First "Real" Bike for 12yo- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First "Real" Bike for 12yo

    I'm a novice at best trying to avoid the big box stores but still be fiscally responsible. Son turns 12 next week. He has never been much of a bike rider but has expressed interest in riding to school the last couple of of months and really enjoys it, even if on a single-speed hand-me-down.

    Looking at getting him a MB to ride to/from middle school, in teh neighborhood, and on some easy local trails. Budget is real tight with a loss of job but as I said above, I think I can do better than a big box bike.

    Son is 5' 115 lbs and athletic. Local bike shop's cheapest is at $420 and that's just not doable. Sounds like I will look at a 26" wheel with a small (14-15") frame. Looking at a local sporting goods store I saw a Diamondback Sorrento and a K2 Zed Sport. Would these be good choices? Any others in a budget/value category? Also, as an ex-Chicago boy, does Schwinn have any good moderate price offerings? Yes, i know Schwinn is Schwinn in name only these days.

    Thanks for any and all help.

  2. #2
    It's all about the FSR!
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    Any thoughts on something used from Craigslist? You can often find some decent deals if you have the patience. You might get a little more bang for your buck as well.

  3. #3
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    Try looking at PinkBike.com? They usually have a decent buy/sell section. Also, have you looked in the classified section yet on this website?

  4. #4
    T.W.O
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    I don't think DB makes the Sorrento in a 14-15". Their small starts at 16". You could get him on a Women's XS-S, only problem is your looking at the Lustre 2 which is $300, for a non-women's looking bike. If your going to go big box stores, DB is where it is at, anything less and you may just want to go to the bike shop/craigslist.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice so far. I've re-started the looking and hope to buy something this week...still not sure of what, though. Haven't really looked used.

    A major sporting goods store has the K2 Zed Sport on a nice sale and with gift cards and discounts I can get, it is really tempting, but none of the local stores have it in stock (I checked 7 stores) and I can't order the "small" frame online...only Medium and larger.

    Any additional thoughts are appreciated.

  6. #6
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    I just bought my 12-year old son a Dawes Haymaker 1000 from BikesDirect. He's 5'1" and 100 lbs, and the 15 inch is maybe even slightly on the small side - for true mountain biking it is the right size though.

    That bike has somewhat better componants than comparably priced bikes at say Dick's, but it is $330 (that's shippped, and no tax).

    The down side is that you'll have to set it up and tune it yourself, and it took me awhile to adjust the front derailleur to minimize chain noise in the most common gears. My Haymaker 1500 was much easier to setup initially.

  7. #7
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  8. #8
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    Diamondback Response SE?

    Well, after not being able to deal successfully with SA on the Zed Sport, I was looking at the Diamondback Sorrento and going with a 16" frame. $289. Lo and behold, another store now has the Diamondback Response XE for $299 and that's apparently a much pricier/better bike.

    Honestly, $100 more than I want to spend but it seems like a great bike at a good price. The question to me is that I think my son will use it primarily for street and mild trails, no serious off-roading, and the Response seems more geared to the latter.

    Sheesh, the bike stuff is hard...I like to be an "expert" on things I buy (which is why I am here), but considering the last main bike I rode significantly was a Schwinn Collegiate 5-speed in college, I'm behind the times more than just a bit. Actually, in getting my son a bike, I'm hoping it might get my interest going as well.
    Last edited by RSMBob; 06-05-2011 at 07:34 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSMBob View Post
    I'm a novice at best trying to avoid the big box stores but still be fiscally responsible. Son turns 12 next week. He has never been much of a bike rider but has expressed interest in riding to school the last couple of of months and really enjoys it, even if on a single-speed hand-me-down.

    Looking at getting him a MB to ride to/from middle school, in teh neighborhood, and on some easy local trails. Budget is real tight with a loss of job but as I said above, I think I can do better than a big box bike.

    Son is 5' 115 lbs and athletic. Local bike shop's cheapest is at $420 and that's just not doable. Sounds like I will look at a 26" wheel with a small (14-15") frame. Looking at a local sporting goods store I saw a Diamondback Sorrento and a K2 Zed Sport. Would these be good choices? Any others in a budget/value category? Also, as an ex-Chicago boy, does Schwinn have any good moderate price offerings? Yes, i know Schwinn is Schwinn in name only these days.

    Thanks for any and all help.
    Hey there RSMBob,

    Ok, the way I see it, you've got craigslist and bottom of the LBS MTN bikes.

    I'll just tell you what I know about the LBS option.

    Take the Jamis Trail XR ($310) or the GT Aggressor 3 ($349).

    Pics down below:

    First "Real" Bike for 12yo-aggressor3-g_2011_agr3_wht.jpg

    GT Aggressor 3.0

    First "Real" Bike for 12yo-11_trailxr_bl.jpg

    Jamis Trail XR

    Good Luck!
    God gave birds, wings to fly .... He gave us, Jamis!

  10. #10
    Giddy Up!
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    My 8 year old son's Specialized M4 with 26inch wheels.

    Great bike and very light.


    CAAK
    --------- __o
    ------- _`\<,_
    ------ (*)/ (*)
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^\


  11. #11
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    Please Don't Shoot Me, But If Cash Is A Real Problem

    There's always the Schwinn Sidewinder at you know where for about $150

    Name:  A Schwinn Sidewinder-0003867526009_500X500.jpg
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    The Schwinn Sidewinder

    Hey! Forget About My Responses! Go With JPeters Above! Go With The MOTOBECANE On BIKESDIRECT!
    Last edited by MoabiSlim; 06-06-2011 at 04:02 AM.
    God gave birds, wings to fly .... He gave us, Jamis!

  12. #12
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    Go With BikesDirect!

    Go With JPeters Response! Go With The MOTOBECANE On BIKESDIRECT!

    Moabi
    God gave birds, wings to fly .... He gave us, Jamis!

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I remember when I was riding my bike to high school, people screwing with the bikes was a real problem. If you want to encourage your son to ride, great. A new (or used, to stretch a buck) bike to ride trails on would be a great gift. But he's probably going to keep his bike longer, and you'll care less if it gets damaged, if he sticks with either the current one or something similar in his size, for riding to school.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    GT Aggressor is a nice ride for the price. My buddies son rides one with a few upgrades on it & loves it.

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