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kids bikes

Apr 21, 2009
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just chasing ideas for my kids bikes. one need upgrading to a 20 inch, and the little feller needs a 16/20 inch. was looking at specialized (personal taste) but is the extra money worth it, or just go the kmart special?

just chasing other peoples ideas in what they got/ used.
 
Jun 9, 2009
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Getting a bike from a local shop instead of a big-box retailer is good for a ocuple of reasons:

1. A good shop will ensure that the bike is of the proper fit. The staff should help you select the largest bike that will be safe for them to ride so that they will be able to use it for as long as possible as they grow into it, then out of it.

2. Most shops offer to maintain the bike for free for a certain period of time. Keeping the bike in good working order so that it is as safe as possible is important. Kids are hard on their stuff, so this alone is worth the cost of going to a local shop.

3. Kids seem to love going into bike shops.

4. Support the industry.

5. A local shop that notices you bring your children to their business when they know there are less expensive options will value you as a customer more than they already do. The best way to get above-top-shelf treatment from your local shop is to bring them more business in the from of friends and family.

6. Most bikes at local shops are far superior in quality to the department store models. They are assembled by pro mechanics who know they will be responsible for maintaining the bike. Let the mechanics know that is why you brought your kids to their shop. Developing a friendship with a crew of mechanics is always a good thing.
 
Aug 19, 2009
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The post before hit great points! Personally, I have two boys who are both avid riders. One just turned 6 and the other is 8. The 6 year old just got the Specialized 6 speed 20 inch mountain bike, which is an upgrade from his Trek 16. My 9 year old rides a Redline Conquest 24 or his Trek MT60 (will upgrade to a 24 inch on his birthday in January).
Both of my sons participate in races, so I wanted to give them the quality of a brand bike plus the weight reduction compared to the large toy store brands. An extra ten pounds is quite a haul for a 6 year old, and when we ride together I want him to be able to stay together, ride the hills and most important --- have fun. As adults, many of us look to cut as much weight off as we can, why not for our kids? I am not advocating powertaps for kids, but if you read this link below, it does illustrate the difference a little weight can add.
The other aspect to consider is (and to completely contradict myself): If your kid really wants the bike at Toys-r-us with the cool flames and fenders....then maybe that is good enough reason to buy it and build great memories...and strenght ;-). The most important is to have fun, not discourage them, and enjoy the time riding with them while they still want to ride with you. Personally...I would go to my local bike shop and start building a long term family relationship with them.

http://www.bicycling.com/article/0,6610,s1-4-443-16105-1-P,00.html
 
What annoys me is the weight of kids' bikes. Even from brands like specialized, giant etc, the 12" and 16" bikes to be ridden by 3-5 year olds, who themselves weigh 10-18 kg, essentially weigh more than my bikes. Nowhere have I been able to find a lighter kids bike.

Anyone know of lighter bikes - commercial, home built - anything?
 
Jul 29, 2009
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My kids' first bikes were Gary Fisher and Trek, respectively. After they outgrew them, we went with a couple of department store bikes as tweeners between their kids' bikes and them graduating to an adult-sized bike. Biggest mistake we made. All the points above are valid, especially the quality and safety of the rides. I had to replace the brakes and brake-lines on one of the bikes to ensure it was safe to ride. And the cassette literally fell off the other through no fault of my son's. On top of that, gears kept sticking (which was a nuisance, since this was their introduction to gears). In all, we've probably had to pay the price of the bikes again in maintenance (within the first year of purchase). If your kids are just wheeling up and down your street, I'm sure the department store rigs are fine. But if they like riding and you want to get them into this sport, the local bike shop is definitely the way to go.