My 2 sons are in need of new bikes. The 10 year old has a bmx bike and the 8 year old has a cheapy Toys R Us bike. They are both very into doing the kids races at daddies races. But now the 10 year old is able to race as a junior. He needs a new bike though! I can't afford spending more than $400-500 on the bike, since I need to buy 2 of them. They really like the cyclo cross racing and will focus on that. We ride on the dirt trail and some mountain type riding. Not much road riding (I don't trust his ability yet). They need a lightweight bike as they are skinny little kids with not much upper body strength to lift the bike. I measured and they are 44cm and 40cm.
Our local bike stores have a very small selection of youth bikes, so I've been trying to look online for some. Any suggestions on a good bike to get? Thanks!
Keep scouring Craigslist, you can get some really good deals. The downside is that given the specialty cyclocross style you are looking for it will be harder to find one as you don't see many kids riding cyclocross, at least not in this area.
If you are an REI member, there is a 20% off coupon that is good until 30 Mar. That would make the $449 bike total to be $359. You should be able to find a good used bike for the younger one with the $50-150 left over. That Pulse looks to be perfect for your 10 year old.
If you don't go the store route, this guy did an awesome job of creating a cyclocross bike from a mountain bike and various parts. You might even be able to do this for less than the Pulse.