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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    11 year old needs light XC bike help

    Posted in general discussion first but now posting here:

    Need a recommendation for a light XC bike for my boy. He will turn 11 soon and has been riding with me but holy hell is his bike a brick. Put him on his mom's safire and his performance skyrocketed besides letting him enjoy the ride a lot more. He is on a Specialized Hardrock comp now (15") and it weighs in at 35+ lbs. What is out there that is less than $1000 and is closer to 25lbs? He also hasn't had a growth spurt for well over a year being stuck at 58" so I forecast he will start rocketing up soon. I'm 6'4" so plenty of growth potential; would be nice if he could ride something now that could be grown into. Can you put 26" wheels on a 29er frame and then down the road upgrade the wheels making a bigger bike?


  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    I just dont see how trying to fit a <5' rider on a 29er is a good idea. Even if you get one with a frame small enough to fit him now, by the time he grows into the larger wheels, the frame is going to be too small.
    With the market takeover of 29'ers, there a a lot of great 26" bikes out there getting dumped for dirt cheap. I think your best bet at his age would be to get him on a good fitting used high end 26", even $500 will but a really nice used bike.

  3. #3
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    My eight year old son is about to outgrow his 24" GF I just put him on last July. I've decided the best thing for me to do is buy this frame:
    Sette Reken Alloy Hardtail Frame | Sette | Brand |
    in a small size, build it with nice, lightweight components and then when he outgrows it, get a larger frame for 100 dollars. That should have him on a well fitting 26er until he's ready to go to a 29er. I'm 6'4" also and I have a bad feeling he's going to surpass me. This is all going to happen pretty quickly.
    I have younger nieces and nephews, so all the hand me down frames will get utilized.
    I like turtles

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dirkdaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Agree get 26. Huge 29 wheels on small frame is not a good idea, 26 big enough. Building old Schwinn Moab I got cheap for 12 yo daughter (I don't do "girls" bikes, my girls ride regular frames). You can get a lot of components pretty cheaply if that is a concern. Or you can bling it out, or just find a whole bike on like this forum classifieds, or ebay, craigs, etc.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    ...I think your best bet at his age would be to get him on a good fitting used high end 26", even $500 will but a really nice used bike.
    +1. Also stick to 9 speed. There are so many crazy bargains to be had on near new 9 speed / 26" wheel stuff.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    My son is a tall 9 year old, he's been riding a xs 26er all this year. I found an older 3x8 Klein Pulse Comp on Craigslist for $100. That was a great buy, but it's probably only a $250 bike, I think it weighs under 25 (I'll go weigh it...), with nothing special at all on it it's 24pounds even (stxRC, XT rear derall., heavy seat). The Manitou is not plush at all, but it takes the edge off the bumps. If I were you I'd watch Craigs for older stumpjumpers, Homegrowns, Zaskars, -similar old race bikes. 7 and 8 speed still work great, I still ride (and occasionally race) 3x7. For growing kids, you're basically renting their bike; buy for a good price, keep it for a year or two, and resell it again when it's too small. I have to raise the seat a little bit every time we ride it seems, I'm getting all my parts together for his next bike, starting with an Ibis Alibi frame I found on CL for $15.

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