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  1. #1
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    9-year-old Boy needs 20'' bike -- Suggestions?

    My son's birthday is coming up and he needs a new bike. I'm looking around at 20-inch bikes and I'm seeing a whole lot of bmx, or bmx-inspired designs.

    He's not going to want gears, so a single speed will do. And he sits, unlike the bmx-ers I've known. I'm trying to wrap this up, with a new helmet, for less than $300. Anyone have suggestions?

    Thanks in advance,

    Keith.

  2. #2
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    Are you sure you want a 20"? It seems like it might get too small really soon for a 9 year old.

    We've really liked the Specialized Hotrocks, and they have a 20" coaster bike:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...04&scname=Kids
    MSRP is $240, so you should able to get it plus accessories for $300 without much difficulty.

    But you might be better off wrapping a promise (or just a helmet), and taking him bike shopping with you, so he can pick out his own. I think you'll have a lot of selection at that price point.

  3. #3
    Senior Member $pecial's Avatar
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    try to find a Specialized Hemi Junior Cruiser



    the difficult part is they only made them 2004 and 2005. I just found this one brand new at a local shop and picked it up for my son for his birthday in January. It's killing me hiding it in the basement all this nice weather we've been having.

    It's very lightweight, 24" wheels, with skinny but knobby tires. I know my suggestion isn't the greatest since it's not easy to find...

  4. #4
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    Everyone says that a 20" may be too small. We're not tall people. And he's kinda small for his age. I tried putting him on a 24'' in my LBS and it looked like it ate him.

    I hadn't seen that Specialized before. I kinda like that. Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by ebartom View Post
    Are you sure you want a 20"? It seems like it might get too small really soon for a 9 year old.

    We've really liked the Specialized Hotrocks, and they have a 20" coaster bike:
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...04&scname=Kids
    MSRP is $240, so you should able to get it plus accessories for $300 without much difficulty.

    But you might be better off wrapping a promise (or just a helmet), and taking him bike shopping with you, so he can pick out his own. I think you'll have a lot of selection at that price point.

  5. #5
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    Although it has gears, 26' wheels and a bit above your price range, take a look at Giant Boulder in xxs or xs frame. I bought it for my son's 9th b-day and he rode it until this summer he hit 5'9" aged 13 years and 6 months. These frames have tremendously long - and rigid - seatposts in 31.6 mm size.

    Good luck

    SF
    I take great pride in my humility.

  6. #6
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyemkeith View Post
    Anyone have suggestions?
    Electra
    (out of your price range but) Fuji
    Schwinn
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  7. #7
    Senior Member Chad1376's Avatar
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    I agree, a 20" bike is great for BMX, or jumping in a dirt lot, but it's too small for any kind of distance riding.

    A 24" mountain bike, or small framed 650c road bike would be ideal. That specialized 24" cruiser, above, looks great if you can find one.

    Don't be afraid of used. A high quality used bike is going to serve you much better than a new Wall-Mart bike. Especially with kids bikes, you can find a nice bike that's hardly been ridden, or simply out-gown. A good wash, fresh grips, tires and some odds-n-ends can make a used bike look and feel new.

    For example, I found this Marin 24" bike on Craigslist for $50 (Retail new for $300 or more). I invested $100 in parts + an afternoon wrenching. Now my 9-year old has a solid, light, quality bike that I won't stress over if he adds a few scratches.

    298628_2273832123055_1166236911_32057728_1499119553_n.jpg
    309810_2275198077203_1166236911_32059711_1718369764_n.jpg
    Last edited by Chad1376; 10-31-11 at 04:57 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    I bought my son a used Specialized Hot Rock like the one above on craigslist. He is 6 and about 49-50 inches.

    I agree that a 20 inch may be small - he might outgrow it in a year. If you decide that you want to look at a 24", check out the Raleigh Mountain Scout

    http://www.rei.com/product/808759/ra...:referralID=NA

  9. #9
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    Thanks all! I found a bike I like. I really appreciate all the advice and knowledge that can be found here, once again.
    I wrote about the experience here, if anyone is at all interested: The Unnamed Bicycle Column: Shreddin' The Gnar - The Black Art of bicycle fit, big box stores and bike shop loyalty: http://patch.com/A-n40l

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