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Cheapo
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So with the 5-year-old, she is all set for a 16" and 20" bike with the pair of Hotrocks I picked up.

Looking around for my 3½-year-old, I'm on the fence. 12" is too small, and there is only one good 12" bike it seems (Hotrock). 14" is most-likely just right, which pretty much leaves only the Islabikes CNOC-14 as a good quality 14" bike for her. 16" may be just a bit big for her, with a 15½" inseam and 39" tall.

I did a little calling around to the shops in the area, one shop offers 15% off special orders, and no tax in Delaware, so a Redline Pitboss (14 lbs. 6 oz, rear v-brake, freewheel) would be $322 out-the-door. Islabike CNOC 14/16 would be $310 shipped.

As of right now, she's really enjoying going to the BMX track. I (think) the Redline would be the better bike for doing this. If she really sticks with it, she would probably end up moving to a Micro eventually, but I don't think that would be a very good street bike, where the 16" would be a good street bike, and adequate track bike in the meanwhile. Unfortunately, Redline's stand over is 17.25", so even with shoes on (max 1"?), it may be a bit too tall.

Who knows. She may eventually decide she prefers freestyle, mountain biking, or playing the clarinet. Either way, I don't want to limit her growth/potential with shoddy gear.

I also have a 1-month old boy who would be inheriting whatever we buy as time goes on. Honestly, the Redline is probably "my" dream bike from when I was a little boy...hard to keep in perspective sometimes what's best for the kids and what we want ourselves. I learned a lot though in the thread for my 5-year-old.


The most noticeable difference to me between Isla/Redline is the length of the chainstays, front fork has a more noticeable rake coming out of the head tube on Isla, more spokes on Redline, and front sprocket size.
CNOC-14



CNOC-16



Redline Pitboss
 

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High bottom bracket of the redline would likely make it much harder for a little rider to get started on this bike. Little kids really like to be able to sit on the seat and be able to reach the ground with their feet. The BMX geometry (high bottom bracket) of the redline would make the leg extension feel really cramped (and very inefficient) if it was set low enough to reach the ground.
Looks to me like the islabikes would be much better suited to getting small kids started at trail riding as opposed to BMX riding style of sprinting out of the saddle and performing jumps/tricks.
 

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I have taught both my kids to ride out of the saddle BMX style. I feel like it is better for long term bike handling skills to learn BMX style riding. Sit and spin is OK, but getting kids to work on their technical skills builds a foundation for future skills development. I know several 4 year olds who got their start on the Pitboss. Great bike, and the kids became really good riders really quickly.

With that being said, for a 3 year old, I wouldn't blow off the 12" bikes. If you are up for throwing down the cash for a Pitboss or CNOC, I would check out the Cult Juvi 12". You saw those crazy twins that were posted the other day. Cult Juvi 12".
Super nice little bikes, and in my opinion would be a better fit than either of the ones that you listed. $339 +$17 shipping per the website.
 

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Cheapo
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Random thoughts.

In regards to the 12" bikes, how much accuracy is there in the statement some reviews have said about the Specialized Hotrock 12 being the only worthwhile 12" because that bike has the BB a little forward of the seat tube, making it easier to pedal? Wonder why all that effort and money they went with a caliper brake over a v-brake? My wife has OK'd the $300+ cost of a bike but is pretty adamant about not getting a 12" because "she's growing quick etc." I see where she's coming from. If she decides she wants to get into ramp/freestyle, I'll look that direction though.

I did see the twins -- awesome.

ilmfat -- Spawn? Never heard of 'em. ;) At 16.5" inseam, she actually fits the requirement for their Banshee. Not that the Furi wouldn't be better. Looking at $447 shipped for a Spawn Banshee. Presale, available in ~ 1 month.

15% off on that Redline ends on Sunday.

This heavy but interesting thing popped up today...Schwinn Jeda
https://lancaster.craigslist.org/bik/4417917879.html
 

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ilmfat
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That's a tall seat tube.

Slaphead and idaho are right on, it is easier for kids to manipulate smaller bikes.

But if I don't jump or play at the skate park, it's unlikely ima get my girls to catch air. So, meh for us.

I'm just gonna get them riding bmx (once the track is done w rebuild) and hope I can get em on the trail (eventually).

We really just ride on the bike path and "easy" trails, and that's all ima push my kids for. (And that was enough for my oldest. Our trail adventure was a disaster.)

My 5 year old already likes the "pump track". Ima try to get her confidence back up and get her riding the bowls at the dirt jumps.

Eh.

Decisions, decisions.
 

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Cheapo
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did I miss a reply from Slaphead? I thought I'd seen one.

Decisions, decisions, indeed.

So what is the purpose of the super-short chainstay and exaggerated front fork angle on the Islabikes?
 

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ilmfat
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In the other thread, slapheadmofo recommended smaller wheels, and his kid rips it up, too.

The slack head tube angle is for more stability.

Isla bikes has a different demographic.

They go more for the commuting/biking as a lifestyle/touring crowd. (They ARE from Europe, after all).

I.e., More stable, narrower tires, lighter weight.

That's part of the reason I went with spawn, I have more confidence in spawn's durability. (I'm sure the isla's can hack, but I like extra assurance.) that and much better tire clearance. Some dude put 2.4s on a BANSHEE, so I knew the savage could handle whatever I wanted to throw on it.

Not sure on chainstay length rationale.

Batt dyin. Better get this sent.

Btdubs, congrats on the wife comin around.
 

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Cheapo
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A woman on CL e-mailed me with a girl's Hotrock 16 she has for $80. I dunno, I've seen ones in better shape for the same money. Then again, I'm sure it's fine for riding. Decided to actually throw her on the one I have to see how she fits riding.

I slammed the seat on bigger sister's Hotrock 16 to see how she does. She can stand over top tube and touch the ground, but not sit on the seat and touch the ground. Little off the bottom of the tube and I can probably get another inch, or perhaps a lower profile seat altogether (Strider? Strider Mini Seat/Post Combo at Danscomp). Not being able to touch the ground makes it hard to start from a sitting position.

Other thing is the @#$&^&)*(^&$%@#%$#$&*^^) coaster brakes. First, they screw *me* up every time they hit the damn things when I'm walking/trotting to support them and stay with them. Secondly and worse, it is screwing the both of them up royally. I hate them. I'm so tired of the stupid rules of the gov't trying to protect people from themselves. Let Darwin work it out. :lol: I just hate them.

Size-wise, I think she's really close to 16" size, I don't know if she's all the way there yet. Part of me wonders if I should stick her on a 12" (Hotrock, Cult-thanks) until she's developed good habits, and then pass that on down to her brother, and get her a 16" later.

 

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ilmfat
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*cough* spawn banshee *cough*

I remember those days.

Don't miss em one bit.

Seriously, if'n you're just lookin to cruise around, get a gnoc14. I bet the 16 would be a lil big.

Or, ya know, a banshee ;) my 3 year totally loves hers and your kid has 2.5" more inseam, soooo....
 

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Cheapo
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That damn Banshee looks more and more appealing every time I look at it, and it's really the simple things.

I don't know, what's up with the coaster brakes? I guess eventually the kids will get it that they can't pedal backwards? They suck.
 

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ilmfat
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It's not just that, being able to "pedal" backwards helps with getting up hills, keeping your feet level while standing on pedals, and especially getting started.

Can all those things be done w a coaster brake? Yes.

But the learning curve is a lot steeper.

Trying to teach my younger how to start on her own would have been a nightmare on a coaster brake bike.
 

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I took my kid "DHing" with coaster brakes. Kid would do like 5000' of vert a day on 'em. But yeah, that was only because he didn't know better at the time. ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGjFJrxAyxc

Dave, I think a little bit of time on a cheapy 12", coaster brakes and all, would open the door. I dunno if I'd blow a bunch of money quite yet - they grow fast as hell. For now, just keep getting her out having fun and give her time to develop a little bit and you'll have a better idea whether you should be investing in a small mtn-ish bike or a mini BMX bike.

And yeah - I'm totally of the same mind as Lee when it comes to riding standing and running smaller wheels for kids starting out.
 

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ilmfat -- Spawn? Never heard of 'em. ;) At 16.5" inseam, she actually fits the requirement for their Banshee. Not that the Furi wouldn't be better. Looking at $447 shipped for a Spawn Banshee. Presale, available in ~ 1 month.
Didn't I mention the spawn for you on your other thread? I thought I had...

Regardless, I definietly agree with ilmfat. My 3.5 year old started on a Spawn Gremlin/Furi last year, and it was the PERFECT bike for her. 9 months later she moved up to a banshee... but only because her younger sister was ready for the 14" bike.

The Islabikes look great too, but they do come with a coaster brake in the US... it was cheaper for me to get the Spawn imported from Canada than to refit the Islabikes. Depending on how you feel about the coaster brake that may or may not be an issue for you. I can say that my daughters both take advantage of the ability to set the pedals where they want them ALL the time.
 

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I don't know, what's up with the coaster brakes? I guess eventually the kids will get it that they can't pedal backwards? They suck.
When I looked into it last year, the deal was that it was US law for "sidewalk bikes." Apparently they think the kids will slam the hand brakes and go over the handlebars. Now, getting a kid young enough to be on a sidewalk bike with enough hand strength to lock up the front wheel... I think that's kind of unlikely.

The Banshee V2 is supposed to have a lower seat height than the V1; they haven't updated their geometry chart with the newer bikes, though. I have a V1 Gremlin/Furi, and a V2 Banshee. If you want real-world measurements on the new frame, let me know.
 

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ilmfat
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Lol. He was being sarcastic, as I have been hitting him over the head w spawn since his first thread.
 

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Cheapo
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Haven't had a chance to sit down and reply to everyone yet, working on catching up!

Did take her to the track again today and she had a blast. Walked up to the top of the access hill, turned around, lifted her feet and flew down it before I could comprehend what was going on. Hit the bottom, wheel turned, over the bars she went. Jumped up "I'm OK I'm OK!" and hopped back on her bike, to the applause of all the onlookers. :lol:

I'm not too impressed with the Strider components/"headset"/steering. When she's done with it, I'll be looking for something a bit sturdier (still light) with a hand brake for the boy.

Was comparing the Cult CC12 to the Hotrock 12 for the hell of it size-wise. Was surprised to find the HR slightly larger. I don't know how the head tube angle plays into it. Cult I would assume would be "faster", has caliper brake (meh), freewheel (yay). Don't know how big they can really stay on one though. As I said, the good part is a little brother coming up too so IF I go 12, it will have another rider to start on it from the beginning.


......................Cult........Hotrock
Top Tube.......13.25".......13.7"
Head Angle.......74*.........70*
Seat Angle........70*.........71*
BB Height.........6.8"..........6.8"
Chainstay........9.25"........10.7"
Gearing...........25/9.........26/16
 

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I'm not too impressed with the Strider components/"headset"/steering. When she's done with it, I'll be looking for something a bit sturdier (still light) with a hand brake for the boy.
I agree with you there. I got a pair of balance bikes last May for my girls to start on... a Strider, and a Burley MyKick. The 3.5 year old was off and running on the MyKick within 2 days. 2 weeks after that, when the Spawn Gremlin arrived, she was off and pedaling after a 3-day transition. Now, almost a year later, her younger sister (just shy of 3yo), spends about half her time on the Strider and half on the MyKick. The MyKick is MUCH more stable than the strider. I got the strider because its seat went lower than any other BB on the market... and at the time that was necessary. But, now that she can fit either, #2 is obviously much more in control on the MyKick than the Strider. My biggest complaint with both these BBs is that they have no brakes. It would be really nice to give them something to use to slow down when needed. If you don't mind the lack of hand brake, the MyKick is a great bike. If you want a hand-brake, you'll need to look elsewhere...

Little A (#2) has been on the 14" Gremlin a couple times now... her toes JUST touch the ground, and she's a little scared. That's just about where her sister was when she got going... I bet that by July I'll have two girls on pedal bikes. Poor momma... she isn't a bike fan, but has little choice to keep up with the girls who want to live on them.
 
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