Advice on a bike for 7 year old girl please..

daveb99 Posts: 273
edited February 2012 in Family & kids cycling forum
I'm looking to buy my daughter a new bike for her 7th birthday (April).

We don't want to spend a lot of money to be honest, I would love to get her an Alu framed lightweight bike, but to be honest she doesn't do that much cycling, it's really just for occasional rides etc.

I know a lot of people on here have a bad opinion of Halfords (which I tend to share!), but they have some offers on this weekend, ending Monday. I appreciate that some of these bikes are steel framed made with fairly cheap components - but as I've said it will probably do the job.

What I'd like to know is what people think of one bike in particular - it's reduced to £130 from £240, in the colours my daughter would like (important!) and in stock locally.

It is this one: ... 65630#tab3

It is full suspension though - is that something to steer clear of? She will be riding on roads and canal paths etc - no proper mountain biking!

Any help & advice would be much appreciated.
2012 Scott CR1 SL
2013 Dolan Dual
2016 Boardman Pro 29er


  • bartimaeus
    bartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    In the Q&A it says "The Apollo Pure weighs approximately 14kg". To give some perspective, my size L Anthem weighs in at about 13kg, and my son's Islabike Beinn 24 (which is what he's had at 7 and is about to grow out of at 10) is 10.3kg. But then again a Beinn 24 is £300 - and while it will have a decent resale value, that's still an expensive proposition - we got my son the Islabike as he's a keen cyclist and his heavier bike was putting him off anything hilly.

    So for occasional rides this might be OK, but personally I would be looking for something without any suspension - certainly something without rear suspension - it just adds a lot of weight, gets rusty, and does nothing much of value. I'd keep looking if I were you - especially as a Halford's 'sale' is often a bit misleading... some of their bikes are great value on sale, but I would pass on this one, myself.

    Not sure what else is out there - but my experience is that Ridgeback do some very good kid's bikes - which are easy to ride and lightweight... e.g. a Ridgeback Harmony which seems to be about the £180-£200 mark and is about 11kg.
    Vitus Sentier VR+ (2018) GT Grade AL 105 (2016)
    Giant Anthem X4 (2010) GT Avalanche 1.0 (2010)
    Kingley Vale and QECP Trail Collective - QECP Trail Building
  • Mike Healey
    Mike Healey Posts: 1,023
    Full suspension... Nooooo!

    Your girl's weight will barely disturb the suspension and there's no damping on it so it will bounce like a pogostick if she hits a bit of a lump. If it's FS, then all the other components will be of lower quality to compensate for the extra cost of the sus. And, being heavy, it will take some of the pleasure away from riding because it will be hard work.

    In fact, any suspension is unnecessary for a youngster's bike. My own feeling is that it tends to make them over confident and they will ride at a speed beyond their skill level, so when they crash, it will hurt more. Go for a rigid bike to develop their skills. It will be lighter, she'll learn more and she will almost certainly enjoy it more because it will be easier to handle.

    Look at it this way: there's as much welding in a kids bike as in an adults, so there's as much cost in its manufacture. Ergo, if it's cheap, how have they done it, even if it's in a sale.

    I suspect that most of us would recommend an Islabike, a) because they're really good and b) because the net cost is kept relatively low by their high resale value (check ebay for prices). If not, the Ridgeback isn't bad at all.

    Whatever you do, good luck and I hope she gets a lot of fun out of whatever you eventually get - kids can enjoy riding even bike-shaped objects
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
  • I think Apollo is fine for your daughters. She wouldnt mind the brand and etc suspension. She will look more to the color and basket. :)
  • simon_e
    simon_e Posts: 1,706
    You get what you pay for. That bike wasn't worth £240 in the first place. Suspension is a pointless waste of money, weight and complexity on these bikes.

    If you get her something reasonable she might actually want to ride it. Your signature suggests you can afford decent bikes for yourself. An Islabikes Beinn 20 may cost £250 but you can still get £170-200 when you sell it afterwards. Otherwise a Ridgeback MX20 / Harmony or Specialized Hotrock would be better than the Apollo. Dawes Redtail spec looks OK but I've not seen one myself.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • daveb99
    daveb99 Posts: 273
    Thanks for all your help. You'll be glad to know I came to my senses and I've picked up a used Specialized Hotrock 20 for her, it has seen little use and cost me only £90 (I think they are £250 new).

    Now I have another bike to fettle, I feel a few more nights in the garage coming on (with fan heater pointing at me) :)

    The bike is in great condition though looks like it has been left outside in the rain a few times. Al the ally parts have cleaned up beautifully, I've ordered a new KMC chain (£5 !) and the frame has come up like new.

    Only thing I need to replace really are the bars - they are chromed steel, and have pitted on the top. I was thinking of replacing them with Alloy ones - can I just buy bars for an adult mountain bike and cut the end of the bars off, providing the clamp diameter and rise angle is the same? If so any recommendations ?
    2012 Scott CR1 SL
    2013 Dolan Dual
    2016 Boardman Pro 29er
  • great, glad you got bike sorted and a bargain too.
  • Redhog14
    Redhog14 Posts: 1,377

    these are new and I bought a Mayhem for my 7yo, very impressed by the quality and value for money.