Bikes for kids / children / very small people

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  • Glad you like the Trusty - here's another pic showing it in action with a previous user.

    She's off to school, and I think you can see she's managing to deal with a bit of a gradient.

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  • Slight crosspost from the Q-factor thread: has anyone worked out a way of building a kid's mountain/hybrid bike with a decently narrow Q-factor without breaking the bank? I tried to get the stance as narrow as possible on mini-m's current bike but because of the daft crank design (only 157mm long but with unnecessary "flare") it ends up in the same ballpark as an adult hybrid i.e., 170-180mm). I've just measured up an Islabike Beinn and they get the q factordown to 146mm which is almost exactly the same as an adult road bike.

    Of all the things that would induce me to buy an Islabike it's that they get this right. Once you've forked out for child-specific cranks (Hup), to achieve the same thing, you may as well buy an Islabike because its resale value will mean you end up spending roughly the same in the long run.

  • What bb and crank setup is on the current bike, or are you shopping around for one now?

    Pictures might help. I'm guessing shorter bb axle isn't an option?

    I might have a some child specific cranks knocking about if that's a workable solution, I can have a look next week when I'm at the garage

  • I think you have hit on a big problem for current small persons' bikes.

    This is especially the case where the bike imitates the style of a moutain bike (and other 'modern' styles) with a high bottom bracket and long cranks. It's pretty common to see kids' bikes with the saddle flat down so the child can reach the ground and cranks so long the almost come up to the saddle. No wonder so many adults reject the idea of cycling as a means of transport if their early experience of it was hopelessly uncomfortable.

    The Trusty shown above has a reasonably low bracket and sensible length cranks. The BB is a standard british cottered setup so the Q factor isn't too bad, although in an ideal world I'd like to make it narrower.

    I realise this is only of limited help since you can't go out and find another Trusty, but I hope it gives you an idea of something that has worked, and which I hope will go on being useful in the future. I believe this something worth taking trouble over, since once you have a good machine it is likely to get passed on to other later (grand)children.

  • Hey all.
    Long shot. Anyone looking to sell a 24" wheel kids bike. My son has grown out of his 20". Poor fella he's currently riding with his knees up by his ears!

  • On the present bike is a Trek Dialled crank on a 118mm BB. It's actually a nicely designed crank except that the chainring is dished towards the BB. This utterly fucking stupid design decision means that the limiting factor is how close the chainring is to the chainstay. I could only get it to where it is by removing the inner plastic bashring/chainguide.

    If the chainring was reversed (which I'm sorely tempted to try with a blowlamp and hammer) there's about 18mm between the end of each crank arm and the chainring, so I could go all the way down to a 103mm BB and reduce the Q factor by 15mm.

    I also noticed that islabikes have narrower pedals with narrow spanner flats, which makes sense since they only need to be as wide as a pedal spanner.

    To be fair, it's better than when I got the bike. At that point it had 170mm cranks on a 24" wheel bike, which seems daft.

  • I am after some kid cranks for a couple of 650c projects if you do manage to find them

  • This is especially the case where the bike imitates the style of a moutain bike (and other 'modern' styles) with a high bottom bracket and long cranks

    I think this is pretty key. A quick eyeballing of that Islabike suggests that there is about 40mm of BB drop. As far as I can see on mountain bikes there is barely any drop at all. Therefore, to allow a child to get their foot down when they need to they're going to be 40mm closer to the pedals, which means they're not going to be able to fully extend their leg and it will come up higher at the top of the crank rotation. At a normal (adult) q factor, that's really unergonomic.

  • Another Pashley Pavemaster/Trusty. This one's from about 1982.

    I think it's clear that the bike suits the rider.

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  • After a lot of lockdown use I can say the Tow Whee is great in use- my son has climbed all the smooth off road big hills round here now and let’s me get some exercise being the uplift, while he gets to enjoy the fun downhills.
    It’s not super easy to connect and disconnect, I’d recommend 2 quick release straps. It’s particularly tricky when I have the younger kid on his back seat so the bike doesn’t balance so well while I unhook the tow rope.
    Nearly time to re fit the Follow Me tandem frame for child number 2 to start pedalling so number 1 might need to transition to a geared bike at that point to help him on the hills home from school.
    Anyone recommend a good quality 20 inch Bike, ideally with a slight mtb bias to it? I like the new Isla bike mtb but it’s out of stock

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Bikes for kids / children / very small people

Posted by Avatar for doubleodavey @doubleodavey