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  1. #1
    moe.
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    What size 20 or 16 inch?

    I have twins that are 4 years 7 months old. They have had Striders. I had them check out the Hotrock 20" at the shop today and didn't even bother with the 16". They are about 40" tall. We want to get them bikes for Christmas but what size? 16" is probably perfect for a little while. If 20" is too big I guess we can use the Strider a little longer. Any one have experience on size and age? Is 20 inches still going to be too big for a 5 year old?
    "These people take a dump thatís a bigger difference than the a 5 Spot and a Blur LTc." DT

  2. #2
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    My 6 1/2 year old is getting a 20 for christmas that's right on the edge of too big. Should be fine by spring. My daughter got a 20 for her 7th birthday. It depends on the kid and how fast they grow, which is basically unpredictable. At 4 1/2 I'd be inclined to just get the 16 and enjoy pedaling right now rather than just waiting for them to grow.

  3. #3
    turtles make me hot
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    My son got a 20" bike for Christmas when he was 5. It was a little big, but we took it to Florida in March and he started riding it. He rode it until this past july when I stepped him up to a 24". He recently turned 8.
    I like turtles

  4. #4
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    My son is a taller 3 1/2 year old and he still fits perfectly on a Hotrock 12.
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  5. #5
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    If you're trying to bypass training wheels, then go with the 16 inch. It will be much easier to learn on. Coming from a Strider balance bike, you won't have to run behind them and hold them up like a lot of dads do. They'll be able to touch the ground with their feet, and they can start off just like they're used to. Then, when they have the speed to coast, they'll just pick up their feet and pedal (particularly if they're used to pedaling a tricycle).

    This might be a little tougher on a 20". My daughter got a 20" Hot Rock for Christmas last year (5.25 years old), and it was a little tall for her. She already knew how to ride too. She had a 12" Hot Rock. It would have been a really tough first pedal bike for her. My son is turning 5 this month, and he is still not quite tall enough to comfortably ride her bike. He does ride it sometimes, but it is clearly too big for him.

    The downside is obvious. They'll outgrow the 16" bikes pretty soon. (Maybe around 5 1/2 or 6?) But I bet you can keep them in good condition, sell them on craigslist for the same price that you can spend on a like-new pair of 20" use Hot Rocks. That's what we did. I sold two 12" bikes for $10 more than I paid for a 20" and a 16" in great condition (good enough to put under the tree).

    Plus, you're in this forum, so you're a bike guy. Shopping for for bikes in a year might be fun anyway. It will make next Christmas easy too.

    No matter what you get, keep the seat low at first. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    And remember that too small is better than too big. Too small they can be uncomfortable and inefficient at pedaling. Too big, and they can get hurt if they stop and land on the top tube. The hardest part is that there are very very few good 16 inch bikes (so that's one size at which I tend to just get something cheap, because the expensive ones don't buy as much difference as you'll see starting at 20 and especially at 24).

  7. #7
    turtles make me hot
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    Yeah. What everyone's saying is true. My son started on a 16" with training wheels when he was 3 1/2. I later removed the crankset and did the balance bike thing and he learned to ride a bike in 40 minutes.
    We then went to the 20 and never went back to training wheels.
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  8. #8
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    Honestly I know it's a present, but I'd look to Craigslist because they will out grow a 16 fairly quickly, but too small is better than too big.

    Believe it or not, when searching for my kids, I've seen more than one CL listing for 2 of the same bikes because they have twins also. Great way to save.

    Try using SearchTempest. You can enter a zip code, how far away and search all the CL listings
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  9. #9
    moe.
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    Wow great advice from every single post! Thank you.

    We went back to the shop and tried the 16" and it they are clearly the better fit which will make a big difference with comfort and confidence. I looked into CL for used and found a couple but I would have to spend a day driving all over Southern CA to get two used 16 inch Hotrocks and no one is willing to ship who is selling. Fortunately the bike shop is willing to offer a 50% trade on new bikes so in the end we will buy new. The bike shop is well established so I trust they will be around in two years when its time for new bikes again. I would definitely buy used if there was something local.
    "These people take a dump thatís a bigger difference than the a 5 Spot and a Blur LTc." DT

  10. #10
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    I have 2 hotrock 20" models from last year. Specialized made a frame change for 2013. Last years models (2012) have ALOT more stand over height. My now 5yr son rode one all last year/this year and loves it.

    16" are most likely going to have a coaster brake, which I wouldn't recommend if your riding any trails.

    My son rode his 18" haro micro-mini (Bmx) on several trails before I could fit him on a mtn bike. It was super light.

  11. #11
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    In a few day, my 5 yr 8 mos old kid is getting a 2009 Specialized Hotrock 20 for Christmas. I chopped the post down so the seat is as low as it goes unless I find a really low profile seat that'll fit him. I foresee that the bike will be a tad big but I'm sure in a couple of months, he'll be comfortable riding it. He's currently on a 16" Target bike rigth now.

  12. #12
    moe.
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    Just to follow up with getting the 16 inch Hotrocks for my 4 1/2 year old twins. Took the training wheels and pedals off they got on and coasted like on their balance bikes. One minute later I put the pedals on both bikes and they were off and pedaling like they had been doing it for months. I guess the balance bikes paid off after all. Now were working on braking which they are doing but have a ways to go for me to be confident they can stop when they really need to. Few things are more satisfying then watching my kids learn to ride. Happy New Year!
    "These people take a dump thatís a bigger difference than the a 5 Spot and a Blur LTc." DT

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtntrance View Post
    Just to follow up with getting the 16 inch Hotrocks for my 4 1/2 year old twins. Took the training wheels and pedals off they got on and coasted like on their balance bikes. One minute later I put the pedals on both bikes and they were off and pedaling like they had been doing it for months. I guess the balance bikes paid off after all. Now were working on braking which they are doing but have a ways to go for me to be confident they can stop when they really need to. Few things are more satisfying then watching my kids learn to ride. Happy New Year!
    Congrats, glad it worked out for you.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  14. #14
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    Wow great advice from every single post! Thank you.

  15. #15
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    I think it's a tough call. I got my daughter a 20" when she was 7, and now that she's 9, she's already growing out of it.

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