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Old 07-12-06, 07:01 PM   #1
stocon
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Newbie needs help buying bike for son

Hi,
My boy's birthday is coming up and he wants a bike, man I had no idea how much things have changed and what a difficult maze is out there. He's a casual biker so I don't want to spend more than $300 and I believe a comfort bike would fit his needs. I've read quite a bit but because he is so casual about his riding now I don't want to make a bigger investment. Could you please recommend a decent budget bike.
Tia Steve
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Old 07-13-06, 06:08 AM   #2
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OK I've done alot of research and I've come down to a Trek 3500, DBack Wildwood Citi and a Raliegh M 2.0. Any thoughts or other recommendations? Tia Steve
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Old 07-13-06, 06:21 AM   #3
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Most boys opt for an MTB, a "comfort bike" may cause many to question his forthcoming manhood.
There are plenty of very butch looking MTBs aimed at boys. The Specialized Hardrock is a firm favourite and has the advantage of threaded eyelets to accept a proper luggage rack and fenders. If he is going to be riding on pavement rather than trail, the switch the stock knobbly tyres to a slicker, higher pressure one.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:37 AM   #4
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I don't know the bikes well enough to recommend one.

You would really need to know what he wants. You did not say how old your son is going to be. If he is somewhere between 10 and 20, he would be an odd candidate for a comfort bike. You did say he rides casually, but what do his friends ride? If he is younger, they may tease him about the bike. Around here, all the kids are on mountain bikes with some road bikes.

When I was about 8 or 9, my mom was dying to get me a bike that she had wanted when she was younger. A comfort bike for back then. English style, upright with moustache handlebars and a basket. I knew I wanted a durable banana seat bike because that is what everyone else was riding. But I gave in to that bike because she was so excited to get it. I did take it on some 15-20 mile rides but I really destroyed it during all the times my friends and I did stunt riding in the woods. The point is, don't make the same mistake my mother did. Peer pressure means alot at the younger ages.

Good Luck

EDIT: MichaelW and I were writing at the same time. I did not see his response until mine posted. We have the same doubts about a comfort bike. Only you and your son will be able to determine the answer to that one though.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:39 AM   #5
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Out of those options I would personally suggest the Trek. The bike in question is a good bike for the price and it should last pretty long. I don't have too much experience with the other ones you suggested so I can't really comment on those. I have known a few people that had 3500's and they seemed to enjoy them. Along with MichaelW I must agree that if he's going to be riding on pavement most of the time it is a good idea to ditch the knobbies and go for a more street based tire. Bontrager has a nice inbetween tire that any Trek dealer would carry. It's still a 2" wide tire and keeps the bike looking like a mountain bike but the middle of it is smooth with traction on the sides. I have a set of Bontrager mountain tires, the "in betweener" tires they have and some Specialized slicks that I use on my Trek MTB and I find the most use out of the Bontragers with a little bit of tread. Expect to spend $15-20 per tire for these.

Best of luck.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
Most boys opt for an MTB, a "comfort bike" may cause many to question his forthcoming manhood.
There are plenty of very butch looking MTBs aimed at boys. The Specialized Hardrock is a firm favourite and has the advantage of threaded eyelets to accept a proper luggage rack and fenders. If he is going to be riding on pavement rather than trail, the switch the stock knobbly tyres to a slicker, higher pressure one.

The DbaCK is a comfy but doesn't it look a MtB? Here's a link what do you think? He's 12 years old 5'2''.
He just wants a bigger bike than his Dept. store single gear, you know he not a buff, but when I looked at the prices I thought I better get Knowledgeable Tia sTEVE


http://www.diamondback.com/items.asp...d=6&itemid=190
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Old 07-13-06, 06:58 AM   #7
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If you're considering the Trek 3500, look into the 820 as well. The 820 is identical to the 3500 except for it has a steel frame and a suspension fork, but the price is the same as a 3500. I bought a 13" 3500 for my son back in June, and he loves it, although he is only 7.

Also consider the service at each different LBS you're shopping at, assuming you're shopping three different shops. Each bike you listed are good bikes, almost identical in regards to componentry. Excellent service from a shop will make more of a difference then name or price.
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Old 07-13-06, 07:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DieselDan
If you're considering the Trek 3500, look into the 820 as well. The 820 is identical to the 3500 except for it has a steel frame and a suspension fork, but the price is the same as a 3500. I bought a 13" 3500 for my son back in June, and he loves it, although he is only 7.

Also consider the service at each different LBS you're shopping at, assuming you're shopping three different shops. Each bike you listed are good bikes, almost identical in regards to componentry. Excellent service from a shop will make more of a difference then name or price.


Is steel preferrable to Aluminum? Tia Steve
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Old 07-13-06, 01:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by stocon
Is steel preferrable to Aluminum? Tia Steve
That depends. I went with aluminum as I live in a coastal area, and steel frames will rust alarmingly fast if not meticously taken care of, especially in the hands of a 7 year old. Also, the 3500 has a rigid fork, as not to scare my son with the nose dive a suspension fork when you brake.
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Old 07-13-06, 04:20 PM   #10
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If you could go up a bit on the price I suggest the Trek 7.2 FX. It looks like a mountain bike frame but has the larger road wheels. I bought my wife the 7.5FX and we've ridden dirt roads, easy trails, and of course, pavement. You can add racks and fenders if you like. Throw on some knobby tires and it's good for off-roading like a cyclocross bike. It's faster than the mountain bikes the other kids have and the coolness factor of being the only 12 yr. old with one can't be ignored. They come in a number of sizes; I believe the 15" frame would fit him(my wife is about the same height).

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Old 07-13-06, 06:24 PM   #11
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Thx Guys,
He's not interested in the diamondback anymore.He didn't like the ride but did like the trek 820. He also liked an UNIVEGA ALPINA 5.3. It was used and maybe 10yrs old, it was in great shape new tires and all ran real smooth. The dealer wanted 160 but my kid really liked it. It would come with a 3 mo warrenty parts and labor. Does that sound reasonable?
Tia Steve
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Old 07-13-06, 06:51 PM   #12
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How old and tall is your son?
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Old 07-13-06, 07:14 PM   #13
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How old and tall is your son?
He's 5'4'' 12yrs old.
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Old 07-13-06, 07:23 PM   #14
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The deal on the Univega sounds fair.
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Old 07-13-06, 07:33 PM   #15
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Thx Dan we just might do that. He really liked the ride. Thx Steve
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Old 07-14-06, 05:37 AM   #16
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Get him a 16" mountain bike, several brands have models on the $300 dollar range, go new if you can.
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