Christmas bike

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  • 10-16-2019
    J Hartman
    1 Attachment(s)
    Christmas bike
    My son has really taken ti riding here lately, and I want to get him a proper bike. He will be 6 in January and is currently out growing his walmart 12". We rode together on a gravel path yesterday for 2 miles. Good job little dude!

    I use my LBS for everything. They are too good for me to not. I am really wanting to purchase there. Looking for advice on what to get him. Their main seller is cannondale. But they carry gt, khs, and another kids size in a brand I'm unfamiliar with. But just seeking advice from anyone. This will be my first run at a proper kids bike. I felt 20" would be good?

    You can look at their website to see what they carry.


    https://www.rbscyclery.com/product-l...hildrens-1023/

    Any advice appreciated... I was leaning on the cheaper GT stomper with no sus. Seems to me it would add weight, and probably wouldn't even work that well anyway? Maybe I'm wrong, that's why I'm seeking advice!

    Thanks in advance!

    Attachment 1286891
  • 10-16-2019
    svinyard
    Good times man! How tall is your son and what's his age? Are you looking to really mountain bike with him soon or more so cruising around the hood? How much time can you guys ride?

    Some nice bikes at this age range from really capable to great learning options. If you are planning to ride a lot and have access to some skills park or decent single track nearby...a kid can develop REAL fast if you put the time in.

    If that's the case a nice hardtail like a Rocky Mtn Vertex 20" or a Spawn Yama Jama (real nice) can definitely be ridden hard and the suspension is real functional (Spawns especially nice) . I see kids go from basic pedalers to racing over the course of a 20" bike, but the parents are def investing time into riding and developing some fun skills. Not everyone has the time for that or local setup tho. Building home skills ramps, skinnys and drops can cover a big gap tho.

    As you found, that GT Stomper Prime is a nice bike that you can get at LBS. It even has bosses for disk brakes. It's not ideal with grip shift and giant brake levers (bad combo) but it's a nice bike I recommend to other parents with kids getting on the mtb team at that price point. Especially on sale for 210$ ish. FWIW disk brakes are nice if riding mtb shuttle trails...hand fatigue can be real.

    If you want to accelerate his mtb riding a lot...a used BMX (prob 16" no bigger for sure) is a huge skill booster. It's all about standing and pedaling at this age and BMX forces that as well as helps them develop waaay more handle skills. Truly they become the pilot rather than the passenger just sitting and pedaling. FWIW, we drop my kids seats for their first pedal bike (3 or 4yo) and dont raise them until they are about 7 and start to do real elevation climbs. Also they'll hit all the ramps you can build shortly after that...its incredible how fast kids take off once they are confident standing the whole time (gummy worm bribing is key). The bmx will get ridden for years due to sizing differences where the mtb will be outgrown in a couple seasons. My big 7yro is still riding his a lot (throwing 180's now on half pipe) and it's easier to work on tricks etc. Plus skate parks are usually really easy to get to. Our United BMX was 150$ used. Cult Juvenile, Sunday Blueprint 16" etc are all solid bikes if you can find one used. Good luck!
  • 10-16-2019
    str8edgMTBMXer
    funny, cause I was also thinking BMX bike, for all of the same reasons.

    AS a kid, this is what I started on, and am so glad that I did. Granted, we didn't have MTB's back in the 70's, but my BMX got used every where. In fact, I still ride some of the trails today on my MTB that I rode on my BMX back in the day...and actually still ride the BMX on those trails as well.

    Started my step son on BMX 7 years ago as well, then got him a 26er when he got into HS. I feel like the BMX forced my/his body to get stronger, and developed the right version of the "shock absorption" with the body that you need to get good at riding off camber. As he went to a hardtail, it allowed him to understand what the squish is for.

    For me personally, I never went on to any suspension b/c I don't like the fell of it. It would be interesting to have started with suspension of some sorts to see what not riding rigid is like. Many of the younger types have lived in that world....

    anywho, don't count out a BMX!!
  • 10-16-2019
    svinyard
    Man. As an 80's child I started with a BMX and crushed that thing on all kinds of trails etc (horseback trails stuff). It was a blast...then for some stupid reason I wanted a "mtb" from Costco with gears. Everything went downhill from there as it was just a road bike with knobby tires that I commuted to buddies house to swap Nintendo games with and to hit the fishing creek for some dinner. Never should have done that.

    The sad thing is now parents are doing the same mistake. Look how many kids are basically on that same bike but its called an Islabike now. It's getting better tho. I fault mostly that damn two-wheeling-tots website for pimping road bikes like they are great doitall options. Not a SINGLE Bmx bike on there. Its the first site when you google "best kids bike" too (we used that for first bike). Marketing smarts I guess but bad for kids that need skills.
  • 10-16-2019
    douglas
    What type of riding will your kid be doing? pavement or bmx racing or gravel roads or DH or flat/easy MTB trails or hilly/technical MTB trails?

    I am also getting a new 20inch bike for my almost 6 y/o for xmas.
    His bike History: Strider Sport 12 -> Cleary Gecko 12(Rigid / single speed) -> Frog 48 16" (Rigid / single speed). All of them have been great choices / worked very well.

    His preference is MTB trails so really want something with gears and suspension or "fat" tires so we can run them with really low air pressure. Seems unless you are willing to spend $1000+ the best options I can find are all around 22-23 lbs.

    Thinking about Cujo 20 or Timberjack 20 or Ramones 20 or 2019 Roxter 20 or Rover 20 w/spinner grind air or Vitus20 plus
  • 10-16-2019
    J Hartman
    Going to be pretty tame single track. considered the plus tire, for the same reasons as you. But I believe the plus tire might create weight issues. I am thinking I am going to use a smaller profile tire. Just be very conscious of tire pressures.
  • 10-16-2019
    douglas
    Then I would go w/something 17-18 pounds / at least 7 speed with an easy gear ratio of 1:1.

    Going with the LBS sounds great BUT all of them near me they never have anything in stock ("Well, you can buy that bike and we will get it delivered to the shop for you") and some big brands (Trek / Specialized / etc) kids bikes even without suspension are 25+ pounds.
  • 10-16-2019
    J Hartman
    What does the cujo weigh? Any idea?
  • 10-16-2019
    J Hartman
    Woom 4 looked good, but not carried by LBS.
  • 10-16-2019
    douglas
    My list
    Cujo 20 - 21 lbs. 11 oz.
    Timberjack 20 - 23 lbs
    Ramones 20 - 22lbs
    2019 Roxter 20 - ?
    Rover 20 w/spinner grind air - 22.3lbs
    Vitus20 plus - ?

    Did you see the Woom OFF 4 @ 17.2 lbs ? Wish we could get one for my kid to Demo
  • 10-16-2019
    svinyard
    Cujo 20 is a pretty decent little bike actually. I really don't like Plus tire bikes for kids because rotational weight has such a big impact on them...however those 2.6 tires aren't real PLUS tires and iirc are even a bit smaller than 2.6 while being somewhat light. Its my favorite plus tire bike. Its not a Riprock. I think its about 23lbs. Someone else has one on here and will reply I'm sure. It'd be a good bike for your riding and have some room to grow too. The Vitus version of it is pretty nice too. Def skip the Woom road bikes, the weight is the allure but...its a road bike with razor thin tires. Even tame single track/gravel gets dusty and loose. If you spend the time riding, tame single track will turn into fast single track and roots and rocks within months. I see it all the time with kids this age, so you never know. Might as well assume they are going to ride.

    That Woom Offroad looks pretty sick at 17lbs...I wouldn't hesitate to buy without a demo. I'm happy they've made the turn from roadie to mountain bikes. If only they weren't called "Woom" lol.

    If I had to choose between that and the Rocky Mountain Vertex hardtail 23lbs (680$ vs 660$ Woom OFF). I'd still go with the Hardtail...but it'd be much harder if I didn't know my kids were going to ride a bunch tho. 6lbs is a lot of weight to drop. Still, I've just seen too many kids CRUSHING it on nice 20" hardtails 21-23lbs to be worried about it holding a kid back on tame single track. Zero worries there from my experience around the local MTB teams. Especially since they aren't doing big climbs anyways. Plus the RM Vertex with some fly riser bars will make a great Dirt Jumper/Pumptrack/Skills bike once the kid grows into a 24" MTB. So you immediately get an extra 2 yrs+- of usage.

    Nice to have some choices!
  • 10-16-2019
    TimTucker
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Cujo 20 is a pretty decent little bike actually. I really don't like Plus tire bikes for kids because rotational weight has such a big impact on them...however those 2.6 tires aren't real PLUS tires and iirc are even a bit smaller than 2.6 while being somewhat light. Its my favorite plus tire bike. Its not a Riprock. I think its about 23lbs. Someone else has one on here and will reply I'm sure. It'd be a good bike for your riding and have some room to grow too. The Vitus version of it is pretty nice too. Def skip the Woom road bikes, the weight is the allure but...its a road bike with razor thin tires. Even tame single track/gravel gets dusty and loose. If you spend the time riding, tame single track will turn into fast single track and roots and rocks within months. I see it all the time with kids this age, so you never know. Might as well assume they are going to ride.

    We have the Cujo and I have a running log of what we've been changing on it in this thread:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/families-rid...d-1076273.html

    Stock weight was 22.7 lbs, but we're down to 18.7 lbs at the moment.

    Some of the easiest ways you can drop weight on the Cujo (I wouldn't be surprised if many of these approaches also apply to some of the other cheaper bikes you're looking at):

    Seatpost is almost 300g. If you have the seatpost slammed you can drop 180g for only $15:
    https://www.realtimebmx.com/products...ost-60mm-black

    Bottom bracket is both junk and very heavy (338g). You can drop almost 200g for $30 (Ti BB from Aliexpress, see details in the link above)

    Stock tubes are heavy (~220g each) -- I swapped out for cheap 120g tubes I got at the Performance Bike closing sale. You should be able to find a set of tubes of similar weight for ~$10 or so.

    Lightweight rotors (see the link above) will get you another 100g for another $10

    Worth noting that we went with the Cujo primarily for the frame -- I wanted to get my 4yo an early start on gears and with a pivotal saddle it was about the lowest option we could find for saddle height & standover.

    If you're not buying till Christmas and looking at options in the ~$500 range, I'd suggest that you might want to watch out for Vitus's 2020 line (last year they came out in November). They made some big advances in kids bikes with good balances of price / spec last year with their Nucleus 24 and 20 Plus.

    That Woom OFF 4 does look pretty impressive at 17 lbs, though -- you're not likely to get anything cheaper down to that weight without putting in a lot of time and spending more overall.
  • 10-17-2019
    J Hartman
    Thank you for your input, I'll follow your thread closer on the cujo. I may do a lot of the same things. Seems you can get it down in weight for not a ton of cash. I have 2 kids who can share it down the line. so it should get a couple years of use.
  • 10-24-2019
    kylerodland
    Superfly 20
    My son is just about 5yo and weíve got him on a Trek Superfly 20. Itís a great bike that is pretty light out of the box (~19.5lbs). It does come with a gripshifter which should be changed for a trigger immediately. If your LBS doesnít carry Trek, Iíd consider that Cannondale Cujo. The plus tires are heavy but you can always put lighter tires (and wheels) on it. There are really awesome and light wheels you can get on AliExpress for about $100. As for other brands that are awesome and light as s stock bike, check out EarlyRider. Theyíre not cheap but they are light, really capable, and have a great parts spec. If I didnít get my sonís Trek as a free hand me down...Iíd totally be buying an EarlyRider.
  • 10-24-2019
    kylerodland
    Oops... looks like Trek calls it the Wahoo 20 now. But itís basically the same idea.

    https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...oo-20/p/24027/
  • 10-25-2019
    Darth Lefty
    No Christmas bikes for us this year. 5yo hasn't outgrown his Bianchi 16er and the twins are doing ok with their balance bikes.