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Kids 26 inch vs XS adult bike

14 replies

Dinoteeth · 05/12/2022 12:07

Wonder if you can help.
DS is almost 12, about 135cm and slender.
I'm thinking we are best to look at at 26"" kids bike (kid sized components) but some shops are pushing us towards XS adult bikes.

What would you do?

OP posts:
Merrow · 05/12/2022 12:24

Is it strength for brakes and gear shifting you're worried about or the geometry of the bike?

Newjobformoremoney · 05/12/2022 12:26

I would personally go for the XS bike. What type of bike?

Dinoteeth · 05/12/2022 14:36

I was thinking about reach for the actual brake levers and weight for suspension.

Although I can't even decide if front suspension is actually useful or not. Or if its just something that looks good.

We have been looking at Trek and Ridgeback. And had a look in Decathlon.
Ds likes the Decathlon XS but I think that's purely based on colour

OP posts:
Merrow · 05/12/2022 14:42

I wouldn't bother with suspension unless he's actually doing a level of off roading that requires it. And if he is then there's likely to be more research needed to be done as suspension is often useless if you're too light. Unless you're looking at the bikes that are really designed with child mountain bikers in mind the suspension even on a child's bikes is likely to be aesthetic more than anything useful.

Brake lever reach can be easily adjusted so I wouldn't worry about that.

Rollercoaster1920 · 05/12/2022 14:56

I suspect he'll have a massive growth spurt soon at that age too, so the kids bike may not last long!
I think he'd be on a frog 69 at that height which is what my son has. It is a kids bike with 26 inch wheels. My son is now about 158 cm and nearly grown out of it the short cranks are the biggest difference between the frog kids bike and an adult bike. If recommend seeing if there is a local shop that stocks frog bikes to try. Giant and boardman do similar ranges at decent hybrid kids bikes that you should also be able to try if you have shops nearby.

Dinoteeth · 05/12/2022 16:29

He said no to Frog - purely because he doesn't want to ride a bike that says Frog on it.

We looked at the Giant ARX 26 kids bike which looked good to me. Not seen boardman.

Do manufacturers put shorter cranks on XS bikes?

OP posts:
MissRainbowBrite · 05/12/2022 16:33

DD who is almost 11 and 150cm has just had a XS Specialized. She manages just fine on it with the seat on its lowest setting. A 26" kids one would be outgrown in no time.

greenacrylicpaint · 05/12/2022 16:36

at that age all my 3 went from their child's bike to a 28 adult frame.
if you get a bike with adjustable handle bar the bike can grow with them.

PuttingDownRoots · 05/12/2022 16:40

We have a Giant ARX 26 and a Decathlon 26in (can't remember model number- it was the highest model). Obviously for 2 different kids. The decathlon one has wider tyres. Both seem similar weight and size. Happy with both

Lonelycrab · 05/12/2022 16:40

Ds10 is tall at 152cm, but has had an immense amount of fun on his Canondale Kujo 24, it’s a mini fat bike ie huge tyres and is great for off road too. He started riding it at around 135cm and is just about grown out of it now.

135cm is really short for 26inch wheels imo.

greenacrylicpaint · 05/12/2022 16:52

unless you have to carry a bike the weight doesn't matter.

dc have the cheap (ish) elops (without the front basket, apparently it's naff) bikes which do the job well for the daily commute to school and clubs.

olderthanyouthink · 05/12/2022 18:38

Weight definitely does matter if your riding a lot, she says with 4 very heavy bikes 🙃

The family cycling U.K. Facebook group is a really good place to ask these things, I've not got big kids yet but my little ones have very nice Woom bikes and I know they make teenager hybrid, mountain and commuter bikes, they're up there with frog bike but a bit plainer looking.

Where will they be riding? I had a small mens bike from about 14 I think, not ideal but it worked and my brother had it after me. It had front suspension which was nice when on holiday and we did trails but for going to school I turned it off (unless being silly)

Dinoteeth · 05/12/2022 19:56

He's likely to do the usual around the streets. But I'm hoping to get some proper family biking in (which is dependent on our youngest getting confident on his bike)

His current bike is a Specialized 20 inch but he is far to big for it. I wanted to change his bike a year ago but he just didn't want me to. And now the 24 just doesn't seem enough of a jump.

OP posts:
Merrow · 05/12/2022 20:03

I second the recommendation for the family cycling UK page. I'm also on little rippers, which is more MTB focused. The parents on there can spend crazy money on bikes but the Vitus range is generally recommended as good value for the specs, there's a 26" option Here. With the XS frames I think you have to try them out to really see if they fit as there's massive differences between brands and what they count as XS, but I wouldn't automatically discount them.

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