at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Bob999
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at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Bob999 » 4 Feb 2020, 11:06pm

I'm looking at bikes with pedals for a 3-and-a-half year old.

Islabikes are under 6kg. I don't think there is anything lighter. A Dawes Princess 12" wheel is just under 11kg. I've seen a second-hand Ridgeback that I think would be under 8kg once the stabilisers were removed. I know what I'm after for saddle height, brake lever reach and having an upright riding posture, but I don't know where to draw the line with weight.

The CUK guide to children's bikes recommends Islabikes and and Frog, the latter at 6.3kg. These are best for weight but I don't know if a bike 2kg more than that would be a disaster? It would be a park bike but I don't want to put the child off cycling.

eileithyia
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby eileithyia » 5 Feb 2020, 8:27am

I was shocked at the weight of Children's bikes when we got our son his first bike.... that he would have to not only learn to balance etc., but to ride a heavy bike.... to be honest he coped with both.... so doubt 2kg really will make a big difference especially for a 'park' bike.
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Vorpal » 5 Feb 2020, 8:47am

I think it somewhat depends on the child. Mini V, who is fairly robustly built, was absolutely fine with the heavy Apollos we got off freecycle, even riding them up to 10 miles when she was 5. I don't think she would have notice either more or less weight. Littlest, on the other hand, is slightly built. He took longer to learn, and really didn't manage the heavier bikes very well. I ended up getting him a Giant with an aluminium frame, which I think weighed about 8.5 kg (larger size than you are looking at).

edited to add: I think the Isla bikes are worth it, if you can afford it. They hold their value well. We just didn't have the money when Mini V was small.
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Jamesh
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Jamesh » 5 Feb 2020, 9:02am

Our kids have been fine on the second hand ridgebacks.

If anything a change to lighter tyres would make the most difference.

Cheers James

Tangled Metal
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Tangled Metal » 5 Feb 2020, 9:12am

After the balance bike I got our son a 12" ridgeback iirc, mx12 I think. 8+kg. He rode it for awhile. Even toured up to 40 miles a day in Holland at 4.5 years old.

Later we got a lighter frog in the next size up. His riding got better but he wasn't noticeably less tired. I think the wheel size increase made more of a change than 2kg less.

Our son is slightly built but tall. So went up in wheel sizes earlier than usual.

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Audax67
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Audax67 » 6 Feb 2020, 10:48am

When we ran our cycling school we used to see 8-year-olds turning up with full-sus CroMo supermarket bikes weighing 14-16 kilos. I have a pic somewhere of one of the poor wights trying to haul his out of a muddy puddle it had decided to lie down in.
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ratherbeintobago
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby ratherbeintobago » 8 Feb 2020, 7:30pm

Jamesh wrote:Our kids have been fine on the second hand ridgebacks.

If anything a change to lighter tyres would make the most difference.

Cheers James


Yes, but Ridgeback kids bikes have got a good rep, and they’re hardly toy shop gas pipe BSOs.

FWIW I think the proportional difference is more important than the absolute, so half a kilo on a 12er for a small child is going to matter more than half a kilo on a 9yo’s 26er.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby The utility cyclist » 9 Feb 2020, 10:15pm

whilst lighter is going to help, at 3.5 they're not going to be going great distances, other aspects of the bike are more important IME.

My grandson is 6 coming up to 7 this summer, his first pedal bike was a fire engine themed job at around 3.5, no idea how much it weighed but he outgrew it quickly and we've been on to numerous bikes since, weight was not a consideration at any point though I did acquire a Specialized Hotrock which seemed a fair bit lighter than his 'Star wars' bike that followed. This is an example in smaller/younger age of the hotrock if you haven't bought already https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Specialized- ... SwXTZePpag

However far he could go or be encouraged to go was the distance we went, if that was a function of the weight of the bike then so be it, there's only so much you can do unless you get something hand-built and/or replace parts with silly expensive components.

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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 9 Feb 2020, 11:00pm

How much does the child weigh? At 3 and a half, a typical child might weigh around 15kg, meaning the 11kg Dawes Princess is two thirds of their bodyweight. :shock:

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 10 Feb 2020, 9:04am

6 to 11 kg is a doubling in bike weight, which will make more difference when riding to a child than an adult (because it’s 5kg on top of a ~25kg all up weight, rather than 5 on 80-100)

The bigger difference though is learning, and manhandling the bike when *not* riding. Picking it off the floor to start or after a tumble. Turning it around, holding it still whilst they mount - getting enough speed from that first push to balance until the other foot can join in...
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The utility cyclist
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby The utility cyclist » 10 Feb 2020, 9:14pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:How much does the child weigh? At 3 and a half, a typical child might weigh around 15kg, meaning the 11kg Dawes Princess is two thirds of their bodyweight. :shock:


Meh, gets their leg muscled developed ready for cycling to school when they are 4-5. Bicycles are great because you can cycle fairly easily on a relatively heavy bike compared to the childs body-weight, christ we did it with far heavier bikes when we were kids in the 70s and kids have been doing it since long before that.

Postboxer
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Postboxer » 12 Feb 2020, 11:55am

But were the bikes back in the 70s better built, better quality bikes than the cheap bikes around nowadays?

I think the lighter the better, the companies putting effort into making lighter bikes have probably also put effort into choosing the right components to work on a kids bike. Shop around, buy second hand, then hopefully it won't cost much overall if you then sell it on, you may even make money, if the bike gets lots of use and devalues, then you've got lots of use out of it. I think my kids have almost exclusively had B'Twins, but they do seem very heavy, I did get an Islabike but never got around to checking it over before it was outgrown so sold it on for a profit. My daughter has a raleigh that I got from ebay for the bargain price of 99p, it did involve a drive to collect it though, but made a day out of it.

ratherbeintobago
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby ratherbeintobago » 12 Feb 2020, 12:34pm

There are plenty of s/h Islas out there now, at least in the smaller sizes. They seem to hold their value as new ones are frantic, and the name has a cachet that eg. Frog don’t have among non-enthusiasts; I’ve met a few people who’ve only ever bought Islas for their kids.

We’ve just sold on our Cnoc 16 after five years and two riders, for not much less than we paid new.

Tangled Metal
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Tangled Metal » 12 Feb 2020, 3:12pm

Weight does matter. At my son's school in reception the kids who took longer to learn to ride tended to have the heavy, fireman Sam type of bikes. A couple of kids simply took longer because of physical development or coordination. My partner volunteered to help out, still does every spring/ summer. So I get to hear all about how they're doing. I believe we're known as the cycling family in his year hence she's asked to help out.

Interestingly, there's not many Isla bikes in the school bike shed. One family with them and us with his frog. Mind you getting that frog caused issues. One classmate kept asking her mum for one for a birthday. The mum couldn't afford it at the time. The child tried the frog out and loved it because it was so light. It rides better or words to that effect.

So if kids notice the differences due to weight I think it's significant.

Btw in cycling lessons the instructor used to hold a race at the end. Our son with his lighter bike was racing kids 1 or 2 years older at the front of the race. He's fit but not that good. At least part of it is lighter and better bike. Don't forget lighter weight often means better quality components and design. All helps.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 12 Feb 2020, 3:37pm

It depends on the kid doesn’t it?