Youth Road Bike Review

This is a guide for a parent looking for a kids road bike for a child ages 6 to 10 years.  Stay tuned for another blog (coming soon) on ages 11 to 15 years. As a parent, I have experienced first hand, the frustration over understanding where to begin the process of buying a beginner road bike for my child. Only a very few of the 100 or so bike manufacturers have road bikes for our little guys and gals, and if they do, most bike shops choose not to carry them. Only a few bike stores in the U S carry these “niche” kids road bikes year round. While it is possible to find a quality used youth road bike on Craigslist, it is unlikely. These bikes are swept up quickly. Your best bet is to make contact with a youth triathlon or bike team where kids are constantly recycling the bikes as they grow into the next size. Be aware mom and dad! You will find yourself with “sticker shock” as you realize the retails for these small bikes. Keep in mind a couple of key points; 1. Almost all these bikes are made with quality components and the frames and are simply smaller versions of many of the adult road bikes. 2. These little bikes will really hold their value when the time comes to sell! You can expect to easily recoup 60 to 75% of your investment when you get ready to sell. Just search Craiglist for youth or kids road bikes and you will see for yourself!

I have attempted to do some homework for you and tried to give the best options for your little triathlete or cyclist. It is a great idea to attend a kids triathlon and look around for yourself to get a feel for whats out there. Ask the kids and parents about their bikes. You will find that they will love to talk you about their bike and will have some great reasons why their bike is the best!

Piranello FP Zero

Piranello FP Zero

Manufacture site http://www.pinarello.com/eng/fp0_453.php
Size -24 inch wheels 38 cm frame
Weight -950 grams frame only
Frame -Aluminum
Component -Shimano

Price $850

Dealer notes “Start the kids off right with the Pinarello FP0! This kid-specific bike is a Pinarello through and through.It starts with a triple-butted 6061 T6 aluminum frame and fork in a 38cm size. 24 inch clincher wheels are matched with a 160 mm Shimano double crankset with appropriate gearing for the budding cyclist.The Shimano drivetrain features an 8-speed rear derailleur, double front derailleur and integrated brake/shift levers. The brakes are Tektro and a MOst bar, stem and saddle, which are sized for kids, complete the package.”

US Dealer  http://www.castlehillcycles.com/

Availability – Per the owner Jerry at Castlehill Cycles, he has one in stock and can order more if needed
Resale Estimate – $500 to $700

Felt F24


Felt F24

Manufacturer http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2012/Road/F-Series/F24.aspx
Size -24 inch wheels

Weight 19.06 lb
Frame – Aluminum frame, carbon fork
Component -Shimano

Price $799

Dealer notes -Big-time performance in a compact package. With many of the same features as the adult-version F Series bikes, the F24 is a dream ride for the up-and-coming road rider. Designed around smaller 24” wheels, it features Felt F-Lite tubing for light weight, strength and reliable handling. It comes with a vibration-damping carbon fiber fork, special kids’ size handlebar and short-reach integrated shifters/brake levers with a top-mount brake lever for easier control.

US Dealer  http://bicycleworldofhouston.com/product/12felt-bicycles-f24-154286-1.htm

Resale Estimate $450 to $600

Blue 2Four

Blue 2Four

Manufacturer http://www.rideblue.com/2four.php
Size -24 inch wheels
Frame weight only -1155 grams frame only
Frame -Aluminum frame, carbon fork
Component- Shimano Tiagra

Price $1235

Dealer notes – “Custom drawn, double butted 7000 AL tube set
Aerus Composites carbon bladed fork with AL steer tube
Custom designed for 10 speed cassette
English threaded AL bottom bracket shell
Available in one size only”

US Dealer http://www.brittonbikes.com/

Resale Estimate $800 to $1000

Scott Speedster Jr 24

Scott Speedster Jr24

Manufacturer http://www.scott-sports.com/global/en/products/221795193/bike-speedster-jr-24-24/
Size -24 inch wheels
Weight -18.53 lbs
Frame -Aluminum
Component -Shimano

Price $700

Dealer notes – “Light JR road racing bike to fulfill all dads dreams Frame: Speedster JR 6061 alloy, 24” JR geometry Group set: Shimano2300, Lasco JR road crankset 46/34T Wheels: Scott Comp hubs, Alex Race DA-22 rims”

US Dealer  http://www.bicyclesplustx.com/

Resale Estimate -$400 to $650

Fuji Ace 24

Fuji Ace 24

Manufacturer http://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/ace-242
Size -24 inch wheels
23.41 lbs
Frame -Aluminum frame, steel fork
Component -Shimano
Retail Price $425

Dealer notes – Fuji’s Ace 24 lets your child join you out on the road! This pint-size ride boasts the same features as your own bike, like a lightweight aluminum frame and durable aluminum components. Plus, it’s packed with great features, like Shimano shifting, quick-rolling aluminum wheels and powerful dual-pivot brakes. So whether it’s around the block with Dad, or a long ride with Mom, this bike is your ace in the hole for family fun, fitness and togetherness.

US Dealer  http://shop.chatobikes.com/product/10fuji-ace-24-64466-1.htm

Resale Estimate – $200 to $275

I welcome comments from any readers with specific information or opinion about any of these bikes. Also, if I left a bike off the list, let me know!

13 responses to “Youth Road Bike Review

  1. We purchased a Fuji Ace 20 for my 5 year-old daughter. It came with a flat bar that we replaced with a drop bar, aero brake levers, and a bar end shifter. It was an excellent purchase for road riding and triathlon. However, because of the single chain ring in the front and rider inexperience it was prone to losing the chain on bumpy roads. When my daughter outgrew the Ace 20 we were looking for something lighter than the Fuji Ace 24. We purchased the Blue 2Four. I cannot say enough about this bike–race ready right out of the box! The only downside was the cost. When we purchased the bike in 2011, Brittons was not carrying Blue. We purchased our machine from Cycle Logic in San Antonio: http://www.cyclelogic.net. The customer service from Cycle Logic was outstanding. Our son will inherit the Fuji and the Blue. They are both well made! Good luck! We’ve enjoyed many wonderful miles with our daughter!

  2. My 9 year old daughter has been riding a Blue 2Four for a year now, after I picked one up from another triathlete’s dad after she outgrew it. I got a great deal, and now that we have experience with the bike, I would be willing to buy it new at full price. It is a terrific bike across the board, and the light weight is a real plus for girls. Don’t get me wrong, as my younger son would give anything to get his hands on the Blue. He keeps hoping his sister outgrows it soon.

    The first words out of the technician’s mouth at the bike shop tune up last month were “Bad Ass!”

    • Keith, congrats on finding a used BLUE 2Four. These little bikes are as scarce as hen’s teeth. Undoubtedly the best “stock” 24 inch youth road bike being sold today if you are willing to spend the bucks.

  3. Pingback: Good Wheels « bikesandstuff

  4. looking for a used bike for my ten year old daughter. Any thoughts? I’m a big rider, my daughter loves to ride and wants to do some rides with me, but I don’t want/can’t afford a new bike. Would be able to pay around $400-$500.

    • The best advice I received was to monitor eBay and Craigslist everyday–everyday. If you see a bike that might fit, go check it out ASAP. The smaller, harder to find sizes sell very quickly. I also started checking Craigslist in nearby cities in case we were traveling to another city for a race. Good luck–they are tough to find!

  5. This is exactly the comparison I was looking for. I’m frustrated that I can’t find total weight at company websites to accurately compare (I’m prioritising lightness, shortest reach to bars and ground, and, hand span to apply brakes).

    • I too was frustrated at not being able to find total weight on many manufacturers websites. Listed below is Trek’s response to your question. It makes sense. I especially like Treks statement that “anyone can make a bike lighter” and their reference to “responsibly light”.

      I’ve been there with you: weight, top tube length, stand over height, brake actuation, shift lever throw. My advice is to look online, do your research, and then head to your local bike shop armed with questions. Pick a time when the shop is not too busy. The shop should be able to answer all of your questions and make some recommendations. They can even research questions like weight. If the shop is unwilling or not friendly–find another shop.

      http://www.trekbikes.com/faq/questions.php?questionid=95

      Why don’t you list the weights of your bikes? Can you tell me the weight of a particular model?

      We know weight is an important factor in many bike buying decisions—and we know many of our competitors list bike weights. We choose not to, because listed weights are never 100% accurate for all sizes and spec options. Keep this in mind when looking on the internet for bike weights: you’re looking at a manufacturer’s best guess.

      Many variables affect the weight of an individual bike: frame size, component spec, decals/color options, and acceptable variation within manufacturing tolerances of the hundreds parts that make up a bike. As a result, bike weights will vary, even among identical models, sizes, and spec. That inevitable variation means that any published weight may be heavier or lighter than the model you’re buying. The only accurate way to gauge weight is to weigh the bike at your retailer.

      A general note on comparing by weight: anyone can make a bike lighter. Trek only sells bikes that are responsibly light, meaning all the components have passed strict impact and fatigue testing. We build our bikes to be safe and to last a long time, so be sure to compare company warranties when you are comparing weights.

  6. I’m looking at these bikes for my niece who is 8 years old, 4’4″, and has about a 22″ inseam. In looking at small road bikes we have had a difficult time finding a bike that she can standover. Can anyone confirm that these kids road bikes will have the appropriate standover height for my niece?

    • Sunny, she will fit on a small 24 inch road bike based on the height you gave. It will last her another year or so depends on how fast she grows. Since youth TRI season is wrapping up, you should be able to find one out there on craigslist. Search small road bike or youth road bike. Good luck!

  7. Hello,

    Thanks for the good overview of Junior Road Bikes you provided !

    There are also a couple of budge oriented choices that are also available.

    Over at Amazon.com or at Bikes4families.com they have available 2 or 3 24″ wheel size junior road bikes, in girls or boys frame models.

    The level of equipment varies with cost, for example, the more simple boys frame 17.5″ Denali – w/ entry level shimano 3 x7 gearing (21 speed) is only $ 200.

    I review this bike here:

    http://affordableroadbikereview.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/junior-road-bike-24-denali-a-great-value-for-beginning-riders/

    Amazon also has about 35 fairly positive reviews about 4/5 stars.

    It weighs around 26#, heavy for a junior road bike, but still 10 # lighter than the Walmart 24″ mountain bikes our girls were riding, so still an improvement.

    here is a higher line bike, known as the Giordano Libero 1.6 – which can be had in a 15″ girls frame or 18″ boys frame. It is similar to the Denali Junior, but has higher components – tiagra level, brake lever shifters, quick release & lighter wheels, etc

    Those run about $ 365 on Amazon as of now. We have purchased the girls model for our 8 year old – 4’4″ tall, and she loves it – is now doing club rides of 20 miles, averaging 13 mph !

    So, there are some other options out there, and these are nice entry level values. We almost got an Ace 24 from Craigslist, but missed the deal.

    Please see my review at my blog linked above. Very soon, I’ll post a review on the Girls frame Giordano Libero 1.6 junior bike.

    Thanks David / East Texas Rider

  8. Here are the Links for the 24″ Junior Road Bikes I mentioned in comment above:

    Amazon.com offers these, prime shipping:

    Basic, but very good:

    — 17″ / 43 cm Boys Denail $ 200:

    http://tinyurl.com/BoysJuniorDenail

    Same bike I review here, but I’ve modded to flat bar. (comes w/ drop bar):

    http://affordableroadbikereview.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/junior-road-bike-24-denali-a-great-value-for-beginning-riders/

    Upgraded Higher Level – Boys & Girls 24″ wheel road bikes:

    — 17″ / 43 cm Boys Giordano Libero $ 365:

    (Similar frame to cheaper Boys Denali, w/ upgrades: Nicer, higher
    compenents, brake lever shifters, qr wheels, 1 1/8″ threadless
    headset, etc)

    http://tinyurl.com/BoysJuniorGiordano

    — 15″ / 38 cm Girls Giorano Libero $ 365:

    http://tinyurl.com/GirlsJuniorGiordano

    (Same higher level of equip as Boys model. They don’t offer a ‘cheap’
    version of the girls bike – go figure.)

    We just bought this girls Giordano 2 months ago for our 8 year old.

    She’s loving it and counting the days til she can do races &
    triathlons on it.

    The only mods we did on it were: shorter stem as our 8 y/o is 4’4″
    (100mm down to 50mm) & we added 2nd set of brake levers on the
    straight part of drop bar (so she can brake closer to her normal
    riding position), this way she only reaches forward to shift. Much
    safe for super little kiddos, IMHO.

    I think it’s well worth the $ 165 more than the base bike, as you’d
    pay significantly more for the better wheelset, shifters & higher components.
    Even the saddle is waaay better on the Giordano, than the cheaper
    Boy’s Denail.

    On the other hand if you’re not sure if your child will take to riding
    / racing & Tri’s – why spend any more than you have to ?

    Also, if you are an adult that lacks a proper road bike, Amazon does
    offer adult versions of the same bikes – you could have that ‘we
    match’ look, if you really want to !

    Please visit my blog, and if you bug me in the comments of the first
    review, It should encourage me to finally write the review of the Girls Giordano Libero
    bike — I admit Amazon doesn’t have any reviews of the nicer Giordano
    bikes yet (I’ll cross post there) but I suspect that is because the
    Giordano bikes are newer & the basic boys Denali has been out 3-4
    years.

    There needs to be more Youth – Junior Bike racers & Tri-athletes. Get
    ‘em away from the darn electronics & computer games…..get ‘em out & ride !

    Thanks – hope this helps you all out.

    David / East Texas Rider

  9. Thank you so much for this info as I’m trying in Sydney to buy my 8 year old son a road bike for Xmas so he can ride with my husband
    We have a 24 inch mountain bike but it is too heavy on the hills.

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