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Old 03-13-09, 09:08 PM   #1
Kimbercop
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Buying a new road bike, help..

No, not for me, I wish.

I promised my 8 year old boy a present of his choice should he receive less than 3 disciplines at school for the year. He wants a road bike, great, another person who can drop me. The problem is, I'm not ready to drop big money for a kids road bike by a "brand name". I figure a walmart or target Denali would fit the bill. Problem is you have to order them online since those arent normally in stock, so we can't go try one for size. He's tall for an 8 year old and I have no idea how to figure what size to try for him. I feel bad about going to a LBS just to use them for a size check, then ordering from a big box store but I cant spend LBS money for this bike.

Any ideas how to figure him for size??
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Old 03-13-09, 09:54 PM   #2
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I feel your pain, especially since kids grow so darn fast. My son is turning 12 and already on his second road bike! But like you, I'm not wanting to drop big money on short lived rides. So I've bought used.

The first one I got him is a 1970's something Motobecane off of craigslist for $100. Only had to do new bar tape and a better seat. He's gotten used to riding a road bike on that one.

Just tonight I bought him an aluminum frame bike for his upcoming birthday. It's outfitted with STI shifter (mainly sora - but he'll get my tiagra/105 pieces if need be - since i've upgraded) and only paid $350 (with shipping).

So it pays to shop around. As for measuring him. You can go to the bike shop, but I know our local shops are more of the "throw your leg over it" fit experts. I would pick up "Zinn and the art of road bike maintenance" from your bookstore. It's WELL worth the $25, plus it contains a full "how to properly fit" section in the back. (Or you can do the online version here )
That way it's something you two can do together, and you won't feel guilty about wasting the LBS' time.

Let us know how it goes!

Tim
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Old 03-14-09, 05:01 AM   #3
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Try This,in socks stand with heals aginst wall, take a hardcover book 2" thick (or as close as possible) between legs, push it into crotch so it is in a similiar postion as a seat, make sure the edge of the book is parelle to the ground, measure from floor to top of book, do the measurement in centimenters (or inches by 2.54), now multiply this by .65 to get approx frame size, example 32" inseem=81cm, 81*.65=52.65 or 53cm frame. This will get you real close.

BTW I have a 50 cm trek 1000 that I bought for my son and he out grew it real fast if interested let me know, by PM is diabled so let me know here and I can work something out price will be well under 400 paid over 700 for it.
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Old 03-14-09, 05:23 AM   #4
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I (when asked) usually steer people towards Fuji's road bike line at the Shimano 2200/Sora component level. Decent entry level quality that will not break the bank.
Treks, Specialized and even Giants are too much.

Of course NOT being a pompus snob, people will ask me about new bike purchases for them or siblings since they know I ride often, know bikes and have 9 of them. They all want ones like mine for no more than $200.......in which I say Ma'm, just my pedals cost that much.
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Old 03-14-09, 05:28 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimbercop View Post
No, not for me, I wish.

I promised my 8 year old boy a present of his choice should he receive less than 3 disciplines at school for the year. He wants a road bike, great, another person who can drop me. The problem is, I'm not ready to drop big money for a kids road bike by a "brand name". I figure a walmart or target Denali would fit the bill. Problem is you have to order them online since those arent normally in stock, so we can't go try one for size. He's tall for an 8 year old and I have no idea how to figure what size to try for him. I feel bad about going to a LBS just to use them for a size check, then ordering from a big box store but I cant spend LBS money for this bike.

Any ideas how to figure him for size??
I have a red Bianchi road bike circa mid 80s. It's small.....really too small for me and I'm 5'1'' You'd be welcome to try it out. Seems, though, that since this is a reward present that he probably will want something brand, spanking new.

FYI, my mom started out on a Denali and she put thousands of miles on that bike. She bought it from Amazon and paid around $100 for it. Sizing him up like recommended and then ordering that sort of bike is probably your best bet.
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Old 03-14-09, 06:34 AM   #6
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I jumped on walmart.com to see if they listed store availabilities for the Denali - unfortunately they do not. I know I've looked (from a far, far distance) at the Denalis in my super walmart (Morris, IL) before. From the specs on Walmart's webpage though, it only comes in one size - 57cm. That might solve your sizing dilema, since there is no other size to debate.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=3663046
Frame type: Road bike
Frame Materials: Aluminum
Gearing/Shifters: 21-speed Shimano drive train with Revo Twist shifters
Brakes: Alloy brakes
Wheels: High-performance 700x28c (black)
Additional features:

57 cm Aluminum frame is strong, responsive and light
High-profile alloy racing rims for added strength and aerodynamics



EDIT:
Apperntly Target signed a better deal than Walmart, because they list 3 sizes:
"Boys 24" (comact frame geometry)
Standover height: 26" for ages 14 yrs. and up; weight limit 200 lbs.; recommended height 4’5"- 5’2"
"Mens 22.5"
Standover Height Medium 22.5"= 57.5cm 54.5cm 43.0cm 31.5"= 80cm.
"Mens 25"
Height Large 25.0"= 63.5cm 56.5cm 43.0cm 33.5"= 85.0cm

Last edited by hyunelan2; 03-14-09 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 03-14-09, 07:14 AM   #7
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I would try to talk to my boy and explain explain that:
1. fit of a road bike is critical.
2. You are growing fast so your fit will change frequently.
3. Therefore, your road bike will change frequently.
4. Because of 3, we should buy used and you'll get a new bike often.

Sounds good to me.
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Old 03-14-09, 08:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kimbercop View Post
No, not for me, I wish.

I promised my 8 year old boy a present of his choice should he receive less than 3 disciplines at school for the year. He wants a road bike, great, another person who can drop me. The problem is, I'm not ready to drop big money for a kids road bike by a "brand name". I figure a walmart or target Denali would fit the bill. Problem is you have to order them online since those arent normally in stock, so we can't go try one for size. He's tall for an 8 year old and I have no idea how to figure what size to try for him. I feel bad about going to a LBS just to use them for a size check, then ordering from a big box store but I cant spend LBS money for this bike.

Any ideas how to figure him for size??

Wow, 8 years old! My first thought was that if he's around 12, use the French Fit to spec a frame he will grow into.

Why not start by measuring his inseam, torso, and arm lengths the normal cycling way, and take it from there? You probably want a shorter crank if there are any choices - at least, the 175s are almost certainly too much! But if you can calculate a rough fit for him now, then add a couple of centimeters to seat tube and top tube, that will provide him room to grow.

On the North side there are still a few of the old LBS I knew as a kid - Notably Gary's Cycles at around 6200 N. Clark Street. Been there at least since 1950, now run by Gary's son.

You'll probably want to get him to raise his saddle as he grows - a lot of kids don't do that, and here at University of Michigan we have a lot 20 somethings getting around on their early-teen bikes, on which the saddles have never been raised. Buncha funky looking students!
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