This Giordano Libero 1.6 Boys 'Junior' Road Bike is a great introduction to road riding & racing....

This Giordano Libero 1.6 Boys ‘Junior’ Road Bike is a great introduction to road riding & racing….

This Giordano Libero 1.6 ‘Boys’ Frame Road Bike is best considered by those who are seeking a high quality road bike for their young children for the purpose of road training, racing or triathlons.

In the 17″ or 15″ (girls) frame sizing, this road bike is best suited for youngsters aged 8-13, or from 4′-5′ tall.

(I say that because much older or taller than that, and probably a extra small frame size, ‘normal’ 700c size wheel road bike would be suitable.)

Finding Junior road bikes isn’t easy – they’re scarce, and rarely stocked in most LBS (local bike shops).  Even at ‘big city LBS’ they frequently only stock 1 or 2 models of Junior Road Bikes, if that.

When you think of it, Walmart (& other mass retaliers) only offer mountain style bikes in the 24″ wheel size.

Those bikes are usually cheap, heavy & suited to neighborhood jaunts or light trails – NOT for serious road use.

Our 3 small girls (aged 8, 9 & 11) had those ‘heavy’ Walmart moutain bikes, but couldn’t keep up with my older two children & I on our faster road bikes, so we got them these Giordano road bikes (this exact one & two smaller 15″ ‘girls’ frame Giordanos), and they couldn’t be happier.

These bikes feature a  light weight, high quality wheelset with quick release axles front & rear, making for efficient pedalling.

Importantly, they also feature Shimano 2300 brake lever shifters, which integrate the shifting & brakes together in one control – just like all high end road bikes do today.

Out of the box, the Giordano weighs 24 #, which is a good 10 # less than those heavy mountain bikes.  Additionally, as they roll on smoother, lighter tires (moderately wide 32c Cyclocross tires, best suited for dirt trails / road)

It also features a smaller, 165mm ‘youth’ road crankset, and a good range of gears, 16 speeds, with a 42/52 front chainrings & 11-30 tooth rear cassette / freewheel – which helps on those steeper grades & yet provides plenty of higher range speed for flats & downhills.

These effeciencies add up to a much more positive road riding experience – now our family of 7 can cycle together and we can keep together as a group much easier.

This boost in ‘roadability’ has even encouraged our 11 year old to consider some road races next season, like her older brother & sister.

Yes, there are ‘higher-end’ Junior Road Bikes out there (Felt, Pinarello, Blue, etc) but they’re about 3 times the price, which makes little sense (to us) when our little ones will outgrow the bike in (most likely) 2 seasons.

The only ‘mod’ we did on this bike is to switch down to the thinner, lighter 24″x1″ (25-540 metric size) Kenda Kontender Iron Cap (‘racing wheelchair’), Road Racing Tire, to lessen road resistance.

Besides losing over a pound of weight compared to the stock tires, this simple change to a thinner, true Road Bike Tire change gave a significant boost in performance & feel.

(If your riding routine included unpaved dirt roads, the stock tire may be better.)

Those far more expensive bikes are in the 20-21 # range, costing up to a thousand dollars.

With the lighter road tires, the Giordano Libero 1.6 now weighs 23 #, with similar features as these more expensive bikes, for one-third that cost !

This Giordano Junior Road bike is truly a great value.

This bike is available at Amazon.com, as of December 2012 for $ 345

See you at the (Junior) races !

More info at http://www.usacycling.org/lajrs/

PS: If you see our poll on Family / Junior Road Cycling herein,  thank you for taking the time to vote in it !

PPS: To receive automatic updates of more reviews along these lines, please ‘follow’ this blog……thanks, East Texas Rider

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