Help! Best bike for almost 11 year old?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help! Best bike for almost 11 year old?

    My almost 11 year old son has outgrown his 24" bike and we need advice on the best bike to get for him to meet the following specs:

    1. Price range - $500
    2. Size - He's average height/weight, probably about 4'7 and 80 lbs.
    3. Riding type: Typical 11 year old boy riding, so lots of neighborhood riding but he also enjoys trail rides so needs to be solid offroad
    4. Weight is important--he's coming off a 24" Islabike that weighs 18 lbs. so this next bike is going to be a big jump weight-wise, especially at our price point. I know he likes the look of suspension but is it really worth the extra weight at his age?

    THANK YOU for any advice/brands/models to consider.

  2. #2
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    Full suspension worth it? I think that entirely depends on the type of terrain you guys ride often.

    My son is on a trailcraft 24in hardtail bike that weighs 20 lb. He is four foot six and about 75 lb. We live and ride in the Phoenix area. everything here can be rode on a hardtail of course, but most of it is better on full suspension.

    If money were no concern I'd buy him the best fs bike I could find when he moves up.. but as you know to get a light fs bike it will cost a lot of dollars. Big heavy full suspension bikes are no fun for kids that weigh 80 pounds...imo you would have to pony up the money for a lightweight rig or the riding experience will be no fun.

    If your general riding terrain is a bit chunky there's nothing wrong with the full suspension. It's just that heavy bikes really put a damper on kids. They don't have the strength or stamina to get over that fact

    Long story short, in my opinion weight is the most important factor for a kid that size who is not a shuttle monkey. Keep it light, full suspension or hardtail will be dictated by your wallet.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmbfan73 View Post

    THANK YOU for any advice/brands/models to consider.
    https://rascalrides.com/26-inch-bikes-kids-teens/

    Just saw this ^ pop up on my email. Unfortunately low weight and low cost don't align at $500.00 typically.
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  4. #4
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    My two kids had fun on a Trek X-caliber XS even if geo is really on the XC side... Might be hard to find one used though
    2015 Salsa Blackborow 1
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  5. #5
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    I'd not worry about brand so much if they can use an adult XS/S.
    Depending what they ride I'd suggest 2 cheaper (used) bikes is better than one new one.

    Whatever your budget is (in this case $500) it probably represents an amount of money you don't want left lying about or damaged mucking about.... and at least where I am a $500 bike will stick out above the majority and be a theft magnet.

    Obviously most 11yr olds wanna show off their best bike ... so it's not so simple but I spent considerably less on a used frame/shock (a bit over 250 in $) and chucked on some forks and components and he's riding a very serious bike on trails and DH but during the week etc. he uses his $100 BMX. (as well as using it as a BMX)... if he was riding further I might have got a different style hack bike but its only a couple of miles to school... etc.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmbfan73 View Post
    My almost 11 year old son has outgrown his 24" bike and we need advice on the best bike to get for him to meet the following specs:

    1. Price range - $500
    2. Size - He's average height/weight, probably about 4'7 and 80 lbs.
    3. Riding type: Typical 11 year old boy riding, so lots of neighborhood riding but he also enjoys trail rides so needs to be solid offroad
    4. Weight is important--he's coming off a 24" Islabike that weighs 18 lbs. so this next bike is going to be a big jump weight-wise, especially at our price point. I know he likes the look of suspension but is it really worth the extra weight at his age?

    THANK YOU for any advice/brands/models to consider.
    If you have much of a NICA league there, you might ask around for a kid getting rid of their NICA bike. The Specialized Pitch is a solid bike around that price range, and a lot of people upgrade them over time around here (they come with a coil spring fork, so adding an air fork will improve it). If you go up a couple of hundred, you can get a Vitus Nucleus 27 with an air fork (probably worth it).

    Your best bang for your buck is going to be in a used bike, though.

  7. #7
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    Used.

    Looking at the Islabike 24" mountain bike, it looks like a recon gold, aluminum frame, stan's crest wheelset. Everything else isn't crazy light, just lighter because it's a 24" bike. I'd look for comparable in a 26" bike, or maybe go for a 27.5 XS. As long as the wheels and tires are light, he'll get over the weight pretty quick.
    "a hundred travel books isn't worth one real trip"

  8. #8
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    Used 26" is great bang for your buck and is the easy next step up from 24". Because 26" has gone out of favor in adults bikes there are great deals to be had used, both hard tail and full suspension, and high end 26" components are going very cheaply.

    My 11 year son went from a 24" Islabikes Creig to a full suspension 26" Trek Lush that I picked up on eBay for 450. It's a womens bike but the color is black so no way to tell, and the suspension is tuned for lighter riders which is definitely a big plus. Also it was a typical "girlfriend" bike, ie looks like it got bought for a significant other to ride, was ridden twice and then sat in the garage for a few years till it got sold in perfect condition to me. My boy loves it and is giving it a good thrashing on the trails.

    So I'd be keeping my eye out for deals on high spec (ie light) used 26" bikes.

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