My 12 year old son is about 4' 11" to 5' and is riding a Trek MT220 that I bought him three summers ago. It has 24" wheels and is more of a youth recreational bike. The seat post is maxed out and he still doesn't have full leg extension. He's starting to hit the trails now and I'd like to get him a new bike. Sure, I could get a longer post, but then I'd have to change the stem so that he's not leaning over too far.
I've got my eye on an '08 16" El Salt, which I figure will be too large for him, but he should start growing soon and I'd hate to spend money on something he grows out of too soon.
Brand new mass produced bikes are so expensive, I thought a used boutique bike would be neat. I ride a Turner Flux. There are some parts that I'd need to change out right away, but I'm still thinking the bike would be better off than a brand new Giant.
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