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-   -   Why are kid's bikes so heavy? (https://www.bikeforums.net/recreational-family/177548-why-kids-bikes-so-heavy.html)

apclassic9 03-12-06 04:38 PM

Started my kid on X-mart bikes, and he broke them all. Got him a Specialized Rock Hard, which weighed WAY more than he did, and he never managed to break it. Our neighbor's kid rode it down the switch-back hill once and hit a tree full bore. She got 3 stitches in her eye-brow, you can still seee the scar in the tree, but the bike? A little truing of the front tire.

IPLAYOUTSIDE.com had a picture of him with his 50 lb bike during a wintertime mtb cyclocross with the caption "what if your bike weighed more than you?" He still won the race.

As for wieght, it just makes the child a stronger rider. A guy at the LBS advised my NOT to put this kid on a bike with suspension, as his muscles would develop better without them (gosh, I would have bought him a new bike!) My kid has won 1st place at NORBA in the XC at Snowshoe in his class from 2000-2005, been on real bike teams, and is really strong on the uphill.

So, I think the wieght issue boils down to what the parent wants to lug around - the little kids don't care.

frost_from_hell 03-12-06 11:17 PM


Originally Posted by apclassic9
So, I think the wieght issue boils down to what the parent wants to lug around - the little kids don't care.

Agreed, certainly when I was a kid, I didn't care how much the bike weighed, as long as I could ride it, and it was reliable. Alas, the mart bike I had never was though, the gears were trashed after about a week, and brake failure was to be expected sometimes.

Also, it's the old "lightweight, affordable, strong. Pick two." saying, even though I am not a parent, I can absolutely understand someone not wanting to spend much on a kids bike, knowing that kids generally ride their bikes very hard indeed, and then will outgrow that particular bike in a couple of years anyway.

RRZ 03-13-06 10:55 AM

I'm still not convinced anyone has identified the weight difference between "department store" bikes and more upscale ones (Trek, Specialized, Giant) or even customized ones. People throw out references to "2-5 lbs" or "5-8 lbs," but what's the real difference in weight .... and at what price? I don't think you'll see any weight info. published on Trek, Specialized or Giant web sites for kids bikes and I've never seen a comparison published anywhere else.

Has anyone in a LBS weighed their different brands of kids bikes (16, 20, 24 inch)?

After we identify the lbs difference, someone with a physics background should figure out the increased force that's necessary to move a bike that is XX lbs heavier. :) Here's a helpful link:

http://www.coe.uncc.edu/~rkeanini/hu...pulsionweb.htm

I'm still not convinced a few pounds makes a significant difference until you're in high level races for really long distances or where every second matters.

sydney_b 03-13-06 11:30 AM

The biggest issue in my recent decision to purchase my foster son a used, but excellent condition Redline MBX, was his ability to take care of it. When he came to live with us, he had this huge, heavy mtn-style bike that he couldn't manage. He couldn't park it properly in the garage, or work on it to change a tire or whatnot. So, for his birthday, I got him the other bike and he's had nearly as much fun working on it as riding it. While he still needs help getting a new tire on, he can do everything else himself. Big and needed confidence boost for him.

/s

masiman 03-13-06 02:42 PM

That's the spirit Sydney! Good on ya for solid parenting and effectively responding to his needs.

Jameson 03-13-06 06:13 PM

Im coming in on the tail end of this, I normally live over in the MTB forum and accidently clicked the 2nd page of this post. I bought my son a size 12 ( it says 12 on the seat tube, i assume thats the size) Gary Fisher Sunspot and it is heeeeavy! I justified the expense by having a Father who is heavily into cycling and is willing to pay half if I buy "real" LBS bikes. I was very surprised at the weight of this bike. I don't know if a mart bike in this size would weigh more but good god, I hope not.

Fibber 03-14-06 10:20 AM

I'm still not convinced anyone has identified the weight difference between "department store" bikes and more upscale ones (Trek, Specialized, Giant) or even customized ones. People throw out references to "2-5 lbs" or "5-8 lbs," but what's the real difference in weight .... and at what price? I don't think you'll see any weight info. published on Trek, Specialized or Giant web sites for kids bikes and I've never seen a comparison published anywhere else.

OK, great.... You had to ruin my night by forcing me to weigh, measure and record our fleet! Some bikes are in use, the others in the basement.

Unfortunately, my excel spreadsheet got a bit garbled, but you get the idea. The weights are as accurate as I could get given the limitations of a bathroom scale. Values are without training wheels, with kick stands & water bottle cages (all but the 12" bike), and without the saddle bag on my Trek (which adds about 4 lbs - lock, tools, etc.). Year is date of mfg/sale. Age is when my daughter(s) first used them.

Trek & Giant both switched over to Aluminum on their youth bikes around 2004. My impression from picking them up when last in the LBS is that the new versions of the Mt Trail & MTX feel about 2-3 lbs lighter than the ones we have - maybe 28 lbs or so?

The bikes for the smallest riders are indeed disproportionately heavy, but not as bad as I originally thought.

Steve


Bike Mfgr / Model Name / Store / Year / Style / Gears / Sex / Frame / Tire Size / Seat Tube / Weight / Rider

Trek / Navigator 200 / LBS / 2002 / Comfort / 21 / M / Aluminum / 26x1.95 / 18.5" / 31 lbs / Dad

K2 / Rosario / LBS / 2003 / Comfort / 21 / F / Aluminum / 26x1.95 / 15" / 31 lbs / Mom

Trek / Mt Trail 220 / LBS / 2002 / MTB / 21 / F / HiTen Steel / 24x2.05 / 13" / 30.5 lbs / 9 yr old

Giant / MTX 225 / LBS / 2001 / MTB / 21 / F / HiTen Steel / 24x1.95 / 12.5" / 30.5 lbs / 9 yr old

Pacific / StarGazer / ToysRUs / 1998 / kids / 5 / F / Steel / 20x1.75 / 13" / 26 lbs / 7 yr old

Kent / SummerBreeze / ToysRUs / 2002 / kids / 1 / F / Steel / 18x1.75 / 11" / 25 lbs / 5 yr old

Dynacraft / NEXT - SlumberParty / WalMart / 2000 / kids / 1 / F / Steel / 16x1.75 / 10" / 21.5 lbs / 4 yr old

Dynacraft / Magna - Jewels&Pearls / Target / 2006 / kids / 1 / F / Steel / 12x1.75 / 8" / 17 lbs / 4 yr old

bigbossman 03-14-06 03:20 PM


Originally Posted by Fibber

Dynacraft / NEXT - SlumberParty

Man - how cool would it be to have an adult roadbike with the model name "SlumberParty" emblazoned on the top or down tube? I think I'm gonna get some decals made for my next build...... :D

recrider2 03-16-06 08:01 PM

I searched some of these bikes. I got the Fuji Sandblaster. Performance near me has a good deal on them. The "boys" is a nice blue color, and the cross-bar is low enough for a kid to get on/off easily. (The "girls" model is slightly lower) My daughter liked the blue color, and it can be a hand-me-down to my son. A problem with many of the kids bikes is that they are colored to appeal to only a girl (pink, purple) or a boy (black or silver). This makes it difficult to do hand-me-downs between boys and girls. Having the bike be used by more than one kid helps to justify the high cost.

dragonflybikes 04-11-06 06:58 PM


Originally Posted by recrider2
I searched some of these bikes. I got the Fuji Sandblaster. Performance near me has a good deal on them. The "boys" is a nice blue color, and the cross-bar is low enough for a kid to get on/off easily. (The "girls" model is slightly lower) My daughter liked the blue color, and it can be a hand-me-down to my son. A problem with many of the kids bikes is that they are colored to appeal to only a girl (pink, purple) or a boy (black or silver). This makes it difficult to do hand-me-downs between boys and girls. Having the bike be used by more than one kid helps to justify the high cost.




I am planning on painting my daughter's bike for my sone when he gets to that age. The bike will need a total overhaul anyways so I will have to take it apart to sand and paint then put it together greese it and it should be like new again. That way he can get whatever color he wants. (you can even buy automotive paint in spray cans, I painted one of my bikes this way twice)

Stor Mand 04-27-06 05:11 PM

I have been shopping for a bike for my 8 year-old (I think she is finally able to balance) but the thought of spending a couple hundred bucks is not too appealing. The kids bikes are pretty damn heavy in all price ranges. Even the tagalong (or whatever it is called) we use is heavier than my bike. :rolleyes:
As kids, for years we got along with our heavy bikes with one gear and big fenders but if I had known I could have been taller (only 6'4" now), I would have avoided them. :roflmao:We'll se what happens.

RRZ 05-04-06 05:45 AM

I was looking at 20" bikes and noticed that the new 2006 Trek Mountain Track 60 has an Alpha Aluminum frame versus the older version of that bike (Mountain Lion 60 and perhaps older Mountain Track 60) had a steel frame.

Any ideas how much normal aluminum frames weigh versus steel frames? Fibber, your great post above suggests 2-3 pounds difference in weight.

Given the difference in price $100 used steel versus $249 new aluminum, are there any other factors that might make the new aluminum bike more appealing?

_Elena 02-04-21 01:40 AM

I also was confused trying to choose the most suitable bike for my two-year od nephew. It's a good idea to surf the net for some kind of reviews where different models of bicycles are described. In my case, this website turned out to be extremely useful: cutelittledarling.com/best-bike-for-2-year-olds/. Maybe they've posted articles for other age groups, so give it a look. Good luck!

autonomy 02-11-21 08:29 AM


Originally Posted by _Elena (Post 21909007)
I also was confused trying to choose the most suitable bike for my two-year od nephew. It's a good idea to surf the net for some kind of reviews where different models of bicycles are described. In my case, this website turned out to be extremely useful: cutelittledarling.com/best-bike-for-2-year-olds/. Maybe they've posted articles for other age groups, so give it a look. Good luck!

The OP's kids are 21 at this point :roflmao:

However, if you assume that other people are going to stumble on this topic in this day and age, kids bikes are heavy because manufacturers use cheaper components and construction techniques to keep costs down - few people are willing to pay hundreds of $ for a bike that's likely going to be in use only a couple of years; and for most kids weight likely doesn't matter much since they won't be riding for 25 miles.
There are way more kids options out there today, with great resale value: Pello, Prevelo, Cleary, Priority, Frog, Islabikes (UK/Europe only), BYK, Woom, Spawn...

chiefsilverback 02-18-21 03:19 PM

You also have to consider that the 'heavy' bits of bikes are the same regardless of size. BBs, hubs, drivetrains, crankset, stem, dropouts etc... are sort of universal, there's just less tubing connecting them all together. It also explains why quality kids bikes aren't that much cheaper than adult bikes because again they need all the same parts, just some are a bit smaller.

blacknbluebikes 02-18-21 03:27 PM

all ages: love the bike = ride the bike.
not all ages: two seasons (even Hawaii), they've outgrown it.
as an "experienced" father, you are much more concerned with color than weight. Not this pink, that pink. Unicorn on seat, not carbon fiber on seat.

icemilkcoffee 02-25-21 01:03 AM

It's funny to see how bad the kids' bikes choices were back in 2006. Nowadays we have Woom bikes [/discussion]


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