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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm going to a very large university this coming fall. So I'm looking for a bike to get. I don't really know anything about bikes (last bike I had was in 6th grade, and i have a spinner bike at home that I use everyday, but thats it)

So my parents are getting me a graduation gift and I was thinking about a a bike (they'll probably get me on under 500). So I'm wondering what bike I should get. Here are some things i'm trying to factor in.

The campus is flat, but I like to ride standing rather than sitting (thats how I ride my spinner bike at home). Do I want shocks even if it is flat land i'm riding on? Hybrid, BMX, and all the other types what are the differences? Are there are any new cool features I might wanna get? What material that are light and tough? Do any make bikes that fold up? I might have my car on campus, its a pretty big car, but I don't know if a full sized bike will fit in it (I have a newer impala).

Anything else I should consider before getting a bike? Also what is the best way to lock my bike on campus? Thanks :cool:
 

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Welcome to mtbr

Congrats on deciding to get yourself a bike. If you know that the bike will be used pretty much on campus, and not on the trails, I'd recommend a good commuter or hybrid. You should have a lot of models to choose from in this range. Go to a bike shop (not a department store or a sporting good store-a bike shop) and ride a few. Fit and feel will be the most important factors.

As for what to get in terms of features, I'd say that a fork with suspension would be a good option. It doesn't have to be the best fork in the world, but something to provide damping when you hit bumps or go off a curb would be helpful. Also, in that $500 price range, disc brakes should be an option to seriously consider. I'm not going to go into the pros and cons of discs, you can read up on that in the FAQ section of the brakes forum and decide for yourself. It is definitely something to consider. As for locking up your bike, the best thing to do is bring it inside with you whenever possible, otherwise, a good Kryptonite lock (I believe that's the manufacturer) is your best bet. Be sure that the frame and both wheels are secured with the lock, and be sure that whatever you secure the bike to is such that the bike can't be slipped over the object with the lock intact (e.g. a pole where the bike can be literally lifted up and over the shaft of the pole).

I hope this helps.

Clyde
 

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I'd get something old and ratty looking, the nastier the better. Don't get anything, nothing, flashy. Nice bikes get ripped off all the time in college campuses, so just don't do it. My recommendation would be an old road bike -- late 1980s or early 1990s -- with what were once decent parts. Don't spend more than $200 - $300. You can find bunches of these on ebay. You'll probably end up with a steel frame and old Shimano 600 equipment. It will ride nice, be efficient and git 'er done, which is really all you want. Again, don't get anything that looks new or nice as it will only get stolen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Reporterkyle said:
I'd get something old and ratty looking, the nastier the better. Don't get anything, nothing, flashy. Nice bikes get ripped off all the time in college campuses, so just don't do it. My recommendation would be an old road bike -- late 1980s or early 1990s -- with what were once decent parts. Don't spend more than $200 - $300. You can find bunches of these on ebay. You'll probably end up with a steel frame and old Shimano 600 equipment. It will ride nice, be efficient and git 'er done, which is really all you want. Again, don't get anything that looks new or nice as it will only get stolen.
Okay I think I might do that, but are there any brand names in specific I should be looking for in that time frame? What If i get a new bike, strip the paint to its metal, and using a rusting kit to make it look old? ;)
 

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I wouldn't make a nice bike look old. If you want a bike to take to class get a junker as stated above that will get you to class. If you want a nice bike to cruise around campus on and take out on the weekends get a nice bike and leave it at home when you go to class. I just finished college and saw a lot of frames left chained to bike racks. It's sad, but a nice bike making it through 1 year of college use is going to be rare. Bikes get ripped off a lot. LEt us know what your thinking and you'll continue to get some help. I know that a new bike sounds a lot more special then a junker.
 

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how about a beach cruiser?!

i would say if you are just riding around a large campus, avoid getting a bmx. I've owned some bmxs and just getting around is kind of a pain, especially for a guy your height... cramped up knees, having to pedal at 120 rpm just to get up to speed. :) they are fun tho! If you are looking into this route though, try out the bmx cruisers: 24 inch wheels instead of the 20s.

You know what's cheap and pretty pimp to pedal around campus and around town, especially on flat ground, is a classic beach cruiser... at least when i see people at UC Santa Barbara or some other 'beach' schools cruisin around on them.
You can get a new one at for less than 400... Electra is a big cruiser company, Diamondback has some too.
http://www.electrabike.com/04/bikes/05bikes/cls/05_cls_15.html

yeah and as call_me_clyde mentioned, make sure you get a nice u-lock... kryptonite, makes the strongest ones. and make sure you lock it up to a nice strong solid post. I've had my share of bikes stolen... :mad:
 

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in my opinion get the cheapest pos u can get ur hands on because i can almost guarantee u that any type of new bike will get stolen

that idea of an old road bike is great u should consider that option definitely buy used for commuting on campus its not worth losing $500
 

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metomeya said:
By the way I'm 205 pounds, about 6'. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
Anything you do not care to be stolen. And, for G sake, lube your chain. Those squeakers that ride around campus when I go there I bugging the hell out of me.

700c wheels and straight bar is your best bet.

If you are funky and spendy - and the place is not hilly - get a steel fixie (do not forget your front brake, and even better go used). Good deal is a Langster.
 

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Get a steel frame bike. If you prefer MTB, you can get from a reputable bike shop. don't go to walmart or target store. Your bike shouldn't cost more than 300 bucks brand new. You don't need shocks. If you have fancy bike, it will attract thieves. You still have invest in a very strong, thick U lock and a backup lock cable made of thick coiled steel fibres. Don't brag to your friends that you have new bike. They may envy you and steal it . seriously !
 

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My first year in college I had my bike stolen and it totally sucked. I had a 5 year old Trek 800 Antelope and I lived in the last dorms on the edge of campus. I came out one morning and the thing was gone lock and all. Get a used bike and don't get too attatched.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
dam this thread is getting me depressed. I had just great fantasies about crusing around campus enoughing the sunshine before getting to class, now i'm having nightmares when I walk out of class its going to be gone. Anyways...

I was wondering about hooking it up. I want one of those u-locks or whatever you call them like in this pictures. And I want another u-lock or a cable to protect the front wheel from being stolen. My questions is what if only a normal bike rack is whats there for connect my bike, you know like the ones that only have a place for the front wheel, whats hte most secure way to locking those up? I put another picture to show what i'm talking about.
 

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You are right, it is depressing. I was a naive 18 year old and was blown away when my bike was stolen. I had never been a victim of crime and honestly it never even crossed my mind.

I always put my u-lock through the front wheel and around the down tube. Something else I would suggest is that you not use anything with quick release. Just think, if it's easy for you to take off it's easy for someone to steal. Not too many people carry around tools unless they are up to no good.
 

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metomeya said:
dam this thread is getting me depressed. I had just great fantasies about crusing around campus enoughing the sunshine before getting to class, now i'm having nightmares when I walk out of class its going to be gone. Anyways...

I was wondering about hooking it up. I want one of those u-locks or whatever you call them like in this pictures. And I want another u-lock or a cable to protect the front wheel from being stolen. My questions is what if only a normal bike rack is whats there for connect my bike, you know like the ones that only have a place for the front wheel, whats hte most secure way to locking those up? I put another picture to show what i'm talking about.
there may be variations, but i think most recommended method is to take off ur front wheel and attach it to the back, etc, but that's a big pain.
Alternatively, I used a ulock with a Kryptoflex cable (by kryptonite also, but cheaper than a 2nd ulock).. usually put the ulock through the rear wheel , seatpost, then to the thing u are locking the bike to. Then threaded the cable to the front wheel and the frame, then the place u are locking the bike to, then to the u-lock. A trick is to lasso the cable around the front wheel.. so loop the cable to the wheel and frame (downtube), then thread one end of the cable into the loop of the other end, so that the wheel and the closest tube of the bike are enclosed in a loop, then wind the long end through the frame.. then to the ulock. This should give you few more inches of cable to use.

I figure this combination looks busy enough to deter thieves.
You can do the same configuration with the front wheel too.
I did my undergrad years at a school with a good number of bums and thieves (go Cal Bears!)... my friends have gotten their rides stolen in the middle of campus at noon on a weekday. bikes will get stolen, whether crappy or expensive if they ren't locked up right. But a properly locked up bike that is locked in a well-lit area and not overnight should be be just fine... except for maybe that seat with a quickrelease. :rolleyes:
 

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Get something cheap

Get two bikes. One that is cheap as dirt, then one for the dirt. Keep the good bike squirrled away and let it come out to play on nice days. The beater bike should be easily replacable, because a campus bike gets lots of abuse.

My bike was a mid level hardtail, and had a rear rack stolen, and two wheels bashed in.

The repairs eventually cost as much as the bike did origionally.

I wish I would have gotten a beater back then.

JmZ

metomeya said:
I'm going to a very large university this coming fall. So I'm looking for a bike to get. I don't really know anything about bikes (last bike I had was in 6th grade, and i have a spinner bike at home that I use everyday, but thats it)

So my parents are getting me a graduation gift and I was thinking about a a bike (they'll probably get me on under 500). So I'm wondering what bike I should get. Here are some things i'm trying to factor in.

The campus is flat, but I like to ride standing rather than sitting (thats how I ride my spinner bike at home). Do I want shocks even if it is flat land i'm riding on? Hybrid, BMX, and all the other types what are the differences? Are there are any new cool features I might wanna get? What material that are light and tough? Do any make bikes that fold up? I might have my car on campus, its a pretty big car, but I don't know if a full sized bike will fit in it (I have a newer impala).

Anything else I should consider before getting a bike? Also what is the best way to lock my bike on campus? Thanks :cool:
 

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metomeya said:
What if I rode around campus naked on my bike? Would that deter thiefs?
Buy an old second hand 'grandma' type bike with a basket on the front and rack on the rear. No one in their right mind would want to steal it, but if they did then it wouldn't be too heart breaking! :)
Having no quick-release wheels on the bike is the way to go, and make sure you don't just lock one wheel to the bike rack. Lock the frame first and wheels as well if possible.
Many 'grandma' bikes have an on-board rear wheel lock that is very convenient and effective. This then allows you to lock the frame and front wheel with most conventional u-locks or cable locks.
Most cable locks don't come in lengths suitable to lock everything at once.

Hopefully you will get what i mean by 'grandma' bike, it's not meant to be derogatory or anything. I just use it to describe the look of a bike that has a step through frame and moustache handlebars. They are very popular here in Finland and even teenagers don't have a problem with riding them around. I think it's almost cool to be seen on your grannys bike! And they are kinda fun to ride, you can't help but giggling at how silly you must look!! ;)
 
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