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Bike buying for older kids

edited October 18 in General Charlton
So... Trying to buy a mountain bike for my son who is (a tall) 8 years old.

Thinking of getting him one that will last, so a low frame but big size/wheels and can just raise the seat, you see lots of boys riding around on these so they seem to be the thing nowadays.

Or am I trying too hard to save cash and should just get him a smaller 24" wheel one and expect to buy him another one when he's older?

(sorry admin couldn't change the category for some reason)

Comments

  • razil said:

    So... Trying to buy a mountain bike for my son who is (a tall) 8 years old.

    Thinking of getting him one that will last, so a low frame but big size/wheels and can just raise the seat, you see lots of boys riding around on these so they seem to be the thing nowadays.

    Or am I trying too hard to save cash and should just get him a smaller 24" wheel one and expect to buy him another one when he's older?

    (sorry admin couldn't change the category for some reason)

    No probs

    PS I learnt my skills on a Striker in silver flavour
  • id suggest a visit to big halfords ..was pleasantly suprised by the amount of stock they had at their catford bridge store ...you can also walk under the bridge 100 yards to comptons cycles ..they will be dearer but youd get expert service
  • Decathlon Lakeside.
  • Always go to your local bike shop. Not chains. You will get proper advice that way.
    Whatever you do the right size for now is more important and safer than getting something to grow into.
  • Have you considered a bmx?
    No gears to break.
    Good for learning balance and riding skills.
  • i only ever had a BMX as a kid, it was superb for everything, tough enough that if you come off it won't break, no gears and most importantly they're all pretty small so you don't need to replace them as your son gets taller
  • edited October 18
    He would have to be a very tall 8 year old to be too big for 24inch wheels. Most 24 inch wheel bikes are OK for Kids up to 5ft tall. However, you are right to focus on height rather than age when getting the right size bike for him.

    Checklist for buying Kids bikes:

    Avoid suspension. Kids will see the "flashy" suspension and will want it on their bike but its not needed unless they are going at breakneck speeds downhill on mountains or over bumps. It also makes the bike heavy and difficult to move around and frequently breaks.

    Stick to a single cog on the front with gears. Multiple cogs on the front means more complexity and lots more that can go wrong. Also, it confuses the hell out of the Kids trying to work out how multiple gear levers work.

    Not easy to do but try to avoid the "twist-grip" type of gears. Loads of Kids bike manufacturers put them on Kids bikes but they get stiff quickly through grit and become difficult to move. The "flick" type moved with the thumb are better.

    My advice is to go for a cheap, secondhand Decathlon BTwin with 24inch wheels without suspension from EBay or Gumtree. The BTwins have an unusual frame shape which makes it a lot easier to ride if the bike is a bit too big for them initially (but does mean they hardly ever fit onto a car bike rack!). The BTwin Original 1 is cheap, solid and reliable (but not desired by the average 8 year old). If not a BTwin, look for a used Carrera Abyss or Carrera Saruna (but note the warning below about Carreras and theft).

    If buying new, Decathlon now do a replacement for the Original 1 called the BTwin Rockrider 300 for about £115. If going to Halfords for new then avoid Apollo but I have always been surprised at how good the Carrera brand is. New Carrera Abyss or Saruna are about £225.

    Remember that they will quickly outgrow a bike.

    Finally, also be aware that new'ish Carrera's are a target for scumbag thieves who will target lone youngsters out on them. Never heard of a youngster being mugged for a BTwin in SE London!
  • I went into my local bike shop for advice on a kid's bike and he thoroughly recommended a Frog bike. They're not cheap though; £330 brand new and still go for £200 plus on Ebay.
  • Nothing wrong with a second hand bicycle.
    That is what I would buy.
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  • Thanks chaps, budget is up to £150.

    Measured him tonight (it's a surprise so can't take him to a shop) he's 4'6 24" inside leg.

    Sports direct do a muddy fox ( although with front suspension which I agree is unnecessary)

  • razil said:

    Thanks chaps, budget is up to £150.

    Measured him tonight (it's a surprise so can't take him to a shop) he's 4'6 24" inside leg.

    Sports direct do a muddy fox ( although with front suspension which I agree is unnecessary)

    Do not buy Muddy Fox. They are a great brand resurrected by Ashley as a cheapo brand. Their bikes are cack.

    If your budget is £150 you must go second hand.
    Any new bike costing less than £250 - £300 is a false economy. It won't last and it will be a pain to ride and maintain.
  • Sadly it's becoming more difficult to keep kids interested in bikes. If you can, then great but my advice is to buy one second hand. If still cycling after a couple of years, then buy something better with multiple gears.
  • blimey won't last him long though - 4'9" and its all change again..

    http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/kids-bikes/carrera-abyss-junior-hybrid-bike-24

    (scroll down)
  • Razil,

    The sizing guides are pretty generous i.e. a Carrera Abyss with 24inch wheels will last him until about 4ft 11".

    But...

    I agree with the statements about buying secondhand for Kids. It saves cash and also avoids the scenario of buying new and then the Kid decides he/she doesn't want to do cycling anymore.

    Also, avoid Muddy Fox bikes like the plague..they are utter cack although the cycle clothing is good for a beginner. Frog bikes and Islabikes are (very) expensive to buy new but you will get about 70 - 75% back when selling on.

    An honorable mention also for the Wiggins brand. A young rider I used to coach now works as a bike tech in Halfords. He reckons Wiggins are underrated.

    Finally, a mention for the Bike Club. They rent out Kids bikes long term. You send it back when they outgrow it or can buy outright.

    https://thebikeclub.co/
  • @razil
    if this fits the bill i'll do a very special price to get a youngster cycling. My son used it for about 20 minutes and decided he didn't like it.
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  • @razil
    if this fits the bill i'll do a very special price to get a youngster cycling. My son used it for about 20 minutes and decided he didn't like it.

    very kind of you, I have a certain type of bike in mind though
  • razil said:

    @razil
    if this fits the bill i'll do a very special price to get a youngster cycling. My son used it for about 20 minutes and decided he didn't like it.

    very kind of you, I have a certain type of bike in mind though
    Rightio but others have said, give Muddy Fox a miss and the less gears, suspension etc the less there is to maintain.
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  • yeah I'm not too bothered about maintenance level as I'm decent at that, will take on board of course though and of course most grateful to all.
  • Selling his old bike - high quality one he hardly used in case anyone's interested

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  • winner for most random place to photograph your bike goes to.....
  • McBobbin said:

    I'll take the toilet shaped basket if that's for sale separately

    Most probably is.

    Fella uses this place like bloody Exchange & Mart!


    ;-)
  • its a downstairs utility room/bathroom, handy for cleaning your bike/dog, etc
  • If your downstairs khaki, is that posh, don't be so tight and up the budget from £150 !
  • The thread title is a great name for a book.
  • If your downstairs khaki, is that posh, don't be so tight and up the budget from £150 !

    I made that mistake last time, and paid out for an expensive bike he hardly used
  • Please please please don't go to Halfords, unless you buy a Boardman or something.

    Decathlon is FAR better. Good bikes, great value.
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