at what weight do kids bikes start getting too heavy?

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

Postby foxyrider » 12 Feb 2020, 3:58pm

Kids, especially smaller ones, do benefit from lighter bikes but as in most things cycling that comes at a €.

Kids bikes haven't always weighed half a ton, i had a 20" wheel hand me down in the early 70's that was certainly comparable to the IB's and Frogs i've seen. I'm pretty sure that the arrival of BMX in the latter part of that decade and the encouragement to do jumps on your bike had the mfr's having heart attacks as most of the bikes weren't built to take that abuse and easily broke. And so the over built, ton weight, kids bike was born and for 30 years even a 12" wheel starter bike weighed more than an adult bike :?

FWIW, Giant, Specialized and Trek have produced some reasonable kids bikes which are robust without being silly heavy, you might be able to locate those easier than Frog/IB and much cheaper. (you really get to appreciate the lighter models when you have 400 xmas bikes to move around!)
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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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 » 12 Feb 2020, 6:36pm

Tangled Metal wrote: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.

Doesn't that rather make your previous sentence rather weak in terms of evidence? It also misses other factors such as setting up the bike correctly in the first place, parents that encourage/spend time with their kids to learn and the opportunity for them to do so.

There are many factors that effect learning rates which you mention, to then state that it was mostly down to fireman sam type bikes that you thought were heavy (did you weight them as my grandson had a fireman type bike) just doesn't add up when a rolling bike and the child attempting to or actually pedalling, the bike weight doesn't make a huge amount of difference. Picking the bike up the weight can make a difference, but one with ill fitted stabilisers, poorly inflated tyres, misaligned brakes and handlebars also has a detrimental effect.
I really don't think the weight of the bike contributes much if anything to the actual learning process, there are many more factors that have a greater impact IME and you touched on two of them yourself.

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

Postby thatsnotmyname » 12 Feb 2020, 7:18pm

The utility cyclist wrote:I really don't think the weight of the bike contributes much if anything to the actual learning process, there are many more factors that have a greater impact IME and you touched on two of them yourself.


Completely agree. I used to coach at a go-ride club where kids would turn up on all kinds of weird and wonderful contraptions - anything from Islabikes to things that would look more at home in Star Wars or Mad Max. As longs as the wheels turned, the bars turned and the brakes worked, they still learned.