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Old 07-13-11, 12:58 PM   #1
mulveyr 
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Road bike for kids - actually found one

There have been many, many discussions about road bikes for kids. Mostly about how they're very rare, and tend to be expensive. :-)

I discovered the Javelin Dolce at the very bottom of http://www.javbike.com/Specials.html . There's almost no info on the net about it, so I talked with the factory.

They indicated that it's an aluminum frame, 39.5 size, 8-spd Tiagra, DT shifter, 650 wheel bike.

That's almost exactly what I've been looking for as a light touring bike for my son, so I'm going out on a limb and ordered one. Cost, including shipping, was $350.

I'll post a review after I get it. The owner indicated that it will be shipped out today.
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Old 07-13-11, 02:28 PM   #2
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Good find, I hope that it turns out to be what you wanted. Thanks for the info about the hotrocks on my thread, I think that's the way I'm going for my son.
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Old 07-14-11, 08:01 AM   #3
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Wow! that is a really good find!... I'm looking forward to what you have to say about it when you receive it. Heck, I may even be inline to buy it from you when your son outgrows it ...
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Old 07-14-11, 08:15 AM   #4
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Wow! that is a really good find!... I'm looking forward to what you have to say about it when you receive it. Heck, I may even be inline to buy it from you when your son outgrows it ...
Based on what the factory said, it sounds like they had more in stock, so you could always buy new. ;-)

One thing that's probably going to increase the expense is suitable tires - I'm assuming it comes with 23/25mm tires like most tri bikes with 650c. There are 28mm tires out there in 650c, which would be much more appropriate for the riding we'll do, but they're about $40 each. So I'm curious to see what the bike comes with.
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Old 07-15-11, 08:33 AM   #5
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Based on what the factory said, it sounds like they had more in stock, so you could always buy new. ;-)
I think they would be out of stock by the time my four year old grows to fit it ... He is not yet ready to let go of his training wheels yet. Can go on two wheels for half a minute or so though.
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Old 07-15-11, 12:30 PM   #6
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The bike actually showed up today - it's a REALLY pretty bike.

Please excuse the poor picture. ;-)

The bike is around 20 lbs. According to the box, it's a 2005 model.

The geartrain is Tiagra, as the factory said, while the brakes are generic dual-pivots. The wheels are true, and decent quality Alex rims. Tires are 23mm.

The welds are much better than I expected, and the paint is flawless. The chrome on the forks is a little dull in places, but some of that is from the age, I expect, and will clean right up.

There aren't any mounting points for a rear rack, which isn't too surprising as this is a tri-bike, but I was hoping. ;-) The tube set is aero, which I definitely did NOT expect on a kids bike.

I'll get it assembled in the next couple of days, but the actual test ride will need to wait until my son gets back from visiting his grandparents in Florida. :-)
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Old 07-15-11, 12:43 PM   #7
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It looks quite nice to be honest.
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Old 07-15-11, 01:19 PM   #8
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although it's a UK company, it's one of the first i've found for kid specific bikes:
http://www.islabikes.co.uk/

i've imported other bicycle stuff directly from the EU, and while it generally takes about a week to clear US customs, i've otherwise had no hassles, tarifs, or problems.
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Old 07-15-11, 01:45 PM   #9
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although it's a UK company, it's one of the first i've found for kid specific bikes:
http://www.islabikes.co.uk/

i've imported other bicycle stuff directly from the EU, and while it generally takes about a week to clear US customs, i've otherwise had no hassles, tarifs, or problems.

I'd looked for Isla bikes here in the U.S., but the cost for a new one was waaaaay out of my price range. ;-) Especially for one that would likely be used by the kid for a couple of years at most. Based on what I see used Trek KDR/Fuji Apex/etc bikes for, it seems like the used ones cost as much, or sometimes even more than, the original MSRP.
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Old 07-18-11, 10:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mulveyr View Post
The bike actually showed up today - it's a REALLY pretty bike.

Please excuse the poor picture. ;-)

The bike is around 20 lbs. According to the box, it's a 2005 model.

The geartrain is Tiagra, as the factory said, while the brakes are generic dual-pivots. The wheels are true, and decent quality Alex rims. Tires are 23mm.

The welds are much better than I expected, and the paint is flawless. The chrome on the forks is a little dull in places, but some of that is from the age, I expect, and will clean right up.

There aren't any mounting points for a rear rack, which isn't too surprising as this is a tri-bike, but I was hoping. ;-) The tube set is aero, which I definitely did NOT expect on a kids bike.

I'll get it assembled in the next couple of days, but the actual test ride will need to wait until my son gets back from visiting his grandparents in Florida. :-)
I'm thinking of buying one of these for my son who is about to turn 11.

The downtube shifters seem kind of dangerous for a kid to use. Is that the only option offered on this bike?

Thx.
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Old 07-18-11, 10:46 AM   #11
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I'm thinking of buying one of these for my son who is about to turn 11.

The downtube shifters seem kind of dangerous for a kid to use. Is that the only option offered on this bike?

Thx.
What you see is what you get. :-) My impression from talking to the factory is that these have been sitting around for years, thus the 2005 model year on the box.

That being said, I wouldn't consider downtube shifters to be a particular hazard. Especially on a bike like this, where the frame is so small that the tops of the levers overlap the top tube, so there's minimal hand movement.

The one immediate change that I may do once my son gets back and tries it is to install cross levers, if he has any issues braking from the hoods. The levers are small, but he has pretty small hands, so it may be a stretch.
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Old 07-30-11, 09:10 AM   #12
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It'll double the cost of the bike but you could change to STI's

http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...t.aspx?sc=FRGL
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Old 07-30-11, 12:01 PM   #13
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I went thru the process looking for a road bike for my little girl growing up, last year I got her a GMC Denali which is kind of crampy for her legs, but she learned to use the drop bars. So I have been shopping for a different size but with limited budget & choice. I almost pulled the trigger on this;
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._al_xi_sc2.htm

The good thing is it comes with STI which is great & has size 42 XSM

While I was still pondering, I found this on local CL for $300 in almost perfect condition ;
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/sheila.htm

Has 700 wheel, STI shifter, double sets of brakes handles, & pink tires. SHe is loving it & now I just worry how fast she wants to go
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Old 08-11-11, 05:08 AM   #14
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My son has expressed interest in a roadie so that he can keep up with Dad. I looked around and have not really found one that I am willing to buy just yet. This may be the deal if we were to buy one.

Competitive cyclist has a Pinarello FP0 listed for $800. It is a 24 in wheeled bike. Sizing states that it can fit 7 to 8 up 14ish.

http://www.competitivecyclist.com/fr...bike-6397.html
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Old 08-26-11, 11:33 AM   #15
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They look nice but geez that's a lot of money for a bike a kid will outgrow in a year or two.

I guess I'm lucky my son is a very tall, he's been on adult sized road bikes since he was eleven. He now has four road bikes and one mountain bike and rides all of them.

My middle daughters first road bike was a 24" wheel Giant and she now rides a vintage off brand bike that I upgraded for her and if she wants a better bike I'll get her one. I can't get her super interested in riding though.

For my youngest I'm going to rebuild my wifes first road bike that we found at her dads old shop, didn't even know it still existed but it's a sweet little 24" wheel Takara from the 70s or 80s. She's only five but she's dying to go on long rides with us, I can't wait!
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Old 08-26-11, 11:38 AM   #16
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Oh man! I wonder if Santa should jump on this for my 7 year old son.... I have some old 8-speed RSX brifters I could throw on there.....
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Old 08-26-11, 12:39 PM   #17
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Oh man! I wonder if Santa should jump on this for my 7 year old son.... I have some old 8-speed RSX brifters I could throw on there.....
I see I haven't actually updated this like I said I would. ;-)

Anyhow - after a few weeks of riding it, my son is extremely pleased. We did end up having to swap the stem ( which was, I think, 100mm ) for a 70mm to get a reasonable fit. Even so, he's still slightly stretched out. I expect that won't be a problem by springtime.

Also, the 28mm 650C tires that I was hoping to throw on did NOT clear the brakes. So he's still using the 23mm's that came stock.

Shifting/braking/etc - all very smooth. No issues at all with the construction or components. Oh - forgot to mention - it's actually 9-speed tiagra, not 8.

So overall, I'm very pleased with the bike. My son will definitely get at least 2 - 3 years out of it. It's not going to be the light touring bike I had hoped, but it's a great road bike.
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