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To think boys bikes are better than girls bikes?

72 replies

MumblingRagDoll · 31/08/2011 22:04

DD is 7 and has realy gotten into her bike this summer. It's far too small and DH and I were jus looking online for a new one for Christmas.

She's a normal girl of 7 in that she is very active and likes to ride for long periods of time...we go for up to 5 miles together but her old bike is looking knid of shaky and tiny now. We thought we'd find really sporty, sturdy bike...some kind of mountain bike but they all look like pink nightmares with tassely handle streamers and shopping baskets.

The bikes marketed at boys look like they could withstand some streamers or shopping baskets.

AIBU to ask...what is the actual difference between girls and boys bikes? DO boys bikes still have a crossbar" and what is that FOR? Can a girl ride a "boys" bike?

Can you help me find a good one under 100 pounds?

OP posts:
animula · 31/08/2011 22:17

Hoping someone else will come on ... but I think "boy's" bicycles are more stable - that cross bar means they have more triangles in them, which (I think) increases stability.

Can't help with a good bicycle for under £100. I leave cycle shopping to dh, who's a bit ardent about it all. (He;s out tonight, or I'd ask his opinion.)

Cycling fans can be a bit scathing about mountain bikes, and I'm not sure, myself, about the seriousness of any children's bicycles. do you have a small, independent bike shop near you? They will be zealots informed.

(btw - this isn't really an "AIBU" is it? Unless you're hoping to stoke contention about the gendering of bikes. And it strikes me that that will simply detract from your request for a bicycle recommendation for a 7yr old.)

MumblingRagDoll · 31/08/2011 23:10

Well it doesn't have to be a mountain bike...she;s only 7 though...I thought that was a sort of description for a generally sturdy bike. Blush

It IS an AIBU though...why should boys bikes be more sturdy? AIBU for wondering why boys bikes have a crossbar and girls dont...the asking for recomendations was an after thought.

OP posts:
thisisyesterday · 31/08/2011 23:17

i don't thinkt here is any difference between boys and girls bikes in terms of withstanding rougher treatment

i think the lower the price the shitter the bike though, generally.

girls don't have a crossbar cos it isn't ladylike to swing your leg over innit. so no reason why she sholdn't have one IMO

lurkerspeaks · 31/08/2011 23:24

Girls bikes have a lower cross bar because in ye olden days young ladies rode their bicycles wearing skirts.

In modern London this is also true hence the vogue for retro machines like the Pashley Princess and it's modern imitators.

Some modern ladies bikes have 'blokey' frame shapes eg.Specialised Vita as there are apparently design advantages in having a cross bar.

I know very little about kids bikes but Islabikes always get good press in the cycling mags as they design specifically for children (ie she doesn't give them more gears than they will use) and don't use adult components eg. for brake levers etc. They are expensive but they hold their value well.

Other reputable bike manufacturers are ridgeback, specialized, trek, giant.

I would urge caution with cheap bikes and "expensive" parts eg. full suspension as in order to put full suspension into a cheap bike they have to use the cheapest possible kind which will be 1)heavy, 2) not very good. Much better to have a simpler bike at that price point.

The decalling etc. drives me nuts. I have a ladies bike. It wasn't cheap. It is silver with bloody purple flowers and butteflies all over it. Believe me as a professional in my 30s I don't want to be commuting to work on a flowery monstrosity. All it needs are purple spokey-dokies and tassles from the handlebar and your average 5 year old would be in heaven. However, it was the best bike for me at the price point so I ride it with gritted teeth.

If you feel like this too look into pinkstinks.

MumblingRagDoll · 31/08/2011 23:28

I don't see why we have to have different styles. We don't usually ride in lng skirts anymore do we? ANd as animula says, the crossbar makes the bike structually stronger.

Why cant all bikes be the same? We can have diffeent colours and decals for them if they want.. would never tell DD she couldn't have a pink or purple, or blue or red bike if she wanted one...but I resent the fact that boys bikes are stronger. it's bullshit.

OP posts:
lurkerspeaks · 31/08/2011 23:28

Oh and as they get bigger woman (ie me) are much better on a ladies bike than a blokes bike 'cos our body shape is different and we tend to be shorter so the 'reach' from saddle to handlebars is less = more comfortable riding position.

However I wouldn't imagine this holds true for a 7 yo.

Lots of petite women buy the Islabikes road bike as it is a better frame size for them (and has a good spec) than those available pitched at the adult market. I'm not in that bracket as I'm on the tall end of average for a woman.

MumblingRagDoll · 31/08/2011 23:29

Off to look at Isla now thanks!

OP posts:
lurkerspeaks · 31/08/2011 23:30

But some woman need to ride in their skirts (I do sometimes on the way to work) and getting on a bike with a cross bar can be pretty indecent.

The boris bikes in London don't have a cross bar neither do Bromptons (the most popular kind of folding bikes). Basically you need to choose your frame shape to suit the purpose for which you intend your bike.

WilsonFrickett · 31/08/2011 23:31

YANBU. but just buy her a boys bike!

littlebrownmouse · 31/08/2011 23:31

You can generally get good kids bikes second hand (we always have) cos kids grow out of them so quickly.

lowercase · 31/08/2011 23:33

iirc, 'specialized' childrens bikes are different colours but same everything else.

these days its much more acceptable for girls to have blue articles and boys to have pink Grin

beckybrastraps · 31/08/2011 23:38

We buy our DC's bikes from a bike shop and TBH they are just bikes. DD had a cross bar, as she is 7 and has no qualms about swinging her leg up behind. I don't, because I do.

NasalCoffeeEnema · 31/08/2011 23:42

isla bikes... how much?
not worth it for a bike they'll grow out of in 5 minutes

MollieO · 31/08/2011 23:46

Ridgeback and Trek do good childrens bikes. The boys and girls are the same technically just a different colour. Here.

Ds (7) has the 20" Trek bike that has adjustable handle bars and pedals so I'm hoping it will last him until he is 10. You should be able to pick these up second hand at a decent independent bike shop.

SiamoFottuti · 31/08/2011 23:46

just buy a bike. I don't really get what you are talking about at all.

lurkerspeaks · 31/08/2011 23:47

But look at what they re sell for on ebay.

I'm reliably told by friends that if you do this it isn't too painful.

OddBoots · 31/08/2011 23:56

A bit more than your budget but my (now 8yo) dd got one like this for her 7th birthday, we chose it as she is a skinny little thing so wanted a light bike, she loves it.

SE13Mummy · 01/09/2011 00:28

My nearly 7-year-old DD has just chosen a 'boy's bike' because it was blue (her favourite colour) and because it's what was available. It has been brilliantly reconditioned by one of the local bikeability guys (who works for the LA in road safety) and cost £20.

My bike is also blue and has a crossbar - it was the nearest equivalent to the bike I'd had stolen and as I rarely cycle in skirts (and am not very ladylike anyway) it doesn't make much difference to me.

MumblingRagDoll · 01/09/2011 01:06

Siamo if you "don't get" what I'm talking about then you're not quaified to advise are you?

Thank you for the handy links everyone...those look good Mollie and very reasonable.

OP posts:
whackamole · 01/09/2011 01:17

YANBU. I had a boys bike from about age 10, as I didn't want a pink one with flowers or glitter on it. It was yellow with splatters of black on it.

Can't advise on price as you wouldn't catch me dead on a bike now, but I'd say a boys bike will be fine. Unless your DD has a habit of wearing long flowing skirts on hers!

Mishy1234 · 01/09/2011 07:49

What about an Islabike? They are supposed to be very good and the new ones are expensive, but I think you can get them secondhand.

Mishy1234 · 01/09/2011 07:50

Sorry, just noticed Islabikes have already been mentioned.

rubyrubyruby · 01/09/2011 07:55

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MilaMae · 01/09/2011 08:23

Sorry I think you are the problem,looking for a "girl's bike".

Round here kids live on their bikes and parents just go for function not girls or boys. My boys have Giant bikes,far better value than Islabikes and more suited to rough ground,ramps etc which kids love.

DD will just inherit one of her brothers,wouldn't dream of going out to buy her a "girl's" bike.They all seem to be silver down here and marketed as I said on function and wheel size,no mention of gender.

2rebecca · 01/09/2011 08:32

Adults don't buy special male or female bikes (if serious cyclists unless small women who need smaller handreach to brakes etcand then they usually modify ordinary bikes, adult cycles marketed as "women's bikes" are aimed at noncyclists)) so there is no reason children should have different bikes. The days of women and girls needing bikes they can wear skirts with should be long gone.
Buy her a bike that fits her and will fit her for a while. There is no reason to buy a "gils" bike, it's just marketing and colour.

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