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Hey!
My 12 year old joined a local MTB Club and loves it. He grew a foot in the past year and outgrew is XS free-ish bike.
(Giant, which i replaced all the components on)

He likes vintage stuff, and does not really want a "new" bike (he gets it from me, sadly).

Does it make sense to spend $700 on a cool old school local hand made steel framed hardtail with top shelf components (XTR 3x9 V-brakes and hubs), or just get a low spec off the rack bike with disc brakes?

He rides for fun, with me and the club. I want to get him to do some bike packing with me next year, so an open triangle (steel) is kinda in that ballpark. I really prefer hydraulic disc brakes!

Thanks!
 

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Depends how much discretionary cash you're willing to put into it. I'd probably looked at the modern used offerings, not necessarily vintage....something 3-4 years old, but in great shape.....11 speed, hydro brakes, tubeless capable....$700 can get you a real good used modern hardtail for sure.
 

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Tough question, very dependent on the end goal, personal preference, and local terrain.

If he's into "retro" and you think that will be more fun for him currently, go for the old bike. So long as he understands it's not going to be the bike that handles like the Youtube/Redbull videos on the internets. I think it's super unique that he's into steel frames (local custom?!?! Hell yeah!!!) so I'd go with it for now with the understanding that he will either outgrow it soon or have a change in desired riding style soon.

I'd run with it while it lasts. Given that it's a fully depreciated bike it won't really lose any value in the next year or two assuming it stays in good shape while you own it.

(Not sure where you're from or what attracts your son to old school steel frames, but I applaud the fact that you've apparently taught him enough that he appreciates it for what it is. Hand made in the USA. That's pretty cool.)
 

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fraid of heights
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Hey!
My 12 year old joined a local MTB Club and loves it. He grew a foot in the past year and outgrew is XS free-ish bike.
(Giant, which i replaced all the components on)

He likes vintage stuff, and does not really want a "new" bike (he gets it from me, sadly).

Does it make sense to spend $700 on a cool old school local hand made steel framed hardtail with top shelf components (XTR 3x9 V-brakes and hubs), or just get a low spec off the rack bike with disc brakes?

He rides for fun, with me and the club. I want to get him to do some bike packing with me next year, so an open triangle (steel) is kinda in that ballpark. I really prefer hydraulic disc brakes!

Thanks!
OH, LOL necro post... sorry. :)




Thing is anything with V-brakes is most likely to NOT have anything close to current geometry and for my .02 fairly modern geo is really beneficial. yes it's cool to ride older bikes for fun and it's suprising how they will excel at some things with how light and nimble they can be. BUT it's like they were purposefully designed to get you to endo/OTB all the time! :)

You also kind of limit how your riding can progress. Which isn't always important to everyone? No denying vintage is cool though!
 
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