Kids Bike Recommendations

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Kids Bike Recommendations
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Posted: Oct 11, 2021 at 10:32 Quote
Hello! New to PB. I realize there are hundreds of topics here and thousands of posts. Forgive me as I am sure this topic has been discussed many times. Can someone please share a link with me to past discussions about kids bikes (age 9-14)?

If not, here is my question. I have two boys, age 9 and 11, who are obsessed with mountain biking right now. I had to buy a new bike (2021 SC Bronson, so STOKED!) to keep up with them. They are quickly outgrowing their 24" Specialized RipRocks. I want to get them a reasonably priced larger bike that will fit their needs both size wise and performance. They are very aggressive riders. Do I jump up to an adult sized 26" bike? Will this be too heavy for them as we start doing rides that require hill climbs? Is there a good transition bike for kids this age? Would love your advice. Not looking to spend $3-$5K per bike. Prefer something in the $700 - $1,500 range. Thanks for your input!

Posted: Oct 13, 2021 at 17:46 Quote
At that price I think you're going to want to stick to a hardtail as a full suspension bike under $1,500 is going to have too many compromises. The bike size they should be on is probably better dictated by their height as opposed to age. A lot of older/taller kids can fit on S and XS adult bikes, so that's where I'd start looking. I bought my 11 year old daughter (59" tall) an XS frame adult bike with 27.5" wheels this spring. She loves it and we ride trail together quite a bit. So many Kids bikes are way heavier than needed and have often limited drivetrain range for serious trail riding. I would try to skip the 26 inch bike and just get them on an adult bike with 27.5" wheels unless they fall well outside of the recommended size range. I think Trek and a few others even make XXS frame sizes and women's bikes are sometimes a bit smaller also.

The problem now and for the foreseeable future is finding a bike. The best bike will likely be one you can actually purchase. A couple models to maybe start looking at would be:

Giant Fathom 2 (27.5")
Marin San Quintin 2
Specialized Fuse 27.5
Norco fluid HT 1
Vitus Sentier 27 VR (best spec if you can buy it)
Polygon xtrada 7 (needs a dropper)
Trek Roscoe 7 2022 (out of budget)
2022 Polygon Siskiu D7 (This full suspension is a bit out of budget with unbelievable spec for the money. You might be able to justify if it will be ridden by two kids over several seasons. older then younger)

Here's a couple suggestions on parts you don't want to compromise on:

-Dropper seat post
-Hydraulic disc brakes (sram, tektro or Shimano)
-1 X 10/11/12 drivetrain (sram or Shimano)
-Air adjustable suspension fork 120mm or more
-tubeless ready wheels + tires
-try to get 110x15 mm front & 148x12 mm rear hubs for stiffness, durability and upgrade ability

Good luck! Let me know how it works out.

Posted: Oct 14, 2021 at 9:39 Quote
X2 on the XS or S adult bike. Their 24" bikes are already a "transition" size from kids to adults.

Posted: Oct 14, 2021 at 13:48 Quote
I bought my now 10.5 year old an adult extra-small 27.5 2018 Marin Hawk Hill 1 in 2019. I put a set of used 26" wheels on it, added an angle-set, shorter cranks, dropper and a smaller seat.

At the beginning of this season, I put the 27.5 wheels back on and next season I'll put the longer cranks and bigger seat back on and it should easily last him that season as well. So he'll get a good four years out of that bike and he's had an amazing time and progressed so much! I'll also then have a great modular bike to sell.

Really depends on their heights/size. My kid is a just a bit taller than average. I'd say your 11 year old should be on an adult 27.5 size small or medium depending on the bike and fit. Again depending on fit, your 9 year old could be on a small or extra small adult 27.5... maybe put a set of 26" wheels on it?

Posted: Oct 15, 2021 at 14:54 Quote
Thank you guys for your comments. I really appreciate it. My boys are tall for their age as I am 6'4" and they may end up taller than me. So will definitely look for Adult small and medium bikes. Was hoping for more options at the lower price range but may end up needing to spend more, obviously. We have a 13 year old in our neighborhood who bought his Davinci full suspension adult small bike for $700 and the kid absolutely RIPS! 40' road gaps with 11+ foot drop, big airs, drops, etc... so in his case his inexpensive bike doesn't appear to be holding him back. But I just upgraded from a very old and dangerous bike, by todays standards. I will see what I can find over the next few months and post updates when I find something.

Posted: Oct 17, 2021 at 6:08 Quote
My 10 yr old moved up to a Small frame 27.5 bike this year. At the time we picked it up he was 5ft1. He is 5ft 2 now.
We ditched the stock 170mm cranks and upgraded to shorter 155mm Canfield cranks. Narrowed the bars for his shorter than adult arms.
Went with a One Up dropper as you can adjust the air pressure to accommodate their lighter weight to be able compress it.

Posted: Oct 17, 2021 at 8:21 Quote
On the less expensive end look at GT stomper line. Polygon released youth bikes. Canyon has the young hero Neuron.

Posted: Oct 22, 2021 at 5:47 Quote
I bought an old Small Trek 4300 hardtail for my 9 yo son and put hydraulic brakes, conti tires, used XT 1x10 drivetrain, used bars, and Xfusion Enix air fork. total under 600 but I had some of the stuff. pretty solid bike now.

I found my 11 you daughter about a 6 year old Norco Revolver carbon hardtail in Small-29er for 1000. pretty solid build and she races middle school xc league with it. She is about 4'9 and its a bit big but manageable and should fit for several years.

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