Money strapped college student :)

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Semperfi91, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. Semperfi91

    Semperfi91 New Member

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    Greetings to all! Hopefully you guys can help me decide what bike will best fit my needs and budget :)
    I don't have a lot of money, the most I have access to right now is $500 and some change but I would rather spend a portion of it and have some money left over than be left with $0.
    I live in a metropolitan area with lots of paved roads. However, I still plan to go trail riding in the future once I gain enough experience. My current bike is some cheapo "Dynacraft" bike from Walmart. The label on it says "This bike was not designed for off-roading or stunt biking." I am 5'4"
    If any other information is needed feel free to ask! :)

    Best regards,
    Tyler

    P.S.

    Link to currently owned bicycle: http://next-bike.com/model_view.php?ID=10
     
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  2. genedan

    genedan New Member

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    Yes, you are very correct in saying that you would rather have a portion of money left over.

    When you get into road biking, you will eventually have to spend money on maintenance and spare parts. Every 1500-2000 miles you've gotta replace the chain. If you have a good cassette, I think it'll last you until you're out of college and have gotten a job, but they can last up to 20,000 miles with good care.

    There are some optional things you might end up buying, such as cycling clothing, shoes, and pedals. These can be expensive, but most people who get into serious road biking will buy them eventually.

    It hurts me when a bike like that is called a "power climber" since road bikes are much lighter and will climb better. Since you're a college student, getting a brand spanking new road bike will cost you more than $500. I highly recommend working over your summers so you can save up some more money. There's nothing inherently wrong with the bike you have now since you can still use it to get a good workout, so I would say it's OK to wait to save up.

    I'm a college student as well, so I've got to be on the lookout for deals and stuff. What college do you go to? Does it have a cycling team? Some college teams can offer students good deals on bikes. You also might want to consider getting a used bike. You can find good deals on craigslist, but make sure the bike fits you. At 5'4'' you would probably need a small frame, maybe a 50cm or 52cm frame, or even a 48cm. This measurement is of the seat tube of the bike (the one you're sitting on). But the size you need will vary depending on the geometry of the bike, but I would ask your local bike shop to be sure. Make sure they guy you're asking is an experienced bike fitter and not just some salesman looking for a commission.
     
  3. Semperfi91

    Semperfi91 New Member

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    Thank you for the kind response Genedan. I really appreciate it :) I went to my local bike shop today actually and told the man my budget etc, he even told me where to go for trail riding etc. He showed me the Trek brand of bikes and they were in the $329.99 range, so that isn't too bad. It was a hybrid bike, I didn't get fitted or anything just looking to see what kind of prices I could expect locally. There is another shop in town that provides a professional fitting service: [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnFXRn-YeMQ]YouTube - Bike Fitting[/ame] I will be getting some money back from my tax returns and I had completely forgot about this when I made this thread, so I actually might have a couple hundred more dollars to work with. I personally don't plan on buying biking gear etc. Unless I plan on doing races and stuff and I really don't have the time right now to do things like, I wish I did but I don't :/ The store I went to has a catalog, the bikes at the top are the ones the man at the shop showed me, maybe you can tell me if these would be a decent purchase for my budget? Bicycles: Cross/Hybrid - schellers.com

    Thanks for all the help so far Genedan! :)

    Tyler

    P.S.

    To answer your college question. I am currently attending a small local community technical college and I plan on transferring to an University later to finish up my degree. I plan on majoring in Computer Information Systems and possibly minoring in Criminal Justice.
     
  4. genedan

    genedan New Member

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    Oh yeah, I forgot that you didn't mention what kind of bike you were thinking about getting. Personally I think if you're going anywhere that's not off-road, a road bike is tops. They're just way faster than hybrids in my opinion, and well worth the investment.

    Another way to save money is to look at older models because bike shops will offer good discounts in order to empty their inventory. It's worth taking the time to find a new bicycle, even a few months, because if you're like most of us you will be keeping that bike for at least 5-10 more years. You've already got a bike now so there's really just no rush.
     
  5. Semperfi91

    Semperfi91 New Member

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    So then my current bike would be sufficient for commuter travel if I decide to ride to school? (It's about a 6 mile distance)and even maybe trail riding? While I save up to get a road bike? And what if I do wait and get a road bike and end up missing opportunities down the road to go trail riding etc because my bike won't be able to handle it? Do I wait till then to buy a trail bike?
     
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