Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 59
  1. #1
    cycle dad
    Reputation: taletotell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    284

    I'm dissatisfied with the 16" kids bikes available.

    I know there are great kids bikes avaiable out there. Lil'shredders are amazing if you have the cash to drop, but other than that they all seem to be offering very little for the money.
    Complaints:
    The Specialized hotrock 16 has an oversized bb and one piece crank just like a princess bike, no brake bosses, bmx geo, and uses a coaster brake, and still costs over $200. Basically a walmart bike as far as tech goes, but more expensive.
    The trek Superfly 16 has slightly better geo and uses the bb bracket standard of a modern bike, but still fails on brakes.
    The Spawn Banshee actually offers all the basics you would expect on a 15 year old bike (correct sizing, uses standards from this century, and okay geo) but charges you as if all of this stuff was amazing and they have to cover the costs of development.
    Is there anything I have overlooked or should i just buy an old steel frame adult bike and cut it down to my kids size?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Chad_M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    146
    In reality, only the adults seem to care what bikes are made of. Kids, especially on sizes 12 and 16 I don't think really care about cranks or brake performance.

  3. #3
    ~~~~~~~~
    Reputation: airwreck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,794
    We bought our kid the 14" Isla bike. He loved it and ripped on it. Then someone gave us their old Hotrock 16 and now he won't touch the Isla but he still rides his old run bike. He can't wait to get on the 20 now. All he knows is bigger wheels are faster.

    I'd love to get him on a nice bike again with hand brakes but will wait. I'm drooling over those Turn3 bmx bikes. Runs 18" or 20" wheels and they are small enough with 18's for 3 year olds to ride. Big bucks though.

  4. #4
    cycle dad
    Reputation: taletotell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    284
    My daughter is tearing it up on a Murray Rockit 16", but she is limited by it. It is heavy, the top tube is short, the bar is really high, the head angle steep, and the bb is too high.
    Plus it has a u-brake and coaster, which makes it sketchy on bumby descents since back pedaling locks the wheel so she can't adjust for steepness.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    63
    I bought my little guy a 16", Aluminum, Norco Scorpion:

    https://www.norco.com/bikes/youth/16...pion-aluminum/

    I think it is awesome.
    Know your limitations, and then defy them.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,351
    Soooo if a 16" Hotrock is like $240, and a Spawn Banshee that is wayyyy nicer is $395, what do you expect to get and for how much?

    An Islabike CNOC 16 is $270. I'd say that's about as reasonable a price as one could ask for for that quality.

    I dunno, we went Spawn. Fits 2.4"'s no problem and is just bad ass for a 16" bike. Also: is as nice as a $400 adult bike. And they did have to develop all their stuff.
    Transition Bandit 29
    Surly Ogre
    Surly Necro Pugs w/ Lefty PBR
    Surly Big Dummy

  7. #7
    cycle dad
    Reputation: taletotell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    284
    figuring out geo takes development, but all the tech they use has been around since the late nineties. Simple hard tail with threadless headset and in qr drop outs.
    For the small companies I get the high price. They have a lot of overhead, but there is no excuse for a company that has the means to do a run of production cheaply.
    Except I do get it. Companies use huge mark ups on some side products to allow mark downs on more popular items. I am just irate since the obscene markup is to something I want.
    Still, considering the only difference between the hotrock and the huffy rockit is geo and the threadless headset, it is frustrating that the hotrock costs almost $200 more.

  8. #8
    cycle dad
    Reputation: taletotell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    284
    I would pay $150 for a rigid 16" MTB with modern bb shell diameter and length, a 3 piece crank, and a low slung geo. Pretty simple stuff.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    161
    What do you want or expect? What are you looking for?

    Have you looked at the cleary hedgehog?

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,351
    Quote Originally Posted by chris87114 View Post
    What do you want or expect? What are you looking for?

    Have you looked at the cleary hedgehog?
    Oooh, I forgot the Cleary.

    To the OP, the Hotrock is indeed overpriced. Say what you will about the Spawn, Isla, and Cleary, but they'll easily be resold for 50-60% of new no problem, even after two years ownership. Can't say that about the Hotrock, Trek, etc. not to mention Huffys and such. So if you look at it that way, after you sell a boutique 16" when done with it, you'll have basically paid what you think one of these bikes should cost to begin with.
    Transition Bandit 29
    Surly Ogre
    Surly Necro Pugs w/ Lefty PBR
    Surly Big Dummy

  11. #11
    cycle dad
    Reputation: taletotell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    284
    The hedgehog looks like the best bike for the money.
    I will get that for my girls.
    I guess one brand does it right for. Reasonable price. Weird how more can't figure it out.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation: griffter18's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    424
    Dissatisfaction comes from expectation which comes from personal experience/preference.
    Bear in mind the majority on this thread ride themselves and I would bet very few of us ride a Walmart special.
    Why? Because we ride technical trails which the Walmart either wouldn't stand upto or because we've tried/seen something better and progressed, or have invested money into our hobby.

    When it comes to Kids bikes the reality is they grow fast and the number of people who would pay high prices for high quality is small.
    Add to this that there isn't that many kids have the skills/development opertunity to use high quality bike fully and you can see why the spec/designs are where they are. They also have a short life for the child in question is 2-3yrs max.

    Quality parts are not cheap even if bought at trade prices and when you add that to the equation manufacturers have to make decisions about do they build a bike that's going to retail at a high quality/price and sell a handful or build low spec/price and sell many. Most go for high volume. Why do you think some of the small quality bikes that where out there have been pulled.

    We all praise Lil shredder but struggle to justify the price to ourselves.
    If you price up the component list of these bikes you'll see that they potentially are not making much profit and the volume of sales will be low due to the specialist nature.

    The component manufacturers have the same problem which is why there isn't much available, prices are high, and development is slow.

    We'd all like something better for our kids and ourselves but at the end of the day is always going to be a compromise.

    Find something that ticks most of the boxes, buy it 2nd hand, upgrade it, try and choose components that can be progressed to the next bike, remember it's not you that is riding it and the child probably cares more about the colour than the components/price/weight.
    MTB: Stumpy, Enduro, Hotrock, Commencal Supreme
    ROAD: Jamis Zenith, Pinarello Dogma

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    1,919
    Quote Originally Posted by Chad_M View Post
    In reality, only the adults seem to care what bikes are made of. Kids, especially on sizes 12 and 16 I don't think really care about cranks or brake performance.
    Agree - this is definitely the case for the vast majority of kids.
    Sinister Bikes
    Wraith Bicycles
    Sunday River Mtn Bike Park
    NEMBA
    Wachusett Brewing Co.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    13
    Regarding prices, I tend to side with grifter18: Just because parts are smaller doesn't mean they are cheaper. Hence it is hard to offer a kid's bike with good shifter, brakes, wheels etc. for significantly less than a comparable adult's bike.

    I can however relate to the dissatisfaction of taletotell if it is directed at the established big bike companies like trek and specialized; you would think that they have the resources and the scale to produce short and llight cranks, brake levers that fit small hands, etc. That doesn't seem to happen or at least they are not willing to do that in a (higher end) market segment where they won't sell a lot of these bikes.
    If they got kids and parents hooked early, they could generate consumer loyalty, build their brand, etc. They don't seem to see that.
    But hey, these are Trek's problems, not mine. We own Islabikes in 14", 16" and 20" and are quite happy with them. I think they are also value for money; I paid 1000 Euros for the bike that I use for my daily commute (which is also my kid's daily commute of 8k one way) and I would feel kind of bad to see where I can save 10 bucks on the bike that my kid has to ride.

    BTW, the situation - big brands not really serving the higher end of the market - is quite similar over here in Germany; the biggish (in Germany) companies like Stevens, Focus, Cube and so on do offer kid's bikes, but are targeting the lower end of the market. With Islabikes focusing on the UK and the US, a bunch of smallish companies are trying to target the higher end of the kids bike market:
    KANIABIKES-Produktübesrsicht
    WOOM Das bessere Kinderrad
    16 Zoll ab 5,7 kg - KUbikes - GROSSE QUALITÄT FÜR KLEINE BIKER
    Bikes - Supurb

    We'll see how many of those will survive in the long term, but it is reassuring to see that the number of options keeps increasing.

    And last but not least: Value for money wise, I think the Cleary Hedgehog (and the Islabikes Cnoc 16") seems to beat the Spawn Banshee pretty clearly - or am I missing anything?

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,351
    ^ when I bought my Banshee, the Cleary didn't exist and Isla Cnoc had a rear coaster brake.

    Now that the Cleary is out, yes, Spawn needs to reconsider their pricing methinks. We still love ours tho.
    Transition Bandit 29
    Surly Ogre
    Surly Necro Pugs w/ Lefty PBR
    Surly Big Dummy

  16. #16
    Cheapo
    Reputation: Dave88LX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    281
    Knowing what I know how vs a few months ago, I wouldn't buy a Hotrock new, only used (and I did -- bought used 16" ones).

    What about a Redline Pitboss? I got a used one for $150. Freewheel, v-brakes, light. Kid across the street, found him a used one for $130.

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CaRaBeeN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    176
    I'm seriously thinking to try Commencal Ramones 16"
    Ramones 16 | Commencal Kids 2015
    The only thing keeps preventing me to place order yet is weight -> 18.7 lbs
    2012 Trek Slash 9

  18. #18
    cycle dad
    Reputation: taletotell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    284
    It seems like they could have dropped some weight in the spokes.
    I found some 16" mag bmx wheels on amazon, but is hard to say if they would be lighter or not.

  19. #19
    cycle dad
    Reputation: taletotell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    284
    I heard somewhere that commencal had a kids bike with replaceable dropouts so you could go from 20 to 24 or something along those lines. That sounds like a good step in a few years.

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    27
    I agree with jplonks.

    If you look at the Savage Bike offerings I can see why they are a little more expensive. They do have slightly higher quality parts.

    Also, I just don't understand why the big players like Specialized, Trek, ETc. can get factories in Asia to produce parts for small people (kids) in appropriate quantities at decent prices. When you look at the incredible diversity of stuff that Asian factories can produce I just don't understand why Trek or Specialized cant work with a manufacturer over there to produce a decent light weight small crank, small brake lever, etc. Those two items in particular seem to be non existent.

  21. #21
    cycle dad
    Reputation: taletotell's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    284
    The pittboss is pretty sweet, except bmx geo is a lot harder for a kid to ride. They tend to be taller than they need to be since they have such a short wheel base. Basically a kid on the pittboss should be on a 20" MTB.

  22. #22
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    534
    Our 16" bike of choice was the Hotrock 16, used for course for around $75. When my kids started riding around 3-4, they weren't prodigies on bikes like on some of these youtube videos, so the Hotrock was perfect for them as they were basic, low, sturdy, and very lightweight relatively speaking. What was great about getting them used for such a low price is that they have great resale value, so even after using them a year or two (kids grow fast), we'd easily get close to our money back.

    With that said, if my kids were shredders at 3-4, then I'd totally splurge for a LIL Shredder bike. Thankfully for my wallet, they weren't, but riding around with them on their Hotrocks starting at 3, was still priceless.

    My recommendation is to keep it simple at the 16" size, and just start planning ahead on a 20"/24" project if you have that wrenching urge.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    2,351
    Quote Originally Posted by melchionda View Post
    When you look at the incredible diversity of stuff that Asian factories can produce I just don't understand why Trek or Specialized cant work with a manufacturer over there to produce a decent light weight small crank, small brake lever, etc. Those two items in particular seem to be non existent.
    This is what Spawn did, and if they did it I don't see why the larger companies can't.
    Transition Bandit 29
    Surly Ogre
    Surly Necro Pugs w/ Lefty PBR
    Surly Big Dummy

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    289
    We also have Frog Bikes in the UK Bikes | Frog Bikes

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by taletotell View Post
    I heard somewhere that commencal had a kids bike with replaceable dropouts so you could go from 20 to 24 or something along those lines. That sounds like a good step in a few years.
    I have a ramones 20 as far as I know it is not upgradeable in wheel size, the lil'shredder is though... we have a banshee as well, my kids both love it, kids are so lucky they have options at all!

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Article on 12" kids bikes - unexpected geometry suggestions
    By BATRG3 in forum Families and Riding with Kids
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-27-2014, 06:43 AM
  2. "Lil Shredder" high-end kids bikes... these are the goods!"
    By biobike in forum Families and Riding with Kids
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-06-2013, 08:59 PM
  3. Options for 24" lightweight kids mtn bikes?
    By gmillikan in forum Families and Riding with Kids
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 07-05-2013, 11:21 PM
  4. apparently little kids CAN shred skateparks on 12" wheel bikes
    By cmc4130 in forum Families and Riding with Kids
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-16-2013, 08:55 PM
  5. Replies: 18
    Last Post: 09-15-2012, 05:45 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •