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Best Bike for 7-9 yr old

 

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clee72

Nov 9, 09 11:00

Post #1 of 38 (11458 views)
Best Bike for 7-9 yr old Quote | Reply

Wasn't sure if here or the Lavender room for this thread. Anyway, can anyone give a parent advice on an excellent brand for kids' bikes. Many brands seem to care very little about the quality of their kids' line of bikes. I am not expecting carbon level stuff for a child, just a bike that is still made well and an excellent value. Thanks.


nebmot

Nov 9, 09 11:17

Post #2 of 38 (11440 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

my son has a trek mountain bike and it has been fine. not sure if your looking for a mountain bike or a road bike.




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wd

Nov 9, 09 11:39

Post #3 of 38 (11415 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

So you want a bike that your kid will outgrow in a couple of years. Don't forget he will leave it out in the rain, ride it in mud, not clean it or care for it after the first week, leave it parked behind your car so you will run it over one night and basically treat it really bad. I would suggest a cheap, disposable bike like a huffy or a murray. I suspect most folks on this forum would disagree with me, but you won't be out much money when you throw the bike in the trash or donate it when your kid is done with it. It will be simple for you to fix and although they are heavy, they are built pretty sturdy.

IF you kid does treat it well, reward him by buying him a nicer bike when he is older.


peithy

Nov 9, 09 11:49

Post #4 of 38 (11400 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I haven't followed the kids bike lines from the major manufacturers since I stopped working in bike shops, but Trek was very good at providing adjustable components for their 20" and 24" kids bikes. For a 7-9 year old, look for features like an adjustable stem and variable length cranks (they just drill two holes so you can mount the pedals further outwards on the crankarm as your kid hits growth spurts).


clee72

Nov 9, 09 11:51

Post #5 of 38 (11396 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [wd] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Those are actually very good points.


STP

Nov 9, 09 11:52

Post #6 of 38 (11392 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I have 3 older kids. We currently have a Marin (REI); Trek and a Schwinn although only the Schwinn could be considered a true kids bike. Its got 24" wheels and started out just a touch on the big side for my oldest at age 8 and now 10 years later is just a touch too small but still ridable for my youngest who's in high school now but just needs some wheels to get around the 'hood. Other than putting air in the tires and oiling the chain every few years, its been maintenance free.

The Marin and Trek are entry level MTBs but if they do get the itch to ride seriously they are decent enough to get them started. One of my kids has already done a couple tris on the Trek. They have taken tons of kid abuse and held up great.

The best thing to do is come up with a long term family bike succession plan. The key is not getting the best quality for a 7 year old but getting through multiple growing kids without ruining your own bike budget ;-). If you have more than one kid, you want to size this bike so it can be handed down. At the age you are talking, any bike, even from WalMart, is going to still be in its prime when it gets outgrown.


cth

Nov 9, 09 11:53

Post #7 of 38 (11390 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

If you mean "best road bike for 7-9 yr old", I just bought a Javelin Dolce for my 8-year-old which I think is very well put together:

http://www.javbike.com/Specials.html

It's a close-out deal and is less than half the cost of a Felt F24 or Specialized Allez Junior Double 24" (other models I looked at). From what I could tell, similar top tube lengths and standover heights for all three. The Javelin has Tiagra derailleurs, Dura-Ace 9 speed downtube shifters (kids might find STI shifters hard to use), and 650c wheels. The other two models I compared have Sora derailleurs (a step down), STI shifters, and smaller 24" wheels - which might be harder to find quality replacement tires and tubes for than the more common 650c size. I think the Felt (and maybe the Specialized too) is a couple pounds lighter than the Javelin, probably due to having a more fragile carbon fork and smaller frames/wheels.

Another nice kid's road bike option that my 10 year has is REI's Novara Pulse (26" rims), which has cantilever brakes and the frame clearances to take both road and some MTB knobby tires - a nice, versatile kids road or cyclocross bike.

Good luck!


RACERX

Nov 9, 09 11:53

Post #8 of 38 (11388 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I picked up a used Specialized Allez Jr road bike for my 7 year old. It has 24" wheels and should work for him for at least a year or two and then I will pass it down to his brother. No way I would ever pay $800 for a new one but if you can find a good deal on a used one they are nice bikes.
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(This post was edited by RACERX on Nov 9, 09 11:54)


clee72

Nov 9, 09 12:11

Post #9 of 38 (11365 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [STP] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I think best was probably not the best choice of words, especially in the world of ST. I think what I meant to ask was very good quality and not a massive disappointment after a 100 miless and things start falling apart. He's riding a Trek 16 and has completely outgrown it. I would like a rear free-wheel and hand brake. Thanks for the reply. I was hoping other dads, like yourself, with young kids would come to my aid. Thanks again.


Blue Rider

Nov 9, 09 12:16

Post #10 of 38 (11354 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [wd] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

X2 more or less. My boys are now 6 and 8 and we bought them both single-speed dirt bikes with a rear handbrake and coaster brakes. One has a diamondback, one has a mongoose. They were +/- $150 each, new. They are simple bikes that work well for two boys still working on basic bike care and handling skills, and we have taken them on some relatively long rides (for them) on these bikes.

The 8-year-old will be ready for a big step up next year, to a 24" or 650 size road or cross bike with a full range of gears.

They're both chagrined that their bikes don't have gears when all of their friends ride around on much fancier bikes, but they ride their bikes more than their friends ever do, and know they will get nicer bikes once they grow out these.
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Alex Kehr

Nov 9, 09 12:20

Post #11 of 38 (11345 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
Wasn't sure if here or the Lavender room for this thread. Anyway, can anyone give a parent advice on an excellent brand for kids' bikes. Many brands seem to care very little about the quality of their kids' line of bikes. I am not expecting carbon level stuff for a child, just a bike that is still made well and an excellent value. Thanks.
Cervelo P4.

---------
alexkehr.com: digital marketing and growth hacking.


ironmanatee

Nov 9, 09 12:24

Post #12 of 38 (11340 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [legs] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Amen. Anything less and you just don't love your kids;)

I wanna go fast!


peithy

Nov 9, 09 12:26

Post #13 of 38 (11335 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [legs] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I change my answer to "+1 what legs said"


Davelamite

Nov 9, 09 13:24

Post #14 of 38 (11291 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I highly recommend you spend the few extra bucks on a decent name brand bike in place of a huffy/ walmart brand bike. My son's first bike was a cheepo 12" huffy and it didn't even last him a year. Wheels way out of true, slipping seat post, all sorts of jacked up and yes he was hard on it but only as tough as a 2/3 yr old could be.... early this spring I took him to the LBS and let him pick out his first "Real" bike and yes he still loves it! training wheels are long gone. Its an investment in his/ her future. If they have a good experience growing up with nice functional bikes they will likely love cycling as an adult. If they are constantly troubled by issues with trashed bikes their focus will likely turn to video games or something less active. I made it a point after getting rid of my son's junker bike to thank my parents for never letting me ride on stuff like that growing up.


Because Pirates Tri Harder - MTXE
http://www.scurvydogstriathlon.com


clee72

Nov 9, 09 13:28

Post #15 of 38 (11286 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [legs] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

NICE. But even dad only has an R3-SL.


Alex Kehr

Nov 9, 09 13:30

Post #16 of 38 (11279 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
NICE. But even dad only has an R3-SL.
You should purchase one for a 17-19 year old... me.

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alexkehr.com: digital marketing and growth hacking.


clee72

Nov 9, 09 13:34

Post #17 of 38 (11268 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [Davelamite] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

So then, what did your son pick out, a Trek, Giant, Specialized, KONA......


TooSlow

Nov 9, 09 13:44

Post #18 of 38 (11258 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

What you didn't say is what he would be using the bike for?

If it is just to play in the neighborhood, just go to Walmart/Target and let him pick one out. Now if you do not know how to completely work on bikes, go to a LBS and do the same. The difference there is that at Walmart/Target there is a limit to the damage he can do, but at the LBS you will have to set the limit, unless that P4 is aceptable choice :-0 because he wants to be like daddy :-)

That is how I did the around the house bike. The MTB I pieced together in an attempt to save money. Yea, right!! But it sure is tough and nice :-)


Davelamite

Nov 9, 09 13:46

Post #19 of 38 (11257 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

It's this Lil monster right here.

http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/youth/mxr-mini/

and here it is in action....... (not sure if it will work but sweet video)

http://www.facebook.com/....php?v=1142880385982


Because Pirates Tri Harder - MTXE
http://www.scurvydogstriathlon.com

(This post was edited by Davelamite on Nov 9, 09 13:47)


tri_yoda

Nov 9, 09 15:12

Post #20 of 38 (11224 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [wd] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
I would suggest a cheap, disposable bike like a huffy or a murray. I suspect most folks on this forum would disagree with me, but you won't be out much money when you throw the bike in the trash or donate it when your kid is done with it. It will be simple for you to fix and although they are heavy, they are built pretty sturdy.

IF you kid does treat it well, reward him by buying him a nicer bike when he is older.
That's what I had as a kid. Not 7-9 year olds, but I have gone to races where 16 year old kids have a better bike than I do;)


NoBrakes

Nov 9, 09 17:42

Post #21 of 38 (11187 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [Davelamite] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

+1 vote for the Raleigh bikes.

Got my 8 year old daughter one like that in your link except it has 6 speeds. It's a great bike, a little bit heavy but nothing like the Huffy clunker she had before. That Huffy was so heavy and crappily geared she couldn't pedal it up hills (which are in abundance where I live). I only paid about $60 for the Raleigh second hand and after a wash and tune up it was like new.

The specialised kids bikes are good too but pretty expensive new.


tboenz

Nov 9, 09 18:05

Post #22 of 38 (11170 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [NoBrakes] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

All excellent suggestions. Now for a bit of clarification my son tells me he wants a MTN bike, but I don't think he knows what he really wants. I just hope I can keep a sane budget for the little guy, but I have been known to do some crazy things when it comes to my boy.


jroden

Nov 9, 09 18:12

Post #23 of 38 (11163 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [tboenz] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
All excellent suggestions. Now for a bit of clarification my son tells me he wants a MTN bike, but I don't think he knows what he really wants. I just hope I can keep a sane budget for the little guy, but I have been known to do some crazy things when it comes to my boy.
I bought my son a 1 speed gary fisher pre caliber w/ a rigid fork. It's a lightweight bike that works well on and off road. Since he is small (age 8) I realized he was really straining with his old heavy bike and have found that the lighter bike works much better. He will get two seasons out of it and it will be pretty trashed by the end, just like my bikes.

I'm not bragging on him but he rails on the thing much better than bike kids with geared bikes, just like the freaking old man





Check it out, not the cheapest but a really nice upgrade, I got the 20" wheel model here, I think I paid about $200

http://www.fisherbikes.com/.../model/precaliber-ss


(This post was edited by jroden on Nov 9, 09 18:16)


daveinmammoth

Nov 9, 09 22:31

Post #24 of 38 (11106 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My 7 year old has a trek mnt bike (20 inch wheels) with front shock, 6 gears (with a grip shift), and hand brakes. He loves it and can almost ride up steep dirt hills. He does this very low-key mountain bike "race" series in the summer and has done 2 triathlons on it.

I love it as:

1) It has gears - so he can actually ride uphill - but not as fast as I run:).
2) His T2 time is faster than mine :).
3) The rate he's growing - he'll be able to ride it until he's 16.
4) No carbon (it is heavy).

I think the front shock is overkill. The grip shift is SRAM. My son couldn't shift the ?Shimano version well at all.....

I'd go mnt bike for sure - and definitely check if they can shift up and down easily.

It was more money - about $200+ on sale I think but 100x better quality than K-mart specials....

Dave


dennis

Nov 10, 09 6:34

Post #25 of 38 (11056 views)
Re: Best Bike for 7-9 yr old [clee72] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

OK I have been there with my kids and grandkids. The answer is the the type of bike that their FRIENDS ride. Then they will go out and play on the bikes.
Other than that! I bought my grandson a redline cyclocross bike. He loves is , calls it his road bike. STI shifting good for trails, kid races, street, gravel. It has 24" wheels. He learned to ride clipless pedals .

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