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Old 12-18-10, 01:15 PM   #1
bassjones
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When to buy first "good" bike for growing daughter

My daughter who turns 12 at the end of this month is VERY tall and still growing. She's 5'10" and has grown 2 inches since September, and is supposed to hit 6'4" or so when she's done. She was just sized for a feminine 56 CM frame, but that will obviously change over the next 2 years. I would like to get her a really nice bike to ride with me but not sure I want to spend a lot on a bike now and then have to replace it twice in the next 2 or 3 years.

There is a Specialized Allez Elite on our local Craigslist for under $600...

Basically, I'm torn between a cheaper Department store bike for the next two years, or go ahead and spend around $700 for an entry level LBS bike or a used quality bike like this one when she is still growing and quickly. We're not a wealthy family by any means so I'm leaning towards one more cheap bike and then when she's done growing get her on something with Shimano Tiagra or 105 groupo.
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Old 12-18-10, 04:55 PM   #2
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If you buy well on CR, you should be able to resell without much of a loss in the future. Buying in January and selling 16 months later in May is a solid strategy for holding value.
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Old 12-19-10, 11:11 AM   #3
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I'd recommend getting her a really nice, used bike, like the Allez. If you get her a cheapo she won't enjoy, she'll ride less. If you get her something nice that she loves and is proud of, she'll ride a lot. I think once a good bike has depreciated from new it will hold it's value pretty well. If you buy something nice on Ebay or Craigslist, you'll probably be able to get a good percentage of your money back when it's time to turn it over. In the meantime she'll be riding a really nice bike.

My daughter was given a department store bike by someone. It was heavy and too big - so she could "grow into it." She hated that bike and hated riding it. Then I bought her a really nice little Specialized. It fit her perfectly, but she would outgrow it in a year. She loved riding it and suddenly was very enthusiastic when I suggested going for a bike ride. That made it worth the expense. She did outgrow it, and I bought her another one, a little bigger in a year. In our case, we were lucky, because her little brother could inherit the first one. Win-win.
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Old 12-19-10, 11:23 AM   #4
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ditto on go for quality, I will add that you should get a hybrid and not a road bike, more comfortable and can grow with easier, plus they cost less than a road bike
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Old 12-19-10, 07:47 PM   #5
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I'd lean toward a fairly low priced "real" road bike. Make sure it has at least an 8-speed Shimano cassette; 9 is better. Sora or Tiagra will probably be good. Threadless headset, etc. A new aluminum frame from somebody like Nashbar or Performance will be areasonable upgrade when she gets too tall for the one you get now. It's not too expensive to have a bike-mechanic move your components to the new frame. At the same time, anything else you want to upgrade can be taken care of.
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Old 12-22-10, 06:15 PM   #6
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Being a 'fat-tired' family (MTBs only), I'm in a similar position. Daughter just turned 13, and while I don't think she's gonna grow as much as yours, I don't think she's done, either.

She has an 'upgraded' BBS bike right now, and I believe it will serve her until I know better where she'll end up. Then, she'll get the Sette Ace she wants.
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Old 12-23-10, 05:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
If you buy well on CR, you should be able to resell without much of a loss in the future. Buying in January and selling 16 months later in May is a solid strategy for holding value.
+1 This, and of course, buy just a touch on the big side. Maybe invest in a good adjustable stem? Don't forget, if you get nice wheels or whatever, you can transfer them from bike to bike.

5' 10" at 12? Sign her up with the local soccer club, my niece was about that at 12, she did real well in soccer, because she could intimidate the hell out of the other players when she went in for a tackle!

Last edited by coldfeet; 12-23-10 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 12-24-10, 06:12 AM   #8
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+1 This, and of course, buy just a touch on the big side. Maybe invest in a good adjustable stem? Don't forget, if you get nice wheels or whatever, you can transfer them from bike to bike.

5' 10" at 12? Sign her up with the local soccer club, my niece was about that at 12, she did real well in soccer, because she could intimidate the hell out of the other players when she went in for a tackle!
She plays basketball, volleyball, and dances.
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Old 12-25-10, 12:59 PM   #9
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I'm in a similar situation with a 5'8" son. I've gone the used bike shop quality bike and have had success selling the bikes after he outgrows them, with some exceptions. I've kept his chopper for my own use, and his tag-along for his little sister. Working at a large bike rental shop helps, as I can buy year old mountain bikes and comfort bikes for a bit less then cost.
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Old 12-25-10, 05:54 PM   #10
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bassjones, I had the same delimas with my kids, just not to the extent as you. I waited untill they were fourteen or fifteen before they were given really good bikes, just to make sure it was a sport they wanted to continue with.

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