Finally had time to post this. I'm hoping it'll help other parents make the decision on when to move their kid up to a 26er. I know there are other threads that helped me make the move so this is my contribution to the dilemma...
I've been waiting a long time to be able to move my son up to a "real" MTB so that I had a lot of options for better/lighter frames and components. Although he was shredding rocky trails on his 24", I knew he would have a lot more fun and would be faster and able to go a longer distance once I could get him on a 26er. I think the 26er at his size/age is somewhat like a 29er for an adult. For him it probably has the same characteristics as my 29er does for me. Larger wheels to roll over rocks easier, a little more stable (tracks better and not as nimble) due to larger frame and wheels, carries more speed through faster single track, etc. The 26er also allows him to have a fork that usable, rather than the 24" fork that's merely for looks. These are just a few of the benefits to moving to a 26er. Now on to the build...
For size reference, my son is 54" tall with a 24" inseam.
I needed to build this on a budget so I opted to go with the Sette Reken 14" frame from Price Point. I've built bikes from scratch before and know how expensive it can quickly become when getting all the components separately. For this reason, I chose to find a cheap MTB on Craigslist to use as a doner bike. My main requirement was that it had to have disk brakes and somewhat decent components. No Walmart bikes of course. I ended up getting a 13" Jamis Dakar for well under $300. Overall this bike would have worked for him but I'm a fan of light hardtails with simple 1x drivetrain for the XC trails. A 32lb FS bike didn't fit the bill but the components were what I was interested in.
The 32lb doner pig.
Here's a short list of some of the components and weights. With the exception of the whells, these parts were what I acquired to replace the stock parts from the doner bike. All parts were for better fitment for my son and lower weight.
14" Sette frame with Rockshox XC28 fork. I swapped the fork spring for the softest spring available (green spring). He's actually using a lot of the travel on the fork now and says he can feel how much smoother the bike is over the rocks.
Thompson Elite 50mm stem and $30(new) 600mm Carbon FSA flat bar from Ebay. 120g! This thing is light!
I also went with 140mm cranks. I originally sent the cranks from the doner bike to Mark at BikeSmith Design and Fabrication. He ended up messing up the cranks while shortening them so he sent me a brand new set of Sram S600 cranks. Thanks Mark!
Pics of build coming up after the break....
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Thread: Another Sette Build
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