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ZzzKing 11-28-13 10:43 PM

Looking for a good 16" for the boy
Santa is thinking about a new bike for my son. He will be six in March but is on the smaller side of 5. I was thinking a 16" would be a good size for him so started researching. I came up with:

Diamondback Mini Viper
Fuji Fazer
GT Laguna
Novara Stinger
Schwinn Gremlin
Schwinn Mesa
Specialized Hotrock
Sunday Primer
Trek Jet

Can anyone give me any firsthand experience with any of these? Are there others I may have missed? Thanks for the feedback!

amdoo 11-29-13 09:26 AM

My son has been using a Schwinn similar to the Gremlin for a few years and we've been really happy with it. I was attracted to it by the full chain case-- didn't want his shoe laces or fingers getting in there. Make no mistake, it's really heavy for the size. We bought it new on a good sale at Performance but in retrospect, I should've been patient and gone with Craigslist which is what I'm doing now that he needs a 20".

mel2012 12-05-13 11:22 AM

Islabike CNOC 16" (or he might be tall enough for the Beinn Small 20", which has a much lower standover than most of the 20" bikes)
The CNOC 16" is 13.2 pounds

A friend recently got one of these for her 5 year old son who is also on the small side and he just flies on it.
Here's her blog posting about it:

Santa is bringing my daughter (who is 5 years old with an 19.5 inch inseam) the Beinn 20 small for Christmas. It is a gorgeous bike. The gear shifting is smooth, the brake levers have a light touch. It weighs 17.3 pounds, which is about 2 pounds LESS than her current 16" Hot Rock.

My second choice would be a Specialized Hot Rock 16"

We had the Novara 12" Stinger and that sucker is a brick. We also had a Trek Mystic 16" (the girl's version of the Jet) and it was also very heavy and has, in my opinion, awkward geometry. The handlebars sit up very high, which puts the center of mass very high and makes it harder to handle. My daughter learned to "ride" without traning wheels on the 12" Stinger, but it was basically to ride short distances or ride around in circles. She outgrew it but wasn't able to handle the 16" Mystic without difficulty, which discouraged her from riding. It wasn't until we got a 16" Hot Rock that she was really able to ride. Now she regularly rides up to 4 miles on her bike.

fietsbob 12-10-13 10:40 PM

LBS Here sells the Trek Jet. so many parents want a good Used Bike it should be an easy resale.

or a tradeup to a 20"

bendembroski 12-11-13 06:56 AM


Originally Posted by mel2012 (Post 16303472)
Islabike CNOC 16" (or he might be tall enough for the Beinn Small 20", which has a much lower standover than most of the 20" bikes)
The CNOC 16" is 13.2 pounds

This. I'm not one to call any bike "the best", YMMV and all that.

For little kids that will ride enough to justify the cost, Islabikes are the best you can get by a rather significant margin. I'm so glad they've made it to this side of the pond!

(I'm not affiliated in any way with Islabikes, just one very impressed customer)

cderalow 12-11-13 07:38 AM

We went the thrift store route for my daughter's 20" (she's a large 5).

The wald training wheels cost me more than the bike.

It's some sort of Raleigh that weighs a metric ton.

TampaRaleigh 12-11-13 07:51 AM

For a 16" bike, it's hard to find one that WON'T meet his needs. Let his preferences guide your opinion. See which one he thinks is cool, and go with that. It'll make him want to ride more.

Don't overthink it... that's a size that kids seem to outgrow very quickly.

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