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HELP! HT for a soon to be 11 yr old

redfive1redfive1 Posts: 3
edited November 2018 in MTB buying advice
I need help (psychiatric help according to my wife).
I have been looking at getting a new bike for my son, who is going to be 11 shortly, as he is outgrowing his current 24" wheeled Carrera Blast. I'm looking to spend in the region of £350. In my ignorance I seem to have narrowed it down to 2 bikes.

This one https://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/mountain-bikes/voodoo-soukri-27-5-womens-mountain-bike-14-16-18-frames

or this one https://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-st-540-mountain-bike-red-275-id_8379537.html

They both seem to be similarly specced. It's to be a surprise so asking the aforementioned child is out of the question, but both bikes have "street cred" issues. The Voodoo, being a girls bike (they dont do the mens bikes in a small enough frame) could lead to ridicule over it being a girls bike, as well as the fact that at 11 I'm not sure I'd have been too chuffed with one either. The B'Twin on the other hand avoids this pitfall but has the "disadvantage" of not being a "name" as such (you know how ruthless the playground can be).
Now which of these bikes is the better, or is there something else out there that gives a better bang for buck? The budget is pretty rigid I'm afraid, as SWMBO thinks I'm spending too much already.
Cheers

Posts

  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 2,376
    Here is an alternative:

    Don't get a new one! :shock:

    You will get much better value if you go "previously loved". Or better still buy a used frame and build up the bike with components as they become available, either used or new. It can be a project for you and your son to work on together. Better still, other members of your family can contribute with stuff like pedals, grips, a chain, tyres, wheels and so forth. The project does not have to be completed all in one go. If you buy a second hand bike with a decent frame, you could strip it down and respray it. then build it up with new bars and stem, and go 1x in the process. You could stay with whatever parts it came with that are working OK and replace them as birthday gifts, next Xmas, and his pocket money allows.

    I did this with my grandson, who was 9 at the time for Xmas 2016. The donor bike was a horrible looking Giant XTc 2005, and it no longer had its original high spec forks, brakes or shifters. But the frame was outstanding. Once it was resprayed Audi Laser Red, nobody could tell how old it was or even what it was. He helped me build it up, doing as much of the work as he was physically capable of. That was coming up to two years ago now and there is nothing left to do on it, the only part of it that is original is the frame. All his mates are envious and they think it is really cool. I'm now struggling for what to get him for Xmas!

    If all else fails, the try Pauls' Cycles. They do brand new bikes from previous years, so they are deeply discounted. They even have Black Friday deals still! :)

    https://www.paulscycles.co.uk/
  • Thanks for the input Steve.
    Tbh I hadn't considered doing it that way. However his last couple of bikes have been second hand and he has previously said that he'd love a brand new one, so that kind of dictates this purchase.
    It's definitely something to consider for his next bike though as I'm sure we'll only get a couple of years out of this one.
    I had looked at Paul's Cycles and for the money, at the time (pre Black Friday), the bikes seemed to have a lesser spec for similar money.
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