Sunday, September 19, 2010

Big Boy Bike

Bear outgrew the little garage sale bike a friend got us as a joke for our baby shower. In fact, he was too tall for it before he could really even ride it. Guess it shouldn't be too much of a surprise, given that he's taller than one of the 4 year olds at our park he sometimes plays with.

We moved the seat on his trike all the way back, but he's all scrunched up and has lost interest because it's not fun to ride that way.

With his 3rd birthday fast approaching, we decided it makes sense to get him a Big Boy Bike. I immediately geeked out about it and took him last week to get sized. Sure enough, at 33 months old he already needed to move up to the 16" option.

I was so excited about the whole thing, thinking we'd have our pick of great bikes for him (I saved all summer to set aside $150, which to me, seems like a HUGE sum to spend on a bike for a 2-3 year old.) I thought I'd be able to walk into anyplace that sold bikes and look at options from reputable brands like Schwinn, Giant and Trek.

Turns out, unless you look really, REALLY hard... your options are Transformers, Spider-man and Cars.

And contrary to the box office take for the movies that spawned these overpriced preschooler marketing ploys, the reviews for these licensed character bikes are pretty wretched. I don't want to drop $90 on a bike that multiple parents reported have pedals that fall off on the first ride.

We started looking off the beaten path and did find a few options that fit my original fantasy. Problem being, the prices on those START at $180 and approach $300.

So my choice for Bear's special 3rd birthday Big Boy Bike appears to be a crappy bike I can afford, or a good bike I kind of can't. And I think that totally sucks.

That said, I'd rather scrape together a little more money to get a higher quality bike that will probably last him all the way through the 7" inches of seat post play that I know at least one of the good bikes has.

These are the the main choices we're considering.  Wide open to suggestions from anyone with experience in this area.

Diamondback RM 16

Giant Animator

Schwinn Gremlin

Trek Jet 16