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Biking for Younger Kids(2 posts)

Biking for Younger Kidskyvdh
Aug 28, 2001 5:32 PM
Anyone have suggestions for getting younger kids (9-12 yr olds)into biking. There don't seem to be many good choices that are affordable for this age group. I modified a 20" Huffy into a 4 speed but the bike is heavy, has knobby tires, and lousy seat for any extended riding for my son. He does really well on it but can't get far from home before he runs into too many hills to still be able to make it home. Hard to invest in a small frame road bike because he will outgrow it so quickly. I do have plenty of kids that will follow him that it might be worth investing in something a bit nicer but was wondering if anyone else had found ways to include kids in biking beyond around the block kinds of stuff. What might I expect to pay for a used tandem? Would this even be an option? Any suggestions are welcome.
By the way, enjoyed hearing from those of you who accomplished some of your goals for 2001. Nice thread Kristin.
re: Biking for Younger KidsMikeC
Aug 28, 2001 5:53 PM
I have 6 year old and 8 year old daughters. Both started riding without training wheels at between 4 and 5 years, mostly because they wanted to ride with me. The "riding with Daddy" thing became a big motivator, and my wife and I found ourselves having to come up with ways to help them maintain a reasonable pace.
We bought the 8 year old a Trek Mountain Track 220, with 24" wheels and 21 speeds. The 6 year old got a Schwinn Speedster with 7 speeds and 20" wheels. We also outfitted both bikes with Cateye Mity 3 computers (one purple, one green) from Nashbar for about $16 each. The computers provide additional motivation.
We now frequently do family rides in the range of 15 miles or so, averaging between 10 and 12 mph, and we're all doing the MS150 this fall.
We had a tagalong for the younger child, be she only used it for one year. Don't be too hesitant about using an ATB style bike for kids. Their fine motor skills are best suited to a non-twitchy bike, and they'll always find a way to ride it on terrain that doesn't suit a road bike. Yes, they're heavy, but with the right gearing, the kids do remarkably well.