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WIBU to buy my eldest a brand new bike even though it's not christmas/birthday?

(34 Posts)
dangermouseisace Tue 05-Jul-16 23:17:24

I think I should but I am conflicted. I have 3 kids. I gave up on 'cheap' bikes after DS1's first bike, at 3 years old, was heavier than my adult bike and it took him forever to learn to ride. A few Christmases ago they all got 'decent' bikes (2 kids were straight off balance bikes) and hey presto everyone can cycle and I can actually lift the bikes onto a cycle carrier without giving myself a hernia. They're not really expensive- just aluminium rather than steel frame, well balanced etc. The idea with purchasing reasonable quality ones was that they would get more use out of them and then bikes could be passed down/smallest one sold.

So…now everyone is really getting too tall for their respective bike but DS1 is not keen to get a new one for birthday/Christmas etc as he is happy to cycle around with his seat at the very max extension as he'd rather get lego for his birthday (which is fairly soon) I said that was fine, I'd try to get a 2nd hand decent quality one- still with the aim of passing it down.

This hasn't gone well so far. On eBay, people are currently paying over the odds compared with how much bikes are new- e.g. 140/50/60 for second hand model of a bike that is currently 202 pounds brand new (it's currently on sale 25% off). I'm reticent to buy a poorer quality bike 2nd hand as they are also going over what I think reasonable, I'd expect to need to pay to get it serviced, and I'd worry that DS1 would, quite reasonably, want to hang on to his quite nice but slightly small bike. Rationally, in terms of value for money, the new bike is the best bet- servicing, guarantee etc, and it being pretty much guaranteed to be passed down to the other two without having to have too much spent on it. But I feel uncomfortable with the idea of getting a brand new bike now- it just doesn't seem quite right. Problem is…it's the school holidays coming up, we usually take the bikes away with us. The younger 2 are the ones that are in most need of a bigger bike and I really really just don't know what to do!

We're not well off. We've recently gone through some extremely hard financial times- no debt, as I don't do debt, just very hand to mouth. Historically we've had more 'hard' financial times than easy. Things are on an even keel now and we are comfortable, but I'm never going to be a person who is able to throw cash around, and am always careful. Am I being too careful, and really the bike would be an investment for all 3 children, or would it be unreasonable/spoiling my child to buy a brand new bike?

MegBusset Tue 05-Jul-16 23:20:30

I say get the bike smile then sell the smallest one to offset some of the cost.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 05-Jul-16 23:21:21

buy the bike. it's something that's fun and good exercise and if the right one has cone up why not..

you dont spoil kids by buying them stuff. .its the attitude you raise them with.

Notcontent Tue 05-Jul-16 23:22:39

I don't think it's unreasonable if your child will actually use the bike regularly.

DonkeyOaty Tue 05-Jul-16 23:23:58

get the bike

emsyj Tue 05-Jul-16 23:28:29

Just get it. Our DDs have Isla bikes and they get so much enjoyment from them. It's a healthy way to get around and the fresh air is a bonus. Money well spent - and those types of lightweight high quality kids bikes really hold their value, as you discovered on ebay! You could always just spend a little less on birthday and Christmas to make up for it.

PinkFluffiUnicorn Tue 05-Jul-16 23:28:30

Get the bike

FeelingSmurfy Tue 05-Jul-16 23:36:23

If they all need new bikes, the younger two needing them most, then by buying the bike you are actually enabling all 3 to continue riding and they all get the benefit of that money being spent

This is assuming that 1st will be right for 2nd and 2nd will be right for 3rd

You also mentioned selling so you can recoup some of the cost by selling the now vacant youngest child's bike

Mycraneisfixed Tue 05-Jul-16 23:36:24

Get the bike. I buy bikes as needed and not at birthday or Christmas.

EskSmith Tue 05-Jul-16 23:52:31

It's not really fair is it for eldest to have to have the new bike as a 'big' present each time but the younger ones don't. In our house bikes are necessities and bought as needed.

AnnaMarlowe Tue 05-Jul-16 23:56:55

If you can afford it get the bike.

Ours are about to get new bikes because they've outgrown theirs. We also buy 'good' bikes but sell them and offset it against the price of the new ones.

sqidsin Wed 06-Jul-16 00:00:44

Which bikes are they? If it's Islabikes at 25% off then I might get one - I've Ben wanting to get DD a decent bike for a while.

BumblebeeBum Wed 06-Jul-16 00:01:34

Can I ask - how and where do I find a good bike? Need something for me, 5 year old and 2 year old. But no idea what to look for. My last few bikes have come from Freecycle so I just got what was available. Would love to get us out and about this summer. Sorry for off topic-ness. smile

Xmasbaby11 Wed 06-Jul-16 00:07:45

Get the bike! Best to get it in the summer while he can use it. I buy my dc things that are not presents. A bike is a wonderful thing and I'd just be pleased to encourage them to be so sporty.

BikeRunSki Wed 06-Jul-16 00:17:53

You never need acres son to get a bike - get the bike!!!!

Bumble go to a proper bike ship, rather than Halfords/Argia/Toys R Us. They'll be able to advise, all the big brands do a child's range.

The "Cream" of children's bikes are Islabikes, but they come at a cost (huge second hand market) and are a joy to ride. They will last for many, many years and you'll always have the joy of riding a well designed, well built, light bike. Islabikes Frog bikes are similar - no quite as light in the smaller sizes and generally a longer reach for the height. Decathlon bikes are very good for the money too.

LilQueenie Wed 06-Jul-16 00:20:46

get the bike. also check freecycle and local fb pages that may have one for sale or free.

Dozer Wed 06-Jul-16 00:24:42


UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Wed 06-Jul-16 02:38:08

You sound as though you are a family that does a lot of cycling. A good bike is an investment for all 3 children. I would buy the bike now and buy your ds the lego he wants for his birthday.

BoSelectaBigBiff Wed 06-Jul-16 06:30:51

I'd buy the bike. In fact we're about to do the same for DS1, who has outgrown his. I don't think it's fair for DS1 to have his main birthday or Christmas present taken up by a new bike, only for DS2 to get it for "free" when it's passed onto him, IYSWIM.

FFTransform Wed 06-Jul-16 06:35:04

We buy bikes out of birthdays as 'house' bikes that are only someone's until they are too big and then they are the next ones - very clear to the kids, as I have seen rejection of things like clothes if they are too closely associated with the elder one

As someone who is crap at riding , never had the right size, making sure they really love their bikes and are comfortable as the benefits are huge

BertrandRussell Wed 06-Jul-16 06:56:15

We always had the rule that 'essential kit" was bought when needed. So a good quality bike was part of essential kit you got it when you had grown out of the last one. So I would buy the bike!

dangermouseisace Wed 06-Jul-16 06:59:08

aw thank you all 'house' bike it is. BoSelecta that is kind of what my head had thought- it wasn't fair if DS1 had to get a bike for birthday etc for others to simply acquire it. I'd always had mine for Christmas/birthday though as a kid so I've got a real psychological block on it!

sqidsin Not islabikes as they are waaaaayyyyy out of my price league- Evans has a sale on.

bumblebee definitely go to proper bike shop (steer clear of halfords) first of all without your kids for you. They will be able to advise you on what best suits your needs/budget and let you test out bikes if you leave your car keys/bank card. It is amazing the difference a properly designed/built bike can make- cycling becomes enjoyable rather than hard work. For 2 year old balance bikes are the best/seat to go on the back of yours. My younger 2 went straight to pedal bikes from balance- it took DS2 all of 10 minutes from getting to the park with his first pedal bike to doing laps.

MsJamieFraser Wed 06-Jul-16 06:59:17

We bought ds one last month as he needed one then as he outgrew his bike and needed a new one, we don't consider bikes as presents tbh, it's ds's birthday next week also, he's getting other things.

buttertoffee Wed 06-Jul-16 07:27:11

I'd get the bike too and sell the smallest. it's a no brainer really esp as you cycle a lot. My DC never get bikes for birthdays or xmas. We always get them as needed too (we cycle a lot though). We do 'house' bikes too.

Whathaveilost Wed 06-Jul-16 07:40:33

We always bought as needed much to my mum's horror.She couldn't understand why we couldn't wait until Christmas or their birthday. I couldn't see the logic behind her thought.
I didn't wait to my birthday to buy a bike! Nobody made me wait until Christmas before I got my new La Pierre. Why would the boys miss out on all spring, summer and autumn so I could buy them a bike in winter and then it could sit in a shed until the following spring. Doesn't make any sense.

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