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Bike Recommendations for my son

Old 01-01-13, 07:06 PM
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Bike Recommendations for my son

My son is almost 10 and I would like to buy a trail bike for his birthday. he is about 4'8" and I am 6'2". I grew a bunch after my sophomore year in high school, so I figure this bike will last him until he is driving. any suggestions on the size bike to buy and what type of gears, frame, etc, to look for. not looking to break the bank here but am comfortable with $500 on the high side. also would be interested in a used bike of the right kind. appreciate any help.
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Old 01-02-13, 08:47 AM
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I don't know that it's realistic to buy him a bike that will serve him well from age 10 to 16. In buying a bike, how it fits is the ultimate factor. (However, I have seen some pretty big kids riding really small BMX bikes and they don't seem to care much that their knees are only millimeters from hitting the handlebars.)

My general recommendation is almost ALWAYS to go to a local bike shop (LBS) and be sure it fits before you buy. But, that advice is generally given with the thought that the bike is going to be used for quite some time. I don't know that shelling out the price for new bike is the best way to go at his age. (But then again, I don't understand parents dropping big money for Air Jordans for tiny kids that will outgrow them in a few weeks) Still, that would be a good place to start as most would have used bikes also. They could get you an idea of the size you are looking for even if they don't have anything for you to buy.

Craigslist can be a goldmine of deals (sometimes) if you have a general sense of what he wants. You said a 'trail bike'--does that mean a mountain bike that has at least a front suspension or just a bike that can be taken off pavement? (I would DEFINITELY stay far, far away from ANY bike in your price range that has suspension on the front and back--I don't think you can get high quality full suspension bike in your price range.)

My advice would be to get a used hybrid. They are plentiful on Craigslist and usually about half what the new price was. They are great on the road/MUP and can also do some smooth dirt trails. I wouldn't suggest taking them over jumps but they are okay for some light off-road. Since he will be growing, I would try to find him one that is just on the verge of being too big and let him grow into it. You will know it's too big if the seat is all the way down and when he rides it his hips have to rock back and forth because he is having trouble reaching the bottom of the pedal stroke.

Here is a very generalized chart that might get you started.

Last edited by DTSCDS; 01-02-13 at 08:54 AM.
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