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1st bike for my son, need advice(12 posts)

1st bike for my son, need adviceTWD
May 8, 2003 11:45 AM
I'm sure this has been asked before, but the search didn't pull anything up, so here goes.

My son's 2nd birthday is coming up at the end of the month, and we want to get him his first 2 wheel bike.

My question is, are the 12" wheel kids bikes sold by the likes of Trek, Specialized, Giant etc.. any better than the el cheapo models sold at Toys "R" Us (assume these are made by Huffy or Pacific. The Trek and Giant models sell for like $120 compared to about $50 for the ones at Toys R Us.

So is there any quality difference, or are you just paying for the name on the sticker? The only thing I saw that was noticably different was that the Trek model had an allen bolt at the seatpost clamp compared to a regular nut on the cheap models.

Any other options or opinions?

MY 2cSteve_0
May 8, 2003 11:57 AM
generally, quality translates to durability and longevity.

I presume at 2, he will not be doig a lot of singletrack, or multiple 100 mile weeks. Rule out durability.

Also,I presume he will outgrow 12 inch wheels rather quickly. Rule out longevity.

Go for the department-store bikes; the same ones we all grew up with, which worked just fine.
He did 130 miles last week withTWD
May 8, 2003 12:12 PM

So all of it was sitting in the bike trailer with me towing it but heck, I figure he'll be up to doing a century of his own by the end of the summer.

Ok, so century = 100 yards up and down the driveway. I figure you already have the "metric" century. Why not the "toddler century". And the toddler Brevet. Trip to the park and back maybe?

As for the durability, I should have that this is our first child with one on the way, maybe a third down the road a couple of years. Hoping to pass it down from one to the next. If I have a daughter, she aint gonna be allowed to ride no stinking pink barbie mobile.

I was leaning towards the department store model anyways, unless anyone has any knowlegdge that the hubs or bb is any better on the more expensive models.
We used tricycles until they were 4.dzrider
May 8, 2003 12:03 PM
Then we got used bikes - usually from our LBS. Suburban kids don't seem to do as much damage to their bikes as rural and urban kids do to theirs. Schwinn kids bikes were great to us. Close to department store prices, none of them broke, and the boys never cared.
we waited another yearJS Haiku Shop
May 8, 2003 12:09 PM
of course he has plenty of wheeled devices at home, but has shown little (actually zero) interest in pedaling. i think he's going to be one of those downhill MTB punks. :)

this year we bought him a $29 12-inch huffy from walmart. he's a big boy for 3, and will grow out of it quickly. i figure once he starts pedaling and enjoying a bike, i'll go for the $120 giant or trek in the next wheelsize from the LBS.

at 2, don't blow $90+ on a bike that won't make a difference--i agree with already posted responses re: quality and longevity, neither of which are an issue at 2 years of age (unless he's a phenom!).

good luck!

Downhill Punk....LOLTWD
May 8, 2003 12:21 PM
Yeah, I'm worried about that too. My boy loves everthing about bikes. From the time he could crawl, he would scoot across the floor and spin the pedals, or grab onto the greasy chain.

He loves watching mtb videos and TDF videos with me.

He has a little plastic tricycle now, and a couple of weeks ago, he saw some local kids doing wheelies, so, next thing you know he's doing wheelies on his trike.

Watch out, he'll be a baggy pants downhill punk any day now. Oh well, what should I expect, I grew up racing bmx and motocross, transitioned to mtb, then road, and cross. I'll take anything with two wheels, it's all good.
Yard SalesGregory Taylor
May 8, 2003 12:42 PM
With my son, we went the yardsale route for his first bike, a Ross with 16" wheels. It's actually a pretty nice bike - Shimano coaster hub and stove enameled rims. Lots of life left in it yet.

At any age under about 5, I can't see spending too much money. Most 12" wheeled bikes are pretty horrid, but they do the job. The truly bad ones use plastic bushings (instead of metal ball bearings) on things like the crank and headset. Stay away from those.
May 8, 2003 12:52 PM
Two wheels nothin. What kind of father are you if you don't get him titanium? And at $700 dollars who can pass up such a deal.
re: 1st bike for my son, need adviceMWM
May 8, 2003 1:00 PM
I've been through this several times now. Buy Toys"R"us for the 12", 16" and maybe even 20". Plan to adjust & reassemble the bike yourself even if you paid the $10 for assembly. Make sure the bike you choose has decent training wheels and seems safe. I'd also consider the cool tricycle by Giant if my kids were still 2. Hope you have a fun birthday and don't forget a helmet.
get him a Big Wheelgtx
May 8, 2003 2:01 PM
much cooler and it'll really piss off the neighbors. I personally would wait another year or two on the bike.
or better yet, a Green Machinegtx
May 8, 2003 2:05 PM
I had one of these as a kid and it ruled
May 9, 2003 5:32 AM
Trying to convert them to 'bent riders at such a young age!

Man, I didn't know they still made those--I've got a young'un on the way. Now, I can't wait!