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recommendations for a bicycle for a 6th birthday?

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recommendations for a bicycle for a 6th birthday?

Old 06-12-23, 03:04 PM
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recommendations for a bicycle for a 6th birthday?

My younger grandson is turning 6, and family members have appealed to me, as the resident bike expert, to recommend one for him. He is on the small side of average for his age, and his hands are somewhat smallish, so I am thinking coaster brake, perhaps with a front handbrake, maybe a 3-speed hub. Thoughts?
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Old 06-12-23, 03:06 PM
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Is he currently able to ride?

Here are some REI options, which are highly dependent on the answer to the above.

I would not recommend anything with training wheels.

Also, does he have a preference for SRAM vs. Shimano or Campy electronic shifting?

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Old 06-12-23, 03:13 PM
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At that age, I wouldn't do multi-speed. One less thing to think about is a better choice at that age (IMO). For the same reason, my choice would be just a coaster brake.

For my kids, my choice was whatever was within my budget at the LBS.
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Old 06-12-23, 03:34 PM
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Schwinn Stingray!


Website says 48" to 60" (height I assume). If you don't go with the Stingray, I too say go with something else that's single speed and coaster brake.
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Old 06-12-23, 03:36 PM
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I wouldn't go overboard. Just get something inexpensive that you can replace with something a little better when the kid starts to grow or get more serious about cycling.

I was happy on the hand-me-down cruiser I had at 5 yo that just had a coaster brake and a single speed that was generally easy to pedal. 3 speed IGH and rim brake on what back then we called English Racer's was the next bike just a few years later.
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Old 06-12-23, 05:14 PM
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This is the bike I recommended for my neighbor's 6 y/o boy. He absolutely loves it.


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Old 06-13-23, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
Schwinn Stingray!


Website says 48" to 60" (height I assume). If you don't go with the Stingray, I too say go with something else that's single speed and coaster brake.

The very same bike I got for Christmas when I was 6, except mine was made in America and not China. A few years ago I got a new Schwinn cruiser (Chinese-made), and was appalled at the quality. The paint started getting orange pealed after a month, the chrome began rusting after that (though I kept the bike indoors), the brake pads were incompatible with the cheap aluminum wheels, and galled the braking surfaces.
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Old 06-13-23, 10:49 AM
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That Specialized looks nice. I got my grandaughter an REI 20” coaster brake w rear linear brake and when switching stem and handlebars around for a better fitI I was surprised to find the heaviest, thickest hunk of seamed steel tubing for the handlebars. Stupidest place to cut costs. It weighed about 750 grams. She outgrew it fairly quickly then I got her a WoomBikes 5 w 24” wheels which is a very light and worthwhile kids bike.
No “training wheels”.
No caliper brakes.
gears not needed.
Problem is most 20” wheel bikes are bmx oriented with standard components strong enough for 200lb person giving an unnecessarily heavy bike with a high bottom bracket.
The 16” wheel bikes we got just have crappy ergonomics, Woom bike excepted. My grandson struggled with a cheap 16” wheel bike w training wheels but did much better once he got bigger and could ride the 20”REI bike.

Last edited by LeeG; 06-13-23 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 06-13-23, 01:15 PM
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The wheel size is most important when fitting kids.
How long the parents expect the kid to ride it as well.

Any brand will do, color might be an important consideration.

edit: The Trek take on kid bikes =
Kids' bike buyer's guide - Trek Bikes
Vintage, modern, e-road. It is a big cycling universe.

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Old 06-13-23, 06:01 PM
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You might find some recommendations at this subforum https://www.bikeforums.net/recreational-family/. It's a common question there.
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Old 06-13-23, 06:32 PM
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I concur with the coaster brake recommendations. Gears/shifting, and how handbrakes work is confusing for that age.

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Old 06-14-23, 11:07 AM
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Old 06-24-23, 09:39 AM
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I rode an early "Sting Ray" conversion in '62, the summer I'd just turned ten. It was very difficult to control because of the extreme width and height of the handlebar.

All the major brands have excellent kids' bikes with 20" wheels--Specialized, Trek, Cannondale, I can't think of the others right now. For a first bike keep it simple. Coaster brake, maybe an auxiliary hand brake, no derailleurs. At this level suspension forks just break and add weight and cost. Avoid them.
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Old 06-24-23, 09:54 AM
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1972 Schwinn Pea Picker for me at age 8 y/o.
You'll need a dirt field and a few plywood ramps to gain the most benefit.
Plan on replacing broken saddles.
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Old 06-27-23, 12:20 PM
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Go cheap, get the best bike of the correct size that Wal-mart sells. Just like his shoes and clothes, he will grow out of it quickly. For a 6 year old, a brand new bike will be a exciting gift.
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Old 07-06-23, 02:52 PM
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We went with the Woom bikes for that age, and they have been great. Relatively expensive, worth it to me particularly since my two grandsons are the right age apart for hand-me-down. IMO, Woom does a really nice job making bikes that work for kids. The older son just outgrew his 2nd Woom and has moved on to a geared bike.
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Old 07-07-23, 09:02 AM
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CL. Don't make him grow into it. No hand brakes. Pedal forward to go and pedal backwards to stop. While he learns to ride, get another bike a bit bigger and restore it with him and let him pick the rattle can color.
I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
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