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  1. #1
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    Bikes as Gifts for kids - Sizes

    OK, I am having a bit of confusion around kids bike sizes..... i need to buy a few for my nieces and nephews as gifts and want to give them *the biggest bike* they can ride...... but can't figure out what that is.... 16, 20, 24????? And is that the size it says on the tire? If I have to measure, from what poin to what point do I measure???

    Here are their stats:

    Kid 1: 24 inch inseam - she rides a 24 inch (says that on her tire) - she looks great.
    Kid 2: 23.5 inch inseam - rides a 20 inch - but my brother says he needs a bigger bike
    Kid 3: 23 inch inseam - rides a 20 inch without gears - can he go up to a 24?
    Kid 4: 17.5 inch inseam - rides a 12 or 16 inch (unsure of the measurement) - what should she be riding?

    Also - anyone have any opinions about the Specialized kids bikes?

    Thanks!!!

    Pat

  2. #2
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    AFAIK Kids bikes are generically sized by the tire size. That does not say alot as to the fit of the bike. However, in my limited experience with kids bikes they are similar in their fit. Some models have adjustable components (articulating stem, multiple pedal positions on the crank arm). But I have only seen those features on 20" bikes I am not sure if they do that on 24's and I definitely have not seen them on 12's and 16's.

    I can't help you on the appropriate sizing for their measurements. You will probably do okay with your brothers recommendations. If you or he could take the kids to a bike shop to have them try out a few models, you would have a good idea of what to look for and what you want. Depending on the kids riding style, a shock may be appropriate. I personally think that shocks are almost always not necessary, at least in the 6 to 10 year old range. They add weight, complexity and not alot of function for how most kids ride. I would rather the manufacturer put the cost into the sometimes lacking drivetrain. The plus side to shocks is that they do give a smoother ride. Good luck in your shopping.

    There have been a few threads in the last year wrt what models people liked. If I remember there were Giants, Kona's, Trek's and maybe Specialized. I think it was a Trek MT220 or 240 that is mentioned alot. Try searching this forum.
    Last edited by masiman; 02-27-06 at 12:37 PM. Reason: clarification

  3. #3
    Senior Citizen DiRt DeViL's Avatar
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    Some brands like Gary Fisher and Trek have fitting features like articulating stem and adjustable pedal height in order to allow the kid to grow with the bike.

    The height and bike size are easier to determine at the shop because the kid can climb on the bike and you'll get a better idea on the fit but based on the info provided I would get:

    Kid 1 a XS or Pettite 26"
    Kid 2 & 3 a Trek MT220 or Gary Fisher Tyro
    Kid 4 a 20" non geared

    Most of the smaller kid bikes are heavy and built to last so the brand isn't a big deal. Now on the 24" market the Specialized Hotrock FSR 24 is above the rest. Kona, Trek, Fisher, Haro and many others make nice 24" around the $300 dollar mark.

    GF Tyro (Boys)


    GF Tyro (Girls)


    Trek MT200


    Trek MT220


    The difference between the MT200 & 220 is the front suspension.

    Specialized Hotrock FSR 24


    Kona Hula


    There are a lot of choices out there, take the kids to the shop and let them try the different sizes.

    This past Saturday my 9 y/o graduated from 24" to 26", took him for a ride on Sunday and loved it.

    Last edited by DiRt DeViL; 02-27-06 at 01:19 PM.
    "Life is not like a box of chocolates ...
    it's more like a jar of jalapenos.
    Whatever you do today,
    may burn your ass tomorrow."


  4. #4
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    If possible, check with the kids about what color they want (or at least ask your brother what each of their favorite colors are). And try to get an idea of what kind of bike they want.

    They are kids, if they don't think it's pretty/the right kind they won't ride it much. I was a hell of a tomboy as a kid, and could not stand the pink and purple girls bikes my sister loved for instance. I got a black Specialized Hardrock when I was 10, and it was my favorite bike I've ever owned because it was the first time I got to pick the style and color.

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