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  1. #1
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Help me w/step-daughter

    Good news is that she isn't too interested in getting her license right now.
    Bad news her choice of bike.

    Family was at Wally World and stopped to price bikes for the 5 and 8 yr olds. Her mom asked her if she wanted a bike as well, and the response was "YES". So I tried to 'fit' her on a 24" model with the ultimate goal of looking online @ various manufacters before hitting the LBS's.

    Well, she didn't feel comfortable on that big a bike. She's 5'1.5" tall and wants to be flat footed on the ground while on the bike. So I thought maybe a 20" BMX mightwork for her. Of course, the store had a few of those on display and she spotted this pink job w/a Tinkerbell theme...

    I adjusted the seat height to the maximum and had her get on it. I pronounced it too small, but she and her mom said otherwise. So I had her ride down the aisle. She said it would be fine. Only thing is, when she was pedaling, she looked like a bow-legged pigeon and her knees where hitting her chest.

    I'm wondering if an Electra Townie will fit the bill: her wanting to be flat-footed, and my not wanting to buy her a bike at a big box retailer. I'll buy the smaller kids bikes from the big box, but my step daughter is not going to get muchtaller (her mom's 5'2").

    Thanks for letting me rant. (Don't get me started on the build quality of that pink bike.)

  2. #2
    smitten by саша pwdeegan's Avatar
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    wow. sounds like her notion of bike is different (perhaps incommensurable?) with yours. maybe if you can find a bike that fits, which is also pink with a tinkerbell and all of the funny bells and whistles, then you'll be fine. but ultimately, she'll only ride it if she wants to, and then again, only (i suspect) if she has some agency in the choice.

    maybe take her to more places to look at variations/other bikes? ask her what she likes most, and find ways to build compromises? a big thing for me would be to present a unified vision with your wife---the power of the parents toeing the line cannot be underestimated.

    i'm certainly interested in how this turns out for you, so keep us posted!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    I believe Electra has some "Pedal Forward" designs that allow the flat feet on the ground thing while maintaining the proper leg length to pedal.

    Check at REI:

    http://www.rei.com/product/781248
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  4. #4
    Senior Member teacherbill's Avatar
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    How about a short wheel based recumbent? 20x20 wheels will keep her feet on the ground....
    Bill from Sebastian

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  5. #5
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have to ease my girls into raising their seats just a little at a time. They just ride around the neighborhood and down the bike path and stuff, but still, they always are amazed at how much easier it is to pedal when they're not smacking their chin with their knees.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jtgyk View Post
    I believe Electra has some "Pedal Forward" designs that allow the flat feet on the ground thing while maintaining the proper leg length to pedal.

    Check at REI:

    http://www.rei.com/product/781248
    No REI's in the state of OK, but that is the Townie I was referring to in the OP. There is a LBS in town that stocks Townies, so I will take her there and she what she thinks.

  7. #7
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teacherbill View Post
    How about a short wheel based recumbent? 20x20 wheels will keep her feet on the ground....


    I'm sure that a SWB for someone who has balance issues/fears on a DF would keep the feet on the ground.

    But then again, you may be on to something. She's partially deaf in one ear due to an ear infection when she was younger. I'm wondering if that may have caused any long term issues with her balancing...

    I am going to ask her tomorrow (she's in bed ATMO) if she has any real balance issues or it's just a matter of comfort/desire to have her feet flat on the ground.

  8. #8
    Senior Member teacherbill's Avatar
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    no1mad,
    I have a very similar situation with my youngest child. Only wants to ride with training wheels. Finally figured out that he has a true balancing issue. So I went with him to the "bent" store in search of a bent that was low-to-the ground. Because he could get his feet on the ground quickly he seemed more positive towards the idea. I am search for a used "bent" for the purpose so that he will ride with me on my wander some weekend adventures. What I have noticed is that some of the "cool rides" in our neighbor hood has been the adult trikes. Searched this idea and found that they do "fly" down the road and are more respected by some of the cagers.
    Bill from Sebastian

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  9. #9
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    I would spend the time to take to a LBS and allow them to provide the attention a young lady would deserve and expect, and also to receive a view from one other than a parent figure.

    Let them do the fitting and the selling. You should have no trouble having her mom go with this idea and the one on one time may be worth the effort.

    All the best. and good luck.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Well, I asked her if she had balance issues. It's more a comfort thing than that of balance. She doesn't really feel all that comfortable on two wheels. She questions the stability.

  11. #11
    Not safe for work cyclokitty's Avatar
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    I'm 5'1" and a smidge (that's an important smidge, too) and I felt really uncomfortable sitting so high up on my bike at first. I tried riding it while being able to put my feet flat on the ground when I came to a stop but it was incredibly uncomfortable after a short ride. Hills are harder to ride. Your knees start sounding like you're crushing a bag of chips. It's not happy.

    I think it's a great idea to try her out on an Electra Townie. She'll probably overcome her worry over her balancing if she realizes that she can plant both feet on the ground at anytime. And they make some really nice looking bikes. Hello pink flowers! And matching basket -- good times.


  12. #12
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    My wife rides a Giant Suede, and she loves it. It's pedals forward. She has issues with balance, too, and she's really comfortable on it. She's not particularly athletic and hasn't ridden a bike much in the past, but she's really taken to it and loves riding it. They don't come in pink, though. They don't even have the flowery pattern sort of thing that the Townie has, so it may not be of interest at all to your daughter. If it's the pedals forward thing she's most interested in, though, the Giant Suede is worth checking out.

    Good luck.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Electra makes some cute girly bikes. I ride a Giant Suede too and love it. I'm getting close to 60, so like being able to put feet down fast. Mine's green, made girlier with decals and accessories.

  14. #14
    ol' Icebeard jbabic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bab2000 View Post
    I would spend the time to take to a LBS and allow them to provide the attention a young lady would deserve and expect, and also to receive a view from one other than a parent figure.

    Let them do the fitting and the selling. You should have no trouble having her mom go with this idea and the one on one time may be worth the effort.
    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Well, I asked her if she had balance issues. It's more a comfort thing than that of balance. She doesn't really feel all that comfortable on two wheels. She questions the stability.
    I'm with bab2000. Perhaps your stepdaughter simply needs to hear it from someone else, or better yet several shops.

  15. #15
    Each Drop of Sweat Counts
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    Take a look at the Dahon folding bikes. They make some pretty girly looking bikes like the Curve.

    John

  16. #16
    Senior Member badmother's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrekJapan View Post
    Take a look at the Dahon folding bikes. They make some pretty girly looking bikes like the Curve.

    John
    +1 Folding bikes are great. She can use it also as an adult and they are great to fold and bring in the trunk or on a bus. She can put the seat as low as she wants for a start and then (you in seecret) can rise the seatpost little by little.

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