Which first bike for 4 year old?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Which first bike for 4 year old?

    I thought of getting the spawn yogi 16 based on a website recommendation. But today we went to a local store and they only had trek bikes. He started with the 16 with training wheel and go riding well. The guy and talked and aid if the 20 would be better with training wheels. I think the 20 might be too big for over all control and him riding freely.

    The trek is significantly cheaper and I am leaning towards it and my wife said it come with training wheels which I am not sure to yoji 16 comes with it, and plus I will get the local store support.

    Should we just get the trek, the only this is that they donít have the color we want. I am going to another store and see what else I can find.

    What do you guys suggest.

  2. #2
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    Hey man, you came to the right place. Training wheels the awful for kids. Avoid at all costs. Balance bike riding will take care of the balance side, then when they get on a pedal bike, it should only take 10mins to a day for them to be good to go. If they move to training wheels, it entirely removes the "balance" part out of riding a bike and can easily gimp them for years with so many bad habits. Sure they will ride but it'll be late.

    The Yoji 16" is the perfect bike. 20" is rediculously big. You can only get the Yoji direct from Spawn. There is a LOT about the Yoji and why it's good but you can search and see all of that. Most kids bikes are really flawed (unlike adults) but the Yoji isn't.

  3. #3
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    I actually got him started on a balance bike but maybe he needs to ride peddle bike without training wheels. Would you guys say that the trek is also a good bike?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by surfer369 View Post
    I actually got him started on a balance bike but maybe he needs to ride peddle bike without training wheels. Would you guys say that the trek is also a good bike?
    He should never have training wheels on. In my experience almost all of the little kids bikes suck compared to Yoji. Weight is a big deal, as is being able to swap cranks and chainring and cogs while they grow too. Nothing is proprietary on the Yoji. The Trek 12 and 16" bikes suck too. Hard pass. It's also nearly 20lbs freaking lbs. Bike shops should be ashamed at selling those near Walmart bike clones. It's not like it's cheap either. Spend the 380$ on the Spawn and be done.

  5. #5
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    It is ok if a kid uses training wheels, they won't be ruined for life.

    Every kid is different andd you know yours best.

    Things like siblings or friends influence can get them riding with no assistance very quickly, too.

    Kids can also get stuck to their balance bikes. Our son lived his because it was light, he could stop easily, and he was really fast. Other friends riding pedals got him off the balance bike. He already had balance down so he didn't need training wheels.

    I don't know the trek you are talking about. I recall all those bikes being crazy heavy. Don't recall model but my son rode a Spawn for a while and loved it. All his friends wanted to ride it because it weighed probably half or less compared to their bikes. And I always made sure the brakes worked and tires had air.

    Last year at 9 he started riding my Medium 29er. He is tall for his age and can fit comfortably. It isn't necessarily the ideal bike for him but he lives it so far. You may find that the Trek bike works fine.

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  6. #6
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    All my kids started with training wheels. I gradually bent the wheels up and eventually removed one and let them ride for a week or two, then removed the other.

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  7. #7
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    The weights for the Trek 16" (only one model) are listed out. It's a shade under 20lbs. Awful for a beginner 4yro. Worse is the geo etc and all the steel. It's a coaster brake bike too which makes it utter trash for a new kid. It'll make them crash especially when they start learning to stand and coast. They accidentally brake and it wrecks them. Do not buy a coaster brake bike. These aren't designed by Trek either, they just buy them and brand them.

    I'm 110% sure training wheels don't help. All of the kids I know that move to training wheels took a step back from the balance bike and burn an extra season or two. Both my kids went from balance to pedals in less than 30mins. One is big and athletic at everything. The other is smaller, very snuggly and not a super risk taker. He took an extra 15min or so. Trust me, training wheels slow kids down if they can already ride a balance bike. If they can balance why do they need training wheels? It's a bad crutch. If you want you can just remove the cranka/pedals off the new bike and let them get comfy and then put them back on shortly after.

    Both my kids could ride single track at 3yro and stand and pedal after a few months of pedaling. It works and opens up riding with you so much faster and safer.

    Will kids ride? Sure, my oldest can ride anything but there are bikes that support proper development and skills and bikes that actively don't. Plus the fitment is all screwy on the other bikes.

    My buddies oldest was on a 16" bike almost exactly like that Trek bike. (I think they are all the same bike and just rebranded) . He was OK but they are so perched on it that it's hard. Kid was 5, not a big athlete. Struggled big time to ride the pump track. Then he gets on my little guys Yoji. Instantly better and ripping it. Then he cried for the next 45mins because he couldn't ride the Yoji. Next week his Dad bought our used Stampede bike (a little big/heavier but proper geo, tires etc and the kid was already 5). Now guess what? Same unathletic kid is crushing it. He's fast and confident and standing and pedaling etc. and trying to jump it. The bike was a big part of it.

    The Yoji also turns into a dirt BMX bike as they grow too and that is a even better for their development. Remember MTB is prob the most dangerous sport they will ever do. Best to give them a head start in skills.
    Last edited by svinyard; 09-22-2018 at 07:49 PM.

  8. #8
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    Some questions for you:
    - What's his inseam? (floor to crotch with shoes on). Spawns sizing chart is pretty solid. Their standover heights are lower than most other kids bikes, so if he's not within the range of their 20" models, he likely won't even be close for something from Trek.

    - Where have you been riding the balance bike? If you want him to build up bike handling skills, spending time with it at any pump tracks or skate parks you may have nearby does far more than just riding around the neighborhood. My son is close to the same age and we went to a skatepark on a whim and he kept wanting to go back all summer.

  9. #9
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    I had my daughter on a push bike and her first pedal bike was a Woom 16Ē. She didnít need training wheels - I built it and she took off! Very cool to see!


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  10. #10
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    OP, I used to sweat over this topic but in reality not a big deal. Even if your child is exposed to a grossly heavy clunker with training wheels they will recover.

    Spawn makes great product, youíll have no problem selling it if needed. I own one.

    maybe budget and convenience are primary for you?


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  11. #11
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    OP, I used to sweat over this topic but in reality not a big deal. Even if your child is exposed to a grossly heavy clunker with training wheels they will recover.
    We had a horrible steel bid shaped object with training wheels...
    Jnr decided he wanted to ride a proper bike...
    I spent 1/2 hr getting seized bolts off... then took it across to the paved area opposite our house then walked 3 steps and let go...
    He rode to the bottom, turned around (a bit shaky 1st go) and pedalled back.. then 5 mins later we were on the grass in the park. (Probably should have started there)

    New half decent 20" that weekend and 3 weekends later we set off for a flat 10 mile ride and mum picking him up... and after a lunch he turned round and rode back.

    Since then he is glued to a bike... and certainly "no damage" was done.
    Indeed his whole motivation was getting rid of the training wheels... something I've seen plenty of kids still using way after they could actually be riding.

  12. #12
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    20" is likely way too big for a starter bike for a 4 y/o IMO. Mine had moved from a 12" junker with training wheels at 3 y/o to a 16" BMX when he was 4, then added a 20" mini BMX race bike around 5 and a 24" MTB around 6. Didn't finally move from 16" to 18" wheels on his BMX until he was almost 9. (Preferred wheel size has a LOT to do with riding style and type of bike IME.)

    As far as training wheels, my son learned on them. Never had a balance bike. All the worry about setting your kid back by using them has no basis in reality that I can see (mainly the only people you see stressing about training wheels and weight weenie issues for toddler bikes are OCD MTBRs ). I see plenty of kids 'stuck' riding balance bikes that could be pedaling instead too; I think they're cool for the under-3 set, but after that, they're as much a crutch as training wheels are IMHO. At that point, a kid is going to ride how they ride and however they got there doesn't really matter.

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    For my money, the best starter bike once a kid can actually pedal around a bit is a 16" BMX bike like a Haro 116, etc., particularly if you they have any interest in riding pumptracks, skateparks, etc.
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  13. #13
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    4yo bike suggestions:

    Woom2 - excellent resale
    Spawn Yoji - excellent resale
    Redline MicroMini - find a used one.
    Prevelo Alpha One

    Start them on something with a freewheel if at all possible. You can add training wheels to most anything if you need to.

  14. #14
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    I'm kind of curious about the Prevelo Zulu Two that's supposed to be releasing some time this fall.

    The Bike Dads on YouTube have had up multiple videos with their kids riding a pre-release model this summer and it looks interesting:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiFlG9_HUIc

    Looks like a scaled down version of their larger Zulu line (16" w/ a kid-tuned air fork) -- haven't seen hard numbers on the final price & weight, though.

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