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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    13 year old wants to try a few races this year

    My 13 year old wants to try a few mountain bike races this year and we are trying to figure out the best set up out the bikes he has. I think it just under 5 miles with a mix of fields and trails. I know none of these bikes are ideal, but want to see how he likes it before we build a dedicated bike for racing. Here is what we have that he rides currently:

    1996 Rockhopper COMP FS Single speed
    - 34/16 gearing
    - Stock fork - Rock Shox Quadra 21R
    - 26x2.1 Kenda Small Block 8
    - About 23 lbs, but can drop a few more easily. I also have a rigid fork for this bike as well. It gets us close to the 20lb mark.

    Trek 3700
    - MAG21 fork but we also have another 100mm fork we could use.
    - 1x7 gearing
    - 26x2.35 Kenda Small Block 8 tires
    - All XT components
    - Weighs 22 lbs

    We also have a few other bikes he rides occasionally that we could get him used to over the next month.

    2004 Stumpjumper FSR - he just hasn't had much time on it yet. It loves how it climbs and goes over rocks/roots. He has only ridden a few miles on it. We are just starting to get him fitted for it.

    Vintage Steel Stumpjumper Rigid SS - Under 20 lbs - He loves riding this bike, but needs another year of growing before he fits it perfectly.

    It easily does 5-6 miles on either bike pretty quickly in some very rooty trails. Lately he has been riding the single speed Rockhopper because he likes the simplicity of the bike and how quick it responds. Any recommendations would be great.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    I would vote for the Trek 3700. The RS mag21 fork is not very laterally stiff for a full size adult but it is probably fine for a 13 year old and it is fairly lightweight & easy to adjust the pressure to suit his weight. You can dissasemble to cut down the top-out spacer to convert it to 60mm "long-travel" specifcation. If the frame was not origninally built around a 100mm travel fork, adding one now will jack-up the front end and alter the geometry/handling.

  3. #3
    Reputation: JonathanGennick's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    I wouldn't over think this. Let the kid make his own choice. Maybe have some fun by doing some time trials around the neighborhood. Send him out with a stop watch to ride each bike on the same route. Then he can see the results for himself. It might be a fun way for you and him to spend an evening together.

    Sent from my KFTHWI using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    I totally didn't think about that. Thanks for the suggestion. We don't live anywhere near a neighborhood, so our time trials will have to be a mile long single track we go to several times a week. He just had his tonsils out, so it will be a couple week before he gets to ride again. I will post how the tests show.

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