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mstone
08-26-2012, 11:55 AM
I'm in the market for a 20 inch boy's bike, and starting to despair. There just don't seem to be many manufacturers who sell anything other than nobbies and suspension forks, which is just not the right bike for riding on streets or trails, and of those that do, I can't find anyone local who actually carries one to try out. (E.g., Specialized has a "Street" model, but none of the local dealers lists it.) Any suggestions?

It's another chapter in my "the industry has failed normal people" book. :-)

eminva
08-26-2012, 12:42 PM
What are you looking for, specifically?

It is possible to ride a mountain bike on roads and (paved) trails. There will be a difference in speed and pedaling effort, but most kids aren't looking for performance. My son has always ridden a mountain bike and it works out well because he likes (and seeks out) a variety of surfaces to ride on. Now that he's getting older, he'd like to try a road bike, but he is big enough for standard adult models.

I do wish, however, that they sold single speed bikes for kids. When my son was younger, he'd drop his bike in front of the door and not really pay attention to which side was up. Thank heavens for the mechanics at Spokes, who earned my undying gratitude.

Liz

mstone
08-26-2012, 01:14 PM
Basically something without a suspension fork that will add a couple of pounds and no functionality, smoother tires, room for a water bottle, a few gears. Not a full-on skinny tire racing bike, but something more optimized for the kind of gravel trail/street riding we do as opposed to technical MTB trails. As I look at kids bikes, I'm fascinated that they're about as heavy as mine; there definitely seems to be room to cut some weight without compromising strength. My son can do a solid 8-10 miles on his 16 inch, but I feel like he'd be a bit happier on hills if he wasn't hauling around a bike a third of his weight. I didn't worry about this when we got my daughter's bike, and experience with the pros and cons of that one have me thinking a bit differently on this one (especially since we have two boys and I'm liable to have this bike for quite a while.)

mstone
08-26-2012, 01:18 PM
With regard to the single speeds, I've had the opposite problem of finding something with good gearing. May be a matter of what size you're looking at, I guess. Mostly it probably goes back to my original lament about finding a store with a good selection. :)

Greenbelt
08-26-2012, 05:51 PM
1590

Pretty well equipped youth CX bike. Could put on slicks I think.

eminva
08-26-2012, 06:19 PM
Wow, that's a nice bike, Greenbelt. I don't have a "baby Jake" anymore but maybe that would meet the needs of the OP?

And mstone, I hear you about the weight. We have to keep the bikes in the basement and getting it up and down the steps is a major ordeal.

Good luck.

Liz

mstone
08-26-2012, 07:00 PM
In response to some PMs, here's some of the (few) things I've found:

http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/ace-203

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bikes/earlylaunch/hotrockboys/hotrock206speedstreetboys

http://www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/kids/mesa-20-boys

Disclaimer: having not actually seen any of these, I don't know if they're any good. There seem to be a lot more choices once you hit 24" (options from fuji & specialized, and trek & diamondback & kona & felt, etc.) I have a question out to Greenbelt about whether the one above is a 20 or 24. :)

Greenbelt
08-26-2012, 07:34 PM
24" I think, alas.

OneEighth
08-26-2012, 09:22 PM
Redline also makes a very nice 24" cx rig for kids. Not really helpful if you are looking for 20".
I bought a used 20" that came without shocks. And then slapped on non-knobbies and stripped off everything it did not absolutely need. It was still chunky, but at least it had 7 speeds and faster tires.

FFX_Hinterlands
08-27-2012, 09:05 AM
I noticed over the weekend that Torker makes a 20" geared bike, but I don't remember if it's a mtn . My twins are on 20" bmx-style bikes (single speed). My other child is on a 24" bike from trek with a loop frame, 7 speeds, and is equipped with two places to mount the pedals on the cranks (variable crank length).

mstone
08-27-2012, 09:46 AM
that torker interurban looks interesting. did you notice on the web site, or did you actually see one?

FFX_Hinterlands
08-27-2012, 12:39 PM
I have a Torker bike (Cargo-T). It can be ordered at any bike shop that deals with Seattle Bike Supply (lots of 'em). I have not yet seen an interurban in the wild.
I was thinking about the "next bike" for my twins when I looked on the website.

mstone
08-27-2012, 01:06 PM
I have a Torker bike (Cargo-T). It can be ordered at any bike shop that deals with Seattle Bike Supply (lots of 'em). I have not yet seen an interurban in the wild.
I was thinking about the "next bike" for my twins when I looked on the website.

Yeah, that's pretty much the problem: any of these bikes can be ordered, but can you poke at one & try it out somewhere? (Let alone compare some side-by-side.) :( I guess the LBSs don't want to even try to compete with walmart for youth bikes. (Can't blame them.)

ShawnoftheDread
11-22-2012, 07:07 PM
Raleigh's 2013 catalogue has a nice aluminum 6-speed with street tires called the Rowdy. It looks like a freestyle/BMX but geared. I think Spokes Etc. and REI both stock Raleighs.

mstone
11-22-2012, 07:32 PM
The raleigh looks like another interesting choice. I ended up going for the specialized street (sight unseen) just a couple of days ago. I'll report after Christmas how it works out in practice.

jopamora
11-28-2012, 05:24 PM
How do you find the willpower not to just give it to him now? Got my son a balance bike for his 2nd bday next month and it is killing me not to just see him try it out.

Bilsko
11-28-2012, 06:27 PM
How do you find the willpower not to just give it to him now? Got my son a balance bike for his 2nd bday next month and it is killing me not to just see him try it out.

Ha! Amazon just delivered my daughter's Balance Bike (Skuut) for Christmas this afternoon. I CANT WAIT TO PUT IT TOGETHER AND TRY IT OUT. Err... have my daughter try it out.

mstone
11-28-2012, 07:26 PM
How do you find the willpower not to just give it to him now? Got my son a balance bike for his 2nd bday next month and it is killing me not to just see him try it out.

Pragmatism: I have three kids and a finite amount of space; if I give him the bike now, I'll need to come up with something else for Christmas.

GuyContinental
11-29-2012, 08:08 AM
Ha! Amazon just delivered my daughter's Balance Bike (Skuut) for Christmas this afternoon. I CANT WAIT TO PUT IT TOGETHER AND TRY IT OUT. Err... have my daughter try it out.

Quick tip- if your daughter is on the young and or short inseam side, assemble the Skuut with the "top tube" / plank upside down and drill a quick 1/4" hole for the new seat position. It drops the stand-over by 2"+ inches beyond the lowest OE seat position and gives the bike a super-cruiser look...

vvill
11-29-2012, 09:12 AM
I CANT WAIT TO PUT IT TOGETHER AND TRY IT OUT. Err... have my daughter try it out.

The first bike I put together on my Park Tool stand was my son's super elite Toys R Us bike.

But he hardly rides it :(

Bilsko
11-29-2012, 09:24 AM
Quick tip- if your daughter is on the young and or short inseam side, assemble the Skuut with the "top tube" / plank upside down and drill a quick 1/4" hole for the new seat position. It drops the stand-over by 2"+ inches beyond the lowest OE seat position and gives the bike a super-cruiser look...

Thanks for this tip- its still in the box for now. She's only just under 19 months old...so I suspect that if there's any chance that she'll use it soon I'll need to do this. I think they're officially recommended for 2yrs and up, but I'm hoping to get a jump on that.

GuyContinental
11-29-2012, 09:29 AM
The first bike I put together on my Park Tool stand was my son's super elite Toys R Us bike.

But he hardly rides it :(

I feel your pain... can't pry mine loose from his Skuut. Even after I completely dismantled and overhauled a "curb-alert" 12" Giant for him:

2110

FWIW, if I never rebuild another coaster brake, it will be totally fine by me.

GuyContinental
11-29-2012, 09:32 AM
Thanks for this tip- its still in the box for now. She's only just under 19 months old...so I suspect that if there's any chance that she'll use it soon I'll need to do this. I think they're officially recommended for 2yrs and up, but I'm hoping to get a jump on that.

My brother got my little dude one at 1 yr, I set it up and let him crawl all over it as a playroom artifact for nearly 1.5 years (age 2.5) before he could touch the ground, even with the lower stand-over... that said, he may be a dwarf so YMMV

dasgeh
11-29-2012, 01:18 PM
Ha! Amazon just delivered my daughter's Balance Bike (Skuut) for Christmas this afternoon. I CANT WAIT TO PUT IT TOGETHER AND TRY IT OUT. Err... have my daughter try it out.

When my husband put together the Balance Bike for my daughter's 2 yo bday (October), he stopped in the middle of set up and said "I can't take this bike seriously -- it's too small"...

BTW, it seems like we have a critical mass of ~2 year olds around here... We should have a kid friendly happy hour.

Tim Kelley
11-29-2012, 01:23 PM
BTW, it seems like we have a critical mass of ~2 year olds around here... We should have a kid friendly happy hour.

Playground meetup?

Bilsko
11-29-2012, 01:28 PM
Playground meetup?

AmericanCyclo and I (and I think vvill too) had played around with the idea last summer. Now that I'm all set up with Bike + trailer, I'm certainly up for it. Cooler weather makes it a bit harder (not the biking, of course, the playground-ing) but still possible.
I'm in DC (MacArthur Blvd) so it'll be a bit tough for me to venture too far into VA and keep the little one occupied in the trailer, but I think I could do about 5 or 6 miles each way without her getting too restless and upset.

Bilsko
11-29-2012, 01:32 PM
BTW, it seems like we have a critical mass of ~2 year olds around here... We should have a kid friendly happy hour.

With the daylight hours receding, we may need to make it more of an executive lunch (well, maybe not *three* martinis) or save it for Spring-time and later sunsets.

Tim Kelley
11-29-2012, 01:32 PM
Highland Park? http://goo.gl/maps/cIY9A

Henry Clay Park? http://goo.gl/maps/60AG8

Other suggestions?

dasgeh
12-02-2012, 09:40 PM
Hayes Park is just off the Custis -- http://goo.gl/maps/8pZvf

Our toddler wants to do a holiday lights ride. We could meet up an afternoon next weekend, and those willing to stay late-ish could do a holiday lights ride. There are plenty of good houses within an easy ride of Hayes Park or Clay Park (I'm less familiar with what's in Lyon Village, near Highland Park). If next weekend doesn't work, we'll our until after the holidays.

It looks like the weather may cooperate next Saturday.

Steve
12-03-2012, 08:18 AM
BTW, it seems like we have a critical mass of ~2 year olds around here... We should have a kid friendly happy hour.

I 100% thought that the sentence above was going to end in, ".....We should have a balance bike race."

vvill
12-03-2012, 08:58 AM
I like the idea of a kid-friendly happy hour. But the Chasin' Tails place near Tri360 is probably about the only one I could ride to with either/both kids I think. That said I don't mind doing a hybrid thing - driving and then riding.

I can ride two of my kids' trikes/bikes - but not far enough to log the mileage on Strava.

ShawnoftheDread
12-14-2012, 11:24 AM
This seems like a good deal. 20" geared Trek kid's bike.
http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/bik/3476615607.html