Lest there be any doubt that Aunt Carla and Uncle Jason are the BEST aunt and uncle ever:
Took a little road trip down to Winterset today (birthplace of John Wayne and county seat of Madison County, which -- in case you hadn't heard -- has some bridges) to pick up this little Craigslist score for Wilson the Elder Nephew's upcoming birthday. I feel somewhat safe posting it here since a) the ancient laptop he's been given to bang around on has no Web connectivity, and b) even if it did, he can't read.
Don't get me wrong -- I like supporting bike shops when I can. But when it comes to kids' bikes, used is the way to go, especially in these itty-bitty sizes. One, kids grow so fast that they get in and out of the little bikes before they can do much damage to 'em. And two, if you're talking about a reputable bike-shop brand (like this micro-Trek), they're probably built like tanks to begin with and should last through an entire Brady Bunch of kids before they're used up. Since Elder Nephew has Bam-Bam the Younger Nephew waiting in the wings just two years behind him, that's a Good Thing.
I like Tiny Trek here because it has real bearings at all of its turning points unlike the plastic sleeve bushings on crappy department store bikes. Everything felt well-adjusted during my cursory Craigslist-sale tire-kicking, but even if it isn't, an actual cup/cone bearing (even a not-terribly-expensive one) can be adjusted. Once a plastic bushing wears, you're stuck with clunkiness unless you can source a new one. Pretty much all I need to do to this little blue bugger to make it ready to rock is replace the beat-up grips, polish it up a little, add a bell, and hang the new helmet (thanks, Grandma!) from the handlebars.
I also like Tiny Trek because it will start the gradual indoctrination of Young Nephew into his uncle's demented world. First, it's his first "real bike" (although he's hell on wheels on his plastic Big Wheel-esque trike). Second, it has FAT TIRES AND FENDERS! Woo hoo! Look out, Fuller... I'm training a youngster for a future of gravel! Look for him at Trans-Iowa 2028.