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  1. #1
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    Sep 2010
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    709

    Kids MTB: What's out there?

    Have a 4 year old who's out growing his first bike and looking for something new. We've just moved to Dallas so the riding has been great in terms of getting the little guy out and experience on dirt. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    near zombies
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    Is he riding two wheels? Has he only experienced coaster brakes thus far? Are you thinking gears?

  3. #3
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    Sep 2010
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    Coaster brakes thus far and still thinking 1 gear. Not sure he's ready for brake levers just due to his size. Has been riding for about a year on 2 wheels and just recently started exploring single track. He'll ride a 4.5 mile trail here and I'll run behind him, still a little hesitant on the downhill but getting the hang of it.

  4. #4
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    May 2009
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    inpdx
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    lilshredder.com

  5. #5
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    Mar 2008
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    near zombies
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    lilshredder is awesome. On the less astronomical side, might look at something like the Marin MBX, it has 16" wheels and both types of brakes (coaster and rear by hand). if he is big enough, the Novara Duster is similar with 20" wheels.

  6. #6
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    Oct 2003
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    Ogden
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    5,573
    Quote Originally Posted by acinpdx View Post
    lilshredder.com
    Holy fuck. Do people actually get their kids a $1000 hard tail or a $2500 dollar full suspension bike?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    inpdx
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    Not my kid; he's got a specialized hot rock

    But, yes, I know of two kids we see at the bike park who have them

    They're great for kids who are on the small side and riding at a high level because they're right sized and not overly heavy. I'd say that's their biggest selling point

    And I figured some of the dentists here might be interested

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    Southeast New York
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    6,705
    "S" has an XTR 24" Hotrock. Too big for the OP's kid but...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    709
    Not sure I'd spend $1500 on a bike for a small kid like that no matter how great it is, they're just going to out grow it in a short amount of time. Thanks for all the recommendations, will check them out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    450
    All the majors make pretty much the same thing in 16" and 20" wheel sizes.

    They generally are heavy, shift like shit, and don't brake well and are expensive for what they are.

    Thankfully kids don't care about any of that and have a riot on anything.

    I found an old kids bmx, stripped it down to the essentials, spray bombed it, cut down some old bars and called it a day. Cost me about $15 and she is stoked.Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Southeast New York
    Posts
    6,705
    I had my girls on pretty hot 24" bikes from the time they were 9 until 13 (they are twins.) The bikes had 100mm travel forks, disc brakes and a 67* HA and they were running 2.5's. We went everywhere from the simplest park trails to DH'n at Killington, Highland and Catamount. All of our gnarly local stuff was their training ground and last year when I finally was able to hook them up with real deal new bikes their ability to appreciate and fully utilize them was in place and ready to come out and party. Before that their 20" bikes were 21 pounds and 14 speed rippers. It was great that they had that opportunity and I would get them better bikes next time if there was going to be a next time.

    At 4-5 maybe not but if the kid has it together and the hand eye coordination is there as well as the hand strength that first geared bike being a really great one will be worth all the effort and $$ you can put into it. One of my daughters will have her first NICA race next Sunday and she is so excited you have no idea!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    co
    Posts
    2,302
    I swap out stuff on my kids bikes with real stuff on clearance or I'm tired of. Amazing the weight it knocks off.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Summit Park UT
    Posts
    859
    Most kids bikes are absurdly heavy. If you're only 45 pounds yourself and your trying to ride a 28 pound bike, how much fun can that be on hills etc..... I just got my 5 year old a Islabikes Beinn 20. Its a real bike, with excellent components and construction. Weighs 17 pounds. Not cheap at $400, but he actually rides single track with me and I think it will make it easier for him, and therefore more fun for both of us. Islabikes is a British company that only makes kids bikes, they recently opened a branch in Portland. Unless youre in Portland they are mail order only. Check them out.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Donner Summit
    Posts
    699
    Avoid suspension if you can - most of the suspension forks on kid's bikes aren't adjustable (unless they're super high end). My kid was too light to compress his fork even on a big hit. I swapped it for a rigid aluminum fork and saved a couple pounds. On the next bike up (the first with 26" wheels) I didn't even bother with a shock, just picked up a cheap frame and rigid fork and built up the rest with old parts.

    Not sure disc brakes are worth the extra expense for a kid's bike - they're generally so light that decent V-brakes work just fine. Obviously this depends on the weight of your kid.

    Having a few stems in different lengths can help a lot with getting a decent fit and being able to keep the same frame as he/she grows. Same with a longer seatpost (bike mfrs don't spec a seatpost that doesn't fit fully in the frame, so on smaller frames they're pretty short).

    Used bikes can work well if you can get the right hookup (esp. if you can find a family with youngest kid a little older than your oldest). Even bikes in crappy shape (left out in the rain, etc.) can usually be fixed up with a little TLC (new chain, brake pads, cables). Remember your kid isn't going to ride on it for the next decade, you're looking for something that will last 2-3 years (multiplied by # of kids).

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    53
    My son loves his Spawn Cycles banshee.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Goulder
    Posts
    430
    just picked up a Diamondback Cobra 20" for $150 on Amazon.
    the drugs made me realize it's not about the drugs

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