My daughter is turning 6 next month and really needs a new bike. She rides hers pretty much every day, but she's definitely ready or a new one. She's been riding her brother's hand-me-down bike for the last year but, seeing as how she rides much more than he does, I'd like to get her a new one this time. I was initially leaning towards one of the Electra cruiser-style bikes but then I came across the Puky Skyride. It seems absolutely perfect for her and the kind of riding we do, but I can't find anyone who sells them in the U.S. Any suggestions on something comparable to this?
Cartridge steering set
Conical front tubing
Aluminium saddle support
Plastic protective mudguard with edge protection
V-brake front and rear
SRAM i-Motion 3-gear back pedal hub brake
SRAM i-Light hub-dynamo
Adjustable brake lever suitable for children‘s hands
Aluminium crank fitting with square axle
Anodised Aero aluminium rims
Grip tyres with reflector strips
Halogen front light, rear light with parking light function
I'd say not to worry as to what specific bike to get. Try shooting for the features they should have on the bike (singlespeed/geared (internal or cassette), shock or not, foot or hand brake). The rest is pure personal choice for the most part. Things like twist/thumb/rapidfire shifters, kickstands, lights, bike style (mtb, road, cruiser), color I leave up to the kids. It lets them feel like they have a say in what they get. This generally makes them excited about picking out what they want and more apt to ride the bike. Try contacting the manufacturer. They are a German company as you may already know. If you would like a note translated to German, you can PM me and I'll have it translated for you.
If you can't find one, I'd recommend going to an LBS and trying some out with your daughter. Kids are far more likely to get that excitement bug when they are at a shop full of stuff they can buy . Try to resist the urge to get the first one she likes and go to 2 or 3 shops to try bikes if you can. Pick from there.
The most unique parts of the Puky are the internally geared hub and the dyno hub. I don't think I've seen them on a stock 20" kids bike before, nor any kids bike for that matter. Not to say they don't exist, I just have neither searched for those features nor run across them.
You'll want to select the English version of the site (which still has a fair amount of German). The total cost with shipping was just over $400. The bike I was considering as an alternative was the Electra Townie 7D Girl's Bike which goes for $350 and, in my opinion, isn't nearly as nice a bike. I'll post first impressions when we get it (and get it assembled).
My 7-year old son has a Specialized Hot Rock (20") but I'm not very happy with it. I removed the "chain guide" pulleys shortly after we got it because they were creating a *lot* of friction and noise. It comes with over-sized tires and a suspension fork, but the first time he jumped it, the wheel bent - it doesn't seem very well suited for the type of riding it appears to be designed for.
My daughter's new bike (the Puky Skyride pictured at the top of this thread) arrived today! It took just over two weeks to come from Germany to North Carolina. It arrived mostly assembled. All I had to do was mount the front wheel, rig the front brake cable, align the handlebars, adjust the seat post and tighten everything up. There were, however, two wires to attach to the front dynamo that I don't think I got on quite right.
My daughter loves the bike! The SRAM i-Motion 3 shifts very smoothly and she was able to figure it out how to work the twist grip shifter within 15 minutes. It has front and rear caliper brakes but the rear hub includes a coaster brake so she can still stop by back pedaling - nice! The rear rack is very sturdy and even has a sprung clip. I think I'll look for a small trunk bag for her so she can carry some cargo. We have the seat post almost as low as it will go so, between that and the handlebars, this bike should last her several years.
Overall, I was really impressed with the Puky. The components and the overall build quality are just terrific - nicer than a lot of adult bikes I've seen. When she parked it next to her brother's Specialized Hot Rock, there was no comparison between the two. The Puky was noticeably nicer in nearly every respect - even down to the reflective sidewalls on her tires. Highly recommended!
The chainguard is plastic, but it looks and feels pretty solid as does the overall bike. She rode it quite a bit today and there were not rattles or squeaks at all.
I finally did figure out the wires for the Dynamo. I had to pull off the end of the connector from the hub, then use a small, flat screwdriver to remove an interior piece. Then, I had to feed in the two leads and fold them over that piece, then re-insert it into the exterior piece. Then I was able to plug the connector back into the dynamo and the lights worked! It's my first experience with a hub dynamo and I was surprised that it created as much resistance as it did - still an improvement over a sidewall dynamo.