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Thread: Mountain Bike for 11/12 year old

  1. #1
    Master
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    Mountain Bike for 11/12 year old

    A reqeust for some help chosing a bike for my lad, please. It has recently been pointed out that he has outgrown his current bike. He is 11, about 148cm and growing. He is quite active and has shown some interest in biking, we live near the Malvern Hills and there are, it seems some good mountain biking spots within a short drive (Gloucestershire, https://417bikepark.co.uk/ for example). As a reward for working hard at school and generally being a nice lad I am going to buy him a new bike (his Birthday is in January so to long to wait given the current bike situation).

    So, what would be a good option for a bike, no more that 500 which would be suitable for communting to school next year (only 2 minutes away) and some off roading.
    I remember when I was a teenager I had a Specialized Rockhopper and my mates had Marins (when they were always a graphite grey colour with various lumious forks).

    I will look to but from a smaller independant retailer subject to availablity.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    I bought a lovely Trek Skye SL for my lad at similar age.
    Its officially a womens frame but does not look like it,and it meant he could get better kit and bigger wheels on it than a kids bike for the price.

    Hes used it sparingly it up to now (16) and it has done him great.
    Hes just moved on up to my Kona, as hes 5ft11!!!


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  3. #3
    Master
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    +1 on the Trek models. They are well built, compared to a lot of other supposedly "mountain" bikes that collapse when ridden hard (as teenagers can!).

  4. #4
    Check Facebook Marketplace in your local area. Loads of people went out and bought bikes in lockdown, rarely used them and are now selling them.

    I paid 120 for a Trek Cali S for my Teenage Daughter and it's a fantastic bike for the money.


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by chrisparker View Post
    Check Facebook Marketplace in your local area. Loads of people went out and bought bikes in lockdown, rarely used them and are now selling them.

    I paid 120 for a Trek Cali S for my Teenage Daughter and it's a fantastic bike for the money.

    This. Trek and second hand. Bought my eldest a lovely Trek when he was 12. Was expensive but I have 3 boys so knew it would get handed down and used. Then sold for a bargain price to someone on TZ !! I recall it had twist shift gears on the grips - was that the smoothest gear change I have ever experienced on a bike and I am sure that helped them get the hang of riding it well


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  6. #6
    Master
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    Thanks for the advice.
    I have noticed that some bikes not only have a single front cog which is small in comparison to what I am used to seeing - presumably this is to give a wider range of gearing from the pedals? Is there any advantage to having a single front cog and 9 rear gears to 2 or 3 front cogs and 7 rear gears?

  7. #7
    We went with Cube, good value, hydraulic discs and air forks rather than cable brakes and spring forks. The 240 is the 24 wheel and the 260 is 26.

    https://www.cube.eu/uk-en/cube-acid-...8fe1cb4f330c79

  8. #8
    Specialized still produce the Rockhopper and you wouldn't go too far wrong with one of them

    Sent from my M2101K6G using Tapatalk
    Last edited by xxnick1975; Yesterday at 08:30.

  9. #9
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil h View Post
    Thanks for the advice.
    I have noticed that some bikes not only have a single front cog which is small in comparison to what I am used to seeing - presumably this is to give a wider range of gearing from the pedals? Is there any advantage to having a single front cog and 9 rear gears to 2 or 3 front cogs and 7 rear gears?
    Phil you hinted at your age talking about flo forks on Marins but reference to seven speed seals if for me :) :)

    Mountain bikes even kids ones have come on leaps and bounds. A single chain ring up front is now probably more common tha a double. Rear gears are 9/10/11 or even 12.

    As posters have said and you alluded to in your opening post, kids in the 11 to 13/15 range grow. So look for a bike that someone has grown through. Dont be seduced into buying a bigger bike that they will grow into. Look for one that fits well and they can use effectively on the trails from day one. Then when he grows out of it sell and buy another pre owned.

    So many kids and adults are put of cycling because they are put on frames that are too large. These stretch you out, feely ungainly and in many cases look downright stupid. Brands to look for Specialised Trek Whyte Marin maybe Kona ( but getting rarer now) Canyon. Avoid Apollo Carrera ect as they will A be heavy and b harder to move on.


    Lastly the market for pre owned bikes is very weak and bargains are to be had. Bikes can devalue by as much as 60-70% in a few years so with a growing son pre owned is the best route and your 500 should buy a lotta bike :)
    Last edited by higham5; Yesterday at 09:37.

  10. #10
    There are a couple of good Facebook groups. Im a member of Little Rippers among others and as others have said youll find lots for sale at reasonable prices.

  11. #11
    I suspect that your best 'bang for your buck' for a new bike would be Decathlon:

    https://www.decathlon.co.uk/kids/mountain-bikes

  12. #12
    Couple of thoughts... I'd suggest at that sort of budget you stick with front suspension rather than looking for something fully suspended (unless it's an absolute steal). More money spent on the frame and forks will make for a much nicer ride than cheap rear springs... it'll also be a lot lighter

    1x groupsets have a load of advantages, particularly off-road. No front mech means no mech hanger so designers didn't have to worry about where to put it and could concentrate on the best suspension path for full suspension bikes. Also, you could stick the seatpost lever where the front shifter would have been and clean up the cockbit. Cadence isn't such an issue off-road so you could have cassettes with massive range and not lose any of the top or bottom end. Plus, cheap 3x front mechs are a PITA.

    Having worked on many, many budget mountain bikes, I'd definitely avoid Apollo but the offerings from Decathlon and Go Outdoors are usually really well thought through.

  13. #13
    Grand Master Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xxnick1975 View Post
    Specialized still produce the Rockhopper and you wouldn't go too far wrong with one of them

    Sent from my M2101K6G using Tapatalk
    They are good bikes. Mine did the CtoC (St Bees/ Robin Hoods Bay), Brecon Beacons, South Downs and other routes without any issues.
    They are even better now.

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