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  1. #1
    reluctant roadie
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    Kids 20 inch road bikes

    Hi. I'm looking for a bike as described in the title. I've seen bikes by Fuji and Redline that fit the bill: lightweight, geared, with 20 inch tires for an 8 year-old. Any other bikes/brands I'm missing? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2013 Cannondale CAAD 10 2 (5) "Racing Edition"

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

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    I think that the OP was specifically looking for road bikes, not just kids bikes. The Fuji is the only true road bike that I have seen, although there are some good lightweight bikes that could be outfitted for narrower tires for speed and weight.

    I just got my son (6 YO) a Gary Fisher Precaliber 20 with derailleur gearing so he can keep up on family rides. First retrofit was a pair of 20" Schwalbe marathons for road use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aggiegrads View Post
    I think that the OP was specifically looking for road bikes, not just kids bikes. The Fuji is the only true road bike that I have seen, although there are some good lightweight bikes that could be outfitted for narrower tires for speed and weight.

    I just got my son (6 YO) a Gary Fisher Precaliber 20 with derailleur gearing so he can keep up on family rides. First retrofit was a pair of 20" Schwalbe marathons for road use.
    I think it is hit or miss on who is currently manufacturing kid size road bikes. In years past I have seen Trek, Felt and Colnago. I think the Trek was last in their catalog in 2007. Felt still makes theirs, not sure about Colnago.

    Novara makes one called Pulse, but that is a 26" rim.

    It will be hard to find something in a 20" rim that is not a mountain or BMX bike. Additionally, if it is geared you'll have a hard time finding a bike without a shock on the fork. There are a few out there but you have to look and maybe even look online at the manuf. websites and order from your LBS or someone online.

    Islabikes in the UK is about the only manufacturer I've seen that has a lightweight kids bicycle philosophy. I've never ridden or seen one, but their descriptions look promising on their website. Folks in the past that have enquired about getting their bikes here were put off by the end cost.

    You might be better off rolling your own for the time and money.

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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    Islabikes in the UK is about the only manufacturer I've seen that has a lightweight kids bicycle philosophy. I've never ridden or seen one, but their descriptions look promising on their website. Folks in the past that have enquired about getting their bikes here were put off by the end cost.

    You might be better off rolling your own for the time and money.
    This is precisely why I got the Gary Fisher for my son. It was noticeably lighter than anything else out there in the same price range. Still got a suspension fork, but he seems to like it. He commented that it "soaked up the bumps" before he knew that it was actually a shock absorber.

  6. #6
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    The Felt is real nice, we looked at those last year, but couldn't stomach the $700 price for something they'll outgrow. The other option is finding an older road bike in a small frame.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  7. #7
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    My 6y/o has a Fuji Ace. The Gary Fisher Precaliber with road tires would be a great bike. The new versions are nice and light. The kid has a Precaliber SS which he uses for dirt riding. Terrific little bike, a bit long in the geometry but my guess the geared version will work fine for road riding.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by neusaab View Post
    Hi. I'm looking for a bike as described in the title. I've seen bikes by Fuji and Redline that fit the bill: lightweight, geared, with 20 inch tires for an 8 year-old. Any other bikes/brands I'm missing? Thanks.
    WHY?

    8 year olds need to be taught how to spin and apply power efficiently.

    Look for a JNR or MINI BMX, light wheels light frame <60inch gear you can put a decent saddle on one of these and you have the perfect development bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by neusaab View Post
    Hi. I'm looking for a bike as described in the title. I've seen bikes by Fuji and Redline that fit the bill: lightweight, geared, with 20 inch tires for an 8 year-old. Any other bikes/brands I'm missing? Thanks.
    WHY?

    8 year olds need to be taught how to spin and apply power efficiently.

    Look for a JNR or MINI BMX, light wheels light frame <60inch gear you can put a decent saddle on one of these and you have the perfect development bike.

  10. #10
    reluctant roadie
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    So, ended up with a Fuji Ace 20. Being her first geared/hand brake bike, she was a little tentative at first, but after about 10 minutes she loved it. Coming off a Fair Lady, she's adjusting to the 1" slicks, quick steering, and more aggressive position, but she's fine with it.

    This bike is for general neighborhood riding, rail trails, and with a pair of 1.25 low profile cross tires, dirt and crushed gravel roads on our next trip to hilly Acadia National Park. Even an 8 year-old can recognize the efficiency of a 20 lb. bike unencumbered by useless suspension forks, etc.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by neusaab View Post
    So, ended up with a Fuji Ace 20. Being her first geared/hand brake bike, she was a little tentative at first, but after about 10 minutes she loved it. Coming off a Fair Lady, she's adjusting to the 1" slicks, quick steering, and more aggressive position, but she's fine with it.

    This bike is for general neighborhood riding, rail trails, and with a pair of 1.25 low profile cross tires, dirt and crushed gravel roads on our next trip to hilly Acadia National Park. Even an 8 year-old can recognize the efficiency of a 20 lb. bike unencumbered by useless suspension forks, etc.
    That is an awesome find. I did not know about that one.

    Did you have an LBS that had one in stock or ordered it for you? Maybe you found it online.

    Are you doing the Carriage Roads in Acadia? We have only been on them once but it was one of our favorite rides. We did a loop from Eagle Lake to Jordan Pond and back with lunch at Jordan Pond. It was a pretty spectacular day and what a great way to get around Acadia especially given what the traffic can be sometimes.

    Enjoy the bike!

  12. #12
    reluctant roadie
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    Thanks Masiman. We are very pleased. She's handling the bike better and better and loves it. Finding cross-type tires that fit has been a challenge but there is a LBS in Portsmouth NH that should have a pair in stock to test fit.

    Was lucky enough to find the bike at an LBS. Bargained down to $290. Compared to $350 for brand-name shock-laden 28 pound 20" mountain bikes, this was a great deal.

    We spend a lot of time at Acadia. So many fantastic 5-12 mile carriage road loops. I got this bike specifically for the hills there; she managed to ride 8 miles up some pretty steep hills on a single speed two years ago at age 6, so this summer's trip to Maine should be enlightening for her. Maybe she'll catch the biking bug?

  13. #13
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    Check the tires currently on the bike, they should have the ISO/ETRTO size on there (For example, a 700 x 20 C road tire would be a 20-622; a 700 x 38 hybrid tire would be a 38-622.). There are 3 different sizes of "20 inch" tires. They are probably 406mm, but maybe 451mm so you may see something like 40-406 or 32-451, etc.

    If you really want to do business with the NH LBS, by all means do. The store can probably even look in their QBP catalog to special order for you. If they have problems finding tires that fit or you are not happy with what they are finding, suggest to them to look under recumbent tires. Often times they will look at BMX and miss the higher pressure road oriented tires. If you can not find what you want, I can recommend biketiresdirect. I linked directly to their tire finder page. They have the best selection I have seen anywhere of the oddball sizes. Their prices are good also.

    We'll be in Maine later this summer. We'll probably do a day in Acadia.

    I'm just glad when mine get out for a little tooling around and enjoy the day
    Last edited by masiman; 04-09-10 at 02:22 PM.

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