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Old 07-16-12, 10:02 AM   #1
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First bike recommendations for an 11 year old.

Looking for a bike for my 11 year old. What's a good first bike? Basically it's going to be for riding around the neighborhood and rides with me. Mainly road riding.

Thanks.
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Old 07-16-12, 10:21 AM   #2
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That's a tough decision. An 11 year old is growing too fast, and will probably outgrow the bike in a year. \
But you should consider a bike with 24 inch wheels.
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Old 07-16-12, 11:13 AM   #3
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How tall is your 11 year old? My 11 year old son has ridden an old Trek 800 mountain bike (26" wheels, hard tail, solid fork, slick tires), adult bike, 13 1/2" frame. He has ridden it for a little over 2 years now. He is just over 5' tall and on the verge of outgrowing it. He could probably jump up to a 15" or 16" frame this year, but depending on how much he grows, I might put him on my 18" hybrid next year.

I guess what I am saying is, if he is 5'2" or shorter next year, I might buy another used mountain bike in 16" size. If he grows to 5'4" or so, he should be able to handle an 18" hybrid.

I should also say this wasn't my son's 1st bike, but rather his third one. That being said, I can't see adjusting to either trigger or grip shifters as being a problem for most 11 year olds.

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Old 07-16-12, 12:24 PM   #4
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What do his friends ride? I'd get something similar to that.
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Old 07-16-12, 12:36 PM   #5
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You might also get your 11 year older a Cannondale Bad Boy 9 in the correct size and just exchange the frame for another, whenever he grows out of it.

Cannondale does the frame exchange thing forever...

www.cannondale.com/faq

PS.

You get about a 25% discount towards your next FRAME SET ONLY!!!

* Therefore, if you're handy with a wrench, you can reinstall all of your original components and not get charged any labor fees. You can then really capitalize upon the discount.

It might be time to find a bicycle co-op....

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Old 07-16-12, 02:38 PM   #6
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If a Girl, a nice Folding bike will grow with her.. all the way to 21 +

If a Boy , they are generally rougher on stuff,
so same bike might get beat up too soon.

they even break BMX bikes.. a common choice in that age-peer-group..

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Old 07-17-12, 06:42 AM   #7
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What do his friends ride? I'd get something similar to that.
That would be a good measuring standard. However most of them are a couple of years older than him, and they ride skateboards or Razor scooters.
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Old 07-17-12, 06:44 AM   #8
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It all depends upon your 11 yr older's physical characteristics. Mainly how tall your 11 yr older may be currently and at what rate is the 11 yr older growing?
I think he's about 4'-8". He is stretching out rather quickly lately.

Thank you for the advice.
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Old 07-17-12, 09:24 AM   #9
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I think he's about 4'-8". He is stretching out rather quickly lately.

Thank you for the advice.
Unless this is supposed to be a surprise or something, I would just ask him about the type of bike he prefers. Alternatively, if you already know what type of bike you'd like to buy him, I would show him several pictures of bikes and then urge him to select one of them.

Meanwhile, single speeds are fairly fashionable and hip with the youngsters. You can't go too far astray with a single speed. OTOH he might be in with the "extreme" clique and better appreciate a BMX or freestyle kinda bike.

Since much of Florida is pretty much flat, a nice single speed (not a fixie) will always come in handy. I would also get him a Freestyle BMX bike. The single speed would be for the purpose of getting him to tag along with me on our special bonding rides together. The BMX bike would be just for him and his own recreational fun. Of course, if he begins to lean more towards one or the other, you still would have afforded him some measure of happiness.

Whatever the case may be, I would be very hesitant about investing too much into either bike, as your son is still growing.

Right now at 4' 8" , your son is just a tad too short for any single speed that I've seen before. Therefore, his style of bikes will be limited. Currently, IMO, he is limited to BMX, MTN bikes, and a few Comfort hybrids. Of course, there's also the "Boy's bikes" that bicycle companies always offer as recreational toys. That will include Cruisers and MTN bikes, as well.

Currently, I'll make the following recommendations:

The Giant Sedona Hybrid ~ $350

www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/sedona.st/9025/48885/

The Schwinn Frontier MTB ~ $330
www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/mountain/2012-frontier-mens-14351/

The Stolen Casino BMX ~ $270
www.danscomp.com/products-BIKES-Stolen/102101/2012_Stolen_Casino_Bikes.html

How to pick a BMX bike:
www.providencebicycle.com/buyers-guides/how-to-pick-the-right-bike-pg38.htm

PS.

I would start right away with teaching him how to repair a flat, change a tire, and adjust his brakes. Hopefully, he'll eventually lean towards a single speed...

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Old 07-17-12, 09:25 AM   #10
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I think he's about 4'-8". He is stretching out rather quickly lately.

Thank you for the advice.
He should fit on an old 13 1/2" or 14" mountain bike. Fit is everything. That was about my son's height 2 years ago.
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Old 07-18-12, 01:46 AM   #11
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A used mountain bike from Craigslist until he has grown up enough to not outgrow the bike in a year. The suspension fork might have a lot of "cool" appeal. I like the idea of getting a bike like your 11 yo friends have. Craigslist should have a good selection of kid sized bikes. And you can re-craigslist the bike when your son/daughter outgrows it.
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Old 07-18-12, 09:12 AM   #12
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First bike at 11???? Why have you waited so long?
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Old 07-18-12, 09:38 AM   #13
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First bike at 11???? Why have you waited so long?
I guess it depends on where you live. Here in Holland you wont find a kid who does not own a bike. But then again, the infrastructure is built with bikes in mind and it is a safe way for kids to get to school / sports / friends etc. In other parts of the world, cycling is not as popular or attractive.

I would go for a used mountain bike. Gives you a lot of versatility and it is durable. Also, being second hand is attractive because at 11, kids outgrow a bike so fast that it is a waste to spend a lot on something you will have to replace in a few years.

It also depends on the preferences and character of your son of course. Some kids who love sports and behave responsibly may even be best of with a road bike. Others are the total opposite and would be best of with some no-brand trasher bike. I am pretty sure I would have bought myself something fancy when I was 11. My nephew however would probably clean it every week and keep it for when he has kids lol.

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Old 07-18-12, 07:39 PM   #14
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our 13 yo son has ridden with us since he was 8, getting the right bike is hard and $. his current ride is a 20 yo japanese steel frame road style bike. tuned it up, put on new tires and brake pads and swapped the saddle from another bike. he grew so much from last fall to this summer, had to get a new stem/riser - but that was an easy swap with the older style setup. he pretty quickly got use to the down tube shifters, plus they were easier for him to move (shift) than twist or sti style. we just finished a 675 km multi day supported ride - he really likes the bike, it is a handsome red color and has worked very well for him. probably will completely out grow it this season - hope to find another almost vintage bike for next year - this one has been great - our total cost was less than $200, including the new components - he's ridden it well over a thousand km.

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Old 07-22-12, 06:19 PM   #15
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Checked out a few bikes yesterday. So far the one that seems the best fit was a Trek 3500 MTB 16" frame with 26" wheels. Basically a full sized mountain bike.
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Old 07-22-12, 07:08 PM   #16
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IMHO - a 16" MTN bike seems a littie large
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Old 07-22-12, 09:06 PM   #17
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Well he was on his tippy toes, but I'm thinking for the future. I'd rather get something a little big that will last him for the future. I mean he was more comfortable on the 13" frame. We'll see. We're going to try some more bike shops first.
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Old 07-24-12, 04:13 AM   #18
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First bike recommendations for an 11 year old.

Trek still makes the 820, a steel hairdtail mountain bike with fixed front fork. I think they make a 13 inch. It is south of $400. Indestructible and perfect for learning mtb skills.
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Old 07-24-12, 12:15 PM   #19
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"what his friends ride" along with their opinions. As when I owned my shop, no matter what the age, they will ride more if they own the bike that appeals to them.
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Old 07-24-12, 12:19 PM   #20
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"what his friends ride" along with their opinions. As when I owned my shop, no matter what the age, they will ride more if they own the bike that appeals to them.
I know I said it at the beginning when it was brought up, but let me just post a refresher. His friends in the neighborhood do NOT ride bikes. They ride skateboards and Razor scooters. That WOULD have been a great option had it been one.

Thankfully the LBS we went to were very good about letting him try out any bike he wanted to.
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Old 08-21-12, 10:04 AM   #21
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Well, we ended up going with a Giant Revel 2. 13" frame. Still think I should have gone with a bigger frame but they told me at the LBS that it's better to not go too big because it takes longer to get used to the bike. Either way, my son really loves the bike. Now we both have Revels. His is the 13 model. LOVE the color scheme.

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