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  1. #1
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Suggestions for 24" kids road bike?

    Hi All:

    My daughter is about to graduate from her 20" single-speed to a 24". We're looking for a road bike for her - NOT a mountain bike. Preferably 6-8 gears ( no FD ), upright handlebars, and a frame amiable to a bottle cage.

    As far as I've been able to determine, the relatively inexpensive ones out there are universally proclaimed to be crap; i.e. the "GMC Denali" models, etc. Trek has their FX line, but I'm having a hard time swallowing the idea of $400 bike for an 8-year-old.

    Does anyone have suggestions about other models? Or shall I resign myself to checking Craigslist every day? :-)

    Thanks,
    - Rich

  2. #2
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    There is a Denali review thread which does not make it look too bad. $400.00 for a bike for an 8 yo is rather silly. Kids bikes get broken and stolen. There are better places for $400.00
    Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're probably right

  3. #3
    SE Wis dedhed's Avatar
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    Keep you eyes out for a Schwinn Caliente, late 80's early 90's had a a 24" wheel model. I had the same issue with my daughter, but I found a great deal on a MTB at REI scratch & dent sale. I just built her a small road bike, but it's on 27" see #1 here >>
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...entries-are-in

    Here's one in Philly
    http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/bik/1644059457.html

    Here's one you can stomach to the tune of $700

    http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2010...eries/F24.aspx
    Last edited by dedhed; 03-26-10 at 08:30 PM.
    '68 Raleigh Sprite, '02 Raleigh C500, '84 Raleigh Gran Prix, '91 Trek 400

  4. #4
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    You'll do better at the bike shop if you get the terminology straight. A "24-inch" bike is pretty good-sized, suitable for a rider 6 feet or 6'2". You're talking about a bike with 24-inch wheels, which is a different thing.
    If she's ready for a "real" bike, why not give a real bike shop a chance? They'll be able to fit her appropriately and recommend something that fits her needs and your budget.

  5. #5
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    You'll do better at the bike shop if you get the terminology straight. A "24-inch" bike is pretty good-sized, suitable for a rider 6 feet or 6'2". You're talking about a bike with 24-inch wheels, which is a different thing.
    If she's ready for a "real" bike, why not give a real bike shop a chance? They'll be able to fit her appropriately and recommend something that fits her needs and your budget.
    Standard terminology for kids' bikes is to specify them by wheel size, not frame size. And since I mentioned it was for a child...

  6. #6
    old and fixed... clubman's Avatar
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    I'd suggest finding an better quality mtn frame with alloy wheels, mounting some drop bars and putting slicks on it. But you want straight bars...OK.There's an incredibly small market for small road bikes so they are often upscale and cost more. Your only issue will be the shifters...a used set of barcons would work nicely.

    My kids just grew out of this size and age. My son (12) is now on an old unsuspended Rockhopper and my girl (11) is on a vintage 72 3-speed Tirumph. Thye are almost ready to star borrowing my bikes!

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    If you want a new children's entry level road bike from a LBS you will pay more than $600 for a 24 inch kids road bike such as the Schwinn Midi Fastback. And of course that is a lot of money for a bike that the kid is going to outgrow fairly soon. So... keep scouting used bikes, but 24 inch kids road bikes are not all that common.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    You'll do better at the bike shop if you get the terminology straight. A "24-inch" bike is pretty good-sized, suitable for a rider 6 feet or 6'2". You're talking about a bike with 24-inch wheels, which is a different thing.
    If she's ready for a "real" bike, why not give a real bike shop a chance? They'll be able to fit her appropriately and recommend something that fits her needs and your budget.
    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    Standard terminology for kids' bikes is to specify them by wheel size, not frame size. And since I mentioned it was for a child...

    Almost no one refers to frames in inches anymore, it's all S/M/L/XL and cm's, at least around here. You can almost assume that inches are wheel sizes anymore.

  9. #9
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    +1.

    Or just make your life easier and just put the slicks on an unsuspended MTB. Voila!

    j

    Quote Originally Posted by clubman View Post
    I'd suggest finding an better quality mtn frame with alloy wheels, mounting some drop bars and putting slicks on it. But you want straight bars...OK.There's an incredibly small market for small road bikes so they are often upscale and cost more. Your only issue will be the shifters...a used set of barcons would work nicely.

    My kids just grew out of this size and age. My son (12) is now on an old unsuspended Rockhopper and my girl (11) is on a vintage 72 3-speed Tirumph. Thye are almost ready to star borrowing my bikes!
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
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  10. #10
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgedwa View Post
    +1.

    Or just make your life easier and just put the slicks on an unsuspended MTB. Voila!

    j

    I'm thinking that's exactly what I'll end up doing - I'm starting to wish my parents had saved our bikes from when we were kids. ;-)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    I'm thinking that's exactly what I'll end up doing - I'm starting to wish my parents had saved our bikes from when we were kids. ;-)
    That's basically what the Specialized Hotrock 24 St. Girls is.
    Only mad dogs, Englishmen, and triathletes go out in the mid day sun.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I think the sizing you mentioned may not be what you are looking for. my kids are currently riding the 24" MTB style bikes. the size under the full adult MTB size. I just got them used cheap cuz I knew it would only be for a few quick years. turns out they are going on their 3rd season with them. last year I got them these tires for less rolling resistance. I crank them up to their MAX pressure:

    Maxxis Holy Roller BMX Bike Tire

    http://www.biketiresdirect.com/pmbh2...24_tire/pp.htm
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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    Leave her on a single speed.

  14. #14
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    How tall is your daughter? Maybe she could ride a small framed 26" bicycle. If so that might be a good option since you could probably get more years out of it.

  15. #15
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    My tall 7 yo grand-daughter in the UK has a nice 21 sp Giant w 24" wheels. However the gripshift takes too much grip for a child's hands. For her visit to me this summer I have had a used 7 sp MTB rebuilt with trigger shifter, reduced brake reach and slick 1.5" tires. Neither bike has enough space on the frame for a bottle, but cages are available for mounting on the handlebars.

  16. #16
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    for safety's sake I encourage you to leave her on the MTB platform. Should she have a problem and slip off the seat she would risk a serious injury hitting that top bar on a road style bike. My husband and I love distance trail rides and our nearly 9 year old has done well keeping up with us the last few years on junky kid's bikes. We are all getting new bikes this year and although the adults are getting touring bikes our very tall son just got the Specialized Hotrocks small adult frame MTB. I raised the seat and rode it myself for a sanity check and he will have no problem at all keeping pace with us- this is a decent aluminum frame bike and surprisingly comfortable.

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    My son turned 8 about 8 months ago. Recently we bought him a Felt Z24. Had to change out the bars for some with a very short reach, and narrower. He also insisted on going clipless, so he got some BMX shoes that fit and take SPD's. He's happy as a clam. Done a few 34 mile rides with me at his pace (actually, I rode with him).

    He had less trouble learning to clip in and out than many adults I know.

    He loves the bike and rides it often. But he's never alone. Either my wife or I ride with him. If he wants to go knock about with his pals, he takes his BMX bike. That way I don't have to worry about it vanishing.
    -------

    Some sort of pithy irrelevant one-liner should go here.

  18. #18
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    My son has been drooling over the Felt F24 but don't overlook the Specialized HotRock 24 Street as a transitional bike. A lot of bike shops are still clueless regarding the street version. It's a standard HotRock frame but the slick tires and 21 speeds make it a fun ride for my 8-yr old and it's cheaper than the geared MTB versions.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Echo View Post
    My son has been drooling over the Felt F24 but don't overlook the Specialized HotRock 24 Street as a transitional bike. A lot of bike shops are still clueless regarding the street version. It's a standard HotRock frame but the slick tires and 21 speeds make it a fun ride for my 8-yr old and it's cheaper than the geared MTB versions.
    Is there a shock on that version?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
    Hi All:

    My daughter is about to graduate from her 20" single-speed to a 24". We're looking for a road bike for her - NOT a mountain bike. Preferably 6-8 gears ( no FD ), upright handlebars, and a frame amiable to a bottle cage.

    As far as I've been able to determine, the relatively inexpensive ones out there are universally proclaimed to be crap; i.e. the "GMC Denali" models, etc. Trek has their FX line, but I'm having a hard time swallowing the idea of $400 bike for an 8-year-old.

    Does anyone have suggestions about other models? Or shall I resign myself to checking Craigslist every day? :-)

    Thanks,
    - Rich
    A couple nice models, don't know if they still make these:

    http://www.cyclerscafe.com/KidsBikes/Kona/Jake24.aspx

    and then these:

    http://www.fujibikes.com/Kids/Road/Ace24.aspx

    both w/ FDs. My 8 yr old rides an old Fuji 24" and he is not a FD fan but he just ignores it.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by masiman View Post
    Is there a shock on that version?
    Nope, rigid fork for the road.

    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...enuItemId=9270

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    Redline Conquest 24

    Entry-level kids bikes that don't suck cost similarly to entry-level adult bikes that don't suck. There's not really any getting around it. Your choices are to troll craigslist and hope for the best; or to buy new and someday sell your own out-grown kids bikes on craigslist and (hopefully) make something back.

    My kid probably has a year or two yet before he outgrows his 20" mountain bike, but I'm planning to get him this when he does:

    http://www.redlinebicycles.com/bikes...10-conquest-24

    It's drop-bar, but it's got cross-style bar-top brake levers so that he can get at the brakes from the top bar and ease into using the drops at his own pace.

    And if the front derailleur is too confusing, he can safely ignore it; but after a while he starts finding his gearing choices to be limiting, then again, he can start experimenting with it at his own pace.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by fw5zTPmU2K8X View Post
    It's drop-bar, but it's got cross-style bar-top brake levers so that he can get at the brakes from the top bar and ease into using the drops at his own pace.
    FYI, the Felt F24 also has the additional brake levers, something the Trek and Fuji both lack.

  24. #24
    Senior Member mulveyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1Echo View Post
    FYI, the Felt F24 also has the additional brake levers, something the Trek and Fuji both lack.

    Maybe I'm living in a different world, but I can't even begin to imagine buying a $700 bike for an 8-year-old. :-)

    We did end up getting a great deal on an older Hotrock 24. My daughter thinks it's the most awesome machine ever made. ;-)

  25. #25
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    In the UK, good, reasonably-priced kids bikes are made by islabikes and Dawes. Islabikes tend to have better proportioned components.

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