any Bikers out there?

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by LanEvo, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. LanEvo

    LanEvo Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  2. new_tennis_player

    new_tennis_player Banned

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    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!

     
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  3. LanEvo

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    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.
     
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  4. new_tennis_player

    new_tennis_player Banned

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    Buy a lock.

     
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  5. LanEvo

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    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.
     
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  6. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    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.
     
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  7. LanEvo

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

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    I have absolutely no knowledge of bikes.
     
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  9. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    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.
     
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  10. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    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/

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Leelord337

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    why don't you try your local craigslist listings? you could find good deals on brand name bikes like trek, cannondale..etc...
     
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  12. LanEvo

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    #12
  13. LanEvo

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  14. OrangeOne

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    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....
     
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  15. new_tennis_player

    new_tennis_player Banned

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    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?

     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
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  16. film1

    film1 Semi-Pro

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    You might try a used trek 700 or 720 or a steel road bike like a Jamis etc.
    Something made about 2001-2008.
     
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  17. OrangeOne

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    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.
     
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  18. LanEvo

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

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  20. LanEvo

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    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.
     
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  21. OrangeOne

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    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.
     
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  22. LanEvo

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    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.
     
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  23. LanEvo

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  24. OrangeOne

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    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".
     
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  25. LanEvo

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    Now, the problem is finding one...
     
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  26. GRANITECHIEF

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  27. LanEvo

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  28. AmericanTemplar

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    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.
     
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  29. LanEvo

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    I am around 5'8", weighing in at 202 or so lbs.
     
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  30. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    Spend the money on a decent bike or WALK/public transport.
     
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  31. new_tennis_player

    new_tennis_player Banned

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    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.


     
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  32. AmericanTemplar

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    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.
     
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  33. GRANITECHIEF

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    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/...ke_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/CuPcKm3Fz...H33jBrACxBGkKXbZeFzGqTcwhWfTcwV/biketahoe.jpg

    and countless others where a lesser bike would be outgunned.

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

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    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.
     
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  35. Kevin T

    Kevin T Professional

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    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.
     
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  36. LanEvo

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    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".
     
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  37. AmericanTemplar

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    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.
     
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  38. new_tennis_player

    new_tennis_player Banned

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    Try a local bike shop that sells used bikes.
     
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  39. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    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.

    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
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  40. OrangeOne

    OrangeOne Legend

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    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.
     
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  41. fundrazer

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    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.
     
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  42. LanEvo

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    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.
     
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  43. LanEvo

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    Yep, I'll probably do that these next few days.
     
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  44. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    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?
     
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  45. 120mphBodyServe

    120mphBodyServe Banned

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    Get on your bike, big boy...
     
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  46. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    Just bike-curious at the moment. Maybe in a few years.
     
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  47. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    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).
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2010
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  48. AV1

    AV1 New User

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    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
     
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  49. Eph

    Eph Professional

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    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!!!!).
     
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  50. Eph

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    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.

    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.
     
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