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  1. #1
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    Recommendation for a 12 years old

    Hello,

    I have decided to get my son a new bike, who is 12 years old. So, any recommendation for a road bike for him that is preferably under $400. By the way, he's about 5ft1in.

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    You're going to have a hard time finding a new road bike for <$400.
    At the shop where I work our least expensive road bike is ~$650.
    Does he want a road bike or a mtn bike or ?? Mtn bikes start much cheaper, $300-$400.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

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    That's tough to find a new bike that size and for that price.

    Something not quite as expensive could be this GT at Performance. It is a "girls" bike, but the geometry could work for your 5'1" son.

    You will definitely want to take him to a shop to fit him for whatever bike you get.

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  5. #5
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Look around at local bike shops. The one that I use has a mix of brands (including GT like the one linked to at Performance) with an aim to make cycling affordable. Also, some LBSs, especially established ones, sell used bikes they've gotten as trade-ins.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

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    Quote Originally Posted by joewey View Post
    I forgot about Bikes Direct, I am typically not a fan of them, but in this case I think they are a great option. The Motobecane Mirage fits your price range but it has a triple which I don't think a 12 year old will really take advantage. Yours may be different though.

    Used is great if you know what you are doing.

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    How much does he ride, and does he specifically want a road bike? There are many mountain bikes available in the ~$400 price range, and they hold up well to the rough and tumble (literally) that most 12 year olds put them through. They work fine for occasional longer day rides. As a smaller rider myself (5' 3"), I find it's much easier to find an MTB in my size range than a road bike. One way to get some of the advantages of a road bike with an MTB is to put some slicks (wide street tires) on it; I have a bike like this as my main commuter. He will still be able to play on it (hop curbs, etc.) while gaining some efficiency for longer road rides. As mentioned above, going used is a good option if you know bicycles well and don't mind making a bit of a hunt.
    Last edited by rnorris; 01-08-09 at 09:21 AM.

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    Might be too small for your son, but we bought our 10 year old son a REI Novera 26" bike. He uses it for road and cross with a switch of the tires. It was under $400 and a great bike!

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    12 is a tough age. You want somthing decent, but don't want him to outgrow it by next year. I'd say go with used. If he's bummed about it, promise him something nice when he finishes growing.

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    My 12, almost 13 yr old, is using a 83' Raleigh Grand Prix or my '84 Gitane Sprint and it works well for him. When he's around 16 I may look at getting something a little more modern. But, for now, he's just learning the ways of the road bike.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomtim View Post
    Hello,

    I have decided to get my son a new bike, who is 12 years old. So, any recommendation for a road bike for him that is preferably under $400. By the way, he's about 5ft1in.

    Trek FX 7.1 $439 msrp. At this time of year, look for a deal, particularly if you're buying helmet, gloves, other accessories. The FX looks like a mountain bike but is much faster on the road. You can put racks on it, fenders on it. Gearing will take it up a wall or keep up with the big kids.



    At 5' 1", look at smaller adult bikes.

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    Your son is heading into the growth years. I bought my 13 year old son a mountain bike last year and he has outgrown it. Now hes looking for a road bike. I'm trying to sway him into something like this.

    http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=3040

    Simple, fun, uncomplicated. Good-luck.

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    Specialized makes a 44cm Dolce and 46cm Sequoia. (Yes, the Dolce is a women's bike, but it may work nonetheless.) Not sure if they're 650c or 700c if that makes a difference. A little out of your price range, but you can look for a discounted '08. Additionally, some stores are willing to deal with you because of the recession.

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    Redline make a few NICE 500 flat bar road bikes, NICE looking, decent components adn fair price....
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  15. #15
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    I have a 52cm Trek Alpha 1000 and I've always thought that it's tiny. I'm 5'7". I know it's frowned on but you may consider getting a slightly larger bike than he fits on right now. If he has the skills to utilize a road bike to it's potential then he can probably make do on the larger frame for a while, because at that age it's only a matter of time until too big is too small. If not just go with a durable mountain bike or a hybrid.

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    Go Used

    If he really wants a road bike (I did at 12), don't overlook the used market.
    The first step is to confirm the type of bike, and make sure the design matches the intended riding. For example mountain bikes are perfect on local off road trails, but not going very fast or very far. Hybrids work great on rail trails, etc.

    When returning to cycling after a few years off I found an older quality Trek road bike built with all Ultegra components, with clipless pedals, shoes (new and my size!) and a helmet for $200, and road it on a 540 mile tour.

    If your lucky, you will have a bike dealer in your area that sells quality trade in's. As most bike shops make the majority of their money on repairs, this is an excellent strategy (IMO) that many shops sadly frown upon for some odd reason.

    The default answer of course is Craigslist.org, if you are in an area that is actively used.

    Take your time and buy what will make him happy, and fit your budget.

  17. #17
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    I bought my 10 YO the 24" GMC Denali, by Kent. He LOVES it! Yes, it's cheap (around $150), but I figure he's going to outgrow it in about 3 years. If you go this route, I strongly suggest double checking everything on it before giving it to him (my son's had a problem with the brake handle, I had to fix). Otherwise, it seems to be ok for him. In fact, I went out and bought the adult version for me. It needs a couple of upgrades to make me happy, but nothing major, I hope.

  18. #18
    i bunnyhopped your mom pc_1453's Avatar
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    dude, DON'T GET A ROAD BIKE. he's 12, so if he has one of those, he'll probably get laughed at. same with hybrids. he's almost a teenager, so he probably needs a bmx or dual suspension mountain bike. MTB isn't my forte, but I love BMX. I ride a Mirraco. they're fairly cheap, and blow WeThePeople and Subrosa out of the water. if he's not gonna be riding much, or is new to riding, get him a Recruit.http://mirrabikeco.com/recruit.html if he's any good at riding, get him a Fivestar. http://mirrabikeco.com/fivestar_option.html I wouldn't go for a BLend unless you got money to spare. they ride awesome, but are high maintenance.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  19. #19
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    He has a mountain bike as well, so we get to go banging around the trails, too.

  20. #20
    fixed for the long haul 40 Cent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pc_1453 View Post
    dude, DON'T GET A ROAD BIKE. he's 12, so if he has one of those, he'll probably get laughed at. same with hybrids. he's almost a teenager, so he probably needs a bmx or dual suspension mountain bike. MTB isn't my forte, but I love BMX. I ride a Mirraco. they're fairly cheap, and blow WeThePeople and Subrosa out of the water. if he's not gonna be riding much, or is new to riding, get him a Recruit.http://mirrabikeco.com/recruit.html if he's any good at riding, get him a Fivestar. http://mirrabikeco.com/fivestar_option.html I wouldn't go for a BLend unless you got money to spare. they ride awesome, but are high maintenance.
    He won't hear the laughter -- he'll be too far ahead of them. Seriously, if he's into riding on pavement, don't bother with a mountain bike or bmx, especially if he wants to go far. I built my kids road bikes (they're 11 and 9) using small used frames, about 46 to 48 cm, and we've already done a few 50-mile daytrips as a family. Impossible on a BMX. But it depends on his taste. We can't assume, just because they sell so few road bikes for children now that all kids love mountain bikes. Please.

  21. #21
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    our now 10 yo son has been on two bike trips with us- in the navigator seat of a tandem.
    working on the detail for coming summer's trip(s), he says he does not want to ride the tandem,
    wants to ride on his own- he's 4'6" and growing. has a mtn bike- did the usual tire swap for
    touring, plus handlebar change, etc. still not quite right for a lot of riding. last weekend we were
    in a bike shop, just looking. There was a very red x-small frame flat bar road style bike- a Specalized Vita. Which he hopped on to, we adjusted the seat height & we went for a short demo ride. Bike shop sales person said a couple of times that it is a women's bike. I know the bike shop owner [who was final fitting a guy for a new SEVEN], who I heard in the back ground say- "let them alone, they know what they are doing" . Then a longer ride. After a few more adjustments, the bike came home with us. He has now ridden it almost a hundred km & going well. thinking about selling the tandem.

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