I want to buy my younger sister a bike so that she can ride with me when I home from college. She is seven and still riding a 16" barbie bike-shaped object from walmart. She doesn't feel secure on a 24" tire so I'm looking 20". It will get passed on to a younger sister when she gets too big, and I'm fine with spending around 300 because I know it will get a lot of use. My goal is a light, fully rigid bike with a few gears, and I found a dream come true in the Islabike Beinn 20, but alas I live in the states. Does anyone know of a similar bike sold here? I don't want to settle for the hardtail boat anchors they are selling even at the LBS if there is a better bike out there. If not I guess I'll get a Specialized Hotrock or something similar, but that is a last resort.
Hopefully I'm not being too optimistic and thank you in advance,
I know of nothing else like the Islabikes that is sold in the US. The closest thing might be BMX bikes, but I am not sure of their weight. They typically run a little heavier due to their intended hard use. I think I recall seeing rigid geared girl offerings in 20" where the boys bike was suspended. It's funny how many say they are not interested in the suspension but they can't find rigid geared bikes. I guess the marketers know best, lol.
Youe sister is going to grow a lot the comming years, and in my opinion good and light childrens bikes is hard (impossible) to find. I remember trying to find small frames with big wheels all the time for my son. The reason I did this is it looks like (at least around here) the bikes for bigger children and small adults are better quality (or easyer to upgrade) than bikes made for smaller chldren. I remember at one point realising my sons bike was 50% of his own body weight. Can you imagine riding a bike that weighs 50% of your own bodyweight?
I suggest that you now (or as soon as you can find a fit) look for a folding bike of ok quality. Maybe look for a second hand one. This way she has got 20" (or 16") wheels, quality bike that can grow with her and is easy to take on a bus or in a car. You can easely find them with IGH`s up to 8 gears. http://www.bikeforums.net/folding-bikes/
Last edited by badmother; 06-03-09 at 01:03 AM.