Ibex Alpine 320 vs. Scott Scale Jr. 20
How do these two bikes compare to one another? I'm in the market for my 7 year old son, and I want to get him a "real" mountain bike, not something that's just got nice paint and a few gimmicks.
I've looked into the Specialized Hot Rock, Diamondback, Raleigh's, and the Gary Fisher 20" mtn bikes, as well as the Ibex and the Scott. By and large, the Scott and Ibex are the only two that get referred to as a "real mountain bike with real components, just smaller."
So, how do these two compare to one another? The Ibex is available online, and the Scott seems to be somewhat of a unicorn, being so late in the season, as most stores are sold out. I found one,but will have to travel about 3 1/2 hours to get the Scott....although I will be in that area anyhow, so that is not a factor,
Any advice? I've heard the Scott has a better frame, but the components are better ont he Ibex. I've also read conflicting information about whether or not a 7 year old needs more than 7 gears. I live at 7,400 feet, and the terrain is anything but flat in my area, so low gearing would definitely come in handy! How is the build quality? I've seen the Scott in person but not the Ibex. The Scott did definitely catch my eye....it felt nicer than my own Cannondale.
Lastly, my son is 7, around 4"2" tall, and about 57 lbs. I would like 3 seasons out of this bike, but the Ibex bike is recommended for 6-8, while the Scott is recommended for 7-9 yrs. old. Should I consider a 24" for my son? I also have a couple of daughters who are younger, so it would get plenty of use.
Thanks for any help or guidance!