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Thread: LittleBig bikes - question for the #kidical folks

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    Default LittleBig bikes - question for the #kidical folks

    Any #kidical parents have one of these / seen one in action?

    Thinking this is my next bike purchase. (to be followed immediately by a longtail and a geared CX build)

    https://www.littlebigbikes.com/

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    Now that my two are through the balance bike stage and riding pedal bikes, I regret not just getting them regular bikes and taking the pedals off until they were ready. But the LittleBig bikes look awesome. And they have hand brakes. My kids both had trouble getting started with the coaster brakes, though they're doing fine now.

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    Those littlebig bikes look cool, especially if converting it to pedal doesn't imply coaster brake (but not sure how they side-stepped CPS regulations on that). (Edit: now I see they are UK bikes, so that's why no coaster brake. Yeah, if you can import them from the UK -- go for it! The kids bikes in Europe are so much nicer.)

    My only thought is that balance bikes like Strider are really light (~6lbs), which is an important consideration. So it depends on how young/small you want to start the kid. I'd also say that after my son outgrew the Strider he was more than ready for pedals; I don't see the need for the "larger balance bike" phase. Brakes on a balance bike make sense, though; Arlington is hilly.

    I feel like @GuyContinental has experience with a different convertible balance/pedal bike.

    Edit2: specifically on question of weight. Here was there comment on bikerumor: "Yes the bike is light. With the alloy frame, bars, stem, seatpost etc, the total weight for the pedal bike is 7.1kg". So 15.6lbs (with pedals), not sure how much the balance bike weighs alone. And while that's not a bad weight for a pedal bike, it's not exceptionally light; my son's larger 14" Isla weighs ~13.5 lbs (the UK version weighs 12.4 lbs, not having a coaster brake). Again, probably not a reason not to get what looks to be a pretty awesome long-term solution, but worth noting.
    Last edited by hozn; 04-27-2015 at 12:19 PM.

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    I WISH I could find a decent little kid's bike with no coaster brake!!! I don't understand why I need to teach him one way, just to "un-teach" him about coaster brakes in a couple years....

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    Coaster brake is a topic that bike dorks get really invested in but will not change at CPSC because the general public doesn't care. I had coaster brakes as a kid. I managed to figure out hand brakes when I got older, with no emotional scarring. So far 2/3 of my kids have also. Is this a first-kid sort of thing? Like running around the house childproofing and freaking out about every possible problem for a new baby (how do I hold the baby! how do I diaper the baby! how do I dress the baby!) before understanding just how indestructible children are? (BTDT) I expect that in 10 years anyone worried about coaster brakes will be able to look back and shrug.

    As far as the subject bike, it looks like a pretty cool idea. Is it worth $300? I don't know--that's a heck of lot of money to spend on a kids' bike, and you can probably get a balance bike + pedal bike for less. It's pretty heavy for a 2 year old to hold up, so I'm not sure how well it would actually work as a balance bike.

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    Yeah, you could definitely get a balance bike + pedal bike for less. (But I'd be pretty hypocritical if I wasn't willing to shell out $300 a bike that *should* last at least 3 years.)

    My issue w/ the coaster brake is just that it's an encumbrance on a kid's bike. It makes it significantly harder for kids to get started from a stop, especially on hills; it adds a lot of resistance in the wheels/hub; and it adds significant weight. For no benefit.

    It doesn't bother me enough to import an bike from the UK. Realistically, this is only a problem for a year or two. My son isn't going to have logged enough miles on his bike to really make it worth getting too worked up over and he certainly has never complained (other than maybe a little about the starting-off annoyance). Of course, he has a hand brake for the front, so he won't really have to unlearn anything; he hardly uses the coaster brake. But it strikes me as a pretty silly regulation nonetheless.

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    Yup, it's a stupid rule but not important enough to be worth the effort to fix. It's probably not even in my top 3 stupid CPSC bike regulation issues.

    Edit to add: I'm also in favor (de facto) of spending money on kids bikes, but I'm not convinced that something that small will actually get enough use to make it worthwhile--I just can't see making epic trips with a 4 year old under his own power, regardless of the wheels. (Kids get tired, and if you tell them to HTFU they just cry.)
    Last edited by mstone; 04-27-2015 at 02:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Yup, it's a stupid rule but not important enough to be worth the effort to fix. It's probably not even in my top 3 stupid CPSC bike regulation issues.
    Now you have to share your Top 10 Stupid CPSC Bike Regulation Issues.

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    My 6yo twins went from balance bike to 16" pig iron bikes to 20" Al frames. The 16s and 20s had coaster brakes but I put hand brakes on them all and never breathed a word about coaster brakes. They had/have no idea what they are or that they are on their bikes. Totally hand brake only riders..

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    I'm kind of sensitive right now to crappy coaster brakes since in the last few weeks I've watched both my kids struggle to start on the pedal bikes and have extra trouble because of the coaster - I think hozn's post above does a better job of explaining than I would. But I agree, it's not the biggest deal.

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