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Adjustable Stem and Seat for Raleigh Lily 20

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Adjustable Stem and Seat for Raleigh Lily 20

Old 08-30-20, 08:52 PM
  #1  
nenovster
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Adjustable Stem and Seat for Raleigh Lily 20

Hi all. I am.a long time rec-rider - cruising the beach and neighborhood solo until approximately 7 years ago, afterwards having my daughters (4 & 6 yrs old now) on bike seats and in a double trailer, and most recently (past month) riding inside our community and in local parks with my older on her bike and the younger in the trailer. Still working on getting my wife to join us from time to time .


Last week, I replaced the 6 yr old's Vitus 16 with a Raleigh Lily 20. She is not entirely happy about the swap (more on that later) but does not want to go back to the Vitus 16. In fact, she did her longest ride to date of 4.5 miles on her 2nd day on the Lily. She loves the 6 gears because she can now go faster on pavement but also manages to pedal through grassy areas. We also tested a Trek 24 MT200 Dialed that we got for free but that one proved to be way too heavy, and despite being ultra adjustable, she was going quite slow on it and letting it fall to the ground (gently) each time she stopped. She is a big 6 tr old at 49 in and 68 lbs.


The problem with the Lily is that it is fairly aggressive with a long wheelbase and a low handlebar, which causes my daughter to stretch out her arms quite a bit and, because her torso is stretched out too, bump her belly with her thighs (we raised the seat a bit since then). The seat is adjusted all the way forward but not sure what would be the proper rake angle. She also complained that the stock seat is too hard.


I need your wisdom and experience with the following:
  • Thoughts on adjustable stems (controls the height of the handlebars by adjusting the angle - saw that on on Amazon)
  • Thoughts on a better seat or somehow adjusting better what we have

Thank you!
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Old 08-31-20, 08:45 AM
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iwazi
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I offer experience, but probably not wisdom.
My son was about 46" tall when he started riding a Raleigh Rowdy 20, the 2017 model. I think it's more or less the same bike as the Lily. We replaced the stock 60mm stem with a shorter, cheap, 35mm one from Amazon. The original was just too much reach for him. The shorter one, along with the handlebars being adjusted so that the rise was angled back toward him, helped with the fit. The intent is to put the original stem back on as he grows. I haven't noticed any problems with him riding on it with the shorter stem. He joined a local kids mountain bike team in the summer of 2019(it's sort of like a summer camp activity) and enjoyed it. Younger kids like my son were on all kinds of bikes, mostly BMX, and were riding on easy local mountain bike trails. With the Rowdy we bought it used for this year knowing he'd be on those trails, so the aggressive design/fit was a little more appropriate for that kind of riding. I think you could probably get away with a short adjustable stem and not have any issues. The bike may be just a bit more squirrelly than it was before.

My son has complained a few times about soreness from the seat on longer rides, but I assumed it was from the longer rides, not necessarily about the seat. Also, he's scrawny, so he doesn't have much of his own . . . padding.

If it's useful, the image below shows the fit with the shorter stem when he was about 46" tall. We also modified the bike from a 6 to a 7 speed to add a 34 tooth gear, with a new derailleur, and trigger shifter.

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Old 08-31-20, 09:05 AM
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Also, my son was very excited about the new bike, and especially having gears, so he didn't complain about the fit when leaving his BMX styled Trek Jet 16. Your daughter might just need time to adapt to the new style/fit of the bike? Perhaps show her some Ruby Isaac videos on YouTube where Ruby is riding with a more "aggressive" designed bike, to normalize it. We watched some of her videos like this one about shifting gears.
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Old 08-31-20, 09:17 PM
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Wow, awesome! That's exactly the experience and wisdom I was hoping for. Thanks iwazi In fact, I just double checked stem/handlebar measurements and placed that same short stem in my Amazon cart

That bike club sounds fantastic! I wish we had something like that in my area. And Ruby is great, too. She has the confidence and skills. I'll share with my daughters.
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