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I'm a college student and looking to buy a very inexpensive, used bike (less than $160). What would you recommend as a decent beginner bike? Also, how do I know what height of frame is best for my height?

Any advice for a newbie is also welcomed :)

Thank you!

Alli
 

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Warning: I'm an old slow guy, increasingly practical in my bicycle selection, so what suits me may not suit you, But;
In your price range, you'll be looking more at the condition of the bike than for a specific brand, A decent-quality bike in good riding condition will be a better value than a more expensive one that needs lots of work.
Fit is important, but too complicated (and tedious) to cover in a short post. There's been a ton of stuff written about it here and elsewhere. Search the site or google "bicycle fit" for more information than you'll ever need. For commuting, you might want to consider a more upright riding position than most "serious" cyclists recommend, for visibility and comfort.
Depending on where you ride, you might not need a multi-geared bike. I commuted one semester on an old cruiser (back in the '70s, before they became cool), and it was perfect for three miles on the flat.
Used mountain bikes are often cheap and plentiful in thrift shops, like the Salvation Army. Around here you can find nice (well, nice-ish) ones from $20 to $75. That leaves money for road tires if you need them, plus miscellaneous accessories (pump, patch kit, basic tools, rack, maybe fenders), For most commuting, that would be better than a road bike, which will be a little more delicate and prone to wheel and tire damage. But don't pass up a good road bike if you find one.
Don't buy without a test ride, to be sure the wheels are straight, you can shift easily (readily adjustable/fixable in most cases) and that the brakes work. You can probably google up something on test-riding a bike, too--it's not hard, but, again, too complicated to explain here.
 

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alligrace said:
I'm a college student and looking to buy a very inexpensive, used bike (less than $160). What would you recommend as a decent beginner bike? Also, how do I know what height of frame is best for my height?

Any advice for a newbie is also welcomed :)

Thank you!

Alli
that's to say you can't offord a carbon bicycle,regret!:mad2:
 
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