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Tips for bike buying for a 5 yo?

crakercraker Posts: 1,739
So ebay have 16" wheeled bikes from £60 or so upwards. Revolution have branded bikes from £150. I don't want a heavy bike but I wouldn't have though it was necessary to get a alu. bike over a steel one. Anywhere else to try?

If I was buying a cheap bike for me I'd be wanting to avoid anything with resin brake calipers / brake levers / cranks. Is the type of bottom bracket an indicator of quality? I presume bikes at this level have one piece cranks with loose bearings.

I'm happy enough to do maintenance to keep the bikes going (having freed several rusted freewheels recabled the brakes and the like for them so far) but there's another little one after this who'll want the bike so I'd like to get something to last.

My biggest issue with the bikes they've already had is the quality of the brakes. Bikes left outside quickly get deteriorating cables, hardening blocks and stiff pivots. Cue wailing child, when told to use their brakes, 'but they're too stiff...'

Finally, non-trivially, shall I get him a Ben 10 bike? I don't want to get him a 'dad-boring' bike but there's no way he's getting suspension.


  • Mike HealeyMike Healey Posts: 1,023
    No suspension No suspension No suspension, i.e. I agree absolutely

    Sorry, but if you've read this section of the forum, you will know that most of us will say Islabikes. More outlay at the beginning, but then, quality design AND materials cost. Resale value when he's grown out of it in the region of 80% of original purchase price and the qulity more or less guarantees maximum enjoyment and progress on his part.

    No worries about how well the brakes work, how well the frame fits, how well-proportioned the cranks are, et tediously repetitive cetera.

    Many of the kids come to our Saturday club with the usual suspects but their next bike is an Isla.... almost always. they've seen them in action with the other kids.
    Organising the Bradford Kids Saturday Bike Club at the Richard Dunn Sports Centre since 1998
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 11,747
    Islabike without a doubt or Decathlon Rockriders are ok once their older, DO NOT get an apollo from halfords, made that mistake a couple of years ago. My sons xc24 was as heavy as my 700cc wheeled sirrus. Yes the islabike is dearer but they will last and you get a good resale value as long as looked after abit.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,706
    You get what you pay for.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • CalpolCalpol Posts: 1,039
    Just got an Islabikes Beinn 20 (small) for my 5yo daughter. Fabulous bike for her. She can ride it, she can stop it and on Sunday managed 5km without much drama. Its expensive but resale looks strong. I reckon we will get two year riding out of it for about £80 when you deduct likely resale. Bike is just about perfect for a five year old in order for them to gain confidence and enjoy biking.
  • TimIronsTimIrons Posts: 30
    I can give another vote for Islabikes. We have used them for both of our children and the specially manufactured smaller parts for smaller hands are perfect for inspiring confidence. The smaller diameter handlebars and grips matched to specially shaped brake levers so that they can reach, and using powerful v-brakes to grip onto machined alu rather than pink / black painted rims them give great stopping power.

    We are selling a Cnoc 16 and a Beinn 20 at the moment having purchased two shiny new Islabikes of the next sizes up last weekend.

    See my posts in the For Sale ares or search on eBay under seller name irons2001.
  • crakercraker Posts: 1,739
    Thanks Tim - Bromsgrove may be worth the trip, after LO decided he couldn't come down the hill because the brakes 'weren't working' (=too stiff and badly sized for little hands). Have you advertised in the classifieds? Let me have another look...
  • TimIronsTimIrons Posts: 30
    Sounds like a familiar story...

    Take a look on eBay for the bike, search under irons2001 as seller. It is getting lots of interest.
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