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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter rides mainly to school, to stores with my wife, and recreationally with me on bike paths and an occasional beginner's singletrack.

The four bikes I am considering are the Giant Revel, Giant Sedona, Jamis XR Trail, and KHS Alite.

I am considering these bikes because they are cheap (under $350) which is actually important aside from the price tag because I don't want her to stress over a bike that is too nice and might get stolen. A low worry and low maintenance bike that is still durable is what we are looking for.

Does anybody own one of these bikes and have thoughts about the bike? Any other bikes we should look at?

Thanks
 

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Can't comment on these bikes specifically - the Revel and KHS Alite will have a boat anchor front shock and the Sedona and Jamis would likely be better with a rigid fork, but their geometry looks horrendous for anything short of tooling around on the neighborhood bike paths - but I think you already knew that.

I would say either go used or bump your budget up to a Diamondback Haanjenn currently $450 at Jenson or something similar just off the top of my head. The XS 47cm is recommended height 5' to 5'4".

I was getting deal alerts for Nashbar today - they surely have a house brand no name flat bar road bike around $350 with their typical 20-25% off deals that would fit the bill if you can figure her size correctly off the internet. I have their green flat bar road bike shipped to me for $250 that I'm quite happy with (only needed new seat, new pedals, and new grips).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can't comment on these bikes specifically - the Revel and KHS Alite will have a boat anchor front shock and the Sedona and Jamis would likely be better with a rigid fork, but their geometry looks horrendous for anything short of tooling around on the neighborhood bike paths - but I think you already knew that.

I would say either go used or bump your budget up to a Diamondback Haanjenn currently $450 at Jenson or something similar just off the top of my head. The XS 47cm is recommended height 5' to 5'4".

I was getting deal alerts for Nashbar today - they surely have a house brand no name flat bar road bike around $350 with their typical 20-25% off deals that would fit the bill if you can figure her size correctly off the internet. I have their green flat bar road bike shipped to me for $250 that I'm quite happy with (only needed new seat, new pedals, and new grips).
Thanks for the thoughtful post. I'll take a look at the Dback.
 

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Oops jenson is selling the HaanJenn Metro for $450

I've just been tracking prices on DBack lately bc they offer heavy discounts on corporate pricing incentives

I was doing a comparison between their Haanjo 24 cross bike at. $380 Vs Scott Speedster 24 $400 I just posted about

But for your purchase - try perksatwork . com with a work email - it's a back door portal to get you a variety of corporate pricing opportunities. there is another website portal out there for mostly law enforcement and military that requires an invite that also grants corporate pricing to DBack but I forget the name

Corporate pricing has the HaanJenn Metro at $300 and HaanJeen (regular) at $460 - so see if you can get in
 

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I'm in a very similar situation. Looking for a bike for a beginner girl for occasional single track... Have you checked out Liv's bikes? They are Giants, but women specific. The XS small is for 5' to 5'3 of 5'4" I think.
 

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If you can find a deal or lightly used one, an isla bein 26 is probably the direction I'd lean for a 12 year old. They're light, have great geometry for light singletrack, or cruising around. They don't look flashy so would be much less of a target unless someone knows what they are.

Unless they're very small, 12 is usually right at an adult XS frame size for 26" wheels. I have a small 11 year old and she'll definitely be off her 24" bike by 13, unless she just wants to keep riding it, but I really don't think I'd consider a 24 unless you think they'll be sub 5' for a long time.

Otherwise I'd lean towards another rigid MTB or a road / CX bike that can take slightly larger than road specific tires 33C or larger 650B would be great for multi purpose riding.
 

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I'm in a very similar situation. Looking for a bike for a beginner girl for occasional single track... Have you checked out Liv's bikes? They are Giants, but women specific. The XS small is for 5' to 5'3 of 5'4" I think.
Women specific is rather a good marketing gimmick but other than the saddle I can't see any difference at all in requirements for male vs female...at least anything bigger than differences within a gender.

A 4'10" man or a 4'10" woman ... what conceivable differences could they need in frame geometry?

The saddle and saddle placement is the biggest change. Due to reasons of biology (I stuck a link below) women prefer to sit further back in the saddle so a women specific saddle and seatpost that moves the saddle forwards (or back less) is a good idea but common wisdom on any decent bike is that the saddle is just something it is sold with until the new owner replaces it with something they find comfortable... (both men and women) ...

Are women specific bikes necessary? - Cycling Weekly

There is nothing WRONG with these decent bikes... just nothing as to why you'd pay more.

My personal experience (being someone with slightly shorter than normal legs for my height) is different manufacturers tend to use a different norm.... (right across the board)

In general if a Gaint fits you on a road bike a Giant DH bike will.... (etc.)

Interestingly if you think about it ... Giant mens bikes would be designed to be unusable for their "home market" (if you take the average SE Asian sizes) ...

It's quite possible women may not be penalised as much by the Q factor (how far pedals are apart in short) but I don't see Liv or anyone else having custom made (wider spaced) cranks for womens models...

Reach etc. is really just the right stem and headset/spacers...
For a kid who's growing these are items you'd change anyway as they grow.
At some point you might be at the default... my 7yr old is on his 2nd stem length and the spacers are adjusted as he grows.

Interestingly? to take an extreme, Rachel Atherton (1.73cm) races a mans Large Trek Session 9.9 ...

My 7yr old boy rides a "girls" Cannondale race... btw
 

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There are a few ways you could go. My three kids are quite big now and for me, the most important factor is that they grow out of bikes very quickly.

With that in mind, if you want to buy new, I'd recommend the bike that holds its value best. One of our kids had a Specialized Hotrock and that bike sold for a big chunk of its new price. It sold for twice the amount we got for a Giant bike of the same size that cost about the same new. A lot of people know the name Specialized and think it's a good brand.

Having said that, buying used is usually a better bet. Most kids get bikes, some kids never ride them. You'll find a mint condition used bike for a fraction of the new price and with a bit of luck be able to sell it for close to what you paid for it in a few years.

In terms if fit, it's hard to win. If they fit it now it'll be too small soon, too big now they'll fit it later. From my experience they are happier on a bike that's too small than one that's too big. They can chuck it around more easily and feel more confident on it.

That's generally what you want. The lightest, most chuckable bike you can find. Unless they plan on doing big jumps, kids do not need suspension, or a huge range of gears. Keep it simple, light and not too big and they'll have a blast.
 

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It all depends what you class as big jumps....The rest I agree 100%

A rigid dirt jump bike can do 30'+ jumps so long as the landing isn't on roots or rocks...
On the other hand a tiny 6' jump landing with the front wheel in front of a root or rock is a challenge and 6' is really a bunny hop... not even a jump let alone a "big jump" (We do hundreds on a typical day out... any root or lip is an excuse for a 6' "jump"...)

This is when my kid was 6 ... again not a big jump we we cycled UP before descending... its not the steepest hill we cycle, just the one I have a photo.(there is no photo going up as I was trying not to have a heart attack:mad:)..but it also illustrates why he needs suspension... if his front wheel hits those rocks either landing from a jump or not its unlikely to be pleasant going down and he's unlikely to get over it going up without suspension.

I'm sure a expert trials rider could do this fully rigid... but then there is a reason they retire or take time off with broken backs ...much as I'm sure Martyn Ashton could ride down strapped to his modified bike he's not going to be pedalling up without the use of his legs.... and Danny Macaskill is on his second broken back...

I'm sure either could ride ANY bike down here... (Obviously for Martyn before his last broken back)... including a road bike... but for the rest of us suspension really does help and the smaller the wheels the more it's needed!


This is just a red graded trail..(probably at the more technical end).. now he's 7 he's more into black... but he uses the suspension on Blue as well... its not the jump that needs suspension but what happens immediately after landing or climbing over roots or rocks that would otherwise stop his momentum.

On Monday we went out and we were on the warm up Blue and I'd just tightened the headset and locked the forks to do so.... he made one of his first landings (off tiny jumps), hit a root and went straight over the bars.... luckily he didn't hit a tree or rock... and no damage done..



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