Bike for my son

Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum

Help Support Rat Rod Bikes Bicycle Forum:

Joined
May 15, 2022
Messages
14
Reaction score
15
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi! We're a very adventurous family, we often go hiking or ride bikes to the mountains. Now it's time to buy the first mountain bike for my son. I and my husband found the best bikes https://www.bikethesites.com/best-20-inch-mountain-bikes-for-kids/

But unfortunately, they all look similar to us. I need more professional recommendations, the price is not important, the main thing is that my child is comfortable
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2022
Messages
18
Reaction score
37
Location
Columbia, Maryland
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Hi! We're a very adventurous family, we often go hiking or ride bikes to the mountains. Now it's time to buy the first mountain bike for my son. I and my husband found the best bikes https://www.bikethesites.com/best-20-inch-mountain-bikes-for-kids/

But unfortunately, they all look similar to us. I need more professional recommendations, the price is not important, the main thing is that my child is comfortable
Erin

Bike fit is not related to price, as you might have suspected. Price is largely a function of the value of the components that were used, and the brand name, of course. Cheap bikes mean cheap components, as a rule.

With that said, fit is a function of the child's size and the bike's geometry. While he sits on the seat, his knee on the down pedal should be just barely flexed (not fully extended and not a sharply bent knee). When you adjust the seat to his height vis-a-vis the pedals, the seat should not be at the top of the seat post (which means he may need a bigger bike). His feet should be able to reach the pedals, when the seat is in a low position (about an inch from the bottom position). He should be able to stand over the bike, with the bike between his legs and the bike straight up, with his feet flat on the ground.

This is NOT professional fitting advice - it was just basic advice on making sure you didn't buy something that was grossly oversized or undersized.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2016
Messages
1,117
Reaction score
1,860
Location
Chicago - far west burbs
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
I have 2 daughters, they ride both bmx and mountain bikes. We've done a lot of bike fitting 😀

I really suggest picking up used bikes, stick with quality brands, like trek, specialized, giant. tune them up, just resell as the kids grow.

What's your son's height, we can give some general recommendations.

Mountain bike are sized first by wheel size, 24" or 26" wheels. Then by frame size ( height of seat tube) to accommodate different inseam or leg length) as the frame gets taller it also gets longer.

Other components like stem length, and handlebar height or rise can be adjusted from year to year as a kid grows.
It's not as simple as just raising the seat.
 

MattiThundrrr

Rattus All Terrainus
Joined
Jul 16, 2019
Messages
9,233
Reaction score
17,344
Location
another time and place
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
I'll add to that: if your child is under age 11, there are also 20" wheel bikes. My oldest was on a Miele MTB with twenties, he rode it from age 7ish until about 10 when we moved him on to a 24" Rocky Mountain edge. He's kinda lanky
 
Joined
Apr 24, 2007
Messages
1,172
Reaction score
1,759
Location
Iowa
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Wow, on that link the OP posted, the editors choice for best bike is about as bad as kids bikes can be. It appears they did their clueless "research" for on line purchases without actually going to a quality bike shop. Clearly they don't know about good bikes. The title should have included "for cheapskake buyers".

I run a local bike coop where we get 500+ bikes every year including all those bikes in the review. Most are very heavy, more than half the weight of the intended riders. I challenge any adult to try to ride a bike that is half your weight or more. Those horrible bikes get tossed in our basement to get stripped for future recycling when we have the time. Most are cheap bsos with bearings that will wear out in 1 season, low grade cables that have so much drag that a child just can't operate the controls. Made of cheap steel. Unplated chains, derailleurs, freewheels that will rust solid if they get wet. Rode hard and put away wet is a quick end to the usefulness.

A good kids bike for actual dirt trail riding should be a name brand bike with an aluminum frame. Trek, Specialized, Gary Fisher, some Giants, etc. Generally name brand bikes are properly assembled and sold through dealers who don't sell on line. yeah, they will cost more but they work well and will hold up and can be passed from kid to kid or generation to generation. Bikes like a Trek 200 or 220 (24 inch mtb) is built to the same quality standards as their adult bikes.

20" bikes vary tremendously in design. Some are fall taller than others. Some are very low slung and will fit shorter children. One fit factor is crank arm length. Some of the better bikes have cranks with 2 pedal positions so they can be adjusted to fit the child. There are good bmx bikes (not sold at big box stores) but they are all 1-speed bikes with long crank arms and aren't suited for longer distance rides (bmx races are about 30 seconds long).

24" wheels are recommended for ages 10-14. However some 26" wheeled mountain bikes come in extra small frame sizes (12-13") and have about the same fit as 24" wheel bikes.. The advantage of larger wheels is they roll better on dirt trails.

Kids just don't need full suspension bikes. Even cheap shock forks add too much weight. Less weight with fatter tires will take up the bumps okay for kids on dirt trails.

Pound for pound, kids just aren't as strong as adults. I've seen to many getting off and pushing their bikes up hills. I've even seen that cant even do that with heavy bikes.

Frame sizes. Cheap bikes don't come in frame sizes. Good bikes sold at dealers do, mostly 26" or larger bikes come in a variety of sizes. Each manufacturer will decide what sizes to make and sell for each model. Some are labeled in inches, others just generic XS, S, M, L, XL. Taller frames are usually longer (seat to stem) and often have longer stems. Taller people aren't just taller in their legs, they also have longer torsos and longer arms so the bigger bikes need to be stretched out more. Every one is proportioned differently A decent local bike shop will work with customers to fit bikes by adjusting seat height, seat fore-aft, stem heights & lengths. Bike shops have a large inventory of stems and will swap them out to fit the rider often at no extra charge. Some brake levers are designed for small hands and can be adjusted for little fingers to reach.
 

Pauliemon

RRB Supporter
Pro Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2009
Messages
142
Reaction score
366
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
If you have no idea go to a bike shop. A quality shop can help you out with size, pricing, etc. They should have a few bikes around for your child to try out. First make a few calls to different shops to see what's around.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2015
Messages
114
Reaction score
194
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Since you’re still maybe shopping, what’s your location? I’m selling a nice XS Kona Nunu mountain bike in Sacramento.
 
Joined
Apr 1, 2014
Messages
4,253
Reaction score
6,081
Location
Wisconsin
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Wow, on that link the OP posted, the editors choice for best bike is about as bad as kids bikes can be. It appears they did their clueless "research" for on line purchases without actually going to a quality bike shop. Clearly they don't know about good bikes. The title should have included "for cheapskake buyers".

I run a local bike coop where we get 500+ bikes every year including all those bikes in the review. Most are very heavy, more than half the weight of the intended riders. I challenge any adult to try to ride a bike that is half your weight or more. Those horrible bikes get tossed in our basement to get stripped for future recycling when we have the time. Most are cheap bsos with bearings that will wear out in 1 season, low grade cables that have so much drag that a child just can't operate the controls. Made of cheap steel. Unplated chains, derailleurs, freewheels that will rust solid if they get wet. Rode hard and put away wet is a quick end to the usefulness.

A good kids bike for actual dirt trail riding should be a name brand bike with an aluminum frame. Trek, Specialized, Gary Fisher, some Giants, etc. Generally name brand bikes are properly assembled and sold through dealers who don't sell on line. yeah, they will cost more but they work well and will hold up and can be passed from kid to kid or generation to generation. Bikes like a Trek 200 or 220 (24 inch mtb) is built to the same quality standards as their adult bikes.

20" bikes vary tremendously in design. Some are fall taller than others. Some are very low slung and will fit shorter children. One fit factor is crank arm length. Some of the better bikes have cranks with 2 pedal positions so they can be adjusted to fit the child. There are good bmx bikes (not sold at big box stores) but they are all 1-speed bikes with long crank arms and aren't suited for longer distance rides (bmx races are about 30 seconds long).

24" wheels are recommended for ages 10-14. However some 26" wheeled mountain bikes come in extra small frame sizes (12-13") and have about the same fit as 24" wheel bikes.. The advantage of larger wheels is they roll better on dirt trails.

Kids just don't need full suspension bikes. Even cheap shock forks add too much weight. Less weight with fatter tires will take up the bumps okay for kids on dirt trails.

Pound for pound, kids just aren't as strong as adults. I've seen to many getting off and pushing their bikes up hills. I've even seen that cant even do that with heavy bikes.

Frame sizes. Cheap bikes don't come in frame sizes. Good bikes sold at dealers do, mostly 26" or larger bikes come in a variety of sizes. Each manufacturer will decide what sizes to make and sell for each model. Some are labeled in inches, others just generic XS, S, M, L, XL. Taller frames are usually longer (seat to stem) and often have longer stems. Taller people aren't just taller in their legs, they also have longer torsos and longer arms so the bigger bikes need to be stretched out more. Every one is proportioned differently A decent local bike shop will work with customers to fit bikes by adjusting seat height, seat fore-aft, stem heights & lengths. Bike shops have a large inventory of stems and will swap them out to fit the rider often at no extra charge. Some brake levers are designed for small hands and can be adjusted for little fingers to reach.
Very true. Also co-op bike shops are awesome.
 
Top