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Kid's bike suggestions
#1
Hello,

This is likely pretty elementary stuff for true bike enthusiasts, but here goes. I want to get my 11-year-old daughter a new bike. She doesn't care about it being "girly," in fact doesn't want that at all. She's about 4'10" and her arms are kind of short. One place I went to suggested a 13.5" adult bike, while another place suggested a 24" (wheel) bike. I'm not a big bike guy, so I'm confused. On either of these, the seat height seemed okay, but the handlebars seemed too far away for her to feel like she has good control--she had to stretch way out. She also is a little freaked out by handle brakes because on an earlier bike she had the handles were too hard to operate smoothly. You can tell that she's not a hugely confident rider, but wants to become one. So I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good bike for someone her size that has an adjustable stem or handlebars that are closer than the norm? Or maybe suggestions for retrofitting a bike that way? Affordably, of course. Thanks much!
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#2
(03-11-2010, 03:01 PM)turtlemilk Wrote:  Hello,

This is likely pretty elementary stuff for true bike enthusiasts, but here goes. I want to get my 11-year-old daughter a new bike. She doesn't care about it being "girly," in fact doesn't want that at all. She's about 4'10" and her arms are kind of short. One place I went to suggested a 13.5" adult bike, while another place suggested a 24" (wheel) bike. I'm not a big bike guy, so I'm confused. On either of these, the seat height seemed okay, but the handlebars seemed too far away for her to feel like she has good control--she had to stretch way out. She also is a little freaked out by handle brakes because on an earlier bike she had the handles were too hard to operate smoothly. You can tell that she's not a hugely confident rider, but wants to become one. So I'm wondering if anyone knows of a good bike for someone her size that has an adjustable stem or handlebars that are closer than the norm? Or maybe suggestions for retrofitting a bike that way? Affordably, of course. Thanks much!

Hello turtlemilk and welcome to the forums,

Usually I could find something right away in daughter's need, but the only suggestion I have is maybe the older style schwinn 20" handlebars (also known as ape hangers) as they allow ALOT of downward adjustment. Do wait until some of the other members here have a chance to reply.
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#3
Thanks, Bill. Are these handlebars retrofittable, or would it be finding an old Schwinn? Great advice, and I'll wait for more from others.
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#4
You should be able to retrofit a set of bars (like the Schwinn bars) to your daughter's bike. You'll just have to make sure the handlebar's diameter is compatible with the stem clamp. You'll probably need to replace the brake and shift cables as well, as they'll need to be much longer.

As for the brake levers, I recently posted a video that shows how to make them easier for small hands to pull... hope it helps: http://bicycletutor.com/childs-hand-brake/
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#5
Well for one thing you could try out is go to a good bicycle shop and let them do a fit for her on a bicycle yes it may cost you a little money but you and her can get a better idea of what kind of bike she may like. I don't know what kind of money you want to spend on a bike but there is a lot of good bikes that don't cost so much they may have the lower end parts on it but at a later time you can do a up grade for her on it. As far as handle bars take a look at Amazon.com for some lots to pick from for sure and another place is bikeworldusa.com and you can do a google search for bicycle handle bars. Wal-Mart has some nice bicycles. I know a lot of people say they are no good but its funny to me how these bicycle are no good. I sure did have a good time on mine as I was growing up and my grandson she is having fun on his too. One thing you need to make sure the saddle is set up right for her on height and front to back. This one thing can make a bicycle fit so much better for her. A Cruiser handlebar make work for her too. So many ideals come to my mind here look at all the bikes you can. You don't want one that she will out grow in a year or so. Hope this may help you out a little let us know how things turn out for her. Its always nice to see a kid SMILE when they ride there bicycle. Thats why I like to help people to see a little smile come on there faces.
My dad always told me a Sledge a matic can fix any thing.
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