A bike for my daughter

Discussion in 'General Cycling Discussions' started by Accy cyclist, 13 Aug 2012.

  1. She's 15 years old and 5ft 7, but she might grow a bit more. She's had this heavier than a blacksmith's anvil mountain bike for years, it's served its purpose of getting her used to bikes, and also building up strength due to the fact that a lot is required to peddle the very heavy object!:training: We went out yesterday for a few miles and god was she struggling to keep up, even though i was only cycling at a slow to medium pace, and those hills must be a nightmare as the gears are sticking and those near motorbike tyres don't help!
    Time for summat better was my thought, so i'm wondering if it'd be better to go straight to a decent lightish road bike, complete with spds or make the move gradual and maybe buy a hybrid or a second hand tourer maybe? She's never tried spd peddles, infact not even clips, just basic peddles. Though if she ends up with clip in peddles she'll probably fall off and as she's pointed out, she'll have to wear the same shoes all the time.:rolleyes:
    What do you suggest, i don't want to spend a lot of money on something she might grow out of, or put to one side for the winter months.
    New road bike, decent second hand roadbike, or a better mountain bike maybe? Should i buy an expensive one that'll last for years, or a middle range one that'll do the job without having to use it all the time to justify the expense?
     
  2. biggs682

    biggs682 Smile a mile bike provider

    Location:
    Northamptonshire
    got same question re my 11 yr old but i have a mid 90's Marin Pallisides trail lurking in shed that is just about right size so have given her the choice between current stead a bso mountain bike or the Marin which will be overhauled before use as has been stood for a couple of years awaiting a rider .

    would not spend to much as how long will the interest stay for
     
  3. sidevalve

    sidevalve Über Member

    I would look for either a lightweight hybrid or as you say an older [no, not 1920's] tourer, from the days when tourer meant lightweight, good quality but with a slightly less "twitchy" frame geometry than a full on race bike. Oddly this may only mean going back a very few years and if you can spot and maintain a bargain you will be able to sell on if you need to with very little or no loss. Don't really see a problem with the pedals, if she wants plain pedals then fine. I can assure you the pedal police wont arrest her on her first trip out.
     
  4. Nebulous

    Nebulous Veteran

    Location:
    Aberdeen
    What does she want?

    One of my biggest regrets in life is not getting a 'racer' as a teenager. I wanted one and my mother at least listened and made some attempt to comply, but two different bike shops tried their best to put her off. According to them if I got a racer it would permanently damage my back, wreck my shoes (rate of shoe wear was a big issue in my youth) and be a primary cause of world hunger.

    So I got a Raleigh Wayfarer, a big horrible heavy 3 speed bike, born from the 1930's, designed to take someone 732 yards to the shipyard gates and back again, for the next 37 years until the Tories closed the shipyard down. Bitter, me? Naaaaaah.
     
  5. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    What does she want?

    There is no way either of my girls would want to wear cycling shoes - so they wouldn't ride their bike if going off to see friends. Whilst I would want to make it as easy as possible for them, equally there is no point getting something they wouldn't want to ride - that has to be one of the most important considerations! As for how much to spend, it is worth staying away from the cheapest as you will just end up with something which will be just as heavy as her current bike by the sounds of it. What does she say she would like?
     
  6. OP
    OP
    Accy cyclist

    Accy cyclist Guru

    Naturally as a teenager she wants the most expensive i'm prepared to buy. The cycling shoes and spds problem could be overcome by using toe clips on peddles. I know they're kind of frowned upon now but i've always found them practical. I still have them on my old general use bike. I reckon that if i spend about £500 on a bike that's been reduced from say £650 it should be light enough, yet not so expensive enough to not have toe clips.
     
  7. slowmotion

    slowmotion Quite dreadful

    Location:
    lost somewhere
    I have no idea what kind of riding your daughter would like to do. If she is on a heavy MTB, a lightweight hybrid , about 10-11 kg will seem like a magic carpet. They don't cost the earth, (£200-300) and she can move on to a road bike if and when she wants.

    Decathlon seems to crop up a lot in similar discussions, BTW.

    Something like this?
    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/btwin-fitness-3-id_8188895.html
     
  8. I like Skol

    I like Skol Hold my beer and watch this....

    Location:
    Ashton-under-Lyne
    What does she want?

    Is there an echo in here?

    Seriously though, your original post makes it sound a bit like it's you that wants her to have a bike and that maybe she is only cycling to keep you happy? "We went out yesterday for a few miles and god was she struggling to keep up, even though i was only cycling at a slow to medium pace" Are you sure she is keen on having a new bike or will the old one do for popping around to friends houses?
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Accy cyclist

    Accy cyclist Guru

    When i said struggling to keep up i meant up a fair hill. The old heap definitely hindered her as on the flat she's fine, but it takes some effort. Maybe i'll wait a while to see if she's so keen when the cold weather comes in, before spending unwisely.
     
  10. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Location:
    Bristol
    Does it matter if she only turns out to be a fair weather cyclist? I bought my daughter one of those ones with a basket on the front and a step over frame as that was what she wanted and suited the type of cycling she was likely to do.

    I have been pleasantly surprised that she has used it since to go on rides with friends or on her own, or even encouraging her siblings to go for a ride. It is certainly more than she used to do on her previous bike. I suspect it won't get used in the winter, but as long as she uses it again next year that will be fine.

    Her sister needs a bike, but I'm taking my time trying to find one that she will like and that will suit her. She would really struggle with her sisters bike and is an even more reluctant cyclist but likes family rides (occasionally). For her lightweight and simple will be best, we have tried a couple of bikes so far but haven't found the one that she likes.

    I doubt I'm ever going to turn either of my girls into committed cyclists but if I can keep them enjoying it as a leisure activity and an independent means of getting around occasionally then it will be worth it and I don't mind spending the money. If you don't want to spend £600 unless you think she is going to use it lots, is it worth spending a little less if you then don't mind it not being used in the winter, but that lighter bike might just be the encouragement she needs.
     
  11. vickster

    vickster Legendary Member

    Of course ask her what she wants but something like the Trek 7 series are very good, unless she really wants drops?
    Evans have a few to consider depending on what spec and how much - 2011 start under £300 http://www.evanscycles.com/categories/bikes/hybrid-bikes/f/trek/female#!

    Will take mudguards if she does ride in less clement weather, which can be a pain with road bikes (as I discovered with my new Giant).

    I'd take her to a few local shops, make it clear there is a max budget and have fun shopping :smile:
     
  12. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    If you don't want to spend much in case she doesn't use the bike why not at least get the gears fixed and change the tyres on this bike?
     
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