Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Sin City, Nevada
Bikes: Catrike 700, Greenspeed GTO trike, , Linear LWB recumbent, Haluzak Horizon SWB recumbent, Balance 450 MTB, Cannondale SM800 Beast of the East
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Some good points on the REI choice
The weight of the REI bike (24 pounds) is pretty impressive for a bike with inexpensive components and a solid axle rear wheel. Your son may appreciate the fact that a light bike is far more fun to ride than a heavy one. I deal with the latter all the time with kids who are earning cycling merit badge and who have to ride a 50 mile ride in less than eight hours before completing the requirements. IMHO the REI bike is a better buy even though some of the components on the Performance bike are probably a little higher quality. The Performance bike has only 7 speeds while the other one has standard MTB 21 speed gearing. Also, if you are already an REI member, you will earn a rebate on the REI bike, making it even less expensive. One of the purchasers reviewed the Performance bike and complains that it is heavy. Here is a section from that review: "The main drawback of the bike is that the components, while they work fine, team up with that heavy-duty frame to create an incredibly heavy bike - significantly heavier than my 26 pound steel frame 29er. The painted steel handlebar is a major offender, and I have replaced that with aluminum riser bar I had lying around. The springy, non-adjustable suspension fork also weighs a ton. The low-end Sram drivetrain works well and is easy to keep in tune, however."