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  1. #1
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    Bike frame size question for 9 year olds

    Long story short, I have twin 9 year old daughters around 4-11 90lbs. We ride easy single track, gravel paths and streets. They have out grown they 20 bikes and we are looking at new/used bikes. Any suggestions on 24 (wheel size) bikes vs 26 13-15 frame bikes. Is there any advantages or disadvantages to these sizes?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubacherek View Post
    Long story short, I have twin 9 year old daughters around 4’-11” 90lbs. We ride easy single track, gravel paths and streets. They have out grown they 20” bikes and we are looking at new/used bikes. Any suggestions on 24” (wheel size) bikes vs 26” 13”-15” frame bikes. Is there any advantages or disadvantages to these sizes?
    My 9 y/o daughter is only 4'-6" 63 lbs. and she is on a 24 Cannondale Race 21. She's been on it since April 2013. I'm hoping she can ride that thru summer--could be doubtful. Your daughters outgrew their 20" bikes a long, long, time ago. Skip the 24", it'd be a waste as it's too small for them even now. Go to a 26", 27.5", or even a 29er--yes, taller kids are riding them very comfortably. Your kids are going to be tall! Larger wheel diameters maintain momentum better, have a larger contact patch and are more stable--they'll roll over anything. Personally, I'd pass on a 26 and look at a 27.5 or 29 with the largest frame size that will barely fit them now but won't be too small later so you won't be buying anymore bikes for a long while. BTW, I had mine try an x-small Giant 27.5 and she did great on it. It was a tad big but not enough that she couldn't pedal and properly handle it--yours would have no problem at all.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the input. That is the way I am leaning. There are a lot of good used 26" bikes out there on craigslist.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ncfisherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubacherek View Post
    Thanks for the input. That is the way I am leaning. There are a lot of good used 26" bikes out there on craigslist.
    I'd go 26". Like you said, plenty of options to choose from and more cost effective compared to 27.5" or 29" -- the 29ers hold their value pretty well and 27.5" mtb is relatively new, so you'd be paying top dollar and have few(if any) used bikes to choose from. Maybe an option down the road if they really take to trail riding. On the other hand, you practically have to give away a 26" bike these days, so you'll get a lot of bike for your money.

  5. #5
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    What the...? Now, I know I posted a comment on this thread last night, and now it seems to have vanished... How bizarre.

    Anyway, yeah...I basically said the same as the others here. At 4'11", your girls will quickly outgrow 24" kids' bikes if they haven't already. Go with the adult-sized bike, in a 13" or perhaps 15" frame size, depending on their respective reach and bike-handling skills. The bikes' geometry will be a factor in comfort and fit moreso than wheel size once you get into the adult bikes. If possible, have your daughters do some test rides!

    Edit: Never mind...I'd replied to the same question posted in a different forum. You had me confused!
    Last edited by Lanovran; 02-06-14 at 10:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    +1 more for a 26", small or extra small frame instead of a 24". Much better selection of bikes, better components on those bikes and they'll be able to ride them for years unless they go from 4'11" to basketball centers in one year.
    I bought a cheap 24" Wally World bike for my son when he was about that size. He owned it one year, rode it a half dozen times and outgrew it. I should have bought the 13" Trek the LBS offered.
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    I agree with everyone, stay away from the 24. Small and Extra Small bike around me seem to go fast if they are priced right. Be ready if you see one to go jump on it. Specialized, Trek, Jamis, Kona, they all have pretty nice smaller framed bikes. Specialized seem to be pretty popular here. I actually just opened CL and a 13" frame Specialized was posted.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I like my 20" wheel Bike Friday .. I'm 5'9"

  9. #9
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Ugh. I am the size of your daughters. 26 inch wheels will work with a small frame. 13 is good. I ride an old Gary Fisher mountain bike with a 13 inch frame. Previously I had an old Trek 800, also 13 inches. The newer ones likely will be lighter and nicer. I fit up to a 14.5 in some mountain bikes. Fifteen seems to be too much for me. But I am not growing.

    If you are looking for hybrid's their are a number of xs and 13 inch frame options that are nice.
    Every living thing is a GMO.

  10. #10
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubacherek View Post
    Thanks for the input. That is the way I am leaning. There are a lot of good used 26" bikes out there on craigslist.
    I built this bike for my daughter from the spare parts bin at my LBS. The frame is 's' with 26" wheels. Short stem, seat down, and she should be right for many years to come. My daughter is 150cm now, but was 139cm when I built it.

    Road Bike: 2004 ORBEA Mitis2+Carbon, Freekin' groovy Urban / Mountain Road Cruising Bike: 2007 CANNONDALE Bad Boy Disc, MTB: 2012 Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin 29er

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