1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Looking for an used 26 inch carbon frame MTB for my son.

    My 9 year old son rides a 26inch alum bicycle now but at almost 30 lbs it's tough for him as he only weighs 60 lbs or so.
    Do you know of any inexpensive 26 inch carbon light bicycles that sell on ebay these days? I imagine used 26inch HT's would be flooding the market these days.

    THanks.

  2. #2
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    There is a lot of carbon 26ers on pinkbike/ebay/Cl etc.

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  4. #4
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    You should be able to find some good info on light frames for kids if you dig around a little in here:

    Families and Riding with Kids

    FWIW, and you might've already considered this, but it seems to me that a 26" would likely be a lot of bike for for most 9 year olds. Not that some of them can't make it work, but it might make it tougher for them to really learn to be able to "handle" the bike, and move around on it.
    Have you considered a 24" at all? I've got a 9 y/o son too, 55" tall w/ a 25" inseam, been racing and riding trails, lifts, skateparks and BMX since he was 5 and he's a pretty skilled rider, but I don't think he'll move on a 26" for a couple more years anyway. It just seems to me that the overall fit and proportions are more 'on' with the smaller wheels. My kid rides his 24" bikes with a lot of confidence, but on a 26", it's like he's more 'along for the ride', rather than comfortable and in control, if that makes sense. Might not be the lightest option, but it's not forever, and fit's ultimately more important than weight. Of course riding style plays into things too.
    Anyway, just figured I'd throw it out there. Riding with the kids = good times.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    You should be able to find some good info on light frames for kids if you dig around a little in here:

    Families and Riding with Kids

    FWIW, and you might've already considered this, but it seems to me that a 26" would likely be a lot of bike for for most 9 year olds. Not that some of them can't make it work, but it might make it tougher for them to really learn to be able to "handle" the bike, and move around on it.
    Have you considered a 24" at all? I've got a 9 y/o son too, 55" tall w/ a 25" inseam, been racing and riding trails, lifts, skateparks and BMX since he was 5 and he's a pretty skilled rider, but I don't think he'll move on a 26" for a couple more years anyway. It just seems to me that the overall fit and proportions are more 'on' with the smaller wheels. My kid rides his 24" bikes with a lot of confidence, but on a 26", it's like he's more 'along for the ride', rather than comfortable and in control, if that makes sense. Might not be the lightest option, but it's not forever, and fit's ultimately more important than weight. Of course riding style plays into things too.
    Anyway, just figured I'd throw it out there. Riding with the kids = good times.
    Yes that's a good point. I do worry that by giving him a bigger bike he won't learn how to handle on properly. The thing that annoyed me about these bikes is that kid's 20 inch bike is a heavy as the aluminum frame 26er he's riding now = about 30 lbs. That's ridicilous for a 60 pound kid to ride 30 pound bike. That's like you or me riding a 80-90 l lb pound bike. I was hoping with a lighter frame 26er = at least respectable 25 lbs - he could learn to tame that beast in. He's growing fast.

    Maybe a lighter 20 inch BMX bike, although I don't know much about these.

  6. #6
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    Importance of weight really depends on what your kid is doing with the bike. Though for racing BMX mine had a 15lb 20" ride, all of his other bikes have been proportionally very heavy compared to the way things typically stack up for an adult. It really hasn't seemed to make much difference to him. At 70lbs or so, his DH bike is at least 35 lbs, his trail and BMX park/jump bikes are close to 30. Even the 16" BMX he had when he was 5-6 y/o was better than half his body weight. Bike weight is a distant second to fit in terms of importance in our experience; I can think of endless things my kid can do on his smaller, heavier bikes that there's no way he'd even attempt on a bigger bike, no matter the weight. Of course, personal style comes into play in a big way too. We're not out doing XC races or grinding long climbs. Given a choice, he'll pick the skatepark, pumptrack, DJs or something involving a chairlift every single time. We're in no rush when we trail ride either; it's more about just getting out and having fun than covering a bunch of ground as quickly as possible. IMO, building strong handling skills is more important to developing a kid into a capable rider than learning how to plant your ass in the saddle and spin a fast cadence. Most kids I know tend to lean towards fun rather than efficiency (I'm with them there) and a bike you can move around on (and get away from) more easily seems to facilitate that. Of course, everybody's different, so YMMV.

    For a trail bike, if you can find a shop around that carries something along the lines of a Spec Hardrock in a 24" and let your kid take one for a test ride and see what he thinks. They can be easily upgraded with standard MTB parts to lose a little weight and boost performance. The wheels are really the only part that isn't standard issue. For BMX, well, racing is a whole 'nother world of bikes, but for regular messing around, you might want to consider an 18". My son is still on his (probably move to a 20" next year) and the fit is so much better than even the smallest 20" we could find. It really gives him more confidence to throw it around.

    Obligatory 'proud dad' pics attached (so you know I'm not BSing about the handling skills.)

    Looking for an used 26 inch carbon frame MTB for my son.-dscn0330.jpgLooking for an used 26 inch carbon frame MTB for my son.-dscn0344.jpgLooking for an used 26 inch carbon frame MTB for my son.-img_1552.jpgLooking for an used 26 inch carbon frame MTB for my son.-e2.jpg
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  7. #7
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    For XC look for a quality 24" bike and upgrade/replace components to reduce weight if needed.

    For DH you could use a 26" small frame and put 24" wheels on it, did that for my kid (know others that did the same) and it worked really well.

    He was 11 at that time

  8. #8
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    Definately. A 26" is more than likely an incorrect fit unless hes 60"+ At 9y/o I would be skeptical that a 24" wheel would fit as well.

    There are plenty of light weight 20" bikes out there. Heck the bike for my son when hes 2 weights probably more than he will.

    Weight is nowhere near as important as fit. Take him to a real bike shop, and have them fit him. Most likely hell best fit on a 20", but they also do have odd ball sizes, such as 18", 22" and more commonly 24".

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