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Kids Road Bike

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:56 pm
I have a 10 year old son, actually getting ready to turn 10, and was interested in getting him an actual road bike. What companies make good small bikes that he could grow into without breaking the bank?

He is 4'-6" tall right now.

I was thinking Felt 24, but I could also see just getting him a small adult bike and changing the stem out as he grows.


Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:39 pm
by xnavalav8r

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 12:30 pm
xnavalav8r wrote:My son rides a 20" road bike with 1x9 Shimano Ultegra components. The bike was made by Piedrahita and is a true road bike with size-specific geometry and components. I don't know if those bikes are still made and they are hard to find.

For a 10 year old, the 24" wheel option is probably best. Felt, Trek, Orbea, Blue Bianchi, Focus, Pro-Lite, Fuji and Colnago have all made 24" wheel road bikes in the past. You can find them on e-bay or craig's list pretty regularly. They run anywhere from $250.00 to $700.00 with Shimano Sora 8 speed components.

The Pro-Lite and Focus bikes are currently available as 2011 models but are not available in the U.S.

Redline makes a great 24" wheel cyclocross bike if you want something a little more versatile.

I've done my homework on this subject as this will be my next purchase for my son. I'm happy to share what info I have.

Thanks, lots of good info here. I think I will look at that Redline, since taking off across the yard is something he would be doing.


Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:14 pm
by LouisN
+10 on what Ted wrote,

I've been looking at kids bikes all winter for my 9yrs old girl.

I was lucky to find an older mid 90's 34cm bike that I modified to her size (added Sora shifters and der., 36cm wide/120cm drop bars, and cross brake levers).

In the US, a lot of Trek KDR 1000 bikes on the net. they're nice.

Watch for crankset arm lenght and chainrings (ex.: The Felt and Fuji have a 50T big chainring, wayyy too big IMO)..

Louis :)

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:35 pm
by xnavalav8r
Demand for these bikes seems to be WAY up. They are pretty expensive on ebay. I have found much better deals on the searching Craig's List. My son is still a bit small so I may buy one next year and take some time weenie-ing it for him. But it is very very hard to find quality components in kids' sizes.

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:33 pm
by mrfish
You should take a look at Islabikes. Both of my kids have them, as do all a large proportion of the kids of people I used to race with.

Unlike Trek, Specialised and others's small bikes they are relatively light, have grips, saddles, cranks, saddles and gearing explicitly designed for small people. Also the mid sized bikes have braze ons so you can fit racks, mudguards etc to go touring, do cyclo cross or whatever. Details like small sized grips which will take 50 million hits to the floor without the handlebar cutting through and better allen key wheel fittings than on most track bikes shows how much thought has gone into these. Probably not everyone appreciates these details, but I suspect most people frequenting this site will quickly notice the benefits.

Yes they cost a bit more than el cheapo bikes, but our no-pedals bike has taught 3 children to balance and will likely teach all our extended family's kids to ride a bike, so they're excellent vfm.

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 4:49 pm
by Estelja
One of the mainstream magazines on the newsstands now had a kid's bike test and IIRC this 24" version from Blue was the lightest. The frame is "only" 1155 grams.

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 5:25 pm
by xnavalav8r
Try a google search for Focus Variado Rookie or look at the Pro-Lite bike here ... &Itemid=55

I think they are the same bike.

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:25 pm
by xnavalav8r

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:56 pm
by topflightpro
I'll second the Blue option.

One of the bike shops in our area has one in stock. It's pretty neat looking.

I think Trek also makes a children's road bike. One of the guys I ride with bought a couple of them for his boys.

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:30 am
by ricerocket
Argon 18 also makes a 24" and a 650c bike.

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Thu Apr 28, 2011 2:56 pm
by xnavalav8r
I found a 2 year old Felt F24 on Craig's List for $250.00. There are dozens of kid's road and mtn bikes listed. I use to search all Craig's List listings. You can find some pretty good deals there... better than eBay.

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 7:59 pm
by xnavalav8r
The Felt arrived today. It's a tank! Definitely not weight weenie. And the Shimano Sora 8 speed components are CRAP! The brakes are so flimsy that my 7 year old can flex them... and they are so cheap that, the dual pivot arms, are not aligned... so one pad is physically about 5mm forward of the opposite side pad on each brake.

Anyway, the frame and fork, which really matter, seem to be of good quality. Nothing high-tech about them... just a well-made, simple aluminum frame and a carbon fork with alloy(?) steerer. Wheels are decent and true though the front is flat due to a torn rim strip. I patched the tube and rim strip but it blew out 5 minutes later. The crankset and bottom bracket are OK, but the chainrings are cheap stamped steel parts. All cables need replacing and bars need to be rewrapped. But I got my money's worth. This will be a good project.

Here's what I see happening:
Swap out drive train for modern 10 speed components. Probably SRAM Apex as it has adjustable reach shift/brake levers and can be used with a monster-sized rear cassette for an ultra-low climbing gear. Front chainrings will be replaced with quality compact rings. I may install a set of mini BMX cranks with a ti b/b in place of the stock setup.

I'm going to look at building some wheels. I need to check the rules as I understand juniors can't race tubulars. But some lightweight 24" rims on a pair of DATI or similar hubs with bladed spokes should save some weight over the standard wheelset. My son won't be doing any sanctioned racing for another year or two anyway, so maybe I'll build the tubulars just as a fun project.

KCNC or similar brakes.

The headset has to go as it is pretty worn out. Maybe replace with a Mortop or KCNC.

Cables will be replaced with Nokon. Maybe use some I/O Dupont cables I have hanging around.

Carbon seatpost. He likes the saddle so that will probably stay.

Hollow chain.

Bolt tuning.

I can't think of anything else I can do to lighten up this bike. I'm not willing to resort to drillium. I'd never forgive myself if a part I drilled failed causing my son to be hurt.

Any suggestions?

Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 9:06 pm
by ricerocket
Will you adopt me? :lol:

Honestly, let him ride it as is, maybe get new levers and such if it's really taking away from the experience. He'll grow out of it quick enough that it won't be worth throwing money at. Don't be this dad.


Re: Kids Road Bike

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 1:52 am
by xnavalav8r
I can't afford to be that dad. hahaha

My son has been invited to attempt to become the youngest rider ever to tackle the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. At 5'10" and 163 pounds, I'll be racing an 11 pound weight weenie special. I can't have my 50 pound son riding a bike that is nearly half his body weight... so this one is going on a diet (on a budget). I think I can do everything I have planned for a total cost of less than 1/6 the price of those Lightweights... including the price of purchase for the bike as it is now.