We Love, You Need Guide: Bikes

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Sandra Gordon on Jun 4, 2010 at 3:15PM

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Eastern 18" Traildigger

Eastern Bikes

a Sandra Gordon on Apr 17, 2010 at 3:34PM

Expert rating:

Bike Stats
Tire size: 18"
Bike weight: 25 lbs.
Best for kids aged: 6 to 9
Type of bike: BMX Style
Rider level: Beginner to intermediate
Price: $299.95

Get it Now: Amazon.com

Expert review:
This pricey BMX-style bike is an option for young riders, but because it doesn't offer coaster brakes (which allow a child to stop by pedaling backwards), it's best for those with some biking experience. The rugged design instead features a one-hand brake on the right handle, which controls the rear wheel. The Traildigger has good downhill control and easily handles rough terrain, but its shape requires the rider to lean forward to reach the handlebars, so smaller children may find it difficult to turn the bike. Assembly requires advanced skills (no instructions included!); we advise asking a bike shop for assistance.

Why we love it: The sporty design and bold colors (especially purple); a lack of fenders, which makes for a leaner, less clunky bike.

What we wish it had:
Cheaper price; easier assembly; additional hand brakes; more color choices; training wheels included.

Great for: Tomboys and daredevils with a year or two of cycling experience.

Bottom line: This rugged roadster has a cool look and good speed, but it lacks coaster brakes and requires riders to lean forward, making it a better pick for beyond-beginner bikers.

What our parent tester thought:

"My son's hand is a little too small to grab the hand brake."

"The single hand brake and lack of training wheels keeps it from getting a 5."

"My son appears to lean forward more—it would be easier if he could sit up straight."

-- Maureen, and her 6-year-old son, of Collierville, Tenn.

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