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  1. #1
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    Bought used 24" hotrock for my daughter, what should I do to it during off season?

    Background:

    Bike:
    Good shape, light use, $100 off craigs list
    Has 1x7 drive train
    Has front suspension

    Me:
    Decent mechanical skills, work on my bikes
    Haven't done a frame up bike build before

    Daughter:
    7 years old and tall
    has a 20" single speed bike for probably another year
    likes riding on MTB trails with me

    What should I do to the bike to get it ready for her? I don't want to spend more than $200 on parts, but improving it a little sounds fun.

    I'm not really interested in wheel sets, but I would be interested in brakes, controls, stem and handle bar, seat post, cranks, tires, fork improvement?

    What if anything can I do to improve the stock suspension fork, or is swapping it for a lightweight rigid an option?

    Chad

  2. #2
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    I would suggest starting by stripping the parts off the frame, then weigh them each on a postage or kitchen scale to figure out which of them would provide most most cost effective weight savings if you were to replace. Good lightweight tires are probably also one of the best areas to spend $$.

  3. #3
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    There are two big areas of weight, the tons of little areas. The stock fork and wheels are insanely heavy and the big areas, but this is not cheap. On the little stuff, you can start shaving off weight quick. The stock bars are crazy heavy. Even the most basic aluminum bars will save you 75-100g. Seat post and seat is another easy one. The cranks are heavy, but a replacement is not cheap. You can keep the crank and drop 75g on the bottom bracket moving to a sinz expert, if you can find one.

    There are several builds with weight comparison part by part. Do some research first. I also suggest getting good at shopping the clearance bin or used parts bin at your local shop. That guy swapping out super light 620mm bars to go to wider bars is your best friend.
    Just Ride!

  4. #4
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    Shimano Mega range freewheel. Give her a nice low gear for climbing hills.
    Weigh the tires, usually a good place to lose weight.
    I searched ebay for used XT RD and Shifter.
    Depending on the cranks, I paid $50 to my daughters shortened to a proper length.
    I also just kept an eye for used carbon bars, careful on ebay, plenty of fakes on there.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  5. #5
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
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    I built my son a 1 x 10 24" hardtail from a 60 dollar Craigslist Gary Fisher.
    it actually ended up being a 9 speed since I had to lock out the 11 tooth cog. The short chainstays didn't allow for the full range.
    I used Shimano hubs, Sun Ringle Rhyno Lite rims, X7 shifter and derailleur, XT cassette, Sinz Cranks, Salsa 34 tooth chainring and Avid Elixr brakes.
    Bike was great from 7-9. He's outgrowing it now and we're building a 15" 26er.
    I used a stem,seatpost and bars from Ebay. Everything I replaced on that bike was lighter than the parts that came on it.
    I like turtles

  6. #6
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    Replace grip shifter with trigger
    Put a triple up front
    All 24" forks suck, so just keep yours

  7. #7
    try driving your car less
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    If you are a normal person and do not want to spend tons of time on this:
    1. go around with a magnet and check for steel bars/stem/post. if steel, swap them out.
    2. Find a local classifieds for real mtbers and ask for someone's old carbon narrow flat bars. I bought some on ebay for $20 shipped.
    3. get a carbon post, you can get a road post for a 8 YO. I paid less than $20 shipped on the bay.
    4. get a shorter stem, like 60mm. again, ebay is your friend. $10 shipped from china I got something new.
    5. remove kickstand
    6. adjust brake levers in closer to the grips (if they are adjustable), if not, invest in some new levers. makes a huge difference to be able to actually reach them.
    7. general tuneup.
    8. you might be able to remove the spring from one leg of the fork to make it actually move under her weight. also lube the stanchions liberally with something good and thin.
    that is the cheap, low-hanging fruit.

    have her ride it for a while.

    if she digs it, spend some money on a nice XS 26" wheeled bike like a santa cruz juliana that she will ride for a while.

    that is my plan, with the exception of purchasing a 24" wheel air fork for close to $200 by the time it was said and done, but only after having my son do a bunch of riding on the stock fork.
    Only boring people get bored.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrier View Post
    Replace grip shifter with trigger
    Put a triple up front
    All 24" forks suck, so just keep yours
    Not true, the 24 inch air fork I have on my son's is nice, much better than the coil/elastomer ones out there.
    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  9. #9
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    How much was it?

    My comment is that a kid uses a 24" bike for an incredibly short time, so there is little market for good products at a reasonable price.

    To put it in perspective, a Marin 24" bike (21 speed, canti brakes, front suspension) is only $100 more than an Electra Hawaii (tank, single speed, coaster brake).

    Yes, there are great 24" bikes like the Scott, but mostly it is a barren wasteland for parts, hence the comments about how to mod a 26" fork for 24". Do a search for 24" fork and you won't find much. And search for a short triple and you will find Sugino that costs as much as the bike or stuff built for recumbents. I had to replace a front triple and the only place I could find a suntour (steel, crappy) part was amazon.uk!

    I bought a replacement fork for for my daughter because she did a custom, powder-coated build (not light, but very cool), and I had to buy it through my local Marin bikes retailer in SF - it was 1/2 of the budget for the entire rebuild.

    I am a "normal" person, and I want a bike that shifts well and fits well for my kid. I am not going to buy a $300 shock for a $250 bike that will be used for 24 months. However, I do spend $300 on lacrosse gear for my son, so I could totally see "overspending" if my son or daughter were a rabid rider or wanted to compete.

    But 24" is really a barren wasteland relative to virtually every other segment of bikes. It is a bit like the 7 1/2 size shoe. Ain't kids size, ain't adult size, just gets ignored.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harrier View Post
    How much was it?

    My comment is that a kid uses a 24" bike for an incredibly short time, so there is little market for good products at a reasonable price.

    To put it in perspective, a Marin 24" bike (21 speed, canti brakes, front suspension) is only $100 more than an Electra Hawaii (tank, single speed, coaster brake).

    Yes, there are great 24" bikes like the Scott, but mostly it is a barren wasteland for parts, hence the comments about how to mod a 26" fork for 24". Do a search for 24" fork and you won't find much. And search for a short triple and you will find Sugino that costs as much as the bike or stuff built for recumbents. I had to replace a front triple and the only place I could find a suntour (steel, crappy) part was amazon.uk!

    I bought a replacement fork for for my daughter because she did a custom, powder-coated build (not light, but very cool), and I had to buy it through my local Marin bikes retailer in SF - it was 1/2 of the budget for the entire rebuild.

    I am a "normal" person, and I want a bike that shifts well and fits well for my kid. I am not going to buy a $300 shock for a $250 bike that will be used for 24 months. However, I do spend $300 on lacrosse gear for my son, so I could totally see "overspending" if my son or daughter were a rabid rider or wanted to compete.

    But 24" is really a barren wasteland relative to virtually every other segment of bikes. It is a bit like the 7 1/2 size shoe. Ain't kids size, ain't adult size, just gets ignored.
    Parents have to do what they think is right. I personally disagree with the rush to 26ers. I ride a 29er now, but learned my skills on a BMX bike and then 26ers. I will keep my son on a 24 until it absolutely doesn't fit anymore. I think kids will learns skills faster and easier on smaller bikes.

    This is what I put together for my son, he'll be on it for a few years min. Wish this was out when I bought the Marin Race 24 Boy's
    2013 Marin Bayview Trail SE


    13 Lenz Lunchbox punkass

  11. #11
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    For me, off-the-shelf 24" suspension forks (lightest start around 1600gr) are too heavy for a kid build. I am very satisfied with the weight, performance and low cost of the older manitou spyder 26" fork that I shortened for my daughters 24" bike, details at;
    24" air fork

    I have also converted an older tomac era Manitou fork and a Rockshock Mag21 into lightweight kids forks; Novara Pixie 20" project

    If you dont want to mess with a 24" suspension fork conversion another good option is to use a rigid 24" fork. Few rigid 24" forks exist with front brake mounts but I recently found this echo trials fork that does take V and disk brakes and is reasonably lightweight and affordable; Echo Urban 24" Fork - at WebCyclery|WebSkis|Bend, Oregon saves nearly 2 pounds of weight compared to OEM 24" suspension forks!

    Drilling, tapping and shortening an 175mm MTB crank down to kid length is not terribly difficult and can be very cheap conversion for getting an older crank setup for kid use.

  12. #12
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    Cool!

  13. #13
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    Thanks for all the replies. It is getting almost time to start thinking about biking (0 degrees and 6" if snow on the ground)

    chad

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