Thursday, 16 December 2010

A real kid's bicycle

This is my nephew's new bike courtesy of the wonderful world of ebay!. As you can see it comes from an era when children's bike were built as miniature versions of their parents utilitarian bikes with full mudgaurds, chaingaurd, and integral rack. But where they ever like that in this country?, I don't know. All I remember is BMX's grifters, choppers, budgies etc - all silly shapes and sizes, then when your legs were longer you would get an equally unfit for purpose mountain bike.

This bike is italian though, built by Bottecchia who are more famous for building racing bikes. To what extent they dabbled in making kids folding bikes I don't know, but we are glad they did because this little bike is light years ahead of the crap you'll find in your local Halfords today and its from the 1970's.

Maybe one day we'll see enough of a resurgance in cycling in this country for companies like Pashley to begin making proper childrens bikes that will last rather than chinese tat that finds itself in the tip once its one and only owner has out-grown it. (go to the tip any weekend and you'll see what I mean, the scrap metals bin is always full of kids bikes!)

Here it is next to my Nexus to show the size comparison. The seatpost is very long, so it can grown with the child. Oh yes, and it's lots of fun to ride it as an adult too ;-)

So my recommendation for anyone out there looking for a kids bike is to keep an eye on ebay rather buying a chinese plastic monster straight away, there are some really nice handmade, all-steel kids bikes come up and go for not much money at all.

The nearest I can see from a little googling to find a modern version are Puky Bicycles.

(photos are from a while ago, hence the lack of snow, frost & generally cold nastiness)


8 comments:

  1. Islabikes make quality kids' bikes, although aimed at the sporty rather than utility end of the market.

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  2. Gazelle & Batavus also do a decent range of kids bicycles Jim, as do another Dutch brand - Burgers, now available over here. Would prefer dynamo lights in for the price though!

    Decathlon's kids bikes are pretty good too, but for some daft reason they stick derailleur gears on them - with a 3 speed hub they would be much better.

    You've got a cracking little machine for your Nephew there :>)

    (Think we need to mither Pashley to do a Raleigh 20 alike in a kids size)

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  3. It was my brother who found it on ebay. I'm embarrassed to mention the price because it was so cheap!, but the seller seemed happy enough that it was going to get some use.

    I love to buy a cheap bargain (poundshops and so on) but we really have lost something with the mass of asian built comsumer items. Theres plenty of old vintage town bikes on ebay, but what's goign to be on ebay in 40 yrs time?, apart from pashley/brompton we aren't making anything in numbers :(

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    Replies
    1. Do you still have the small orange childs bike? humberchristopher29@hotmail.com

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  4. As well as Puky, I also found Sparta Young.

    Not cheap (EUR 400!) but look well-made.

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  5. wonderful bikes, thanks for sharing this.

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  6. I decided to wear my Topshop Leigh jeans, Topshop bicycle jumper, Jack Wills gilet, and my fabulous Ruby & Ed bluebell lace ups. I did pack a spare pair of leggings as wet jeans are never a comfortable experience and the weather was a touch iffy (I'm pleased I had them!)
    We used the cycle paths in our local area to get to a nearby village. I do cycle on roads but I prefer using the paths if there are them, it does tend to be safer and I can usually chat to whoever I'm with. We ddecided whilst the weather was behaving itself we'd go boating! Yes, I did say it.. boating!

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  7. I picked up an exact similar one to yours! Only its a Bianchi. Mine is same orange color. My rims are nicer and tires are all white Pirelli. Size 16 x 1.75 x 2. Im searching for tires. Cant find any information on these. humberchristopher29@hotmail.com

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