Buying the boy a new bike…

Buying the boy a new bike is proving more difficult than I first thought.

When the boy was 3 granddad wanted to buy the boy a bike for his birthday, so we simply took him to a bike shop and let him choose. It was a lovely bike and he rode it all summer and to school everyday. The boy was so proud of this bike and wont let us get rid of it so we have it stored for a day he can give it to his son as a first bike.

Then when he had outgrown that one I had my bargain bike! Yes I bought it in the Tesco sale for a staggering £12.50 reduced from £80! It was my best bargain and I had it stored in the garage for over 3 years before he was big enough to reach the ground. The boy learnt to ride without stabilizers on this bike and he loved it. That was until all the children in his year started to get bikes with gears!

So now it is time to think about a new one, and I thought it would be easy. Perhaps it would be if I didn’t have such high expectations. I would love to just go in a bike shop and get some good honest advice. Like what size wheel, what size frame,which are good makes that will last, and one I can afford?. The boy of course has his own expectations and wants one in a colour like black, or red, gears are a must and now he wants a bike stand.

On Saturday we had a couple or hours to spare so thought we would have a look to see what there is. Now I spent a lot of money on my bike 16 years ago but it had to get me to work every day as I didn’t have a car, I bought a cheep one and it just didn’t last. I also like to buy from local shops so that will rule out Halfords as quite honestly they are not good when it comes to service. My local shop surprisingly only had 2 bikes with 24″ wheels and 12″ frame, and he looked quite lost on them. I think I need to see him ride one as he looked like a mouse trying to control something the size of an elephant! Daddy nearly had a heart attack when he saw how much they were!

The next independent shop was cramped and had 2 different ones, but still both were what we thought was expensive. Also they weren’t exactly fancy looking for the £250.00 that they would cost, I think I wanted a really flash paint job for that much. So finally just for a comparison we went to Halfords. Our Halfords bike department is upstairs, it was messy with half built bikes you couldn’t try, and staff that just plain were not interested. Yes they had a bright green bike for £189 but if I pay that I expect it to at least be built properly, and on past experience that is unlikely.

I consulted a biking friend today, he should know his bikes as he is mad enough to be doing the ride London Surrey 100 next week. He thinks you get what you pay for. So back to square 1. So what next? I would love to find a bike that is a happy compromise, so a price that me and Dad like, and a colour and gears for the boy. But where to look. I don’t think online will work for us as the boy needs a short frame, he needs to try them out. So the great (Birthday) bike hunt continues…