LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Hogbert
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LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Hogbert » Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:06 pm

I am no super cyclist however I fully appreciate quality in a bike. My wife and I both like to cycle with our daughter as a family and we camp alot with bikes too.

My daughter turns 7 in a week and for Xmas we want to get here a new bike. She is competent on her 16" bike and small for her age, however just getting to the end of the 16" life. We could go longer but the bike is holding her back.

When we cycle rough trails or hills really knock the wind out of her and she ends up quitting on hills (with much disappointment) whilst mum and dad downshift and power up!

My research has me at the following bikes for the following reasons:
Requirements are Lightweight, solid fork, Quality parts with gears and handlebar brakes.

The two leaders in my research are these:

Trek Superfly 20 https://www.trekbikes.com/au/en_AU/bikes/mountain-bikes/kids-mountain-bikes/superfly-20/p/1575000-2018/
Frog 52 or 55 depending on what I can get her on. https://www.frogbikes.com/lightweight-kids-bikes/hybrid-bikes/

They are both similar price and spec however I thought some folk with more cycling knowledge prowess or kid bike experience could help me make the decision or offer advice t help?

Sorry for the long winded post but my research has been exhausted trying to compare and find a winner.

Hogbert

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Duck!
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Duck! » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:35 pm

Also check out the Liv (Giant's female sub-brand) Enchant 20" models:
https://www.liv-cycling.com/au/bikes-enchant-20-24-2018
I've linked the whole 20" & 24" range, but the 20" would be the next step up from your daughter's current 16" bike. The "standard" Enchant 20 has 7-sp. gears, which gives a reasonable spread and progression, but the suspension fork adds weight with minimal benefit, plus uses hand brakes for both wheels, which can sometimes be a bit difficult for smaller hands to work effectively, even though they are reach adjustable.

The Street model has a 3-sp. internal gear hub, which is less prone to damage than derailleur gears and easier to operate because it doesn't matter if you're pedalling or not to change gears, but doesn't have the overall gear range, plus larger jumps between gears than the 7-sp. However, perhaps importantly for a smaller person, it has a foot-operated rear brake like her current 16" bike, and the rigid fork will be lighter than the suspension unit on the other model. The frame on both is aluminium, so not absurdly heavy, although they are built to last, so not super flyweights either.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby twowheels » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:48 pm

First consideration for me would be if the bike is available locally so it can be test ridden for size/comfort. From this aspect I'd guess more likely to find Trek in store. We got a 20" Giant MB for our daughter at a similar age, it had susp forks, added heaps to weight, rigid forks an advantage IMO. Normally I don't like grip shifters but for young kids they are usually a bit easier than rapidfires, unless the Frog variety is sized specifically for kids hands. The Trek grip shifter could easily be changed to a friction shifter later.
With any gear shifters though it can take some kids a long time to get the idea of how to use them correctly, don't expect too much, too soon.

Duck was writing as I was. I'll add this. My daughter has never been into pink, so appreciated the black Giant. This made it easier to pass on to someone else later. Pink bikes can have limited appeal and lifespan. My daughter then went directly from the 20" bike to small frame 26" bike, which made life easier for us also.

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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby slowK » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:54 am

We went through the same process a few months ago for our 7 year old. We went with the Trek Superfly. It was the lightest by far of all the models we looked at (and he liked the green colour). It was surprising that some bikes were up to 2kg heavier.

It's been great. He's getting the hang of gears, which has made cycling up hills easier.

Sparx
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Sparx » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:50 am

If it's a mtb you are looking for have a look at the Commencal range - soon to be available in Aus.

This is an epic kiddies bike I reckon - looks very well sorted.

https://www.commencal-store.com.au/ramo ... 2x23864423

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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby nickdos » Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:24 am

My kids have had a few different models of the Byk bikes:

https://www.bykbikes.com

They make decent quality, light weight bikes that are designed for kids (not scaled down adult bikes). A lot of LBS sell them and you can get them online as well (Bike Bug sell and import them). They don't publicise the wheel sizes of their models as they don't want buyers to pigeon-hole their bikes with the majority of other brands - they tend to use bigger wheels for a given frame size than most other brands, which kind of makes sense these days (think 29er revolution). So go off their size chart and don't use wheel size as a proxy for the model/frame size.

Some of the pros:
- light frame and no unnecessary heavy suspension
- decent gearing
- appropriate crank lengths
- good resale value
- light rims and good brakes

cons:
- internal hub models have both rear hand brake and back-pedal/coaster brakes (often not mentioned in specs)
- bit expensive (but I've sold 2 at a relatively small loss)
- some models have unusual rim size so can be hard to get spare tubes

RobertL
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby RobertL » Fri Oct 20, 2017 10:21 am

Sparx wrote:If it's a mtb you are looking for have a look at the Commencal range - soon to be available in Aus.

This is an epic kiddies bike I reckon - looks very well sorted.

https://www.commencal-store.com.au/ramo ... 2x23864423



A "Ramones" bike?

Hey, hey, let's go!
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Mububban
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Mububban » Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:13 pm

Hogbert wrote:Requirements are Lightweight, solid fork, Quality parts with gears and handlebar brakes.



Light for a kids bike will be around the 10kg mark.

Reid Viper 20” - $269
https://www.reidcycles.com.au/reid-viper-20.html
10kg, 1x7 drivetrain, smooth easy grip shifter, 1.75” tyres. My daughter has the 24” model and she loves it.

ByK e-450 - check Gumtree and pay under $200, most will be single speed but some come with 3 internal gears (my son has this currently), also 10kg, slimmer 1.3” tyres.
Retail they are low $400s.

Apollo Neo kids bikes are the same style - light(ish) alloy frame, rigid fork, 1x6 drivetrain, 1.75” tyres. Retail is again $400ish so try Gumtree.


FWIW, we pooled money with grandparents and bought 2 of the ByK bikes for my kids and spent almost $900 doing so a couple of years ago. The 16" bike has gone to their cousin, and the 20" went from my eldest to my youngest, and she got the Reid 24". She actually likes the Reid more than the ByK, largely because the 7 gears seem more "grown up" and she's not an overly girly girl, so the green and black colour scheme looks cool to her.
My son also wanted a 20" mountain bike, so I bought him one off Gumtree for $85 and it's brilliant for the money.

Kids grow so fast, and bikes are so expensive, if you're on a budget consider getting something second hand, they're often in excellent condition because lots of kids don't ride lots and lots of k's. Often new handlebar ends to repair any drop damage will make it look as-new.
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby twowheels » Fri Oct 20, 2017 4:57 pm

The 20" giant mb i mentioned above was secondhand, near new. I suspect it was stolen from the front of a lbs. Got it at the police auction, cheap. Def go 2nd hand and hand it down.

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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby ValleyForge » Fri Oct 20, 2017 7:05 pm

Another vote for Byk. Include my three kids with those votes. My oldest has graduated from his to a Cube, and now a Focus.
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StevOz
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby StevOz » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:11 pm

Sparx wrote:If it's a mtb you are looking for have a look at the Commencal range - soon to be available in Aus.

This is an epic kiddies bike I reckon - looks very well sorted.

https://www.commencal-store.com.au/ramo ... 2x23864423


I can only concur, that looks the best, perhaps a few dollars more then most, still looks a very solid option and must have at least a 50% resale / pass on value after years of usage, amusing proper maintenance.

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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby ValleyForge » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:35 pm

StevOz wrote:must have at least a 50% resale / pass on value after years of usage, amusing proper maintenance.

Having gone through a lot of kids bikes and worked in an LBS many years ago, kids bikes are hugely price driven. Most parents can't see any value in a new half-decent bike let alone consider the resale value.

Get the bike your kid enjoys riding the best. And that's been Byks for us.
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slowK
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby slowK » Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:48 pm

Agree about the Byk range. We have the 350 which was great, and thought we would just get the the next size up (the 450). But when we compared the 450 vs the Superfly, the Trek was noticeably lighter.

I think you need to evaluate each bike on its merits, and not assume that all bikes from the same company are great. To counter the above experience supporting the Trek, the opposite happened to my nephew. He went from the 20 inch Superfly to the next size up Superfly, which was significantly heavier (although it does have front suspension forks, which look cool but arguably don't function that well).

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Mububban
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Mububban » Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:45 pm

slowK wrote:when we compared the 450 vs the Superfly, the Trek was noticeably lighter.


What was the weight of the Trek?

I weighed our 350 x2i at 8.85kg, and our 450 x3i at 10.21kg.
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby slowK » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:28 am

Mububban wrote:
slowK wrote:when we compared the 450 vs the Superfly, the Trek was noticeably lighter.


What was the weight of the Trek?

I weighed our 350 x2i at 8.85kg, and our 450 x3i at 10.21kg.


Just went and weighed them. I only have bathroom scales, but our Byk 350 (1 gear) is 8.5kg, and the Superfly is 9.0kg.

The Superfly is quoted as 8.1kg - goes to show you can't trust listed bike weights! That being said, it did feel significantly lighter to my wife and I compared to the Merida, Byk and 1 other brand (maybe Cannondale, or Focus - can't remember) that we picked up at the LBS.

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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Mugglechops » Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:13 am

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Mububban
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Mububban » Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:41 pm

Holy cow, $1450 for a 5-8 year old's bike. I guess if you're made of money, why not? I wonder how many they sell.

Mind you I almost choked checking out the Commencal link above. $2500 for a 20" dual sus with 100mm rear and 120mm front. A 20" bike!!! :D
If I won lotto and brought that home my 7 year old son would have a heart attack :D
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Mugglechops » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:31 pm

Yes crazy pricing. But it looks like a quality bike.
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MattyK
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby MattyK » Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:56 pm

Been in about the same boat, but for a 9 yo / 24" bike. Does OK on a 3 speed hub gear, but bigger hills are still a grind - not enough range.

I would look at a 7 speed bike (been checking Reid Viper myself), and (if it doesn't come with one) a 14-34 megarange cassette (most have a 14-28). Should have enough granny to winch out of most problems.

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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby Sparx » Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:58 am

Early Rider also make cool (if somewhat expensive!) kiddies bikes

https://earlyrider.com/collections/bikes

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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby tcdev » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:14 pm

Latecomer, but can anyone offer any feedback on the Giant Liv Enchant 20?

Looking to upgrade for our 6yr old daughter from a Liv 16" and since all 4 of us have Giant bikes, thought we'd stick with the brand. Looking specifically at the outgoing 2018 model. I know the suspension forks are heavier, and a lack of back-pedal brakes will be a learning curve, but aside from those issues, would be interested to hear other pros and/or cons of the Enchant specifically, even pre-2018 models!?!
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby tcdev » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:01 am

Another question if I may.

My wife is (now) adamant she wants the 20" upgrade to have back-pedal brakes. The reason is because she herself is not a very confident rider and is paranoid that our daughter will take off down a hill and not be able to stop using hand brakes.

My argument it is that very few 20" bikes have back-pedal brakes, so it can't be much of an issue for kids. I'd also argue that it won't take her long to get used to them, and we wouldn't be riding down steep hills until she had mastered them anyway. But she's got it in her head that she's going to crash and injure herself.

Opinions either way?
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby bychosis » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:09 am

I'm in the process of selling suspension 7speed 20" bike with hand brakes. My first two kids were fine riding that style after a short learning process, which may have involved the odd "I can't stop" moment. I stumbled across a 3spd coaster brake rigid 20" for cheap and as it is a bit lighter, and the other two didn't really take advantage of the gears I figured kid 3 can go 3spd coaster brake and learn how to ride a 24" with hand brakes only when big enough. No3 isn't as quick to try new things, so the coaster is a better option. I removed the hand brakes on the 12" and 16" bikes because they were useless anyway, so going straight to hand only will be more of a challenge than for some kids.

How quickly your child picks up new things may sway your decision.
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby queequeg » Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:25 am

tcdev wrote:Another question if I may.

My wife is (now) adamant she wants the 20" upgrade to have back-pedal brakes. The reason is because she herself is not a very confident rider and is paranoid that our daughter will take off down a hill and not be able to stop using hand brakes.

My argument it is that very few 20" bikes have back-pedal brakes, so it can't be much of an issue for kids. I'd also argue that it won't take her long to get used to them, and we wouldn't be riding down steep hills until she had mastered them anyway. But she's got it in her head that she's going to crash and injure herself.

Opinions either way?


My son has a Byk-E450 3i, which is a 3-Speed internal geared Hub with a coaster brake, as well as the two hand brakes.

Keep an eye out for these bikes 2nd hand. I picked up an an almost new one for $250 off gumtree.
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Re: LIGHT kids 20" bike help deciding needed

Postby bkwilson » Mon Sep 03, 2018 11:30 am

Hi tcdev,

I recently went through this process as well.

I ended up choosing byK bikes for my two girls. E350 for my four year old and E450x3i for my 6 year old.

I went with the 3 speed hub over derailleur system for simplicity and robustness. Both bikes have front and rear hand brakes and a rear coaster brake.

So far they are both loving them and the brakes actually work. The eldest can walk her bike down relatively steep hills controlling the speed with the rear hand brake.

The only issue I have with the bikes is that the grip diameter don't seem very kid friendly. (imagine trying to ride your bike holding onto grips the diameter of softdrink can. (see other thread)

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