Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Montréal (Québec)
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You have 2-3 options.
The 16" 3-speed wheel is not too expensive if you want to build the bike yourself. Otherwise, expect to spend a bundle on labour.
If you look through 10-15 year old bikes, you may find a little gem. For my then 7 year old daughter, I found a 20" ATB which had a 11" or 12" frame. It was a bit high when equipped with wide knobbies, but as soon as I equipped it with 2" slicks, it was great for her.
Finally, if your son is young and can't change gears, it might be better to invest in a larger cog, so he will pedal faster. Hill-climbing will be easier; on the flats, he will have a better spin; and of course, he will spin out slightly sooner while going downhill, but that's not necessarily bad.