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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
He is a 15 year old who uses his bike to ride around our town, some on the streets/paths and mostly on grassy trails. He is tough on bikes and has destroyed a few NON-mountain bikes(racing bikes) by riding them on on the grassy, rocky trails.

Which one of these bikes are best for him considering their prices and the fact that soon his friends will be 16 and he will probably ride less and less with time. Is Bike #2 worth the extra $75?

Bike 1 ($325):
Frame
Lightweight Welded Aluminum with multi-shaped tubes and reinforcing gusset. Replaceable rear derailleur hanger, H2O brazeons,
Fork - RST CAPA with 4" travel and LockOut
Derailleurs - Shimano ALIVIO rear / SIS front with Shimano Freewheel
Shifters - Shimano 24 Speed Trigger
Brakes/Levers - TEKTRO NOVELA DISC BRAKE
Hubs - Aluminum Alloy with quick release for disc brakes
Rims - Aluminum Double Wall Disc specific
Crank -Shimano ATB 24x34x42T
Saddle - ATB Super Comfort
Seatpost- Aluminum alloy
Pedals -Resin Dual-purpose
Tires- ATB 26x1.9 Dual Use

Bike 2 ($400):
Frame 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Trail Tuned Geometry with replaceable rear derailleur hanger and Double Diamond profile Aluminum downtube with reinforced downtube gusset.
Fork RockShox Dart 1 with adjustable preload (Disc Brake post mounts)
Crankset TruVativ Aluminum Triple 22/32/42
Bottom Bracket Sealed Cartridge
Pedals ATB Beartrap Al/Composite
Front Derailleur Shimano FDM 330
Rear Derailleur Shimano Deore
Shifters Shimano EZ-Fire 8 Speed Trigger shift Pods (24 speeds total) with Optical Gear Display
Cassette/Freewheel 12-28t 8 Speed
Chain Z7 Super Narrow
Hubs Gravity Disc Aluminum (black finish) 36 spoke
Spokes 36 Stainless Steel 14 gauge Black or Silver no choice
Rims Alex DP17 Disc Specific Double Wall 6061T6 Aluminum Black Anodized
(Some rims have no decals (no choice))
Tires WTB Velociraptor Blackwall 26 x 2.10
Brakes Tektro IO Mechanical Disc Brakes with 160mm rotors
Brake Levers Shimano STEF29
Headset Integrated 1 1/8 Ahead Sealed
Handlebar Windsor Comp Aluminum Riser
Stem Windsor Comp Threadless Aluminum
Tape/Grip WTB Dual Compound
Saddle WTB Speed V
Seat Post Windsor Aluminum Micro-Adjust
Seat Clamp Alloy w/QR
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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18,453 Posts
#2 certainly reads like a better spec. I'm a little suspicious of mail order bikes, but if he's still growing, fit is going to be really difficult regardless.

The biggest differences are the fork and derailleurs, I think. People sometimes get a fair amount of service out of their Darts, but RSTs are pretty bad. Derailleurs are a little better on #2.

If your son's only using the bike for transportation, and the trail riding is incidental to that, I'd probably save the $75. If he's doing trail riding because it's fun, supporting that with a little nicer bike could be a pretty cool thing to do. Some parts on the Windsor will be able to transfer to a new frame if he grows out of it, breaks it, wants something fancier, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Andrew for the help.

He uses his bike primarily for local transportation and any trail riding is due to that being the shortest way to where they want to go. He is 5'8" and his measured standover is 32.75" and the bike I'd get him is a 19" with 30.5"standover.
I'd guess that as soon as one of his friends gets a DL and a car, his bike will sit in the garage most of the time. Then again, maybe I'll start using it. :) but even then, I'll be sticking to the bike paths here in The Woodlands.

Thanks again for your help.
 

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Go with bike 2. The specs are better and the $75 difference will be worth it. On a side note, if needed, the 2nd bike will have a higher resale value because of the better components.
 

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I agree with AndrwSwitch; based on what you're saying it will be used for, the given components should hold up just fine. However, if there's a chance that it will see some more serious off road use, $75 is a good price for the upgrades you're getting...
 
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