8yo daughter - new bike ideas

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2/4/2015 10:49 AM

Hi all - need some counsel as I know nothing anymore about street/bmx...

Daughter (8yo, 62lbs) is rapidly outgrowing her Spesh Hotrock 20 coaster (it's starting to look positively circus-like). Stated horizontal top tube length on that bike is 17.9"

Looking for a NEW bike in the $400 range (as it looks like there's a breakover at +/- $400 from crap to adequate build-wise). This bike will be for *general use* -- to/from school/park/pumptrack/etc. She doesn't race or freestyle, but she does pumptrack (on smaller, public-oriented versions of the real-deal P/Ts)

Things I've noticed but don't understand and hope you might help me with:

1) freestyle/jump bikes are built heavy in this price range (25+lbs) and have tiny gearing that I assume would spin-out at what, 6-8mph? Is that a realistic general-use setup? Also, at 25+lbs it'll be a third of her weight when she's 9yo... I get that none of them are really built for any kind of seated pedaling and the saddles are just there to keep riders from constantly sacking -- in real-world general use this might be a bit of a problem as she does sit and pedal on asphalt as much as she's out of the seat on dirt. Example of what I'm seeing: Haro Downtown (18.5" or 20.3" TT, 25.5lbs, $300 MSRP)

2) BMX bikes in the price range are 17-18lbs (consistent with where they were back in the 1980s when I rode one) - and lighter weight always appeals. The gearing setup is way different - bigger chainring on front for I assume higher speeds (43/16 used to be my typical). Frame geo looks similar to freestyle. I'm inclined to go this direction as they look like a better on-paper solution. Example: Haro Annex Expert (19" TT, 17lbs, $399 MSRP)

So - please educate me on what might be a best choice and also PLEASE DO recommend setups in my price range that you might really like and approve of. Free Agent? GT? Mongoose? ______?

Last: if there's a 24" out there that doesn't have a ridiculously long TT I'm open to that as well. She rides a 24" mountain bike (20.5" TTL) and likes the geo - but at ($$ many hundreds) isn't taking that to the park any time soon. smile

Kind thanks!
Makakio

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2/4/2015 11:03 AM

Check out the cult juvenile. It's a 16" and weighs about 18-19 lbs. I believe it's right there in the $400 range and prob could get 15% off at Danscomp right now. I bought the same one for my daughter. It's just like a real 20 but smaller!

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2/4/2015 12:08 PM

Thanks. She's been riding a 20" for years now and I'd rather stick there or go bigger!

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2/4/2015 12:11 PM

Looking at DK Sprinters (expert and pro at $399). Expert is a lighter build (2lbs) that looks about right for her size (it's spec'd as 4'8" - 5'2") and the pro takes it from 5' - 5'8".

Anyone familiar with these?

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2/4/2015 12:12 PM

i like dk bikes but might be to big for her to learn tricks on, unless u want to get her into racing first.

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@ethanbrackett
@powersbikeshop

2/4/2015 12:47 PM

Hey Makaio - The gearing on bikes now is actually the same as it was in the 80s. In the 80s the standard gearing would be 44 up front and 16 in the back. 44/16 = 2.75

Now we've simply shrank both gears down but the gearing works out to be the same. 25 up front and 9 in the back is standard. 25 / 9 = 2.77

Since you're in California I'm sure you have a lot of great bike shops around you. I would recommend taking her down to a shop and simply seeing what she likes best. A light weight bike will help, as well as keeping the top tube as short as possible. For what she's doing a race bike might be a great pick. With that said she would be fine on a freestyle bike and it would be more versatile and durable for general kid-on-a-bike type stuff.

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Chris

www.bmxtransition.com
Canadian BMX Mailorder
Instagram: @transitionbmx

2/4/2015 1:33 PM

Thanks Chris and Ethan - appreciate your input on the gearing and versatility/durability. I'll keep searching for lighter weight freestyle bikes too.

One question: why go with 25/9 for street/free and 44/16 for BMX? It would seem that the clearance and compact size offered with 25/9 would be beneficial to the (much larger) 44/16...

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2/4/2015 1:49 PM
Edited Date/Time: 2/4/2015 1:49 PM

makakio wrote:

Thanks Chris and Ethan - appreciate your input on the gearing and versatility/durability. I'll keep searching for lighter weight freestyle bikes too.

One question: why go with 25/9 for street/free and 44/16 for BMX? It would seem that the clearance and compact size offered with 25/9 would be beneficial to the (much larger) 44/16...

Racers generally use a bigger gearing because they will tend to change up gear ratios for different tracks and races. The gears on the front of their bikes often bolt on to a spider so they are easy to bolt off and change up, but require a bigger gear. Same with the back, they will tend to use a traditional cassette hub which allows for easy cog changes to switch up your gear ratio but forces you to use larger gears.

In freestyle you have no real need to switch up your gearing and strength is really all that matters. For this reason we've opted to replace a traditional cassette on the back hub with a one piece driver (usually 9T) and use a smaller, solid sprocket up front.

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Chris

www.bmxtransition.com
Canadian BMX Mailorder
Instagram: @transitionbmx

6/4/2015 4:16 PM

Ahhhh - makes a lot of sense.

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6/4/2015 4:54 PM

youre a good father

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1996 dyno slammer, 1997 mosh pro, 1998 gt vertigo, 2000 haro backtrail x3, 2004 free agent tigercat, 2005 volume dinosaur, 2005 s&m black bike, 2013 stolen saint 24", 2015 flybikes proton

6/5/2015 4:52 AM

Get a subrosa complete, either a latest model or go for one that's last years model, which you should pick up for even cheaper!

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6/5/2015 7:01 AM

makakio wrote:

Thanks Chris and Ethan - appreciate your input on the gearing and versatility/durability. I'll keep searching for lighter weight freestyle bikes too.

One question: why go with 25/9 for street/free and 44/16 for BMX? It would seem that the clearance and compact size offered with 25/9 would be beneficial to the (much larger) 44/16...

transition_chris wrote:

Racers generally use a bigger gearing because they will tend to change up gear ratios for different tracks and races. The gears on the front of their bikes often bolt on to a spider so they are easy to bolt off and change up, but require a bigger gear. Same with the back, they will tend to use a traditional cassette hub which allows for easy cog changes to switch up your gear ratio but forces you to use larger gears.

In freestyle you have no real need to switch up your gearing and strength is really all that matters. For this reason we've opted to replace a traditional cassette on the back hub with a one piece driver (usually 9T) and use a smaller, solid sprocket up front.

THIS, and to add to it, the issue at hand is that with 44/16, you have around 24 teeth up front and around 8 or so in back spreading the forces of pedaling, while on a 25/9 setup, it is around 13 and 5 spreading similar forces. Racers NEED their chains to hold up for the race, so putting less force on each link or tooth is ideal. For freestyle, being more out of the way is ideal these days.

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"Hey anybody ever make that mistake like right when you wake up in the morning and you believe in yourself?" -Kyle Kinane

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6/5/2015 10:58 AM

JonnyGanja wrote:

youre a good father

Buying good gear keeps them interested in doing stuff *I* want to do. Self-serving to a degree haha...

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