Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Change Gear Ratio on Kids Bike?

    I'm new to biking (and this site so pardon my ignorance on the subject. I literally bought my first adult bike yesterday (learned a lot here already!) with the intention of riding with my kids which leads me to my first question.

    The short version:
    Can you change the gear ratio of a cheap kids bike? The bike in question is this one Robot Check . It's a 16" schwin from a big box store.

    The long version:
    My daughter is 5. Last year, my father in law bought my daughter this bike without our input. Nice of him but far from ideal for her. She was 4 then and it was too big for her. She could get by a bit since it has training wheels. In general though she stuck to her tricycle. Earlier this year at my sister's house she picked up my nephew's 12" bike and started riding two wheels that afternoon! They let us take it home with us. I was excited but also felt bad that I didn't do this sooner. A few month's have passed and she rides to the park and back and has a lot of control. I'd like to get her on the 16" bike my father in law bought but it's too hard for her to get started moving. I can tell the gear ratio is totally different than the 12" bike and if the chainring was smaller she wouldn't have a problem. Can I just find a part and swap it? Or more importantly, should I? I don't know if I'm asking for trouble trying to do this if parts even exist. I'm trying to work with that bike because her Grampa gave it to her and she likes it. Of course if she can't ride it (she doesn't like it with the training wheels now that she can really ride) it's useless. You might be wondering why I don't just keep her on the 12" bike. Well, my 3 year old son likes to ride it now when I pop on the training wheels. Either I gotta get the 16" bike to work or give up the sentimental value of it and buy her a new bike that fits her.

    Thanks for any help

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Bay Area, Calif.
    Posts
    5,154
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Looks like the crankset is likely one piece, so you'd replace the whole thing to get a smaller chainring. I'd suggest stopping by a bike shop that's been around a long time and deals in childrens' bikes. When I was converting our tandem for my daughter to ride on the back i needed to get a kid's crankset and looked through the old parts bins at a local bike shop. They sold me a couple of them with different chainring and crank sizes for a few dollars so I could switch them as our daughter grew.

    Another option would be to replace the rear cog with a larger one - probably best to check with a bike shop for that as well since they could see the bike and determine what would be compatible.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    14
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well so much for getting over complicated. Apparently all my daughter needed was some extra encouragement. The gear ratio still isn't ideal but she can ride now. We spend a lot of time going in circles in the driveway and the slow speed makes it harder for her to balance. Uphill is rough for her too. But, she can get by so we'll stick with it for now. Thanks for the help!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Leeds UK
    Posts
    1,923
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As some of you may remember, I'm a fan of Islabikes, since they're beautifully proportioned and equipped - and therefore a tad expensive. However I checked up on her website and looked for her 16" model - the CNOC 16. It has a 25 tooth chainwheel and a 14t rear cog. We have one as part of our club loan bike collection and our smaller riders have no trouble in setting off.

    As for the training wheels - these are the devil's instruments . the only (very slight) benefit they have is that a kid can learn to pedal. However, since balancing is the centre of bike riding, they should learn to balance first. Pedalling they then pick up pretty quickly. Our record for teaching a 3-year old to ride (using a purpose-built balance bike) was about 5 minutes several weeks ago . If it's a bike with a one-piece crank you can either (a) remove the crank to run it into a temporary balance bike or (b) find another 12" bike and and strip it down so that he can swap from one to the other when he feels like it.

    At the risk of sounding like an Islabike advertising agent, you can look at her US website - http://www.islabikes.com/us/bike_pag...Cnoc16-USA.pdf -and look at the specifications of the Cnoc 16 to give you an idea of what a good setup is - not suggesting that your daughter's isn't a good one, but there are an awful lot of kids bikes out there that haven't been well thought out for kids' needs

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •