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Kids "Proper" Bikes

J LJ L Posts: 425
edited October 2013 in MTB general
Looking for dad's or mum's who have the inside info on the next bike.

My lad has had a Haro running bike, out grown it, then a specialized Hotrock 16 and has all but grown out of that, so we were thinking of the specialized Hotrock 20, which if its anything like the 16 will be a good bet, my only issue is it has suspension forks that really add a stack of weight to the bike and I feel this will hinder his progress and at his level are only there to add the look not the feel or ride / handling..

He uses it daily for school and family rides also trips to Haldon which he really enjoys,

Any recommendations for the next step up

thanks in advance

Jon
I'm not old I'm Retro
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  • Isla bikes, if you can afford it. Otherwise try the rockrider brand which are as good as the specialized offerings IMHO, and cheaper.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • J L wrote:
    Looking for dad's or mum's who have the inside info on the next bike.

    My lad has had a Haro running bike, out grown it, then a specialized Hotrock 16 and has all but grown out of that, so we were thinking of the specialized Hotrock 20, which if its anything like the 16 will be a good bet, my only issue is it has suspension forks that really add a stack of weight to the bike and I feel this will hinder his progress and at his level are only there to add the look not the feel or ride / handling..

    He uses it daily for school and family rides also trips to Haldon which he really enjoys,

    Any recommendations for the next step up

    thanks in advance

    Jon

    how much do you want to spend ? a 20 '' bike is going to cost just about the same as a 26 '' bike quality for quality
  • But a 26" will be too big, so therefor pointless.
    Advocate of disc brakes.
  • J LJ L Posts: 425
    Thanks folks, those Isla bikes look good, a little pricey but only 30 quid more than the Hotrock 20, he is only 5 1/2, so a 26" will be way to big for him.
    I'm not old I'm Retro
  • But a 26" will be too big, so therefor pointless.
    I see the miss the point gang are out early today !

    the POINT being, if a reasonable adults 26'' bike costs say 400 quid, then the same spec/ of child's 20'' bike is going to cost very nearly the same

    There are threads in the family section asking why are(some) kids bikes so heavy ? and the answer is they are ( at least) half the price of a reasonable adults bike
  • J LJ L Posts: 425
    TBH cost is not really an issue, the main reason I asked the original question was due to the fact every shop I have been in wants to sell me an over heavy bike that he will not ride because its cumbersome and uncomfortable, we got him the Hotrock 16 as it was light and fitted well, he subsequently was the first in his class to ride with out stabilisers and was the first in his year to ride to school every day, I want this speed of development to continue so he keeps enjoying it.

    I understand that pricing will be very close to that of a 26" wheeled bike but if it works well for him its a price worth paying.

    I think that Isla bikes have a really good business model there, proper bike, but for kids what's not to like?

    thanks

    Jon
    I'm not old I'm Retro
  • crakercraker Posts: 2,060
    I'm guilty of buying 2nd-hand 20" wheeled bikes on the cheap (the last two were Raleigh branded but I don't think that counts for much). They're rigid framed ATBs, knobby tyres 'n' all. I suspect the new one is around 11Kg.

    My offspring do like to come cycling with me but it all gets quite moany when we get on a hill (I'm in south Wales and there are hills every which-way unfortunately for them). In all honesty I don't imagine it would be different if they were on pricier bikes. And at a difference of £20 for my ebay purchases and £300 for an equivalent Isla bike I doubt I'll ever know...

    We mostly do road riding; if I thought they'd start doing woodland trails and the like by virtue of being on a lighter bike then I might be tempted (hang on - I'd still have to raise £600 for the two of them...)

    Edit - If price is no object, get him the isla bike.

    I got this for £21 and I'm genuinely interested what else my 6yo would be capable of if I did drop £300 on a bike for him

    ninja.JPG

    (Edit 2 ... here's a pic of the Isla)

    isla.jpg
  • J L wrote:
    TBH cost is not really an issue, the main reason I asked the original question was due to the fact every shop I have been in wants to sell me an over heavy bike that he will not ride because its cumbersome and uncomfortable, we got him the Hotrock 16 as it was light and fitted well, he subsequently was the first in his class to ride with out stabilisers and was the first in his year to ride to school every day, I want this speed of development to continue so he keeps enjoying it.

    I understand that pricing will be very close to that of a 26" wheeled bike but if it works well for him its a price worth paying.

    I think that Isla bikes have a really good business model there, proper bike, but for kids what's not to like?

    thanks

    Jon

    I agree entirely, but not all parents see the logic. Ive taught many a kid to ride over the years from first wobbles as a 4/5 yo to flying down a 1 in 3 as a 8/9 yo, this has always been made much more difficult for me and the kid, by parents that are too mean to buy them a decent bike. One of my current proteges has just turned 9 and is still at the stage where she cant set off on her own on anything but a downward slope, due mainly to her PINK coloured bike with a wicker basket being too small, too heavy and too higher geared. I told he dad not to let her chose her own bike out of the Argos catalog
  • J LJ L Posts: 425
    craker wrote:
    I'm guilty of buying 2nd-hand 20" wheeled bikes on the cheap (the last two were Raleigh branded but I don't think that counts for much). They're rigid framed ATBs, knobby tyres 'n' all. I suspect the new one is around 11Kg.

    My offspring do like to come cycling with me but it all gets quite moany when we get on a hill (I'm in south Wales and there are hills every which-way unfortunately for them). In all honesty I don't imagine it would be different if they were on pricier bikes. And at a difference of £20 for my ebay purchases and £300 for an equivalent Isla bike I doubt I'll ever know...

    We mostly do road riding; if I thought they'd start doing woodland trails and the like by virtue of being on a lighter bike then I might be tempted (hang on - I'd still have to raise £600 for the two of them...)

    Edit - If price is no object, get him the isla bike.

    I got this for £21 and I'm genuinely interested what else my 6yo would be capable of if I did drop £300 on a bike for him

    ninja.JPG

    (Edit 2 ... here's a pic of the Isla)

    isla.jpg

    I hear you on this one, my wife has a very different view to me too, but I distinctly remember as a kid hating my bike because it was censored and heavy and awful to ride, my lad loves to ride the haldon trails and to mimic what I ride, bmx and pump tracks are his favourite and he really is into it so I don't want to stop the momentum, we also live in a very hilly area so again a lighter bike is of a benefit, he is an only child so I can spoil him with out fear of upsetting a sibling.

    Also the Hotrock 16 is in ace near perfect condition so should raise some cash towards the replacement.
    I'm not old I'm Retro
  • Isla bikes holds their value well, so you'll be able to move it on when he outgrows it.
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • mpattsmpatts Posts: 962
    Our FWC has on her 3rd islabikes. They are steep, but just look at second hand prices - I expect to sell hers for a loss of around £75. The others were the same. They are brilliant!
    Insert bike here:
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,625
    Have a look at Frog Bikes as well.

    They have the same approach as Islabikes, i.e. child-sized components, single ring, etc, but are quite a bit cheaper.
    I am currently trying to get a test ride for my 8 yo daughter on one with a view to buying a 24" wheel model for her.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • Have a look at the Giant XTC Jr 20. I had a look at one in my LBS and they have a good spec and are very light. I will be considering the XTC 24 when my daughter needs a bike upgrade
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,216
    My youngest son has just upgraded from a Giant mtx125 which is heavy to an older specialized hotrock 24 with no suspension fork. My son loves it throws it around like its made of plastic compared with the Giant. I also looked at frogbikes which are just below Islabikes in terms of quality and price. Forme and Moda plus several other good manufacturers are coming along with better quality bikes to compete against Islabikes in the near future. Moda do a crossbike which is very good but pricy.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • J L wrote:
    Thanks folks, those Isla bikes look good, a little pricey but only 30 quid more than the Hotrock 20, he is only 5 1/2, so a 26" will be way to big for him.
    5 1/2! Unless he's a giant 20 inch is gonna be big for him. 16 inch seems to be recommended for 5-7 year olds 20 inch for 7-9 years. My 7 year old is just getting used to his 20 inch carrera blast. If he is big then maybe look for an 18 inch but 20 seems real big!
    pity those who don't drink, the way they feel when they wake is the best they will feel all day


    voodoo hoodoo
  • another vote for islabikes... I'm getting a beinn20 for my girl who is 8
  • Yet another nod for Islabikes.....we have had 3.

    Even forgetting the cost v secondhand value, they just are designed and work superbly, they truly are fit for purpose.

    For me, the ease of riding and enjoyment the kids get out of riding them makes it a no brainer. The secondhand value is merely a bonus.

    We will certainly continue buying them for the kids as they grow.
  • Have a look at the Giant XTC Jr 20. I had a look at one in my LBS and they have a good spec and are very light. I will be considering the XTC 24 when my daughter needs a bike upgrade

    I wouldn't, there's better offerings out there, the giants still use quill stems!
    Too-ra-loo-ra, too-ra-loo-rye, aye

    Giant Trance
    Radon ZR 27.5 Race
    Btwin Alur700
    Merida CX500
  • check out the ridgeback bikes too they are aluminium and we paid £135 for the 16" version when my son was 6 , very well made and they look good which is important to kids.
    The family that rides together stays together !

    Boardman Comp 29er 2013

    Whyte T129s 2014 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12965414&p=18823801&hilit=whyte+t129s#p18823801

    Road Scott speedster s50 2011
  • I cycle and coach at the Maindy track in Cardiff. The club has several Isla track, road and cyclocross bikes and countless kids use their mountain bikes. They are reliable and well designed (specific children's geometry), you can't really go wrong with one of them.
  • I bought my 7 year old a Scott Spark Jr 20.

    221797_14761_png_zoom_3.jpg

    http://www.scott-sports.com/global/en/p ... -jr-20-20/

    It's a 'real' bike but just in a small size and she loves it! It was expensive but I don't care, I just wanted something that's good to ride so that it encourages her to ride. Also, (a) it's built to last, (b) size wise she should get maybe 3 years out of it (though she's riding with the seat a bit low at the moment for confidence) and, (c) because it's such a good bike, it will take upgrading well. I bought it for Christmas last year and this Christmas we'll be doing a round of upgrades to shed some weight (and to introduce a bit of orange which is her favourite colour!). We've done a lot of riding together this year and the suspension seems to be working really well on the rough stuff. And, as someone else mentioned, although it wasn't on the tick list when I was looking for a bike, the fact that I'll get a decent price back when she's done with it is a bonus. Highly recommended.

    Here it is on a gentle day out...

    https://vimeo.com/73467466
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • J LJ L Posts: 425

    Here it is on a gentle day out...

    https://vimeo.com/73467466

    dude thats really cool but where is her crash helmet?? :?:
    Woodmonkey wrote:
    J L wrote:
    Thanks folks, those Isla bikes look good, a little pricey but only 30 quid more than the Hotrock 20, he is only 5 1/2, so a 26" will be way to big for him.
    5 1/2! Unless he's a giant 20 inch is gonna be big for him. 16 inch seems to be recommended for 5-7 year olds 20 inch for 7-9 years. My 7 year old is just getting used to his 20 inch carrera blast. If he is big then maybe look for an 18 inch but 20 seems real big!

    I think you may be getting wheel and frame sizes mixed up, he is currently on a Hotrock 16 (Wheel size) which he is rapidly growing out of.

    20's are the next size up for 5+ year olds

    Looking at all the input (thanks all) Isla bikes are looking the most favourable.
    I'm not old I'm Retro
  • dude thats really cool but where is her crash helmet?? :?:

    Ah, she's all sorted now. We had a week or so when she was between having outgrown her old helmet and a new one arriving. She's got a Uvex Vision now which she really likes so is always keen to wear it. I also got her some shocking pink Troy Lee gloves which she wears even if she's not on her bike and a pair of 661 Rage knee pads should be arriving tomorrow.
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,625
    J L wrote:

    Here it is on a gentle day out...

    https://vimeo.com/73467466

    dude thats really cool but where is her crash helmet?? :?:

    And where is mum's crash helmet?

    (I am assuming that is mum in the video)
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • JBA wrote:
    J L wrote:

    Here it is on a gentle day out...

    https://vimeo.com/73467466

    dude thats really cool but where is her crash helmet?? :?:

    And where is mum's crash helmet?

    (I am assuming that is mum in the video)

    Same goes for mum and dad, too — we're both all kitted up now. If for no other reason that it sends a confusing message to the little one if she's all kitted up and we're going commando. Though, aside from that, I did learn my lesson the hard way recently when I went down on my right knee at full speed on a rough track. I mashed it up pretty good, though, luckily, I didn't break it. It's 661 Rage for me as well now!
    All the gear, no idea and loving the smell of jealousy in the morning.
    Kona Process 134 viewtopic.php?f=10017&t=12994607
  • Woodmonkey wrote:
    J L wrote:
    Thanks folks, those Isla bikes look good, a little pricey but only 30 quid more than the Hotrock 20, he is only 5 1/2, so a 26" will be way to big for him.
    5 1/2! Unless he's a giant 20 inch is gonna be big for him. 16 inch seems to be recommended for 5-7 year olds 20 inch for 7-9 years. My 7 year old is just getting used to his 20 inch carrera blast. If he is big then maybe look for an 18 inch but 20 seems real big!

    I think you may be getting wheel and frame sizes mixed up, he is currently on a Hotrock 16 (Wheel size) which he is rapidly growing out of.

    20's are the next size up for 5+ year olds

    Looking at all the input (thanks all) Isla bikes are looking the most favourable.[/quote]
    I was talking wheel size! 20 inch wheel is a big bike for a five year old!
    pity those who don't drink, the way they feel when they wake is the best they will feel all day


    voodoo hoodoo
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    J L wrote:
    dude thats really cool but where is her crash helmet?? :?:
    :roll:
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
  • Jgb1Jgb1 Posts: 50
    I have just orderd an Islabike. Its not arrived yet but will can let you know the verdict.
    I didnt really want to spend £300 but after trying lots of the cool looking suspension bikes in the shop and not being impressed with the weight I bumped into some one with an Islabike and the weight difference made my mind up. That and the fact that if you look at completed listings on ebay they lose next to nothing after two or three years.
  • bartimaeusbartimaeus Posts: 1,812
    Islabikes are a great choice - here's my lad out on his first Islabike when he was 8. Since then he's moved on from the Beinn 24 to a Beinn 26... though he now has an XS Rockhopper.
    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
  • Daz555Daz555 Posts: 4,040
    Islabikes are the best I've seen - my son has the Cnoc 16.

    However I do feel that in the last few years they seem to have passed from "reassuringly expensive" to "holy shoot".

    Not yet decided if I'm going to get my lad a Benin yet or get something a bit cheaper.
    You only need two tools: WD40 and Duck Tape.
    If it doesn't move and should, use the WD40.
    If it shouldn't move and does, use the tape.
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