Bike for a 6 year old

BobtheBuilder
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:33 am
Location: Remote NT

Bike for a 6 year old

Postby BobtheBuilder » Mon Jan 29, 2024 7:55 pm

Looking for a bike for our youngster's upcoming 6th birthday. Something with gears.

I'm kinda assuming they're all much of a muchness for that age (barring the pushy parents who've got them into elite sports early), but please correct me if I'm mistaken!

User avatar
bychosis
Posts: 7271
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:10 pm
Location: Lake Macquarie

Re: Bike for a 6 year old

Postby bychosis » Mon Jan 29, 2024 8:25 pm

1. He's got a growing out of it fairly quick.
2. Buying bigger so they don't grow out of it sooner will hamper early riding.

Second hand is a winner. My last 6yo got a Giant with rigid fork, 3spd internal hub and with back pedal brakes. I figured it was a decent starting point without the added weight of suspension forks that a lot of "mountain bikes" have. I also think that 7 gears added too much choice for a 6yo plus helping them change gear with an internal bub is much easier than having to lift up the wheel and pedal.

My first kid had a 7spd "mountain bike" and barely used the gears. The grip shifter wasn't brilliant. Easy to shift one way, but harder to go.back for little wrists.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

User avatar
Duck!
Expert
Posts: 9877
Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 8:21 pm
Location: On The Tools

Re: Bike for a 6 year old

Postby Duck! » Mon Jan 29, 2024 9:23 pm

Yes, generally pretty much the same across the board.

Geared bikes in that bracket will all have grip shifters, primarily because small thumbs will have trouble reaching the full sweep of trigger shifters, plus the load on a trigger is a lot for a small thumb; grip shifts enable the use of the whole hand, which in theory is easier, but the mechanicals often add a truckload of friction that outweighs the theoretical advantage. Kind of a no-win for the little blighters. Shimano Revo-Shift are about the best grip shifters found at that level, but they're still not brilliant.

Internal hub gears will have a lighter shifter movement than derailleur gears due to having a fair bit less spring tension in the hub shifting mechanism than a derailleur, and that helps a lot with small hands/arms.

"Suspension" forks at that level are ubiquitously useless, but difficult to avoid. They're massively over-sprung for the average-sized small kid to start with, and with no damping to control the rebound after a bump, it basically just delays the effect of hitting the bump, if it even absorbs the bump....

They'll all have the same caveats, so basically pick the bike that comes in the kid's favourite colour
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

BobtheBuilder
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:33 am
Location: Remote NT

Re: Bike for a 6 year old

Postby BobtheBuilder » Mon Jan 29, 2024 9:50 pm

I should have mentioned - he's been riding two-wheeled bikes since he was two - a balance bike then unfortunately he got given a bike with training wheels without my knowledge which hampered his development a year or so. BUT, he has been riding without trainers since just before he turned four, so he's confident and capable on a bike.
I want gears because his legs whirl around like mad without them and he gets tired after a few kms - I certainly would too!

Thanks for the tips about the internal gear hubs (I've got them on my main town bike), didn't realise they had them on kids bikes. I hate sprung forks, so I'll try and avoid them as well!

And I also want to get him out of the bad habit of relying on pedal brakes, so want something with handlebar brakes.

BobtheBuilder
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:33 am
Location: Remote NT

Re: Bike for a 6 year old

Postby BobtheBuilder » Mon Jan 29, 2024 9:51 pm

Also, I live very remote.

I'm totally out of the loop with online bike shops. Any suggestions for online shops with a good range of kids bikes would also be most appreciated!

nezumi
Posts: 1065
Joined: Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:30 pm
Location: Bundoora, Melbourne

Re: Bike for a 6 year old

Postby nezumi » Tue Jan 30, 2024 9:02 am

While I wouldn't agree with the general sentiment that bikes at that age are all the same, it is an unfortunate reality that the ones that do it better are generally far more expensive and difficult to source.

One option that you might be able to find in Aus, especially second hand, is something like this: https://www.bykbikes.com.au/products/e-450x3i

Unfortunately one of the main makers of good kids' bikes, Islabikes in the UK, has recently decided to cease trading. An alternative to that would be Woom: https://woom.com/en_INT/bikes/woom-4?variant=woom-red

As far as something at a more reasonable price point with local availability, the Polygon 20" bike rnage isn't too bad: https://www.bikesonline.com/bikes/kids/ ... -8-20inch/

Ultimately for me it came down to a combination of bike weight, availability and design, so I went with a single speed Byk 450 for my then 5 year old.
2014 Merida Cyclo Cross 4
2015 Merida Scultura 5000

BobtheBuilder
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:33 am
Location: Remote NT

Re: Bike for a 6 year old

Postby BobtheBuilder » Tue Jan 30, 2024 1:00 pm

nezumi wrote:
Tue Jan 30, 2024 9:02 am
While I wouldn't agree with the general sentiment that bikes at that age are all the same, it is an unfortunate reality that the ones that do it better are generally far more expensive and difficult to source.

One option that you might be able to find in Aus, especially second hand, is something like this: https://www.bykbikes.com.au/products/e-450x3i

Unfortunately one of the main makers of good kids' bikes, Islabikes in the UK, has recently decided to cease trading. An alternative to that would be Woom: https://woom.com/en_INT/bikes/woom-4?variant=woom-red

As far as something at a more reasonable price point with local availability, the Polygon 20" bike rnage isn't too bad: https://www.bikesonline.com/bikes/kids/ ... -8-20inch/

Ultimately for me it came down to a combination of bike weight, availability and design, so I went with a single speed Byk 450 for my then 5 year old.
Yeah, it does seem pretty dire. My partner is baulking at paying $500-ish for a kids bike, when there are so many secondhand ones around for $50 ... but without gears (let alone internal hub gears!) or handlebar brakes. Gears are a must, as he's ready to ride around town (we live in a small town), but with single speed it's not really doable as a frequent thing.

BobtheBuilder
Posts: 406
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:33 am
Location: Remote NT

Re: Bike for a 6 year old

Postby BobtheBuilder » Tue Jan 30, 2024 8:41 pm

To my great surprise, the local fishing/hunting shop had a few - went with the Malvern Star Mustang.
Derailleur gears after all, but six of them, vs three for the internal gear hub model (Avanti Shadow) they also amazingly had! And no pedal brake!

https://shop.rodrifle.com.au/products/m ... 6bf0&_ss=r

User avatar
bychosis
Posts: 7271
Joined: Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:10 pm
Location: Lake Macquarie

Re: Bike for a 6 year old

Postby bychosis » Tue Feb 06, 2024 8:48 am

About Malvern Star
Malvern Star is an Australian home-grown icon. The largest and most famous bicycle manufacturing company in Australia was created by cyclist Tom Finnigan in 1903 with the 240 gold sovereign winnings he earned by winning the 1898 Austral Wheel Race, the oldest track bicycle race in the world. He opened a small shop on Glenferrie Road in the Melbourne Suburb of Malvern. The six pointed star logo coming from a tattoo on his forearm. In 1928 they sent the first ever Australian team to race the Tour de France headed by Sir Hubert Opperman. “Oppy” later went on to win the famous Paris-Brest-Paris race in 1931 setting a new record time for the event.
That a little disingenuous. It's not much of an aussie icon any more, just a label slapped on whatever they could find. Been a long time since it's heydays.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users