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Old 10-28-04, 12:44 PM   #1
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BMX Bike for my 8 yr old

Can you guys help me out? My 8 year old is wanting a new bike for Christmas, and since we have talked about racing someday I am looking at some "real" BMX bikes. My LBS shop has a green Giant Jr 20 (I wish I knew the model, but maybe that will jog someone's memory.) that has aluminum frame (they said), freewheel with rear hand brake, threadless fork. It looks pretty nice and they are selling for $119. Does that sound like a good deal? I am a mountain bike guy, not too sure what to look for in a BMX bike.
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Old 10-28-04, 12:58 PM   #2
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how much are you willing to spend?
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Old 10-28-04, 01:05 PM   #3
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Does it have three-piece cranks?
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Old 10-28-04, 01:08 PM   #4
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even if it did, it would be pointless because at that price (with 3 piece cranks) the cranks would just suck...
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Old 10-28-04, 01:09 PM   #5
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Did you ever think that $119 was maybe not the retail price?
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Old 10-28-04, 01:14 PM   #6
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No........ but even IF it wasnt, they had to have it on sale for a reason...
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Old 10-28-04, 01:16 PM   #7
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I am not an expert on BMX racing for smaller guys, but you will definitely want to get an exact model number before spending your money. The cash you list is very, very low dollar for a bike, which may mean you are getting a great deal... or you are getting WalMart quality, from a bike shop. Specifically since 99% of bike shop business is mountain and road bikes (and accessories) they tend to be really clueless about your needs or the needs of your son.

If I were to put my 8 year old on a BMX bike, specifically designed to race, then it would much more likely look something like what is pictured below so that he could have the lightest, fastest bike available to him. Check Redline, Crupi, Haro and other manufacturers that really focus more on the full range of entry level to pro level bmx racing bikes and you may have better luck.

Note the entire small setup of the bike below. Check www.harobikes.com for full specs. But this one comes in at right around 16 pounds for the complete bike. Perfect for really young/small riders.

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Old 10-28-04, 01:17 PM   #8
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it is called a closeout, we have them at the shop where I work every year at this time
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Old 10-28-04, 01:37 PM   #9
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They said it was originally $170, it is the last one and and old model.

Keep in mind please, he won't be going to the x-games or anything. He is just starting out. Please don't get like the MTB guys who spit on anything less than $1500. I am looking at $150 or less.
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Old 10-28-04, 02:31 PM   #10
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well im not sure but i think racing bikes can get VERY pricey
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Old 10-28-04, 02:39 PM   #11
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I bought one (a bmx) for my niece (a 10 year old)
$175 usd, new. Specialized vegas dirtboy (http://www.specialized.com/BMXFrames...2003&spid=5848.)

The pros:
Seems to be durable. Minimalistic. Not much can go wrong with it. Better than a crappy "mountain bike" with fake and cheap components.


The cons:

1) Her hands are not strong enough to squeeze the brakes to stop effectively. She really has to stretch to get to the levers and then has to apply more force than she is comfortable with to stop the bike.

2) I have no idea how to fit a kid, especially on a BMX. It seems that bikes like this are designed to be used by taller kids. I think the cranks are too big for a 10 year old.

3) This bike is really very heavy. I swear my road bike is lighter. Is this normal for little BMX bikes? I wish the bicycle manufacturers would just make simple lightweight bikes for kids.
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Old 10-28-04, 02:41 PM   #12
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well when you lose weight u lose strength most of the time
not all the time

and dont u think the brakes could be adjusted?
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Old 10-28-04, 03:03 PM   #13
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I am having problems getting pricing on the bike listed above - but I don't imagine it to be more than $200.00. I just wanted to show you a photo of what you may really want to consider, style-wise, for your son. A typical 20" bike, like the Specialized shown in the prior link, is exactly WRONG for smaller kids. It is built for 13+ year olds and is very heavy (yes, probably heavier than the mountain bike).

If you are looking at RACING - which you said you were, then your son doesn't need a serious street bike. What he needs is a lightweight, entry level racing bike. PLUS - the one shown is designed for smaller riders, so that makes it even better for your son!

Here, check this out on eBay - I have ZERO idea how much this cost new, but my guess is a lot more than what it will sell for there.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...110144590&rd=1
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Old 10-28-04, 04:39 PM   #14
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I started out listing a $119, said I would go $150, now you got me over $200. This is a 2nd bike for a kid who MIGHT race, but probably not. An 8 year old who just learned a few months ago how to ride. If he was already racing and winning and what not I could understand going all out, but did you guys really start on racing bikes? Thanks guys, I'll figure this one out on my own.
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Old 10-28-04, 05:02 PM   #15
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I don't have you on a $200.00 bike. I'm telling you (third time now) that I have no idea how much it costs as I couldn't find online pricing. What I did find was that bike on eBay which is currently listed at $102.00 and I expect that is far under cost.

If you want a good bike, instead of a mis-fitted bike for your son, then I just think you should look for pricing. I don't know if there are, or aren't bikes listed like I pictured in the $150.00 range (or less). But, you spend $10,000+ on your car and think 200 bucks is to much for what will be your childs primary transportation? I rode my bike 1-2 hours every day when I was 8 - I loved riding my bike all the time and rode it around everywhere.

Just look for the right bike and some good pricing... but know what to look for and get model numbers if you care. Otherwise, don't care and just buy whatever.
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Old 10-28-04, 05:55 PM   #16
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The bike on ebay has 4 days left, and by then it will be well over $200. The bike I mentioned was a clearance bike, originally $170 now $119. I am buying my daughter a bike there too and so we are getting a discount. I am pretty committed to this particular shop as I buy all my MTB stuff there too.

Here is the thing, guys say ALL THE TIME on MTB forums that anything less than $1500 (or more) SUCKS and will never work and is horrible and lots of other garbage, but I ride a $330 Trek 4300 with the only significant upgrade being clipless pedals. I ride the trails, and while I can see a few areas I would like a better part, for now the bike works and gets me around the trail. I would love to have the $1800 Fuel, but this bike gets me what I need.

I wish I could buy my son a $400 bike, or even a MTB and BMX bike, but I can't. What I asked was what sort of things to look for, like the one guy mentioned 3 peice cranks and I hadn't thought of that. I liked that it was threadless, but beyond that I wasn't sure what to check. That is the kind of info I asked for, not "get this bike instead."

Something to think about when 'outsiders' try to ask for help. Good way to run someone off trading them up right off the bat. You know, you could even list specific issues that might arrise (note the word specific, even citing past experience maybe) to help them make a decision.
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Old 10-28-04, 06:17 PM   #17
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Actually, a number of specific issues have been brought to light here, 24601.

I think you are right to keep your costs down. An 8 year old is going to outgrow whatever you get him in a very short time. Kids are pretty adaptable, however, so they will make the best of whatever you get.

As long as the bike fits good enough for a 30 minute "marathon" bike ride, and is sturdy enough to be operable and safe for a couple of years, it should be fine.
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Old 10-28-04, 06:46 PM   #18
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I think the bike you have picked out will be just fine. I started racing younger than your son on a race bike and raced until I was 16 or so. I would definately say get an appropriately sized race bike, the price just makes it that much better of a starting point as if your child does begin racing you will want to upgrade anyways and you won't have invested much in the parts that you are replacing. Just my opinions. BTW, please try not to be abrasive, there are not many 'adults' in the bmx section here which is why I tend to shy away myself.
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Old 10-28-04, 06:59 PM   #19
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I am not aware of ever having seen a Giant on the track, but in most areas, tracks tend to lean toward a particular brand depending on what the local shops carry. For a small bike, for an 8 year old, that is leaning toward racing, there are some things to look for. Obviously weight is a consideration. Tires should be, ideally, 1 1/8" or 1 3/8". They don't need 1.75" - 2.25" tires, and they will only slow the kiddo down. The rear brake is all you want, front brakes would need to be removed anyway. Three piece cranks are a bonus, but if the cranks are short, say 115 mm - 125 mm they should be fine. Three piece will allow you to change to shorter crank arms if needed, and they usually are because the poor kids are real choopy on cranks that are too long. You'll need to get a set of pads for the top tube and stem at least, and the bars if they have a cross bar. Often the smaller bikes are fitted with bars without a cross bar, which is fine. You don't need a beefy bike for a 60-80 lb. kid, especially for the track. Keep the tires inflated preoperly, very important on the smaller tires.

For what it's worth, I bought my daughter a nice Redline when she started. Most of the bikes I bought when the family was racing were second hand bikes, as kids will grow out of them in a couple of years so there are good deals to be had. Anyway, the Redline mini we bought for her was $279 as a new model year. Basic race bikes don't tend to be overly expensive until you get into higher quality cranks, forks, etc. which are not needed to get on the track and be competitive.
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Old 10-28-04, 08:53 PM   #20
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my little brother (10) has a dk general lee 16" and he races it and rides little dirt jumps on it i think it costs $240 australian it only has a 1 piece crank but it holds up well for little kids
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Old 10-28-04, 10:11 PM   #21
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24601:

I recognize 100% price as an issue. Bike shops are in the business to make money though, so odds are they are making money no matter what they sell you. Yet, bike shops also tend to be very clueless about bmx bikes and since you still haven't listed one actual model your bike shop carries then there is a problem trying to help you out.

Giant - according to their website - does not make BMX bikes out of aluminum, and most are made of hi-tensile steel. Which is basically really cheap stuff. So, without a model, I can't help you with the bike you are looking at. Check www.giantbicycles.com and see if you can find the model.

For an 8-year old: If you are concerned about the weight of the bike and the size, etc. then see if there is a model similar to what is pictured at your shop or available from your shop. There may be some on clearance. That is called a junior bike or a mini bike. It uses full 20" wheels, but is specifically designed for 8 year olds. It is DESIGNED for your son. It doesn't use expensive parts, though I am sure there are some that do.

You keep talking about $400.00 bikes or $1500.00 bikes. Yet you don't know how much the bike pictured costs. I expect the one on eBay to go for more, but what if it doesn't and is a $400.00 bike in excellent shape you could get for $150.00? That's called getting a great deal and is an excellent way to get some good product for a great price. I do it all the time.

Now, for your son - rear brakes, preferably V-Brakes with no Gyro on the bike. The threadless fork is a standard on any decent bike these days and should be expected on a bike. Things that are big bonuses, especially on bikes that may not be well treated by kids: sealed bearings. Kids ride through all kinds of crud and keeping the bearings properly maintained automatically through a sealed bearing system can do wonders for the life of the product. 3-piece cranks are always available as an upgrade, but are a plus.

WEIGHT - WEIGHT - WEIGHT - WEIGHT! Your son is 8, he should be on a lightweight bike. The bike listed by Haro is about 16 pounds. That is SUPER light. But I would expect that the bikes for your son should be in the 20 pound range. He doesn't need, and will not use, a lot of extra material like 13+ year olds may need. This means that if the bike is designed for someone his age, then it will weigh the appropriate amount and actually LOOK like it was designed for him. This is something to stress to the bike store owner, and they should know this. If they are selling the bike they are offerring you to a lot of 13+ year olds, then the bike really is designed for 13+ year olds, not 8 year olds. That is something that should be taken into consideration on your part.

On price, that is your deal. I recommend sub-$300.00 bikes to every beginner I have ever met. I don't ride a bike in that price range, but I do know enough about bikes to recognize a quality bike at almost any price. Because there don't seem to be many online shops selling BMX racing specific complete bikes, I am having a hard time pinning down reasonable bikes for you. But, your LBS should be able to help you out more and you should go in with a better idea of what a properly designed bike for an 8 year old looks like. Most people can't tell the difference between a $1,500.00 bmx bike and a $200.00 bmx bike by looks, so you have to know to look for weight, quality components, materials used, and proper engineering all around. You can't always find that in a $400.00 bike for kids... but sometimes you find it in $200.00 bikes or $150.00 bikes even when more expensive ones don't have it.
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Old 10-29-04, 03:59 PM   #22
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I think the only way to get a good bike for a great price is to buy it from somebody you know....
Oh yeah, when I think of it, my friend was going to sell me a hemi compe specialized, with everything on it ( no missing parts) for like $125, and that bike weighed like nothing. When i think about it, that was like a super great deal.... but the only catch was that it was probably stolen (hes a little drug addict, so he sells stuff cheap, ya know, to feed his habbit) but it might not have been. either way, i was going to buy it from him the next day, but he traded it for some speakers from his cousin... long story short, buying from people you know is usually a good deal. ps, the bike weighed like 18 lbs...
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