Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My daughter has recently decided to give mtn biking a try. She has a Nishiki "mtn bike" 24" We bought it several months ago for her just to ride around the neighborhood but able to ride off road in gravel or dirt paths. She went out with us last weekend a rode a "green" trail. Some obstacles such as uphill roots, rock garden, fast downhill switch backs. She had fun and is willing to give it another go, but the bike is heavy and stiff. I know it's the bike, it's very low end and not designed for that type of riding. We would like to upgrade her in the next year and I'd like to do some comparisons to help pick her next bike. She's 11, around 4'9". I'm not sure on inseam but she has long legs. I want to take her to the LBS to check stand over height on some XS Liv bikes. I ride one and love it. My husband rides a Giant, so we initially wanted to stick with the Giant brand, but I'm open to other brands where we can find an entry level trail bike that's affordable.

I'm looking at Liv Tempt 4 and a Trek Skye SL Disc Women. The Liv is around $540 and Trek right at $500 and they look comparable. Basically something that can handle some light to moderate trails but not cost a fortune for her first mtn bike.

Any advice? Thanks!!
 

·
Riding rigid
Joined
·
287 Posts
Most bikes in that price range will be very similar in all aspects. Weights between those two brands or any other brands (Specialized, Cannondale, Scott) will be pretty similar given a price range. You'll find similar mix of components of a particular level whether its shimano or SRAM. I tell people who are looking for a new bike, every company has a bike model at a given price range. There is less variability at the lower price range, in which case, find one that feels right and you like the color. Have her try out a bunch of bikes and see which one feels right for her.
 

·
Bikes in jeans
Joined
·
2,336 Posts
The biggest problem in that price range, and honestly up to around $1000 for most mainstream brands, is the suspension is typically close to unusable even for an adult weight rider, so it's literally useless for kids. This is almost universal across the board until you get to a bike with an air fork. This is why most of us go with rigid fork bikes or build our own kid's bikes because you might as well save the weight if it's not usable.

But, you're definitely at a tough spot in every respect because she'll likely grow out of just about anything that is close to fitting her right now. A new $500 bike has a resale value of around $100 - $150 in 2 or so years, IMO it's just tough to justify stacking up bike purchases of lower end bikes.

If you're comfortable doing it yourself, you can definitely build a much better and more usable bike, we did a FS XS build this summer from almost entirely ebay parts. Otherwise, I'd strongly recommend looking for a used XS if you have a locally active craigslist or cycling community. You can typically find a significantly better bike for the same cost, it's not even uncommon to find ones with virtually no wear on them. Entry level and even mid range bikes just don't hold a ton of value which makes them great to purchase used and you can get close to the same amount back because they only depreciate so far. I'd take a 10 - 15 year old bike with a good steel frame and 26" wheels weighing 22 lbs over these 30 - 35 lb bikes that are the standard for just about everything new coming out.

As far as new bikes go, literally, they're almost all the same in this price range, so look for a sale or good deal. You might be able to find some with slightly differing geometry frames, but the component sets and Suntour or unbranded forks are going to be almost universal across the price range. There's absolutely no reason to get fixed to any brand as far as entry level bikes go.
 

·
RAKC
Joined
·
7,606 Posts
Thing is also that nishiki MTB and the bikes your listing are about the same specs really.

Try not to get stuck on "women specific" bikes when it comes to kids bikes. It's still really lopsided as to what is Available for boys vs girls when it comes to bike.

Trek and specialized both offer more serious kids bikes (lighter weight, better forks etc) that are actually worth calling mountain bikes by adult standards. Figure they'll cost you about $1000 or so.

Or as said, a used XS sized frame. Don't get hung up on FS either, it's far from required for 90% of trail riding. Me and my 10yr old son road trails today (I've been doing it off and on since last year) on full rigid fat bikes that most of the bikes I see are FS. I enjoy it and it's teaching my son good handling skills instead of being reliant on suspension to maintain control. Back home it's a mix of FS and hardtails except the fat bikers are mostly on rigid.

Sent from my XT1565 using Tapatalk
 

·
turtles make me hot
Joined
·
11,519 Posts
One of my friends bought his daughter a Specialized Ruze Comp6 Fattie. Excellent bike. 27.5x3" tires, air fork, dropper post...
His daughter is also 4'11'' but she's around 17 so she might not grow too much more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,089 Posts
The only reason for a women specific frame at age 11 is if they make adult smaller.. and really after that the only thing you'd really change might be a saddle.

What I'd really recommend is look about for a place that does hire and actually try as many as possible.

The Tempt 4 Frame is the same as the Tempt 2 Frame.... etc.
The price difference is the components and forks... buying new forks is somewhat expensive... whereas most of everything else is "disposable or needs replacing" ...

In other words if you get a good frame and forks (on a hardtail) you can change the components out (if she gets keen) but changing the forks will probably not be worth it ... (as it gets easier to get a new bike at some point)...

If it were me I'd look for a good used frame in the right size with forks ... if the frame, forks and wheels are good you can replace anything else (if you decide later) and also replace the frame when she needs a larger one....and keep any upgraded components

If things don't work out that way you can sell for about what you paid.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,089 Posts
Thanks for all the good advice. We are looking around on craigs list for a used bike for now I think.
At least over in the UK eBay can be quite good and also Pinkbike.

You can't really lose out of you pay a decent price and sell it later should you or DD decide on something different...

Look for something with a 9,10 speed or in technical terms a cassette not freewheel...
Freewheel or Cassette?

This means you can change anything for med-good components.
If you have a freewheel it would mean a new rear wheel ...

If you (might) want disk brakes the same.... the wheel hubs need to be designed for disk brakes and the frame needs to have mounts in the right places. A cheap mechanical one can be replaced by any right up to top end pretty simply...

Like jestep say's its mostly airfork or not....there used to be different options 10 years+ ago but now any half decent fork is air..

Incidentally my 7yr old boy actually rides a "girls" bike. The entire difference being the saddle and paint color.

My husband rides a Giant, so we initially wanted to stick with the Giant brand, but I'm open to other brands where we can find an entry level trail bike that's affordable.
So do I (own a Giant) but its really just a label .... Giant used to be really good value as they were making the bikes for the major manufacturers and selling their own brand but now it's more or less equal... (Giant are no better or worse just they are more expensive than they used to be)

Liv (etc) is just a bit of a marketing (IMHO) ... nothing wrong with the bikes at all ... just the idea of "Women specific" is stupid... an extra small bike ridden by a man needs all the same "different" things except the saddle.

On what our local trails grade "green" there is really no need for any specific type of suspension and indeed a hybrid can easily do anything but looking used for the same money you can get a pretty good used hardtail.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I really appreciate all the honest advice and recommendations. We've looked on craigs list and just not a lot around here for what we are looking for. We went to a local Trek store in charlotte yesterday. A neighbor that got us into riding recently bought his son a new bike that was a 2016 model at a deep discount. The guy spent a lot of time with us, and for the price difference on last years model, we went ahead an ordered her an entry level Trek with disc brakes. 27.5" XS frame. It fit her pretty good even now and there is some room to grow. I think when she's a teen and fully grown, assuming she's still riding and wants to tackle more advanced trails, we will upgrade into a more serious mountain bike.
 

·
turtles make me hot
Joined
·
11,519 Posts
Nice.

I always build my son bikes with nice components as light as is reasonably possible and he enjoys riding. Sounds like you did the right thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,089 Posts
I really appreciate all the honest advice and recommendations. We've looked on craigs list and just not a lot around here for what we are looking for. We went to a local Trek store in charlotte yesterday. A neighbor that got us into riding recently bought his son a new bike that was a 2016 model at a deep discount. The guy spent a lot of time with us, and for the price difference on last years model, we went ahead an ordered her an entry level Trek with disc brakes. 27.5" XS frame. It fit her pretty good even now and there is some room to grow. I think when she's a teen and fully grown, assuming she's still riding and wants to tackle more advanced trails, we will upgrade into a more serious mountain bike.
It's always great to know how things turn out after giving honest answers and opinion.
I just spent a bunch of cash ... didn't buy a 2016 bike but took advantage of all the new year offers...

A lot of things worth buying when you see an offer are the replaceable components from chains to brakepads etc. (New years day I paid about 1/4 the normal price) and also cleaning/lubricating products ... don't use WD40 on a chain (or not to luibe the chain)

Keeping all the moving parts clean and lubricated will do more than anything to keep the bike feeling new.... checking the chain (you can get a tools for $2-$3) is also good as it prevent more expensive components from wearing.

I use a chain washer and make my 7yr old clean his chain after every off-road ride. It's just easier being consistent with 7yr olds... sometimes that means a more thorough wash than is strictly required... (After washing is when you can use a little WD40 to drive out water though some would argue never) then a decent chain lube... (WD40 actually make one just to confuse matters)

Anyway, these are all products that can cost a lot but are regularly reduced ... Youtube has some good videos on how to clean and maintain (lube) bikes....

Pressure washers are something to be used with caution (or they are fine if you know what you're doing but best avoided if you don't as you can force water into places and get rid of internal grease)

Just a free set of tips for keeping the new bike feeling new.... and I'm sure your DD will get a lot of happy times and use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
One of the main decision factors for us after considering everything that has been suggested, (other than the type of riding she will do) was how she felt about the bikes we were looking at. When she sat on this one, she loved it. It's called a Skye and her nickname is Sky. I thought she was going to freak out from excitement when she saw the name and thought it was perfect. :) And to be honest, that makes a huge difference knowing she will be truly excited to hit the trails as a family, even if it's not the long term bike she needs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Great advice! I will keep a look out for deals like that. One rule we have when riding our motorized toys on the trails (dirt bikes and ATVs), is if you ride it, you keep it clean. So I think it will be a good transition to have her help keep her bike clean and maintained. I will definitely check out videos on that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,089 Posts
And to be honest, that makes a huge difference knowing she will be truly excited to hit the trails as a family, even if it's not the long term bike she needs.
One of the other regulars on here posted something a while back.....
It was something like "cost of new bike or upgrades = $$$, price of spending quality time on the trails with your kids = priceless"
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top