Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking at getting my daughter her first mountain bike. She's pretty skilled on her bmx but I want to start her out on some easy trail riding. The 24" will be a little big for her size but if I buy her a 20" she will outgrow it in no time. It seems the average price is around $350.00 for something new and decent. I checked out a Trek and didn't like the front fork at all. It was way too stiff and seemed pretty much non-functional. Any bike recommendations out there. My LBS has a Marin for Girls which seemed a lillte better than the Trek I saw.

Thanks!
 

·
pronounced may-duh
Joined
·
4,306 Posts
Don't get a 20" she will outgrow it very fast. The specialized hotrock 24" wheel bikes have a decent working forks and the frames are very small (11" frame). The trek kids bikes are lower quality then specialized. I'm sure some of the other brands also make similar bikes to specialized so maybe the Marin is also a good idea.

If she can't fit the 24" wheels then wait a month or two and then buy. They grow very fast at that age. Get a bike she can barely fit and it will last for more then 1 year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,273 Posts
oceanminded said:
Looking at getting my daughter her first mountain bike. She's pretty skilled on her bmx but I want to start her out on some easy trail riding. The 24" will be a little big for her size but if I buy her a 20" she will outgrow it in no time. It seems the average price is around $350.00 for something new and decent. I checked out a Trek and didn't like the front fork at all. It was way too stiff and seemed pretty much non-functional. Any bike recommendations out there. My LBS has a Marin for Girls which seemed a lillte better than the Trek I saw.

Thanks!
I picked up a GT for my son who is 8 at Performance. With all of the discounts and coupons it ended up being about $160. Very nice little bike. Also we threw on a 26 inch carbon judy with a nice front wheel. Only raised the front end of the bike about 3/4 of an inch going to a real fork and larger front wheel. When set up with the sag appropriately it actually sits about the same hight. He does much better in sand and climbing with the larger front wheel. As an added bonus it shaved about 4 pounds off the bike. I don't think you will get anything any different with Novara, Trek, Spec, Scott or anything else, they are all about the same quality. I would just get the bike you get the best deal on.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
My almost 7 y.o. still has a ways to grow on her 20" hotrock so you might squeak out at least a year. One main difference with 24" you're throwing in both front & rear deraillers along w/suspension vs just rear der on 20". You might want to scour craigslist for a used 20" like a Specialized or Trek to get her used to shifting/suspension/2 brake levers before jumping head first into the 24 that's too big.

All the 20" & 24" have fairly heavy components and the shocks aren't too great. Good thing is lighter adult parts like post/stem/bars can be used to lighten them up, and you can move all the lighter stuff to each successive bike. Wheels/Tires you're kind of stuck with. I did find some 20" Kenda Small Block 8's to lighten the rotating mass, but for only a year I might pass on that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
I bought my 6.5 YOA daughter a Haro Flightline 20". It is great. I thought that she would have difficulty getting used to the shifting and the levered brakes but she picked it up in an hour. It is a great bike. I will admit that she is really good with taking care of it so she isnt dropping it or anything like that but it seems really sturdy. It has good (for kids bikes) components. It is a twist shift and shifts quickly and flawlessly. I am very impressed with the Haro.

I agree with Texacajun that when you bump up to a 24" that it is a little more bike right away. I went with the 20" for that reason. I didnt want to put too much on her too quickly. In about 2 years, I will buy her a new bike with front and rear deraileurs.

Good luck, its an unbelievable expierence to get to explore the trails with your kids.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
380 Posts
Try a Scott bike. They actually make them to work with kids...... As you mentioned the Trek and most forks on 20 and 24 inch bikes are useless. But the Scott is setup to work with lighter kids on it. II bought the 20 inch Scott Scale for my 6 year old. He gets it tomorrow on his B-day and ill post up some shots. Their bikes look sweet and like i mentioned they are actually made with lighter riders in mind
 

·
Toadfather
Joined
·
115 Posts
Marin Hidden Canyon
Scott Scale Junior 20
Scott Spark Junior 20 (full suspension)
Scott Voltage/Contessa 20
Kona Makena
Kona Shred 2-0 (disk brakes)
Ibex Alpine 320k

Note that the Ibex looks like it uses quick releases on the hubs. This is a BIG deal to me. I know that the Marin and Scott uses crap bolt-on hubs. I am not sure about Kona. I bought a used Marin Hidden Canyon for my 7 year old daughter and had to rebuild the wheels to get quick releases. My kids get alot of flats during the summer from trail thorns.

If I were buying new, I would get the Ibex ... threadless headset and quick releases on both wheels and the seatpost. It also uses a standard square taper sealed bottom bracket so swaping cranks would be a snap. It also uses a standard free hub body so It is easliy changed to a 1x9 from 3x7. This bike is alot closer to what I would build than any of the others. It is $379 direct from Ibex.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
texacajun said:
snip...Wheels/Tires you're kind of stuck with. I did find some 20" Kenda Small Block 8's to lighten the rotating mass, but for only a year I might pass on that.
I have a pair of Schwalbe Mow Joe folding tires on order for my son's Hot Rock 20. They are 380 grams a piece. I have no idea about the weight of the original Specialized 20" tires. I will keep you posted about how they perform. Price is about € 26 a piece, at the current exchange rate that's about $ 36.

Kind regards,

Clemens
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
413 Posts
My 7 year old loves her GF Tyro.
My complaints are the quill stem, the riveted from cranks with the plastic pant leg gaurd (Broke the first time my 4 year old ran into her accidently) and of course the heavy useless front fork.
It seems solid though, and I'm trying to swap some parts on it to lighten it up some without spending a lot of $$$.
I won't spend a lot on this bike since she'll be on a 26" in a year or two.
I think it is sturdy enough to survive and pass to her little sister though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
I was having some of the same problems with my soon to be 7 year old. No one has really posted any heights and weights of their kids, so maybe this will help someone. My daughter will be 7 in 2 weeks and is just shy of 48" tall and weighs about 46 lbs with a 20" inseam.

We bought her a Marin Tiny Trail when she was 4 yrs old and she has ridden in to this point. We modified it slightly by removing the BMX handle bars and replacing them with some mountain bike riser bars (the bars it should have come with, btw). The Tiny Trail is a 16" wheel size and although it's the lightest we could find...it's still heavy. Note to bike makers: make a great lightweight bike for little guys! I would pay for it and I think others would too! I see no reason why a little bitty bike should weigh more than my full size mountain bike.

We recently bought a Haro Flightline 20 and I am VERY impressed with this bike...the weight is very decent, the components are terrific for a little bike, the seat is great quality and even the aluminum welds look perfect (not like gooped up toothpaste you see on some). We had the shop fit her on this bike, a Marin Hidden Trail and a Specialized Hot Rock. All the bikes are a bit big for her, but the Haro was the only one she could touch on and that didn't stretch her out too far to hamper turning and normal operation. Side by side, all the bikes looked comparable with only subtle size differences, but the fit,design and quality of the Haro made this a no contest in my mind. I also want to note that the suspension legs in the front are aluminum (huge weight savings over the 16" Marin she's coming off of).

Well done Haro! :thumbsup:

Hope this helps someone else. I never even knew Haro made a little mountain bike until I read this. Great thread...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,228 Posts
Ibex has a nice 24" bike out again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Hi All,

Couldn't figure out how to post on a new thread. My 10 year old (80lbs) WILL NOT ride a bike on her own. Last year, I literally followed her with tools to replace training wheels as the tread fell off the frame so she could keep going.......

SO - I found the add a bike.....hoping I can just hook her up to my bike and she can pedal along or just sit there and I'll pedal so we can all go out together....my mtb bike is a 13inch Ritche lightweight frame. I am 5ft - she is almost as big as I am.

Does anyone have any opinions on this tactic to getting her to ride a bike?

Greatly appreciated!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Your situation is a lot different than what mine was since both of my boys started riding their own bikes with no training wheels when they were 2, but the same principles should work.

First of all you have to build her confidence. Start raising the training wheels up a little at a time so that the bike has to lean farther over before the training wheels touch. Once she starts to get used to the wheels not touching then start talking about how great she is doing and that she doesn't even need the training wheels on there. That alone won't work, the second part is the reward.

After the confidence is on its way up then throw in a reward for ditching the training wheels. You have to make it something worth working for though or she won't care, and don't make it something you want it has to be something she wants. With these two things, more confidence and a reward for trying she will be more willing to try.

Don't forget, when trying to ride with no training wheels its best to start with long pants, on a small hill in the grass. Even though it may just be a mental thing for them it helps with the confidence level. After a few times with that then move to the sidewalk and run behind making them think that you are holding on. Just don't let them fall and get scraped up or she won't trust you for a while. Good Luck!!

Doug
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
557 Posts
Try taking the training wheels and pedals off so she learns to trust herself balancing and that she can put her feet down. We did this with my daughter when she was 4 and within an hour I put the pedals back on and she was off and going like it was nothing.

She is 7 now and very small for her age, she is on a Marin Hidden Canyon 20" and I had all I could do to get it "down" to her size so she has a lot of room to grow into it. I really wanted a 24" but it just wasn't happening so now I am looking into ways to lighten the load a bit and there are some good threads here of other builds guys have done that are extremely well detailed, so let the fun begin.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
10 year old too scared to ride......

Thanks for the ideas!

I bought her a smaller bike (that is probably too small for her) so she could use her feet. I put training wheels on it - but at 80 lbs and 4ft 6, the training wheels aren't meant for her height/weight.....so I literally follow her (ratchet set in hand) and when one training wheel dies, I put on another one. You can laugh at the visual of me walking down the sidewalk with a bag of training wheels, ratchet set in hand!)

I've tried holding onto the back - holding on to both back and front - and it's just tear central.......(clearly not my genes!).

DO you think I can hook up an Adams (or other) Add a Bike to my 13inch lightweight Ritche frame? (I"m 5ft). I'm sort of hoping that if she's connected to my bike, she can at least get comfortable with moving forward without freaking out.....and pedal when she feels like it.....and sh'ell sort of learn the balance piece organically.

Thoughts appreciated!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
I sort of had the same issue when I attempted to teach my older niece. At 19 she still is afraid. Her little sister took a lot of convincing at 8 but when she saw my 4 y.o. doing it she got jealous and then really gave it a shot and succeeded. She rips pretty well at 10 and wants me to work on her bike every time I see her. By the time they hit 10 it gets a little hard to overcome those fears and it's hard to be patient with irrational fears. All I'd have to offer is try something like a razor scooter that helps promote balance to help overcome the fear. If she can master that and get some confidence, then attempt to take the pedals/training wheels off and practice the push bike thing on a small grassy hill.

IMO, once they get taller & heavier those training wheels are a real danger. Turning sharp and rolling up on just a training wheel scared the daylights out of me when mine was 3. I cringe when I see some 8-9 year olds on training wheels lean into corners on our neighborhood trails & sidewalks. I've seen a few eat it pretty hard when they hooked something with the training wheel too.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top