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Bicycle suggestions for my 13 yr old daughter

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Bicycle suggestions for my 13 yr old daughter

Old 08-22-11, 07:01 AM
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Biggziff
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Bicycle suggestions for my 13 yr old daughter

I took her on her first road ride last night and while she loved it, she was struggling to keep pace (we averaged 8.5 MPH) on a 12 mile ride with 800' of ups/downs. She's nearly outgrown her Iron Horse MTB and I'm looking for suggestions on something inexpensive for her to try. Used is fine as I don't want to invest much money in case this fizzles out. I have thought about putting road tires on the MTB and that remains an option. She's about 5'4" and 95 pounds.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-22-11, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Biggziff View Post
I took her on her first road ride last night and while she loved it, she was struggling to keep pace (we averaged 8.5 MPH) on a 12 mile ride with 800' of ups/downs. She's nearly outgrown her Iron Horse MTB and I'm looking for suggestions on something inexpensive for her to try. Used is fine as I don't want to invest much money in case this fizzles out. I have thought about putting road tires on the MTB and that remains an option. She's about 5'4" and 95 pounds.

Thanks in advance!
That's alot for a 13-yr old!

When my boys were 12 & 13, I bought them a Wally World MTB for like $60. If they rode that thing into the ground, and showed me that they were serious about riding, I told them I'd get a "real" road bike (that's where they ride) that would be more comfortable. 6-8 months later, I bought them a Specialized Allez, 48cm. It had 700c wheels, so we could share tires/tubes. It had a triple that took a long time for them to learn how to shift (should have gotten a compact double). We still have the bike and now my youngest has just started riding it. The older kids are now on some 55cm bikes.
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Old 08-22-11, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
That's alot for a 13-yr old!When my boys were 12 & 13, I bought them a Wally World MTB for like $60. If they rode that thing into the ground, and showed me that they were serious about riding, I told them I'd get a "real" road bike (that's where they ride) that would be more comfortable. 6-8 months later, I bought them a Specialized Allez, 48cm. It had 700c wheels, so we could share tires/tubes. It had a triple that took a long time for them to learn how to shift (should have gotten a compact double). We still have the bike and now my youngest has just started riding it. The older kids are now on some 55cm bikes.
I disagree, my 13 YO son is doing 20 miles 4x/weekdays and 30 on Sat. He is on a roadbike and loving it because he feels he can go much faster than being on a mountain bike. His philosophy on gears would be "if it gets too hard to pedal, shift, if it gets too easy, shift". So far it has been working out great for him. He started off doing 10 miles and after a few weeks, just wanted go farther and further. Just ensure that nutrition is being kept up and know that they need more calories than you.

This is an awesome thing, just ensure that it remains fun. Let them set the pace and do your base miles on your own.

Fuji and Specialized makes junior sized bikes but, at that height, I think she will do better on a regular road bike.
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Old 08-22-11, 08:47 AM
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I was referring to the amount of climbing in those 12 miles. Distance is fine. When my son was 12, he completed his first century. But I tended to avoid lots of climbing so we could get his legs/knees to develop without having to churn out the power (hence the triple crank).
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Old 08-22-11, 08:50 AM
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The budget is the hard part.

I wonder though, in your part of the country if there isn't a pretty good market in used bikes. If you could find a bike with 650cm wheels for her that would be ideal.

Failing that look for a women's specific design (WSD) bike in a small size.

Here's a link to a Trek Lexa that has an MSRP of $730 Maybe something like this?
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Old 08-22-11, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
If you could find a bike with 650cm wheels for her that would be ideal.

Failing that look for a women's specific design (WSD) bike in a small size.
At 5'4"? At that height, she can likely ride a full size 700c bike. I'd just look for something around 50cm size with decent components without going over the top since she will probably outgrow it in a year or two. 2300 or Sora would probably be plenty.

fwiw at age 12 I did the Solvang Prelude half century plus rode to the start and back from the RV park we stayed at (total of 63 miles). I had more energy back then than I will ever have again.
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Old 08-22-11, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
I was referring to the amount of climbing in those 12 miles. Distance is fine. When my son was 12, he completed his first century. But I tended to avoid lots of climbing so we could get his legs/knees to develop without having to churn out the power (hence the triple crank).
Ah, clarified.

Like you, the climbing was my concern at first, but the triple crank made short work of that and he likes to spin fast up the hills rather than mash. I watched him first to see if he can figure out what to do with hills...after he got to the top of his hill climb he already knew that it is easier to get to the top by using the easy gears. I try to lay off the instructional part and let him figure things out on his own. Safety, rest and nutrition are the things I emphasize.
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Old 08-22-11, 09:26 AM
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That age is a hard time to buy a bike for. You know they will likely hit a growth spurt soon and anything you buy could be outsized. It requires getting a bike that the child can grow with. A bike is easy to compensate for being too big for to a point, but if a bike is too big there is little than can be done to compensate. If you bought a bike now that was right on, and perhaps just a touch big for her, she would likely grow into it in no time. Later down the road you just run the seatpost up and get a longer stem.
As far as componetry, that is a hard one. If you really feel like she is going to continue doing this and is responsible enough to take care of the bike, buying quality outright is cheaper in the long run than going and finding the parts you want individually. IMO, anything below Tiagra is not worth messing with on a road bike that will be regularly ridden long miles. Later on you can buy a bigger frame and transfer the components over for a fraction of the cost of the new bike she might need. As I mentioned in the other thread, give this a minute and make sure she will still like it when the novelty wears off. You might have a future tour champion there, or she might be into something else three months from now.
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Old 08-22-11, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by mkadam68 View Post
That's alot for a 13-yr old!

When my boys were 12 & 13, I bought them a Wally World MTB for like $60. If they rode that thing into the ground, and showed me that they were serious about riding, I told them I'd get a "real" road bike (that's where they ride) that would be more comfortable. 6-8 months later, I bought them a Specialized Allez, 48cm. It had 700c wheels, so we could share tires/tubes. It had a triple that took a long time for them to learn how to shift (should have gotten a compact double). We still have the bike and now my youngest has just started riding it. The older kids are now on some 55cm bikes.
She's very athletic (swim team, gymnastics) and really did well...part of this is due to my having to ride pretty slowly for her to keep up. I'm being a bit selfish as I don't have a ton of free time to ride and I really *need* the exercise, but I would love for her to ride with me so I figured maybe a used road bike would allow her to ride faster and longer thus satisfying my selfishness and my desire to have my daughter ride with me!! We don't have many areas around us that aren't hilly, but even on the flats the little MTB was a chore for her to pedal while I coasted next to her only occasionally having to pedal a little....trying to kill 2 birds with one stone I guess....

thanks!
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Old 08-22-11, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
As I mentioned in the other thread, give this a minute and make sure she will still like it when the novelty wears off. You might have a future tour champion there, or she might be into something else three months from now.
This is why I'm thinking of something cheap at first. I found a 19" GMC Denali locally for $75, but while it's probably better than the MTB she's riding, I'm not sure it's a good value...I gotta believe that even something like that is worth $50 used when we're done with it....
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Old 08-22-11, 09:36 AM
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Please search that Denali before you buy it.

If you are thinking that route, at the very least look for some older steel bike with 27's that was quality entry level for it's day in decent shape...something along the lines of a World Sport (schwinn), old Fuji, there are tons of goodies to be had under $100 that will serve long after that POS will have failed on you.
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