Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all
Has anyone got a 12" specialised hotrock. If so what do you think?
I have found the "Toy store / LBS " little bikes to be extremely heavy and poorly made.
Found this Hotrock ( aluminium frame and fork with decent tyres and good brakes ) online and provisionally ordered it this morning. How long could my daughter ( assuming normal growth patterns ) get out of this 12". Shes 3 now but I reckon that rushing them onto bigger bikes is a bad idea. You see it everywhere...small kids on huge bikes barely able to control them....

any review on this bike appreciated

PAUL
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
Sorry, no opinion about the Specialized.

Kids grow. Fast. Both of my kids started off riding cheap K-Mart specials (Target specials?) and they would not be able to tell the difference if I paid $50, $500, or $5000. They just know that they have fun riding their bikes. Sure, I would like my eight year old son to ride a nicer bike or to get a killer bike for my five year old daughter but the reality is that the cost in the long run does not justify it. My daughter absolutely hated the idea of riding the bike my son graduated from so we had to buy her a new bike. Not only that but I was not sure my kids would even want to go ride with their dad (luckily for me they love going out to ride with me). Each of my kid's bikes weighs almost as much as my full-suspension Cannondale but they don't care.

I've got an old Mongoose BMX bike from the '70s that I'm going to graduate my son to when he outgrows his current bike. This will be his first serious bike. It's in rough shape, needing some TLC, and we will be able to work on it together to make it his bike. This way he will learn how the bike works and how to maintain it. After that I can graduate him to a road bike or a mountain bike.

This is just my opinion, of course.
 

·
Recovering couch patato
Joined
·
14,019 Posts
I've never put any kid on any bike, so keep that in mind.
I think kids do great on bikes that are on the tall side for them, but I get really annoyed when dads rise the handlebars to the absolute max, efectively having their dear kids look underneath the handlebar to see where they're going.
Kids are people too, and pretty similarly dimensioned, apart from their huge heads, to adults. Why handlebars ten inches or more above the seat when we adults often have it below?
Kids bikes IMO are pretty poorly designed, as if handlebars can never be high enough up.
Walk into a store, see if a 16" bike will fit already, and if so, don't look at 12" anymore.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,803 Posts
podracer said:
Hi all
Has anyone got a 12" specialised hotrock. If so what do you think?
I have found the "Toy store / LBS " little bikes to be extremely heavy and poorly made.
Found this Hotrock ( aluminium frame and fork with decent tyres and good brakes ) online and provisionally ordered it this morning. How long could my daughter ( assuming normal growth patterns ) get out of this 12". Shes 3 now but I reckon that rushing them onto bigger bikes is a bad idea. You see it everywhere...small kids on huge bikes barely able to control them....

any review on this bike appreciated

PAUL
My daughter liked any bike as long as it was pink when she was 3, and her favorite was a pink used Hello Kitty bike I got for $20. My experience has been spending extra time is more important to my daugher than extra money (so far).

Good luck.
 

·
ride hard take risks
Joined
·
25,423 Posts
I say get the good bike not the best one. I bought my kids BMX bikes then spent money to lower them, lower h-bars, shorter cranks. As they got taller i reinstalled the original components. Xpensive but effective since kids can ride BMX bikes anywhere, 7 years of use pays off. MTBike tires would get torn up on the road & stand a better chance of getting stollen.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,431 Posts
Cloxxki said:
Kids are people too, and pretty similarly dimensioned, apart from their huge heads, to adults. Why handlebars ten inches or more above the seat when we adults often have it below?
Cloxx, if a kid has the bars below saddle height, the weight of the huge head will make them endo since their center of gravity is right at about their chin.
 

·
Rollin' a fatty
Joined
·
5,863 Posts
I'm going to give you my personal opinion not my lbs employee opinon.

Get a cheap XMart bike to get the kid started, they're tanks and can take the punishment. IMO is not worth the extra cost of a brand name bike for a 3 year old rider. You'll have enough opportunities to buy nicer bikes in the future, believe me.

My kid started with a Kent from Toys R Us when he was 4, then to a Haro BMX Mini, now he's 9 and currently rides a Diamondback Octane and a Trek KDR1000 roadie.

As a LBS employee if you come to the store I'll sell you the brand name 12" boat anchor that we have at a price that may double or triple the price at Xmart, it's your call.
 

·
Give dirt to me... Repent
Joined
·
127 Posts
Warning--Long Reply Ahead

My daughter got a used Trek 12" bike shortly after she turned three, almost a year ago; her same-age friend across the street got a 12" Specialized around the same time; and another, slightly older, girl down the block got a department store special. Of the three girls, mine immediately fell in love with her bike and just about quit walking because of it (she rides everywhere); the girl across the street has probably spent less than thirty minutes actually riding in the past year; and the girl with the dept. store special sometimes goes out for rides, but has basically abandoned her own bike in favor of her parents' trail-a-bike.

In the case of the two kids with decent bikes, I think it comes down to disposition. The neighbor's Specialized Hotrock is nicer than my daughter's Trek (it's lighter), but she's just not interested in riding a bike. My daughter was probably influenced by growing up watching both her parents ride and getting towed around everywhere in the Burley trailer, so she was thrilled to get her own bike, and since it didn't hold her back she's been enthusiastic ever since. The third girl, with the dept. store special, is the only one whose interest has been strongly affected by her equipment, I believe. She's eager to go out, but gets frustrated because her bike is basically a fixie, so coasting and speed control are just not possible. Needless to say, she gets left in the dust and gives up pretty quickly.

So I guess I would say that if you want your kid to have the chance to discover that she likes riding, make sure that the bike fits and works well. It doesn't have to be a big-name LBS brand, I'm sure, but there are some complete crap kids' bikes in dept. stores that simply aren't worth the money. If she can't coast or brake, if the wheels won't stay true through a few curb hits (those happen a lot at first!), the kid will be frustrated in a hurry.

Of course, there's always the chance that, like our neighbor across the street, even with a great bike she just won't be interested, and then it's a question of how much money you're willing to spend to discover that. The decision is personal for everyone, but if you're going to spend anything at all on a bike for her, I say spend enough to get one that works. Weight doesn't really matter, but an appropriate fit, a functioning coaster-brake freewheel, and a durable wheels are absolutely worth the price difference. And definitely consider used! Our Trek was in like-new shape for $50, and I bet it will easily sell for $50 when my daughter outgrows it (which I think will probably happen next year--for a fairly tall girl, it looks like a 12" bike is good for about age 3-5).

Sorry about the long reply, and good luck with introducing another generation to the joys of riding a bike!
 

·
R.I.P. DogFriend
Joined
·
6,891 Posts
All bikes in this class are basically boat anchors.

I started my kids out on inexpensive dept. store bikes and once they fully embraced the sport, started investing more in the rides. My daughter had a couple of toys-r-us types to start and then when she was about seven or eight, I got her a Sears 24" that was actually a little better than what she had previously. When she was nine, she did a 31 mile ride with me (and loved it) and I knew I had raised a future cyclist. I bought her a nice pair of gloves on the way home for her efforts. She was so proud of those gloves she earned.

When she was ten, I found a nice deal on a closout bike that was LX equipped with a RS Mag 21 fork for close to half price and jumped on it. She outgrew that at about 16 and she got her Jekyll which she is presently riding (along with a road bike and a cruiser for college). My son is following a similar path.

I think it's best to see if you have a rider on your hands before spending more than the minimum. The dept store stuff is fine so long as it is selected with some care and maintained properly. Once they get more serious and will be on a bike for around four years before they outgrow it, it might be good to invest in something better.

Make cycling about fun and spending quality time together and the rest will likely fall into place.

regards,
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top