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1012 posts

Uber Geek
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Topic # 247944 4-Mar-2019 13:14
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Hey All,


Daughter is turning 4 shortly, so we want to get her a proper bike (she's currently on a Wishbone).  I've had a quick look at Torpedo 7, but other than wanting something 16", pink and with training wheels, it's very hard to objectively compare the various bikes you see around shops.

For example, the two below (Torpedo7 and The Warehouse) seem similar, but are poles apart in pricing?  The T7 bike has a chain guard and less-cheesy looking training wheels, but they don't seem that different.


Any help/advice greatly appreciated! 

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651 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2190667 4-Mar-2019 13:17
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Look at what it's made of. Alloy vs steel (or whatever else)


This can have a big effect on weight and how well it will last. I think you want aluminium. 

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  Reply # 2190673 4-Mar-2019 13:29
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u better off go to a real bike shop. we get ours from here 


601 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2190680 4-Mar-2019 13:45
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With both of our kids we've gone for the cheapest possible option for their first bikes, with the view they'll grow out of them and need replacing at which point we'll go for something with much higher quality and give the old bikes away.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2190688 4-Mar-2019 13:59
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I'd not heard of Wishbone before, but I see they make a range of (two wheel) balance bikes and also tricycle versions of a balance bike; which is it that your daughter is using?


The reason I ask is that many experienced in teaching people to bike would recommend avoiding training wheels if at all possible; this is made all the more easy if the child's been using a balance bike and/or a scooter (as they'll have much more of a sense of balance). I did this with both our boys - started them on balance bikes, then transitioned them to small pedal bikes (having removed the training wheels).


Another piece of advice based on my experience would be regarding size of bikes - IME NZ bike retailers encourage kids into bikes that are simply too large for them. When I was looking at bikes for my seven-year-old, all retailers I spoke to pushed me to get a particular size frame, despite almost all of the web (overseas) recommendations I read suggesting this was one size too big. I went with their recommendation, however, and lo and behold the bike was proven to be too big! The solution was to purchase a bike in the next size down. As a child is learning to manage all the complexities of biking - balance, steering, pedalling, breaking - the last thing you want to do is make the experience uncomfortable, or require them to stretch so far to reach the handlebars that control is made even harder. (Distance to ground is so much more easier to change than distance to handlebars, which is often not changeable at all. Also, frame design can make a big difference - eg, some bikes with the same size wheel will have quite different length reach.)


Which leads onto my final point - buying s/h can be a sensible choice for younger riders. Both bikes I've bought my youngest have been s/h off TM; he won't ride either of these for long, and I'll be able to sell them on for not much less than I bought them for. Having to rectify the mistake of buying a too large a bike and buy a second one didn't cost too much to fix. And this means it's far more cost effective to simply transition through the various bike sizes - 12, 16, 20, 24.

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  Reply # 2190691 4-Mar-2019 14:07
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To follow up on my comment re bike size: you say you're looking at 16" for your daughter's who is only just turning 4.


This site, picked at random, recommends 16" bikes suit 5-6 year-olds; while that may not sound like being too different, in practice that difference can be huge!


That same page has recommendations based on height etc, and perhaps if your daughter is very tall for her age a 16" will be suitable, but as per my suggestions above I'd be very careful to ensure her first bike is suitably sized. I suggest it's far better that she gains confidence through being comfortable on the bike than making sure the bike lasts the maximum period of time (see also my comment re s/h bikes).

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2190697 4-Mar-2019 14:18
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Excellent thoughts everyone, clearly I have a bit more thinking to do!!


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2190704 4-Mar-2019 14:28
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I took my 4 year old boy into Bike Barn and they checked him out on a 16" frame and said it was perfect for him.. they were checking to see how high his knees came up to his waist whilst peddling I believe? 


There were only a few models in that size and the alloy ones were quite a bit lighter so we opted for that.. he uses it almost every day so it was well worth it 


make sure you get a good helmet and some wrist pads too ! 



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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 2190757 4-Mar-2019 14:59
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We went with lower-end for the kids at that age. 


Once they went to 20" bikes, we went a little more expensive to get lighter frames with short cage derailleurs etc, which gave them durable, lightweight and fun bikes to ride. 


We went with Kona kids bikes from Bike Barn, but I'd also recommend Scott or similar. 


Try to stay away from really cheap bikes as they can be heavy and that isn't fun for a little person to ride. I know that they grow out of a bike quite quickly, but we often sold our boys' bikes at not too much of a loss, as we look after them. 


Good, lightweight bikes tend to get used more often as they are simply more fun to ride. 

Handsome Dan Has Spoken.

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