Viewing 39 posts - 1 through 39 (of 39 total)
  • How long do kids stay on 20” bikes?
  • zerocool
    Full Member

    So my kids are growing out of their 16” bikes and as said in a previous thread it seems to be the wheel size that while really good at bridging the gap is also quite short lived.

    my question is how long do kids take to grow out of their 20” bikes as this seems to be the size where geometry starts to get a bit better and we want a bike that won’t hold them back in the next few years.

    also what are your kids riding now they’re on 20” rims?

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    We had this concern – so we went second hand and quality brands for 20″ and 24″ bikes. I started adverts months before they were needed and bought as they came up for sale.
    They were all then resold on here to others.

    bri-72
    Full Member

    Not sure I have the answer but my 8&1/2 yo twins got their 20” age 7 and  still fit ok and scope to grow more and fit them. Albeit I’m the one thinking maybe next year is the step up to 24 and something more Mtb ie disc brakes but more capable.

    theyre running a cube and trek respectively. Nothing fancy v-brakes and 7sp Altus. Gumtree purchases £100-150 each.

    in two minds whether a better more expensive purchase next year makes sense. Ie say £250-£300 More for my benefit a better bike might get them starting to do more off road with me. Not sure suspension necessary but decent brakes make a huge difference. V brakes on kids Bikes seem poor imo. 

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Until the next big uphill.

    susepic
    Full Member

    Until they hit a root on that slightly too ambitious singletrack in Stanmer that you took them on…….Scar on his knee still there

    We realistically got 3 years from our Islabikes Beinn.

    Spent a fortune to upgrade to a 26 Creig (lovely) but he decided he wanted to play cricket at weekends. Probably the knee in Stanmer

    All islabikes went to second homes for sensible money

    slowol
    Full Member

    From looking at the pictures I think it was just under 2 years (say 20 months) for ours.
    Frog and Isla used to both do 2 sizes of 20 inch wheel bike and we went from 16 inch wheel to the larger 20 inch wheel frog 55.
    Child 2 has now grown out of frog 55 so I have a green one in good nick available (sorry/not sorry for the stealth ad).

    tomhoward
    Full Member

    I know a couple of 30+ year olds still riding BMX?

    mccraque
    Full Member

    I think my lad ditched his 20 at 7 years old – was an Islabikes, to a 2nd hand carerra 24 until his 9th birthday. He’s now on 26″ and is 137cm. He rides Stanmer on this relatively comfortably. Doesn’t seem too much of a tank for him.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Depends when and how much they grow. That varies a lot between kids.

    I have a parts bin but decent Fisher Pre-Caliber in 24 if anyone is interested? 🙂

    nixie
    Full Member

    Not very long but at the same time skipping it either leads to being on a small bike for way too long or being on a 24″ that is just that little bit too big (even when short cranks fitted).

    Harry_the_Spider
    Full Member

    Not long.

    Incidentally I have an Orbea MX24 for sale should anyone be interested 😉 DM me for details.

    steve_b77
    Free Member

    As long as they fit them and until they start trying to send it on everything they come across, rigid 20″ bikes with essentially crappy tyres don’t help much in the quest for speed and air time

    csb
    Full Member

    What you need is my bargain Islabike Beinn 24 in the classifieds.

    prontomonto
    Full Member

    Exactly 2 years for my tallish boy. Could have stayed on the 20 for longer but the 24 we got is better spec and he’s comfortable on it (and excited to ride it which is important!) so made the move just before 7th birthday.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    I’ve just taken a leaf out of @JoeBristol’s book and ordered 2 Vitus 20+s for the twins.

    For £279 each and £40 postage it seemed crazy not to. That seems like a reasonable price for 2+ years of riding and they are one of the brands with more up to dat geometry

    If I need to temporarily fit smaller tyres to get the saddle lower than that’s a small price to pay.

    desperatebicycle
    Full Member

    Checking photos, my boy’s 20″ wheel Haro lasted him nearly 2 years. He learnt to jump on that bike. The progression is clear 🙂

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Ooooh, very relevant, ours is starting to get more ambitious on his rigid 20″, some heart in the mouth moments on Comrie blue last weekend!

    Had hoped to wait until his 7th next year to hire a couple of bikes at Comrie and decide, had my eye on some rigid ‘plus’ 20″ models with fatter tyres and hydraulic discs, wasn’t sure if suspension would be a benefit.

    For anyone with kids sending it and jumping now, how did they learn? I’m a terrible coach (learned everything myself by trial and error). He’s enthusiastically trying to pop his front wheel off everything right now but more by jerking up on the bars than by any sort of proper weight shifting. Also not sure how and when to try and teach him how to pop off a take-off (again, something I barely learned myself, I’m a wheels on the ground pump track guy at best).

    desperatebicycle
    Full Member

    For anyone with kids sending it and jumping now, how did they learn?

    I have no idea! First time we went to BPW, I was like “Where did you learn to ride like that?!” he just shrugged. Guess he’d been riding almost all of his life! 🙂

    jamiemcf
    Full Member

    My eldest was late to pedals on his 14″ and he’s looking big on his 16″. I’ve been speaking to someone about about a 20″ early rider but she’s been slow on replying so I couldn’t collect it today and still non the wiser.

    The Vitus+ looks good.
    The Isla creig 20 looks good but pricer.

    Either way his wee brother will inherit their joint bike then flogged.

    steamtb
    Full Member

    Amber stayed on her Hellion 20 for quite a while, although I suspect that has quite different measurements to lots of 20 bikes. Utterly epic bike and did things no hardtail with 20” wheels should have been able to do and the looks of surprise as she overtook adults on trail centre reds was priceless 🙂  it wasn’t cheap but it only took me a few days to sell it for near enough the price I paid. I wouldn’t have missed out 20”…

    3ff403ee-e4d3-41c3-8fcb-0ed4a031f68e

    twistedpencil
    Full Member

    For life I reckon, just building up a new one for my 15yo 😀

    _DSC2038

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Depends on height and geometry. About 4’2″ was when they started to look odd. I’ve actually got a couple of 20″ wheel bikes ready to move on – a Spesh and a decent Ridgeback. London.

    Otherwise with patience you can pick up good brand name kids bikes for peanuts on eBay and Gumtree. Search function on Facebook marketplace is unusable – I have no idea how anyone finds anything

    mamadirt
    Free Member

    For ever 😉 mamadirt (age 65 1/2) 😃

    5lab
    Full Member

    My 130cm 7 year old is about the perfect size for his 20+ bike (speccy riprock). Can ride all the downwards pointing single-track in stamnerexceot the wall drop and enjoyed accidental air over the new mini booter halfway down b line. Will go another year before his 3 year younger brother inherits it and he gets 24+

    cheers_drive
    Full Member

    My daughter is 8 next week and is a tall 146cm. Too tall for 20″ now but she manages and will be jumping straight to 26″ after 3 years on the 20″. Swapping bike every year would be costly and kids are pretty adaptable. It’s not as if they are riding for long distances where fit would matter more.

    RustyMac
    Full Member

    What I generally see with the kids I coach is a 20″ bike lasts from about 5-7 and a 24″ lasts from 7-10.

    A 20″ bike gets them into gears, the weight penalty of suspension is often outweighs the effectiveness of it at this point. Brands I see regularly, Orbea, Frog, Isla Bike, Specialized, Canyon

    A 24″ bike gives very useful roll over benefits an there are better options for lighter air forks at this wheel size. Brands I see regularly, Orbea, Vitus, Nuke Proof, Canyon, Marin, Cannondale.

    Dependant on frame size from about 10 they can hop onto a 27.5″ bike.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    Thanks for all the advice guys and gals. It was more about how much to invest in a 20” as the 16” seemed to last about 12ish months. If they’re going to stay on them for 2 years it was worth getting something decent. 
    In the end we got them a Vitus 20+ each (hoping to hold off on BMxs as well for a year or so) as I think £279 is worth it and they look pretty good. and the 7 speed Microshift gears seem decent.

    I wish I could afford a Hellion as they look so well built and pretty but at £1250 each it’s a lot of money and comparing geo the Vitus isn’t that far off.

    RustyMac
    Full Member

    Vitus seem to have some really good offerings in the 20″ and 24″ market in both MTB, CX and Road categories just now, you kids should have a lot of fun on those bikes.

    trail_rat
    Free Member

    For exactly this reason we skipped 16″

    We persevered with the 14″ (rusty mac’s old one) even though it was really too small for a bit and then made the jump to 20″ at 4th birthday.

    Number 2 is looking like he will be on a similar trajectory already.

    Depends how quick your child grows really.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    My son went for a Hope Academy 16” for the last 12 months which worked fine and his twin sister is still on her Frog 40. But both are pushing them to the limit. I fitted wider and slightly higher bars last week which is helping with control as 450mm wide bars were getting pretty twitchy at speed and off-road (although I did have to cut an unused pair of cheap 780 bars down to just under 600mm for one of them!).

    He now wants a race BMX like his bigger cousin has as well🤦🏼‍♂️. Who made biking such an expensive sport?

    dmorts
    Full Member

    Wondering the same….. the Vitus 20+ bikes are a good price right now.

    I think the skipping of wheel sizes depends on a few things, where you started, how fast and when your kid grows and even which bike. My son was barely on a 14″ Islabike (matter of months if not weeks), before he went to a 16″ ER Seeker. He’s been on that for almost 2 years now. He will need a new bike this year.

    My thoughts are can you skip 20″? I don’t think so. Then, how long will it last? 2 years at least…. but 24″ might last 3-4 years, so save the money for that?

    bossworld
    Free Member

    Just been trying to help my sister in law with a similar conundrum.

    For us, both kids started on a 12″ wheeled Pinnacle balance bike. My daughter then ended up with a hefty Halfords Apollo “Cherry Lane” princess-style bike (16″ wheels) for her fifth birthday. That’s because I’d bought a Kona Makena 20″, widely reviewed at the time as one of the smallest framed 20″ bikes, but was still significantly too big for her at that point. That lasted her until she was 8, but realistically she was done with it by 7 and was using 24″ frog bikes for Bike4Health at school.

    I replaced it with a 27.5″ wheeled GT Avalanche which is a little big for her, but there was no way I was going to play about with 24″ or 26″ at that point as it would have lasted months. She is tall for her age though.

    Her brother went from the Pinnacle to a 14″ lightweight Halfords bike by the time he was 4. He took on the Kona pretty soon after turning 5 and he’s been fine with it. I will be buying him a 24″ bike for his 7th birthday though. In due course, he can take the GT Avalanche from his sister and she’ll probably take the missus’ underused Liv Tempt.

    So very long winded answer, I reckon you’ll get two years out of a 20″ bike unless your child stays short for their age.

    grimep
    Free Member

    we went like something like this :

    Ridgeback MX16, first without pedals as a balance bike 3 – 5

    Frog 20″ 5 – 7

    Orbea MX24 Dirt 7 – 9

    Voodoo Nzumbi 26″  age 9 – 13

    Kona Conder Cone Medium 27.5″  13+

    all nice bikes except the Ridgeback which was rubbish, the Orbea seemed a bit on the heavy side but kids never complained

    5lab
    Full Member

    Depends on the geometry. Kids bikes are mostly sold on wheel size but there’s a massive range in reach between them. My (tallish) 7.5 year old is probably only now the perfect size for his riprock 20, which he’s had over 2.5 years. I’ve got the next bike ready in the loft but he’s learning to pump the small bike well, the seat then is short enough to get a dropper in there, and I think a bigger one would set him back.

    The next door kid who’s the same age was on a 24″ bike a year ago.

    v7fmp
    Full Member

    its a bit of a minefield.

    My daughter is 7 next month and dwarfs her Orbea MX 20.

    I went to Balfe’s bikes and sat her on a specialized 24inch wheel, she also dwarfed that to an extent.

    Salesman put her on an XS Trek Marlin with 27.5 wheels. She was a little stretched, but ultimately it wasnt actually too big. A chopped down bar would help with the reach. Salesman thought she was 9!

    I might try and hunt down an XXS, as that runs 26inch wheels.

    I’m very aware i dont want to be one of those parents who force their kids on a bike too big and suck the life out of riding. But equally dont want to invest in something that last 6 months…..

    zerocool
    Full Member

    Mine are loving their Vitus 20+ bikes. They’re currently fitted with smaller tyres (MaxxDaddy 2.0 front and 1.8 rear) which dropped the standover quite a bit and as they grow (and ride rougher stuff) they can have the 2.6 Crown Gems back on. I also swapped the 50mm stems for 35mm and fitted bars that were a bit narrower. I think that with the option to fit plus-sized tyres, the 50mm stem and wider bars that the bike should last them a fair while. I can’t see either of my kids jumping up to 24” wheels in a while as they seem to have inherited shortness from their mother’s side of the family.

    The cable discs annoyed me so also fitted some dirt cheap (£10 each) Shimano hydros which help as well. Nukeproof Urchin Pedals and grips finished off the builds and now they’re flying down the local easy tracks and trails near us.

    While it’s a sad thing to happen, I have to admit that CRC going into administration and selling everything off pennies to the pound really helped us out this winter.

    dmorts
    Full Member

    @zerocool have you changed the gears? I think there are some bikes with Microshift, some with Shimano. The Shimano (at least) is a screw-on freehub, which limits options.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    No, it came with Microshift gears and so far I’ve just picked a gear that’s suitable for where we’re riding and left it there. At 5 I want him to concentrate on the riding and not distract him with a new button to keep pressing.

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    Depends on usage, I guess. My two went onto a Beinn 20L at about 6, no. 1 went to a Trek Wahoo 26 atfor her eighth birthday (which lasted until she turned 13 with a longer seatpost) and no. 2 who is more petite moved to a Beinn 26S at 9. But they’re JRA rather than MTBing.

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