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Old 05-26-09, 03:45 PM   #1
thelawnet
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Need to kit out 7 and 2 year old (and parents)

My son is 7 next week, he has a cheap and nasty 16" bicycle, but can ride confidently. I think we will get a 20" bicycle for him. Any suggestions for what to look for?

We don't ride, but we're going to buy a pair of bicycles too. He'll need to be able to keep up with us I guess.

We'll be riding on flat canalside paths, forest trails, etc.

We need some sort of 'storage' solution for the 2 year old as well.

Any tips?
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Old 05-26-09, 08:16 PM   #2
masiman
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I prefer rigid (no suspension) geared bikes when they are old enough. 7 is usually a little early for gears but depending on how they ride and grow, it could be the better option (our 20" bikes are geared, one even has disk brakes). Spend a little extra for a nicer bike because you can keep it for the 2 year old. Some really like single speed options (including BMX). Realize that with gears you will have hand brakes only. Most kids don't pick up shifting until they are 8-10 years old. In the end, go for the lighter weight bike all else being equal.

At 2, the other is likely too big for a bike seat. The most obvious option is a trailer. There are other options but they are shorter term or more specialized. The trailer is an add on piece that will not drive the adult bike type (in most cases). If you do not ride much I would not spend alot on the trailer (<$100). Look for a used trailer on Craigslist.

The 7 year old won't be able to keep up with you, especially if they are on a single speed. Count on riding at 5-10mph. A liesurely pace for adult riders is about 10-12mph (some even call that slow). Keep with the 7 year old and train them how to ride safely on both trails and roads.

Good luck.
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Old 05-27-09, 12:05 PM   #3
thelawnet
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We went to three local bike shops. One had nothing. The others both had Raleigh - they recommended the Raleigh Hot Rod http://www.raleigh.co.uk/b_details.aspx?id=516. 20" wheel

We decided the 11" was good, the 13" was a bit tip-toeish.

Didn't think to look at a 24" wheel, but I guess that might actually be a sensible choice.

24" wheel with 12" frame seems like a compromise - will have to take a look.

The child seats go to 22kg, that's 50 pounds, so that's plenty until the 2 year old can ride herself. Trailers seem like a big liability.
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Old 05-27-09, 02:19 PM   #4
ArmyStrong86
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Hi, I have five little riders from 1 -9 years old. For the 7 yo I recommend an aluminum frame singlespeed. The Raliegh is steel, has a heavy front shock and gears to complicate things and add weight; in my opinion you don't need gears to ride flat canals and basic forest trails and neighborhoods. Real BMX bikes can really save weight, but for a basic good bike I recommend one like this Trek MT 20 http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ages_6_9/mt20/, or similar bikes from Specialized or Gary Fisher. They also have the geared and suspension bikes with 20" wheels if you prefer that option. I actually bought my oldest a 20" Schwinn aluminum frame front suspension 7 speed a couple of years ago at a good discount through Performance. He loves it, even the gears, but he hardly ever shifts and I just think the lighter weight and simpler bike would have been the best option. Both are OK though.

For the two year old, between a rack mounted baby seat and a Burley-style trailer,I recommend a trailer. Seems like a liability, but I always feel safer with the little guy in a trailer rather than on the back of my wife's bike. As far as keeping up, we are runners too, so I usually run with a double baby jogger while my older three 6,8,9, ride bikes. It's a challenge to keep up! The rack mounted baby seat seems flimsy and makes the bike very top-heavy. It seems unstable to me. The trailer lets two ride side by side and has storage room for groceries or a swim bag! I got ours froma neighbor and I second the suggestion for buying a used one. Hope that helps.
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Old 05-27-09, 06:54 PM   #5
thelawnet
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Thanks. I have done an excessive amount more research. I'm going to try and get one of these:

http://www.islabikes.co.uk/bike_pages/beinn24.html
or possibly this one
http://www.islabikes.co.uk/bike_pages/beinn20lrg.html

It weighs less than his current 16", quite expensive, but the resale value seems to be over 70% against less than 50% on a Giant.

They don't do the MT20 in the UK, only the MT60 (200), Mystic20 (150) and Jet20 (150).

It's a pity the manufacturers don't list the weights of their bikes.
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