Looking for recommendation on 20" bike

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savechief
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Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2011 2:36 am

by savechief

My 5 year old son has just about outgrown his 14" Islabikes Cnoc, which I've been very happy with:

https://www.islabikes.com/product/kids- ... -14-small/

He's at the lower end of fitting on a 20" bike, so that's what I'm going to go with (rather than get a 16" bike, then have to upgrade to a 20" soon after that). Due to the good experience with Islabikes, at the top of the list is the Beinn 20:

https://www.islabikes.com/product/kids- ... all-age-5/

What else should I consider? I'd like a single front chainring, gears in back, and the front can either have a suspension fork or rigid.

Thanks.
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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

if your son just rides around the block, that would be just fine - and a front suspension is a must for obvious social reasons :mrgreen:.

speaking from experience - if you aim at some longer trips, then depending on where you live, a 3x7/8 bike would make more sense. I was considering a 1x bike for my daughter, but I'm glad I went for a 3x because for a kid even a small 'bump' might turn into a wall, esp on a longer ride. besides IMHO it's good to learn how gears work and how they can improve riding quality and how some roads that look crazy hard (=steep) are easily rideable with a proper gear and tempo.

my daughter's 8 now, but she got her 24" two years ago (she's very tall for her age) and covering larger distances (up to like 30 km at that time) wasn't much of an issue, at least as far as the bike itself is concerned. now she's capable of doing like 50 km+ and still be relatively comfy on her bike, which is just a regular, sort of 'mtb' girls bike. that does speak volumes about how good even those 'cheap' bikes have become, not to mention she's far more into riding I was at her age - heck, I wouldnt go for a 50 km ride until I was like 13 or more.

for "serious" riding I'd opt for stiff fork though, those kid suspensions don't work and do weight significantly more. next year or the year after I'll probably try something more 'roady' for her, although to be honest it's a good idea for a kid to have two bikes - one for playing with friends, second for riding with her daddy 8)
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AJS914
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by AJS914

For my son, we went from strider bike to 14" to 16" and now he's ready for a 20. 14" to 20" would have been a little too much for him.

I've found great used deals (craigslist in the US) so I typically go that route though his 16" was a decent department store bike that I found on blowout for $39.

I just picked him up a Specialized Hotrock 24" mountain bike for $100 - excellent condition - retails for $350. I'm keeping my eye out for a 20" BMX so he can have both.

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Zak
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by Zak

My 7 year old son has been riding this for the last couple of years on singletracks and normal roads.

http://pyrobikes.de/TWENTY-SMALL

It has a very low standoverheight and short so makes the jump from 14 inches easier.

At that age weight is everything because kids bikes almost weigh the same as grownups and their own weight is so low. This is why when they hit a hill it's difficult for them. It would compare to me having a 35 kg bike climbing. I would also run out of steem rather quickly.

The German guy designing the bike took great care to keep the weight low without making the bike too expensive. And it's holding up really well.

savechief
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by savechief

tymon_tm wrote:speaking from experience - if you aim at some longer trips, then depending on where you live, a 3x7/8 bike would make more sense.


So what 20" bike, with shiftable gears front and rear, do you recommend?



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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

savechief wrote:
tymon_tm wrote:speaking from experience - if you aim at some longer trips, then depending on where you live, a 3x7/8 bike would make more sense.


So what 20" bike, with shiftable gears front and rear, do you recommend?



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I can't recommend you anything specific - we went from 16" straight to 24" - it's just a thought that front and rear shifters might be more useful for your kid. I think you need to examine a bike yourself at your LBS, don't buy online unless you're absolutely sure you know what you're getting. I found that even 'cheap' brands can offer very nice kids bikes, with solid components, while known producers often put cheap shitty parts thinking the logo does the job. frames are often very similar (even the same), but the devil's in the details... and weight. that 1kg might seem like a small difference given the bike will be considerably more than 10 kg, but it's worth to look for that weight saving as well.
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dmp
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by dmp

look at Woom (www.us.woombikes.com). Very light, well built, quality design that is really kid specific.

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Zak
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by Zak

Instead of going with a 3*7,8 I would for sure opt for a 1*10 or 1*11 and a wide range cassette for simplicity and weight.

For my 7 year old kid it for sure isn't the gearrange on his 1*8 that is the limiting factor for long rides.

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tymon_tm
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by tymon_tm

1x10/11 is probably a very good idea provided you're building the bike yourself, money isn't an issue and you know exactly what gears to put. if you just wanna get something straight off the shelve, the 3x7/8 is probably the best you'll get - at least I haven't found anything better.

those Woom bikes are looking cool and the weight is mighty impressive. the only downsides I see is they cost like two times more and are only 8 speed (for 24") - for the price they could've done a bit better.
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Geoff
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by Geoff

For James, I found that he really wasn't ready for a geared bike at 5. The handbrake issue was enough of a jump. In addition, his little hands weren't strong enough to shift properly, which made it dangerous in traffic. Rather than add a complication, I decided to stick with a single-speed for another year. We chose a 20-inch, rigid, Cannondale 'Trail' with an alloy frame, which he really liked. We ended-up sticking with that for 2 years until he told us that he was comfortable making a move to a geared, 24-inch Giant. At the end of this season, we got him a 650c Trek Emonda so he can train on it over the winter for next season (and tubulars).

I think it was a good choice. By the time he was ready, he was big enough to use the shifters properly and brake properly (which a huge number of adults never learn), together with reasonable bike-handling skills.

AJS914
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by AJS914

My son is almost 7 and tall for his grade and the 24" bike still seems like too much for him. The gears would be a new thing as well. We'll reassess in the spring but I think he'll need a 20" bike to tide him over.

savechief
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by savechief

dmp wrote:look at Woom (http://www.us.woombikes.com). Very light, well built, quality design that is really kid specific.
Thanks for the suggestion. I had never heard of Woom bikes, and I'm liking that it's about $100 less than the comparable bike from Islabikes.

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