I'm shopping for a new 24" bike for my 8 (almost 9) year old boy (he's currently got a horrific 20" Target bike that must weigh 40 lbs!).
I know nothing of mountain bikes and such (I just have a road bike myself, and am a noob at that).
I'm looking at these two:
My question really is, how much of a difference might the suspension make for a kid? Once he gets this new bike, I plan to buy myself some kind of mountain bike or crosstrail kinda bike so we can take our bikes when we go camping, and ride on the trails where we live (pretty mellow fair).
Realistically, he'd be riding about 80/20 pavement/trail.
The Trek appeals to me due it's simplicity, and it's much less than the Specialized, but is it gonna be a rough ride even on mellow trails w/o the suspension? He's an athletic and strong little bugger, and he "goes for it" with sports. I want to get something that's up to the task.
Any advice greatly appreciated.