new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Want to get your kids on two wheels? Got any general 'family biking' questions? Chat here
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new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Postby spocke » Fri Aug 10, 2012 15:44 pm

I am looking for a new 24" bike for my 7 year old, which eventually should be handed down to his two younger brothers. So, durability /quality is more crucial than budget.

I don't know enough about bikes to judge if my options are any good.
I have been to the two main bike shops here and could get either a Dawes Bandit 24, a Saracen Tufftrax or a Merida Dakar.
I haven't heard of any of these makes before. would somebody advise if they are any good, or if I should keep away from any in particular?

Also, for my 2 1/2 year old I am looking for a bike seat. One of the shops offers a Pilot Limo. Again, are they any good?

Any recommendation and advise would be greatly appreciated.

Mike Healey
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Re: new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Postby Mike Healey » Fri Aug 10, 2012 21:29 pm

If you don't get flooded by recommendations for an Islabike - - I'll be very surprised.

Me, I'd go for an Islabike

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Re: new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Postby dynamiccoins » Sun Aug 12, 2012 10:52 am


I got a beinn 20 large for my son after pondering for some time. I have to say it was the correct decision for me...well for him! It is a fantastic bike and he loves it. In fact we've just got back from a ride through Esher Common this morning.

The one thing I have found is he get a slightly sore thumb from changing the gears so I am on the hunt for a pair of gloves for him.

For a bit of context - my partner thought I was mad paying that much for his bike (we have never spent a lot on ours) but after checking the resale value and also seeing his friends bikes both new and second hand, from what we have seen its a false economy - the cheaper bikes are heavier and the quality is rubbish in comparison.

Now one thing I would say as well re Ebay (or any second hand) - a friend got their daughter a bike from Ebay but now they are looking to have it serviced as the condition was not great - of course thats one example but its a risk buying second hand and has put me off buying a second hand bike for myself.

Hope that helps, but you can always try and find someone who has one to check for yourself if you don't live near Islabikes.

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Re: new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Postby walkingbootweather » Sun Aug 12, 2012 18:34 pm

I have to agree Islabikes is the way to go, especially if it us going to be passed down through your kids. Other bikes that are better than average (but not as good as Islabikes) are Specialised Hotrock, Kids Cube and Ridgeback MX24.
Nobody told me we had a communication problem

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Re: new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Postby sskelly » Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:13 pm

Both of my boys have got Hotrock 24s and they are great little bikes. They have had them for a few years now and have done quite a few miles on them (including a couple of CRC Mountain Marathons).

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Re: new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Postby Guanajuato » Fri Aug 17, 2012 09:12 am

Whatever you get, avoid twist grip gear changers. We've learnt the hard way. Our daughter can manage the rear derailleur grip as it changes quite easily and has a small movement between each gear. But the front one is very stiff and its a big gap between gears.
We're entered in a family sportive in a month which has some (short) steep sections, so she really needs to be able to switch between the front rings. So I've just ordered a trigger shift for the left hand.

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Re: new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Postby PeeDee » Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:22 am

+1 for Islabikes. We have had three so far and they last for ever. They don't have front gears, so the twist grip issues mentioned in the previous post are not really a problem.

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Re: new bike for 7 yr old - overwhelmed

Postby matt@theforce » Fri Aug 24, 2012 15:18 pm

We bought our eldest son a Ridgeback MX20 (6yr old at the time, now 7yr old). I liked the quality/finish of the bike and don't regret buying it, although I do agree Guanajuato, for younger children Gripshifts are not suitable, I changed from the gripshift to an overbar shifter and suits my son a treat.

This is him last week riding some trails in Wharncliffe Woods

I liked the MX20 that much that I've since bought an MX16 for my youngest son and will no doubt look at the MX24 when the time comes.

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