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Old 08-12-07, 12:18 AM   #1
1bluetrek
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Advice needed, my teens want bikes

I wonder if anyone can help me, I have two boys, ages 12 and 16. After going to several rides with me, they have decided that they would like to try riding some with me. It's hard to say how serious they are and if they would like to keep riding. My 12 year is a bit thin and not quite 5 feet tall while my 16 year old is a big strong fella around 6 feet and 230. Any advice on bikes for them? Do I dare put them on a Wal-mart bike? Cost is a pretty good concern.

By the way I do all road riding, charity rides etc..

Thanks folks
Eric

Last edited by 1bluetrek; 08-12-07 at 12:21 AM. Reason: forgot somthing..
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Old 08-12-07, 04:46 PM   #2
doghouse
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I would suggest you look for used bikes based upon your questioning their enthusiasm. I would start at the LBSshop, GoodWill Store, or the Craigslists out your way.
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Old 08-12-07, 07:05 PM   #3
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+1 on a used bike;
last fall- LBS was selling their season's rental bikes;
got my 6'2" 16 yo son a trek 6500, xlarge frame that
fits him well. some XT components, pretty good brakes, fair
suspension fork, hardly a scratch on it $250, retail was about $750.
he's grown a little since last fall, this summer we changed
the stem and handlebars- put on some new big apple tires
and he hi-jacked a brooks b-68 seat.
the whole family went for a 20 km ride for ice cream
this afternoon; he's ridden it about a thousand km this summer,
still going strong & he's happy with it.
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Old 08-12-07, 09:30 PM   #4
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I scored my first road wheels by asking the lady at an garage sale if she had any bikes. I got an old lugged trek, which usually have ugly paint, but the deceased home owner was a painter

I got perfect blue-no decals great shape $10

so you just might get lucky at a garage sale

+if they are interested in clipless pedals
you don;t want an expensive set of wheels going down at the stopsign


good luck
-Mac
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Old 08-13-07, 12:51 PM   #5
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Last year I bought my 13 year old niece a flat-bar 700c road bike (similar to this: http://www.fujibikes.com/2007/bikes.asp?id=322&subcat=# ) so she could ride more comfortably with her dad.

She has become extremely enthusiastic about road cycling since getting this bike. She keeps up with her dad on ~20 mile rides; her older brother can't keep up with her on his MTB.

This weekend she started using clipless pedals and shoes. We cycled across town on roads with lots of stop signs so she could practice clipping in and out. I even had to put lights on her bike so we could keep riding after the sun began to set - she didn't want to quit.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:55 PM   #6
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I just got my eleven year old son (about 5' 2" I think) a Trek 1000 road bike and he totally loves it; it was an end of season sale, so there was a considerable price break. He's been riding mountain bikes and hybrids for a while, and we've been on some pretty long rides together (well, 6-8 miles typically; long for us). But the new bike is a huge success. He likes getting down in the drops and going fast, and he seems as much in control as he did on his hybrid (I was sort of worried about that part of it). It's also made our rides together much more fun for me, as our natural speeds are much closer together, and because he's much less frustrated by hills.

The bike itself seems to me an amazing value for the money.
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Old 10-04-07, 11:25 AM   #7
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Make the investment

If there is any chance that your kids will be putting any kind of time on these bikes, go see your local bike shop and buy something that will last, with some quality components which will hold an adjustment. The bikes that Wal-Mart and other similar stores sell are lower end on the price spectrum for a reason. Your 16-year old is at 230?? I could easily see a spoke broken if he jumps a curb, or a crank being bent if he decides to mash hard to accelerate quickly. I speak from experience.

You can get a nice entry level mountain bike or hybrid bike that will allow them up upgrade it over time as their love for the sport grows, and as their needs change. They won't like riding a bike that doesn't change gears easily, and you don't want them riding a bike with cheap tires and brakes.

I've bought bikes for my wife, and two of my boys. We've paid more up front for the bikes, but the key here is, they are still on the same bikes. I'm sure that if I had bought my oldest son a Wal-mart bike, we would have already had to buy a second one. And I am relatively sure that my wife wouldn't even ride now if we had gotten her a cheap bike. How do I know?? We went down that path before some years ago.

Fall is here. Most bike shops are looking to move their '07 inventory. There should be some good deals out there. Also, while you are getting the bike properly fitted, they should be willing to swap out the components in the process, or at least give you a good discount on them, as they are keeping the ones that came on the bike. Look at Trek, Specialized, Giant, Raleigh, or Jamis, just to name a few to get started with. All of them offer good, entry level bikes than will serve your sons well.

Most of all, have FUN trying out new bikes. Don't feel like you have to buy the first one they test.
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Old 10-16-07, 05:14 PM   #8
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If you want to turn your children off of bike riding go to Walmart, they will pedal going downhill and not even enjoy it, a good bike is cheaper than most video games systems and will be in the long run a great health benefit....do whatever you can to get them interested, remember it wont be too long til they will be out on their own, but may come back to ride with you...
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Old 10-19-07, 11:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drissel View Post
If you want to turn your children off of bike riding go to Walmart, they will pedal going downhill and not even enjoy it, a good bike is cheaper than most video games systems and will be in the long run a great health benefit....do whatever you can to get them interested, remember it wont be too long til they will be out on their own, but may come back to ride with you...
I can not agree more. The $100 bikes are total junk. I've seen them start breaking within 50 miles and they also rust realy well. I love seeing these for sale at garage sales or Craigs list for $50 to $75... I wouldn't take one if they were free.

Target has some descent Schwinn bikes for just under $200. I can not recommend them either, even if these bikes may be descent starter bikes and fine for some light MUP cycling. The major problem is that these are assembled by people who have potentially no real experience assembling bikes. You will find similar Schwinn bikes sold at Bike Shops for about $75 more, but then the bike is assembled right and will be adjusted again after some use. This is CRITICAL for a safe ride on a bike. I know how to adjust a bike so I didn't mind saving the money when I got my Mom a bike, but I took 2 hours to go over the whole bike to make sure erveything was setup OK and safe. As sold the Target Schwinn had nearly non-functioning front brakes because they were ajusted complete wrong. This could easily lead to an accident for a novice. Therefore either get a GOOD used bike such as a Trek and make sure the frame fits, or get a bike from your LBS. I've had a few good used bikes. I had one as a teenager that I used for about 5 years and later received my dad's Raleigh 10 speed and used it for an other 15 years. A decent bike will last a long time. All you have to do is keep the bike reasonably clean and dry and keep the chain, brake, and shifter cables lubed.

Happy riding,
André
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Old 10-19-07, 11:22 AM   #10
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Used bike all the way. Skip the LBS for now. No need to get something crappy, even if you spend a decent amount of money on a used bike, you will probably be able to recoup most of it if and when you sell it. Let someone else take the depreciation hit on the new bike. Just make sure the sizing is close.

Kids are too flighty and too susceptible to short term interests to spend non-recoverable money when you don't have to. Also don't forget stuff like helmets and shorts will add some cost too.
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