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  • Jun 6th, 2018 9:31 pm
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[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15656 posts
3053 upvotes
Toronto

Kids' 20" bike?

My daughter is turning 6 soon and has been learning to ride a bike on her 14" wheeled single-speed bike but she has maxed out that bike. Ideally she'd be in a 16-18" bike size-wise, but I figure for her next bike I'll just jump to a geared 20" bike next season.

I was checking out the bikes at the department stores and they are friggin' 27-30 lbs. That's seems like an awful lot for a 45-55 lb kid. I think I'd prefer to get her something 22 lbs or less, but I don't want to spend over $500 either. I'm willing to spend several hundred though since the bike can be passed down to her little brother when the time comes.

What do you think of these two bikes?


Cannondale Quick 20 - $450

20" x 1.5" tires
Shimano Tourney Revo Twist Shifter, 7-speed
Shimano TY300 7-speed rear derailleur
Sunrace 7-speed 11-28 cassette
Rigid fork
110 mm cranks
580 mm handlebar
Standover 19.8"
Weight ~20 lbs


Raleigh Lily 20 - $300

20" x 2.125" tires
Shimano Revo 6-speed
Shimano TY-21 Short Cage 6-speed rear derailleur
6-speed 14-28 cassette
Rigid fork
127 mm cranks
560 mm handlebar
Standover 20.5"
Weight ~21 lbs


Any other ideas? I'm not sure what her inseam will be next year, but right now it's just over 19", so both of these bikes are currently too big for her. The Cannondale would probably fit her better next year though, with the 110 mm cranks and the lower inseam.

EDIT:

I did some rough calculations based on the standardized growth chart and it seems she would have just over a 20" inseam at the beginning of next season, so even next season the Cannondale would be just a shade too big.
9 replies
Member
Aug 5, 2010
325 posts
96 upvotes
Consider taking a look at MEC:

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5053-236/Dash-Bicycle

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5051-222/ ... 22-Bicycle

The 20" ghost bike i purchased for my son 3yrs ago has been rock solid, and has now been passed on to kid #2. Upgraded son's bike to a 24" MEC brand bike. For the spec/weight, they seemed to be the best value i could find anywhere locally.

Sizing - 20" might be a big large for a 6 year old, but best to try a fitting in store. My guys were on the 20" bike from roughly 7-10yrs old.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15656 posts
3053 upvotes
Toronto
stendzme wrote:
May 30th, 2018 9:29 am
Consider taking a look at MEC:

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5053-236/Dash-Bicycle

https://www.mec.ca/en/product/5051-222/ ... 22-Bicycle

The 20" ghost bike i purchased for my son 3yrs ago has been rock solid, and has now been passed on to kid #2. Upgraded son's bike to a 24" MEC brand bike. For the spec/weight, they seemed to be the best value i could find anywhere locally.

Sizing - 20" might be a big large for a 6 year old, but best to try a fitting in store. My guys were on the 20" bike from roughly 7-10yrs old.
Thanks for reminding me to look at those again. I was thinking their suspension forks would make them too heavy so I wrote them off, but I see now that the Dash is less than 24 lbs, and the Ghost is 23 lbs. I think they should offer a rigid fork option, but that's not bad for a bike with a suspension fork.

I also see the Ghost Lanao 2 which is 23.3 lbs and apparently supports a recommend minimum inseam of 19.1", with a standover height of only 17.4", because of the curved top tube.

Image

That's friggin' nearly perfect! My daughter's inseam is 19". The Ghost Kato 2 you linked has a standover of 18.5" which is doable, but a little close for comfort. Plus, she might like the colour scheme better than the black Ghost Kato 2. :)

The main problem is the crank length. Apparently the LASCO RCF1536DP 36T has a crank length of 155 mm. That's probably way, way too long for the smallest rider that bike's standover supports. Many reviews complain that Trek's 140 mm crank length is too long for 6 year-olds, and Cannondale specs a 110 mm crank length. Other companies spec 127 mm.
Member
Aug 5, 2010
325 posts
96 upvotes
That crank length seems off - best to check in store.

Suspension fork - depending on the riding you do, might be an asset. I've taken kids on some pretty good single track trails!
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15656 posts
3053 upvotes
Toronto
EugW wrote:
May 30th, 2018 12:11 pm
That's friggin' nearly perfect! My daughter's inseam is 19". The Ghost Kato 2 you linked has a standover of 18.5" which is doable, but a little close for comfort. Plus, she might like the colour scheme better than the black Ghost Kato 2. :)

The main problem is the crank length. Apparently the LASCO RCF1536DP 36T has a crank length of 155 mm. That's probably way, way too long for the smallest rider that bike's standover supports. Many reviews complain that Trek's 140 mm crank length is too long for 6 year-olds, and Cannondale specs a 110 mm crank length. Other companies spec 127 mm.
The good news is the weight of the Lanao 2 20" is even better than I thought. It's 22.8 - 22.9 lbs with the 4 reflectors that MEC installed on it, so closer to 22.8 lbs and change, or 10.35 kg. Pretty decent, given that it includes a shock.

That standover height is totally bogus. With inflated tires and with that shock, the standover height is more like 20". So, I'd guess the standover is over 21" for the Ghost Kato 2 20", due to the shape of the top tube.

Not sure how to accurately measure handlebar width, but it seems to be about 540 mm, which would be a good width for kids this age. Only a slight rise to the bar. The girls' one has butterflies painted onto it.

Cranks are not 150 mm, but 140 mm. Better, but still likely way too long, except for kids at the biggest end of this bike's size. I went out and measured the cranks of her old 14" wheeled bike, and my son's 16" and both seem to be about 105 mm. MEC didn't have anything that was shorter than 140 mm, but they said they'll look into it.

There is this one:

Spawn Alloy Cranks - 127 mm - CAD$75 plus shipping

However, I think I'm just better off getting the Raleigh Lily 20. It seems the real standover height will likely be the same, as will the weight, but the difference being the Raleigh doesn't have the suspension fork and the Raleigh has properly sized 127 mm cranks.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15656 posts
3053 upvotes
Toronto
Ended up ordering the Raleigh Lily 16. It's a single-speed freewheel model with front and back handbrakes. No coaster brake. Uses standard parts, not kids' dept. store bike parts.

Image

It will only suit her for 1 year or maybe 2 years max, but the store (like several in the city), will buy it back for 50% after one year. So basically that'd be like renting the bike for $145 for the year.

Here's the review of the bike (boys' version):

https://www.twowheelingtots.com/raleigh ... ke-review/

The crank length is 102 mm, which is pretty decent for that age group. Review states the handlebars are very low rise, so more aggressive than average. Also, the handlebars are very wide at 560 mm, although you could cut them down if you wish.
Member
Aug 5, 2010
325 posts
96 upvotes
nice pic - should suit her well.

Once ready for a 20 or 24" bike, definitely check out MEC.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15656 posts
3053 upvotes
Toronto
Did some growth projections on the kid. Smiling Face With Open Mouth Using the CDC growth chart, the Raleigh Lily 16 will last her through the end of next season. She theoretically could jump to a 20" next year, but it would be a more comfortable fit in 2 years, if I went with the Raleigh Lily 20. Judging by the measurements, the Raleigh is a slightly bigger 20" than average, with a longer wheelbase, slightly higher standover, and wider handlebars. I also like the fact they spec 5" (127 mm) cranks with the 20". I was not keen on the 5.5" (140 mm) cranks on the MEC Ghost bikes.

BTW, don't buy anything from Canadian Tire if you can help it. I went there and bought a 16". On my kid's first ride I noticed the handbrake was off kilter and not working, and the brake wiring was done incorrectly. It turns out the brake was bent. I am not sure if it was like that from the store or a fall by my kid caused it but we only had one 1-hour session of light riding in the few days we had the bike. I took the bike back to return but they absolutely refused, since it was ridden. So I showed them the brake and wiring and they said they could only repair it, but we'd have to pay for parts. I said no. I'm not going to pay for something that didn't even last an hour. After much discussion they finally agreed to exchange the bike. I'd rather have my money back though.

I ended up buying a much more expensive and smaller 14" bike at a local bike shop. The bike isn't high end or anything but it seems like the shop knows what they're doing with regards to assembly, and it can be returned next year for a 50% credit. It seems they sell used bikes for about 2/3rds of retail, which means they're making a 30% profit on used bikes they buy back. eg. $150 bike new, but they buy back used for $75 a year later (or $60-65 two years later) for a store credit, and then sell for $100.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15656 posts
3053 upvotes
Toronto
The Raleigh Lily 16 is sold out at Raleigh. Damn. So I went bike shopping with the kid, and it turns out the Louis Garneau Petite Queen 20 fits a LOT smaller than many other 20" bikes out there. The top tube is quite a bit lower than many. They don't list the geometry on their website, but my daughter with a 19" inseam plus a bit extra with running shoes on can stand over the top tube without resting her crotch on the bar. I'm thinking ideally one should have at least a real bare foot 19.5" inseam for this bike, but this is close enough. I lowered the seat all the way, and she can sit on the seat with her toes (but not her heels) on the floor. My daughter is 43" tall, so I'm thinking this Louis Garneau Petite 20" bike is appropriate for kids at least 44" tall, and up to about 50". When seated on the Ghost Kato 2 20 she could barely touch the tips of her toes to the floor, and her crotch would rest on the top tube when she was standing over it, so a kid would need to be taller to fit properly on the Ghost.

https://garneau.com/ca/en/petite-queen- ... r/3o2-1549

Image

The bike is a little more expensive than the Lily 16 and Lily 20, but it works out well, since I won't need to upgrade for several years, as it is a full 7 speed bike with lots of room for her to grow. Bike weight with reflectors and pedals is 20.2 lbs, which is manageable. Not super fly-weight like the Isla Beinn 20 bikes, but half the price of Isla, and not 27 lb department store 20" bike weight either. Cranks are a manageable 127 mm, perhaps a tad too long for a 43" kid, but reasonable, and perfect for about a 50" kid. It's not the crazy 140 mm you get with Ghost or Trek.

The Raleigh Lily 20 also claims (in some parts of the website at least) it is appropriate for kids at least 44" tall, but that bike fits way bigger, like the Ghost from MEC did. My daughter is really too small for the Raleigh Lily 20 and Ghost Kato 2. As mentioned, the Raleigh has a reasonable 127 mm cranks too, but the Ghost is crazy long at 140 mm.

The Raleigh Lily 20 has a wheelbase of 883 mm, and the Ghost Kato 2 20has a wheelbase of 840 mm. Isla Beinn 20 Small has a wheelbase of 814 mm, whereas the Beinn 20 Large has a wheelbase of 845 mm. I don't know the wheelbase of the Garneau Petite Queen 20, but I suspect it's somewhere in between the Beinn Small and Large, and probably closer to the Small which incidentally also lists a height range of 44" to 50". The Beinn 20 Large lists a height range of 47" to 53". In contrast, the Raleigh Lily 20 lists a range of 44" to 55" which in retrospect seems like way too big of a range. Interestingly, elsewhere on Raleigh's website it says the Lily 20 only fits kids at least 47" tall, and up to 55". That's probably more accurate.

Not surprisingly, the Garneau Petite Queen 16 fits really small, and my 43" daughter seemed quite big on it. She doesn't seem quite so big on a 16" department store bike we also have in the house.
[OP]
Deal Expert
Mar 23, 2009
15656 posts
3053 upvotes
Toronto
EugW wrote:
Jun 6th, 2018 11:32 am
The Raleigh Lily 20 has a wheelbase of 883 mm, and the Ghost Kato 2 20has a wheelbase of 840 mm. Isla Beinn 20 Small has a wheelbase of 814 mm, whereas the Beinn 20 Large has a wheelbase of 845 mm. I don't know the wheelbase of the Garneau Petite Queen 20, but I suspect it's somewhere in between the Beinn Small and Large, and probably closer to the Small which incidentally also lists a height range of 44" to 50". The Beinn 20 Large lists a height range of 47" to 53". In contrast, the Raleigh Lily 20 lists a range of 44" to 55" which in retrospect seems like way too big of a range. Interestingly, elsewhere on Raleigh's website it says the Lily 20 only fits kids at least 47" tall, and up to 55". That's probably more accurate.
Measured the Garneau Petite Queen 20. Wheelbase is approximately 830 mm give or take a couple of mm, which is right in between the Beinn 20 Small and Beinn 20 Large, and over 50 mm shorter than the Raleigh Lily 20. Standover is about 19.5", and and minimum seat height over the floor is about 21.5" or so.

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