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Discussion Starter #1
Thinking about getting my step granddaughter a bike for Christmas.
I have no idea of what's a decent brand anymore.
I am more interested in one that will last rather than where it is made.

I see Schwinn is back, but I don't know how good they are anymore. I loved my Schwinn 5 speed Stingray, used and abused it and it never failed me. But that was the 1960's.

Looking at keeping it under $100.

Thanks,
Russ
 

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Wal-Mart has a lot to choose from this time of year without breaking the bank. There are guides online about choosing the right wheel diameter, I'm guessing she'd need around a 16 to 18 inch bike, depending on her height and inseam. The rider should just be able to touch her toes to the ground when sitting on the seat, and seat posts are usually a little adjustable. They are available in many character themes and colors, from mild to wild. Just DON'T FORGET THE HELMET. It only takes ONE fall to change their life, and yours, forever. Don't ask how I know. The other bumps and bruises, they'll get over, so knee and elbow pads are certainly optional!
Ride with her for the ultimate fun, and maybe she'll graduate to a vintage Mustang one day. Merry Christmas!
 

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Check Craig's List. For 8 year olds they typically out grow the bike in a couple years. Sadly Schwinn is nothing but a name on a Chinese bike these days.

Trek, Specialized and Giant are the big 3 in the US for quality bikes, but you will not find anything in the $100 range new. Like new examples can be found on C'list for that price.

A Walmart bike will work for an 8 year old, but be sure to double check the build to make sure it is put together correctly. On a biking site I often see pictures posted of big box bikes with the handlebars installed such that the fork is backwards and other funny, but dangerous stuff.
 

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Any of them. She's just 8, it's not like she's going to be putting miles on it or the Tour de France. Besides that, in about 2 years she will outgrow this one and need a larger one.
 

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Keep in mind that kids outgrow stuff very quickly, so she’ll be needing a new bike in a few short years.
 

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They are all pretty much the same. Pacific brand manufacturers pretty much everything including Huffy, GT and Schwinn now. Only the high end bikes are seperate which would be overkill for an 8yr old.
 

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Once you get out of the big box brands and up market a bit it’s Specialized, Giant and Trek. Taiwanese manufactured as well. Like ratlee53 says you’ve got to get into high end bikes like a Marin or such for a US manufactured bike. They start at a couple grand. I’ve got a Giant urban type model, it’s a good bike. It was just under a grand.
 

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At eight, my daughter had a Specialized. Very nice bike, but for as much as she rode it, we could have bought a bike at CVS. Replaced it when she was 10 with a Diamondback from REI. This one she rides a lot. If I had to do it again, I would by a less expensive bike at younger ages as it only needs to last two years or so. There’s a place near us that takes in used bikes and refurbishes them while teaching people a vocation. They sell the bikes a very reasonable prices. I would look for a place like this as the bikes are in very good working order.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks, all.
Guess I am looking at it more from my experience than others. I rode my StingRay into my teens, got it at 8.
I would like to get an older Schwinn to paint and fix up, but can't do anything until next weekend with our cash situation till then. And not sure I could get it done in time. Wife wants new.
Just mostly worried about buying something that falls apart in a year or two, but guess if it does it does. She may not be much of a rider anyway.
Russ
 

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Thanks, all.
Guess I am looking at it more from my experience than others. I rode my StingRay into my teens, got it at 8.
I would like to get an older Schwinn to paint and fix up, but can't do anything until next weekend with our cash situation till then. And not sure I could get it done in time. Wife wants new.
Just mostly worried about buying something that falls apart in a year or two, but guess if it does it does. She may not be much of a rider anyway.
Russ
I had a foster 6 year old, loved riding his bike, just a little cheap Walmart one and he beat the hell out of it like you might imagine a little 6 year old might. You may have to adjust the brakes occassionally but it will last you fine. Could also check some place like Goodwill.
 

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Thinking about getting my step granddaughter a bike for Christmas.
I have no idea of what's a decent brand anymore.
I am more interested in one that will last rather than where it is made.

I see Schwinn is back, but I don't know how good they are anymore. I loved my Schwinn 5 speed Stingray, used and abused it and it never failed me. But that was the 1960's.

Looking at keeping it under $100.

Thanks,
Russ
Which ever one fits your budget and the kid from your local used bike store.
 

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It's amazing what a vintage Schwinn costs these days. A nice example of one of the 5 speed Lemon Peeler type bikes can cost a grand.


Once you get out of the big box brands and up market a bit it’s Specialized, Giant and Trek. Taiwanese manufactured as well. Like ratlee53 says you’ve got to get into high end bikes like a Marin or such for a US manufactured bike. They start at a couple grand. I’ve got a Giant urban type model, it’s a good bike. It was just under a grand.
Very few bikes are made in the US any more other than boutique/custom builders. Trek still makes their highest end carbon framed bikes in Wisconsin. Specialized, Trek and Giant have wide ranges of bikes ranging from about $350 to $13,000+
 

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It's amazing what a vintage Schwinn costs these days. A nice example of one of the 5 speed Lemon Peeler type bikes can cost a grand.
Very few bikes are made in the US any more other than boutique/custom builders. Trek still makes their highest end carbon framed bikes in Wisconsin. Specialized, Trek and Giant have wide ranges of bikes ranging from about $350 to $13,000+
There’s a guy in town that refurbs old bikes including Stingrays and Krates. I had an Orange Krate in the late 60s. Just looked on ebay and they were going for 3 to 4 grand. I wore out the Giant in couple of years commuting 20 miles a day urban commando style through the resort corridor. The return trip was after midnight. I was just about to step up to a Marin when the doc had me stop doing the miles due to occasional chest pains. There are a couple of kids at the day gig that are serious road bike guys. They’ve got several grand into the bike. They buy a frame and have the components speced to their preference. Counting the travel it’s as much or more than bringing an old Mustang back to life.
 

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Several good responses. I have 13 bikes, 11 that I built myself. Road, gravel, mountain, monstercross, singlespeeds, you get the picture. She will outgrow the bike fast at her age, my grandsons proved that. Bike fit is probably as important, if not more important, that the bike itself. People get a bike they are too big/little for, have the seat lowered until their knees hit their chins when pedaling and wonder why it's so hard to ride a bike. Big store bikes will be what fits the budget for now, if she is serious as years go by you can upgrade. Keep it adjusted, lubed and out of the weather and even big box bikes can last for a while. One thing I would add, check your local bike shops, folks trade in some pretty nice bikes that they turn around and sell at pretty good prices for what you get. If she ever gets serious, a local bike shop will be the friend you will be glad you made.
 
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