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Old 03-13-08, 10:33 PM   #1
Bialy
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Best brake system for 8-year old

For a kid who just learned how to bike, is it best to go with 2 hand brakes OR 1 hand brake (front) and 1 foot brake (rear) or even just a foot brake? And why? Also want him to keep bike awhile. Thanks.
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Old 03-13-08, 10:54 PM   #2
masiman
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There is not one best. Options are that you could let them decide which one they want. Also, a foot brake is cool for kids. I think most will remember doing skids with foot (coaster) brakes and how much fun that was.
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Old 03-14-08, 06:30 AM   #3
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Coaster brake only. He's 8 doesn't really have the hand/eye coordination to use hand brakes yet. Don't let anyone tell you different. If so, have a good dentist and periodontist on speed dial.
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Old 03-14-08, 07:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
Coaster brake only. He's 8 doesn't really have the hand/eye coordination to use hand brakes yet. Don't let anyone tell you different. If so, have a good dentist and periodontist on speed dial.
Each kid is different DieselDan.

I have an eight year old that enjoys riding single track mountain biking with me. First race was at seven with hand brakes.

I have a seven year old that pretty much only rides as a stoker on our tandem or on a TAB. Enjoys riding, just does not have urges to get out alone.

I have a four year old that just may learn to ride before the seven year old.

Blanket statements usually have alot of holes in them.
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Old 03-14-08, 07:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by masiman View Post
Each kid is different DieselDan.

I have an eight year old that enjoys riding single track mountain biking with me. First race was at seven with hand brakes.

I have a seven year old that pretty much only rides as a stoker on our tandem or on a TAB. Enjoys riding, just does not have urges to get out alone.

I have a four year old that just may learn to ride before the seven year old.

Blanket statements usually have alot of holes in them.
Indeed. When my daughter turned 8 she got a Trek 220 with hand brakes. She did 22 miles with me for Father's Day that year.

There are really 2 determining factors on whether a kid can handle hand brakes only:
  • Reach - Can the kid get enough if his/her fingers on the lever?
  • Grip Strength - Can the kid comfortably exert enough force?

Everything else (awareness, modulation, etc.) can be / must be taught, so I guess you can add:
  • Your willingness / ability to teach.
  • Your kid's willingness / ability to learn.

Kotts
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