So, the older kid, who’s 10, has grown out of her Electra single speed beach cruiser with the 20” wheels.  The seat doesn’t go high enough.  The next step was a 24” kids bike.  But I hate that size.  That’s the size where they are nearly big enough for a proper bike in a 26” wheel, assuming the frame can be small enough.  The 24” size, in my opinion is just a money gimmick.  You get a still-crappy, heavy, hi-ten steel lunker in a marginally larger wheel.  The idea that your kid will have 3-ish bikes (16”, 20”, 24”) before they get to a proper bike is pure marketing and hype.  

So, I researched.  And researched.  It’s hard to find a good small frame bike.  But I did find one.  My LBS had a Linus Mixte 3 in the small size, and the 26” wheels.  Real brakes.  Gears.  And enough range in the frame-saddle-bars that she can ride it now (admittedly at a little stretch) and can continue to ride it all the way to college (assuming it’s not stolen).  Yes, that’s a lot of money for a “kid’s bike”, but in my mind, it’s a bike that grabs them when bikes are really important, and then stays with them for a long time.  It’s not a phase bike.  It’s a real bike.

The little one is riding a 16” now, but I’m pretty sure that she’ll be on the Electra this summer.  She’ll get a few good years out of it, and then she too will be ready for a real bike.

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