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  1. #1
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    Suggestions please...

    Now that I'm seriously into road biking, my son (he'll be 13 this summer) really wants to join me and I'm excited about that. SO, I will need to upgrade him from his MTB. Problem is, he's growing so fast that I don't want to spend a lot of money on a bike that won't fit him properly for long. Like shoes, I'll probably look for something a little big now to at least extend the time he fits it for a little while. I'm just not sure what to consider, a low-end road bike new from the LBS, ( that's still a little more than I'd like to spend). Start searching for a decent used bike? None of the bike shops around here handle them. I really don't want to start shopping the garage sales or running down ads in the paper (none advertized yet). I have not been able to learn if there are any police auctions or sales anywhere around here. I could spend $200 at Wally world but would that be junk? That was some low-end Schwinn. IDEAS?

  2. #2
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkijohn
    Now that I'm seriously into road biking, my son (he'll be 13 this summer) really wants to join me and I'm excited about that. SO, I will need to upgrade him from his MTB. Problem is, he's growing so fast that I don't want to spend a lot of money on a bike that won't fit him properly for long. Like shoes, I'll probably look for something a little big now to at least extend the time he fits it for a little while. I'm just not sure what to consider, a low-end road bike new from the LBS, ( that's still a little more than I'd like to spend). Start searching for a decent used bike? None of the bike shops around here handle them. I really don't want to start shopping the garage sales or running down ads in the paper (none advertized yet). I have not been able to learn if there are any police auctions or sales anywhere around here. I could spend $200 at Wally world but would that be junk? That was some low-end Schwinn. IDEAS?
    Try Craigslist.com

    Go used and a bit large, if possible. Use platforms with toe clips and sneakers.

    I don't consider this a problem with a 13 year-old. It is a blessing that he is so interested in bicycling! You could have much worse (and MUCH more expensive) problems. Give him my best.

  3. #3
    Steel Cyclist
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    Some bike mfgrs. (Giant for example) use a T-shirt type sizing (sm, med, lg, xl) for their products that allows for differences in heights and reach by adjusting the bars and saddle heights. But I agree with DnvrFox that used bikes should be looked at first, at least for cost purposes!

    madli

  4. #4
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Three secrets of cost-effective purchasing, particularly for a growing youngster (been there ... done that ... twice):
    1) Buy a used bike.
    2) Buy a secondhand bike.
    3) Buy a previously owned bike.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
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  5. #5
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Weird, I can't find watkins, IA only atkins, IA, which is near cedar rapids.

    It might be worth it to watch craigs list for ... never mind. No listing for Cedar Rapids, or Rock Island or Iowa City. How odd. There is a listing for Des Moines.

    If he can wait, watch carefully for sales in Iowa City around quarter/semester/year end.
    Students are often strapped for money and some good buys might be found. Since he's growing, you probably don't want a new bike unless time is more valuable than money. In that case, any Trek would do. Another option is check out LBS for bikes that owners traded in.

    Have fun, it sounds great. My sons just can't make the move back to bikes yet.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  6. #6
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Never mind, you're between Belle Plaine and CR. Nice country and fantastic corn.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  7. #7
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Hi 'o Silver away

  8. #8
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    My son is in the same situation,(turns 13 in August). We took his MTB and had it fitted with slicks so he can keep better time riding with me. While I still ride more slowly with him it is much better. If he keeps at it for a year I will move him up to a road bike and we will then put the knobbies back onto the MTB for him to play around with.

  9. #9
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Never mind, you're between Belle Plaine and CR. Nice country and fantastic corn.
    I thot he was between Blairstown and Norway. Yes, Cedar Rapids is the big town nearby. I have lived in remote places and found that notices tacked up on public bulletin boards are the local newspaper/want ads.
    Try putting up a few ads in places like grocery stores and laundromats asking for a used bike. With the little tearoff phone numbers or web addresses. Lots of rural people I have known have bikes sitting in garages. If it is not operational get permission to take it to a bike shop for a check out and repair estimate.
    This space open

  10. #10
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8rider
    My son is in the same situation,(turns 13 in August). We took his MTB and had it fitted with slicks so he can keep better time riding with me. While I still ride more slowly with him it is much better. If he keeps at it for a year I will move him up to a road bike and we will then put the knobbies back onto the MTB for him to play around with.
    Seems like a sensible idea, and still has the MTB to return to when he has sussed out whether road riding is for him or not. Nothing worse than spending money on a new bike, only for the sibling to discover something new that takes his/her fancy. Happened to my daughter at 16- just built her up a new bike and she discovered boys. I now have a spare bike that is just a bit too small for me but in Just used condition that is 5 years old.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  11. #11
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Don't overlook the trade or sale value of the bike as he grows. You shouldn't ever have to come up with the full price of a new bike. Alternatively, donate the outgrown bikes to a charity and take a deduction.

    Establish that solid relationship with an LBS now. It will pay off for both of you.
    Just Peddlin' Around

  12. #12
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken cummings
    I thot he was between Blairstown and Norway.
    Yeah, this is like arguing are you talking mm or cm? Probably been down that roadway.

    Good suggestion about posting asking for any bikes, kind of like feeding the pump. Belle Plaine used to have a golf course where you had to remember how to prime a pump if you wanted a fresh drink partway thru the course.
    Last edited by HiYoSilver; 02-07-06 at 05:31 PM.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  13. #13
    Senior Member Thrifty1's Avatar
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    Try checking charity (good Will, Salvation Army, etc) organizations/stores. They frequently have bicycles with prices sufficiently low enough enable repairs as needed and remain within budget. I am looking for a used bike for my 12 year old grand daughter.
    Good Luck!
    BCNU
    Gary

  14. #14
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    I second the mountain bike-with-road tires idea, for several reasons. He may burn out on cycling in a few months, and he'll certainly burn out on being seen with Dad in the next year or so (don't worry--it's temporary). If neither of those things happens, you and he will have a better idea what he needs in six months or a year than you probably do now, and there's no downside to waiting unless a new (to him) bike is necessary to sustain his interest (that smacks faintly of blackmail, but you do what you can to keep a 14-year-old in the family).
    FWIW, I got back into riding at age 44 after a long post-college layoff. My first adult bike was an MB, and when I decided I was really more of a roadie, I didn't have the money for a new one (two kids in college by then). I put 1.4 slicks on my mountain bike and did many 50-60 mile rides over about a year before I finally found a used roadie that fit me.

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    Come on Dad, bite the bullet. This is an opportunity for a father & son relationship. Just pretend you're buying a second bike for yourself. You can pick up a decent road bike for $5-6 hundred from you're local LBS. Later in life, you'll feel that it was money well spent. My son rode his first century at the age of 12. He loved it.

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    Try picking up a compact frame that will accommodate a long seat post. You can always swap out the stem. That way the road bike will last for some time.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HiYoSilver
    Never mind, you're between Belle Plaine and CR. Nice country and fantastic corn.
    I like growing lots of that fantastic corn! GOOD carbs right? Put the water on to boil, head out to the garden, harvest and shuck the corn and straight into the pot.....a few min later, butter-salt-pepper and it doesn't get any better than that! - EVEN better than PIE

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene James
    Come on Dad, bite the bullet. This is an opportunity for a father & son relationship. Just pretend you're buying a second bike for yourself. You can pick up a decent road bike for $5-6 hundred from you're local LBS. Later in life, you'll feel that it was money well spent. My son rode his first century at the age of 12. He loved it.
    I can't swap tires on the MTB because he's actually outgrown that anyway. LBS in the CR, and Ia City don't even take trades for used bikes. Pawn shops I've checked don't accept road bikes, only MTB's. I will be checking on possible deals in Ia City and perhaps police auctions etc but otherwise I may just do as you say and bite the bullet ans you say. How much is that kind of time spent together, father and son, worth? Priceless!

  19. #19
    ... . Tmax1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkijohn
    I like growing lots of that fantastic corn! GOOD carbs right? Put the water on to boil, head out to the garden, harvest and shuck the corn and straight into the pot.....a few min later, butter-salt-pepper and it doesn't get any better than that! - EVEN better than PIE
    WooHoo!! Gotta love that corn!

    I digress.

    I'm in the same boat with my 7 year old son. He wants to be out with Dad real bad.

    Two more options not explored here are 1) a tail-gator- fits on your seat post and he follows along behind; some even have 7 speeds so the rider can help do the work of riding.

    2) a tandem- outfitted with either a "kid crank" on the stoker downtube or pedal extensions on the stoker crank arms.

    I think I've ruled out number one and am pursueing a tandem. My kid would love it; I'd love him being with me.

    I could share my cycling passion with anyone interested in seeing what it's all about with a tandem.

    And I might even get my bride to ride! That would be nifty.

    Good luck.

    Jerry

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  21. #21
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkijohn
    I like growing lots of that fantastic corn! GOOD carbs right? Put the water on to boil, head out to the garden, harvest and shuck the corn and straight into the pot.....a few min later, butter-salt-pepper and it doesn't get any better than that! - EVEN better than PIE
    Well I had to drop the salt and butter for health reasons, but it sure beats pie. I do miss the Iowa sweet corn. No offense, but your icy winters are a downer. Cycling is definitely better than dartball. Hey, don't forget to let us know what you do for your son. It's great that he's interesting, just don't wait too long so his enthusiasm wanes.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  22. #22
    Jim Shapiro
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    You could do what I do for myself and that's buy used. I have three bicycles that I use almost exclusively, two Centurions and a Miyata that I spent a total of $125 for. All three came from the Humane Society Thrift shop in Boulder. For what it's worth, I occasionally ride the Miyata with a group that includes a fancy Litespeed and a LeMond something or other and I don't have any trouble keeping up with them (actually, it's the other way around!). So check out CraigsList and the local thrift shops, but definitely buy used. You'll be able to get a bicycle with a strong steel frame and likely be able to sell it in a few years or less for what you paid.
    Last edited by jimshapiro; 02-08-06 at 01:22 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimshapiro
    You could do what I do for myself and that's buy used. I have three bicycles that I use almost exclusively, two Centurions and a Miyata that I spent a total of $125 for. All three came from the Humane Society Thrift shop in Boulder. For what it's worth, I occasionally ride the Miyata with a group that includes a fancy Litespeed and a LeMond something or other and I don't have any trouble keeping up with them (actually, it's the other way around!). So check out CraigsList and the local thrift shops, but definitely buy used. You'll be able to get a bicycle with a strong steel frame and likely be able to sell it in a few years or less for what you paid.
    Please forgive me, I'm not a wealty man by any means. In my opinion, you don't buy a Litespeed or a Lemond for speed. We're not pro racers. You buy a bike like that for the experience,for the joy it gives every time you ride it. I learned a long time ago that the more enjoyment you get of something, the more you're going to do it. How many children are obese in this country? We're talking about children who want to share a physical activity with their Dad. Why wouldn't you want to make this experience as good as you could in hope's that the child may continue down the same road for a lifetime? If a child wants to further his knowledge, do you go out and buy an old used edition of cheap encyclopedias or do you buy him a computer?

  24. #24
    Jim Shapiro
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gene James
    Please forgive me, I'm not a wealty man by any means. In my opinion, you don't buy a Litespeed or a Lemond for speed. We're not pro racers. You buy a bike like that for the experience,for the joy it gives every time you ride it. I learned a long time ago that the more enjoyment you get of something, the more you're going to do it. How many children are obese in this country? We're talking about children who want to share a physical activity with their Dad. Why wouldn't you want to make this experience as good as you could in hope's that the child may continue down the same road for a lifetime? If a child wants to further his knowledge, do you go out and buy an old used edition of cheap encyclopedias or do you buy him a computer?
    How about a used computer as a compromise? They don't wear out, after all.

    Funny you should mention that. Both of my (adult) sons bicycle, one having only a bike for transportation (and both can afford pretty much any bike they want). The son without the car has several bikes, none that he paid more than $100 for. He rides mainly an old Sears 3-speed which he cherishes and enjoys riding on a daily basis. The other son rides with me 4 times a week on his $35 used Diamonback Ascent which he also enjoys riding. And just today I had a wonderful ride on my $38 late 80s Miyata. I am not quite sure what your point is, but if you are suggesting that the original poster should buy an expensive bike for a child that will outgrow it in a few years, in the hopes that a fancy new bike will encourage his child to ride more, I have to disagree. (And I haven't even factored in the possibility of a new bike getting stolen.) My riding companions often jealously comment on how beautiful my classic blue Miyata looks compared to their newer models. I would take the money saved by not buying a new bike and put it in a college fund. That is more likely to further the child's knowledge than any bicycle.

  25. #25
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    The object is not to further a child's education, but to enrich his enthusiasm for exercise. Let me ask you a question. Are you and your companions members of a bike club? If you are, would say that people riding classic old Miyata's are the norm, or are they riding moderately priced bikes from a local bike shop. Also, would you say that most bikes sitting in garages collecting dust are Huffys and Sears three speeds or are they Trek 5200's. I'll tell you what. Even though I have a plastic and titanium knee, I and my Lemond Zurich will meet for a ride cross country and when your Miyata breaks down and you can't get parts, we'll see how you enjoy it.

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