General Cycling Discussion - Best Classic Kids' Road Bikes?
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08-05-10, 10:21 AM
My 9 year old son is ready for a new bike. Pretty much, the new choices from Trek and the like are mountain bike styles. I wanted to show him some road bike alternatives and thought that a 70's classic might be the way to go. When I was his age I had a Raleigh Chopper. Pretty cool, but I think he'd have trouble keeping up with his older brother on one of those. Thus, I was thinking about a classic 10 speed, but in junior size. Are there any accepted "classics" among kids' road bikes that I should be looking for?
08-05-10, 08:12 PM
most road bike mfr's seem to offer extra small road bikes built around 24" wheels. They're pretty expensive!
You can always put drop handlebars (with brakes and shifters) and slick tires on a suitably light mountain bike. Voila!
I bought my 9 year old son a used mountain bike (Trek 800), no suspension fork, 21 speed with trigger shifters, and slick street tires.
IMO, though certainly not a road bike, this bike is lighter, faster, easier to ride, and more fun than those entry level 10 speeds I remember from the 70s. I am sure quality kid sized classic vintage lightweight road bikes exist, but I have not seen many.
My 8yo has a Felt Z24. It's a 24" wheeled road bike with a tiny little frame. He loves the thing.
If you have the time, tools, and skills you can build one fairly reasonably.
See #1 I built for my daughter.
08-07-10, 06:30 PM
My 9 yo son had a Specalized Vita, XS size. This worked very well for him, as he was able to easily use the grip shifts and V-brakes were good.
Then he got a little bigger, this past spring we got him a Trek 1.2 also in XS size. He likes the drops, but it took him a while to get comfortable shifting. The shifters are not proportioned smaller on the XS bike. So far this year he has
over 1200 km on the bike, including a 660 km tour- he rides it pretty well.
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