We had a question today from Facebook regarding children’s bikes. Here it is:
Can you please give me your thoughts/suggestions regarding kids road bikes? My 10 yr old daughter needs a road bike for next season’s tri’s and my 11 yr old son needs one for tri’s and possible junior road racing… Having a tough time finding much info. out there. Thanks,
Here is the answer:
At 10 and 11, competitive athletes benefit just as much as adults with good positioning. Because they continue to grow, however, the choices of bicycles can become very expensive and much money can be wasted if things are not done right.
1) The first consideration is whether the child’s commitment to the sport and the need to be competitive can justify the expense of a properly fitted bicycle.
2) Assuming the answer is yes, the equation is typically opposite what one would do as an adult. While an adult would want to get the best frame for the budget and compromise on parts, the child’s bike should have a less expensive frame because they will outgrow it soon. If a custom bike is chosen, better components can be purchased that can be swapped onto bigger frames as the child grows.
3) The benefits of custom bikes designed properly are as significant for younger people as they are for folks over 40. While young bodies are developing, riding an ill fitting bike can cause injuries and developmental problems that can plague the child in adulthood.
While there are no easy answers, bicycles are always a “get what you pay for” proposition and getting good advice and developing a plan for growth and advancement will help the child enjoy the sport more, perform better and be more likely to continue as an adult. If it is in the budget, our BalancePoint™ positioning will outline the type of frame that will work best, be it stock or custom. We always ask people to buy fewer, better bikes if possible and with growing children, the process is doable, but does take planning.
Do you have experiences, good or bad, with your child’s bikes as they go through the ranks of triathlon or junior bike racing?