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Advice on bike for girl

Old 02-22-17, 06:02 PM
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Super Dave 
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Advice on bike for girl

Hi guys,

I'm a life long cyclist and love riding bikes. I live on the windward side of Oahu and it's not very bike friendly. We don't have side walks in my neighborhood and it's pretty hilly. My youngest daughter is 9 and is super hard headed. She has always refused to try to learn to ride. I was bummed and thought he would never learn. But, we had a breakthrough this weekend and she can now ride. Woohoo.

Anyway, my older girl (Grace / 11) needs a new bike since Emily (9) is taking over her old one.

Grace is pushing 5 feet and likes the beach cruiser style of bikes since that's what the cool kids have. We looked at a Raleigh ladies cruiser with gears for about $500 and an Electra that had a few speeds for a few hundred bucks. She liked them the same.

Anyway, I see there's a lot of mail order bike options these days. Shipping to Hawaii might be an issue. But, are there other brands that I might not be aware of that I should look at. Price range is $500 or less and we are looking for a cruiser / mixte style / comfort bike with some gears.

Thanks,
Dave

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Old 02-22-17, 06:13 PM
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Chuck Naill
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Wonderful photo!!!

We got our daughter a 24 inch Rock Hooper in the '80's. It was passed to her sister, then hung in the barn for years until I resurrected it when the eldest's daughter needed a bike. Just last month I had a thorough update which cost $200. It's been in the family to long to discard. I am taking it South to the next grand daughter this weekend. I figure it will have to survive three more grand children. My point is it pays to buy quality when they reach 12 or so.
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Old 02-22-17, 06:18 PM
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Thanks Chuck. The photo was taken at a garden in our town. Super hilly.
Friends of Honolulu Botanical Gardens- HO‘OMALUHIA BOTANICAL GARDEN

The only way I can drag them around on the tandem is with the electric motor.

A rock hopper is a great idea. I would be all for it. I wonder if I could convince my girly girl. Worth a try.
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Old 02-22-17, 06:33 PM
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Specialized Myka is also a good choice. I bought one for my daughter when she outgrew her 20" wheel bike.
Are you stationed at Kaneohe? I fly into Hickam a few times a year.
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Old 02-22-17, 06:56 PM
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My advice, based upon the experience guiding our two guys through their cycling adolescence - let the rider choose. Parents may be a guide and chauffeur to the bike shop, rider chooses. Usually in late winter or early spring, bike shops have a "swap" day. Riders bring a bike to sell, buyers of get nice deals on often lightly used bikes- making it easier on the guide's pocketbook when the bike may be quickly outgrown. One year, our youngest saw a road bike from the 80's- it had a very nice red color that caught his eye, the frame was small but appeared to fit his 11 yo size. He was a little hesitant to try it due to down tube shifters. Finally, he tried it- he was amazed at how comfortable it was to ride and how well it handled (he had outgrown a flat bar road bike). He ended up accompanying us on two 600 km summer road trips with that bike. Our total investment was around $100, plus a set of tires and a bike shop tune up. He was sad to finally out grow it. He now Is in a college aviation program and rides a bike 5 km to the airport from campus when he has to fly. Let the rider decide.
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Old 02-22-17, 06:59 PM
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Good points. So many cool bikes.

We live across the bay from the Marine Base. I'm not in the service. The Ospreys just started flying out of the base. Something new and fun to watch.

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Old 02-22-17, 08:57 PM
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I don't know if you have a way to get a Public Bike, but they have some really cute and nice step through bikes for very reasonable prices. Slap on some cute handlebar bags/panniers, a sweet bell, and she'd be all set. The bike would last her quite a while and be good for the sister coming up, too.
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Old 02-22-17, 09:03 PM
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Having been an 11 year old girl once...the best bike for your daughter is one that she will ride!!! If she likes pink, get a pink bike. Bells and a basket? Done.

That said, gears will probably keep her riding if you have hills. There is a setup that I particularly like for this style of bike - it has a single chainring up front, and a Shimano Megarange freewheel - seven speeds, 14-34 teeth. The first six are 14-24 teeth, followed by one really big cog. I see that Electra uses this on some of their cruisers, such as this one. Not to say that you should stick with Electra; just that it's an option.

We once had a Raleigh hybrid for my stepdaughter with this setup, and I tooled around on it a few times just for fun. It shifted very well, and the large cog allowed for a pretty darn low gear (which certainly helps with hills and a heavy bike.)
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Old 02-22-17, 09:12 PM
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Cute little girls - my wife's name is Grace. But anyway, I agree with the others - I'd let your daughter pick the bike out. If she likes the bike and feels she made the choice I'm thinking she's more likely to ride it.

Lucky you, living in Oahu. One of my favorite places in the whole world.
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Old 02-23-17, 08:52 PM
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Great advice, thanks. I appreciate seeing some other brands to look into. It's fascinating. I have not been in the market for an off the shelf bike for decades. I'm really happy to see so many attractive city bike designs. It's interesting to see how much of impact that Grant Peterson and Jan Heine have had on the market.

I drank the city bike cool-aide back in the early 2000s and haven't looked back. Glad to see the style has made it mainstream.


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Old 02-23-17, 09:19 PM
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Since you have a Bike Friday (me, too) have you considered getting her one? I can't tell from their website if they are making the Osata anymore but you could call them. It's a non-folding 20" which adjusts from very small people to over 6 foot adult size (same mechanism as the haul-a-day). It was part of the school fleet program. Price was a bit more than you wanted to spend, but it would last all the way through college and then some. 8 speed, I believe. Anyway, you might call them and see if they still have them available. Does she like your Bike Friday? I bought the Osata for my niece and she loves it, she put stickers on it and a cute bag, she says it's like a girly bmx bike, lol.
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Old 02-23-17, 09:52 PM
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At 11 years old better let her get what the cool kids get otherwise she'll be scarred for life.
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Old 02-24-17, 07:47 AM
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Be cautious of Electra's 'flat foot technology'. The geometry moves the seat back and down and produces back pain for a lot of people. I use to recommend Electra but now tell people to stay far away since similar geometry is on many of their bikes not advertised as flat foot. Some other beach cruiser style bikes do this as well.

Stick with an IGH. More expensive but a bike that always works is much better than one that's waiting on dad to fix.

You may want to also look at Workcycles, Batavus, Gazelle, and Linus though these would likely blow your budget. Do she and her friends actually ride on the beach? Or mostly on roads and hardback but like the cruiser style?
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Old 02-24-17, 10:13 AM
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I'd take a look at the Liv bike line -- this is Giant's women's line of bikes, eg below link. They also have youth bikes, which you may look at at depending on your daughter's height. I think the XS size of the adult bikes works down to about 5' height.. That age they grow about 2" per year though, so keep in mind.

https://www.liv-cycling.com/us/bikes/on-road/city

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Old 02-24-17, 02:04 PM
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Priority sells an x-small women's 3-speed model and a women's one-speed cruiser model.

I have one of their Classic bikes which I won in a contest, and gave a review in another thread. Good at the price point and newer models are steadily improving from customer feedback.
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Old 02-24-17, 02:14 PM
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I went through the buying bikes thing for a son, not a daughter, so you need to get her buy in. Given your daughter is already 5' tall, I would think a smaller sized adult women's bike would be the thing. The question is, how much money do you spend? How tall is she on track to be? Are you thinking this is it, or will you be passing this bike onto your younger daughter in a few years.

Anyhow, with my son, he transitioned from a kid's sized Raleigh mountain style bike with 20" wheels to a small adult sized Trek 800 mountain bike at around 10 years of age, when he was about 5' tall. (He didn't stay 5' tall for long but that is another story)
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Old 02-24-17, 04:07 PM
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Wow, what a great time to be in the market for a nice city bike. Thank you for all the different suggestions.

This one looks really nice for the dough with an internal hub and belt drive. Are there any issues with belts?
https://www.prioritybicycles.com/pro...iorityclassic2

I'm thinking this one will be passed down once she outgrows it. I'd like to spend in the $500 range since it's not really going to get used. But, if she would go for the Bike Friday then I would get that because I was really impressed with Bike Friday and think they are a great American company. The other nice thing with the Osata is it wouldn't take up as much space in the minivan.
https://www.bikefriday.com/betatest/osata/

Thanks,
DF
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Old 02-24-17, 07:17 PM
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Echoing previous comments, let the rider choose. If the rider were interested in a folding bike- Bike Friday's are great (I have a NWT). Also Ask her to look at and consider an Xooter Swift ?
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Old 02-24-17, 07:30 PM
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Buy the bike your daughter chooses. She will always remember having been given the choice to decide.
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Old 02-25-17, 03:36 PM
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I'd give her a choice between several different brands. But, let her pick the style & color. My little girls really like upright handlebars equipped with grip-shifters. Look at aluminum frame bikes for weight savings. Be good. Have fun.
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Old 02-26-17, 07:16 PM
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We just let our eight year old pick. She's very tall, kid is doomed with mom and dad 6' plus. She test rode some geared cruisers, then decided she wanted something like daddy's. She still too small for a 24 so it was tough to find something just right, but then she saw the Pink Specialized Hotrock 20. She'll need something bigger in a few years, but this one will do. I thought hearing would be a challenge at 8, but she picked it right up.

She really wants a road bike. I thought we'd find a hybrid, but no dice.
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Old 02-26-17, 07:32 PM
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My girls daughters got to pick out small mixte frames (they're shorties) and they customized them Within the overall budget. They're 12 and 14 going on 30 so it gives me an excuse to hang out with them and spend time. We ride a decent clip as a family so it's great!
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Old 02-26-17, 11:29 PM
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I really want to pull rank and get the Bike Friday Osata. I've tried to convince the older one with logic but it didn't go over too well. They think the Bike Friday is ugly.

I did some exploring for family friendly bike paths today. This one is really cool and runs from the Sunset Beach area to Sharks Cove on the North Shore.






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Old 02-26-17, 11:50 PM
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Negotiate. If the opposition to the Osata is appearance, then negotiate. Cute seat cover, baskets/bags, grips, stickers, special cycling jackets and helmets..... Any bike can be cute if you decorate it. My niece "bedazzled" her Bike Friday Osata, I will try to get her to send me a picture that I can post. She put rhinestones all over the fenders and matched it to her helmet. Her BFF does not have a BF but she has a 20" wheel bike as well, and she got her mom (who knits) to make custom sleeves for the tubes , seatpost, and stem. Maybe give your girls a challenge to see just how cute they can make it (most computers have programs they can use). But, of course, bottom line is they won't ride it if they don't like it, so if you can't negotiate -- admit defeat ;-)
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Old 02-27-17, 12:13 AM
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How about a mixte minivelo?

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