A bicycle is an essential tool for college. If you plan on getting from class to class with enough time to still grab a latte, you’ll need something faster than your two feet.
Some kids opt for a skateboard. If you have the balance that is great.
Scooters work, too, but the dork factor is high.
Mountain bikes are the preferred transportation method. They let you get through campus easily while using puncture-resistant tires that can navigate curbs and stairs with ease.
We often have riders wondering if they can purchase a mountain bike that will handle the urban challenges of riding through town while also be an excellent option for riding off-road on the weekends.
The answer is affirmative, however, there are a few key features you need to make sure to look for.
The first consideration (always) is sizing. You need to purchase a bicycle that is your correct size, base on your height.
Walmart, frankly, gets this wrong. They sell bikes based on the wheel size, with their adult bikes being sold in a one-size-fits-all fashion.
Use an online size chart to get your correct size and then you can measure any bicycle from the top of the seat tube to the middle of the pedal cranks to get that bicycle’s size.
Even if you are buying used (an excellent option!), you must get the correct size.
Equally important is that you buy a bike with double-walled wheels. These reinforced wheels will save your bicycle if you come off a curb wrong and hit the wheels too hard.
Even one wheel replacement will cost $60, and single-wall wheels are surprisingly susceptible to damage when you least expect it.
Some of these wheels can be detected simply by examining the rim design from the outside. But, if necessary, you can deflate a tire and move the tire to the side to check.
A bike with these two features will deliver years of dependable service.
Mountain bikes need low-end gearing for going off the road. Sometimes it feels like their gearing cannot get low enough.
However, when riding through the city, it is relatively easy for an in-shape rider to max out the gears.
This isn’t a deal-breaker unless you have a long distance to ride. If you are doing a lot of cross-town commuting, you’ll likely want to invest in a mountain bike that also can get you across town with minimal effort.
Where To Buy
Shopping local is always ideal as it supports the community. Plus, you can get hands-on advice regarding the type of bicycle you should buy.
That said, Pawn shops often have good deals. Make sure to negotiate with them as their initial prices are always a little high.
Online has become an excellent place to bicycles directly from the manufacturer. Shopping online for brands like Diamondback and Raleigh is a stellar way to get a good price — especially if you get it on sale.
We could create a top-10 list to try to create the ideal bike, but the price is the biggest factor when you are in college. If you can find a bicycle that suits your needs while also having these three features, you can be convinced that you have a quality setup that will get you through your college years.