Hey all, I hope this is the right forum for this question.
My 10 year old son really wants to get a bicycle. He really resisted learning until just recently, and now he's so excited about it he asks me 100 times a day when he can get his own bike. Since he outgrew the little one I got him when he was younger I taught him on an adult sized mountain bike (purple, women's, and "dorky"). Unfortunately it appears I'm not too keen on what is currently "cool" for his age group!
So, here the thing. He's about as tall as my GF so he must be around 5' 3" by now. What he really wants is a BMX or freestyle type of bike with pegs, and I don't know much about these now. Everywhere I look says that at his age or height he should be on a 24" bike at least, but the thing is 1) All the kids even much older than him ride these smaller bikes, and 2) He's just going to be riding around the neighborhood, not doing serious cycling.
He's also into scooters, skateboards, and skate parks so I think a bike you can do tricks on is going to be more his style.
Should I be worried about him outgrowing the bike? From what I've read there are different frame sizes but from looking around it seems very few manufacturers list the sizes of their bikes (maybe I'm looking at the wrong ones).
Check out one of the online stores like Danscomp.com to get some ideas. Can't really make any recommendations without know your price range. Since he is a beginner, you can probably get by with a entry level model like one of the Nitrous bikes. In my shop, the Stolen Casino and Stereo do well. As do the Verde Cadet and Eon. Prices start at around $250 and go up from there.
Don't worry too much about the size. Most of the cheaper bikes will be smaller because they are usually used by younger, smaller riders. As prices go up, so do the sizes. They will start with a 20" top tube. 20.5" would be good. The biggest you find is usually 20.75" but some can be as big as 21.5. We have riders who are 6'+ and ride 20.5" bikes. Size isn't as important with these bikes like with other types.