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Advice on LIGHT bike for 4.5 year old


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Hi everyone

I need some advice on a 16” lightweight bike for my son. He currently has a 12” Muna push bike (which he loves) and a 14” Muna pedal bike (which he hates).

He find the Muna pedal bike WAY to heavy to handle, he can’t pick it up, when he stops the bike is to heavy and topples over. I mean he only weighs 16kg and the bike is almost 11kgs! This is like a grownup of 65kg lugging around a 50kg+ bike!

Any advice on something that might be a bit lighter? Obviously a Frog would be the ideal, but as they are so scare any others names would be appreciated.

Anyone know the weight of the Titans and maybe the Norcos?

I’v had a look at the Marvel bikes, they seem nice but still quite heavy.
 

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My son had a Titan Hades 20D. They are built tough but are extremely heavy, heavier than my dual suspension Cannondale.

When he turned 9 I ended up finding him an XS 26" frame and building many of my lightweight parts on it. 

From what I could tell most 16"-20" bikes are very heavy except if you go for the really high-end stuff like Specialized or Commencal. Specialized Riprock 20" is just over 10kg with a rigid fork and the Commencal 20" is just over 11kg with a proper suspension fork. The Commencal is a much more serious bike and quite a bit more expensive than the Specialized but even the Secialized at R12k is expensive if your kid will only be riding it for a year or two.

In 14" and 16" I doubt you will find something proper that is lightweight, especially in SA.

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11 hours ago, laansmith@gmail.com said:

Hi everyone

I need some advice on a 16” lightweight bike for my son. He currently has a 12” Muna push bike (which he loves) and a 14” Muna pedal bike (which he hates).

He find the Muna pedal bike WAY to heavy to handle, he can’t pick it up, when he stops the bike is to heavy and topples over. I mean he only weighs 16kg and the bike is almost 11kgs! This is like a grownup of 65kg lugging around a 50kg+ bike!

Any advice on something that might be a bit lighter? Obviously a Frog would be the ideal, but as they are so scare any others names would be appreciated.

Anyone know the weight of the Titans and maybe the Norcos?

I’v had a look at the Marvel bikes, they seem nice but still quite heavy.
 

The lightest bike that I could find for my 5y old was a Norco Samurai 16" at 8kg

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12 hours ago, laansmith@gmail.com said:

Hi everyone

I need some advice on a 16” lightweight bike for my son. He currently has a 12” Muna push bike (which he loves) and a 14” Muna pedal bike (which he hates).

He find the Muna pedal bike WAY to heavy to handle, he can’t pick it up, when he stops the bike is to heavy and topples over. I mean he only weighs 16kg and the bike is almost 11kgs! This is like a grownup of 65kg lugging around a 50kg+ bike!

Any advice on something that might be a bit lighter? Obviously a Frog would be the ideal, but as they are so scare any others names would be appreciated.

Anyone know the weight of the Titans and maybe the Norcos?

I’v had a look at the Marvel bikes, they seem nice but still quite heavy.
 

Check out the Early Rider bikes. Their 16 inch bike is listed at 6kg.

I reckon suspension forks should come a bit later, learning to pump the bike and get a feel for creating grip is better with a rigid set up. Also most of the "suspension" forks on the kids bikes are super heavy and are just a spring with no damper. 

We went with the Merida Matts + for my sons 20 inch. Ticked all the boxes... hydraulic brakes, clicking shifters and not the terrible grip shift that is specc'd on kids bikes, lightish weight at about 9.5kg. Its a very cool bike, he loves it.

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10 hours ago, droo said:

Early Rider all the way. 

Just had a look on their site. Those bikes look awesome!

More than R13k for a rigid fork, mechanical disc brake 20" is still pretty pricey though. The weight is great at < 9Kg.

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26 minutes ago, Rolf Hansen said:

Just had a look on their site. Those bikes look awesome!

More than R13k for a rigid fork, mechanical disc brake 20" is still pretty pricey though. The weight is great at < 9Kg.

 

Sadly kids bikes are:

1. EXPENSIVE ...

2. Heavy ...

3. Assembled poorly ... (strip and rebuild recommended)

 

 

And if you get more than 18 months use out of it, before they outgrow it, then you are very lucky.

 

 

Maritz's 26" is way lighter than his 20" and 24" bikes .... 😏

 

 

Sadly you have three options...

1. Buy the typical kids bike ... not too expensive, and heavier than a boat anchor

2. Second bond to save 2 or 3kg .... (which is a lot for kid)

3. Shop around for a second hand light weight bike .... would be interesting to see if it is available, and the cost ...

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14 hours ago, Rolf Hansen said:

Just had a look on their site. Those bikes look awesome!

More than R13k for a rigid fork, mechanical disc brake 20" is still pretty pricey though. The weight is great at < 9Kg.

Suspension fork on anything less than a 24" is a waste of time - nobody makes one that is sensitive enough for a 20kg rider, all it does is add weight and bushing slop.

And yes, they're expensive. But buy a cheap one and see what you get. Also, they won't break in the 2 years or so that you'll use them. Or even end up looking scruffy. So you'll be able to sell them on for pretty close to what you paid for them when you're done.

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2 minutes ago, droo said:

Suspension fork on anything less than a 24" is a waste of time - nobody makes one that is sensitive enough for a 20kg rider, all it does is add weight and bushing slop.

And yes, they're expensive. But buy a cheap one and see what you get. Also, they won't break in the 2 years or so that you'll use them. Or even end up looking scruffy. So you'll be able to sell them on for pretty close to what you paid for them when you're done.

I agree on that. I don't mean it needs one, I mean I would think it would be cheaper without the suspension fork.

Unfortunately I was never in the position to pay that for a bike for my boys. I had to settle for 2nd hand bikes in a much lower price bracket. I did indeed get what I paid for and not in a good way.

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1 minute ago, Rolf Hansen said:

I agree on that. I don't mean it needs one, I mean I would think it would be cheaper without the suspension fork.

Unfortunately I was never in the position to pay that for a bike for my boys. I had to settle for 2nd hand bikes in a much lower price bracket. I did indeed get what I paid for and not in a good way.

As you no doubt found out, half of what makes a cheap kids bike suck can be fixed with a rebuild and decent cables. But it'll still be heavy and prone to falling apart.

Agreed on the affordability for most people though, although it does depend on priorities. I mean, who needs school fees when your kid's gonna be the next Mr Min, right?

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In that size range go rigid and focus on spending fun time with the kid. They don't care about the equipment anyway, they just want to spend time with you. And it is better if it is cheap because they love riding through the mud over and over again until all bearings are wrecked ;).

For the next sizes up I was quite happy with Momsen's JSL series. 24" and 26". You can find them as 2nd hand bikes too, occasionally. Price is still ok but they at least try to be sensible with weight - use 1x drive trains, tubeless capable rims, hydraulic brakes and air forks. I would omit the fork of the 24" bike - the kids are too light to really make the fork work. They hardly overcome the stiction.

Lastly, I made now a really good pick with a 2nd hand 26er Fox Fit4 Factory for my daughters latest build. The damper really works well for her 35kg and the fork is smooth and functional even under ridiculously low air pressure.

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On 6/17/2022 at 8:31 PM, laansmith@gmail.com said:

Hi everyone

I need some advice on a 16” lightweight bike for my son. He currently has a 12” Muna push bike (which he loves) and a 14” Muna pedal bike (which he hates).

He find the Muna pedal bike WAY to heavy to handle, he can’t pick it up, when he stops the bike is to heavy and topples over. I mean he only weighs 16kg and the bike is almost 11kgs! This is like a grownup of 65kg lugging around a 50kg+ bike!

Any advice on something that might be a bit lighter? Obviously a Frog would be the ideal, but as they are so scare any others names would be appreciated.

Anyone know the weight of the Titans and maybe the Norcos?

I’v had a look at the Marvel bikes, they seem nice but still quite heavy.
 

a frog24 came up on here and i snapped it no questions asked. (it will be available in about 2026)

Your best bet is a bmx of sorts, they are built to better standards than the kids ranges

Adults bike frames break every now and then - we accept that it's a tradeoff, kids bikes never break  and are WAY too over engineered despite much lower speeds they go at. The wheels are also all just crap.

 

if you can find one of these unicorns for when he is bigger, jump on it.

https://momsenbikes.com/archives/2015-bikes/jsl20-carbon/

 

 

 

 

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On 6/18/2022 at 8:18 AM, ACE Cycles said:

The lightest bike that I could find for my 5y old was a Norco Samurai 16" at 8kg

I can get one for a really great price. Would you recommend it? 

I'm really not worried about it being fancy or anything, I only need it to be lighter than the tank he has now. His balance is great but when he stops the weight is just too much and this scares him. Also, he can't even get this thing to move up even a slight incline. If it's not flat or downhill he really struggles and as we live in a hilly neighbourhood this is a problem!

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22 hours ago, Shebeen said:

a frog24 came up on here and i snapped it no questions asked. (it will be available in about 2026)

Your best bet is a bmx of sorts, they are built to better standards than the kids ranges

Adults bike frames break every now and then - we accept that it's a tradeoff, kids bikes never break  and are WAY too over engineered despite much lower speeds they go at. The wheels are also all just crap.

 

if you can find one of these unicorns for when he is bigger, jump on it.

https://momsenbikes.com/archives/2015-bikes/jsl20-carbon/

 

 

 

 

I'd LOVE to get him a Frog 44, and there is one on the for sale forum, but as it has committed the cardinal sin of having pink and purple spots on it, it is, apparently, only fit for girls!

 

There is a Momsen JR 16, but it's only a couple of 100 grams lighter than his current tank, so don't think it'll fit the purpose. 

 

Honestly, I at this age I can't care less about gadgets, or branding, the main thing is weight (and apparently no pink and purple).

And I agree, kids bikes seem to be almost indestructible, with the payoff being the insane weight! What are they expecting these 4 year olds to do with these bikes? 

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16 minutes ago, laansmith@gmail.com said:

I can get one for a really great price. Would you recommend it? 

I'm really not worried about it being fancy or anything, I only need it to be lighter than the tank he has now. His balance is great but when he stops the weight is just too much and this scares him. Also, he can't even get this thing to move up even a slight incline. If it's not flat or downhill he really struggles and as we live in a hilly neighbourhood this is a problem!

I'd definitely recommend it, bought an orange one for my laaitie. His balance is good, now it's just getting him to balance and pedal. Fitted training wheels for now

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2 minutes ago, ACE Cycles said:

I'd definitely recommend it, bought an orange one for my laaitie. His balance is good, now it's just getting him to balance and pedal. Fitted training wheels for now

I would suggest not using training wheels. Take them off and take pedals off, let the kid ride it around like a balance bike for a few days/weeks until comfortable. Put pedals back on and let the kid pedal, you'll be amazed how fast they learn to pedal then. Training wheels do not teach kids to balance. 

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