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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... 20" Custom Build Project

    So after reading about and seeing pictures of all the custom kids bikes. I pretty much have no choice but build my own.

    My son is currently on a 16" Scott Voltage Jr. He is 4yo and small for his age. He probably won't be ready for the 20" for a year or two. I've been buying a part each month or so.

    This is the bike I started with.
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  2. #2
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    I got it at a yardsale for $40. Took it right home and stripped all the parts off.


    20" Custom Build Project-imag0716.jpg


  3. #3
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    Good start. Your workshop looks awesome too.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I spent about 2 years of being more "into" my shop than I was actually riding. No bike upgrades just tools and shop stuff. Now I'm paying more attention to my bikes now that I have all the proper tools.

  5. #5
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    That's gonna be a cool little bike. I built my son a Gary Fisher Precaliber 20" very much like that.
    The 24" he's on now also started out used. Bought it as a complete, perfect bike and ended up using only the frame.
    I like turtles

  6. #6
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    After I stripped everything off I started hunting for new parts. I've never been keen on the weights of stuff. But it's lots of fun weighing everything and searching for the lightest parts.

    20" Custom Build Project-cosmobox.jpg

  7. #7
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    Good job!

    I busted out some aircraft stripper and stripped all the paint off the frame.

    It worked perfectly, I've stripped several frames before, this one was practically effortless.


    20" Custom Build Project-talonbareframe.jpg


    Next is to send this off to the powdercoater. Might not happen right away but my son has asked for fire engine red.

  8. #8
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    I like seeing your project thread because we are at the same stage (apart from mine is 16inch). I really must start my own thread - just ordered a pile of bits. The original plan of having it ready next spring/summer has been blown out of the water by my impatience! The bike will be ready before the boy is big enough...

  9. #9
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    I am right there with you. I had planned to do this really slow. My son isn't even turning 5 until December. I wanted this to be for his 6th birthday but I just can't help myself.

    I was thinking of re-routing my focus to his 16 inch Scott Voltage jr and do some up grading there too.



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    20" Custom Build Project-imag0785.jpg

  10. #10
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    Jordan-
    Got a weight of the bare frame?

  11. #11
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    Yeah the frame weight is 2lb 15oz.

  12. #12
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    Stripped the paint off the rims.

    I think I'll send them to the powdercoater with the frame.


    20" Custom Build Project-imag0789.jpg

  13. #13
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    Pulled the trigger on some Sinz 135mm cranks. They are a tad longer than I wanted but I got a good deal on them.



    20" Custom Build Project-crankssinz.jpg

  14. #14
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    Did you get ISIS or square taper? By the time he is ready for a 20" frame, I would suspect that 135mm length cranks will be fine and should probably last until you bump him up to a 24" or XS 26" frame.
    One slightly counterintuitive thing I realized when trying to fit kids on bikes is that longer cranks allow for a lower seat height at same leg extension. Kids seem to really want to be able to stretch and reach the ground with their feet while seated/resting, a slightly longer crank helps to accomplish this so can make them more confident about being able to get stopped/started from the saddle.
    One thing that irks me about most 20" frames is that the bottom bracket height is often so high (usually has negative BB drop relative to the hubs), it is almost as-if they used the bottom-bracket height spec of an adult frame meant for 175mm cranks, ignoring that shorter cranks are less suspectible to pedal strike at a lower BB height.

    As long as you are powdercoating the frame and rims, might be cool to also powdercoat the crank arms to match.

    What are your plans for a 20" fork?

  15. #15
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    I got the Isis.

    I think he'll grow a bit too so it should be a good fit.

    Good insight about the seat height, I'll remember that.

    The fork is my biggest issue right now. I'm really really leaning towards getting this

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    But it's like $150 so that's the big obstacle.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan300 View Post


    The fork is my biggest issue right now. I'm really really leaning towards getting this

    But it's like $150 so that's the big obstacle.
    If the expense is a consideration, I really wouldnt bother with this carbon fork. While it has a visual bling attraction, this carbon fork also has a hefty 210 pound rider weight limit and is made to pass current adult DIN standards, subsequetly it weighs 750gr (1.5 pounds)! For comparison, cheaper 700c adult road carbon forks weigh less than 400gr and non-disk aluminum BMX 20" forks can be bought that are much cheaper and weigh only 1 lbd. (see Redline R6 Aluminum Race Fork at Danscomp) You could likely even start with a lightweight CrMo BMX fork and braze-on a disk mount that would produce a lighter disk fork than the carboncycles fork. I suppose the ultimate project would be to DIY build a kiddie capable carbon fork that is <300gr. Probably not something that any mass-manufacturer is going to offer since it would be too fragile for adult weight, big liability.

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I'll start looking in to that. Thanks

  18. #18
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    Those forks would look really good though...

  19. #19
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    I know, right! I have an internal battle between spending the cash on that fork because it would just complete the bike so well, and going another route that might cost less and look differently from what I how envision it should look like.

  20. #20
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    I have that fork on my son's XS 26er because it can be found in the correct AC and it's got lots of clearance between the legs with a light weight. I justified it, and most of his bike, by selling all sorts of his old baby/little kid stuff on ebay and craigslist. Used that paypal money to get the new fork. Was all "internet money" that was previously justified or gifts over the course of many years.

  21. #21
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    Good Idea! I have tons of stuff I can sell.

    (On the plus side, that'll be off my wife's radar)

  22. #22
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    Just got the frame back from the Powdercoater.

    It looks amazing.
    I also got the Rims and Brake levers in white. Can't wait to finish.

    20&quot; Custom Build Project-20131219_024821.jpg

  23. #23
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    nICE!

  24. #24
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    Looks great - what colour did you have it powder coated in the end.

  25. #25
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    That's going to look great when you get it together.

  26. #26
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    Thanks. The color I got was gloss red. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Now I'm going to start putting it together. Still need to build the wheels. Don't have a rear shifter yet. Also need the fork.

  27. #27
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    I put some of the parts on today. Also got some of the decals on. Tell me what you think.

    I also went to a local Bike swap meet. I found some carbon handlebars, and the Red XO 9spd shifter that I had been searching for.

    Still haven't pulled the trigger on the fork yet. I took your advice and sold a bunch of stuff on ebay, I have the money to buy it. Just gotta do it.



    20&quot; Custom Build Project-imag0893.jpg20&quot; Custom Build Project-imag0892.jpg20&quot; Custom Build Project-imag0891.jpg
    That's just a seat post holding the handlebars on.

  28. #28
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    Just placed the order for the fork. I should have it in a week.

  29. #29
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    Don't finish it too soon or your son won't be big enough to ride it

  30. #30
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    That couldn't be truer. I try to have him help me with everything when I install it, we have lots of fun in the bike shop. My boys love riding their bikes, I might get a little resistance from him to give up his 16". No matter. It can sit as long as he wants to wait.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20&quot; Custom Build Project-imag0895.jpg  


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    I think that's great that you get him to help. I must admit I do my bike stuff after the kids go to bed. My excuse is that I'm still learning and need the peace and quiet to concentrate. But I will be able to teach them as they grow.

  32. #32
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    OH yeah, most of the real wrenching happens after bedtime. But i'll get him to pump up tires or turn the hex wrenches once the bolts are loose enough. But I did get the fork in the mail. It is absolutely gorgeous. I want it to stay beautiful. I was thinking, I have a big extra piece of this 8mil crankskin material. I might cut it and cover the stanchions.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20&quot; Custom Build Project-imag0916.jpg  


  33. #33
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    Oh wow, you got your dream forks

    I do have 13 year old as well who does help - we will be building him a bike next...

  34. #34
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    Yeah, it took a lot of effort to click that button and order it. I sat at my computer for quite a while before I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. It helped that BME107 told me to sell some random stuff on eBay to raise the money. That totally did it for me.

  35. #35
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    Is your wheel tensioned yet? From the picture, it looks like the rim is far off-center from the fork, needs more tension on the disk-side spokes, get the rim centered between the fork blades.

  36. #36
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    No, Not tensioned yet. I actually brought the bike to work with me today and just dropped it off at my LBS down the street to have them tension the wheels and cut the steerer tube for me. It was very cool seeing the shop guys reactions to it. They'll call me once it's finished. Then I'll put the tires on and it's done.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan300 View Post
    Yeah, it took a lot of effort to click that button and order it. I sat at my computer for quite a while before I took a deep breath and pulled the trigger. It helped that BME107 told me to sell some random stuff on eBay to raise the money. That totally did it for me.
    Out with the old and in with the new! We just did a massive pre-chirstmas purge of old toys and I've got 6 listings up right now, with more in the cue. Also in the last 3 weeks I've sold a 16" Fuji and Trek trail-a-bike on CL. By spring I plan on getting that 20" fork for my daughter.

    For my son I just wrapped the legs with black electrical tape so he didn't tear up the CF. Not pretty, but it's been working since August. My daughter wants more color on her black bike so I realized that Plati-dip would be the perfect solution. Rubberized, spray on at home, easily removed protection. Comes in lots of colors.

    Crankskins would probably work. There is also that clear 3M plastic sheeting you apply to cars to protect from stones/bugs.

  38. #38
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    Here we go. 18lbs 15oz
    20&quot; Custom Build Project-dsc03976.jpg20&quot; Custom Build Project-dsc03977.jpg20&quot; Custom Build Project-dsc03982.jpg20&quot; Custom Build Project-dsc03980.jpg

  39. #39
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    Very nice!!!

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    Big transformation from start to finish, the low spoke count wheels came out looking great.

  41. #41
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    Brilliant!

  42. #42
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    He is definitely too small for it yet. He looks really stretched out on it. So I guess he'll keep riding his 16" for a while longer.

    He really loves it though.

  43. #43
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    My buddy asked me why I put the specialized sticker on it. I figured I'd post it here too. My son had to have a bike like "just like Daddy's" He was super stoked when the stickers arrived.

  44. #44
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    Awesome thing about that build is in a month when he suddenly is too big for it you have a ton of good parts (hubs, brakes, mech, cassette, bars and what not) to swap to a bigger frame.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaosCelt View Post
    Awesome thing about that build is in a month when he suddenly is too big for it you have a ton of good parts (hubs, brakes, mech, cassette, bars and what not) to swap to a bigger frame.
    Problem is that so much time gets invested in sourcing all the components and putting them together, if you just part out the bike when the kid has outgrown then you loose all the added value of having built the wheels, picking and assembling all the components. It would be nice to keep a customized bike functional and find someone that appreciates the complete bike and is willing to pay for the added value rather than parting out, otherwise it just reverts to being another $50 used frame.

  46. #46
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    I could see that point as well, but depending on what parts you got for the build it makes the cost of upgrading to a larger bike much easier to handle. That and if he's anything like me there is still the box of original parts.

  47. #47
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    Yeah I'll be able to reuse this for my youngest once he grows out of it, then my niece if she shows any interest. But then I'd much rather find someone who can appreciate all that I've put into this project.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jordan300 View Post
    He is definitely too small for it yet. He looks really stretched out on it. So I guess he'll keep riding his 16" for a while longer.

    He really loves it though.
    If you have a moment can you measure the effective/horizontal top tube? I found one for sale but it's too far away for me to go measure without being fairly certain I want it. Have a few lingering questions in my head.

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    That's gonna be a cool little bike. I built my son a Gary Fisher Precaliber 20" very much like that.
    The 24" he's on now also started out used. Bought it as a complete, perfect bike and ended up using only the frame.
    Same question for you. Do you know or can you measure the horizontal top tube?

    Thanks.

  49. #49
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    1. So it's been about 6 months since I finished building this. He started riding it this week. He really likes it.

    20&quot; Custom Build Project-imag1109.jpg

  50. #50
    turtles make me hot
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    Awesome.
    I like turtles

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