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Topic - What MTB features for an 11 year old?

Bingers - on 21 Apr 2012
My son is now growing out of his child size mountain bike,so we need to make the decision on what could be his last bike before he starts choosing (and hopefully buying) his own. He is a tall 11 years old and is expected to grow to be 6 foot plus.

What sort of features would he need? We go along the canal towpath - mainly cinder, but some mud/grass. We do roads a bit but not much. There is scope round here to go onto the moor if he felt that way inclined as he gets older. Biking isn't his main pasttime, but we've had a reasonable use out of his previous bikes.

Front and back suspension?
V-brakes or disk?
18 or 21 gears or more?
16 inch frame or more?
Anything else?

What bikes can anyone recommend and roughly how much to pay?

Thanks
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