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  1. #1
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    Help with a youth bike (24")

    My family has just gotten into mountain biking. We have made several trips around the block and have made it out to some single tracks a couple of times. I started out not knowing anything about bikes, but thanks to this sight and visiting several bike shops, I have picked up on a few things.

    I bought myself a Felt Nine 80, I found my with a Scott Aspect 45 on CL, and I bought my oldest son a Trek 3500. The problem is what to buy for my youngest. He is 7 right now, and not quite bike enough for a 24" youth bike from Trek/Giant, but should be by spring. He also has not learned to take care of his bike as well as I would like him to. I'm trying to decide if I should just get him a dept store bike until he's big enough for a 26" or go ahead and get him a 24" like the Trek MT200. I'm worried he will outgrow a 24" quickly and I'm not having any luck finding anything used.

  2. #2
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    Be patient, check craigslist and online. I went through the same thing with mine, and he's now growing out of his MT220.

    I think you're best bet is to try and find a 24" bike used. In the mean time, does he have a 20" bmx style bike to ride? My kids started out riding singletrack on bmx style single speed bikes. Now I just smile when they ask if we can go mountain biking!

    This was my son last year (age 7)

  3. #3
    From Russia with luv!
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    My customer had the same kind of problem but with his 4yo son who has now turned 5.

    We built him a custom Ti bike and that worked. But he will have to get him a new frame and wheels in a couple of years for sure.

    In the PRO version of BikeCAD software you can actually fit a person on a bike using person's measurements like height and inseam, etc.
    Then you could possibly check geometries of the available bikes if they fit your son.
    Couldn't run the free applet from this PC, but check out: BikeCAD Applet | www.bikecad.ca

    I don't know what height he is but would still recommend going for a 20" bike first.







    Dmitry
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    Titanium frames and components handbuilt in Russia

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triton Bikes View Post
    We built him a custom Ti bike and that worked.
    Thanks, but I don't think I want to spend that kind of money. The Trek MT 200 is about my max budget right now.

  5. #5
    From Russia with luv!
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdhunt0 View Post
    Thanks, but I don't think I want to spend that kind of money. The Trek MT 200 is about my max budget right now.
    I don't offer you to get a custom Ti bike
    This was just an example how standard kids bikes are never nicely sized and properly set up.

    I remember Marin doing nice kiddie bikes too.
    And Giant
    TritonBikes.com

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  6. #6
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    I fit my son's bikes from the time he was 3. He is now 19. In that time he has had 7 "main' bikes; 12", 16", 20" 24", 26" small, 26" medium, 26" large. Each bike went from its lowest/shortest seat position and bar reach to its longest as he gradually grew from 3 ft to 6 ft in height. The most critical thing was that the bike, while planned for a fit during a growing period, was never ungainly, always comprehensively adjusted for his size, and always in excellent tune. The bike was not a source of stress.

    I know that this sounds expensive but hang in here with me. In the case of smaller boys bikes proper storage is key. The main bearings and components are rarely challenged so such bikes have a very long life. Just as with my High School riders from age 14-18, each bike properly cared for had a nice resale value, the proceeds from which went into the next bike.

    So each bike I bought for Miguel was right for its time. When he got near outgrowing it I searched for the next bike, purchased it, and sold the old one. I "lost" about $50-100 on each bike over a 8-10 year period. The shot of the two boys with friend Elliot is on the "old" small 26" bike he bought from us and Miguel on new 26 "medium. When he reached 14 that economy changed as he was racing but that sort of investment was of a very different character.

    Looking back on his childhood of bikes the shortest window for a bike was on his 24" which was about 18 months at ages 9-11. Fortunately I got this as a hand-me-down, refurbished it, and donated it to a bike program when I bought his first small 26" Trek at a silent auction.

    I would never have skipped the 16-20 inch bikes. I would also keep on the lookout for a used 24. Kids bikes tend to be really heavy as it is so putting a kid on an oversized bike is no fun. A bike that fits well and works well gets ridden. An added bonus is that your child understands the attention that bikes get and what it means for pleasure, safety, and keeping things rolling.
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    I don't rattle.

  7. #7
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    Thanks DpqwsaDa, that was very helpful.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdhunt0 View Post
    Thanks DpqwsaDa, that was very helpful.
    I agree, the child's comfort is paramount. My son seems to always want a "bigger" bike and although the temptation is there for me to put him on a 24" (he rides his sibling's all the time in front of the house) He most certainly gains MUCH more from his properly fitted and tuned 20" I picked up a used GT chucker 20" and we fix up and adjust it together (which also, I think teaches many valuable lessons... both for my son, and for me!) Good luck! I hope you find that perfect bike!

  9. #9
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    Still looking.

  10. #10
    turtles make me hot
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    I nabbed a complete GF Tyro 24" bike off Craigslist, stripped it to the bare frame and made into a 1x10 with handmade wheels and a 26er fork. It works perfectly and didn't cost a ton of money.
    I like turtles

  11. #11
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    My 9 year old girl is pretty tall. Right now the 24" fits well but with little room left to compensate for growth. I plan to buy her a 13"/XS hardtail for Christmas. I know she can pedal it just concerned about adjusting to the bigger wheels. Also, thinking the boys/men's frame is a better way to go because their are many more options. Any thoughts?

  12. #12
    turtles make me hot
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    Giant makes a pretty decent 24" kid's bike.
    I like turtles

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