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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 03-13-06, 10:11 AM   #1
oneponychick
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Children's road bikes: what's available?

My daughter is almost 10 years old, 4'7" tall, and has outgrown the huffy. She has expressed an interest in doing more riding with me. I want to get her something that is light weight like a road bike, but slightly more upright position for her comfort. We'd ride paved paths or roads only.
Ideally I'd like to keep the price under $350.
Who makes a bike that would fit her needs?
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Old 03-13-06, 10:15 AM   #2
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I'm not sure of the price... but the Allez Junior is pretty cool looking.
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Old 03-13-06, 10:46 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneponychick
My daughter is almost 10 years old, 4'7" tall, and has outgrown the huffy. She has expressed an interest in doing more riding with me. I want to get her something that is light weight like a road bike, but slightly more upright position for her comfort. We'd ride paved paths or roads only.
Ideally I'd like to keep the price under $350.
Who makes a bike that would fit her needs?

I just went through this exercise with my 10 year old daughter. She "fit" the smallest framed road bikes just fine, but could not stretch out enough comfortably to work the sti shifters/brakes. The solution is just where you're headed - a road frame with flat bars.

The two lines we looked at were Fuji and Giant. In your stated price range, you're looking at thier entry models - Fuji Absolute and Giant FCR 3 respectively, both close to $400 retail. We got lucky and found a 2005 Giant FCR 4 for $350 (this model was dropped for the 2006 lineup, so bargains are possible). Both bikes are road type frames with 700c wheels, both have V brakes and rapid-fire trigger shifters, and both come in small sizes. For the Fuji look for a 13-15" frame, and for the Giant an XS. You'll have to get her on one to see how it fits. At 4'7", she's at the lower limit.

With the FCR 4, we had the shop replace the 700x28 tires with 700x23 and install a saddle more suited to her size. She loves it so far, and can easily crack off 20 miles with us on a casual ride.
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Old 03-13-06, 11:44 AM   #4
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I was lucky enough to find an older Schwinn Caliente in excellent condition for $50 bucks for my 8 year old son. Now he never touches the mountian bike anymore.
Picked up my girls a pair of used old Schwinn road style bikes also 120 for the pair. They like them better than their mountain bikes also as we do not ride any trails.
Good luck on your search.
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Old 03-13-06, 04:50 PM   #5
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There are a few options out there now but they may be hard to track down in a store and I'm not sure about the price's.

Giant make a 24" road bike, Trek have a 24" road bike, Felt have one, Orbea have one, Specialized have one and some of the Italian companies have pretty flashy 24" road bikes. I've seen a Merida 650c bike too. These bikes are mainly aimed at juvenile racing but they have far superior fit for small riders than just managing to fit children on XS 700c bikes.

As a reference I'm an adult of 5'1" with a 670mm inseam and I ride a 650c wheeled bike but I could fit a 24" wheeled bike as well and in some ways they would fit me better. Sure I can ride a XS 700c bike but just because I can ride it doesn't mean that it fits me. My concern here is that children won't learn to love cycling and develop properly on bikes that are too big but this scenario is all to familiar there days with the lack of choice that there use to be in this size range.

Something else to consider is starting from a 24" mountain bike with a rigid fork and fitting slicks and maybe some other road components to make a nice roadster. 55/Rad took this road to build a bike for his son and I ride a bike like this as my beater as well.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 03-13-06, 08:09 PM   #6
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http://www.bianchiusa.com/06_junior_24.html


Bianchi's 41cm offering.
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Old 03-13-06, 08:33 PM   #7
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I know that this bikes out of your desired price range but it has to be the best junior racer I've seen on many levels. They have put a bit of thought into it. At 145mm the cranks are a good length and the gear ratio's are just right for juveniles. The frame's not too compact either.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 03-14-06, 05:34 AM   #8
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Try Trek and Orbea, both make a 24" roadie. I'm almost sure that others make them too but there are not many choices.

My son is 9 and rides a Trek KDR1000

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Old 03-14-06, 06:02 AM   #9
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3 months ago we bought our then very small 12 year old daughter a Merida 640 for $560AUD ($410 US). Suited her fine but for how much longer I am not sure as she has growm 2 cm in the last 6 weeks.

Good bike for her and its her pride and joy.

Last edited by SKULL7; 03-14-06 at 06:05 AM. Reason: add pic
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Old 03-14-06, 06:15 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DiRt DeViL
Try Trek and Orbea, both make a 24" roadie. I'm almost sure that others make them too but there are not many choices.

My son is 9 and rides a Trek KDR1000

Sweet jersey.
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Old 03-14-06, 06:41 AM   #11
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I don't know anything about them, but you might want to check out Ibex Bicycles
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Old 03-14-06, 04:50 PM   #12
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Check out Decathlon - French-based sports superstore but with branches on East Cost, (Mass. I think)

They do a 24" wheel road bike for 119(UK) - don't know what the US price would be. Try www.decathloncycling.com(?)/co(?). It's a basic 5-speed bike with downtube indexed shifter.

A couple of kids, about the same age as your daughter, in my Kids Saturday Bike Club have bought them and think they are great. They weigh about 22lb and seem well-designed and equipped. They are certainly the cheapest I've come across and about the best value for money
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Old 03-14-06, 04:52 PM   #13
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more expensive than requested, but Felt makes a 24" wheel / Sora road bike:

http://www.feltracing.com/06/06_bikes/f24/spec.html

the sora shifters look huge compared to the frame size...

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