Mountain Biking - Getting my son a "new" mountain bike
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New to him. I just couldn't justify throwing out a ton of cash for him to outgrow it in a few years. It is a pretty good bike so it should last him a little while. He is almost 8 and I want to get him off the Tony Hawk lead pipe he has now. He will be 8 in a month and a half and 4'6". Let me know what you think. It is an 04 Ibex (http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/2004/ALP-440K-Specs.html).
01-28-10, 12:04 PM
How much is a ton? The IBEX looks ok.
01-28-10, 03:37 PM
The Ibex looks like a good choice. As with any used bike purchase, be sure to go over it carefully to see that everything works- or take it to an LBS if you want to have them do it.
Wish there were bikes like that available when I was eight!
01-28-10, 03:54 PM
I rebuilt an old Rincon (I think) with the rear brakes under the BB. Nice bike.
01-29-10, 09:23 AM
My kids had a 6-speed Rockhopper with 20" wheels when they were around that age. Then they graduated to an 18-speed Rockhopper with 24 inch wheels (no susupension on little guys' bikes in those days.) The 6 speed was less confusing - only one shifter to deal with - the only choice was up or down. After they were proficient with that and a little older they were ready to move on to two shifters and combinations of gears.
The Ibex looks like a beaut. Your son may need some instruction in how to select gears. I'm a 6th grade teacher who takes his class on a bike ride each year. Prior to the ride I go over all the bikes to make sure they're roadworthy. It's amazing how many 12-year-olds have 24 gears and only use one. They're very into the numbers on the shifters, but don't understand the relationship between the numbers on the lefthand shifter and the one on the right. To make it worse, most of them are riding department store bikes on which the shifters have long since stopped working smoothly. In many cases, even if they force the shifter to move, nothing happens at the derailleur. Hence they ride in one gear all the time. Or maybe a couple.
I lobby for quality bikes from a real bike shop. Several of my kids have bikes they've bought from our local guy - a real kid-friendly, community-oriented guy. They're so much more enthusiastic about riding than the ones on Walmart or Toys-R-Us bikes. Go figure.
I think the Ibex looks like a good bike. Make sure it gets taken care of so the components all keep working smoothly. Your son will love cycling so much more on a solid bike!
I got the bike home and WOW! This thing is cherry! Only a few light scratches, still has the nubs on the top of the tires too. The thing had hardly been ridden, one thing the PO attested to. His son out grew it too fast and he needed a taller bike. The only real issue was the rubber wipers on the shock tubes had cracked and were on the verge of falling off. I saw the chain was dripping wet w/ oil too. I wiped it off real well and it looked like the guy hit it with some light oil before leaving the house. So no biggie.
I dropped the seat, adjusted the brake handles in, tweaked the front derailluier to stop the rubbing, and gave my son a quick lesson on the shifters. He had a hard time at first grasping the gear idea, until he went for the hill up the street. As he coasted back to me I told him to remember to shift so it will be easier to pedal so he rode back and forth shifting up and down. Once he had that part down I introduced him to the chain ring selector. Then we went riding!
He is totally stoked and this weekend we are planning to hit a local "easy" 5 mile loop trail for a test run. I'll post some pics, but my camera is crappy so bear w/ me in tha Dept. :)
Thanks for the advise guys!
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