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  1. #1
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    Cult CC12 vs Spawn Cycles vs Hotrock 12

    I want to start my son off with a quality, aluminum framed bike. I would prefer a freewheel hub, so the locally-available Hotrock 12 is less appealing to me than the have-to-buy-it-sight-unseen Cult CC12 or Spawn Gremlin.

    Does anyone have any experience comparing these bikes?

    The Cult is marketed as a BMX bike, and the Gremlin is marketed as a single speed mountain bike. What's the real difference? They are both single speed and look to have quite similar frame geometry.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    CJH
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcd308 View Post
    I want to start my son off with a quality, aluminum framed bike. I would prefer a freewheel hub, so the locally-available Hotrock 12 is less appealing to me than the have-to-buy-it-sight-unseen Cult CC12 or Spawn Gremlin.

    Does anyone have any experience comparing these bikes?

    The Cult is marketed as a BMX bike, and the Gremlin is marketed as a single speed mountain bike. What's the real difference? They are both single speed and look to have quite similar frame geometry.

    Thanks.
    My 4 and 5 year old sons share a Hotrock 16 and even though I haven't seen a Spawn bike I can tell you I would have much preferred to have purchased the 16" Banshee over the Hotrock 16. Just such a better build. Front and rear V brakes and the freehub would have been most important to me. Lighter fork, bars, stem, BB and cranks would have been great as well.

    Regarding BMX vs. SS MTB, they seem fairly similar, especially as you go down in wheel size. As far as the 16", 18" and 20" bikes I measured myself, it seemed like BMX bikes tended to have higher bottom brackets and longer cranks, I'm guessing for pedaling through banked turns and maintaining clearance. In the 12" size I'm guessing the differences are pretty trivial.

    I do think bottom bracket height and stand over clearance are very important when putting a kid on their first bike. My internet connection is very slow right now. Do you have detailed geometries for all three bikes?

  3. #3
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    My son tried to Cult a couple of months ago. He has a Hotrock 12. The bars seemed very wide and he was fairly wobbly on it - but it was just a very quick turn in the shop . This was a month or so before he turned three, he was probably a bit small for the bike but has been riding confidently for such a long time and could easily ride a Hotrock 16. Of course the Cult being a BMX is made for riding standing up which is fine for short spurts but not for trail rides. Also the gearing is 25t-9t.

    It was definitely lighter than the Hotrock 12, and IIIRC has a 3 piece crank? It is super bucks though at 349.99 ($571!) and you would probably have to replave the saddle and bars. When we got the Hotrock 12 we chose it because it was the only bike small enough. The Gremlin (or Islabike) I think would be the superior option.

  4. #4
    CJH
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    My internet connections is better this morning so I looked up the bikes.

    Geometry of all three bikes look similar but the CC12 has a 74* head tube angle compared to 71* and 72* on the Hotrock and Spawn respectively. My boys make some pretty tight turns on their Hotrock 16 so I'd worry the 74* HTA on the Cult might be twitchy.

    Also, if the seat can't be tilted to horizontal then you'd have to replace it and the post for extended seated riding. I looked at some kids BMX bikes and the saddle tilt was permanent.

    I assume since you're considering the Spawn you're not in the US? I'd also consider the Isla Bike. They don't make a 12" bike but their 14" does have V brakes and I assume a free hub.

    Another possibility is to get a coaster brake equipped bike that either already has V brakes or add V brakes with bolt on adaptors. Since your kid is just getting on a 12" bikes there is a chance you can use them on more than one bike which makes the cost more acceptable.

    Once your kid has the hand brakes mastered you can put a free hub on the bike or convert the coaster brake hub to a free coaster by removing the coaster brake pads and shimming the hub with washers or bushings. I haven't tried it myself but I understand it's pretty simple.

  5. #5
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    For what it is worth, my son's first pedal bike was a hotrock 12, he got it for his third birthday and by his 4th birthday he was too big for it, which is when we went to a Spawn Banshee.

    The timing was also good for going to hand brakes for him. He was never hampered by the coaster on the Hotrock 12 because we really stayed on pavement and gravel paths until he was 4.

    My point is, don't go crazy with the cost of the 12" unless your kid is shorter and can use it longer or unless you know you can sell it easy.
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  6. #6
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    I just ordered one of these for my son Islabikes Cnoc 14 ? lightweight first bike for kids age 3+
    12.4 pounds with brakes that fits his hands and not too pricy. unfortunately the picture is of the European version and the American one has a coaster brake and no rear v-brake.
    Don't argue with idiots...they will take you down to their level and beat you with experience

  7. #7
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    honestly the 12 inch bike whatever you can gt used, cheep or free.
    the are not in it vry long at all (less than 6 months between the balance bike and the 16 inch bike)
    now the 16 I bought a spawn. and I am seriously hoping to get more than 1 season / kid out of it.

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