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Old 09-10-11, 07:42 PM   #1
punkncat
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My 14 year old son...looking at road bikes

I am looking at getting my son a road bike. I have no problem buying quality purpose suited equipment when I can afford it. I feel like a bike is not something to cut corners on, never have felt differently. I don't buy "big store" quality bikes because they just don't last. The problem I am having right now is deciding on what to do about frame quality on this purchase.

I know my son is likely to shoot way up in size here in the next year or so. Anything I buy for him now very well may be too small for him in coming years...not so much as for buying for a pre-teen, but it is still likely to happen. I am currently looking at 56cm bikes with the Tiagra, or prefer the 105 group. He is strong as can be on the bike, ATM he is riding his Trek MTB, that he is about to be too big for, with a set of Nimbus tires and he can run away from me on my "racing" road bike. Lol, that happens when you are 40+ against a good shape teenager...anyway, back on topic.

I have been looking at a Specialized w/ alum fr/carbon fork and a 105/Microshift group. It is priced a touch over $1K. I would "like" to spend about $7-ish, and all the "quality brand" bikes in that range are Sora, sometimes even steel frames. In comparison shopping, I see that I can easily pick up a full 105 bike off BD for well inside the want to spend budget, the thing is that I know all the framesets on there are of questionable reputation and quality. With that said, if he is possibly going to be a foot taller this time next year, might it not be a good idea to cut corners on the frame and fork, get a better group and wheels and put all the parts on a better quality and suitably sized frame in a few years?

I know in my own experience that buying wheels and group later to put on a better frame is more expensive than just ponying up for the better bike from the get-go.

I would imagine that some of the posters here have done this very same thing with their kids and would like to know what your experiences and opinions are on the subject.

Last edited by punkncat; 09-10-11 at 07:47 PM.
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Old 09-10-11, 09:45 PM   #2
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I have no idea what advice to offer regarding what frame to buy now, but I can tell you that I had good success doing the frame swap thing as my son grew. And the frame that began it all is now happily being ridden by one of his younger friends.
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Old 09-10-11, 10:13 PM   #3
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Have any of you had any dealings with Gravity bikes from BD?

I found a couple of things actually in stock that caught my eye for the price there. The nicest deals apparently go fast...
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Old 09-12-11, 10:01 AM   #4
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There should be plenty of closeouts coming soon as the 2012 bikes are already rolling out.

My kid was sized for a 48 but we opted for a 50 to give him room to grow, without having to worry about replacing the whole frame too soon. The LBS replaced the stem and the crankset to accomodate the change, so if he has a growth spurt, we can make adjustments.
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Old 09-18-11, 08:37 AM   #5
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Actually, its not cheap to buy a not so used bike. Some great scores out there and not to disappointing if the kid should drop interest. Anyway, bikes equipped with 105 are safe & sound. Should cover the young riders need. It covers mine...
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Old 09-18-11, 08:55 AM   #6
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What kind of bike does he want? You didn't really mention that. Is he part of the process or is it a surprise?

At 14 I had done all the research and new exactly what bike I wanted to buy, researching and shopping was half the fun. I couldn't afford it right away so I got a used bike instead. I earned money cutting grass for two years and eventualy got the bike I wanted. I still have it today.
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Old 09-18-11, 11:58 AM   #7
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Look for bike sales going on either right now or in the next week or 2. There was a huge bike convention last week so most retailers are clearing out their old stock to make room for the new. I bought my bike 2 weeks ago and paid full price. Came in this weekend and bikes are 20-40% off. I got my husband a bike for $100 off with 3 years of tune ups included. Good Luck.
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Old 09-25-11, 06:54 AM   #8
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Just as a follow up...I found a nice bike for him at the LBS on a clear out price. It is a Specialized Allez double, with the 2300 group. I wasn't so hot on the group, but the price and overall quality as compared to the Gravity BD bike I was looking at was a no brainer. The bike is a suprize, although he doesn't know that this bike is among ones he looked at and gave a nod of approval to while looking a few weeks before. Now, just got to keep my mouth shut till Christmas.
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