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Monday, July 31, 2006

Kids bikes, the smart way.


Ok, many of you out there go out and buy your kid's first bicycle as soon as you think he/she can ride. The asking price for these things new is, I find, too expensive most of the time. Everybody wants what's best for their kids and that's understandable. But the logical way of doing this is buying used.

These bikes are very simple and bicycle repair and maintenance on them is almost nil. They use the same material as the full size ones, except in a smaller format. If your child would remain the same size from 3 to 18 years old, except for the tires, he/she would probably never go through the bike. So why buy a new 12, 16 or even 20 inch wheel bike brand new when you'll probably have to get rid of it within a year or two. Kiddie bikes in those sizes are abundant on the used market at garage sales and thrift stores. I know of some stores that actually give them away because they have too many of them. Never pay more than $20. They are also found by the curb come garbage day as well of course. Those used rides require minimum repair, just make sure the tires are ok, hold air and that the chain is not seized in rust. Use the info on this blog and you should be good.

If your kid is really serious about biking, then you can invest on a ride that will suite is style of riding, may it be road racing, BMX, mountain biking or lowriders. If your child gets seriously involved in any type of cycling, get involved as well and spend some quality time with them.

Tip of the day: Plan rides with your kids, let them choose the itinerary. Let them lead the ride when safely possible. They will get physical activity, learn new things, see new places and so will you. My kids are in there late teens now and we still enjoy riding together frequently with some rides being recalled years later with fondness.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember christmas day, five years old. My dad put under the tree a bike for me and my brother that he got at the police impound. Looking back, my little sister was sick in the hospital and the family was probably broke at the time. But we didn't really notice - we had bikes! I don't think we asked where they came from for a few weeks. He later told us, but we were too young to know what it meant. I just remember imagining a gated area behind the local police station that was probably full of cool bikes.

Anonymous said...

You are right! I was dropping off some kid clothes at Goodwill and saw two 12" wheeled bikes for $5 each. Painted them. Repacked the bearings, and they were better than new. Took the drive train off of one, sawed off the overhanging axle bolts, and made it into a "Scooter Bike"...three kids have learned to ride on that scooter-bike (teaches balance, and the pedaling comes naturally next) by age 3.5! I am about to rebuild my 1985 Bianchi and happened across your blog. Great job!

Gerry Lauzon said...

Stories like these make this blog even more worthwhile. They make my day. I love the scooter bike idea. Only know you'll know how to remove that bottom bracket instead of sweating it with a hacksaw ;). Click "home" To get the to the newest articles.

Thank you again for sharing.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

Hi, great site! I bought a bike from a neighbour and my son loves it. This will be his third summer on it. Used is the way to go at this young age. I need your help with adjusting the play in the pedal. The pedal travels about 1 inch before it begins to drive, is there some kind of adjustment I can make to the back brake or the back gear to remove the play ?

Gerry Lauzon said...

The play is caused by the inside brake pad being used up and it now demands more travel to be activated. The best solution, apart from a complete hub rebuild, is to simply change the rear wheel for another one. Just make sure that the brake arm is securely attached to the frame.

Mark Alban said...

Just read your article about finding cheap kids' bikes. Will try some of those suggestions, but still welcome add'l suggestions.
Mark

Gerry Lauzon said...

Mark, just check your local bike shops, especially the ones that have been around for a while. They might have that stuff at liquidation prices. You can also check out Wallyworld, they keep some kiddie accessories in stock most of the time.

Gerry

Anonymous said...

I need to know how to replace the pedles on my son's bike he is aboue 3 years old and i cant seem to get the pedles off there is not nut or bult so what can i do.

Gerry Lauzon said...

I suggest you read my article on the subject of pedals. All pedals are removed and installed the same way on all bikes.: http://howtofixbikes.blogspot.com/2006/08/pedals-take-sides-some-are-right-some.html

Gerry :)

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the second hand bikes, with a little TLC, are more appreciated! I bought a bike from a local tip (dump, recycling depot) for as little as £6- approx $9! Took it home and got my son to help me tune it back up. Spent another £6 on parts and we had great fun recycling. Now he is as proud as punch on his little bike! He loves it.

Gerry Lauzon said...

Funny you should mention that. I was working with my son today and the smell of grease brought him back to the good times we had at that age when we worked on his and my bikes. he's 22 now and about to be a Father. Your kid will remember this for the rest of his life and those moments are priceless.

Thanks for sharing.

Gerry :)

playmaker said...

I'm looking for the rear wheel for a a child's 18" bike. Anyone know How I can get just the wheel? Tire and tube are fine. thanks

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