Kids 12" bike for 2-3 year old

Discussion in 'Bicycling' started by Benji, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Benji

    Benji

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    What bike should I get? :confused:

    My boy is ready for a bike. He has grown out of the push-with-your-feet trikes and is ready for a real pedal bike ;) .

    I have been looking at a couple of 12" kid bike options.

    What should I go with? Should I be looking for quality?

    Wal-mart, Costco, Target etc. all sell multiple super-hero bikes for ~$60.

    Trek and Giant have great looking bikes for ~$130. Is the extra $60 worth the price for a name brand kids bike?

    Are there other options?

    When I was a kid I rode my 12 incher for years after I had a real bike just for fun. It was easy to pull bunny-hops etc. on it ;) . We used to put the 12" front wheels on the front of a 20" bike for fun. I could not have done this if my 12" bike did not last as long as it did (it was a great quality bike for the time).

    What do your kids have and enjoy?
     
  2. agent orange

    agent orange

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    Id go with a harley, maybe a springer softtail, something comfortable he can cruise on.
     
  3. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey Moderator

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    Just got my 4yo a 16" Mongoose RACER X from Wally World, $53. It's on the big side for him, but should be good this year and hopefully the next few. It's great, built well, good safety features - can't get to the chain or sprocket to mash a finger. Also can't pry him off it.

    Don't forget the helmet.
     
  4. Benji

    Benji

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    He will definately need the 12" bike. He is a small kid, but very talented in his motor skills.
     
  5. RredFJ40

    RredFJ40

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    You've got to guage your kid. Is the bike going to fit him for one year? Or is he slow grower or smaller than average. If he is realistically going to use the bike for more than a year, I'd throw down the cash for a giant or specialized kiddo bike. At least your can resell it down the road. Wally world special's? Not so much after 2 years.

    I bought my 4 year old a cheapo 12" bike for Christmas. She won't ride it. We live in a bad neighborhood for juvenile wheeled entertainment. Way too steep to teach a 3-4 year old how to ride.
     
  6. tsobrado

    tsobrado

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    I spent the money for a Specialized six years ago for my first son. It was ridden very hard then and hard now by my second son. I would recommend spending a little more for the good stuff. Regarding toys, I have found that the cheap stuff breaks in less than a week whereas the expensive lasts forever. My .02
     
  7. swank60

    swank60

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    My son is the second rider of a cheap-o bike. He rides the hell out of it and there's no problem with it at all. It's a tough little bike.

    No offense to anyone, but if you're spending more than $50 on a 12" bike, you're getting into vanity country. A 3-4 year old can't ride anything that hard.

    My son's been on the bike for over 6 months now - got it when he was 3 - and he's a terror. he's wearing down the tires and leaving black skid marks everywhere since he figured out how to slam on the brakes at speed. He's also figured out how to pop wheelies!!

    Just spend a little on the bike and take him out every chance you get. My son and I were going out a lot more toward the end of winter, but we're trying to get out more now. His average ride is about 3 miles (no kidding) and he rides steady and fast enough that I had to get my bike up and running again because I couldn't keep up with him on foot.

    Good to see you around Benji! Hope all's well!
     
  8. White Shark

    White Shark

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    I only buy bikes from my local pro bikeshop. You won't get crap for support or any correct adjustments out of the evil Wal-Mart or other big box store.

    I have 3 boys and they all have 16" wheel bikes, but 2 of them are getting into the bigger rides.

    1 Specialized 16"
    1 Schwinn 16"
    1 Haro 16"
    1 Specialized 24"


    When they get bigger, you can get them the killer stuff like this...

    This is what I bought for my oldest son. Specialized TRX-24 cruiser. (This bike is killer) It's the 24" tire cruiser version of the X-Games Pro Jumping / Stunt bike (20") Check out those beefy rear drop outs. This thing is the Land Cruiser of stunt bikes.


    [​IMG]
     
  9. cary

    cary SILVER Star

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    My two cents. Skip the 12" bike, they are only good for a short period of time. If you do get one, just get a Target special and spend an hour disassembling it and then putting it back together properly (since the bozo that assembled it won't have).

    For my 3 year old, I bought a 16" bike. I spent a lot of time looking at them and ended up with a Specialized. I would not bother with the Treks, they use tensile steel frames (as do most the manufactures). The Specialized and Marin were the only 16" bikes for young kids that were built with any consideration of weight in mind. While it may not seem like much, most of the cheap 16" bikes are in the 20 pound range vs. the 15 pound range for the Specialized (a big difference for a 32 pound kid).

    Does my son like it? Look at the picture and tell me. Then of course he would have probably loved anything he got.
    IMG_5724.JPG IMG_5725.JPG
     
  10. e rock

    e rock

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    If you can't handle the 'adjustments' on a $50 12" bike intended to be operated by a 4-year old...



    As much as it's contrary to my nature, I'm with swank on this one. How long does it really NEED to last? A couple summers at most before they're growing into something bigger? It's not like resale value is a consideration here. I say go for the cheapo bike and let them thrash it. If it's still working when it's time to upgrade, pass it on to a kid that doesn't have one.


    I'm all for buying quality when you need something to last. I only buy myself quality shoes now that will last and remain comfortable. I insist on the same for my wife, despite her spendthrift inclinations. My kids get decent shoes. I won't foce them to wear shoes that hurt, but I'm also not buying them $300 hiking boots that will be outgrown in a year purely for the self-righteous pleasure of "buying nothing but the best for my child".
     
  11. White Shark

    White Shark

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    I don't buy crap...ever. As far as bike adjustments go, crap bikes will never hold adjustments correctly. Setting up a bike is easy, but keeping it there only works with quality goods.

    As far as adjustment goes, you'd be surprised how many people can't figure out pedal height, handlebar angle, stem height, and the rest. I'm used to seeing kids ride around with forks installed backwards because their dad is a systems analyst and never got outside to ride bikes because Space Invaders was more important. As such, the bike never gets set up right, much less adjusted for fit. I used to race bikes, so I consider proper adjustment an artform which is lost on most.

    Having 3 boys allows me to hold on to the bikes for a long time, and I'll give them to someone else when they have totally grown out of them. My 11 year old got his 16" Specialized when he was 6 and he still likes to moto around on it since his 9 and 6 year old brothers moto their bikes around too. So I have to say that your growing out of bikes idea is not completely applicable in this situation.

    The 11 year old rides his 24" Cruiser, my 26" Redline Cruiser with the seat all the way down, and his 16" Specialized with the seat all the way up. He fits best on a 20" bike, but his choice to get a Cruiser allows him to grow into a larger frame, although he fits better on the 20". Having given him the lecture about how the 20" is the right fit, and allowing him to make his own choice, I was still able to find a 24" that fits him pretty well. He tears it up on that thing, but he has to be more careful when pulling jumps since the mass of the 24" is a lot greater.


    Earlier this afternoon, I cleared the backyard for a BMX track that I'm doing the grade work on tomorrow. I am pulling in a bunch of fill with my dump, and building some sweet high berms, banks, and jumps, for the maniacs to tear up, instead of driving Mom nuts by asking her permission to ride in the street.

    Since I own a CAT 247B, a 14' dump trailer, and having an unlimited supply of clean fill, I am going to put together a sweet little track. I may even get my Redline MonoCog cruiser out for some fat berm action of my own. :D My wife hates the idea of a track in the backyard, but she will appreciate having them out of her hair when it's done.... ;)

    Besides, show me a kid that likes grass more than a BMX track in the backyard, and I'll show you a kid who like Barbie's and listens to showtunes... :doh:


    By the way, watching three boys riding in a row and spinning circles on 16" bikes, is like watching the Shriner's go crazy in my own back yard....
     
  12. agomez

    agomez

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    make sure he always wears a helmet....
     
  13. swank60

    swank60

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    Is it contrary to your nature to agree with me, or to buy cheap stuff?



    :D


    I'll go one more on the cheap bike - the one my boy rides is well made. What's most important is that he gets to ride it. He loves riding his bike more than just about anything, and I make a point to get him out as often as possible to the park for long rides (2-3 times a week when we can) and we clear out the driveway from Friday to Sunday night so he can run out the door and ride all he wants, whenever he wants. IMHO, everything else is secondary.
     
  14. cary

    cary SILVER Star

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    I'll just chime back in with my two cents about the cheap Target bikes (I haven't looked at the Walmart ones). FYI, I am a major bike snob, I have about $10,000 in bikes hanging in the garage.

    If you were looking at a quasi mountain bike or quasi road bike for an adult, I would tell you to run from the department store. However, the kids bikes are a little different. They are simple single speed bikes with a coaster brake and no suspension (basically the drivetrain and suspension the two most costly items to produce).

    The Kids 12", 16" and 20" BMX style bikes at Target are perfectly good quality. There are two big differences between them and the better brand bikes. First is they use cheaper, heavier steels for things like the frame, handlebars, seat post, wheels, etc, instead of alloys. Second, is the assembly quality is generally pretty poor. If you are willing to spend 20 minutes making sure everything is adjusted/torqued properly there is no reason that one of these will not last as long as a more expensive bike. When I bought the Specialized, I thought long and hard about it, and it was lighter weight that pushed me into buying it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2007
  15. Jon in NC

    Jon in NC

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    Dude, quit snobbing, go yard sale or consignment shop. Kids outgrow bikes in a year and they can be found super dirt cheap. I got my son a chopper imitation bike that retailed for $75 at a yard sale for $5. Yes $5. So what if he breaks it or out grows it, it was only $5. When he does out grow it, then I'll have a yard sale and sell it for, oh I don't know, $5! Plus, they aren't training for the TdF. They just want a bike to ride with their friends. Sure, you usually get what you pay for, but sometimes you don't need to get al that you pay for. Look at it as teaching good economics at an early age.
     
  16. dingdong

    dingdong

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    Our local recycling depot has a spot where people can drop off bikes that they don't want or need anymore. I am amazed by all the name brand bikes that are there. Might be worth checking out.
     
  17. Benji

    Benji

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    Thanks for all the suggestions.

    My wife and I are leaning toward the department store bike as it's hard to justify $130 on kids bike. On the other hand, my boy is small for his size and he might be using the bike for several more years. However, I don't really see him going all out like the X-games so I probably won't worry about the bike lasting a few years.

    ..by the way Swank, it's good to hear from you. I'm doing great, just busy.

    I'll take pics of the little guy when he finally gets the bike.

    cheers,

    ben
     
  18. jitin25

    jitin25

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    Hi man if wanna buy for your kid. So Wal mart is best place. They provide best and quality products. I also buy lots of things from here,.
     
  19. Heirloom

    Heirloom

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    Don't underestimate the economy of craigslist. You could find a lightly used version of your $60 target bike for $15.
     
  20. phatairman

    phatairman SILVER Star

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    Holy thread revival. His kid is at least 7 now.
     

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