How many of you who have cycling offspring help set them up on a classic-style bike? Don't mean a real classic that you'd worry about a kid taking care of, but something in lugged steel that helps develop a taste for the classics? How about components? For example, how many offspring of CR listers are set up with down tube friction?
I've been planning a nicer road bike for my cycling-mad 11-year-old daughter who spends much of the summer with me. And being the kind of dad who doesn't like to push his opinions too broadly on his kids, and wanting her to love cycling itself and not get the impression from me that cycling is the act of riding museum pieces.......and knowing that I often just don't get what my kids love (eg. BBMac), I have been looking around at inexpensive beer can bikes with intro STI. Bright paint on a current tour racer style bike seemed to me to be what would make her feel that I'd gotten her "the best stuff."
But reading e-Ritchey's stuff on craftmanship and thinking about these other industries where real people manufacture really fine things that are worth having for a long time, I realized that part of my job as a dad was to teach her some of that value, especially at her age, and cycling was a natural way for me to do it (as well as letting her play my guitars while she's with me).
Since the little Singer frame mentioned above isn't ideal for a kid bike for obvious reasons, and a new lugged steel framed bike for her is beyond my budget--even a Romulus, which otherwise would be perfect--- here's what I've settled on (thrift shop find): an '81 or '82 Raleigh frame in high tensile steel that has really nice blue paint, pretty lugs and a head badge that make it look like a real bike just like mine. Even the gas pipe tubing has very serious Raleigh brand ID decals. I figure that even though it's going to be a heavy frame, it'll have some nice ride qualities, and will help her learn to value things like steel, lugs, headbadges, etc., so that when she can buy her own bikes, she'll be looking at a quality lugged bike, not plastic. I'll add a really light wheelset, and friction SunTour Cyclone ders I have to put on it, and it will be a very reasonable road bike for canyon riding.
For now, she mostly rides with me on a vintage tandem, and her only personal bike is another thrift shop find of mine: a red lugged steel Bridgestone MB-3 that I told her all about when I gave it to her, assuming I was boring her to death when I explained lugs, and steel, and component quality. Later, though, I heard to say to a friend proudly, "This is a lugged steel MB-3."
Utah Co., UT