Kid's Bike Suggestions
Anybody have suggestions on a first pedal bike? My 3 year old has been on a Strider bike (12" wheels) for the last year and has been ripping it, but he's quickly outgrown it (he's ~42" tall now) and it's time to step up to something a little bigger with pedals. I'm guessing he'll need a 16" wheeled bike, no gears, no training wheels, and hopefully weighs less than my adult bike, ha. Bonus points (6-pack on me) if it's under $200 and can be bought locally!
PS. the Bedford skate park is an awesome place to teach kids bike skills!
My kid was (and still is) all about the BMX riding.
His first 'real' bikes were a 16" Haro 116 BMX 'park' bike and a Redline 20" BMX racing Proline 'Mini' (you might want to go even smaller to a 'micro-mini'. Sadly, as I'd love a 6-pack, I just sold off both of these this summer, as he moved up to an 18" BMX and 24" MTBs.
If you're near Bedford, I'd highly encourage you to take him for a little road trip to the Billerica or Wakefield BMX tracks, as well as the Russell Mills pumptrack. Great places for kids to start riding dirt, and you can ride there any time you want as long as there's not a race going on (it's fun to check out the races too - both tracks have websites with schedules; lots of young kids go racing). The fields at Great Brook in Carlisle are also a good place for little ones, plus they've got the ice cream stand, etc.
If you're a weight weenie, you can go on the Families and Kids sub-forum on MTBR.com, where guys that make their kids go out in public wearing spandex will give you all the info you need (and then some) on how to spend shitloads of money and time saving some grams, but from what I found, the fact that most kids' bikes are proportionately very 'heavy' has never kept my kid from ripping on them.
Appreciate the input Slappy. I was checking out the Haro Micro-Mini this week. Looks like a fun kid bike, but definitely out of the price range I was shooting for. I've taken my kid to the Billerica BMX track once and he was super excited. We were only able to watch though as there was some pre-race practicing going on. Also, definitely not a weight weenie - I'm more inclined to just visit the bathroom before a ride than spend thousands of dollars on losing a pound here and there.
Probably going to stop by CycleLoft soon, since they have LocalBMX across the street. Figure that way my kid can try both styles (mtb vs. bmx) and see what's more comfortable for him.
Check out the Wakefield track too - little more accessible than Billerica and a good bit easier for the little guys to ride.
Try hunting down a used bike - you'll save a bunch of $$. If you're interested in a micro, try inquiring if anybody has one up for sale through the local tracks' facebook pages - might have some decent luck that way.
If you're okay with a coaster brake, I have a 16" Redline Pitboss kicking around that'll might work for you. Been through a couple kids, so it's not pristine, but it does have flames.
Started out as shown in the picture, but has been through a number of 'mods' and riding seasons. Still got some good times left in it though.
This might be too big of a step up, but I'll have a 20" kid's mtb available soon.