Intermediate Youth Road Bike Review

Too big for a kid’s road bike but too small for an adult road bike, where to turn?  

I promised a review of road bikes for kids ages 8 to 12 years and here you go. There are very few entries in this category and that’s too bad. It’s by age 9, 10 or 11 that a young cyclist is totally capable of riding intermediate distances right behind mom or dad. This isn’t possible without a quality road bike and all 3 of the bikes reviewed below will provide years of fun. They all feature a 650 wheel set, along with many of the same excellent components that are included on larger bikes. I have 3 options for you to consider. If you know of others, please be sure to post your comments.

Jamis Ventura Comp 650

Jamis Bikes

Authors comments – a great bike if you can find it. You will not see many of these little guys and that’s too bad. 41 cm frame is almost always a special order from Jamis dealer or if you are real lucky, you might just find one used. I purchased a 2009 model used in Houston for $400 for my daughter. Nice frame with carbon fork and decent components.



Retail Price New $900

Used value – $350 to $450

SPECIFICATIONS from manufacturers web site

Frame Kinesis 7005 double-butted aluminum main frame, SST tubing diameters, sloping top tube frame design, replaceable derailleur hanger

Fork Carbon straight blade fork for 650c wheel, alloy crown and steerer.

Headset FSA Integrated, threadless, 1 1/8”

Wheels Alex AKX R1.0 650c wheelset, 28/32H, aero profile rims with

CNC sidewalls, radial front, 2X rear

Tires Vittoria Rubino, 650 x 23c

Derailleurs Shimano Tiagra RD-4500 rear and Sora FD-3400 front, 31.8mm clamp

Shiftlevers Shimano Sora ST-3400 Dual Control STI, 18-speed

Chain KMC Z-9000

Cassette SRAM PowerGlide 950, 9-speed, 11-26T

Crankset FSA Tempo compact, 50/34T, 160mm

BB Set Sealed cartridge, 68 x 110.5mm

Pedals Touring platform style, full alloy with toe clips

Brakeset Tektro dual-pivot calipers with Shimano Sora ST-3400 STI levers

Handlebar Ritchey Biomax Road, 31.8mm, 380mm

Stem Ritchey Road 6D x 75mm

Grips Jamis suede bar tape

Seat Post Ritchey Road, 2 bolt, 300mm x 27.2mm with alloy clamp

Saddle Jamis Road Sport Youth with SL top and satin steel rails

Sizes 41cm

Color Victory Red

Felt F95 Jr

Felt Bikes


Authors comments – a wonderful framset from Felt. 44cm slanted frame made from high grade aluminum and a carbon fork.  My daughters only complaint was the color.





Retail Price New $899

Used value – $350 to $450

SPECIFICATIONS from manufacturers web site

Frame – Felt Road custom 6061 F-light butted smooth welded aluminum, external cable routing, forged aluminum dropouts & replaceable rear derailleur hanger, 1263g

Fork – Felt UHC Performance carbon fiber fork, aluminum 1.125″” steerer tube, crown, & dropouts

Drivetrain – Micro.shift integrated shifters & front derailleur, Shimano Sora rear derailleur, FSA Tempo Compact 50/34T crankset, SunRace chain & 12-25T cassette

Components – Dual pivot brakes w/ stainless hardware, Felt K1.1 VS 6061 aluminum bar, Felt SL 6061 aluminum 3D forged stem, Felt SL aluminum seatpost, Felt SL saddle

Wheel set – Alex R500 rims, Felt hubs, Stainless steel spokes w/ brass nipples

Sizes – 650c x 44cm

Weight – 20.44lbs | 9.29kg

Fuji Ace 650

Fuji Bikes


Authors comments – a very popular entry level youth road bike from Fuji. Fuji commitment to the kids road bike segment continues as the only manufacturer with youth bikes in a 20 inch, 24 inch and 650 size. Long lasting aluminum with steel forks makes them last, but they are a bit heavier (approx. 3 lbs) than the other 2 bikes in this review. The price is right retailing for around $500 and you can expect this bike to maintain its value so do not be afraid to make an investment in this bike. When the little one out grows it, stick it on Craigslist and you should have no problem recouping most of the investment.



Retail Price New- $509

Used value – $250 to $300

SPECIFICATIONS from manufacturers web site

SIZES 13.75″
COLOR(S) Gray/Green
MAIN FRAME A1-SL alloy w/ hydroformed top tube & down tube, double water bottle mounts
REAR TRIANGLE A1-SL alloy, Fuji forged road dropout w/ replaceable derailleur hanger
FORK Elios 1, 1 1/8″ custom aero steel
CRANKSET Prowheel forged alloy, 42/52T chainring
BOTTOM BRACKET Semi-cartridge bearing ST
PEDALS Fuji Road steel cage
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano A050, 31.8mm clamp
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano A050, 7-speed
SHIFTERS Shimano A050 paddle type, handlebar mount
FREEWHEEL Shimano Tourney 14-28T, 7-speed
CHAIN KMC Z-51, 7-speed
WHEELSET Fuji aero alloy, 32H – 650c
TIRES Kenda K-191, 650x23c
BRAKE SET Fuji forged alloy
BRAKE LEVERS Fuji forged alloy
HEADSET Fuji semi-cartridge 1 1/8″ threadless
HANDLEBAR Fuji alloy road
STEM Fuji Road, 85mm
TAPE/GRIP Fuji foam wrap
SADDLE Fuji Road-sport anatomical saddle
SEAT POST Fuji alloy, 27.2mm
WEIGHT 23.65 / 10.73