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  1. #1
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    Girls 20" bike suggestions

    So my 6.5yr old girls need upgrades from their 16" bikes. Looking to spend in the $300-$350ish range for them. Id like to start bringing them on the trail so want something with gears. Not sure if the front forks do much, but wouldn't mind have one on theirs if it helps at all.

    One of my holds ups, its since they are twins, i want to get 2, and prefer the same manufacturer/ model.

    Right now im leaning towards the Specialized Hot Rock, but thats mainly for color choice since they have their favorite colors.

    Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon21 View Post
    So my 6.5yr old girls need upgrades from their 16" bikes.

    Any other suggestions?
    Subscribing as I'm in the same boat. I got a Trek SuperFly 20" last year for my older daughter (which she loves, completely recommended). Now my other daughter needs a 20" as well, and the older one is nowhere near ready for a 24". I am eyeing the Cannondale Quick 20; they do mostly path riding, so don't need anything too crazy. Weight and geometry are my prime concerns.

  3. #3
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    Cannondale Cujo 20
    Orbea MX20 Team

  4. #4
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    BACK AWAY FROM THE 25+lb SPECIALIZED....slowly...don't go towards the light....

    Superfly 20" (hint this is the best one from a weight $$ ratio)
    Orbea MX 20"
    Prevelo Alpha 3
    Isla Beinn 20"

    Don't bother with any bike with a shock at the 20" size unless you're prepared to spend a grand per bike on something that's light enough and the shock actually works well. You can put a 2.2ish tire on the frt and help them with some traction and squish.

    I have 9yr old twin girls. And in my experience the biggest factor is weight. Girls just don't have the strenght/weight ratio as boys. But they can make up for it in endurance and grit. I took a pound off their old 20" HotRock (single speed version) with tires and a freewheel conversion and the difference was magical. I took 2.5lbs off and lowered the gearing on their new Spawn Yama Jama's and the magic continued.

    Lightweight and low gearing can go a long way. Because anything you can do to keep them on the bike and not stalling out on a climb, will help build their confidence. Even if they're going slow. It's better than tears while you try to get them re-started over and over. Along with simply tipping over and falling on the ground from exertion up a climb. I'm speaking in the sense of short steep-ish pitches. Like a lumpy 5-6mi ride with 700ft elevation change. Not 3,000ft days here.

    Also, avoid putting a 5lb camelbak on them. You carry the water or have them carry small bottles filled 1/2 way. Couple reasons, they will have to pee constantly and you won't be near a bathroom. Tears and mental breakdown will follow. Also, a 5lb camelbak contributes too much to total vehicle weight.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    BACK AWAY FROM THE 25+lb SPECIALIZED....slowly...don't go towards the light....

    Superfly 20" (hint this is the best one from a weight $$ ratio)
    Orbea MX 20"
    Prevelo Alpha 3
    Isla Beinn 20"

    Don't bother with any bike with a shock at the 20" size unless you're prepared to spend a grand per bike on something that's light enough and the shock actually works well. You can put a 2.2ish tire on the frt and help them with some traction and squish.

    I have 9yr old twin girls. And in my experience the biggest factor is weight. Girls just don't have the strenght/weight ratio as boys. But they can make up for it in endurance and grit. I took a pound off their old 20" HotRock (single speed version) with tires and a freewheel conversion and the difference was magical. I took 2.5lbs off and lowered the gearing on their new Spawn Yama Jama's and the magic continued.

    Lightweight and low gearing can go a long way. Because anything you can do to keep them on the bike and not stalling out on a climb, will help build their confidence. Even if they're going slow. It's better than tears while you try to get them re-started over and over. Along with simply tipping over and falling on the ground from exertion up a climb. I'm speaking in the sense of short steep-ish pitches. Like a lumpy 5-6mi ride with 700ft elevation change. Not 3,000ft days here.

    Also, avoid putting a 5lb camelbak on them. You carry the water or have them carry small bottles filled 1/2 way. Couple reasons, they will have to pee constantly and you won't be near a bathroom. Tears and mental breakdown will follow. Also, a 5lb camelbak contributes too much to total vehicle weight.
    Thanks, only issue is all those are over budget. Not trying to spend a bunch on a bike that they will outgrow in a year or 2. Ill be willing to spend more when they get to a 24" bike.

    Been keeping an eye on craigslist. Seeing the hotrock for about $100 on there. not much else above the walmart level of quality

  6. #6
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    Understood. But the Superfly is on sale for $379 right now. Which puts it $30 over your budget for the best bang for the buck 20" bike out there. And it's 5+ pounds lighter than the Specialized. I also wonder if a local shop might be willing to offer a 2 bike deal. It's free to ask!

    https://www.trekbicyclesuperstore.co...0-278038-1.htm

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    Since my kids are mostly grown I can unleash this little secret without fear that prices will go up.

    https://www.raleighusa.com/kids
    Last edited by Lemonaid; 05-14-2018 at 07:04 PM.

  8. #8
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    The Giant XTC Jr 20 is worth a look.

  9. #9
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    You DEFINITELY do not want a fork unless you are paying for it. The trek SF is great. For the money. The Isla bikes are great weight wise but don't seem great for st. Just don't. I did the $200 bike for my 6 year old and basically wasted $200. His skill outgrew his bike faster than his height. It is a lot of money but seriously consider spending the money for a better bike. Buy a $1000 bike, resell it in 2 years for $600. It's like buying a $400 bike. Just MHO.

  10. #10
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    Ha hello. Welcome to the kids forum where it is a sport to try and get people to spend more money on their kids bikes. Fwiw I think you should. I tell my buddies to just sell the iPad stuff and buy their kids nice bikes. It's worth it.


    I like the Super fly 20" unless there is a better, lighter, rigid option. Do NOT buy a silly 5lb coil fork. They do nothing. If suspension is your game, you'll have to drop at least 650$ for an air fork bike. Good luck, it's worth it! Sacto has twin girls, and just picked up two Spawn Yama Jama 24". They look like they are doing awesome but they are also podium kids iirc too. Depends on what you want to ride. We have the same bike for my 6yo but the 20" and he rides most of the local black diamond stuff with me. It pays off if you ride, otherwise that Super fly is a safer bet and still can get rowdy or be upgraded with a fork later. Spend the extra cash if you can.

    Side note, think about the gear requirements. You aren't getting much gearing when you get a cheap bike and everything generally is kind of crappy. If you are riding simple trails and the neighborhood, often a BMX is much better for a zillion reasons. They'll be MUUUCH better bikers if you coach them a little and those bikes for the money will be ultra nice for same price. They just develop skills so much faster and stand and pedal etc. The 16" purple Fit Misfit is DOPE and 350$. (bmx sizing is different BTW) ... We have a used 16" BMX as well and my oldest guy loves the heck out of it. It's just easier to handle the smaller bike for kids.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Ha hello. Welcome to the kids forum where it is a sport to try and get people to spend more money on their kids bikes. Fwiw I think you should. I tell my buddies to just sell the iPad stuff and buy their kids nice bikes. It's worth it. Cheers. Fwiw I like the Super fly 20" unless there is a better, lighter, rigid option. Do NOT buy a silly 5lb coil fork. They do nothing. If suspension is your game, you'll have to drop at least 650$ for an air fork bike. Good luck, it's worth it! Sacto has twin girls, and just picked up two Spawn Yama Jama 24". They look like they are doing awesome but they are also podium kids iirc too. Depends on what you want to ride. We have the same bike for my 6yo but the 20" and he rides most of the local black diamond stuff with me. It pays off if you ride, otherwise that Super fly is a safer bet and still can get rowdy or be upgraded with a fork later. Spend the extra cash if you can.
    I am with you. We don't have gaming devices or spend money on video games, ipads, computers etc. We spent $650 on my 4 year old daughters ballet for a year. BMX is a way better value and deal but here st rules. My kid can go on much more difficult trails with me which opens up the variety and keeps him interested. The resell makes it worth it.

    That being said, the Trek sf is a good bike, with reasonable gearing and light. If you go that route you won't go wrong there.

  12. #12
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    Went by a Trek store with them yesterday afternoon, They dont make the SF anymore and apparently no one around can order them either. Been keeping an eye on craigslist.

    90% of their riding is the neighborhood and greenway, but I would like to introduce them to gears and light trail riding. Our kids are extremely active with sports and ATV riding, TV rarely ever comes on. But that being said, Just cant budget an expensive bike especially since im buying 2. Would also be overkill for the most part. I had thought about the BMX style, I just like the idea of them learning about gears though.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon21 View Post
    Went by a Trek store with them yesterday afternoon, They dont make the SF anymore and apparently no one around can order them either. Been keeping an eye on craigslist.

    90% of their riding is the neighborhood and greenway, but I would like to introduce them to gears and light trail riding. Our kids are extremely active with sports and ATV riding, TV rarely ever comes on. But that being said, Just cant budget an expensive bike especially since im buying 2. Would also be overkill for the most part. I had thought about the BMX style, I just like the idea of them learning about gears though.
    That's weird. The sf is on their website. Looks like you could order online.

  14. #14
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    Sold out on their site. Its being replaced with the Roscoe, which looks like a great bike, just overkill for my kids riding.

  15. #15
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    BMX man. They will learn ALOT more about how to actually ride and handle a bike and jump and do a little baby manual and stand etc. These are at times, serious crash saving skills (weekly for us). They will be like a duck to water after BMX riding (assuming you coach them a bit and build training obstacles) when the time comes to really trail ride and buy nice mountain bikes they will easily make the leap in minutes. Much more valuable than learning gears tbh.

    Oh plus, for the money you'll be buying literally one of the best BMX Freestyle bikes ever made, in a sweet color.

  16. #16
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    so lets say that I give in to the knowledge of you more experienced Dad's... sounds like a 16" wheel is what I should be looking at... what make/ model/ etc...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon21 View Post
    so lets say that I give in to the knowledge of you more experienced Dad's... sounds like a 16" wheel is what I should be looking at... what make/ model/ etc...
    Sunday Bikes 16" is a good value. Primer or Blueprint
    Fit Bike 16" is nice
    Kink 16" is nice

    There's a Mongoose out there. I can't find it. But it's a 16" with a chromoly frame. It was a decent value. But kiss the resale goodbye.

    You're ideally looking for a BMX freestyle bike. For skate park access, jumping, bunny hops and general shenanigans. The freestyle BMX bikes have higher bars and shorter wheelbase with a short rear triangle which enables them to lift the frt of the bike.

    A BMX race bike has different geometry. Not saying it won't work. It's just not quite as maneuverable for "bike play".

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    Sunday Bikes 16" is a good value. Primer or Blueprint
    Fit Bike 16" is nice
    Kink 16" is nice

    There's a Mongoose out there. I can't find it. But it's a 16" with a chromoly frame. It was a decent value. But kiss the resale goodbye.

    You're ideally looking for a BMX freestyle bike. For skate park access, jumping, bunny hops and general shenanigans. The freestyle BMX bikes have higher bars and shorter wheelbase with a short rear triangle which enables them to lift the frt of the bike.

    A BMX race bike has different geometry. Not saying it won't work. It's just not quite as maneuverable for "bike play".

    So one thing i noticed looking at all those, is they dont look like they are made for sitting. The kids spend lots of time riding around the cul-de-sac and street with friends/ neighbors. Definatly want something they can sit on when they ride. I get for jumps and the bmx park you want the lower seat, but for longer rides I want something they can be comfortable on. Ive never been into BMX so dont know much about the bikes.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon21 View Post
    So one thing i noticed looking at all those, is they dont look like they are made for sitting. The kids spend lots of time riding around the cul-de-sac and street with friends/ neighbors. Definatly want something they can sit on when they ride. I get for jumps and the bmx park you want the lower seat, but for longer rides I want something they can be comfortable on. Ive never been into BMX so dont know much about the bikes.
    My 6yo rides all over the neighborhood. Not a single bike he has, has the seat up one inch. He rides every day. My Opinion (another Dad passed this on to me a while ago thankfully) is that sitting isnt something you want your kids doing at this point at all unless they are going on long roadie rides. Otherwise that is all they will do and they won't learn to the rest. Fwiw that is what I have my 3yo doing too and he loves it now. I intentionally slam all the seats so it's not comfortable sitting. They are fine and super good riders for their age. They can still and do sit but it's like groms sitting on their bmx with the seat slammed.

    As an aside, some of this comes down to what you want to ride with your kids in a year? If you want them to Mountain Bike with you, take this advice and coach them and ride every pump track and trail and skate park you can find (its a blast). Build the jump ramps, the skinnys, the drops, gaps etc and have fun. In 12 months they will be 10x the rider and ready for kicking ass riding adult trails with you.

    If your hope is more that they just want to have fun tooling around once in a while, you can kind of just do whatever and go with that. Nothing wrong with either, but its been the highlight of fatherhood to really ride with my kids. My 6yo runs all the black diamond runs we can find and the stoke never stops. Plus, what kid doesn't want to jump a bike in their life?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    My 6yo rides all over the neighborhood. Not a single bike he has, has the seat up one inch. He rides every day. My Opinion (another Dad passed this on to me a while ago thankfully) is that sitting isnt something you want your kids doing at this point at all unless they are going on long roadie rides. Otherwise that is all they will do and they won't learn to the rest. Fwiw that is what I have my 3yo doing too and he loves it now. I intentionally slam all the seats so it's not comfortable sitting. They are fine and super good riders for their age. They can still and do sit but it's like groms sitting on their bmx with the seat slammed.

    As an aside, some of this comes down to what you want to ride with your kids in a year? If you want them to Mountain Bike with you, take this advice and coach them and ride every pump track and trail and skate park you can find (its a blast). Build the jump ramps, the skinnys, the drops, gaps etc and have fun. In 12 months they will be 10x the rider and ready for kicking ass riding adult trails with you.

    If your hope is more that they just want to have fun tooling around once in a while, you can kind of just do whatever and go with that. Nothing wrong with either, but its been the highlight of fatherhood to really ride with my kids. My 6yo runs all the black diamond runs we can find and the stoke never stops. Plus, what kid doesn't want to jump a bike in their life?
    You have some great advice.. and i guess the last part is where im stuck. The kids really just like riding around. Neighborhoods, gravel roads, and paved paths is the majority of the riding that will be done. I love riding, but still only do it on weekdays after work. Their time is so filled right now with swimming, soccer, girl scouts, atv riding, and regular family activites. At this point "mountain biking" doesnt seem to have time to fit on the list. While I would love at some point for them to get more into it, would make it easier for me to go ride as well. I think at this point, I want them to have something that can ride around and have fun on, but will make longer rides, and off pavement rides a little more fun than their single speed 16" bike.

    I can really see the benefits of all types of bikes at this point... but what I think will fit the majority of their riding style, after all the help and opinions from this group is to go with a 20" 1X with rigid fork.

    Now that opinion might change by the end of the day.. and maybe keeping an eye out on craigslist for a BMX bike they can share to ride as well would be good too.

    I really appreciate the insight from this group

    I also have about $280 towards performance bike.. so the Marin Hidden Canyon might be a good fit of that category.

  21. #21
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    Good thoughts man, you are in good shape and have all the info. Hard to go wrong with a rigid 1x! Cheers.

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    Okay here's where I think most of us are coming from:

    At 6.5yrs old you still have a great opportunity to guide your girls towards really good bike handling skills. Instead of trying to undo bad habits 1-2yrs from now when they are strong enough to actually do trail rides with you. The BMX input comes from a good place. It's the "if I could do it over..." point of view. I didn't. But I wish I had.

    My girls were "neighborhood bike ride kids" until last August. They sat down and pedaled slow lumpy strokes. Crashed into each other constantly. It hurt my eyes to watch (and I'm a road racer). I stopped thinking in terms of what kind of riders they are right now. And started thinking in terms of what kind of rider I'd like to teach them to be. Meaning I wanted to teach them how to handle a bike properly. To open them up to the possibilities of what can be done with a bike. 9mos later and they now take immense pride in crushing the neighborhood kids on a bike. In a variety of ways. Either jumping or out sprinting them.

    Limited time? - BMX. Go play in the driveway or on a home made jump or at the pump track. Or the skate park. Learn to bunny hop. How to manual. How to endo etc. Watch simple tricks videos on Youtube for ideas.

    Short neighborhood bike ride? - BMX - buy a flip lock collar for the seat post and raise the seat a little. Then put it back down when you get home.

    Short gravel/dirt ride? - same as above.

    You can also achieve some of this by purchasing the aforementioned 20" mountain bike (Marin or similar) and dropping the seat. Put it in a middle gear. Take them to a pump track (console them & listen to their objections while you persist) to teach them to get off the seat. It will take a few trips before it "clicks" in their mind. And no manuals or bunny hops will be possible. Getting the frt wheel up over an obstacle at all will be a chore. Whereas with a BMX it would likely happen sooner.

    But the point is to get them comfortable riding off the seat for enhanced balance and bike feel. Not necessarily to get them to do a backflip off a kicker into a foam pit (unless that's your thing). The transition from a BMX to a MTB where you're sitting/standing constantly will be effortless. And you won't be like me, shouting from behind them as the approach a rocky section saying "GET OFF THE SEAT & GET BACK!"

    I know this is all unsolicited advice. But I hope it's worthwhile for you.

    One of the nuggets of wisdom I've picked up through the last year of getting my girls riding with me is this: I believe too many parents out there think in terms of "bike ride" and should think more in terms of "bike play". Because "bike play" will have a lasting impression.

    When my road racing buddies with "bike ride" mentality say: "I need to get my 8yr old a road bike!"

    I always respond with: "WHY? You trying to bore them to death and make them hate bikes?"

  23. #23
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    My daughter demo'ed a Frog bike at the SeaOtter Classic and she had lots of fun with it.

    Girls 20" bike suggestions-frjs9.jpg

    If you have a bmx race track nearby, I'd recommend getting a race bike. You can get a used one like I did and have it powder coated. Besides the race track, we take them everywhere - on paved trails, dirt trails, pump tracks. They're fast and light and, given the choice, my kids always reach for their race bikes for everything but the gnarliest trails
    Girls 20" bike suggestions-asmmanz.jpg

    Girls 20" bike suggestions-abridgesm.jpg

    Girls 20" bike suggestions-a_wildersm.jpg
    If you can't play, display.

  24. #24
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    Now that is the height of bike fashion if I've ever seen it!! Awesome.

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    So apparently my wife and I wernt on the same page with price point. She doesnt want to spend $300-$350 each on a bike that they are just riding around and dropping on the ground and whatnot... So that being said Im probably forced back towards a BMX for value to price... but even with that, it wont be great unless I can find a craigslist deal. The Haro 18" looks like they go for just under $200...

    ugh, the frustration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon21 View Post
    So apparently my wife and I wernt on the same page with price point. She doesnt want to spend $300-$350 each on a bike that they are just riding around and dropping on the ground and whatnot... So that being said Im probably forced back towards a BMX for value to price... but even with that, it wont be great unless I can find a craigslist deal. The Haro 18" looks like they go for just under $200...

    ugh, the frustration.
    18" might be too big for right now. My 6yo is pretty big and his 16" Recruit fits perfectly. My BMX racing nephew is a smaller dude but at 13" just moved up to a 18"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon21 View Post
    So apparently my wife and I wernt on the same page with price point. She doesnt want to spend $300-$350 each on a bike that they are just riding around and dropping on the ground and whatnot... So that being said Im probably forced back towards a BMX for value to price... but even with that, it wont be great unless I can find a craigslist deal. The Haro 18" looks like they go for just under $200...

    ugh, the frustration.
    I had the same conversation with my wife last summer. Here's what I did. I talked to her about the gigantic difference a piece of crap bike Vs a quality/proper bike will make (weight is a big factor and worth pointing out). It will give them the opportunity to improve. Whereas a POS bike will honestly hold them back. I kept teaching them to ride. I taught them to respect their bike and gently lay it down (or daddy would lose his sh#t). I have taught them to NEVER EVER lay the bike on the drive train side and prefer they lean it against something (other than the car). Respecting the bike is part of having a "big kid" bike. Now they respect their bikes and understand why I've taught them about this stuff.

    Once my wife saw the huge improvement in their riding within a short period of time. Along with the extra time I was spending with them while I taught them how to jump and built ramps in the garage, went to the pump track with them etc. The $$ question evaporated.

    Also, check out the Norco Storm 2.3. In lieu of a BMX bike it might be decent middle ground. It's a MTB frame with "neighborhood" gears and tires. But no shock. So it's probably reasonably light.

    Looking at the above photos of the little girl on a BMX race bike, that may not be a bad option too. Those things are super light and nimble.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    I had the same conversation with my wife last summer. Here's what I did. I talked to her about the gigantic difference a piece of crap bike Vs a quality/proper bike will make (weight is a big factor and worth pointing out). It will give them the opportunity to improve. Whereas a POS bike will honestly hold them back. I kept teaching them to ride. I taught them to respect their bike and gently lay it down (or daddy would lose his sh#t). I have taught them to NEVER EVER lay the bike on the drive train side and prefer they lean it against something (other than the car). Respecting the bike is part of having a "big kid" bike. Now they respect their bikes and understand why I've taught them about this stuff.

    Once my wife saw the huge improvement in their riding within a short period of time. Along with the extra time I was spending with them while I taught them how to jump and built ramps in the garage, went to the pump track with them etc. The $$ question evaporated.

    Also, check out the Norco Storm 2.3. In lieu of a BMX bike it might be decent middle ground. It's a MTB frame with "neighborhood" gears and tires. But no shock. So it's probably reasonably light.

    Looking at the above photos of the little girl on a BMX race bike, that may not be a bad option too. Those things are super light and nimble.
    Lets just say she wasnt fond of me spending $1500 on my bike. Problem is that 2- $350 bikes turns into a $700+ purchase which in the overall picture is more than we were prepared to do at this time.

    Reading back through all the posts, I checked out the Raleigh Bikes again. With a few upgrades they could be decent options. Ill check out the Norco as well.

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    Ha, sounds like you need the Sales Acquisistion Officer to stop by!


    Also, this video makes me all misty when I watch it! Your wife will like it.

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    Did I mention we have TWO tricked out Spawn Jama Yama's? I hear you on the double cost thing. Still worth every penny.

    Just show your wife my Instagram @sactogeoff roll back to 7/23/2017 where I took a photo on their very first off road ride. Then scroll through the videos of us at the pump track and various other places. Then show her the podium shot. Should be worth a $50 per bike budget bump for ya!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    Did I mention we have TWO tricked out Spawn Jama Yama's? I hear you on the double cost thing. Still worth every penny.

    Just show your wife my Instagram @sactogeoff roll back to 7/23/2017 where I took a photo on their very first off road ride. Then scroll through the videos of us at the pump track and various other places. Then show her the podium shot. Should be worth a $50 per bike budget bump for ya!
    Ill check that out. Aernt those running over 1k per bike though?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    Did I mention we have TWO tricked out Spawn Jama Yama's? I hear you on the double cost thing. Still worth every penny.

    Just show your wife my Instagram @sactogeoff roll back to 7/23/2017 where I took a photo on their very first off road ride. Then scroll through the videos of us at the pump track and various other places. Then show her the podium shot. Should be worth a $50 per bike budget bump for ya!
    Looking at your instagram, we are 2 different levels of bike enthusiasts haha.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemonaid View Post
    Since my kids are mostly grown I can unleash this little secret without fear that prices will go up.

    https://www.raleighusa.com/kids
    yep!, i ahve my 6 year old on the lily, she loves it, had to buy a shorter stem though, otherwise, not too heavy, good price, solid feeling bike, id upgrade the tires though

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragon21 View Post
    Ill check that out. Aernt those running over 1k per bike though?
    $1200 before mods. Yes. I was just trying to point out that I understand the "double expense" part of having twins.

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    Cant find a Raleigh Rowdy 20 around, So either gonna do a Raleigh Lily 20 and Norco 2.3 or two NorCo 2.3's

    Got a local shop thats ordering one for them to try. Going by their online sizing, my girls should be almost at 24" bike which doesnt make sense, and I think thats too big for them... but they are also using standover height/ inseam to say what size they should be on.

  36. #36
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    For kids learning to ride vs kids shredding already, I like the smaller bike for kids newer to the game. I've seen a LOT of kids struggle to man handle bigger bikes. I've also seen shredder kids crush everything riding their moms 27.5 carbon bike. Two different things. Don't go 24 too early if you don't have too. Best to try things on first tho, 24 might be just fine.

  37. #37
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    ^^he's right. If you can, try to avoid the urge to plant them on the biggest bike possible. At the early stages, handling skills will suffer. So will their confidence.

  38. #38
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    Yea i have no intentions of going to a 24. going from a 16" to a 24" seems like way to big of a jump. Will see next week when they come in.

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    So if you are in the Sacramento area and your girls outgrow their bikes please give me a heads up! Always looking for well maintained bikes for my kiddos

  40. #40
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    Looks like Cannondale is starting to put a bit more effort in their kids bikes. The Quick 20 is just over 20lbs and the Cujo 20 is 21lbs. Im honestly considering the Cujo and grabbing a set of the pavement tires from the Quick for neighborhood riding. I wish they had more than one color offered for the Cujo 20. The Quick 20 colorway is nice.

  41. #41
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    There's just so few bikes that are actually setup at all the right points from tires, to cranks, to fork, to cassette, to brakes etc. I like the Cujo best out of all Plus Bikes but its not ideal.

    The cranks are way to small at 110mm. Not so sure about the drive train either. Those are tires are still heavy to muscle around at 574g. That's heavier than a beefy Spawn Maxtion 2.3 24" tire. For 100$ more for the Orbea, you get a full Shimano drive train, hydraulic shimano brakes, ideal cranks, pretty nice tires and a well known bike that is lighter too. DEFINTELY don't overlook how much better hydraulic brakes are for kids too.
    Plus messing with kid brakes is the bane of my entire existence due to the short lever pull etc.

    I'm sure you could find some cool decals\grips\etc if the color setup of Orbea isn't appealing. Black makes for a nice canvas.

  42. #42
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    Cannondale Cujo 20 all the way, 20x2.6 Slant Six's and 30T front chainring to 11-34T 7spd cluster is a fantastic combo....my 5yr old loves hers and has done 20k horsetrail rides on it...only thing that may need an erly upgrade is the 7spd gripshift can be tough to turn, so I installed a 7spd trigger shifter....

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    Just don't. I did the $200 bike for my 6 year old and basically wasted $200. His skill outgrew his bike faster than his height. It is a lot of money but seriously consider spending the money for a better bike.
    Or just cheap/resellable ...

    We had the same issue... we got 9mo out of the 20" bike when he was 5-6... in 9mo he'd exceeded the bike for ST use.



    Yea i have no intentions of going to a 24. going from a 16" to a 24" seems like way to big of a jump.
    Not if they fit the bike... its no different from going from a 26 to a 29 really ?

    Don't go 24 too early if you don't have too. Best to try things on first tho, 24 might be just fine.
    True but give them a good 10-15 mins...

    I took my kid about 10 mins from his 20 to 24 (which was a tad too big for 1-2 months)... they are pretty adaptable at that age. I just wasn't ready to put more money into a 20.

    He's now had 2yrs from the 24 and will see another year from that frame.
    Looking at your instagram, we are 2 different levels of bike enthusiasts haha.
    Well take me back 3 years and I hadn't ridden seriously in decades...
    Now I have to ride seriously every weekend or Jnr. would be off the wall...

    All we did for a couple of years was ride single track... in fact we rode paths etc. for about 2-3 weeks.... the miles very quickly increased and then with the 24 we started doing increasingly technical.

    He's now 8 and I don't really need to think about what or where we ride, at least not more than the bike he's riding set the limits. We can just turn up at some trails and ride.

    It's gone from him getting my hand-me-down components to the other way now... largely because he's still only 8 so his bike weight/capability affects him more than me.
    It's not like I can't drop him ... either climbs or DH but that he's close enough we just go out and ride without feeling we are going uncomfortably slow or taking "safe" routes etc..

    Of course when he was 5 neither of us had an idea what we were going to do... we just enjoyed going out riding. Now he's got a lot more serious and motivated by racing both XC and DH but I think we'd be riding pretty much the same if he hadn't.

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    Picked up 2 Norco Storms yesterday. Thanks for all the information. Got them for $250 each so a good compromise. And planning to keep one for my son when hes ready.

    Girls 20" bike suggestions-0d32f4c5-14fd-46e1-bc63-9f052a908cfc.jpgGirls 20" bike suggestions-e1474a19-b3d4-413a-acc4-3281a7748096.jpg

  45. #45
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    Looks like some happy girls! Time to build some home made bike features for the court!

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    Ha, I had no idea that they made a rigid storm!? Those look awesome. Well done!

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    Congrats OP! Not just on the bikes but for being a great parent and for the two beautiful future shredders!

    I just came across this thread and would echo the posters above in that making some trips to the BMX track would pay huge dividends, as well as adding a small BMX and some kicker ramps for them to tool around on in the driveway.

    My daughter is 10, and from 8-9 was riding a 24" MTB, that I, of course spent a lot of money upgrading to make as light as possible, with shorter cranks, etc., to little avail. I took her to the MTB park, she crashed a lot, lots of tears, and was scared to return each time. Problem was that she was sitting most of the time. When she'd get scared on the trail, she would take her feet off the pedals, feet in the air, butt on seat - a runaway train. With Dad yelling at her to put her damn feet back on the pedals! Oh man, does this sound familiar to any of you other Dads? MTB park was supposed to be fun for us but was not so much.

    This year we've gotten into BMX, and everything has completely changed. We are now riding at the skatepark and at the BMX track, weekly. The improvement has been phenomenal. I have her on a 20" race BMX, and she also has a 20" street trials bike that if I had to do it over again would have been an 18" BMX. The trials bike was a game changer as the seat is so low that it is practically impossible to sit, so she soon became comfortable riding standing. Then we started going to the skate park, which develops their skills FAST. There are so many transitions that they have to deal with that it just forces them into learning bike control. Plus there are other kids around that inspire her and give her goals to shoot for. She quickly learned how to pump, loves the feeling, loves to learn something new each time we go, and she is very stoked to ride now. Recently we started doing BMX nights at the local BMX track, and this also forces them into learning how to pump and use their bodies as suspension, in addition to being a great workout. And the motivation to ride faster that comes with the racing simply cannot be overstated. Even though we don't do the races yet, she is constantly "mind-racing" other kids, and trying to ride faster to keep up. Each week she has confidence, goes harder, and she absolutely loves it. I'm sure that if I had never gotten her into BMX that her skills and enjoyment of riding would have been a fraction of where they currently are. And each ride she progresses and gets more stoked - it's awesome. Last night was our best BMX night yet. She was charging! It is so rewarding to see your little one gaining confidence and finding joy in their skill development. It's win-win-win for Mom, Dad and daughter. We all LOVE BMX track nights.

    This Monday we'll go back to the MTB park that we haven't visited in several months. I'll bring her BMX race bike and her MTB. I have a feeling that she is going to like riding the race bike more. It weighs 17lbs. Either way, we haven't been there in a few months, and her skills are exponentially better, so I can't wait so see how happy she is with her progression.

    The most important thing is to find something that gets your kids stoked to ride and gets them improving their bike skills. On this forum, it seems the commonly espoused approach is to seek this through a lighter MTB. Problem is that the bike may not inspire them all that much. But what does inspire our kids? With mine, being around other kids with more skills who she wants to be able to hang with is the number one motivator. The BMX track is very impressive, kind of like going to an amusement park, and that's pretty exciting for her too. The skatepark is just plain fun, even doing little circles in the half-pipe.

    I think a great approach for kids is to have a larger wheeled/higher seat MTB for distance riding, but to have a small wheeled BMX for skill development, if you can swing it. Just cutting back on a few weight weenie MTB upgrades will more than cover the cost of a $350 BMX.

  48. #48
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    The thing I like about what Midnight (and all the others before him passing along the BMX tips) is that it REALLY benefits the regular kid riders AND the uber-groms. Also the returns on that invest, skillwise, are nearly instantaneous due to the muscle memory building that BMX caters too. You literally watch your kid improve lap by lap, jump by jump. There is just no substitute.

    Also don't discount the safety aspect of building the BMX handling skills. We had just finished a black diamond DH run (went fine) and were on the gravel downhill road riding home (the boring part). My kid inadvertently bombed a section of popholes and one was REALLY deep. He hit it at mach chicken and it bucked his hardtail big time in the air (the rear end mostly) and....well he was just fine and just kept riding and chattering on. It terrified me for a moment, steep gravel run out and we were flying. Using his body to soak up the bump and just control the bike saved him from a MASSIVE crash. I'm convinced that a good portion of that is the BMX cross training. Little kids become nimble as foxes once they get good at that stuff. Plus the bikes are dirt cheap. Our used BMX (United) was 160$.

  49. #49
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    This may not be the correct thread, but I didn't want to start a new thread. I need to get some more ideas for BMX bikes. We are most likely moving towards a 18" Cult Juvenile. We mostly do skatepark and BMX nights. He is 7, 49" and weighs 52 lbs.

  50. #50
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    Hey man, good working hunting down a bmx, such good stuff. Fwiw my 6yo is about that same size or a bit bigger. 16" BMX for sure. His is a 16" United Recruit. His older buddy who is 10 has that 18" Cult and it's even too big for that kid and he isn't tiny. My 13yo nephew is a BMX racing champ and he just moved up to that 18" Cult...tho he is a smaller kid for his age. Trust me you don't want that big of a freestyle bike. 16" all the way imo.

  51. #51
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    Girls 20" bike suggestions

    I grabbed a 20 single speed Cannondale off craigslist for $120 for my daughter. It isnt in as good of shape as the 16 SS that it replaces but it will get us through summer.

    I would like to put a front hand brake on it. It has the single hole on the crown of the fork. Can I use this to mount a BMX style brake?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  52. #52
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    I know nothing about BMX bikes but I do see how they would help a young one develop skill. My daughter is 5.5 yrs old, 44" tall. She currently has a 16" Cleary Hedgehog and rides it pretty well, but as discussed previously, she prefers to sit when she should be standing. Could a Hedgehog with a slammed saddle act as a substitute for a true BMX or no? Just looking at the bike, it looks like the Hedgehog geometry most closely resembles a BMX race bike. Would looking for a freestyle BMX to play on be worth while?

  53. #53
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    It's not a substitute for the BMX but slamming the seat and coaching them into standing is the 3rd thing I taught my kids when they were 3yo. Only after how to pedal and how to brake. Biking just takes off for them once they get comfortable standing and really riding. But like everything, you'll have to be actively working with them on skills. If you get the BMX is opens the door for even more skill development if you work at it.

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