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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am looking for advice on several mountain bikes that we have looked at for my soon to be 12 year old daughter. She is almost 5' tall but we want to get a bike that she will be able to use for several years. We have looked at the Trek Skye S, the Raleigh Eva 4.0, and the Jamis Trail X1.

Skye S - Trek Bicycle

Raleigh Bicycles Eva 4.0

2012 JAMIS BICYCLES - TRAIL X1

We are also open to other suggestions. I want to try and keep it below $500. I know nothing about the components and these are from three different bike shops in the area. Can anyone help? Thanks for any/all help provided.
 

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Of the above bikes, the Raleigh- disc brake stopping power for your daughter! Also consider Specialized Myka ht sport disc, retails ~$520.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Is Raleigh a good bike or just because of the brakes? I personally have a Raleigh M40 that is about 10 years old.
 

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Just went through the exact same thing with my daughter. Ended up getting the sky s. The bikes are pretty comparable and she ended up liking the trek the most. Also got a bit lucky as it went on sale for 400. It's a relatively solid, no frills ride. Should be quite reliable.
 

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I should have asked what kind of riding she'll be mostly doing? My son did not feel comfortable on our local trails until he had a bike equipped with disc brakes.
 

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If you have it down to 3 in budget, maybe let her pick, preferably after a test ride. But even if it's because she thinks it loks cool, that may encourage her to ride.
 

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How about you put her on the bikes and see which one she likes?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
As far as riding goes, I would imagine the neighborhood streets, light trails, and once she feels confident enough, some more challenging trails, etc would be on the horizon. I mentioned those three models because they are what the four local bike shops suggested. One suggested the Raleigh, one the Jamis, and the other two recommended Trek. One said the Skye S and the other the 820 WSD. I am very open to any/all suggestions or guidance. Thank you to those who have replied thus far.
 

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Plus 1 on letting her chose. The more she likes it the more likely she'll ride it. With a price range the bikes are pretty much the same . Maybe think about used until she stops growing. Let her test ride bikes .
 

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My daughter's last bike was a Specialized Myka ht sport disc. We got it for the disc brakes. We go to the mountains once a year and she loves bombing down the hills. As a mom, I wanted her to have disc brakes.

In hindsight, I wish we had given her a rigid fork. That that Suntour added about a hundred pounds to an already heavy bike, making climbing the mountains (and even molehills) a lot more miserable than it needed to be. And I don't think it did a great job of being a shock anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank each of you for your replies. I did let her choose and she chose the Trek Skye S. I appreciate the time that you took to assist in this purchase.
 
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