.

OrangeOne
08-02-2010, 04:29 PM
The consensus among the five other people that have given advice in this thread above me there pretty much covers the normal post I'd write. OP: Read those replies, whether you heed the advice is now becoming up to you.

To those five above - I share your frustration.

I'm going to try one final analogy to see if it works.

Person A posts a thread: Hi, I'm new to tennis, and I've only got $95 to spend on a frame. I've seen this great frame at walmart, and it's by Pro Supex. It's on sale from $400 down to $150!!!, I know it's over my budget but dad will help me out a little if I find a good racquet. This one's great, right? It's got a 130 sq in frame for power & control and it's made of graphite and bovine excrementus, sounds great. Should I get it?

http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQhmNY_N3rdnl7Vek-ZjHCFOklBcABZv8UtVwWRNCnXd_PfbdY&t=1&usg=__3270w-TX63hfqZ2sHclKQ2d-9wQ=

There would be 1000 replies sending the person to a real tennis shop - be it TW or otherwise, to buy a no-frills racquet from a quality manufacturer, like a Head Liquidmetal, or to buy a good second-hand racquet.

Sound familiar?

Leelord337
08-02-2010, 04:31 PM
Hey guys, hows this bike?

http://www.sportsauthority.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3807052&CAWELAID=411513564

I went with my dad today, he said he'd chip in a bit if I found a nice bike, I went with him to see this one today. It looked nice, had disc brakes front and back.

diamondbacks are good, but personally i would stay away from disk brakes. (i had a motobecane (high end bike) with dual suspension and front and rear disk brakes---worst bike i've ever had period) they make the bike heavy...i would go with a good v brake

AmericanTemplar
08-02-2010, 04:51 PM
Consider OrangeOne's point along with the fact that a tennis racquet isn't mechanical & therefore there's much less that can go wrong with it than a bicycle. I'm still guessing that as a tennis player you'd advise against getting a crap racquet that's full of BS technologies.

If I were you I'd get a rigged forked single-speed 29er with v brakes like either of the two that I posted. Both have minimal technology so there's less that can go wrong & they can be upgraded to include more gear choices, disk brakes, & a suspension fork if you decide that those are things that you want/need. It's better to start with fewer, higher quality parts for what you're looking to spend & again, if you decide to buy a bike from a big box store, they won't have used any grease with assembly, assuring your bike a very short shelf-life before it becomes un-ridable.

onehandbh
08-02-2010, 05:00 PM
I bought a ~30 year old schwinn 10 speed from craigslist
for $65. It runs fine w/o a tuneup but it is not light. It weighs
about 40 lbs.

mtommer
08-02-2010, 06:05 PM
diamondbacks are good
Diamondback used to be good overall. Now they have gone the way of Schwinn (who is coming back to the following model) whereby they make crap and higher end bikes.

120mphBodyServe
08-03-2010, 04:04 AM
Personal recommendation...
Get a GT Outpost. It's a lower end MTB but it's solid.

new_tennis_player
08-04-2010, 04:05 PM
I bought a ~30 year old schwinn 10 speed from craigslist
for $65. It runs fine w/o a tuneup but it is not light. It weighs
about 40 lbs.

http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg238/taldo50/DoubleFacePalm.jpg

fundrazer
08-04-2010, 07:32 PM
Ah, I've got something you might be interested in. A little bit over your price range but you'll be cruising around campus in style.
http://aroadbike4u.com/product/pinarello-prince-carbon-di2-internally-routed-724.htm

SlapShot
08-05-2010, 08:33 AM
Alright folks - new one for you.

I want a road bike. I have a Trek 3900 MTB for my trail stuff, but I want to train faster and have something to possibly race. We have HEAPS of paved trails in Minneapolis, so a road bike wouldn't be out of its element here.

I'm partial to Trek for no good reason, and have looked at the 1.1 - I'd like to keep it under $800. I've been scouring CL, but it looks like most of the roadies people are selling around here are high-end, or are beat to a pulp, so I'm looking new.

I've looked at the Specialized stuff, Trek, would LOVE a Felt, but that'll probably fall outside of my price range.

Suggestions? :D

fundrazer
08-05-2010, 09:03 AM
^^You're lucky because I too have been looking at road bikes and I now have at least a decent understanding of them! First, go to a local bike shop, those guys are usually awesome and very helpful. I'm Guessing you know what size bike you need but if not they'll size you up and get everything rolling.

Regarding the lower end road bikes (800-100), basically they're all pretty much the same. They all pretty much use the Shimano Sora groupset, the lowest of Shimano's component groups. Some might have Shimano Tiagra parts thrown in, Tiagra is one step above Sora. So basically in this price range, go with whatever is more comfortable to you as the bikes are mostly the same. Only thing, if you plan on racing with your road bike. Most people I know recommend at least Shimano 105. It's all around a much more solid group than Sora and Tiagra. However bikes with 105 are going to be above your price range.

AmericanTemplar
08-05-2010, 09:43 AM
For $800 I would go with a used higher end bike from the late 90's. I got a Serrotta with full Campy Record for that price on **** a few years back.

This looks pretty badass for less than what you are looking to spend:

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/bik/1848624414.html

Funky Tri-bars that you could probably sell for a good chunk of change & get something else:

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/csw/bik/1865369288.html

120mphBodyServe
08-06-2010, 12:16 AM
Alright folks - new one for you.

I want a road bike. I have a Trek 3900 MTB for my trail stuff, but I want to train faster and have something to possibly race. We have HEAPS of paved trails in Minneapolis, so a road bike wouldn't be out of its element here.

I'm partial to Trek for no good reason, and have looked at the 1.1 - I'd like to keep it under $800. I've been scouring CL, but it looks like most of the roadies people are selling around here are high-end, or are beat to a pulp, so I'm looking new.

I've looked at the Specialized stuff, Trek, would LOVE a Felt, but that'll probably fall outside of my price range.

Suggestions? :D

What about getting a flat bar road bike and just fitting different handle bars to it???
Giant CRX series aren't bad value...

OrangeOne
08-06-2010, 01:21 AM
What about getting a flat bar road bike and just fitting different handle bars to it???
Giant CRX series aren't bad value...

It's not just a matter of new bars. He's thinking about racing, which means he'll definitely want braking & shifting accessible when down on the drops, something that would not be an option with the mtb-style gear & brake levers that come on such a bike. He'd need to buy sti levers as well as bars, and that's starting to get expensive.

(And all of that is before looking at geometry, and the geometry of the crx style bike is designed for flat bars and an associated more upright riding position, it wouldn't be too comfortable, let alone easy to ride fast, with road bars).

OrangeOne
08-06-2010, 01:36 AM
For $800 I would go with a used higher end bike from the late 90's.

Almost agreed - I think I'd look for a mid-level bike from the early-2000s.

To slapshot - the "new-OP" :) - keep looking mate. I know you've said you come from MTB, the biggest thing to remember is that, as a general rule, road bikes don't see even 10% of the wear and tear that a MTB does, even assuming the fact that they usually cover much greater distances.

Giant (here in Australia at least) are usually the best value if you're definite on buying new. But after looking at their entry-level roadie (http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/model/defy.3/3882/37101/)- which is right-on your budget, I'd much rather still recommend something a few years old and a few levels up. As I advised the actual OP: many people buy a bike thinking they'll take up the sport and never do. The best value is often a couple or few year old bike that has been rarely ridden.

Have you gone to a few local races to check them out? Often people will advertise bikes at races, or know of bikes for sale (that have often been treated well).

Anaconda
08-06-2010, 04:12 AM
Either get a GT mountain bike, or get a Mongoose BMX. I've got a Mongoose pro-sinper and they're pretty good for bike jumps/racing etc.

LanEvo
08-07-2010, 10:50 PM
hey guys, which model bike is this? http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/1883288954.html and is it worth the value, and judging on its condition, what do you think?

LanEvo
08-07-2010, 10:51 PM
this one as well: http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/1819174435.html

120mphBodyServe
08-08-2010, 12:11 AM
hey guys, which model bike is this? http://stockton.craigslist.org/bik/1883288954.html and is it worth the value, and judging on its condition, what do you think?

Buy this one.

LanEvo
08-08-2010, 12:16 AM
Buy this one.

Do you know what model it is? What do you think of the condition? And is it hard to install rear brakes? I am a bike newbie.

120mphBodyServe
08-08-2010, 12:32 AM
Do you know what model it is? What do you think of the condition? And is it hard to install rear brakes? I am a bike newbie.

I have no idea what model it is. But both the bikes you linked are Trek.
And you really want to ride a bike with pink in the paintjob? NO.
Installing rear brakes? Probably not hard but I'd just take it to a bike shop for a service.
I mean it's a $50 bike. You can spend some money on having it serviced...

Polaris
08-08-2010, 08:08 AM
Yep, I have someone who will take care of maintenance for me, my dad. He's a handyman in almost everything.

This is worth a quadruple facepalm. :)

hollywood9826
08-08-2010, 08:11 AM
If its break pads, super easy. If its just the break and the cables are good. very easy. If you have cables its not that hard either. But a good servincing from a bike shop wouldnt hurt. That way you know everything is set up properly. around here they only charge 40 bucks for a tune up.

SlapShot
08-09-2010, 08:22 PM
The 4900 is Trek's mid-level MTB. They are good bikes - I have the 3900, have test ridden the 4 series stuff - same frame, IIRC, but the 4 series has better components.

That's a great price, even if it needs new cables. You will want to budget for a full tune-up, though - take it to a bikeshop and have them go over the thing.

Once it's tuned up, it should be good to roll.

LanEvo
08-09-2010, 08:56 PM
The 4900 is Trek's mid-level MTB. They are good bikes - I have the 3900, have test ridden the 4 series stuff - same frame, IIRC, but the 4 series has better components.

That's a great price, even if it needs new cables. You will want to budget for a full tune-up, though - take it to a bikeshop and have them go over the thing.

Once it's tuned up, it should be good to roll.

how much should a tune up run for?

AmericanTemplar
08-09-2010, 09:12 PM
how much should a tune up run for?

Normally around $200. :wink:

new_tennis_player
08-09-2010, 10:07 PM
This is worth a quadruple facepalm. :)

This thread belongs in "epic fail."

SlapShot
08-10-2010, 06:28 AM
Normally around $200. :wink:

That's probably about right....

But even for $300, that is a solid bike and no matter what bike you buy, if you're not adept at maintenance, you'll need to have it set up.

SlapShot
08-11-2010, 09:15 AM
More questions....

I took this frame out for a spin last night - love the feel, love the Tiagra shifters, etc:

http://www.cannondale.com/usa/usaeng/Products/Bikes/Road/Elite-Road/CAAD8-S/Details/1246-0RA86C_0RA86T-CAAD8-S-6

In order to step up to 105 components, I'm looking at a $250 or more price hike (to the Felt Z85 or Specialized Allez Elite).

The Tiagra shifters are key - I don't think I could get along with Sora levers/shifters. If I were to buy and upgrade F&R derailleurs to 105/Ultegra, would I miss the 105 levers?

onehandbh
08-11-2010, 09:47 AM
facepalmx2

Make that a triple. I also sometimes carry it up and down the metro
stairs (VERY LONG FLIGHT) just for the exercise. I actually like it.
I was looking for cheap, basic transportation. Not hipster, fixie or
$3K roadbike.