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  1. #1
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    24" Cannondale Race/Trail/Street comparison

    My daughter has been on a 16" specialized hot rock for couple years and due to a rapid growth spurt this winter I think she'll go right to 24" by her birthday in May if I get her a good quality model with the right geometry. So far I have been really impressed with the Cannondales, my local shop has the Race and Trail in stock and then I came across the Street online as well (which is really cool and worth a look Street 24 Boy's - STREET - BOY'S - KIDS - BIKES - 2015). They all seem to be the same frame (look at specs for medium size frame, they all match up exactly), just slightly tweaked builds. Trying to figure out if the Street is a good match and looking for other suggestions.

    I will pass her bikes down to her younger brothers so happy to spend $500 ish for this one. The kids all ride pretty solid, trails with some bumps but nothing crazy. For this next step I'd like to get her something w 7spd freewheel, but only 1x drivetrain for simplicity, rigid fork and disc brakes (or at least the mounts so I can swap some on at some point) and good geometry/light weight.

    Street- comes w/ rigid lefty fork, w/ discs, and has clearance for trail tires, but has 3x drive train (I'd mod this to 1x, so maybe some cost there, along with cost of new trail tires). No idea what this thing weighs, but the trail/race have suspension and are around 26 lbs, so I think this must be lighter, probably a couple of pounds w/out that heavy suspension fork. This seems to be what I want to get her...

    Race- has mounts for discs but comes with cantilevers, has front suspension and 3x drivetrain (so that's 3 items to replace to get the bike I really want).

    Trail- has mounts for discs but comes with cantilevers, has front suspension and 3x drivetrain (so again that's 3 items to replace to get the bike I really want).

    I feel like I could probably get the street for $450 and do the 1x mod and the new tires for right around $500. Anything out there that would be this quality and that configuration for $500 that I am missing? I've looked at Spawn (too pricey) and otherwise dont find anything that matches the 24" Cannondale Street.

  2. #2
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    I compared the same bikes you mention, race/trail/street. I went with the 2015 Race size medium. Got 10% off without much trying.

    I was able to see the trail and race side by side and the race just seemed nicer. The front shocks are definitely nicer.

    The other thing I liked is that medium has a bent top tube. more stand over clearance. I thought that was important when going off road and stopping and standing on uneven terrain. I bought mine for a 9 year old girl.

    The non disc brake was not an issue because we are not downhilling and the caliper brakes have plenty of stopping power. Just teach the kid to use both brakes. And I think the non disc brakes are easier to maintain.

    Don't give up on the 3x so quick. It can add weight but kids do like the range and do in fact use the granny gear.

  3. #3
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    Depending on the terrain, may I suggest to get a small chain ring and a cassette as big as possible. Compared to body weight these bikes weigh a tonne and climbing on them is really hard. I upgraded a 20" Hotrock to 9 speed, 11-36.

    Leaving the 3x front is also a good option. My oldest boy is on a 24" Kona with triple front rings and often uses the granny gear.

    Suspension forks on most kids bikes are awful, the fork in the Kona doesn't move at all, even when I put my 75 kg on it :-(

    Kind regards,

    Clemens

  4. #4
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    The thing your missing is that the race has an actual Air shock for the $500. It'd cost you around $200 to pick up a decent 24inch air fork aftermarket

    The wheels you're going to want to upgrade anyway to get some lighter ones, so you can add discs to the Race pretty easily.

    That's what I did with my Daughters Race 24.
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  5. #5
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    Thanks for the suggestions. One thing I didn't note: This is for a very tall but light 5 year old, so I am trying to keep the thing simple and not add too many new gizmos. Given what we ride on and the single speed she now uses, I'd plan to go 1x with gears largely set to give her more granny (which is all she really needs now), I love the idea of doing 9spd for more range. We're not riding anything fast, so for now 1x with granny range is probably fine, it's uphill range she needs. My goal w her is to get her on a bigger frame (she now looks like a monster on the 16" hot rock) and just add rear gears and hand brakes to the mix. She just isn't going to use the front derailleur for now so I see no reason to leave 3x on there for the start, it's just more crap to get in her way and cause her to hesitate. I'm also pretty set on a rigid fork, dont see much value in suspension now for the trail riding we do.

  6. #6
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    How tall is your 5 yr old? Riding too large of a bike will hurt confidence.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    How tall is your 5 yr old? Riding too large of a bike will hurt confidence.
    I just caught the age and while I know age is a poor indicator for bike sizes, she'd have to be an extremely tall 5 year old to be ready for a 24 inch bike.
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