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Cyclic Lurker
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Getting the bikes out of storage this spring I notice that my 11 yr old has outgrown her 20" (measured by tires) bike. It's time to pass it along to the 7 yr old. We were at the local sporting goods store last night for something unrelated (that she also outgrew) and took a look at some of the bikes available. I automatically assumed that I would be looking for a 24" bike as her next step. After looking at them for a few minutes, the salesman had me take a look at a bike they had on clearance. It was an "adult" sized mountain bike in a small frame size (13") with full size tires. Admittedly one thing that attracted me to the bike was that it was very similar in component setup to a Trek 4300 Disc for half the price.

The fit didnt seem much different from the "kids" bike. She had about 2 inches of standover clearance and her reach could be adjusted by altering the spacers and stem.

She liked the bike but did make a comment that the tires "seemed huge," which i guess would be normal coming from a 20" tire.

Anyone else been here? Are there drawbacks to making this jump? Other considerations? I have time to do some research, her birthday isn't until July.

Thanks for your help.
 

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That's a tough age. Kids grow so fast and sporadically at that age. Personally I could not justify spending big bucks on a bike that my son (age 13) will outgrow soon. Maybe he'll outgrow it in six months, or maybe it'll fit for a year or two. It's a crap shoot really. I went the route you are talking about; I got him an Iron Horse MTB at the local sporting goods store. Quality-wise it's a step above a Magna or Next wallyworld bike, but I got it on clearance for <$200 which is as much as I'd want to spend at this stage.
 

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Yes undies is right.
But if the bike fits, then I'd say go for it.
For my 11 year old , all the 24" frames were too high for him. I could have stepped up to the plus $200 bikes to get a name brand bike that did fit, but for how long?
I finally found a Kent 24"bike last year that did have a lower top tube for just under $100. It weighs a ton, but my bikes did at that age to. Ahh the memories of the old sears bike.
He was lucky if he road it more than 10 times around the block. So I'm glad I didn't spend that much. If your daughter and you plan to do some seroius riding and miles, I'd say it would be a good investment for the better bike.
 

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Department Store RB?

Same problem with my 12 year old. He likes speed (its genetic) and would like a road bike as rather than a MTB. The problem is that all the lower priced, small frame RBs are waaaay more money than lower priced MTBs. I wish there was a low price, department store road styled bike. Don't need low weight unobtainium frame, in fact a heavy, rugged frame would probably be better at his age.
 

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Just did this

My 10 year old outgrew her 20" wheel bike this (last) year.

Based on the same considerations you layed out. I skipped the 24" and jumped her up to a 26" with a small frame.

We purchased a Raleigh Mojave 2.0 in a women's specific XXS frame (aka 13" frame). It's had a few runs around the neighborhood and is working fine. I'm thinking she will likley be able to use this bike until "she's done with riding bikes" or "wants a real bike". If I'd gone with the 24" inch I'd be looking for another bike next season I think.

Scot
 

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Snowbird said:
I wish there was a low price, department store road styled bike.
How bout this: http://www.chucksbikes.com/store/
Look under Complete Bikes and find the "Piedrahita 24" Wheel Complete bike". It $500 for a child sized road bike. I'm thinking of getting one now even though my little ones are a few years from being able to ride it.
 

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RoadBikeReview's Member
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When I was in 4th or 5th grade, my 'rents got me a Giant Boulder. It was bought a bit big for me. It worked all the way up to summer after 7th grade when I upgraded to a 58cm road bike.
If your kid isnt putting on a ton of mileage, it isn't too big of a problem, and it isn't the prettiest thing, but you can just keep raising the saddle, until there's like a 2 inch saddle-handlebar drop. I could do 40 miles relatively comfortably, riding ahead of the family. I think as a kid until you start really logging the miles, you don't notice minute problems and misadjustments; if my saddle felt low, i'd undo the quick release and raise it till it felt right. God knows my form was probably horrible, but I was fine with it. Once you get to an age of around 14, 15, you're going to slow down in growth legwise - your torso will keep growing, but your legs are pretty much done (IE i'm a 32 inch inseam, and have been since 7th grade. now 10th grade, though i skipped a year, so 9th), so a frame size will stay pretty static. Might have to change the stem, but us kids are flexible, and we wont feel any problem unless we start putting on the mileage (IE on last year's charity ride, I think i stayed in the drops for 60% of it, though i had a 0" saddle-handlebar drop).
 

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CarbonFrame
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Same Same

We have had the same issues, albiet one of our kids has small hands so on the bigger frames some of the hand brakes were too big and awkward for her to use safely. If you can get them on th larger frame safely its a win/win!
 
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