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Thread: 24" or 26"?

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    24" or 26"?

    My son is still only 7, but I am thinking ahead to when he turns 8 next summer. He is already about 51inches tall and a very confident mountain biker.

    At the moment he is riding a Ridgeback MX20 which he is outgrowing. Just had to get a new seatpost... He is a couple of years younger than most of the kids in his mtb club and they are mostly on 26inch bikes so it must be hard for him to keep up!

    I was starting to think about building him a 24" bike. Then I remembered I have a Trek 4900 13" inch frame.

    What are everyone's thoughts? I don't want to put him on a too big bike, but would it really be too big?

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    If he's riding mostly flat non-tech trails he might be okay on the 26". If he's doing any technical riding def. go with the 24". My son has both and for XC riding he's faster on the 24" even though its 4.5 lbs. heavier.

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    I personally feel 26" is the way to go. Check out my thread about my sons Orbea.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xc71 View Post
    If he's riding mostly flat non-tech trails he might be okay on the 26". If he's doing any technical riding def. go with the 24". My son has both and for XC riding he's faster on the 24" even though its 4.5 lbs. heavier.
    He rides mostly "difficult" graded technical singletrack. How old/tall is your son?

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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkrw3 View Post
    I personally feel 26" is the way to go. Check out my thread about my sons Orbea.
    I will check it out, thanks.

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    To see if a 26er is suitable really depends on two things:

    - where is the top tube - ie. does your kid have enough stand-over height on the frame; and
    - where will the bars end up relative to the height of the saddle. If the seat height is much, much lower than the bars then your kid will have problems properly weighting the front wheel. This may not affect his climbing (as most kids like to climb out of the saddle) but it will adversely affect cornering.

    If stand-over is the problem, then you could put 24" wheels on the 26" frame and get an extra 1" of stand-over.

    If its the bar/saddle height issue, then you really need a 24" frame.

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    If he's got enough stand over height, then I say build the bike up with 26"wheels, however if standover would be an issue, build it using 24" wheels and then when he gets a bit taller/bigger swap out the 24" to 26".
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    Thanks for all the info. I think the top tube may be a bit long and he would be too stretched out on the 26. Also the bars might be quite high. I might go down the 24 route for now.

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    Last fall we were in the market for a 24" bike for my 10 year old (small for her age) We found a used 13" framed Specialized Hard Rock bike (26). Now she is growing into it well, if i went with a 24" bike I would be looking for another bike now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    My son is still only 7, but I am thinking ahead to when he turns 8 next summer. He is already about 51inches tall and a very confident mountain biker.

    What are everyone's thoughts? I don't want to put him on a too big bike, but would it really be too big?
    Been here in the same position about 28 months ago! The problem is most of the XS or 13" 26" bikes (I researched) have a 25.5" stand over and the top tube lengths are too long even with a 50mm stem. They really are designed for 5'+ people. 24" bikes have roughly a 24" top tube, so much better crotch clearance.

    For reference, my son started on his 24" at 7. He's now 9 and 55" tall with barely a 25" inseam with a book between his feet and back against the wall. He's right at 50% percentile on his last child wellness visit. No way would he ride my XS 13" 26" bike and be able to do what he's doing now on his 24 at 9. So those in my opinion that are sizing up their kids are giving them 2 years of bad riding experience if they can't even clear the top tube. Hope that helps!

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    Thanks that is helpful. I'll start looking for a 24inch bike soon I think. I might have the chance of a Scott Voltage, any good?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    Thanks that is helpful. I'll start looking for a 24inch bike soon I think. I might have the chance of a Scott Voltage, any good?
    Depends on your budget. It's heavy (+28lbs)... but I guess that's like most kids bikes. Will your son actually be mountain biking or just a neighborhood ashpalt rider?

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    Is the frame heavy by itself? Planning to build it from scratch. He will be mountain biking a lot. Did 14 miles of intense single track with big climbs last weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    Is the frame heavy by itself? Planning to build it from scratch. He will be mountain biking a lot. Did 14 miles of intense single track with big climbs last weekend.
    I can only tell you that the Scott Scale RC Jr weighs 3.3 pounds which included the headset and seat post clamp. You will have a difficult time finding weights on other frames as most people don't take the time to do it.

    I do agree with going to the 24" though. My son's 52" and there's no way he would have fit a 26" bike. He has a difficult time straddling the 24" bike as it is.

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    24" or 26"?

    My kid was the only kid on a 26" bike at the last race, filled with kids on 24" bikes and he killed the field by half a lap in the 6-8 category. Now I know that a lot of you think your kids can't handle a 26" bike and maybe you are right. But, my son has been on this bike since he turned 6 and yeah it was a big bike for him, but now he is almost 8 and kills it on this bike. I am glad I gave him the chance to try. Based on watching him on his Orbea there are now 3 more kids on our street with 26" bikes and it's great fun watching them all rip it up. So while I get what people are saying I wouldn't discount the 26" just yet

    The girl in on the Ghost is my Daughter and that was her first ride on her 26" she is 6 and yeah it's big for her and she isn't using it on trails yet....but she is learning

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    IIIRC your son's bike is a women's frame? It looks like it makes all the difference with top tube length.

    I will fish the Trek out after school today and get my son to sit on it and take a photo.

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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkrw3 View Post
    Now I know that a lot of you think your kids can't handle a 26" bike and maybe you are right. But, my son has been on this bike since he turned 6 and yeah it was a big bike for him, but now he is almost 8 and kills it on this bike. I am glad I gave him the chance to try. So while I get what people are saying I wouldn't discount the 26" just
    What is the stand over height on the bikes? I thought putting my son on a 24" at 7 was a stretch! A 6 year old on a 26" bike?

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    What is the stand over height on the bikes? I thought putting my son on a 24" at 7 was a stretch! A 6 year old on a 26" bike?

    The standover will never be less than the outer diameter of the wheel (barring some strange frame design like Cannondales Delta-V). Advertised standover might be less but any point where someone will actually straddle the bike will be taller than the wheel.
    My above average height 7 yr old still has stand over clearance issues with a 20" frame and the top tube on that is still boarderline. There's no way he'd fit on a 24, much less a 26 in a normal riding position.
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    13" frame Trek. Has a long stem on it (teenage son's "improvements"). Saddle a tiny bit high in this pic.
    24" or 26"?-sam_2140.jpg
    Standover (he didn't complain)
    24" or 26"?-sam_2141.jpg

    20" bike he is on at the moment
    24" or 26"?-sam_2142.jpg
    Standover is better than it looks in his baggy trousers
    24" or 26"?-sam_2143.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    I can only tell you that the Scott Scale RC Jr weighs 3.3 pounds which included the headset and seat post clamp. You will have a difficult time finding weights on other frames as most people don't take the time to do it.
    I just recently weighed a couple of 24" frames,

    24" trek MT220 with seatpost collar, brake post and replaceable derailleur hangar was 1470gr, 3.2 pounds. Frame is probably 4-5 years old and has trek "alpha" aluminum tubing that is bulge formed into variety of non-round cross sections.

    Similar aged 24" Novara Dirt Rider frame when comparably outfitted with seatpost collar, brake post and non-replaceable derailleur hangar weighed 1870gr, 4.1 pounds so fully 27% heavier than the trek.

    I will be building up the trek for my 8-year old, hope to get the complete build down to 20 pounds. I think she can handle the standover height no-problem but the top tube length is still long for her so using a tiny stem.

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    Judging by the photos, he's ready for 26"

    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    13" frame Trek. Has a long stem on it (teenage son's "improvements"). Saddle a tiny bit high in this pic.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Standover (he didn't complain)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Yeah, he can definitely rock the 26er. Shorter cranks (BMX) raise the saddle height relative to the bars (slide the seat forward); shorter stem (Control tech 45mm) helps with reach. The BMX cranks will be single ring and might be too tall for him if you do alot of climbing, but you can mount an IRD ring that you can bolt a granny ring to and give him a double up front.

    My son just turned 8 last week and he's been riding a 26er for half a year. I found an XS Fisher Cake DLX for cheap and those were the biggest changes I made. I thought I'd have to put 24" wheels on it, but he jumped right on (even before I made the changes for better fit) and started riding all over the neighborhood, jumping off curbs and ramps). Think of it as a 29er for kids.

    So he's now riding a 5" travel full suspension and killing all his friends on both the up & down. I knew I'd have trouble keeping up with him at some point, but he's doing it to me on the climbs now (granted, I have over a hundred pounds on him, but I still didn't expect it so soon).

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    A couple of other points. You can invert the stem to get the bar lower, and use a straight bar instead of a riser. You may want to cut the bar shorter too, and that will help some with reach. I think I'm running 150mm or 155mm cranks.

    You'll get a couple more years out of this setup than going to a 24" bike. Not to mention that you already have it, so it's cheaper (put the money toward the fit changes).

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    Thanks, that is good info. Just when I thought I had decided we should stick to a 24" I have been swayed in the other direction...

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    There's a big difference between being able to pedal/ride a 26er and actually handle the bike and learn proper skills.

    Pushing a child onto a 26 just to save the 24 step just delays them learning good bike handling skills. Funny how if an adult showed us similar pictures, we'd all be saying how the bike is too big.

    It just depends on what you kind of riding you plan on doing. I had my son riding over small logs and jumping a small ramp on his 16 inch bike to start getting used to bike handling. He was jumping the black skate board ramps and wanted to learn bunny hops/manuals once he got on his 20.

    He is continuing to learn those skills on his 24, every once in a while he hops on his sisters 20 and it's a lot easier for him to do those things. So yea he could ride a 26 but he wouldn't handle it as well.

    Too much of a rush to get kids on the next size bike. If you watch the few dads on here who's kids are riding really tech stuff, they are actually keeping their kids on the smaller bikes longer.

    The other thing to keep in mind, all the advice in the world is useless for kids when people are just giving you ages, since that mean squat on fitting a bike.
    Just looking at my son's class - all the same age and could be riding all 3 sizes from 20 to 26.
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    See this is the problem. I always find I agree with whoever posted last

    He also rides a 16" BMX and I am always persuading other parents of 6/7 year olds that their kid would be better off with a 16" than a 20".

    I think it is time to try a few 24" bikes for fit and decide then.

    Anyway, before I even start on this bike I have promised teenage son that we can build him a new bike together. And before that I need to replace smallest son's fork with a fork with v-brake bosses...

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    I'd have to agree with the above post. I have a 10 and 7 year old who race BMX and have pretty good bike handling skills. They ride MTB trails pretty well on their race bikes, but they're getting too big for that now.

    A year ago I got my older son an XS 26". I was trying to avoid getting one of these heavy 24" bikes. He was 9 at the time though not sure how tall he was. He could pedal it fine. We do a local 12mi loop with about 800' of climbing and he gets through it well, but I don't see him use any of the skills I know he has. He barely stands up on it... It's just like he's overwelmed by the bike. He's grown a lot recently and is looking better now, but he's almost 11, 58" tall and weighs 66lbs.

    My 7yr old is 52" and I wouldn't think of putting him on a 26". I just picked up a Trek MT220 on CL and will work on lightening it up.

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    Well, I do agree some of these posts in that I had the same fears as what others are saying with 24 vs. 26 (and I assumed i would be putting 24" wheels on it), but once my son jumped on the 26er, those fears disappeared because he rode technical stuff even better than when he was on his old 20" bike (and he rode technical stuff well on that). Stuff he used to hesitate or walk down/up, he now just keeps moving right on through. So I guess it depends on the kid.

    I came to the conclusion from watching him that the 26" wheels roll over/through stuff better for him and if he's going to keep going on rides with me and riding the stuff I like to ride (super technical singletrack), then the 26er full suspension is the way to go.

    The other factor is that kids grow so fast and adapt to things so quickly that he likely won't skip a beat. But again, depends on the kid. Take him out on a ride or two on the 26er, even with the long cranks, and see how he does (first one non-technical). If he isn't adjusting to the bike or has trouble with it, maybe he isn't ready for it. If he doesn't even blink, do the fit adjustments and carry on. you already know he can ride a 24" bike (he made the leap from 16" to 20" just fine, correct?), the question is how does he do with the 26er (is it too big a leap).

    BTW, my son is ~52" & ~60lbs. Here's a photo of him (green shirt) on the XS Fisher Cake DLX, as well as a photo of his friend (red shirt - also 7 at the time) on his 26er (we found him an XS Fisher Cake - 4" travel - still has the long cranks on it, so his seat is low) @ Trestle Bike Park this summer:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 24" or 26"?-tanner_at_trestle_2013.jpg  

    24" or 26"?-evan_at_trestle_2013.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by manitoumtbr View Post
    Well, I do agree some of these posts in that I had the same fears as what others are saying with 24 vs. 26 (and I assumed i would be putting 24" wheels on it), but once my son jumped on the 26er, those fears disappeared because he rode technical stuff even better than when he was on his old 20" bike (and he rode technical stuff well on that). Stuff he used to hesitate or walk down/up, he now just keeps moving right on through. So I guess it depends on the kid.

    I came to the conclusion from watching him that the 26" wheels roll over/through stuff better for him and if he's going to keep going on rides with me and riding the stuff I like to ride (super technical singletrack), then the 26er full suspension is the way to go.

    The other factor is that kids grow so fast and adapt to things so quickly that he likely won't skip a beat. But again, depends on the kid. Take him out on a ride or two on the 26er, even with the long cranks, and see how he does (first one non-technical). If he isn't adjusting to the bike or has trouble with it, maybe he isn't ready for it. If he doesn't even blink, do the fit adjustments and carry on. you already know he can ride a 24" bike (he made the leap from 16" to 20" just fine, correct?), the question is how does he do with the 26er (is it too big a leap).

    BTW, my son is ~52" & ~60lbs. Here's a photo of him (green shirt) on the XS Fisher Cake DLX, as well as a photo of his friend (red shirt - also 7 at the time) on his 26er (we found him an XS Fisher Cake - 4" travel - still has the long cranks on it, so his seat is low) @ Trestle Bike Park this summer:
    Bike parks tend to have groomed trails, much different than riding rooty, rocky climbs.

    In all honesty I wish I had the money for one of these: diSSent ALC KD Junior 26er Frame - PSYCLESTORE
    At the time they were $795, at the current $495 price I would done it in a heart beat since I had 26er parts laying around.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Bike parks tend to have groomed trails, much different than riding rooty, rocky climbs.
    That's not what we typically ride, just the only pictures I had available. We don't just ride lift-serviced trails. There are no flat trails where I live (Pikes Peak Region of Colorado), and technical granite & sandstone abound. So plenty of technical ascents/descents and he does fine (better) with the 26er, but again, everyone's different.

    Here's a video that features some of the trails we ride to give you an idea (and it's a cool video): Nico Vouilloz - The Relentless Pursuit of Balance - Engineering and Development - YouTube

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    personally im not missing steps, 20-24-26. My son is avg height for 7yr old, forget measurement atm. Rides a trek mt60 (that im in the process of lightening up) and the TT length is still big for him, running a 50mm stem and a 0 offset seatpost now to get him in proper riding position. Thought about in time going straight to 26" when hes outgrown this but not sure anymore. Finding though part of issue is same as mine. im 6'1" and ride a 18-19" frames, long torso instead of long legs/arms. So I run into stand over/TT length issues but have to run fair amount of stem spacers to get good position.

    But I see 26" for juniors as I see 29er for adults. I feel more comfortable and confident overall on my 29er vs the 26 I had. Sit down in the frame more than over it. This is my thoughts about possible 26", especially when a 26" can much more easily be made lighter than a 24" (lack of wheel/fork options for 24").

    Personally im going to let him test ride both a 24 and a 26" xsmallish/womans frame to see which he likes better before I buy his next bike.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    personally im not missing steps, 20-24-26. My son is avg height for 7yr old, forget measurement atm. Rides a trek mt60 (that im in the process of lightening up) and the TT length is still big for him, running a 50mm stem and a 0 offset seatpost now to get him in proper riding position. Thought about in time going straight to 26" when hes outgrown this but not sure anymore. Finding though part of issue is same as mine. im 6'1" and ride a 18-19" frames, long torso instead of long legs/arms. So I run into stand over/TT length issues but have to run fair amount of stem spacers to get good position.

    But I see 26" for juniors as I see 29er for adults. I feel more comfortable and confident overall on my 29er vs the 26 I had. Sit down in the frame more than over it. This is my thoughts about possible 26", especially when a 26" can much more easily be made lighter than a 24" (lack of wheel/fork options for 24").

    Personally im going to let him test ride both a 24 and a 26" xsmallish/womans frame to see which he likes better before I buy his next bike.
    That is is untrue. I have an air fork and nice set of wheels as do plenty of others on here on my son's 24. I used Velocity Aeroheat rims and there's another company, maybe someone will chim in that is even lighter. The rest of the parts are the same.

    I replaced most of the stuff on my son's 24, but kept all the stock parts. Once he moves to a 26 I can put the bike back to stock, sell the fork and wheels to someone on here and not have lost that much money in the end.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    ... I used Velocity Aeroheat rims and there's another company, maybe someone will chim in that is even lighter...
    Alex ACE20 rims are a bit lighter (but are no longer available) and Alienation Deviant rims (for disc brake only).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    The standover will never be less than the outer diameter of the wheel (barring some strange frame design like Cannondales Delta-V). Advertised standover might be less but any point where someone will actually straddle the bike will be taller than the wheel.
    Very true, though there are several bikes many people are buying to try to completely skip 24" bikes that have lower than 26.2" stand over - the Specialized Myka being one of the most popular with 25.6" stand over.

    Specialized Bicycle Components Myka 26"

    I understand some kids are tall for their age, but from my own personal height challenged experience - I'm 5'3" and on a 13" with barely a 27" inseam. I am pushing borderline custom frame status in a way. My son can ride my 13" 26er just fine, but he can't ride it if you know what I mean like his 24". Aside from top tube clearance issues, the tires are too tall and wheelbase too long to really ride the bike.

    Also, 26" bikes also have a full 3" longer wheelbase than a 24" wheel bike. That's huge.

    No way would I want my son on a bike where he racks his nuts. Not to mention a bike that risks his safety.

    To put it another way. Sure he can ride my 125cc dirt bike (has a 90cc) but no way would I allow him to take it on the trails. Stand over (or lack of) is the issue. It's just too big to control properly. Sure, I can ride a 250cc but ride a 125cc because it feels more comfortable off road and is easier to control.

    I guess my point to parents is let the kid really choose what he/she feels is the best fit. Do not not force them into a bike that is going to really suck for them and hinder their ability of developing good riding skills because their bike is way too big until they grow into it in 2-3 years just so you can save $500.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    13" frame Trek. Has a long stem on it (teenage son's "improvements"). Saddle a tiny bit high in this pic.
    It's hard to tell from the pictures, but it looks like the saddle may be a bit far back when he's sitting on the 13" Trek. You might try sliding the seat all the way forward in the rails if you hadn't already and check his knee relative to pedal spindle position with the cranks in a horizontal position. Or post another picture from the side with the forward pedal, again with the cranks horizontal.

    Do you remember at what height your son started riding the 20" Ridgeback?

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    He was 47 1/4 inches (120cm) when he got the Ridgeback.

    I will slide the saddle forward on the Trek and have a look - he can't take a ride on it as it has no chain. though I do have a small framed Scott he can have a ride on.

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    at muppet bikes!

    btw I think he would have been ready for a 20" bike when he turned 5. Bike shop insisted he had to have both feet flat on the ground (he was already a confident rider, having been riding for more than 2 years) I didn't know as much then as I do now!

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    i stand corrected on 24" wheels,lol. Pulled up Alex's site and several options. Forks still a challenge though.

    More I research the more Im going 24" before 26" for my son. Figure that being the case Ill get 1 more season (maybe 2 if Im lucky which he'll turn 9 at the tail end of it). But no way Im jumping to 26" from 20", hate for him to put extra work in/less fun when hitting the trails.

    And Ive been reading, looking at geo specs on bikes vs measurements of his 20" etc, countless hours. Definately I recommend going 24" first then 26" when hes fully ready for a bike that size.
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    Funnily enough a fantastic 24" bike just appeared for sale locally. I know the kid and the bike. It is a Hotrock with hydraulic disc brakes and trigger shifters. Not sure what fork is on it.

    Even better they have said if we give them a deposit they will keep it for us till next year when we can afford it!

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    And I'll still get the fun of building up the 26" for a year or two...

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    i stand corrected on 24" wheels,lol. Pulled up Alex's site and several options. Forks still a challenge though.

    More I research the more Im going 24" before 26" for my son. Figure that being the case Ill get 1 more season (maybe 2 if Im lucky which he'll turn 9 at the tail end of it). But no way Im jumping to 26" from 20", hate for him to put extra work in/less fun when hitting the trails.

    And Ive been reading, looking at geo specs on bikes vs measurements of his 20" etc, countless hours. Definately I recommend going 24" first then 26" when hes fully ready for a bike that size.
    Again fork is a non-issue. I got a Spinner Air from Home Page . You could email him and see if he's still got any. There is also another choice, but I haven't saved a link to it since I had mine. Someone found a source in Germany for 24 inch air forks. Maybe they'll post it in here or you can search this forum for it.
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProjectMayhem View Post
    at muppet bikes!

    btw I think he would have been ready for a 20" bike when he turned 5. Bike shop insisted he had to have both feet flat on the ground (he was already a confident rider, having been riding for more than 2 years) I didn't know as much then as I do now!
    LOL, I thought I knew enough when I ordered a Hotrock 16 for my kid for his fourth birthday. I wish I could go back and change that.

    Thanks for the into. My older son is just under 47" now. He should be fine by summer for his 20". The Hotrock 16 seems way too small for him but the Cannondale 20" has a 70mm longer top tube. We will see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    ...Maybe they'll post it in here or you can search this forum for it...
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    Thanks, I've also got the contact details for Spinner Europe. I actually have a 20" fork on the way to put on his current bike and then save for the youngest son.

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    My boys 8 and 10 both have been riding 24 scott scale jr, they loved them. i just built up a novara ponderosa 26 for the 10 yr old, it has stans 355 wheels and hope hubs, and an old marzocchi fork and avid brakes, anf 170 stylo cranks. It came out to 24 lbs. After a few good rides he is loving it. I just found a xxs 12.5" giant revel frame on ebay and am ready to build it up for my 8 yo, he may keep his 24 for a while untol he id redy to vhange

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by manitoumtbr View Post
    Well, I do agree some of these posts in that I had the same fears as what others are saying with 24 vs. 26 (and I assumed i would be putting 24" wheels on it), but once my son jumped on the 26er, those fears disappeared because he rode technical stuff even better than when he was on his old 20" bike (and he rode technical stuff well on that). Stuff he used to hesitate or walk down/up, he now just keeps moving right on through. So I guess it depends on the kid.

    I came to the conclusion from watching him that the 26" wheels roll over/through stuff better for him and if he's going to keep going on rides with me and riding the stuff I like to ride (super technical singletrack), then the 26er full suspension is the way to go.

    The other factor is that kids grow so fast and adapt to things so quickly that he likely won't skip a beat. But again, depends on the kid. Take him out on a ride or two on the 26er, even with the long cranks, and see how he does (first one non-technical). If he isn't adjusting to the bike or has trouble with it, maybe he isn't ready for it. If he doesn't even blink, do the fit adjustments and carry on. you already know he can ride a 24" bike (he made the leap from 16" to 20" just fine, correct?), the question is how does he do with the 26er (is it too big a leap).

    BTW, my son is ~52" & ~60lbs. Here's a photo of him (green shirt) on the XS Fisher Cake DLX, as well as a photo of his friend (red shirt - also 7 at the time) on his 26er (we found him an XS Fisher Cake - 4" travel - still has the long cranks on it, so his seat is low) @ Trestle Bike Park this summer:
    Small kids do well on tec trails due to their size. Having coached kids for many years, I believe any kid under 100 lbs does not belong on a mountain bike. Kids should learn on bmx bikes. Terrain should be chosen so they can learn:
    Body position, vision, braking, cornering, line selection, j-hop, manual, etc.
    My dh bike is 23% of my body weight. For a 100lb kid, that would be a 23lb bike. Bmx bikes have a size advantage (they are easy to maneuver ). They have a weight advantage. (17 lbs is easy). They have a cost advantage. ( price a 17 lb bmx vs. a 20 lb mtb). For some reason few people like the truth of bmx for kids, so do whatever you want. Regardless, bmx is by far the best in every way!
    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    Regardless, bmx is by far the best in every way!
    Cheers
    I'm with you on this. So many of the best mountain bikers come from BMX backgrounds; it's obvious what a huge advantage BMX experience provides as far as riding skills go. Your average 8 or 9 year old intermediate BMX racer has better bike handling skills than your average adult XC mountain biker racer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by YRG View Post
    Small kids do well on tec trails due to their size. Having coached kids for many years, I believe any kid under 100 lbs does not belong on a mountain bike. Kids should learn on bmx bikes. Terrain should be chosen so they can learn:
    Body position, vision, braking, cornering, line selection, j-hop, manual, etc.
    My dh bike is 23% of my body weight. For a 100lb kid, that would be a 23lb bike. Bmx bikes have a size advantage (they are easy to maneuver ). They have a weight advantage. (17 lbs is easy). They have a cost advantage. ( price a 17 lb bmx vs. a 20 lb mtb). For some reason few people like the truth of bmx for kids, so do whatever you want. Regardless, bmx is by far the best in every way!
    Cheers
    Yes and no. BMX does develop great skills as you mention. But not all of us are fortunate to have a BMX course near by. We are fortunate where dirt single track is 500 yards away and we don't have to even get in the car for 100 miles of dirt.

    I say get them used to loose rocks, roots, logs, and chunky snow from an early age.

    Our son started on a Yamaha PW-50 moto at age 3, shortly after he learned how to ride a bike. He's on a TTR-90 at 9 and 65 pounds, a 132 pound dirt bike. You get strong real fast muscling one of those around, riding through snow, learning counter balancing/steering and building courses. He can ride bikes with my husband and his friends for about 90 minutes solid, beating some of them up climbs even. He's about faster than me except the stamina isn't quite there yet for the 2+ hour rides. I think the combination of the moto and riding trails from an early age develops skills he'll have for his MTB'ing life (provided he sticks with it).

    This kids parents would probably disagree as well. Not too many 10 year olds I know of that are 100 pounds yet.

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    I bought my son a KHS Alite 24.
    He's 52" and 9yo.

    I'm pretty happy with the fit and his body position. Plus he can climb hills now. Only issue is his hands aren't strong enough to shift the front derailleur. Probably need to switch to twist shifters. The disc brakes are a huge bonus though.

    24" or 26"?-13-alite-024-1000.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    I bought my son a KHS Alite 24.
    He's 52" and 9yo.

    I'm pretty happy with the fit and his body position. Plus he can climb hills now. Only issue is his hands aren't strong enough to shift the front derailleur. Probably need to switch to twist shifters. The disc brakes are a huge bonus though.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I wouldn't suggest grip shift, I found it to be worse.

    Unfortunetly kids bike come with the worst chainrings available. Take a look at the rings, I bet they dont have any ramps, just 2-4 pins for upshifting.

    When changed out my son's rings to real ones with proper shifting ramps it made a huge difference.
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    Here is a build I did for my 9 yr old for x mas

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