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Bike for Tween

Old 06-27-19, 10:37 AM
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sullivan80
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Bike for Tween

I've got a (nearly) 11 year in need of a new bike and we're considering getting her something better than department store junk we've typically given kids. She's 4'10 and growing fast with 27" inseam so based on most charts I've looked at she is just at the low end of the range for a 26" wheel bike. Problem is that seems to be nestled just between kids bikes and adult bikes and I haven't found many options. Curious what others have done. She seems too small for even a small adult bike but I think the largest 24" kids bikes will be outgrown in no time. We're going to visit a few shops when we can here in the next few weeks but thought I'd get some input here in the mean time. Thanks!
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Old 06-27-19, 10:43 AM
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CliffordK
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How tall are both parents?

Are you looking at road or MTBs?

You should be able to find a good smaller sized 26" MTB, or perhaps a good used 24" MTB.

For "Road", look at the 650c road bikes. They fit in between the 24" and 700c sizes, and most new ones are designed to be quite adjustable.

However, on the road side, it would also be reasonable to hunt for the smallest 700c road bike you can find.

Also note that many of the Mixte bikes are quite adjustable.
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Old 06-27-19, 12:34 PM
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sullivan80
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Something in the direction of mtb. She will occasionally do longer rides on pavement with me but less often than casual rides on rail-trails and I'd like her to be able to get her feet wet on some singletrack as there are gobs of mountain bike trails within an hour or two of here. I could see her really enjoying that more than anything.

I was maybe thinking something along the lines of the trek 820. trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/mountain-bikes/c/B300/

That bike seems big enough that she should get several years of pretty versatile riding. I could see her preferring the color scheme on the women specific version but just looking at it the standard model seems more practical. I don't know that a water bottle cage would go on the womens?

Mom is 5'0 and dad about 5'9.

Last edited by sullivan80; 06-27-19 at 12:36 PM. Reason: added parent height
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Old 06-27-19, 01:17 PM
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CliffordK
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Originally Posted by sullivan80 View Post
Mom is 5'0 and dad about 5'9.
So, I would expect her to slow down a bit on growing taller... 5'0 to 5'4?

So, don't get anything huge, but perhaps extend things a bit. Anything that your wife would be comfortable riding? It could last your daughter a good long time.

Originally Posted by sullivan80 View Post
I was maybe thinking something along the lines of the trek 820. trekbikes.com/us/en_US/bikes/mountain-bikes/c/B300/
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/search/?text=820

They do list a women's version of the 820.

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...colorCode=blue

Small: 4'9" to 5'1"
Medium: 5'1" to 5'6"

I might look at the medium size if she can ride it. Perhaps add a short stem, and move the seat all the way forward.



Looking at the Trek Women's bikes...

FX1
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...colorCode=grey

Verve
https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/b...olorCode=white

Those would be a little less of the MTB, and more of the Commuter type bikes.

Probably Small in both of those (not XS).

https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/s...42%252C999.99#

Lots of options elsewhere too.
https://www.rei.com/search.html?q=wo...sort=min-price

Perhaps some of the classic women's step-through bikes.

Electra Loft 7D, or similar?
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Old 06-27-19, 01:17 PM
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Oh, and don't forget the used market.
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Old 06-27-19, 02:40 PM
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sullivan80
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Thanks I appreciate the input!

My wife has a XS Specialized Vita (or something like that?). Some kind of hybrid bike. Daughter can ride it but has a real hard time getting on and off it - though I'm going to experiment with the seat and see how much adjustments can help to get an idea of how far off she is from a small adult bike. She's just an awkward in between size right but probably not for a whole lot longer.

So far I haven't found anything decent on the local used market.
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Old 06-27-19, 07:04 PM
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If your daughter is jumping from a 20" BMX bike to a 700c hybrid, there may naturally be some awkward moments, but that may well get better.

Also going from a low seat on a BMX (flat feet on the ground when on the seat) vs a high seat on a 700c (pedal and hop onto the seat).
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Old 06-30-19, 10:02 AM
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How about a telescoping seat post folding bike, to grow with them?
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Old 06-30-19, 04:56 PM
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Kids outgrow bikes. That's just the way it goes. Get one that will fit this summer and get another one next summer if she outgrows it. Used bikes is a great way to go if you know what you're looking for.
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Old 07-05-19, 01:32 PM
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My daughter is 10.5, just over 5 feet tall, and we were in the same boat a few months ago, where women's bikes seemed slightly too large and we were having a hard time finding anything good in the used market. We ultimately got her a Woom 6 bike. We have a Woom 5 (24") for our son and she's ridden that many times and loved it. She loves her new bike and I think we'll get a few years out of it before she outgrows it. It has 26x1.95 tires, so it can easily handle off-road riding. The 20 lb weight listed on the website is accurate, which is almost unbelievable given that the tires in and of themselves must weigh few pounds. None of the women's bikes we were looking at are anywhere near that light, especially at the $499 price point.

https://us.woombikes.com/products/6
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Old 07-05-19, 10:26 PM
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A few years ago I was at a LBS in Kerrville,Texas and there was 3 boys all getting new bikes and mom had that look after spending all that money. The boys of course where at different sizes being about 2 years apart. The dad said the theory is once the younger boy grows he will inherit the older boy’s bike and so forth.
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Old 07-17-19, 03:48 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
How about a telescoping seat post folding bike, to grow with them?
The children's song "one of these things doesn't belong here..." came to mind when reading thru this thread.
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Old 07-18-19, 09:35 AM
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sullivan80
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So this is where we're at.... I was about sold on the trek 820. It's pretty affordable and a perfect size. We looked at one in a shop while on vacation and my daughter liked it but the sales person pointed out that it has a steel frame so I picked it up and yikes it's a tank. I think I'd rather spend just a bit more and get a lighter aluminum frame especially since she is still a relatively small child. She's been riding my wife's XS adult hybrid bike a lot with 700c tires and about has me convinced she can handle an XS adult bike -which is what she wants anyways. We also looked at a Marin Wildcat and she liked it a lot so we may head that direction. It may be slightly too big at first but not for long and then I think she'll be set for a long time.
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Old 07-19-19, 12:57 AM
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Get a hybrid bike - always winner for teenagers
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Old 07-19-19, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by sullivan80 View Post
...based on most charts I've looked at she is just at the low end of the range for a 26" wheel bike. Problem is that seems to be nestled just between kids bikes and adult bikes and I haven't found many options.
The good options for kids bikes are from the up and coming, forward-thinking brands like Priority Bicycles, Woom, Prevelo, Cleary, etc.

For example, and this one is from Woom: https://us.woombikes.com/products/6

Curious what others have done.
I helped an 11 year old do a frame up build last fall. Couldn't find a 26er frame that I liked that was in budget and I wanted something that would stay with him for a few years. We went a size small 650b frame and built that up from spokes and a pile of parts. He's tall for his age, has already grown over the winter, so the wheel and frame sizes are working out for him.
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