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Found this article

Why You Should Never Buy a 12? Bike! (with one exception) | Two Wheeling Tots

While I saw some familiar points, I was confused by the author's arguments that seemed to say that a slack seat tube angle was the most important thing.

I thought I had read here that kids are expected to prefer a more upright torso position, but the author seems to argue the opposite. She seems to be saying arguing for a more aggressive handlebar position and a slacker seat tube.

Maybe I had a hard time understanding what she was saying because I have an engineering degree and she admittedly doesn't.

But in the end, she ended up with the same conclusion as many here - the Specialized Hotrock 12 is the best and possibly the only good 12. (I wonder if she considered the TrekJet 12.)

Thoughts?
 

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From what I can read, the author is making a flawed argument... Near the beginning, she states:
The closer we are to the fulcrum (the crank – where the pedals attach to the bike), the less leverage (the ability to apply pressure) we have.
This is certainly correct. However, she then goes into a long argument that it's the "seat-to-fulcrum" distance that matters in this scenario. THis statement, alas, is bogus. There are three factors which govern how easy a bike is to pedal:
The length of the crank-arms (which is the "distance to the fulcrum" that she mentions)
The gear-ratio between crank and wheel (1 turn of the crank == ??? turns of the wheel. For a tricycle this factor is 1.0, for a bike maybe not)
The size of the wheel

Bicyclists have a science of measuring this called "gear-inches."
 

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IME most trikes are harder to pedal than bikes as kids find it easier to be over the pedals. My son did have a Specialized at 2, but before that he learnt on a cheap pile of crap - in fact just remembered it was a 10 inch wheel! What a shame she didn't search for one year old riding a bike with no training wheels!
 

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I looked into the Trek Jet briefly because some used ones popped up in my area.

I can't remember the source but got the impression some where that it was heavy. And actually thinking more about it was a posting in a forum or somewhere where the parent was expressing frustration how their kid was having a difficult time pedaling on the bike compared to a cheapie 12 inch bike. I think they were complaining about the ratio of the gears or pedals or something like that.

But I was wondering the same thing about the Giant Animator because Giant should be a pretty reputable bike brand as well.

Good to hear other people's opinions on this article though. Because I read it a while back and took it for its word because I'm not too familar with those types of aspects of a bike.
 

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Holy over-thinking things Batman! Always makes me chuckle when people over-complicate little kids' bike 'needs'. Gotta have this geometry, or that weight, or training wheels will keep the kid from learning, etc etc. Then I take a peak at some of the old pics from when my son was 4 and 5 and the giant stack of BMX trophies he earned at that time and I wonder how much of this stuff is really makes a difference to developing a kid's riding skills versus how much is really just parents that get into bike-geeking.

IME, if anyone wants their kid to get a real jumpstart on being a good rider, forget all the bike-centric mumbo-jumbo and spend a few hundred dollars on some nice dirt and put in the time to build them a backyard pumptrack. It'll make 50x the difference any bike ever will. And you'll learn a few things on it too.
 

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ilmfat
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Holy over-thinking things Batman! Always makes me chuckle when people over-complicate little kids' bike 'needs'. Gotta have this geometry, or that weight, or training wheels will keep the kid from learning, etc etc. Then I take a peak at some of the old pics from when my son was 4 and 5 and the giant stack of BMX trophies he earned at that time and I wonder how much of this stuff is really makes a difference to developing a kid's riding skills versus how much is really just parents that get into bike-geeking.

IME, if anyone wants their kid to get a real jumpstart on being a good rider, forget all the bike-centric mumbo-jumbo and spend a few hundred dollars on some nice dirt and put in the time to build them a backyard pumptrack. It'll make 50x the difference any bike ever will. And you'll learn a few things on it too.
but that sounds like woooooorrrrrrrkkkkkkk ;)
 

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but that sounds like woooooorrrrrrrkkkkkkk ;)
:) That's for sure. Dunno what was more challenging - putting in all that shovel time, or convincing the wife that it would be a good addition to the landscape.
 

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ilmfat
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I never really cared about our yard, but we bought our first house last year, so of course I want my lawn to be PERFECT.

My kid has other ideas. She's decided to just ride her bike around a certain path and I'm letting her carve her own "single track".

Hitting the trail with my kid is ALOT more fun than trying to maintain the perfect lawn anyways.
 

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I have a 3 year old on the same 12" hotrock in the article and he'd=s doing great. That said, the article doesn't make sense to me. She's equating 'fulcrum' with seat tube angle. I think a lot of serious triathletes would argue the point that a short 'fulcrum' caused by a steep SA angle makes it difficult to pedal.

The biggest challenge my son had transitioning from the Strider to the Hotrock was first, learning to pedal. He'd never done that before, so it took a couple of days to figure it out. After that it was learning to brake.

Once he mastered those two things, the biggest challenge was the relative weight of the bike. His Strider was something like 5 lbs. He could also go as slow as he wanted uphill without tipping over. The 12" bike is probably 3x as heavy as the Strider, and he has to maintain a minimal level of speed to maintain balance. FWIW my son has had no issue picking up and riding the cheap "Lighting McQueen" $50 12" bike I cleaned and repair for donation, despite not having 'optimal fulcrum' geometry. In fact, I had to promise to get Cars stickers for his Specialized because he liked the cheap bike better - damn Disney marketing...

-I'm- more comfortable with him on his Strider as I know he's fully mastered it. The pedal bike still makes me nervous when he points downhill. It is amazingly cool to watch him ride, though - and he loves the attention.
 

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Thinking about this some more, I'd imagine the primary benefit of the Specialized 'offset' bottom bracket is it allows the saddle to be positioned lower to the ground while still maintaining adequate room for the kid's legs at the top of the pedal stroke. Let's the kid comfortably be able to put their feet on the ground while on the saddle, without being too cramped.

Another bike company used to promote this a few years ago. Cant' remember the name - they made a bunch of hotrod/cruiser type bikes that employed a more forward BB specifically to aid in building confidence for the kids while learning to ride.
 

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I never really cared about our yard, but we bought our first house last year, so of course I want my lawn to be PERFECT.

My kid has other ideas. She's decided to just ride her bike around a certain path and I'm letting her carve her own "single track".
That's how it starts...next thing you know, it ends up like my buddy's yard.

:thumbsup:




 

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Yes, that's a great track! We got my son a Yamaha PW50 at 3.5 years old. They grow up real fast and develop great skills quickly on a moto. He's now faster than me and almost keeping up with my husband at 10.
 

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The coolest thing (which you can't tell from the pics) is that the track is elevated from the houses you see and if you don't actually climb up a steep little hill from them, you wouldn't even know there's anything up on top. He calls it his Dirt Farm.

 

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Yes, that's a great track! We got my son a Yamaha PW50 at 3.5 years old. They grow up real fast and develop great skills quickly on a moto. He's now faster than me and almost keeping up with my husband at 10.
Those little PWs are great; we love us some motorized toys too. Gotta figure a 25-30 lb bike doesn't seem like so much to handle for a kid after a spending all winter riding (and jumping) a 400+ lb snowmobile.
 
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