Bike Recommendations for 8 and 6-year old

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Bike Recommendations for 8 and 6-year old
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Posted: May 17, 2019 at 7:06 Quote
I just got my 06 Kona Stinky back up to snuff and learned a lot in the process; coming from BMX, shocks and derailleurs were intimidating, but it's running smoothly now (it's just a 40-pound anvil, but I've never ridden anything different-yet).

What I'd like to do now is get my boys out on the local trails (Harris lake, NC), which are pretty tame single-track, some roots and rocks, but a lot of up and down small hills, so their 16 and 18" single-speeds don't really cut it.

Looking for your recommendations on decent kids bikes. I've read a number of articles/comparos/reviews, and there's lots of great options in the $700-1000 range, but being that they're growing kids, I'm not ready to put down that kind of money yet. Looking in the sub-$400 is where I'm at; pre-owned is fine, but of course finding those can be a big matter of luck.

8 year old is 48", 6 year old is 42"
Would a 24" and 20" be about right? What do your kids like?

Posted: May 17, 2019 at 8:11 Quote
RedOctober13 wrote:
I just got my 06 Kona Stinky back up to snuff and learned a lot in the process; coming from BMX, shocks and derailleurs were intimidating, but it's running smoothly now (it's just a 40-pound anvil, but I've never ridden anything different-yet).

What I'd like to do now is get my boys out on the local trails (Harris lake, NC), which are pretty tame single-track, some roots and rocks, but a lot of up and down small hills, so their 16 and 18" single-speeds don't really cut it.

Looking for your recommendations on decent kids bikes. I've read a number of articles/comparos/reviews, and there's lots of great options in the $700-1000 range, but being that they're growing kids, I'm not ready to put down that kind of money yet. Looking in the sub-$400 is where I'm at; pre-owned is fine, but of course finding those can be a big matter of luck.

8 year old is 48", 6 year old is 42"
Would a 24" and 20" be about right? What do your kids like?

Difficult to give a specific recommendation when the best choice will be determined by finding a great deal on a used bike.

A general recommendation is to get the largest wheel size possible. Too-small wheels are the main reason why kids' bikes are squirrely, sketchy death traps. Larger wheels will be far more stable and safer. 29" wheels are only 5% larger than 27.5", yet people argue fiercely over it; a 20" wheel is more than 20% larger than a 16" wheel, plus the inevitably longer wheelbase.

Many female World Cup XC racers are around 5'0" - some are under - yet ride 29" wheels. I wouldn't go smaller than 24" and 20" for your kids and I'm confident they could handle 26" and 24". I was riding 700c (29") at that age by helping myself to my mother's road bike, which was far better on dirt than either of my own bikes!

Posted: May 17, 2019 at 11:52 Quote
Thanks, that's helpful. My 6-year-old is on the small size for his age, so still thinking a 20" for him. I know what I really need to do is visit some LBSs and stores and get a better feel for what their size and comfort level is.

Posted: May 17, 2019 at 12:24 Quote
RedOctober13 wrote:
Thanks, that's helpful. My 6-year-old is on the small size for his age, so still thinking a 20" for him. I know what I really need to do is visit some LBSs and stores and get a better feel for what their size and comfort level is.

Kids can learn to ride almost anything and they'll quickly grow into a big bike!

Posted: May 17, 2019 at 12:58 Quote
my son is very small for his age and I still got him on a 20" mtb last year when he was 5. It took a while of craigslist searching and asking people to take measurements. I got one with the shortest reach i could find and still needed to put a stubby stem on it and rotate the riser bars back instead of up. Another immediate change is that all the 20" bike we found came with grip shift so i put triggers on right away so he wasnt rotating hands when he was still getting use to his balance.

The hardest part was that even with the seat slammed and a lower profile seat he couldn't touch the ground like he could before so he had to re-learn how to get started and trust himself more once he was moving.

Posted: May 17, 2019 at 13:06 Quote
My 8 year old daughter has a 20" Specialized Riprock. Picked it up for s good price pre owned. It has massive volume 2.8" tyres which only need 10psi so it's super comfy and confidence inspiring for her.

Posted: May 17, 2019 at 13:34 Quote
The Vitus 20+ is a solid choice for a six year old, picked one up for my 6 year old recently and am very happy with it.

Posted: May 20, 2019 at 20:28 Quote
I’ve heard great things about spawn cycles in Squamish

Posted: May 21, 2019 at 3:12 Quote
Diamondback has their Line model that’s a 24” bike. For $400 it seems like a great value.

Posted: May 21, 2019 at 6:37 Quote
My kid is just turning 6 and killing it on a Giant XTC Jr 20in 7 speed full rigid for $250. I'd recommend it for sure and I know they sell larger XTC to that would fit your 8 year old (I think you're probably about right on with 24in there). Another thing to check out is Commencal, they sell some rad kids bikes for cheaper since they're consumer direct. https://www.comencalusa.com/Mobile/kids-c102x3044423

Posted: May 21, 2019 at 9:26 Quote
There seem to be more and more options for decent kids bikes popping up, which is great!

"The Bike Dads" website have some good reviews, although as has been mentioned, buying second hand, then reselling is the cheap way to do it.

Posted: May 23, 2019 at 9:20 Quote
I have a now 7 and 9 year old my 7 year old has been on a trek mt 60 for a year now. It's a good option for you. He is pretty small for his age also.
It has 2 different threaded holes for the pedals to tailor the fit to small and larger riders.

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