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Best kids bike for £100

OnersOners Posts: 6
Hello

This is the first time I've used this forum. I'm hoping someone might be able to offer some advice.

I'm looking for a bike for my 6 year old. He's a pretty competent cyclist and has outgrown his current bike. Ideally, I'd like to get him an Islabike Beinn 20 small but the budget I have won't stretch that far.

I have about £100 to spend which excludes most of the obvious choices but would anyone have a recommendation for me?

Thanks in advance

Jo

Posts

  • mouthmouth Posts: 1,196
    Used/2nd hand might be the way forward. Failing that you're off to Halfords.

    Might be worth telling us where you are so we can recommend a LBS who may vbe able to help.
    The only disability in life is a poor attitude.
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    Any kids bike you buy new for £100 will most likely turn into a rusting pile of scrap within a year. It will also be heavy and unreliable and will probably put your son off riding for life.

    Ask your LBS if they have taken in any part exchanges which might be suitable - I recently traded-in my lad's Ridgeback MX20, which was a great bike - I can't see that being re-sold for much more than £100. Otherwise, ebay or local small ads are your best bet...
  • Thank you both for your replies.

    I'm in Reading, Berkshire.

    I've also looked at Ebay/local press but I don't really know what I'm looking at so it's hard to identify a good buy.

    Pseudonym - how much should I be looking to pay for something *not* to turn into scrap? Bearing in mind that I can't afford the best of the best.

    Thanks

    Jo
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    if the Isla Beinn 20 is out of reach at £250, then I would aim at somewhere around £150-180 if possible. Most shops will have a selection of quality kids 20" wheeled bikes available. But secondhand will be much cheaper, obviously...

    There's a Beinn 20 on ebay at the moment - £70, no bids and 7 days left.

    I'm probably a bit biased against the cheaper kids bikes - one of our neighbours has just bought their son a £100 Apollo 20" full suspension bike and it's a wonder the poor lad can even pedal it, it's that heavy.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    I have a Giant MTX150 with 20" wheels available second hand for £50 in Reading if you are interested you are welcome to have a look. Its a great bike with the only real marks being that the rubber grips on the handle bars are starting to split - should only cost a few quid to replace though.

    My lad has cycled it to Newbury and back along the canal before he outgrew it - brilliant bike which started his passion for cycling.

    Not up to Islabikes standards but not costing that kind of money either!
  • Pseudonym wrote:
    Any kids bike you buy new for £100 will most likely turn into a rusting pile of scrap within a year. It will also be heavy and unreliable and will probably put your son off riding for life.

    Ask your LBS if they have taken in any part exchanges which might be suitable - I recently traded-in my lad's Ridgeback MX20, which was a great bike - I can't see that being re-sold for much more than £100. Otherwise, ebay or local small ads are your best bet...

    He's 6 years old. Why spend massive amounts of money on a bike he will outgrow.

    Save the money and get him a good bike once he has stopped growing.

    Kids don't think like adults. I had a pretty heavy clunky Raleigh BMX as a child and it never put me off.
  • PseudonymPseudonym Posts: 1,032
    edited September 2011
    gilesjuk wrote:
    He's 6 years old. Why spend massive amounts of money on a bike he will outgrow.

    Save the money and get him a good bike once he has stopped growing.

    Kids don't think like adults. I had a pretty heavy clunky Raleigh BMX as a child and it never put me off.

    Spend whatever you like - as far as I'm concerned £150-200 on a kids bike which will last only a couple of years before it is outgrown is still money well spent. If you want your kids to ride junk until they are 16 that's up to you. . But either way, you get what you pay for.
  • Carrera Blast (Halfords) around £150 new - or search 2nd hand ones on Ebay?
    Could try Decathlon online/instore?
    ..other than that suggest local classifieds, I managed to get a Dawes Blofish for a tenner onces on ebay, it was a small size but an amazing bargain.
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    gilesjuk wrote:
    Save the money and get him a good bike once he has stopped growing.

    Just in time for his 18th birthday :lol:

    Cycling is our main form of transport. It's also a passion. I fall into the 'buy quality and potentially get some resale' camp. Ease of riding is a big thing to a lot of kids, and can hamper progress markedly, especially in early years. Also, Thing1's bikes will generally be handed down to Thing2, so there's a bit more value for the initial outlay for us.

    Another point of view - I have a good friend who refuses to pay more that AU$100 for a bike for his lad, but thinks nothing about spending AU$80 on a new video game (which will likely be used for a weekend. Perhaps two). :roll:
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • apreading - I'd definitely be interested in seeing the bike and letting my son have a try, if that's OK with you. Can we send direct messages through this site so we can arrange the details?

    gilesjuk - this is kind of our thinking as well. I don't think we'll wait too long before buying him something better but at the moment, he doesn't always look after his belongings properly. I think it would drive me nuts if I'd spent £300 on a bike he flung to the ground every time he stepped off it!

    Pseudonym & baudman - Thank you for your replies. Historically, I have opted for quality over price. It has always paid dividends but at the moment, I simply don't have the money. It's not a choice, but a necessity.

    Jo
  • Oners wrote:
    gilesjuk - this is kind of our thinking as well. I don't think we'll wait too long before buying him something better but at the moment, he doesn't always look after his belongings properly. I think it would drive me nuts if I'd spent £300 on a bike he flung to the ground every time he stepped off it!
    Jo

    I understand you don't have an option at the moment, and I won't argue with that.

    But I got my little one an Islabikes Cnoc 16 when he learnt to ride just before his 4th bday. He has easily done several hundred miles on it.
    It is covered in road grime most of the time, it has a few scratches a bit everywhere and my son doesn't seem to really appreciate the word 'gentle'. My son likes to put stickers on it too.
    I spent £200 since I got the mudguards, and the extra set of tyres, which I am glad I did.

    I don't mind one bit. He can do what he wants with it. It is his pride and joy, but he is only 5 after all. I bought it because I know that when I was little the bikes we had were censored , needed extensive maintenance frequently, and I didn't ride at his age as much as he does because my dad wasn't as keen as I am.

    But he loves riding his bike, and he has tried several of his friends' afterwards and he always comes back to his own with a smile because he can stop better, he can ride faster, he can climb better, he can cycle better.

    So, just because he is growing out of it, I don't think it was not money well spent.

    Having said that, if your budget doesn't stretch, it doesn't stretch.

    A few things that I found useful on kids bikes and to watch out for are:
    - no suspensions
    - slick tyres for road use
    - shorter cranks and smaller (narrower) pedals
    - a steering limiter: helps a great deal when the little one must pick up the bike after a fall, and can't figure out which way the steering must be straightened.
    - a good saddle
    - good V-brakes
    - low standover.

    The more boxes you can tick, the better.
    The Ridgeback MX20 seems to tick most boxes, except for the front suspension which is just extra weight and provides no advantage whatsoever, in fact it is a disadvantage on the road.
    The dawes lightning seems a good alternative too, a bit on the heavy side perhaps?
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Oners wrote:
    ... but at the moment, I simply don't have the money. It's not a choice, but a necessity.

    Jo

    Ah yeah... There's that too eh? Hence why Thing1 doesn't have this just yet. (She did ask me last Sat if we could go and buy it. Delayed gratification is a good life skill).
    fnegroni wrote:
    ...a great checklist...
    +1
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • AndyOgyAndyOgy Posts: 579
    A few things that I found useful on kids bikes and to watch out for are:
    - no suspensions
    - slick tyres for road use
    - shorter cranks and smaller (narrower) pedals
    - a steering limiter: helps a great deal when the little one must pick up the bike after a fall, and can't figure out which way the steering must be straightened.
    - a good saddle
    - good V-brakes
    - low standover.

    +1 to all of the above, especially the bit about suspension. Also, nothing on the bike should be made of plastic, apart from maybe a chainguard.

    Somebody mentioned Halfords. Whilst Halfords do seem to be getting their act together on £300+ bikes, their cheaper ones are still rubbish.

    Secondhand is the way to go if your budget is £100. As mentioned, Islabike, Ridgeback and Giant are the best brands to look out for. It makes more financial sense to pay a bit more for a bike, and then have something that you can sell when your child grows out of it. Rather than £100 on a new bike that will be nothing more than landfill after a year.
  • Thanks everyone for all your advice - very much appreciated.

    Jo
  • Decathlon do decent kids bikes in my experience - they do a no suspension 20 inch wheeler in single speed or 5 speed versions that might be worth looking at - about £110 for the geared version.

    I've gone second hand with my kids now though. Picked up some decent bikes for my kids at decent prices - check ebay but also the local small ads. Don't rule out advertising for a bike either - I got a Islabike Luath like that which my son is now racing on and in truth I don't think I'd have paid what they go for on ebay.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • joelsimjoelsim Posts: 7,552
    AndyOgy wrote:
    A few things that I found useful on kids bikes and to watch out for are:
    - no suspensions
    - slick tyres for road use
    - shorter cranks and smaller (narrower) pedals
    - a steering limiter: helps a great deal when the little one must pick up the bike after a fall, and can't figure out which way the steering must be straightened.
    - a good saddle
    - good V-brakes
    - low standover.

    +1 to all of the above, especially the bit about suspension. Also, nothing on the bike should be made of plastic, apart from maybe a chainguard.

    Somebody mentioned Halfords. Whilst Halfords do seem to be getting their act together on £300+ bikes, their cheaper ones are still rubbish.

    Secondhand is the way to go if your budget is £100. As mentioned, Islabike, Ridgeback and Giant are the best brands to look out for. It makes more financial sense to pay a bit more for a bike, and then have something that you can sell when your child grows out of it. Rather than £100 on a new bike that will be nothing more than landfill after a year.

    +1

    In the same way that buying an Audi will be more expensive than buying a Vauxhall but it will cost you less when you include depreciation and sell-on value.

    Just keep a look out for a good one on fleabay, pay £125-£150 and in a couple of years time sell it for £100. Money very well spent.

    I'm going to get my 4 year old a 16 Cnoc I think or a Specialized Hotrock or something like that. He's currently using a spiderman bike that weighs more than my full size commuter!
  • Thanks Joelsim.

    Without wanting to sound annoyed, I understand the logic behind buying good quality bikes (and other products, for that matter) and I am aware that good quality products hold their value which is why, if I had the money, I would buy an Islabike.

    However, there are times when you just don't have the money. It's not that I don't want to spend the money, it's that I just don't have it to spend at the moment and I needed a bike sooner rather than later. My original post was to simply ask for advice on decent bikes that I could buy within my budget.

    As it happens, the Giant bike I bought from apreading has gone down a treat - thank you!

    All the best,

    Jo
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    Glad he is enjoying it - he looked rather excited when he tried it out in our road!

    Both of our children got much enjoyment from it, so glad to see it continue.

    Only downside is that if he likes it too much you will have to spend loads of money on his next bike!
  • MikeM22MikeM22 Posts: 14
    I have to disagree with some of the comments about cheaper bikes above. In my experience it is not cheap-heavy bikes that put kids off cycling, it is bikes that are too big/small (because they are not confident or good enough yet) or so poorly maintained/setup that they cannot handle them... I help out with the cycling club at school.

    I think the best approach is to buy correctly fitted bikes (at the time of buying) for kids on a yearly basis for their first few bikes but make sure you take them out cycling on a regular basis also so they get used to handling them (and see how you handle yours).

    As the first few bikes will inevitable suffer from crashes and being thrown to the ground (and you will be replacing them every year or so due to growth) I actively seek the cheaper brands as the bike will always be made redundant due to size rather than rusting or mechanical breakdown (excepting the odd broken pedal).

    Then, once they have cycling nailed you can start buying better spec bikes that will last them a little longer as at this stage a frame that is a little bigger for them can be ably handled.

    My current 6 y/o is due a new bike and after three cheap bikes he is now ready for something a bit better.. he is constantly reminding me how well he can handle his big brother's 20"!!

    I know this doesn't help the original poster but hopefully it will help anyone else reading this who does have the option on what to buy... consider how confident your wee one is before spending.
  • ScoodleScoodle Posts: 11
    Just to add to what has gone above, I couldn't agree more that the way to go is to buy 2nd hand rather than new if you are on a budget.

    Oners has been sorted - very nicely by the sounds of it. But for anyone like him who's unsure of how to do this, check out the suitably-sized bikes in the classifieds and/or your local paper, short list any that seem suitable, and then use the interweb to find reviews on them. Or ask on here!

    And/or, type 'bike' into eBay, sort by wheel size, and then by 'nearest first'! Short-list the ones worth following; ie: known respected brands, aluminium frames if possible, either no suspension of possibly just front, and condition. (Obviously, the 'type' of bike is a given...)

    Do an internet search on all your short-listed bikes and read the reviews. Finally, based on this info, the bike's original price and its condition, shove in you max bid with a few seconds to go. Job done!

    My 8-year old girl is riding an immaculate 24" Ali Raleigh Diva - which astonishes me with its lightness despite having front sus - bought for £25.

    My 9-year old boy is about to have his stupidly heavy 24" full-suspension Apollo (which I can barely lift on to our bike rack. It only cost £16 but was still a mistake...) replaced by a Raleigh ali-framed bike for around £35.

    And apreading's £50 Giant will always be a much better bet than pretty much any £100 newie.
  • Anyone got any experience of either the Cudo Blox 16:

    http://www.all-about-the-bike.co.uk/cud ... -158-p.asp

    or the Cerrera Luna 16:

    http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/stor ... yId_165630

    Went to have a look at the Cerrera at my local Halfords last night and it seemed alright for £120, alloy frame but with front suspension....however it didn't seem to heavy. No quoted weight, but it's hard to gauge by just picking up the bike.

    Wondering whether the cudo blox may be a better bet? alloy frame, with steel forks. so probably a similar weight, again no quoted weight. Hoping to have a look next weekend at my local bike shop, as they stock them.

    Also tempted by the Isla Cnoc 16, but i only have my girl at the weekends so that is the only time she'll ride, not sure if i can justify the price (almost double). But then she has weak hips, so the added lightness may benefit her more.....how much lighter can they be? i know they are quoted as being 7.5kg. but the other two bikes also have alloy frames and wheel, plus similar specs.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    When you look at the resale value of Islabikes, the Islabikes may not be all that more expensive in terms of cost of ownership.
  • apreading wrote:
    When you look at the resale value of Islabikes, the Islabikes may not be all that more expensive in terms of cost of ownership.

    I agree, but when you get up to the Beinn model, you've still got to have the best part of 300 quid today and if the bike gets handed down you're waiting years to get the money back.

    It's fairly easy to say "spend more and buy a better bike" but when cash is tight, you have to make some compromises.

    I would suggest second hand like most people have said. Raleigh and Giant do some decent bikes. Avoid suspension - particularly all round. If you have no choice then front sus only.

    Gumtree and e-bay are pretty good but you have to be wary of location as I haven't seen many bikes where postage is offered, for obvious reasons.
  • TuckerUKTuckerUK Posts: 398
    Having put three kids through the arduous torture of riding a series of new but heavy Halford's bought budget bikes, two of which still ride as adults (albeit now on better bikes), and the third choosing to ride to school, I can also add my voice to the 'kids couldn't care less about how much the bike weighs' camp. It never even crosses their mind (unless some hapless parent puts it there).

    For the time the bike needs to last before a size upgrade is required reliability has never been an issue for us either.

    Just choose a basic bike of the style you like, the less suspension the better (hard tail, preferable to full suspension, no suspension at all best), in the correct size, and keep it well maintained.
    "Coming through..."
  • merkinmerkin Posts: 452
    Weight is more of an issue if your child is small and/or you live in a hilly area.
    Probably less of an issue if you live in Norfolk. :wink:
  • BazPBazP Posts: 12
    Ebay is your best bet. If you look around online you might be able to get a Dawes for around £120, they're alright. As some other posters have said try to avoid suspension & triple chainsets they just add weight. For God's sake don't get a bike from ToysRUs, Argos, Sports Direct etc they're just awful. A quality gripshift is also a bonus as I regularly come across kids bikes that I can't turn the shifter on so a 6 year old's got no chance. Good Luck.
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