Bicycle for my daughter

My daughter grew out of her old 20″ wheel bike a while ago. It’s a real stretch for her to ride any bike with 26″ tires (including my son’s old 13″ Gary Fisher frame), so I need something with 24″ wheels.

She definitely wants a step through frame, which eliminates Specialized’s and Raleigh’s entire line of 24″ kids bikes. We live in a mountain town so gears and a reasonably lightweight bike are good — no clunky hi ten balloon tire cruisers, please. The only two candidates I’ve found so far that fit the bill are Trek’s “Zara” girls’ bike and the Electra Townie 21D with 24″ wheels.

Trek Zara girl's bike pink 24" wheel step through frame.

Update: I visited Sprockets in Santa Cruz (very nice people there!) and learned the Zara is a 26″ wheel bike. My daughter selected the Trek MT220 (24″ wheels, 21 speed “girl” model) and she loves this bike. Thanks, all, for the feedback in the comments!

I think overall I like the Zara over the Townie 21D. First of all, it’s $100 less expensive, which always appeals to the cheapskate in me. There’s no front derailleur on the Trek and I like the chainguard. I’m not a fan of Electra’s flat footed frame geometry (though if my daughter prefers it that’s what will be important), and the Townie handlebars look uncomfortably high. I’m a sucker for the sportier look of the Trek.

On the other hand, the Local Bike Shop I almost always use carries Electra, but not Trek. Trek dealers are few and far between in my part of California (I’m a mere 40 miles from the International Domination Headquarters for Specialized Bicycles). Trek calls the color of the bike “Coral,” but it’s clearly pink, and my daughter is all done with pink and Disney princesses in her life. Finally, the bike shop owner is my neighbor and a super nice kid so I can maybe get a bro deal from him.

We’ll look for a Trek dealer this week that carries the Zara, I think, to try the bike out.

Do you know of other bikes that meet our qualifications?

  • 24″ wheels.
  • Step through frame.
  • Reasonably light weight (no gas pipe tubing, please)
  • Gears, but not too many gears.
  • Price is a factor, so custom built is probably out.

Thanks!

Electra Ticino bicycles

I gave you a little sneak peek of Electra‘s new Ticino line of bikes a couple of weeks ago. Here are the specific models and details. They’ll be available in November 2009. All bikes come in “Men’s” and “Ladies'” models.

Ticino 20D $2,000

• Handcrafted, Smooth Welded, Double Butted 6066 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-brazed Fork with Investment-Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Shimano 105 20-Speed Drivetrain, Dia-Compe Downtube Shifters
• Ticino Forged Alloy Compact Double Crankset
• Five Star High Flange Hubs and Electra Elite High Polished Double Wall Rims
• Ticino Dual Density Saddle
• Hammered Alloy Fenders, Stainless Steel Rear Carrier


Ticino 18D $1,500

• Butted 6061 T-6 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Shimano Tiagra 18-Speed Drivetrain and Rapidfire Plus Shifters
• Ticino Forged Alloy Compact Double Crankset
• Five Star High Flange Hubs and Electra Elite High Polished Double Wall Rims
• Ticino Dual Density Saddle
• Hammered Alloy Fenders, Stainless Steel Rear Carrier


Ticino Lux $1,250

• Triple Butted Chromoly Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Single-Speed Drivetrain with Five Star Flip-Flop Rear Hub
• Ticino Forged Alloy Crankset with 42t Alloy Chainring and Double Alloy Chainguard
• Tektro Dual Pivot Pull Brakes
• Ticino Dual Density, Genuine Leather Saddle w/Chromoly Rails
• Painted Alloy Fenders


Ticino 16D $1,100

• Butted 6061 T-6 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Shimano 2300 16-Speed Drivetrain and Rapidfire Plus Shifters
• Ticino Forged Alloy Compact Double Crankset
• Tektro Cantilever (Men’s) or Dia-Compe Center-Pull (Ladies’) Brakes
• Hammered Alloy Fenders, Stainless Steel Rear Carrier


Ticino 8D $800

• Butted 6061 T-6 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown and Butted CrMo Blades
• Shimano 2300 8-Speed Drivetrain and Rapidfire Plus Shifter
• Ticino Forged Alloy Crankset with 42t Alloy Chainring and Double Alloy Chainguard
• Tektro Cantilever (Men’s) or Dia-Compe Center-Pull (Ladies’) Brakes
• Hammered Alloy Fenders
• Tubular Stainless Steel Constructeurs Rear Carrier


Ticino 7D $550

• 6061 T-6 Aluminum Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown
• Shimano Acera 7-Speed Drivetrain and Thumbshifter Plus Shifter
• Ticino Forged Alloy Crankset with 42t Alloy Chainring and Double Alloy Chainguard
• Alloy Linear Pull (Men’s) or Center-Pull (Ladies’) Brakes
• Stainless Steel Fenders


Ticino 1 $500

• Cromoly Maintube Frame
• Hand-Brazed Fork with Investment Cast Crown
• Simple Single-Speed Drivetrain
• Ticino Forged Alloy Crankset with 42t Chainring & Double Alloy Chainguard
• Alloy Linear Pull Brakes
• Stainless Steel Fenders