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Old 05-30-07, 01:27 PM   #1
zacster
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Mountain bike for a 10yo

My daughter needs a new bike, having outgrown the kids bike she's been riding. She started riding the 24" wheeled mtn bike that we had that was left over from my son, and it was fine for her. However, she is also a twin, and her smaller twin sister (they're the un-twins, 6" difference in height!) wanted a bike with gears also.

My thinking at this point is to buy a x-small framed but full size mtb for my daughter, although I think she is a tad too small for it. Even at 5'0" her proportions are still that of a kid, not an adult. I hesitate to buy another 24" sized bike that she'll be too big for in a year, and I found that the kind of sidewalk riding that they're used to on 20" bikes isn't possible on the 24 incher anyway. She tried riding my son's bike (he's 5 11) and had a lot of trouble. She also had trouble with the thumb shifter, she couldn't push it hard enough, but that could just be the shifter's age. Even if she outgrows an XS frame, the other one probably won't so it will not go to waste.

So, I'm seeking opinions. And while I'm at it, any recommendations for an entry level mtb? I looked at BD and while the pricing looks good, I'm not sure I want to buy online. Scott, Fisher, Trek, Spec, Cannondale? Others?? Front shock, no shock? Hybrids? I don't like hybrids as they're the best of neither and sometimes the worst of both.

I'm a roadie myself, and ride a Kuota Kredo with Choru$ components, just so you get an idea of where I come from. I don't ride an MTB and I'm not familiar with the component and frame levels by name, but appreciate that there are differences.
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Old 05-30-07, 01:45 PM   #2
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I believe Mr. Fagerlin has a little bit of Scott experience.
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Old 05-30-07, 02:04 PM   #3
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Kona makes a nice cross bike for kids...if she's not riding XC, why make her work pushing those fat tires and little gears?

http://www.konabikes.co.uk/2k7bikes/jake_24_2k7.php
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Old 05-30-07, 03:00 PM   #4
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We just bought this Giant for the neighbor's daughter for her tenth birthday.

http://kozy.com/itemdetails.cfm?ID=6453

She really loves it.
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Old 05-30-07, 05:57 PM   #5
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I'd buy a cheapo one, WalMart special. She's bound to out grow anything you buy in no time.

Pointless to invest any amount of money in a bike for her at this point in time. I assume she's small/light enough to last for long enough on a sub-par ride.

Does she really do any serious riding?
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Old 05-30-07, 07:35 PM   #6
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I don't know, man.

I just rode with a kid for the first time last Saturday. She was my 11 y.o. niece and she did incredibly well on a 35lb ToysRus bike. If she had an 18-20lb hardtail...she'd be a competitive racer. As it stands with the 35lb pig...she's still decent. Just not enough stamina for a 15mi race.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:50 PM   #7
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Whatever you get her, make sure its full XTR.
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Old 05-30-07, 09:29 PM   #8
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I wasn't looking to spend big money on it, just the lowest level bike in the line. Maybe $300-400. The problem with going dept store cheap is that the components don't work well and they weigh a ton. As for outgrowing it, her twin sister is much smaller and would probably grow into it right behind her. I don't want another 24" wheel bike as I see she was already getting big for the one I have.

A trail worthy bike is not necessary as there aren't any trails here in Brooklyn. Potholes maybe.

Being able to carry the bike up and down the stairs would be a plus for her. And for me... "DADDY, help me with the bike..." And I really have a thing against dept store bikes. They just aren't worth it.

The best advice I can give myself is to take her to a decent bike shop, let her try a few out, and see how it works. Maybe a skinny tire hybrid is the way to go, but not drop bars like the Kona.

I was thinking a Record equipped bike myself. None of this ShimaNO stuff!
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Old 05-31-07, 05:24 AM   #9
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You are right about dept store junk. A quality bike will go through several kids. I would avoid knobby tires if the kid is riding on a road.
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Old 05-31-07, 07:44 AM   #10
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I'd agree with JM - look at cyclocross bikes with small/xs frames.
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Old 05-31-07, 07:50 AM   #11
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or look at something like this:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ne_jubilee.htm
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Old 06-03-07, 02:02 PM   #12
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I took her to a bike shop today, one that carries Spec, Trek, Giant and a few others. My daughter expressed her preference for a skinny tire bike, not a mtb. In fact, she went back into the pro shop and picked out a $1000 road bike as her favorite. Of course I'm not spending that kind of money. Other than that, she liked the Trek hybrids, the 7100 I think it was, or maybe something else. In any case, they didn't have much in stock at the moment and would have to order it anyway.
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Old 06-04-07, 09:15 AM   #13
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If you can, I would get a specialized hot rock. Its their childrens line of mountain bikes and bikes in general. You might be able to find the right size for her. I've never seen one in person, but specialized is quality stuff.
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Old 06-04-07, 09:23 AM   #14
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carefull with those Trek hybrids...my wife has a 7300 and hates it...heavy, slow, had to swap saddles a half hour into her first ride...she was in bad pain...I threw it off my bike when we got home...same problem.

What does she think of the Trek fx line?...I'm on a 7.5fx, essentially a flat bar hybrid, not great, but not bad...but if she likes the idea, ask her to check out the Specialized Sirrus, essentially a flat bar roadie with a granny

My wife now rides a similar canadian bike...loves it
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Old 06-04-07, 11:39 AM   #15
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This is getting harder than I thought it would be. Too many choices, and the MTB was the easy choice. Hybrid/Cross bikes seem to have more variations than either road or mtb, and look to be designed with specific purposes.

And again, to throw me for a loop, she wanted a road bike, with drop bars and everything. I just don't think she's ready for it, she just wants one like mine. Maybe I'll have her give mine a try (always a mistake, once you've been on carbon you won't want to ride anything else.) Better idea, I'll put her on my wife's old Cannondale for a spin and see how she does. It has downtube shifters, but I just want to see her on it and if she can handle it without shifting. It's a small frame, but an old-style small, not the current compact types which are easier to handle because of the easier standover.

Thanks for the warning on the 7100.
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Old 06-04-07, 11:47 AM   #16
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I would look at the road bikes on bikesdirect personally.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...iragesport.htm comes in as small as a 44cm, and Sora isn't a bad groupset.

Skinny, slick tires will be so much speedier for her. Road bikes for road, mountain for offroad.

Edit: I understand your desire for better stability, so just throw some 28c tires on there and I think you would be golden.

Edit2: or this bike has compact geo http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lt1000.htm
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Old 06-04-07, 12:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacster
This is getting harder than I thought it would be.
why not get two?...thats what I did for my daughter as all of us ride both road and trails.

I got her a Trek 7500fx (same as my 7.5fx) and a Specialized MTB...we now have some great family rides in town as well as on our home trails.

a good combo:
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Old 06-04-07, 01:33 PM   #18
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I have a 12 year old friend on a 24" Trek Mt.200 I rode it, and it was pretty good. THough it's 24".
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Old 06-04-07, 07:52 PM   #19
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At this point of the day I'm leaning towards one of the BD bikes. The women's specific road bike looks to be a good fit. 650 wheels with the usual mix of low end components, but nothing really bad or great. I think she'd like the displayed color too. Price includes shipping and they don't collect the tax, but, ahem, I'll fill out the form for the state. If I can put together my Kuota, I can handle putting this together too as long as I don't have to face the headset or bottom bracket. It is still more than I wanted to spend, but the $400 limit I put on it, prefering to keep it at $300 is looking unreasonable for anything above junk level.

When we checked out the lbs yesterday there was a woman looking at bikes with her boyfriend, and she was no taller than my 10yo daughter at about 5'. But I could also see her proportions were more adult. The bikes she looked at seemed somehow inappropriate for a kid. My guess is my daughter keeps growing and ends up more around 5'5" or so, and the other one ends up at 5'2". The WSD bike should be good for one or the other of them for some time.

Before I order anything though I'm going to check out a few more shops as I'd prefer buying local. And of course I have to run it by the banker first, at least she's in agreement on the need.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/willow2.htm
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Old 06-05-07, 07:56 AM   #20
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Carefull with those WSD bikes...they only work for women that are built like women...meaning that they have longer legs and shorter arms when compared to the average male. (So you get a slighty longer seat tube and shorter top tube)

My daughter's MTB is a WSD and she tells me that its the best fitting bike that she has ever had...no more back pain, however, my wife has shorter legs and a longer torso and can't ride this bike...her unisex MTB frame is perfect for her...

Just a long way of saying that when considering a WSD, its imperative that you get the bike under her and have her try a test ride...even 1 inch is HUGE on a bike as you would know when fitting your roadie
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Old 06-05-07, 08:46 AM   #21
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The Specialized HotRock is more of a younger kid's bike (IMO) - at 10, she's ready for something lighter!
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Old 06-05-07, 08:56 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BugsInMyTeeth
I'd buy a cheapo one, WalMart special. She's bound to out grow anything you buy in no time.

Pointless to invest any amount of money in a bike for her at this point in time. I assume she's small/light enough to last for long enough on a sub-par ride.

Does she really do any serious riding?
The bike companies do make kids bikes with low top tubes that allow the kid to ride the bike for more then one season before it needs replacing. Add adjustments in stem height and length and you can keep the kid on a bike fore a while.

Go ask the local bikeshops. They'll hook you up.
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Old 06-05-07, 06:34 PM   #23
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Giant STP 225? I have a full-size STP, and I love it.
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Old 06-05-07, 09:15 PM   #24
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I went the route of the 24 inch cheapo X-Mart bike a few years back. What a waste of money, and my younger son never rode it. Bought the older son a Trek 820, we still have it and use it for sand trails and occaisionally an MTB trail when we need a third bike. I'd say buy her the Trek 820 ($260) with a small frame. She'll probably get many years out of it and she can go mountain biking with you right now.
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Old 06-05-07, 09:22 PM   #25
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That's what I mean about cheapo bikes. I'd rather spend the money and get something that'll last and be used. My big dilemna now is which better bike. Like I said above, the WSD looks good, but as JM01 says it may not be the right fit. And it is on the upside of the budget. So I'll look again at the LBS's and see what fits and feels right for her.
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