Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Which is the Better Value for the Money?

    Hi. I am a confused Mom with a spinny head after a day of bike shopping!! I was hoping those of you in the know might share your thoughts on the following bikes we are considering for our almost 11 year old son. He is almost 5'2" and has a 27 inch inseam. We plan to ride mostly as a family in our neighborhood, and on bike trails. I don't see a lot of very aggressive riding in his immediate future, though I can see him being a bit hard on the bike in terms of crashing or dropping the bike perhaps. We have been told he needs an 18 inch frame in Raleigh and Giant, or a medium frame in Schwinn, with a 26 or 27.5 inch wheel.

    My questions are
    1.) which would be the best value for the money in terms of quality of the bike components, durability and room for growth
    2.) which brands are considered the "better" brands in general (how do they rate in order).
    3.) how many years can I reasonably expect a bike to last him (growth-wise)


    These are the bikes:

    Schwinn Sierra GS - $260.00 - LBS
    Schwinn Traverse - $170.00 - Toys R Them (I know, I know!!)
    Raleigh Mojave 2.0 -$275.00 - LBS
    Giant Boulder SE -$320.00 - LBS
    Specialized ??? ??? - LBS
    Giant Hybrid - Don't remember the model - LBS
    Giant Comfort - Don't remember the model - LBS

    I believe he is too big for the Specialized HotRock 24", so whatever is the next step up from that (we are going to look tomorrow morning).

    I am not too hung up on brand name as long as I am not buying junk. I'd like to keep it to about $350.00 absolute max if I can. Please don't flame me, I am very inclined to buy from my LBS (I hate Walmart), but other than service (which I do highly value!) is there that much difference in the quality of the actual bikes themselves that make them a minimum of $100.00 more expensive at a LBS?
    I don't mind spending the money and supporting the LBS in the process as long as I understand what the extra is buying me.

    Well, thank you very much for sharing your knowledge! It felt great to get back on a bike with my family after not having ridden for 20+ years - and we did 16 miles on rental jalopies our first time out! Think of the potential!! Looking forward to choosing our new bikes with your help! Thanks again!!

    PS- Any other bikes I should consider? We want an aluminum frame and he hates the twisty grip shifters - he likes the clicky trigger ones.

    Thanks!
    Confused

  2. #2
    GATC
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    south Puget Sound
    Posts
    6,601
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't mind spending the money and supporting the LBS in the process as long as I understand what the extra is buying me.
    Well, in addition to a better assembly, you're getting a real bike that can be modified/repaired w/ off-the-shelf parts from a bike store rather than the likelihood of having some amount of obsolete or proprietary parts that cannot be fixed or replaced economically. Just being able to add a kickstand (scavenged off another bike) to my son's 16" Giant when he took the training wheels off was a bonus that a Target bike might not have. Although his bike actually does have a one-piece crank. But a 24 or 26" bike like you're looking for probably wouldn't. (and mine will outgrow the bike before the crank needs repairing...)

    Other than that, I really don't know about any huge qualitative differences among the bikes you listed. Did you reach a decision after your last outing?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    My Bikes
    Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
    Posts
    1,035
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As the other poster pointed out, the main difference between a Big Box retailer and a LBS is PROPER ASSEMBLY. You also will get warrentee support, and an adjustment tuneup after some riding. All off these are definitely worth the $100. I have seen some descent bikes at Wallmart/Target for around $170 to $190, and they are pretty much the same bikes that the LBS will sell. Any time I have looked closely at any of the bikes at the Big stores, I have noticed that the brakes are almost never setup right. In some cases the brakes woult not have applied enough force to help with stopping. It would cost you at least $60 to take the bike to a LBS to have everything tuned up right.

    As far as what bike to go for. Have your son ride some of the bikes and find out what fits his body properly. There are differences in the geometry between the differrent bikes. What fits one person may not work well for an other.

    Happy riding,
    André

  4. #4
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    new england
    My Bikes
    Wife Trek 7100, GT lola, specialzed Hotrock, Trek Grommet, dead Trek 5200(KIA rear derailer failed and brok frame), and Trek 720 (Died of neglect when the 5200 became a stable mate)
    Posts
    748
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It really doesnt matter the brand. But the relationship you have with your LBS.

    you forgot to mention a couple of things: What does HE want his bike to do?
    Does he want to road, mountin a bit of both? Does he want to goto the BMX skate park?

    As a long time Trek owner my son defected to Specialized.


    Also a LBS bike will be adjustable. Something the walmart specials are not known for. things like Handle bars.

    kids are HARD on bikes. Take a look at the frame welds on a NeXT at walmart vs a Specialized or Trek. And think about what will happed during a trickey decent.
    When does an 11 year old boy not do anthing aggresivly?
    this is prolly your best bet: A trek 820 if you do more raod riding you can swap out the tire for road tires.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...dtail/820/820/
    It will go anywhare you son wants to go quickly, safely and reliably.
    However if the LBS you choose doesnt carry Trek, they will have something similer in the same price range.


    If you take even mediocre care of the trek 820. it will goto college with him.
    Last edited by st0ut; 06-23-08 at 01:21 PM.
    Cars make you weak.

  5. #5
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    new england
    My Bikes
    Wife Trek 7100, GT lola, specialzed Hotrock, Trek Grommet, dead Trek 5200(KIA rear derailer failed and brok frame), and Trek 720 (Died of neglect when the 5200 became a stable mate)
    Posts
    748
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Also while you may think a 24" is tooo small let the LBS fit him. Fit is the most important factor in choosing a bike.
    Cars make you weak.

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    DuPage County Illinois
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Find one that he likes.

    Have him test ride bikes

    Your LBS will be able to fit your son on a bike. They will be able to make minor ajustments and check over before the bike rolls on the door. Answer and questions and suggest new places to ride and explore as a family. Give the bike a free tune up after the cables stretch, shug all the bolts, retrue the wheel after the bike has been ridden that first month or so.

  7. #7
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    new england
    My Bikes
    Wife Trek 7100, GT lola, specialzed Hotrock, Trek Grommet, dead Trek 5200(KIA rear derailer failed and brok frame), and Trek 720 (Died of neglect when the 5200 became a stable mate)
    Posts
    748
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cunfused i dreally hope you come back and read this:
    Wife's wretched new bike from Wal-Mart
    Cars make you weak.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi Guys! I'm back! Thanks for your responses so far!!

    We've been reading everything we can find and trying to educate ourselves. The biggest problem we have is starting off with absolutely zero knowledge about the different bike brands or components available.

    Yes, I did read the Walmart link. Even before I posted my question, I had pretty much made up my mind to go with a LBS after the second day of shopping, but when you first start shopping the price differences can seem a bit shocking especially when you need three bikes in all, a car rack and accessories... and you have five bucks a gallon for next season's heating oil in the back of your mind...but the more I learned the more comfortable I am about it...

    The first shop we went to was staffed by older teenagers with poor attitude and a pretty small selection, so they lost me pretty quickly, especially after an inappropriate and insensitive comment made directly to my son.

    But, the second one was great! Very knowledgeable, big selection, and the actual owner was very patient with my son trying a few bikes we keyed in on. I will probably end up with this shop. No negativity toward other brands or shops, and pointed out the good and bad of the bikes I looked at. No rushing and very detailed explanations of the "why" of things. Can bring the bike back for adjustments free for a year and not far from home. Priceless! And the kickstands are free. Who would've thunk bikes don't come with kickstands??!!

    I have one more shop to look at (which I shared with this LBS - he understood - I just like to know all my choices before plunking down the money - we need three bikes in all!) because we never did get to go see the Specialized bikes (it rained for a few days).

    The more I shopped at the LBS's the more I realized how I'm not gonna be happy when there is no one to turn to after it's home a few weeks and we have questions or need help if I buy from a discounter, especially since we are buying three bikes (one for each of us).. That would be especially frustrating to me.

    The bike shop did fit him and I know it might sound off but he does need the 18" frame in both Giant and Raleigh - he is a very tall, long-legged boy! The 16" frame he hit his knees on the handle bars while turning.

    What my son wants to do is ride as a family on our loop and on bike trails. His immediate goal is to earn the Boy Scout Cycling Merit Badge this summer. He's already done a 16 miler towards it on a rental Jamis Ranger and liked that bike. He has two more 10, one 15, two 25 and one 50 miler ride left to earn the badge.

    He is much less physically aggressive than many boys his age and does not (yet) like to take too many risks or get too rough in sports. I don't see him riding through our woods or in a skate park any time soon, though I'd like the bike to survive if he finds his inner rough side and surprises me.

    My son likes the Raleigh Mojave 2.0 a lot so far. I am trying to decide if I should upgrade to the Mojave 5.0 or if it would be overkill. (The LBS said the 2.0 should be sufficient, but would order the 5.0 if I like - but there was no hurry to up-sell me - so I took that as another very good sign to do business here.)

    My son has eliminated the Schwinn Sierra that he rode due to the twist shifters - hates them! He has also eliminated the Giant Hybrid with 27.5 inch wheels that I thought he did well on and the LBS said he could ride longer and be less tired compared to the Raleigh; he said the ergonomic molded hand grips were annoying and uncomfortable.. I've eliminated the Schwinn Traverse he really liked because it's from Toys R Them and the lack of service issue. Yes, I will admit, the price still is very tempting, but I'm realizing he is older now and will be putting a lot more miles and stress on the bike now that he is pursuing the Merit Badge so the bike will require more attention than when he was younger and only went around the loop once in a while - I'm learning!

    We're still considering the Giant Boulder SE because it seems to be built a bit beefier, though we're weighing that vs the Raleigh for price/value. I want to see him ride a Specialized and see in person what the construction is like compared to the Giant and Raleigh - we've been recommended to try the HardRock/XC I think it is.

    So, we're down to the Raleigh Mojave 2.0 or 5.0, The Giant Boulder SE, or some version of the Specialized HardRock.
    Here are the questions in my mind:

    * Mojave 5.0 overkill at this point?
    * Mojave 2.0 a good value compared to similar other brands?
    * Will other kids think Raleigh is not a "cool" brand compared to say, Specialized?
    * Would he be noticeably more efficient/less tired on a hybrid vs the Mojave therefore able to ride significantly longer distances?

    I could go a bit higher on price if it was truly worth it, but am still looking for what is the best value for the money vs what name is on the bike (though I wouldn't want him to be teased either.)


    Any comments or pointers or things I haven't thought of please let me know what you think. Thanks for reading - sorry it was so lengthy!

  9. #9
    Senior Member NormDeplume's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    189
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Confused View Post

    * Will other kids think Raleigh is not a "cool" brand compared to say, Specialized?
    I'm still pretty much a novice, so cannot help you with the technical questions, but I know that in my area, 95% of the kids are riding on Roadmaster or NEXT brand bikes from Wal-Mart. It's really rare to see a LBS-type brand bike parked in the rack at the school or outside the library, at the playground, etc.

  10. #10
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    new england
    My Bikes
    Wife Trek 7100, GT lola, specialzed Hotrock, Trek Grommet, dead Trek 5200(KIA rear derailer failed and brok frame), and Trek 720 (Died of neglect when the 5200 became a stable mate)
    Posts
    748
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    My son is 6 and VERY small for his age and currently rides a Specialized Hotrock.
    He blew a decent a few weks ago and lost the front end doing about 25 mph. My son had some road rash and the hotrocks hanlee bars where torqued out of alignment. some scratched paint. twistied the bars back into place. and we where off.

    The Hardrock is a favorite in the Clyde athena threads. And i can assure you that a Hardrock will last you well into the college years for him. If he likes the specialized he has made great choice.
    Cars make you weak.

  11. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    DuPage County Illinois
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Whatever bike he fits on the best and appeals to him should be the one you get-within budget of course. Specialized frames tend to have a longer top tube so don't be suprised if he fits into a 16" frame.

  12. #12
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Between Lecanto and Hernando Florida, 6 miles west of the Withlacoochee Trail
    My Bikes
    I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my latest, a 2013 Cannondale CAAD 10.
    Posts
    13,553
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Your son will likely outgrow the bike in a year or two so it's not a lifetime purchase -- not that much to fret over.
    We sell Raleigh and Jamis at the shop I work at. Both are excellent bikes for the money. I'd recommend either the Mojave 2.0 or a Jamis X1.

    There are several bike shops in your area that sell Jamis. If you're interested, do a dealer search from the Jamis website.
    Last edited by RonH; 06-26-08 at 10:52 AM.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  13. #13
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    new england
    My Bikes
    Wife Trek 7100, GT lola, specialzed Hotrock, Trek Grommet, dead Trek 5200(KIA rear derailer failed and brok frame), and Trek 720 (Died of neglect when the 5200 became a stable mate)
    Posts
    748
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    opps forgot about the kid gorwing
    Cars make you weak.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for all your help choosing the bike... for those who might be wondering what we ended up buying...

    We went with a Raleigh Mojave 2.0 with an 18 inch frame 26 inch tire, outfitted with a Giant Unity seat, water bottle holder, derailer (sp?) guard, kickstand and trip computer from our LBS.

    It was the bike my son kept coming back to after trying everything under the sun, and it made him very happy! He was very comfortable on it. It made me happy too, as it was more moderately priced than some of the others we tried. He tried the Specialized, Giant, and others and kept coming back to the Raleigh.

    One down, two to go!

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Good for you. I think LBS equals rider safety, worth the cost and more. For you "big kids", have you considered flat foots from Electra/Giant/Trek? With 7-8-21 speeds, I'll bet you can keep up with son and be pretty comfortable getting back into biking.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Out there, on my bike
    Posts
    5,420
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't forget to buy a GOOD lock, and be sure your son uses it. Shiny new bike shown to everyone begs to be stolen if it's not locked up (and make sure you tell him not to let other kids "just ride it around the block")!

    and I, for one, really encourage you to make him wear a helmet, even if he thinks it's uncool. If you want details of my head injury story, I'll tell you in a private message.

  17. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    5
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks! What is a flat foot? Haven't started shopping for ours yet...

    Yes, a good lock, and bike gloves - we took a spill a few weeks ago on rentals and wished we had worn the gloves like we had been told to do!

    Helmets - around here no helmet = no bike, no scooter, no skiing, no ice skating, no nothing!! It has never been an issue because it's been that way from the start, and it's also a Boy Scout rule so one less thing to argue about. I had a bike related head injury at 15 (no one wore helmets back in the dark ages!) so I am very aware and protective of his noggin now (and ours too!). It wasn't pretty!

    I will be asking about bike carriers in another thread in a minute... Thanks again!

  18. #18
    Senior Member st0ut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    new england
    My Bikes
    Wife Trek 7100, GT lola, specialzed Hotrock, Trek Grommet, dead Trek 5200(KIA rear derailer failed and brok frame), and Trek 720 (Died of neglect when the 5200 became a stable mate)
    Posts
    748
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Flat foot are pedels that do not need biking shoes
    Cars make you weak.

  19. #19
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Between Lecanto and Hernando Florida, 6 miles west of the Withlacoochee Trail
    My Bikes
    I've had several since 1999 but have settled on my beloved 2001 Litespeed Tuscany and my latest, a 2013 Cannondale CAAD 10.
    Posts
    13,553
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Confused View Post
    Thanks! What is a flat foot?
    You don't want one unless you'll be doing VERY slow casual rides without your son.

    Flat foot means the pedals are forward of the usual position so you can stop and remain seated on the saddle and put both feet on the ground - flat footed. Scares the crap out of me when I have to test ride one.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Montreal
    My Bikes
    Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
    Posts
    6,521
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    the 25 and 50 mile rides will be a lot easier if you get the shop to swap out the nobbie tires for some smooth ones. The cost of taking a Walmart bike to get it checked for safety at the bike shop would eat up a large part of the price difference.

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    My Bikes
    Gerry Fisher Nirvana, LeMond Buenos Aires
    Posts
    1,035
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
    the 25 and 50 mile rides will be a lot easier if you get the shop to swap out the nobbie tires for some smooth ones. .
    Good idea... since your son is working towards the Cycling badge have HIM swap out the tires. Smooth tires will make the distance riding MUCH more fun. If he want to take it off road, then he can swap the knobby tires back on. Its good practice.

    Happy riding,
    André

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •