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Hello everyone. I have a couple questions and I hope you guys can help me out. I am a college student, and I am trying to get into cycling for a number of reasons. The first reason is so that I can save money by biking to school. The second reason is so that I can start training for local triathlons. As stated before I am a college student so money is an issue. I want to get a decent roadbike that I can start with, but I want my maximum to be $150. Some of you might say that I can't find a decent one, but if you can give me some advice on where to start that would be awesome. Thank you very much!
 

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Go on down to the corner of...

no way and no how and search. Honestly you have a budget that just is going to be next to impossible to buy anything "decent" used. Mind you, I'm not saying it can't be done but you will have to be as lucky. It will be used, start by scouring craigslist and trying to find bikes at a LBS that the previous owner brought in for repair and never reclaimed. Alot of shops have a policy after X# of days the property becomes theirs to do with it as they please. Alot of these bikes are donated to some charity around Xmas. Happy hunting.
 

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If you have a bike rescue in your area or freecycle they might be worth a try.

Google (name of your city/ town) bike rescue and freecycle.org

Depending on your locale I think CL may have some bikes in your general price range. Just hone your negotiating skills before calling the sellers. :)
 

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it's not impossible. Craigslist, ask friends, thrift shops, garage sales.

Remember the most important thing is that the bike fits you. Learn what that means.
 

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Look for a cheap old beater...a "boom bike," as they're called, because they came out when everybody and their duck had a bike brand; a veritable "boom" of bike brands in the late 70's. They're old, clunky, heavy, but fun as hell to fix up and make ridable again. And, $150 should be plenty of money for a bike plus decent fix-er-up job.

Things that should probably be replaced right away are tires, tubes, shifter and brake cables, and possibly the chain. That'll eat up somewhere around $60, which leaves you the rest for general maintenance, and things like new bar tape and a takeoff saddle from the LBS.

Post up here for help with a possible rebuild.
 

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Things that should probably be replaced right away are tires, tubes, shifter and brake cables, and possibly the chain
Where do you buy parts? I would love all that for sixty bucks!
 

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get a job first.

my first mtb cost $500, my 2nd mtb cost $1500, my 1st road bike cost $800, my 2nd road bike cost $3300. and my 2x "firsts" were considered entry level bikes.
 

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Ask friends who are roadies for their old used bike. I gave mine away for free, and it warms my cockles to see that person now owning more bikes than me :)
 

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Um...if you only have that much money for a bike how are you going to do triathlons? Aren't there reg. fees? Money to travel to them? Money for swimming, biking, running gear?

If you can't pony up more than $150 for a bike...don't know how you can afford them.

Anyway, triathletes usually are a bit too intense, so don't bother. Put all your money into cycling:)

I did have a student come into my office hours a few years back for advice on buying a bike. She knew I was a cyclist and was a tri-person. The odd thing was that her and her brother had both been doing tris, but didn't own bikes! They trained in spin classes and rented them for the events. That blew my mind. They were city folks though, so I guess it's kind of like how many of them don't drive; some of them don't have a license to bike either;)
 

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jimmythekidd said:
Things that should probably be replaced right away are tires, tubes, shifter and brake cables, and possibly the chain
Where do you buy parts? I would love all that for sixty bucks!
I'm going based off of $10 27" tires and $5 tubes. I forget exactly where I saw it, but I know there are old 10-speed chains for under $20 as well.
 

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You might want to look into a single speed and just put off the tri's or accept you'll be at a disadvantage in the bike portion.
Baring a miracle......even if you do find a $150 road bike odds are it will require further investment to keep on the road in the near future.
A single speed will get you to school with little upkeep cost and while it would be a bad bike for tri's it would probably be better due to reliability than the typical $150 road bike.
 

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I ride to school on a road bike I got for $95. I wouldn't want to race it in a massed start event, but I don't think downtube shifters present much of a disadvantage on a flattish course without any major accelerations.

I got mine on Craig's List. If you don't know bikes well, get a friend to help you, or raise your budget a little and look at shops carrying used bikes.

I have some other bikes that are a lot more expensive, and I certainly don't consider them mistakes. But I think that after you get a bike that goes, stops and shifts reliably, fits adequately, and has drop bars, everything else is diminishing returns. A lot of professional-level tri bikes have the same kind of shifters as those that go on the downtube - it's just the mount that's different.
 

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Lots of sprint and olympic triathlons have a fat tire division for people riding everything from off road bikes to beach bombers. You can get many of those bikes for less than $150 and fit right in with that division.

Nashbar has a comfort bike which might qualify for the fat tire division that would be a good fit for commuting around campus for $149 right now:

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_514884_-1_201931_10000_200348

If you can save your pennies for a bit longer and come up with an extra $100, I have seen people riding in tri's with this bike selling for $259.99 right now on Bikes Direct:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lt_sport_al.htm

The Dawes also has mounting points for a rack behind the seat for panniers which would be nice to have if you were commuting around campus.
 

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odascoo said:
Hello everyone. I have a couple questions and I hope you guys can help me out. I am a college student, and I am trying to get into cycling for a number of reasons. The first reason is so that I can save money by biking to school. The second reason is so that I can start training for local triathlons. As stated before I am a college student so money is an issue. I want to get a decent roadbike that I can start with, but I want my maximum to be $150. Some of you might say that I can't find a decent one, but if you can give me some advice on where to start that would be awesome. Thank you very much!
I would look for a mid to late 80s Raleigh, Motobecane, or similar mid-level quality 12 or 14 speed roadbike in good condition. You should be able to find something at that pricepoint, recable, replace tires and brake pads, lube/grease bearings and have something serviceable. I have a mid 80s Raleigh Grand Prix which while not the lightest, has a habit of dropping carbon fiber bikes which cost $1000s more.
 

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Do you live somewhere where a singlespeed makes sense?

You won't be as competitive in time trials, unless they're always on dead flat, windless courses and you have an incredible ability to predict which gear ratio you want.

Certainly $350 is well below the MSRP, and it's a pretty stylish bike. Not exactly a racer, though. You'll have a lot of stuff to strip off it to make it race-ready, and that weird stem would give me pause.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
AndrwSwitch said:
Do you live somewhere where a singlespeed makes sense?

You won't be as competitive in time trials, unless they're always on dead flat, windless courses and you have an incredible ability to predict which gear ratio you want.

Certainly $350 is well below the MSRP, and it's a pretty stylish bike. Not exactly a racer, though. You'll have a lot of stuff to strip off it to make it race-ready, and that weird stem would give me pause.
Well I am going to use it mainly to commute first and get in shape for tris. I have never done any tris before in my life, but I need to start somewhere. Also, I want to get stronger legs wouldn't fixies help with that? The area I live has mild inclines. But on the weekends I will be riding in San Diego in mostly flat areas.
 

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get a cheap department store bike for $150, ride to school, get a job, get in shape with the heavy bike. Then with the money from the job and the strong legs u have, get a new bike!
 
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