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Why are kids bikes so heavy

oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,839
edited October 2013 in Family & kids cycling forum
Took my 8yr old son and his mate to local cycle centre with their bikes, I thought my son's Giant mtb was heavy till I picked up his mates Raleigh hot rod thing. It weighed nearly as much as my full-size math and its only got 20" wheels. No wonder the lad was knackered every time we hit a slight rise in the ground. Still got about 3 miles out of him though, not bad given he hadn't ridden a bike since last October. Why can't we get the mainstream manufacturers to build lighter bikes, if Islabike and frogbikes can do it surely so can the others.
Too many bikes according to Mrs O.

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  • ravey1981ravey1981 Posts: 1,111
    Cost. Not may people are willing to pay hundreds for a bike which will be soon outgrown, so the manufacturers don't make them as they would not sell enough. Also all the components on a small bike (levers, brakes, mechs etc etc etc) are the same as on full size bikes so they weigh the same (or more as they are usually cheap models). The actual tubing in the frame in terms of overall length isn't that much difference (and usually scaffold pipe in kids bikes again to keep cost down). Then it only gets worse when they add in pointless suspension because it looks cool...
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    Completely agree - I've been shopping with luggage scales ever since I weighed our 20" Trek MT60 (20") to discover that it was only marginally lighter than my Anthem - and heavier than my Anthem is in it's current set-up. That made me realise why my lad did not like hills... so we got him an Islabike Beinn 24 and he's never looked back.

    We've now got a Beinn 26, and he's just moved on to an XS Rockhopper. At 11 he's a keen climber and we've done some 'proper' rides (30k and 350m of climbing... not too shabby)
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    One of the biggest issues seems to be when kids get old enough to 'want' suspension forks. These are almost without exception both heavy and pointless. The forks on the Rockhopper (Dart 3) are merely 'adequate'... even the light spring is too firm and when your rider weighs so little the stiction kills small bump sensitivity. What I really want is some air SIDs but I just can't afford them!

    Islabikes have got the basics right - light weight rigid bikes, child-friendly controls, and big wheels... but when you move up to their hardtail the price is pretty steep (for what looks like a cracking bike, though) as air forks just aren't cheap.
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  • Whatever the question about kids bikes - the answer is Islabike ....
    ........ They are mid range £ wise ........ but when you factor in quality and child friendly weight / components, and rock solid residual values on ebay etc ......... they are astounding value ......... Or be a real cheapskate - get something at half the price to destroy all interest in cycling and have something you can recycle at the council skips next year ...
    P.S. I've no connection other than as a customer
    P.P.S. It's more environmentally friendly to get a bike that several children will use over many years
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,839
    I understand that Islabikes and now Frogbikes are good for kids but surely given the reduced size in frames and wheels other manufacturers can come up with bikes that weigh less than a tank at reasonable money.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Whatever the question about kids bikes - the answer is Islabike ....
    ........ They are mid range £ wise ........ but when you factor in quality and child friendly weight / components, and rock solid residual values on ebay etc ......... they are astounding value ......... Or be a real cheapskate - get something at half the price to destroy all interest in cycling and have something you can recycle at the council skips next year ...
    P.S. I've no connection other than as a customer
    P.P.S. It's more environmentally friendly to get a bike that several children will use over many years
    Islabikes are superb. Not sure I'd say they were mid range though. I've not seen any other kids bikes which are more expensive.
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  • othelloothello Posts: 577
    bartimaeus wrote:
    One of the biggest issues seems to be when kids get old enough to 'want' suspension forks. These are almost without exception both heavy and pointless. The forks on the Rockhopper (Dart 3) are merely 'adequate'... even the light spring is too firm and when your rider weighs so little the stiction kills small bump sensitivity. What I really want is some air SIDs but I just can't afford them!

    I picked up some old SIDs off eBay for my son's 13 Rockhopper build. viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12929664&p=18421450

    Not only are they light, but they actually work as he doesn't weight very much :)

    Might be worth keeping an eye on eBay. An old pair of 80mm SIDs are not that popular anymore as everyone wants more travel and you might grab a bargain.
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  • aribaariba Posts: 48
    oxoman wrote:
    I understand that Islabikes and now Frogbikes are good for kids but surely given the reduced size in frames and wheels other manufacturers can come up with bikes that weigh less than a tank at reasonable money.

    I think that the other manufacturers have missed quite a sizeable market - at the fun ride in London at the start of August, you couldn't move for kids on Islabikes! Maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but compared to how few IBs we used to see 4 years ago when we got our son his first one, compared with the number you see out now, I would assume that IB are adding production capacity at a rate of knots.

    The resale calculation means they aren't really more expensive over the lifetime as a "cheap" bike. I sold the first after 3 years usage, and only lost £70 from the original price.

    Amongst our friends though, there is an easily-identifiable split. Parents (ok - mainly dads :) ) who cycle regularly=kids on Islabikes. Parents who don't cycle/infrequently cycle = kids on heavy steel things with suspension.( I haven't seen any Frogbikes locally yet - but with their pricing, I'd expect to be seeing more over the next 6-12 months).
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  • othelloothello Posts: 577
    ariba wrote:
    The resale calculation means they aren't really more expensive over the lifetime as a "cheap" bike. I sold the first after 3 years usage, and only lost £70 from the original price.

    We've done the same, but from what I've seen on eBay this is starting to (slowly) change a little.

    The high resale value came from not many Islabikes being produced and them being scarce at key times of the year such as the run up to Christmas. Typical supply and demand.

    But I have noticed a slight drop in resale costs for the smaller bikes like the CNOC and Benin. As you said their production must be increased, and there are more available new. It isn't a big drop, and won't change overnight, but is interesting to see.

    The bigger bikes like the Luath's still command the higher resale as there are less of them around.

    For me the resale is an added bonus -- I would still be buying the Isla's anyway just because they are great bikes :)
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  • othelloothello Posts: 577
    Enough of the spam Bike Swanky
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  • bompingtonbompington Posts: 7,593
    othello wrote:
    Enough of the spam Bike Swanky
    Absolutely. Also, it's an immediate turn-off to see a website where the 10% deposit price is large and bold, with the full price in small print below...
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