got a free big box store 24" bike - worth using or should i just dump it?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    got a free big box store 24" bike - worth using or should i just dump it?

    My daughter just started riding her 20" bike and loves riding. she is 8, weighs 54#, is 4'2'" tall with 21.5" inseam. She has a heavy single speed big box store bike.

    So time to move up to a 24". I assume that should last until she is 11. A neighbor put the below 24" bike on the curb for free. It is functional, needs TLC, but is a big box store bike. Heavier than my fatbike (39#!!!!!!!), has 3x6 freewheel, weak cantilever brakes, grip shift etc. You know the saying, the most expensive bike I have is the one I got for free. Even if i threw money at it, it won't be a good bike (light etc.)

    At minimum I would change the brakes to V-brakes and replace the shifter cable. I realize there is nothing to upgrade, nor is it worth throwing money at.

    My riding (she will ride with me) is on easy trails, bike paths etc. i have rigid fatbike and rigid hybrid.

    My "dream bike" for her would be:
    - lighter
    - 1x8 or higher, no FD
    - adult type standards (9/16 pedals, 1-1/8" threadless, 64/104 BCD, freehub) so i can swap out parts for better fit or gearing as needed
    - rigid fork
    - 2" or larger tires
    - good fit for children
    - if possible direct sell (no LBS due to Corona etc., also no $ for that)

    I realize the above is a $400-$500 bike. Our used market only has department store bikes, no good ones. And these days I avoid people to not get sick. So it would be a new one that ships to my house (I'm in the US, BTW).

    but here the "free" bike I have:



    Should I just run away from it?

    This got me a bit into he rabbit hole of research and seeing the Vitus+ for $429 or the even lighter Woom bikes makes me think this free bike is a disservice for the next 3 years. We do have some hills.
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    got a free big box store 24" bike - worth using or should i just dump it?-20200322_163900.jpg  

    Mayor v4
    Giant Toughroad

  2. #2
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    Dump it, no question..my opinion at least . We only get so many years before they just want to hangout with their friends. I'd just get the Vitus Nucleus Hardtail for 499$ with ultralight Rocket Rons. Its far and away the best bang for the buck and will work for just about everything. Its looks pretty cool too and she is in the right size range. I'd avoid anything with heavier tires/wheels, nothing has a bigger negative impact than rotational weight for kids in our experience. I've experimented with it in the past year with a couple of wheel sets/tires. The difference is stark.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Dump it, no question..my opinion at least . We only get so many years before they just want to hangout with their friends. I'd just get the Vitus Nucleus Hardtail for 499$ with ultralight Rocket Rons. Its far and away the best bang for the buck and will work for just about everything. Its looks pretty cool too and she is in the right size range. I'd avoid anything with heavier tires/wheels, nothing has a bigger negative impact than rotational weight for kids in our experience. I've experimented with it in the past year with a couple of wheel sets/tires. The difference is stark.
    Good point. Compared to Barbie, American Girls Doll and Harry Potter merchandise bikes are cheap.

    For the riding I do I so far went well with larger tires and no suspension. Not sure if there is a weight difference if I account for the heavier suspension fork. and she is a very timid rider (still problems with starting due to the coaster brake and high single speed gearing), so she won't be bombing down hills (hopefully).

    Also wonder if the "hybrid" vitus bike would be good enough for our riding. If she really would go into MTB, I'd rather have her get something appropriate for the next bike (26").

    I'm a disc brake guy, but good V-brakes should be good enough. Gosh, I rode a single speed bike with coaster and rubber-on-tire brake.
    Mayor v4
    Giant Toughroad

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