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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to get a bicycle that I can use to commute to my college campus as well as use for recreation. I have looked around on these forums and others trying to learn as much as I can but it can be a bit overwhelming with everyone's different opinions and advice. My commute would be at least 10 miles (getting to and around campus) a day and I would like to do some recreational riding on the weekends. If I am going to get a bicycle I would like it last to last at least my 4 years of college if not more. I guess my questions would be: Should I buy used (Craigslist, eBay, etc.)? or Should I buy a new bike and if so, from a LBS or from an online dealer? I'm leaning toward a road bike because after testing a few, I like the more forward leaning position rather than the more upright from MTB and hybrids. So any models that can be suggested would be appreciated. Thanks in advance, any advice will be helpful.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would say around $800 would be my upper limit. If i need to spend more to get a quality bike I will. I most likely won't need a car for the next 4 years and it is definitely cheaper than a car. I know a lot of people recommend going to a LBS but I found http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/fens_IX.htm. For $700 it has all Shimano 105 components and I tried to look up some reviews for the other parts and saw that the tires may need to be replaced. I know some people have had bad experiences with bikes direct but the majority of the reviews i have seen have been positive.

I am not opposed to going to a LBS if I could get a similar bike for a similar price even if it was a bit more at the LBS I would definitely do that. However the bike store that I did go to had me feeling like I was at a used car lot. The guy said something along the lines of "This MTB is $350 but I could get it for you today for $260". This was without asking me what style rider I was or what I would be using it for. It felt like they cared more about selling bikes as quickly as possible than taking the time to find the right fit and style for me. Maybe I just caught the guy at the wrong time or on a bad day.

Anyways, let me know what you all think.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah that's true about theft, i go to Penn State main campus in State College. Most of my classes are in the center of campus, which is packed (40,000+ undergrads) from about 9-3 so during the day a chain through the wheels and frame should keep someone from walking around with some bolt cutters from taking it in the middle of the day. Of course, relying on assumption that people would do something if they saw a bike being stolen is not the best thing either. However, last night while walking around campus I saw a pretty decent MTB sitting against light post next to the sidewalk in a pretty busy area of the campus with no chain or lock. I saw the bike in the same spot going to class this morning and then this afternoon coming back. Now, I'm not saying bikes don't get stolen here because I have already seen some tireless bikes:p, but i think a chain during the day and a chain + U-lock at night would keep only the most determined from stealing the bike, at least that's my take on it.

Back to actual bike though, is the bike I posted above a good value? Would it be better to get a cheaper bike to start and then upgrade the components later?

I've been looking at Craigslist and the bikes that show up are either way too big or too small (at least so far) or way out of my price range $1200+. I might wait a week or so to see if anything new shows up on Craigslist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I am going to try and stay with a used bike.

If I do go to test a used bike, what should i be looking for, what should I test out. I think it would be a good idea to take to a bike shop to at least get it tuned but I don't want to take it there and have them tell me it will cost another $100+ to fix/repair parts after I have already bought it.
 
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