The switch to adult bike!

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Tangled Metal
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Joined: 13 Feb 2015, 8:32pm

The switch to adult bike!

Post by Tangled Metal »

Our son has outgrown his old Frog bike a good while ago. He's not been interested for a long time, but had just started expressing an interest again, even saying he wanted to tour in France again.

So he's been using my partner's mtb with marathon tyres on. He needs his own bike and wants an mtb bike. No doubt because of the image of them.

Anyone got some good advice?

AFAIK adult bikes I expect to cost a lot more. Things often do when things become adult range IME. He's 11 but tall and lanky with it. He's not had a growth spurt for several months, just growing steadily. I fully expect a growth spurt to hit him as soon as we shell out on an adult bike. So I'm thinking of visiting a fairly local secondhand bike store I've heard good things about from many other people. They'll have it fettled such that I can trust them. Buying on ebay or gumtree it'll be down to me and his mother to spot issues.

So what bikes to consider? I've seen a £440 new trek mountain bike at nearby wheelbase. If the s/h shop has a suitable trek bike, is that likely to be a good option? Other local brands include giant and spesh seem common too in adult bikes. Any mtb brands you'd recommend as a good next step s/h mtb for a kid moving into adult bikes?
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pjclinch
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Re: The switch to adult bike!

Post by pjclinch »

First job, what is meant by "MTB" here?

What passed for an MTB in the 1990s and what passes for one now are quite different beasts, with the current flavour rather more specialised with wider tyres, very often some degree of suspension and a rather different geometry. My first MTB bought in 1997 specifically warned against getting air as it wasn't built for it, these days that's a basic assumption. If your other half's MTB has Marathons on I would guess it's probably a bit more of a 90s thing than current designs: this is not a bad thing, but may be affecting your son's expectations of what "MTB" means.

The practical upshot being a modern MTB is better than old-school at gnarly trails with drop-offs, rock gardens etc., but is less good as a General Bike. If he really wants to do drop-offs, rock gardens etc. then get him a modern MTB, but otherwise it might not be best.

Of course, a modifier is an 11 year old boy, when riding what you want is far, far more important than what some killjoy on the Interweb says is theoretically better.

If you do go MTB then a hardtail rather than full sus. Full sus costs Proper Money™ to do properly, needs more maintenance and ought to be in the hands of a good rider to do it justice. The kids in my beginners MTB group all love suspension because "it's cool" rather than it makes much difference to their riding: quite often they're sufficiently light that they can barely get it to move! By sticking to hardtail you'll also rule out downhill bikes, which are great for riding down bonkers scary stuff (at least I understand that's the case, too scared to try myself!) but pretty much pigs on the flat and uphill.

Second hand is a great option, there's quite often good stuff to be had from folk with terminal upgrade-itis. My wife's is a barely ridden Cube that was £500 second hand and would have been about £1200 new, mine was half price at £300 a few years back and again was barely used, both bought locally(ish) via Gumtree.

Any of the brands you mention should be fine.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...
Tangled Metal
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Re: The switch to adult bike!

Post by Tangled Metal »

I think my partner got it probably 2010 ish so fairly modern design of hardtail. I think getting a fairly new mtb means modernish styles of hardtails rather than fs ones. I'd never get a fs bike as I reckon ones worth getting are out of my price range, even s/h!

By mtb my son's probably thinking modern, front suspension, fattish tyres but not true fat tyres and capable of single tracks locally.

The big brother of one of his friends got into mountain biking with a gang of kids and there's some real nutters among them getting real air and filming it for YouTube, etc. I hope my son doesn't get into that but controlled offroad riding I would be thinking is his thing.

Up to me he'd have a flat or drop barred tourer or gravel bike. Genesis CdF, TdF, kona tourer/gravel bike but money isn't free for them. Can't. Even get one for myself!

We're looking at something fairly cheap as he'll probably grow out of it pretty quickly.
Nearholmer
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Re: The switch to adult bike!

Post by Nearholmer »

When my son grew out of the largest Frog we have (73 iirc), I bought a <12 months old, secondhand Giant (I think it’s called Talon 0) hard tail. It’s got decent Deore 1x12, good hydraulic brakes, and fairly decent front fork. It came from a lad who’d really got into MTB very quickly, so bankrupted his dad on a fancy full-sus machine six months after starting out.

The idea was for us to share it, me using it for winter bridleway riding sometimes, but one ride was enough to convince me that I still prefer a rigid bike, even for that, so I cut the bars shorter, and fitted Marathon 365 tyres, 47mm, for him to use an all-surfaces utility bike. I’ve just fitted wider bars again, because he has grown hugely in the c3 years he’s had it. It was mildly too big for him at the start: no longer.

Personally, I think it’s a needlessly heavy, undergeared thing for the job, but he is very happy with it, and I don’t think has ever changed gear out of top, and the suspension is always locked-out!

If you could find something similar, I’d recommend that route, because boys have to have an MTB, however unsuitable it is for their actual needs; the rules of being a boy dictate that!
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pjclinch
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Re: The switch to adult bike!

Post by pjclinch »

Tangled Metal wrote: 26 Jun 2024, 10:37am
By mtb my son's probably thinking modern, front suspension, fattish tyres but not true fat tyres and capable of single tracks locally.

The big brother of one of his friends got into mountain biking with a gang of kids and there's some real nutters among them getting real air and filming it for YouTube, etc. I hope my son doesn't get into that but controlled offroad riding I would be thinking is his thing.
The ones doing stuff that looks bonkers tend to be the ones who have the most control. It's that skill and control that make the bonkers stuff possible. Even kids who have yet to learn they're only immortal for a limited time to tend to steer clear of stuff they can't do. The best rider in the JCC I coach beginners for is an amazing rider, taking stuff I couldn't ride at all in her stride: her skill makes her controlled rather than what she's doing makes it uncontrolled.
Tangled Metal wrote: 26 Jun 2024, 10:37am We're looking at something fairly cheap as he'll probably grow out of it pretty quickly.
In which case I'd personally start with Gumtree and similar.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...
Halla
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Re: The switch to adult bike!

Post by Halla »

Why not put a wanted ad on here.

Some people are generous and your son might end up with a bargain.

The old ctc was all about helping each other.

Best of luck.
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