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Old 04-26-13, 08:21 PM   #1
I6pwr
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Choosing a 20" bike for my daughter

What I have narrowed down is the Jamis Starlite 20 in grape or the Specialized Hotrock 20. I don't think I want the 6-speed but the jusry isn't completely out yet, just the price.

What I want is the Jamis with a 3-speed hub, that would be the ticket but unfortunately it would be a fabrication and a void of the warranty. She likes to go for rides now with us and a 3-speed hub would allow her to travel farther.

The price of the Jamis is right and there are generally in-store discounts at EMS.

I'm partial to Specialized but the Jamis is a fierce competitor IMO especially for the intended purpose. This is a sidewalk cruiser and I will surely upgrade down the road, but for now I think the 6-speed is just out of the budget.

Could I get a 3-speed to work with some minor frame tweaking? Should I buy a vintage hub or go for new? I have seen a few 20" wheels with a hub but they are roughly 30-40 years old or more.
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File Type: jpg Jamis Starlite 20.jpg (56.5 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Specialized Hotrock 20.jpg (65.1 KB, 9 views)
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Old 04-27-13, 05:40 AM   #2
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A three speed would work with either of those frames.

Have you looked at the possibility of a folder? They fit a wide range of sizes, and would be usable for a long time.

If you decide to go 3 speed, I would go with a new hub, prior to 1984 the Sturmey Archer 3 speeds would "go neutral" in between gears if not adjusted properly. A new SA coaster brake 3 speed will run ~$70usd. I bought one NIB from eBay a year or so ago for $45 for a friend.

You can always save the 3 speed when she gets a larger bike. We did that with my daughter, she still is riding the same hub she did when she was 8 and she will be 26 this year. Hers happens to be a SRAM 3 speed.

IF you can find a reasonably priced Raleigh Twenty you would have a bike that would fit her for a long time too. We have a couple of them, and they are our go to bikes for a lot of riding.

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Old 04-27-13, 08:28 AM   #3
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S3c and you still have the Coaster brake.. they might even have a rotary inside the chainstay shifter .

Kids tend to let the bike fall over , on either side..
not having the shift mech dug in the lawn or banging into the sidewalk.
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Old 04-27-13, 01:29 PM   #4
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I think I might weigh them but there probably won't be much difference.

Kids bikes can be really heavy tanks. How much does your bike weigh? Without even knowing what you ride I'd be willing to bet either of the bikes that you pictured will weigh more.
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Old 04-27-13, 04:04 PM   #5
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The Jamis is 25 LBS, not terrible and is aluminum. I may just get it and worry about a 3-speed hub in the near future. I do want the 3-speed, may just have a wheel built.....dunno.
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Old 04-27-13, 05:21 PM   #6
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consider a zooter swift ?
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Old 04-27-13, 09:18 PM   #7
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consider a zooter swift ?
I looked at the folding bikes but the price is out of the budget, she's only 7 and really goes for the style like the Jamis. The low height of the frame works also.
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Old 04-28-13, 10:51 AM   #8
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I don't get it. 25 lbs. for a name-brand kids bike? Why not just get her a Walmart bike/Huffy and modify to your heart's content, if needed to make it into what you want? What would be the difference, other than a lot of money you'd save on a bike that she'll out-grow in a year or two?
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Old 04-28-13, 03:37 PM   #9
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Weight-wise they are all pretty much the same, did that research. I'm going by the specs not physically weighing each bike..actually the Jamis is a couple pounds lighter than the cheapie's at Wallyworld.

She actually fits in an 18" bike, the 20 should last her for a few years. The Specialized and the Jamis are well built and frames are aluminum. I rode Huffy's for years and they would surely hold up if well taken care of, granted times have changed but things last when taken care of.

She's been doing well in school and outside of school, this is somewhat of a reward and an early x-mas gift since her B-day is 2 weeks after x-mas, still nasty weather here during than time. The Jamis is a solid bike, different than the $50 bargains at the other stores. She could ride it for a few years and I could still make a few bucks from it come time to part with it.
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Old 04-28-13, 05:11 PM   #10
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She's been doing well in school and outside of school, this is somewhat of a reward and an early x-mas gift since her B-day is 2 weeks after x-mas, still nasty weather here during than time. The Jamis is a solid bike, different than the $50 bargains at the other stores. She could ride it for a few years and I could still make a few bucks from it come time to part with it.
Why not take her to your favorite LBS and let her pick out which one SHE likes best? She may place a higher priority on its appearance than weight. That may offend your own bicycling technical sensitivities but whose present is it?

One thing I would forget about in any consideration in the purchase of a present for your daughter, is her bike's resale value.
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Old 04-28-13, 07:40 PM   #11
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Why not take her to your favorite LBS and let her pick out which one SHE likes best? She may place a higher priority on its appearance than weight. That may offend your own bicycling technical sensitivities but whose present is it?

One thing I would forget about in any consideration in the purchase of a present for your daughter, is her bike's resale value.
Those are good points. I'm definitely not worried about resale value, just threw that in since if it came down to buying a cheaper bike, the difference in a quality bike would be partially negated by the resale value. If she kept it forever that's fine with me.

We have been through a few bike shops in the not so distant past and I have a good feel for what she wants. I want to keep it a surprise but it's a good point and I may take her back to look for something for mine to test the water again.
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