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Recommended 20" bike for 8 year old boy? (Raleigh vs Jamis vs Trek)

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Recommended 20" bike for 8 year old boy? (Raleigh vs Jamis vs Trek)

Old 03-20-19, 07:08 AM
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sofakng
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Recommended 20" bike for 8 year old boy? (Raleigh vs Jamis vs Trek)

My son is currently using a 16" Specialized Hotrock but needs a larger bicycle. He's about 49.5" tall and our local bicycle shop recommends a 20" instead of 24" and I think I agree because I don't want the bicycle too big for him to be comfortable.

However, our local bicycle shop no longer sells Specialized but instead sells Jamis and Raleigh. They suggested the Raleigh MXR 20 (MSRP $189.99 but they are asking $239.99?!) and the Jamis Laser 20 (MSRP $249.99 asking $229.99).

Does anybody have an opinion on either of these bikes?

There is also a Trek dealer about 30 minutes away so I would consider them but they aren't as close as the Raleigh/Jamis dealer.

(I also see the Raleigh Rowdy 20" for MSRP $249.99 but my dealer never mentioned it and I'm not too thrilled with the color but it's OK I guess)
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Old 03-20-19, 10:46 AM
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the Business..

BMX style 20" Wheel bike ? https://www.raleighusa.com/mxr20




there are other companies .. too 'making' just BMX bikes
the bicycle motocross rider does not sit down and pedal, but stands.. , so your boy really wont outgrow it..
but may want a different style of bike.. depending on what their friends are into


Most-all are rebadged for each importer , by a big multi brand OEM factory to cut costs.*.
And so at same price ...more same than different ..
* you did mention costs ..

Who you buy from may matter more than the brand, (In independent bike dealers) so pick the Shop First ..






....

Last edited by fietsbob; 03-25-19 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 03-20-19, 01:14 PM
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Originally Posted by sofakng View Post
My son is currently using a 16" Specialized Hotrock but needs a larger bicycle. He's about 49.5" tall and our local bicycle shop recommends a 20" instead of 24" and I think I agree because I don't want the bicycle too big for him to be comfortable.

However, our local bicycle shop no longer sells Specialized but instead sells Jamis and Raleigh. They suggested the Raleigh MXR 20 (MSRP $189.99 but they are asking $239.99?!) and the Jamis Laser 20 (MSRP $249.99 asking $229.99).

Does anybody have an opinion on either of these bikes?

There is also a Trek dealer about 30 minutes away so I would consider them but they aren't as close as the Raleigh/Jamis dealer.

(I also see the Raleigh Rowdy 20" for MSRP $249.99 but my dealer never mentioned it and I'm not too thrilled with the color but it's OK I guess)
My youngest is about 8.5yo and we are building up a 24" hotrock for her right now. She has been using a 20" bike for the last couple years and could stay with it for another few months, but she is adamant on the bigger bike, even though she is the same height as your son. Itll be bigger than ideal for this spring and summer, but hopefully itll fit properly come the fall.
Anyways- point is that your kid will probably get a season out of the 20" before he can comfortably and confidently fit a 24". Perhaps keep that in mind when it comes to quality, price, etc.

Why the Raleigh cots more than MSRP is beyond me. Its $144.99 on their corporate discount site https://www.raleighusa.com/kids/4-9-years-old

Both the Raleigh and Jamis are overbuilt BMX bikes. Perfectly fine and suitable. Neither will wear out before your son is ready for larger bike.

Our 20" bike is a 7 speed and its good for helping our daughter go faster when possible and climbing easier(less complaining) when needed, but it is super difficult for little hands to change the grip shft. Even after 7 years of use(2 kids) its still difficult to twist. Just an FYI to keep in mind for if you do decide to go with gears. Some of the grip shifts are easy to twist and others are brutal.
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Old 03-20-19, 01:22 PM
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my two cents, actual bike doesn't matter, buy used, he'll outgrow it in a year or two. can't remember how many bikes both my kids went thru over the years before finally stopping at adult sized bikes
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Old 03-23-19, 07:52 PM
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Consider a xootr Swift ?
I know they have been out of production a couple years,
But seem to be available.
They are light for a youngster to handle,
Expandable, so they will be able to grow into it for a few years,
Easily replaced or upgraded components, as needed.
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Old 03-23-19, 09:35 PM
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Another vote for buying used. Also, no age is too young for a kid to begin learning how to wrench on a bike.
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Old 03-25-19, 12:47 PM
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Let him pick. Do specs/comparisons really matter? Maybe the color is most important.
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Old 03-25-19, 01:25 PM
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Raleigh's website shows 8 yrs at the top of the age bracket for 20", so you may want to look at 24" to give him room to grow with it. Worse, no front brake on the MXR. I'd object to the premium pricing, too.

I also think you should look at the used market.
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Old 03-25-19, 01:49 PM
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rugged stunt riding moto cross bicycles are a different from a budget conscious kids bike with the same wheel size..
saddle is a bit tilted on this one
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMX_bike
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Old 03-25-19, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
my two cents, actual bike doesn't matter, buy used, he'll outgrow it in a year or two. can't remember how many bikes both my kids went thru over the years before finally stopping at adult sized bikes
That's what I was thinking too. I'd suggest taking the kid with me to the store and buy whichever excites him more.
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Old 03-26-19, 07:06 AM
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Just remember the kid will outgrow the bike long before it falls apart from wear.

While there is definitely a noticeable quality difference between a Wal Mart kids bike and a Trek kids bike, the kid won't likely notice and the quality difference usually means the parts just wear out faster. And since the kids' bike isn't going to be ridden 3,000 miles before it's outgrown....the Wal Mart bike is good enough if there are budget concerns. However it wouldn't kill you to take it apart and put it back together properly before use.

If you just want a nicer bike, I get that. Craigslist can be your friend. Every other parent who spent money on a more expensive bike eventually had a kid that outgrew it before it wore out too. So there is a HUGE inventory of brand name kids bikes on Craigslist at Wal Mart prices. But it takes longer to buy one because you have to check every day and wait for the right deal to come around. If you're patient it pays off.

For the record, I've done this both ways. My kids' 16 inch bike is a Wal Mart bike (Amazon actually...but same quality) and its' on it's second kid and doing fine. My kids' 20 inch bike is a mid range Diamondback bike with an all Shimano drive train (Lower end, but still Shimano and not Acme Co from Roadrunner cartoons) that cost me $60 on Craigslist, same bike at Dick's was $250.

My kids' next bike, a 24" was pulled out of the trash pile one morning. Literally in the trash pile! And in basically new condition. Just needed a thorough cleaning and new pedals. Neither kid can ride it yet but the older one has helped me with all the repair labor and learned how to dissembled and reassemble it. So that's been fun too.
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Old 03-26-19, 07:31 AM
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Whichever one the kid likes best. As others have stated, quality and brand names isn't all that important at that level, the bike will be outgrown and discarded well before any of that comes into play. Getting something they actually want to ride is far more important.
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