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Quality reasonably priced bikes for kids

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Quality reasonably priced bikes for kids

Old 10-28-20, 01:28 PM
  #1  
PoePoe
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Quality reasonably priced bikes for kids

Looking for a bike for my daughter, but pulling my hair out.

Box stores like Walmart appear to only sell single speed heavy bikes or heavier multi-speed "mountain" bikes with loose suspension systems that make the bike feel awful and hard to pedal.

My local bike shop's cheapest kid bike starts at nearly $500 and they HATE it when non-bike people come in. Bought my first bike in a bike shop 25 years ago with my own money for the equivalent of $190 in today's money.

I found a few online bike sources, but they're either selling Walmart bikes for double the price or really nice bikes for five times as much.

Based on my experience, Amazon bikes are no different from Walmart bikes just a little more expensive. At least under the $350 price point.

So can anyone point me to a source where I can buy a decent quality 20" girls bike with multiple gears and is less than 27lbs?
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Old 10-28-20, 01:37 PM
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If you don't mind buying used, I have been browsing Craigslist for a while and find some great deals on there.

If you're set on brand new, disregard.
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Old 10-28-20, 02:07 PM
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Liv (a Giant brand) has some girls bikes in that range. Guardian kids bikes is also worth looking at. May have a hard time finding stock however.
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Old 10-28-20, 02:18 PM
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Woom bikes are nice and light and they specialize in kids' bikes. They are a bit pricier at around $500 though.
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Old 10-28-20, 02:22 PM
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Take a look at some of the offerings on bikesdirect dot com

No personal experience but I have a few friends who have purchased adult bikes from them and were very satisfied with the price to value ratio.
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Old 10-28-20, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by PoePoe View Post
Looking for a bike for my daughter, but pulling my hair out.
How old is she? Keep in mind that she might outgrow whatever it is you buy in a year or two.

Are there any families in your neighborhood with older kids, that can donate a hand-me-down? That's how my parents did it with my brother and myself... There was a family with eight kids, all of them older, and we inherited a ton of stuff from them. Toys, clothes, bikes.... As a kid, I didn't like it at all because most of the stuff was ancient and hopelessly out of style, but I am sure my parents loved it.
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Old 10-28-20, 02:35 PM
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I'd shop CL or similar. I got a nice kid's bike with an REI brand via CL for $50ish a couple of years ago.
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Old 10-28-20, 02:57 PM
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Like others have said, buy used if you can.
You'll get a better quality bike for a fraction of the original price, plus you're keeping existing bikes going.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:05 PM
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When our kids were young we’d find garage sale bikes for $5. Now those same bikes are considered rare and vintage and selling for $100... lol.

John
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Old 10-28-20, 08:20 PM
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New I'd go for the cannondale quick 20" which comes in a nice purple. It will be 380-400 so less then 500 but still not cheap. Plus sides are a claimed 20.4lb weight (my kids' 24" c-dale was within a couple ounces) and a 110mm crank which is good for body mechanics. Specialized will probably be about the same price, usually does very well with weight and might be lighter then the c-dale but doesn't do as well on crank length though they've gotten better.
The downside to used is older bikes use longer cranks and don't care that kids need shorter. I have a trek 220 for a loaner so that my kids' friends can join us but with the typical 152mm length it came with for a 24" bike you can watch the kid's hips and upper body rocking back and forth as they pedal. Then standing it looks like they're stair climbing. The 24" c-dale comes with a 125mm crank and the kids are noticeably more comfortable. Trek for a short time ordered a dual position crank around 2002-2006 or so and eventually ditched it for whatever reason. Giant and Trek both don't really size well and Kona is the worst of all the brands. Something to keep in mind.
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Old 10-28-20, 08:53 PM
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You will find a number of recent threads on this subject in Recreational and Family subforum https://www.bikeforums.net/recreational-family/
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Old 10-29-20, 11:37 AM
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Well, this goes beyond reasonably priced, but definitely fits with quality: just saw Salsa announced a 24" gravel bike for $900. Although I got a good deal on a used road bike for my son at $250, it's an older road bike so it doesn't have the ability to take wider tires like these newer models, I definitely would have liked to have spent a bit more new to get a bike my son could use both on road and potentially in CX if he were interested in joining me at the races.

While I get some of the advice to buy used because kids grow out of bikes anyway, from my perspective as someone interested in growing cycling as a sport in the country, the fewer "good" bikes that are available means potentially fewer kids considering cycling as a sport. I think it kind of becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if you just give kids bikes that they'll just ride briefly to their friends' houses or once in a blue moon with the family on a bike path.If folks don't buy "good" new bikes, then manufacturers won't make them. Just kind of a random thought, sorry for derailing the original question a bit!
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Old 10-29-20, 02:56 PM
  #13  
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Check Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, there are so many quality used kids bikes at least in my area of Northwest Indiana.
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Old 10-29-20, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post

While I get some of the advice to buy used because kids grow out of bikes anyway, from my perspective as someone interested in growing cycling as a sport in the country, the fewer "good" bikes that are available means potentially fewer kids considering cycling as a sport. I think it kind of becomes a self fulfilling prophecy if you just give kids bikes that they'll just ride briefly to their friends' houses or once in a blue moon with the family on a bike path.If folks don't buy "good" new bikes, then manufacturers won't make them. Just kind of a random thought, sorry for derailing the original question a bit!
I am confused. Are you saying we should buy the kid a $900 bike just to ride briefly? Or that the kid is more likely to consider cycling as a lifelong activity if he starts with a $900 bike?
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Old 10-29-20, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
I am confused. Are you saying we should buy the kid a $900 bike just to ride briefly? Or that the kid is more likely to consider cycling as a lifelong activity if he starts with a $900 bike?
No I wouldn’t buy the $900 to ride briefly, but I think when parents treat kid bike purchases (or even their own) as essentially “let’s get the cheapest bike” then I think rarely does that turn into a major life activity. I think maybe if more consideration was given to getting kids onto nicer bikes from the get go, and parents invested a bit more time themselves to cycling, then maybe we’d have more youth interest in the sport beyond just riding for a few mins. I’d be curious to know how many kids race bikes who don’t already have a parent involved in racing as well. Anyway, I’m just giving some random, poorly developed thoughts!
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Old 10-29-20, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by PoePoe View Post
Looking for a bike for my daughter, but pulling my hair out.

Box stores like Walmart appear to only sell single speed heavy bikes or heavier multi-speed "mountain" bikes with loose suspension systems that make the bike feel awful and hard to pedal.

My local bike shop's cheapest kid bike starts at nearly $500 and they HATE it when non-bike people come in. Bought my first bike in a bike shop 25 years ago with my own money for the equivalent of $190 in today's money.

I found a few online bike sources, but they're either selling Walmart bikes for double the price or really nice bikes for five times as much.

Based on my experience, Amazon bikes are no different from Walmart bikes just a little more expensive. At least under the $350 price point.

So can anyone point me to a source where I can buy a decent quality 20" girls bike with multiple gears and is less than 27lbs?
Not for under $500.
Isla bikes and woom bikes are 2 common quality kids brands. One is no longer in the US and the other isnt inexpensive.
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Old 10-29-20, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PoePoe View Post
Looking for a bike for my daughter, but pulling my hair out.

Box stores like Walmart appear to only sell single speed heavy bikes or heavier multi-speed "mountain" bikes with loose suspension systems that make the bike feel awful and hard to pedal.

My local bike shop's cheapest kid bike starts at nearly $500 and they HATE it when non-bike people come in. Bought my first bike in a bike shop 25 years ago with my own money for the equivalent of $190 in today's money.

I found a few online bike sources, but they're either selling Walmart bikes for double the price or really nice bikes for five times as much.

Based on my experience, Amazon bikes are no different from Walmart bikes just a little more expensive. At least under the $350 price point.

So can anyone point me to a source where I can buy a decent quality 20" girls bike with multiple gears and is less than 27lbs?
If your kids are anything like mine were, I wouldn't be looking to spend much money. My guys left their bikes out in the rain, left them in the woods, over at friends' houses, lent them to people etc. I made sure that they weren't death traps, squirted some oil on the chains occasionally, fixed them when they broke, but that was pretty much all I did, and that was fine. If the kids wanted to trash their bikes, we could always dive into another dumpster to find a new one. Once they learned to drive, they left bikes behind - they had other athletic outlets.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:42 PM
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The pandemic fitness craze pretty much wiped out the supply of kid bikes. Places like Woom are doing preorders.

A real Schwinn Stingray adjusted for inflation would cost $600 today.

Good luck!
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Old 10-30-20, 04:10 AM
  #19  
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Being in the UK I'm not sure what's available in the US but two makes with a good name over here are Islabike and Frog. Neither is inexpensive; however, I made the decision to buy an Islabike Bienn for my son on the basis that they sell for a good price used so once you are on the quality bike ladder it isn't so bad moving up the rungs. Still undoubtedly more costly than a cheap bike from a box shifter but I reckoned it was worth it.

The Bienn is very light (I think it actually weighs less than my carbon road bike), comes with 7 gears, 20" alloy wheels and quality parts all round. The equivalent Frog bike was a little heavier and, I think, came with six gears. Both are specifically designed with child dimensions in mind. I'm sure if you look around you can find other manufacturers who do the same.
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Old 10-30-20, 06:23 AM
  #20  
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GOODWILL STORES and other 2nd hand outlets. I see kids bikes there in perfect order for ten, fifteen, and twenty dollars all the time.
I wish i knew some kids to give them to that do not already have bikes. The good thing, even if you are in the income bracket that would not
allow to buy used, is you can get a new bike every couple of months to supplement their collection and they think it is christmas all over again.
Generally if something happens to the bike ir is often quicker and cheaper just to go and get another bike and maybe trade in the old one that needs
a small repair. BTW. The adult bikes vary between 29 and 59 dollars that are in good working order. So far the only adult bike i have bought
was a fixie for $20. The gear was so high that it is only useful on a perfectly flat track.... or highway.
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Old 10-30-20, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Reflector Guy View Post
How old is she? Keep in mind that she might outgrow whatever it is you buy in a year or two.
I agree, kids outgrow those smaller bikes so quickly. Plus the way they ride and fail to take care of them weight just isn't going to make a difference.

When they get up into the 24-26 inch tire bike sizes it is worth spending a little more on a good Trek, Giant or equivalent. But for the smaller ones something pretty or otherwise captures their imagination. Let your daughter pick it out, that way it will be hers.

Used bikes are the best value and will cut your carbon footprint. Takes a lot of resources to build something new.
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Old 10-30-20, 06:46 AM
  #22  
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I will recommend Giant's child bikes with 20" wheels.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/bi...years-20-inch-

Definitely have some bikes in your price range yet you will have to find out how far you have to go to try one.
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Old 10-30-20, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by hubcyclist View Post
No I wouldn’t buy the $900 to ride briefly, but I think when parents treat kid bike purchases (or even their own) as essentially “let’s get the cheapest bike” then I think rarely does that turn into a major life activity. I think maybe if more consideration was given to getting kids onto nicer bikes from the get go, and parents invested a bit more time themselves to cycling, then maybe we’d have more youth interest in the sport beyond just riding for a few mins. I’d be curious to know how many kids race bikes who don’t already have a parent involved in racing as well. Anyway, I’m just giving some random, poorly developed thoughts!
I seriously pissed off a "customer" who came in wanting a new bike for his wife. He was completely balking at 400.00, cause he'd bought her 6 bikes over the years from assorted box stores and she didn't ride any of them since she complained they were too heavy or didn't work so he didn't want to spend that much and thought maybe he'd head to Walmart. I pointed out that was a good way to get her something she wouldn't ride since it would be too heavy and not work and if he'd figured it out 3 bikes ago he'd have saved money and if he figures it out now she'll ride and he won't need to look again in the future. He didn't like that but he was already heading for the door so I figured it didn't matter.

Originally Posted by Litespud View Post
If your kids are anything like mine were, I wouldn't be looking to spend much money. My guys left their bikes out in the rain, left them in the woods, over at friends' houses, lent them to people etc. I made sure that they weren't death traps, squirted some oil on the chains occasionally, fixed them when they broke, but that was pretty much all I did, and that was fine. If the kids wanted to trash their bikes, we could always dive into another dumpster to find a new one. Once they learned to drive, they left bikes behind - they had other athletic outlets.
Mine aren't. They're told what their bikes cost and how they're to treat them. It still isn't as well as I'd like but it's good enough I actually don't need to raise my voice over it. I also try to keep the costs lower since each kid has 3-4 bikes. Mountain bike, road bike and velodrome track bike for the two older; oldest also has a nos giant kids road bike from the early 80s converted to flat bar with a doll seat attached for cruising the bike path. Middle has a bmx track bike and the youngest doesn't have a road but his track frame should be here today. I bargain hunt or use excuses. Their mtb were 375 but we're their only gift from Santa which stretched the 200 per kid santa budget but let me get them without breaking the bank. Road bikes were on clearance, so was one track bike and the bmx. Other track was from a fellow track parent but is still a nice one and got upgrades since it was cheap. But we even center family vacation around bike trips and tours which makes them used and sign them up for races if I go to one. They love the bikes and the rides, nice bikes can make a difference.
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Old 10-30-20, 04:45 PM
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REI has a good selection and quality. You can usually get 10-15% if you time the sales right. This one is $340, has an Al frame and weighs 23 lbs.
https://www.rei.com/product/143168/c...plus-kids-bike
I bought a Co-Op bike for my son, and it's far higher quality than anything from Wal-Mart. The REI mechanics are also good about setting things up properly.
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Old 10-30-20, 04:52 PM
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https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/start24

It's a 3 speed internal gear hub with a carbon belt so no greasy chain to deal with. I'd go for the light blue.
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