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Thread: REI youth bikes

  1. #1
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    REI youth bikes

    I'm in the market for a 16" and 24" bike for my kids for Christmas. Both are moving up from a 14" and 18". Both bikes will be used for neighborhood riding and intro to light duty single track. I am 100% certain I want fully rigid and price is a factor and these bikes are at the top of what I want to spend. I've seen these bikes in person at my local REI and they seem as good as anything I've ever seen in this price range. I talked to a local sales rep and she said REI went through a redesign process recently where they sized down adult bikes to create youth bikes rather than have awkward geo youth bikes like in the past. I can't say how true that is but it's what I was told.

    Does anyone have personal experience with the new design of REI bikes, or recommendations on something that's better for a similar price?

    24"
    https://www.rei.com/product/143169/c...plus-kids-bike

    16"
    https://www.rei.com/product/160835/c...v-16-kids-bike

  2. #2
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    I have no experience with the 16" bike you posted, I suspect it's a decent bike. Not really sure how much single track a kid will do on that bike though. My daughter had a Performance Bike branded 16" and we went out on trails, and she struggled with it because of the coaster brake. We moved her up to a 20" Cannondale Quick 20 and she is much more capable on it. The reason I even mention this is, we bought the rigid 20" for her to save some weight, and honestly now that I see her ride it, I don't think the weight makes as much of a difference as I previously believed. In my opinion, having some shock absorption on the front tire of her bike would be more valuable than saving a couple pounds. She has to slow way down on rough dirt or gravel roads to the point where I am barely crawling in a low gear so she can keep up. However, she can keep up with me while I'm at 80% speed on the Greenways, pretty much no problem. She is 6YO, about 45" tall. In hind sight I wish I had bought her the Trail 20 instead of the Quick 20, I can't see there would have been any down side to the extra weight of the fork.

    For the REV 24, I have looked at exactly that bike with my 8YO 54" tall son. He wants a co-op bike because I have a DRT1.2 and he wants a bike like mine. The REV 24 was nice and fit him pretty well, but I won't buy him a bike without a suspension fork, for the same reason as above. He now has an older Trek MT220 with a lousy suspension fork, but it still works fine on rough or gravel roads. If I were to buy him an REI bike, I would buy him this in XXS with 26" wheels, but it does not fit your budget. It fits him nearly perfect, although it's pretty heavy for a kids bike.
    https://www.rei.com/product/119073/c...es-drt-10-bike

    Regarding the quality, I've been very happy with my co-op bike. I imagine all their frames are about the same quality wise. Lousy components will always be lousy components though, no matter what bike you buy.

  3. #3
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    THE SEARCH IS OVER!

    I came across this company while researching kids bikes and just got off the phone with them. The 24" Reyes rigid checks all my boxes. I stretched the budget a bit but I think it worth it.

    https://www.pellobikes.com/

  4. #4
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    Haro also has a decent rigid 24" bike. I saw it at my LBS and was surprised how light it was (for a relatively cheap, big brand bike) when I asked them to throw it on a scale. I do like the look of those Pellos though.

  5. #5
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    GT Stomper Ace 24 for the 24in bike. Incomparably better spec'd than the REI, triggers, better components, 8sp cassette, and I've heard of people finding them around $300.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

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    I liked the GT Stomper Ace as well, but I have never been able to find any geometry specs online for it. Wheelbase, chainstay, head angle, seat angle? Anyone know? I've never call GT to ask though, we aren't buying quite yet.

    Another bike I liked is the Framed Cable 24. For $310 with disc brakes, SRAM drivetrain, and an RST fork it looks like a deal. It's not a rigid bike though.
    https://www.framedbikes.com/products...tain-bike-kids

    Granted, we can test ride the XXS DRT1.0, which has 26" tires, and fit my son very well, so buying something like that is less of a gamble than buying mail order.

  7. #7
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    REI or Cleary posted an ad on FB a couple days ago, they have Cleary bikes in their outlet... or maybe it was used? Anyhow, s/b cheaper than new.

    That REI 16er is pretty much the same as any bike store 16er. My kid has a Bianchi version. Pretty high stand-over, appropriate for 4yo in the neighborhood

  8. #8
    Shut up and ride
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    My 5 1/2 year old tested a Co-op Cycles REV 20 at NEMBA fest. It looked cool but seemed really heavy (especially compared to his Frog 16 inch bike) and even after the mechanic adjusted the brake levers he couldn't reach them / safely stop.

  9. #9
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    deleted
    Last edited by mblittle; 12-26-2019 at 09:22 AM.

  10. #10
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    Ugh--that's not a budget bike; I expect better.

    What's the head angle?
    What's the crank length? For kids this size, it should really be about 120-130mm

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabitoblanco View Post
    Ugh--that's not a budget bike; I expect better.

    What's the head angle?
    What's the crank length? For kids this size, it should really be about 120-130mm

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    140mm cranks but no geo specs are provided.

  12. #12
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    That gets a full WTF from me. Looking at the picture on their website, I'd either say yours was incorrectly welded or they flat out used false pre-build design sketches for their website photos because no way do those pedals come close in the pictures on their site.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  13. #13
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    I would not expect the tire to hit the pedals. My sons front tire doesn't even hit his feet on his MT220.

    Maybe a stupid question, but are the forks on backwards?

  14. #14
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    Yeah the fork was rotated backwards. I'm an idiot for not catching that and I've built up quite a few bikes. I installed hydraulic brakes right when the bike showed up two months ago and didn't pay close attention so when my daughter jumped on it Christmas morning I thought something was wrong. I caught it this morning and fixed it. All is good now.

    total idiot move on my part.

  15. #15
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    Eh, it happens!
    Better than hearing that someone's selling a sham!

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