Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Recreational & Family
Reload this Page >

Help choosing a bike for almost 6 yr old

Notices
Recreational & Family Ride just to ride? Have a family and want to get them into cycling? Drop in here to discuss recreational and family cycling issues.

Help choosing a bike for almost 6 yr old

Old 12-01-21, 05:56 AM
  #1  
az1900
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Help choosing a bike for almost 6 yr old

I'm having the hardest time deciding off of information on the web. The bike stores around here will only have 1 bike in this size and thus they try to sell me that. I'd be happy to buy from a bike store, and spend up to around $300 (we have a younger one who will use the bike eventually) for a lighter weight bike but how do you choose based on reviews online? No training wheels necessary, 21 inch inseem. So a 20 inch bike, or if we get bmx maybe 16 inch.

My husband turned down RoyalBaby due to that name being printed all over the bike. My husband wants one that has pegs and will do tricks, however the BMX bikes that I see cost more than our budget and I believe would be uncomfortable for most of the riding which will be just around the neighborhood or on park trails.

I'm not good with his choice of a Mongoose because it seems too heavy at over 30 lbs.

I've read the recommendation to choose a manufacturer that only makes kids bikes because they get the geometry correct and others don't usually. Is that true?
az1900 is offline  
Old 12-01-21, 08:40 AM
  #2  
chaadster
Thread Killer
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 11,406

Bikes: '15 Kinesis Racelight 4S, '76 Motebecane Gran Jubilée, '17 Dedacciai Gladiatore2, '12 Breezer Venturi, '09 Dahon Mariner, '12 Mercier Nano, '95 DeKerf Team SL, '19 Tern Rally, ‘21 Breezer Doppler Cafe+, ‘19 T-Lab X3

Mentioned: 23 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2013 Post(s)
Liked 1,098 Times in 665 Posts
I’d probably stick to 20” wheels, because kids grow so fast and the 16” bikes are really shrimpy, and even if it fits the 6 year old kid right now, it probably won’t when they’re 7. Also, 16” wheeled bikes seem to be plentiful secondhand, at least around here, and are always in good shape, so they’re cheaper and easier to acquire than a good 20”.

I share your concern about bike weight, because I want the kids to have fun riding, which means they need to be comfortable handling the bike when not riding it, and I assume they’ll struggle a little less on climbs with a lighter bike, too. I don’t worry too much about it, though, because whether the bike is 20lbs or 30lbs, as a percentage of their body weight, they’re pushing around a bike which in adult scale would be off the charts heavy!

As for geometry and brands, I dunno…I’ve never had a kid-only brand, so I’m unfamiliar. I’ve had Liv, Scott, and Giant for the kids, but my favorite has been the REI house brand, Co Op. They’re simple, no frills designs which keep weight down, but offfer a good feature set. My 9 year old is on his third year with a Co Op Rev | Cty (or somesuch) a multi-speed, 24” wheeled, disc brake equipped bike. I did have to swap the stem this year for more length and rise, but otherwise it fits him pretty well. It’s an MTB style bike— I wanted him to have and learn to use gearing— but they have single-speed BMX, too, and I think REI ships, so those may be worth checking out.

I see Woom bikes around town quite a bit, which are a kid-specific brand, and they look pretty nice, but I’ve not investigated them closely, The big thing to my eye was the absence of a heavy, cheap, suspension fork, which is good.

If your husband wants to teach the kid stunt riding, well, a heavy BMX with pegs is probably the way to go. The good news is that your child will probably love riding regardless the bike type, so don’t sweat it too hard.
chaadster is offline  
Old 12-01-21, 09:55 AM
  #3  
kingston 
Jedi Master
 
kingston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Lake Forest, IL
Posts: 3,710

Bikes: https://stinkston.blogspot.com/p/my-bikes.html

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1752 Post(s)
Liked 468 Times in 299 Posts
I bought all my kids big-box store bikes at that age. My kids were never into riding very far when they were that little so just needed something to ride around the neighborhood or to the park for a season or two until they grew out of it. Pretty sure I spent well under a hundred dollars and it was totally fine. I did buy them nicer bikes as they got older.
kingston is offline  
Old 12-01-21, 10:01 AM
  #4  
mprince
Dont fix whats not broken
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 302

Bikes: Steelman Stage Race, Dura-Ace 9s

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 93 Post(s)
Liked 163 Times in 93 Posts
When my kids were around that age (actually they were 5), bought them both 20" wheeled Specialized BMX bikes from a bike shop. Lasted them 3-4 years before they outgrew them, worked great. Once they were done, we gifted the bikes to friends in search of same bikes for their small kids.
mprince is online now  
Old 12-05-21, 07:18 PM
  #5  
nenovster
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Cooper City, FL
Posts: 12
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
You may have been looking for the Raleigh Lily 20!
That's what we have, anyways, and my daughter loves it. She is 7 and has had it for over a year. It's light at 22lbs, $290, 20" standover height, 6-speed, hand front and rear breaks, great components, great reviews, a little aggressive (lean-over riding position). To reduce the aggressiveness slightly, I replaced the longer handlebar riser with this $12 part from Amazon: Bavel Aluminum Alloy Fixed 31.8mm Cycling Mountain Bike Short Handlebar Stem Riser.
I landed a barely used bike second hand. No regrets.
Good luck.
nenovster is offline  
Old 01-06-22, 09:57 PM
  #6  
Russ Roth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Location: South Shore of Long Island
Posts: 2,079

Bikes: 2010 Carrera Volans, 2015 C-Dale Trail 2sl, 2017 Raleigh Rush Hour, 2017 Blue Proseccio, 1992 Giant Perigee, 80s Gitane Rallye Tandem

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 785 Post(s)
Liked 630 Times in 477 Posts
Really depends on how much you'll actually ride with the kid and take them on adventures.
If the kid is only riding around the block find a nice used 20" bike on marketplace or craigslist and have it looked over. Don't waste the money on department store, I know all the stories of people who's kids survived on them, I also have witnessed just how bad they really are when people bring them in for repair, they really aren't safe. Pegs on a cheap mongoose are just silly trinkets and an easy way for his friends to break the bike by riding on them with the cheap, thin axle the bike will come with, they're also something extra to hurt themselves on when they crash. If dad is going to show how to legitimately use them the bike will still be 30lbs but will be built heavy duty to use them without failing.
If you're going to ride lots with them, get a decent one. One of the biggest issues is that companies put poor crank lengths on their bikes. The Cannondale trail singlespeed has a 120mm crank, this is the longest a 20" bike should really have, the c-dale trail 20 which is 7sp has 110mm cranks which is better. Giant and Specialized I think in the last two years has moved to putting shorter cranks on to match these, the last time I looked at a trek is was 152mm, which is too long. Although they are more than a department store bike at 330.00 and 450.00 suggested pricing, my kids on decent kids mountain bikes have learned to ride all the local trails. My 6yo over the last year has ridden all the beginner and intermediate trails at 10 different mtb areas near us. He's wanting to ride more and this year will move into the advanced trails. A big part of it is that I love to MTB and the wife does as well, so the kids get brought along about 2x a week in the afternoon or weekends. I wouldn't do it with a walmart bike.
Russ Roth is offline  
Old 01-06-22, 10:18 PM
  #7  
downtube42
Senior Member
 
downtube42's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 3,166

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Volae Team, Focus Mares AL, Nimbus MUni, Trek Roscoe 6.

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 608 Post(s)
Liked 1,363 Times in 691 Posts
I've bought Woom bikes for my two grandsons. Quality is great, they are light, and I like the features. They are pricey; at least the bigger bike can be a hand-me-down.
downtube42 is offline  
Likes For downtube42:
Old 01-10-22, 09:50 PM
  #8  
Viich
Hack
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,099

Bikes: TrueNorth CX bike, 88 Bianchi Strada (currently Sturmey'd), 90's Giant Innova (now with drop bars), FMF Race BMX, Redline Proline Pro24 Cruiser

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 292 Post(s)
Liked 104 Times in 77 Posts
Originally Posted by az1900 View Post
I'm having the hardest time deciding off of information on the web. The bike stores around here will only have 1 bike in this size and thus they try to sell me that. I'd be happy to buy from a bike store, and spend up to around $300 (we have a younger one who will use the bike eventually) for a lighter weight bike but how do you choose based on reviews online? No training wheels necessary, 21 inch inseem. So a 20 inch bike, or if we get bmx maybe 16 inch.

My husband turned down RoyalBaby due to that name being printed all over the bike. My husband wants one that has pegs and will do tricks, however the BMX bikes that I see cost more than our budget and I believe would be uncomfortable for most of the riding which will be just around the neighborhood or on park trails.

I'm not good with his choice of a Mongoose because it seems too heavy at over 30 lbs.

I've read the recommendation to choose a manufacturer that only makes kids bikes because they get the geometry correct and others don't usually. Is that true?
Those recommendations on the mom-blog-sites are mostly garbage. Companies that build good bikes can absolutely get the geometry right for kids - but might be a little more focused on kids that want to ride aggressively than the kid who's just following mom down the bike path to the park and back, which seems to be what the Woom is built for. Very stable, long - hard to handle to do anything but ride sedately. Spawn & Frog bikes both build bikes kids are going to want to ride as well as be able to...

Weight actually is fairly important - because the kids need to be able to lift the bikes. I bought my kids 24" Hotrock Street bikes at least a year before they were ready - but my oldest started riding it right away because it was lighter than his 20" (which was a cheaper bike-shop bike). The Cannondale 20" are really good at that size.

As far as BMX - Mongoose were really cool when we were kids, but their absolute best bike is very much entry level now. A really good BMX in that size will be closer to 10lbs than 30. If you've a BMX race track nearby - it's a great sport for little riders.
Viich is offline  
Old 01-10-22, 11:54 PM
  #9  
nathand
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 138

Bikes: 2018 Jamis Renegade Exploit, 1996 Trek 930, mid-90's Dean El Diente, 2010 Scott Addict SL, 1998 Trek 730, Xtracycle EdgeRunner 30D

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 55 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 41 Posts
I have a 7-year-old who's been riding a used Islabikes Beinn 20 (small; they also make a 20 large). Great bike, worth looking for, but only available used and hard to find in the US. One of his friends rides a Cannondale Quick 20 which seems comparable and is more likely available at a local bike shop. A lot of the 20"-wheel bikes have shocks; unless you're planning some serious mountain biking, I'd skip those since they add weight and provide little benefit for a kid who doesn't weigh much. I do recommend a bike with gears - 7 speeds has greatly increased how far my son can ride and how steep a hill he's willing to tackle. If you live somewhere flat (we don't) that might be less of an issue.
nathand is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 07:26 AM
  #10  
Chubakazubaka
Junior Member
 
Chubakazubaka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Posts: 5
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Cannondale is a great company, as far as bikes go. My little brother had one, we were all happy with it.
Chubakazubaka is offline  
Old 01-19-22, 08:09 AM
  #11  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,237

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 106 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4511 Post(s)
Liked 2,119 Times in 1,448 Posts
fwiw - my kids went thru so many bikes over the years until they reached adult size, with only 2 exceptions (classic red trike for Son & small pink Barbie 2wheeler w/ training wheels for Daughter. she taped bar streamers on, all by herself), all bikes were pre-owned, including what they wound up with when they stopped growing. if they want new, they can buy it themselves. if hubby wants to buy an expensive bike, let him cough up the change, every other year. btw - if the kids are just riding around the neighborhood, like most kids, & not doing tricks, the kid doesn't need a bmx bike w/ pegs. I have to wonder about kids I see, in my area, who have clearly outgrown their bmx bikes, but continue to ride them, 1/2 standing & 1/2 coasting, because the bike is impropriate for what they are doing w/ it
rumrunn6 is offline  
Old 01-21-22, 12:58 PM
  #12  
icemilkcoffee 
Senior Member
 
icemilkcoffee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1,117
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 654 Post(s)
Liked 502 Times in 306 Posts
I second Woom bikes (if you are in the US). They are well made, lightweight, proportioned correctly for kids and have phenomenally good resale value. My kids had the Woom 5's and it was a great bike. I sold them each for ~$50 less than what I bought them new for, and they both sold within a few days.

Before I discovered Woom I bought a succession of Specialized HotRock bikes for them- 12" wheels, 16", 20" . These are decent bikes that are easy to find used on CL. But I did have to do a bunch of work to lighten them and make them more useable. These Hotrock bikes had four shortcomings: too heavy, geared too high, reach too far and crank lengths too long. After I swap out the tires, stem, handlebars, crankset, chain ring and cut off the kick stand mounts, I manage to make them light and kid friendly. Luckily you can still find a lot of BMX parts to customize and lighten these Hotrocks to your liking.

But if you just want something that works out of the box, Woom is it.
icemilkcoffee is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.