Newbie with $250 budget/ 3rd yr College student


New Member
May 22, 2012
Ok, so Hey! I'm a College student residing in the NC Charlotte Area, and I've been researching What kind of bike would be best for me on my budget of $250. So far I've become very confused. Ive been riding my Dad's old road bike, with a gearshift that likes to randomly slip. Usually Id just fix it up, bc im a diy kind of person, but Im on time constraints, And I admittedly do not know bikes that well. (willing and desiring to learn tho!) If anyone has some Advice, I would really appreciate it!, just to simplify, I'll make a list of what im looking for.
  • The right fit: Im male: 5'9" / 32" 1/8 inseam ; In pretty good shape: swim and ride a few miles every other morning/ chance i get w/ other exercises, etc.
  • Maneuverability, durability(I would like to ride this for 5+ years) decent speed and the option to go off road when needed/desired. mostly going around campus and the surrounding trails/ streets, sometimes further.
  • $250 budget is pretty tight so anything at or under is preferable.
Ive been looking around the net, this forum included. I hear mixed reviews about everything, which I expected, but I'm having trouble sifting through the Info... These are a few of the options i found that seem appealing, but again, budget... If anyone Has tips and advice, again, I'm all ears, and could really use the help. I've always loved riding, And I want to find a bike that will keep my enjoyment going strong. Thanks to anyone Who replies!


Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2010
$250 will not get you a lot of bike - even on craigslist. I suppose you could get lucky with a rare find. Big box stores and online retailers do have bikes in this range - they may work OK, I've owned a few; the components and build quality leave a lot to be desired.

You should tell us more about your current bike - I bet the issue can be fixed for less than $100. Most bicycle repair and maintenance is relatively easy and quick - these are simple and elegant machines.


Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
FYI. YOU can easily update your father's bike with parts bought on eBay for the sum you are talking about ...

* 10-speed Campagnolo shifters (< $150, new-or-used)
* 9-speed Shimano rear derailleur (< $50, new-or-used)
* 7-speed SunRace Freewheel (< $30, new)
* cables & housing ($??)
* handlebar tape ($10 +/-)

You will need a 5mm Allen Wrench (w/ a 3" shaft) + the appropriate Freewheel removal tool ..

Plus, a Flat File to clean up the ends of the cable housing after you cut them to length ...

Plus, a good pair of dikes (the "wire cutters" on HARBOR FREIGHT "pliers" work very well ... at least, the ones which I have) to adjust the cable lengths ...

Plus, masking tape, etc.