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Old 12-22-08, 12:19 PM   #1
kdt_denton
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Starter Bike for 14YO

My son will turn 14 in a few months. He is skinny, 5'9" at 140lbs. Need a value bike for $300-400, and that will allow for him growing. Would like to buy online if possible. He'll ride it (hopefully) often.

Would rather not get a wallyworld bike.

What do you guys think is the best choice for that price range?
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Old 12-22-08, 03:49 PM   #2
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Road bike, mtn bike, or hybrid? Do you know what size frame he will need? If not head over to your friendly bike shop and find out. While you're there check out the deals on bikes. You probably won't find much in the $300-$400 price range. At the shop where I work (Jamis is one of the brands we sell) the road bikes start at ~$600, mtn bikes start at ~$375, and hybrids start at ~$425.
FYI: Jamis bikes offer a lot of bang for the buck.

Has he mentioned what brand(s)/model(s)/style(s) he is interested in?
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Old 12-22-08, 04:59 PM   #3
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Probably an entry level mountain bike. Even if he isn't "mountain biking", boys are hard on stuff. I would look at a Specialized Hardrock or the equivalent from another manufacturer. If you want to buy online, Bikes Direct sells Motobecanes of different pricepoints and everyone I have met with one on the trails liked them. Basically any hard tail for $400 is going to have the same components on it, so brand isn't a big issue. He'll need a medium (17 or 18 inch) frame.
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Old 12-31-08, 01:49 PM   #4
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dude, at 14, hes gotta get a BMX. they look awesome (chick magnets, all of them), and can take anything (unless you get a race BMX), even head on collisions with cars. yes, I've tried it. you can get a decent one within your price range, and the sizes are pretty open. I'm 15, 5'7, and my BMXs have 21" toptubes (the Moles), and a 18" toptube (the Diamondback). I recommend: http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...l=F3&Type=bike http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...%201&Type=bike http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...RK+1&Type=bike http://www.bikepedia.com/QuickBike/B...=Gap&Type=bike
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Old 12-31-08, 02:20 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
Probably an entry level mountain bike. Even if he isn't "mountain biking", boys are hard on stuff. I would look at a Specialized Hardrock or the equivalent from another manufacturer. If you want to buy online, Bikes Direct sells Motobecanes of different pricepoints and everyone I have met with one on the trails liked them. Basically any hard tail for $400 is going to have the same components on it, so brand isn't a big issue. He'll need a medium (17 or 18 inch) frame.
No way, mountain bikes are so uncool. When I was 14 and my only bike at the time was a mountain bike, I just wouldn't even bike it was so not cool to be seen on.
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Old 12-31-08, 05:39 PM   #6
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Check out Craigs list. Good deals to be had there if you know what to look for.

I'd go with a MTB.
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Old 01-02-09, 06:02 AM   #7
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...chick magnets, all of them...even head on collisions with cars.
You do realize that these are NOT strong selling points to parents, don't you?
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Old 01-02-09, 10:19 AM   #8
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I'm 14 and from what I've found out girls don't really care about what bike you ride (unless they ride bikes them self). Ive recently bought a Jamis road bike and as some body else said they are really good for the price you pay for them. just talk to him about what type of bike he would prefer to have.
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Old 01-02-09, 08:52 PM   #9
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Just take him to the bike shop. He can chack stuff out and you can find out the right frame size for him. Then if you must, buy online. But a bike shop offers way better support and repairs than a website does.
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Old 01-03-09, 09:00 PM   #10
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26" Dirtjump (DJ) bikes and BMX bikes seem to be the latest rage with the youngsters. DJ bikes can get expensive, but BMX bikes are always a winner, simplicity and price wise. I've been BMX'ing (with a LONG break between) since I was 12, and I'm 33 now. I also road ride, MTB, fixed Gear ride, etc... but BMX was the original love and what really got me into the other stuff.

BMX bikes are also good for entry level bike maintenance since they are so simple. Single Speed DJ bikes are comparible.

Just make sure your 14yr old doesn't remove his brakes if you decide on BMX.

Last edited by Dion Rides; 01-03-09 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 01-05-09, 12:39 AM   #11
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BMX are not practical for covering any distance. I'd suggest a single speed road/faux track bike(with brakes), they look cool and don't have much to go wrong and are more fun for tricks than BMX, IMHO
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Old 01-08-09, 09:03 AM   #12
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I agree w/ going to a couple LBS if you have them. There is a lot of people who don't like bike direct and unless you are bike mechanically inclined I'd stay away from online bikes. CL is a great place to find quality bikes just make sure he fits the bike well. My personal pref would be a 10-14 speed Mt. Bike. Performance Bike tends to have decent starter bikes and pretty cheep. Some LBS will give you lifetime or at least a year of free tune-ups so that extra couple bucks makes it well worth it. I hope this helps and you enjoy your time riding w/ ya son.
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Old 01-08-09, 10:36 AM   #13
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Agree with the above. Sounds like he's just getting into riding, so a lower end new or better quality used MTB is a great choice. I love riding with my 13 and 16 year old cousins, and they do fine on lower end MTBs for casual street riding and thrashing through mud puddles in the woods. If he gets toward wanting a more specific type of bike like BMX, a little more work is going to be needed to find a "value" bike. Also agree that Craigslist is a great place to find bikes that other kids have outgrown or don't use, if you feel confident in evaluating their quality, condition, and fit for your son.

edit: Reread thread title and corrected reply.

Last edited by rnorris; 01-12-09 at 12:38 PM.
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