General Cycling Discussion - Issues for younger female riders..
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12-29-03, 11:06 AM
I bought my daughter a road bike that we're gonna build up together, so I'm gonna prevail upon some of you all here for advice.
First and foremost, we're gonna dump the 27" wheels and go for 700cc wheels, or better yet, 650cc wheels. Only if I can find a used bike with 650cc. Beyond that my questions deal towards motivation, she likes gymnastics, but I think this would be something good for her as well on a fitness level.
Any ideas on dealing with a 9 year old, and getting her "into" it?
12-29-03, 01:39 PM
Regarding getting young girls interested in cycling:
You might want to try mountain biking first. Pick terrain that is rolling. It will be challenging to get up the hills and fun to go down esp. if there are tree roots and some bumps.
My daughter has been mountain biking since 3rd grade. This summer she raced in a few races and only now at age 12 1/2 is she beginning to think about getting a road bike. She still prefers mountain biking and so do her friends.
That's another important thing, find a friend!
If she is competetive, have her race in a mountain bike race (look for a short one, some can be really grueling for young kids,or do a shimmano kids race) She will most likely be the only one, so, she will win and stand on the podium and everyone will clap for her, she will think it is great.
Do you ride a road bike yourself? I just got my daughter a road bike for Christmas, that is all she would talk about wanting....she really wants to ride with me and I know that is why wanted a road bike. I tried talking her into getting a mountain bike but she would not hear if it because I mostly ride my road bike.
12-29-03, 09:35 PM
Unless your daughter is involved in racing or such, why not go for 26" (559 mm) instead of 650? There is more choice of not so narrow tires which offer a decent ride on pothole-infested streets. IOW, a better ride for commuting to school, riding to the store or touring.
12-30-03, 09:40 AM
Frankly, until this year, my daughter has been too short to ride a road bike. We are looking at getting a trek 43cm wsd 1500 for her as it seems to be the smallest frame out there.(but $1000+ is a lot to spend on a 12 year old. actually we would like 2 because I am super short also 4'11", any sellers out there?). It is a drag riding mountain bikes on the road. Both my husband and I ride road and mountain, the kids just liked the mountain biking better so we have shifted our interests. But as I pointed out she is now becoming interested in road riding. Also there are some really nice trails here (in colorado, NOT in Boulder) and it has been a great family activity.Her brother (15) is into mountain biking also so that is what has worked for us as a family.
12-30-03, 09:32 PM
Don't get a straight out "road bike" if cost is prohibitive. Get her some narrow slicks on that MTB or look at a hybrid with same. At this level it's just to see if she's interested in riding on pavement at faster speeds, over longer distances. Trek even has some adjustable bikes for kids/teens. Or go used. Small road bikes are seen all the time on Ebay. Few people bid on them, so they can be had at a reasonable cost.
Funny how times change-when I was a kid, we were all riding. Our parents wouldn't be caught dead on any kind of a bike. No one had to get us interested-we rode all day long when we could and rode all over town. We didn't have to have "special gear" or be "fit to a bike". It was a bike with 26" wheels and we just rode it.
Maybe take her along and let her pick out what kind of bike she wants to ride.
This is not specific to a female but I take my 9 year old boy out on both road and off road tandem rides. He still rides his own - but when I let him experience full length rides he really dug it - It's getting him interested in riding his own bike longer distances.
12-30-03, 09:47 PM
I would recommend looking at your local thrift stores. There are always a couple of older 26" road bikes around here.
We have MTB for all our kids. None of them have really showed any interest in riding with my husband (N7CZinMT) on his road bike rides. But on trail rides, well, they can't get enough.
04-04-04, 10:43 PM
I'm a big fan of Fuji bikes when you're looking for something this small. They run from about $500 up to $1,300. The Japanese know a thing or two about building small bikes...think about it. ;) The only hard thing is finding a Fuji dealer--that can be challenge if you don't live in a large city.
My 9 year-old daughter rides a 44cm Fuji Roubaix Pro with 650c wheels and it fits her perfectly (once I traded out the 90mm stem for a 60mm). Her brother rides mountain bike and she wanted something different to do with Dad. We ride every morning before school/work on our trainers in the basement for 30 minutes (usually watching one of her cartoons) and every weekend on the local roads for a couple of hours.
As for the rides themselves, you've got to make it fun. Don't push her too much...only a very little to slowly gain strength. Any more specific questions I'm happy to answer.
04-05-04, 09:37 PM
My girls are grown now. (Thank the Lord!) When they were 8-11, my husband, both girls and myself would ride the bike trail in the metropark. It had hills and was an 8 mile loop trail around lakes. We always spotted deer in the fields. We would stop at the Dairy Queen for an ice-cream after the ride. Every so often, we would have a picnic. We always tried to make family time fun. When they became teenagers, they would rollerblade and my husband and I would cycle. When they went to college, they cycled to class. My 23 year old bought herself a $500 bike and rides along the ocean in California where she resides. My 22 year old daughter enjoys running and rollerblading. She cycles about 5 times a year with me. So.....one continued to cycle and the other one did not. The whole family participated in a 100 mile ride for mothers day a couple years ago and they were very proud of their achievement. Make it fun, bring a sheet and lay it down to have a little snack in the shade. Draw a map so they can see how far they have ridden.
1. Make it fun
2. Set small, regular, challenges (work out some technique exercises, e.g.
use some plastic bottles part filled with sand and set out in straight or zig-zag lines and gradually reduce gap between them.
Set up plank across piece of pipe (9"/12"/18" etc. dia.) for seesaw/teeter totter to develop balance.
Move on to doing all of the above one handed (each hand).
Slow bike ride over, say, 15 yds and set targets of 15/30/45/60secs
Set up limbo bar on a couple of uprights and see how low she can get
Teach her to ride no-handed (not on the road, of course)
Get her to pick up a bottle from a crate/upturned washing up bowl and put it down again without it falling over - then use smaller bottle/lower box until she can pick it from the ground
Trackstands - 10-year old Bella in our club has set club record of 10m 30secs, while Robert, same age does it no-handed (irritating little so-and-so's)
Find other parents for group riding and fun - form an informal/formal kids club (been running one for 6 years this June - what did I used to do on Saturday mornings?)
Break rides with picnic/frisbee sessions
If you can get a club off the ground, give certificates/badges for each technique mastered and then give silver and gold badges for more difficult versions of the same technique
Do little treasure hunts on the routes you use to develop her powers of observation
Don't take it too seriously - let her play on the bike. Kids want to get better, but not every time
I am also considering a road bike for my daughter (10 year old). Last year I got her a mountain bike with 1.5" city tires and we Tandem just about every weekend. Through another cycling forum I was referred to http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/2004/VTG-JV-Details.html. Although a new product, the price is much more reasonable than the alternatives.
04-07-04, 09:29 AM
Now that's a sweet ride for small folks at a very good price...
Only problem is the 39x25 low gear is just too big. What were they thinking? Especially for little kids. That's one tooth larger than on my racing bike (39x26). Perhaps it's OK if you live in Kansas, but not here where the grades can be steep and long. I think the 48 big ring is great; they should have used a cyclocross crank with a 34 small or a full triple crank to give a decent bail-out.
Too bad, I would have bought one.
Perhaps I'll see what cheap 165 cranks I can find to fix this glaring oversight.
Seems like the gears would be a minor change. Also remember that the wheels are 650. It may be worth calling the company. I did and spoke to the owner/designer/everything guy. Also, since I am in South Florida (not too many mountains), the low gears are not a big problem. Good luck
04-07-04, 01:49 PM
My daughter presently rides a Fuji Roubaix Pro Womens in 44cm size. It came with a 52x42x30 triple and 12-25 rear. Those gears are spot on, in my opinion. A little higher than I would like on a beginner bike, but balanced by the smaller 650c wheel. Seems to work very well for her.
You make some very good points about changing out the cranks. I notice that their full-size Vantage 4400 (http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/2004/VTG-4400-Details.html) uses the triple version of these same cranks, albeit at longer lengths i would imagine.
I shot them an e-mail earlier today specifically about the gearing issues. I'll give them some time to reply and then try a phone call.
This really is a great price if we can get decent gearing worked out for not too much more. It'd make a great bike for my 8-year-old boy and not break the bank like the Fuji did.
06-13-04, 09:30 AM
the main thing is keep it fun, dan
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