Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Finnegan's New Ride


Woot! Woot!

We were out for a playdate in the park this morning and afterwards head over to Broadway to pickup some groceries... but before we did we nipped into the bike doc to see if there was any word on Finnegan's new ride...


As it turned out - when we walked in we were informed they had just phoned and left a message to say it was in and assembled.

With a few minor tweaks we were ready to roll!


handbreaks were a bit new - took some getting used to...


It took some time to find something that would work for us - there's not a lot of great bikes out there for kids. It's encouraging that there's a number of companies now making runner bikes - for kids to learn balance just gliding a long. But when they get to big for that... there isn't really much for them to graduate to. Almost all 12" and 16"wheel bikes (or at least ALL the ones I came across) are designed to be used with training wheels. Because of this the bottom brackets are crazy high (kids don't need to put their feet down because the training wheels are holding them upright, right?) so if you crank a seat down low enough for the rider to actually tough the ground with their feet - they get no leg extension at all when pumping hte pedals and look rather like they're trying to pick their noses with their kneecaps!?


Once you get to 20" wheels it seems the choices are - for the most part - BMX or Miniature Mountain bikes... all build like brick sh!thouses to take the severe kid of punishment that kids deal out hucking them off whatever they can find.... But what if you don't want to huck a bike around at the skate park or shred up the local trails...? What if you actually want to GO places... and go places... well... farther than the average person might imagine kids could...


When I was Finnegan's age "Ten Speeds" were all the rage and when I was 8 my folks bought me a "five speed" - a scaled down road bike with skinny (relativly) smooth tires... Where are those now!?


Anyway... I could rant all day... What we found was a 20" Townie. It's pretty sweet. Full leg extension AND can touch the ground. Gears for going up those hills (and bridges!) and it isn't a total tank!!

Finnegan liked the look of the green frame and the fact that you could more easily step trhough it than the all black "boys" version.

We probably will swap out the tires and seat on this one... and will some how need to rig up some method of carrying stuff (custom rack, perhaps...?)


Home safe and sound...

8 comments:

will bailie said...

Whoo-hoo! Nice ride, Finnegan!

Will

Don Cook said...

Finn: I'm a Townie rider too. Welcome to the club!

don

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Sure is.....

I'll tell you my other beef - they never come with mud guards! What's the first thing they go through after the rain clears - yes, bloody great muddy puddle... :o)

tim said...

Yeah... mudguards... It's funny because all of the other 20" wheel/kids bikes that Electra makes DO come with mudguards!!? But they're all single speed/coaster break and just wouldn't do for the kind of distances we do...

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

I reckon it's a cynical fashion thing... none of the pro BMX and mountain bike riders have mudguards, so the manufacturers make something that looks the same knowing the kids will think it's cool while at the same time (and more importantly) they save $'s....

Still reckon that's a cool bike though... :o)

Prairie Voyageur said...

Thanks for posting your findings regarding kids bikes. Our oldest if four years and we have the same issue with the lack of leg extension and crazy heavy frame weight. Maybe if we all write letters and lobby the bike companies they will start making some proper kids bikes...

tim said...

I understands why bicycle manufacturers don't make a lot of commuter kids bikes for the North American market... There just isn't the kind of demand necessary to make it worth while for them. Most parents would think me daft for spending $400-$500 on a bike for my kids. For most people it WOULD be daft to spend that much, considering how little kids ride their bikes before they grow out of them. Not saying that's "right" or anything... just saying I can understand... sort of..

What I find odd is all these runner bikes... that are awesome... but none of the same companies are following up with for slightly bigger kids - who've outgrown the runner and totally have the balance down - that isn't designed for training wheels...?!

What do the dutch do? Do they all haul their kids around in those cargo trikes until they're big enough for a bike with a 26" wheel!? Batavus - for one year, at least - made junior version of their personal bikes in, I think, 24" and 20". complete with mudguards, internal hub gears, and build in light system... What happened to that?! Are they just not importing them into North America because there just isn't a demand here...? Or is no one buying such things...

I should learn to weld...

brynrk said...

ive thought about upping my welding so i could make custom bikes for the boys as they grow.. thats totally reasonable right?

if you get a rack, make cute mini paniers!!