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  1. #1
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    Does anyone else find that Specialized Hotrock bikes have a really long wheelbase?

    I went riding this morning with my 10 y.o. son who has transitioning from a Marin Hidden Canyon with 20" wheels to a 24" Specialized Hotrock which he is riding until the 24" Cleary bike is available in September. He mentioned that he had a tougher time climbing and cornering on the Hotrock than he did on the Marin. It seems to me that the Hotrock is a little slow to turn into corners. I remember when we got the Marin that it was a lot shorter than the singlespeed 20" Hotrock that he rode for a while. He didn't like that at first since the longer Hotrock felt more stable, but quickly like the shorter Marin better since it was faster & more intuitive feeling on singletrack.

    Being curious, I checked out the specs for several bikes and indeed the wheelbase on the 20" Hotrock is about 1.8 inches longer than that of a 20" Marin kids bike and almost 3" longer than that of a 20" Cleary bike.

    Any thoughts/experience on how a kids bike with a longer wheelbase handles/climbs vs one with a shorter wheelbase? My son seemed a lot quicker and agile on singletrack on his Marin. The 20" Hotrock seems more difficult to handle/corner. I'll be curious to see how he likes the 24" Cleary.
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  2. #2
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    I agree, the Hotrocks have a very long chain stay. It was very noticeable on the 20" model so we went for a Trailcraft 24" for my youngest when he outgrew the Hotrock 20". I have been looking at the Camber Grom for my oldest but that one is even worse, since the chain stays support 24" and 26" wheels. We were lucky to find an Enduro SX with 26" wheels for him and he now even rips down the red trails in bikeparks! I'm very glad I didn't go for the Camber Grom.

    Kind regards,

    Clemens

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the feedback. I'm wondering if bikes with shorter wheelbases and chainstays feel better to kids that are better bike handlers? The Hotrock 20 that we had was stable for sure, but perhaps slow steering bikes start feeling sluggish to kids who learn how to really work a bike. I remember that riding my first sloping top tube Kona hardtail in the mid-90s with its quick and precise handling was a revelation for me.
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  4. #4
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    The longer wheelbase bikes are maybe safer on normal roads but if you learn your kids to ride small drops, they have a very hard time getting the weight far enough behind the bike so they risk OTB's sooner than on a shorter bike. When my oldest son went from the Hotrock 20 to the Kona Kula 24, he immediately noticed that it was shorter and easier to do wheelies on. He definitely likes the shorter bikes better.

    Kind regards,

    Clemens

  5. #5
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    I have 2 riding kids, 8 and 11. The 11 year old is pretty aggressive, while the 8 year old is decidedly not.

    The nimble short stays would be great for the aggressive 11 year old (he is on 26 whit short stays now) and the more stable longer stays is much better for my more timid 8 year old.

    The more stable bike, IMHO, is a great confidence building platform, and the Hot Rocks nail it there. After the kid gains experience and confidence, then they can better handle a more agile bike.

    P

  6. #6
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    Kids 20" & 24" Bike Geometry

    So interesting to hear both of your comments. My younger son moves like Messi on tight singletrack, but after getting on a Hotrock 24 this summer, he was like Mr. Magoo in the corners. The Hotrock does look very long when he is riding the bike

    Out of curiosity, I just did some research on kids' 20" & 24" bike geometry. Specialized does indeed have very long wheelbase frames. It seems like the "enthusiast" brands offer frames with especially short wheelbases. Does anyone else find that Specialized Hotrock bikes have a really long wheelbase?-cleary-vs-competitor-bike-geometry-comparison.jpg
    Last edited by Spectre; 07-21-2015 at 01:33 PM.
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  7. #7
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    The Cleary 24" has a 900mm wheelbase. We couldn't resist taking it out on some singletrack in Marin and it handled very nicely under its 170 lb (adult, sort of) rider.

  8. #8
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    I'm getting a ride in as well when my son gets his Cleary 24!
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  9. #9
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    I just checked out website and they don't show a 24 inch bike?

  10. #10
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    Wow. Just checked out the trailcraft. Sweet bikes. But can't imagine buying a 1600 dolls bike for my 6 year old!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek200 View Post
    I just checked out website and they don't show a 24 inch bike?
    The Cleary 24 is coming in September.
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  12. #12
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    What will price of the cleary 24

  13. #13
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    And does the cleary 24 have suspension fork or rigid? That titanium trailcraft looks sweet!!

  14. #14
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    Great to read Cleary is releasing ther 24" in Sept. I was hoping they would release it this spring. I was planning on getting 2 of them for my kids. But I now I have bikes for them. IT would have to be a really go price to buy new ones one for the year or 2 they have left on a 24". Any chance Cleary will build a 26" kids bike in the next couple years? Now that 27.5 is the norm for small bikes, I see that the 26er is relegated to cheap kids bikes and good new bikes are hard to find.

    Anyway, one of my kids has the Hotrock 24 and the other has a Raleigh Mtn Scout 24. The Specs online on the Scout are inaccuarte, but mesuring int myself it is about 10mm shorter than the Hotrock. I weight about 150lbs so I have no concerns jumping on the kids bike to test them. That 10mm difference in chaingstays is huge. The Raleigh is much quicker and can pull wheelies much easier. However, the rest of the bikes geometry and components the Hotrock is better. The Raleigh was speced with a 165 mm crank the Hotrock has a more respectable 152mm. I put a shorter 152mm crank on the Raleigh, but since the BB is designed for a 165mm crank the seat has to be pretty high to get a proper fit. On the other hand the breakover angle is amazing and he will never get pedal strikes.

  15. #15
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    Just to add to this, I found that the 16" hot rock was also fairly long, but was a great bike for both my son and daughter at that age to help build confidence. My son is now on a shorter chainstay 20" bike which my daughter had for a while and now she has moved on to a 24" bike. Honestly, the move from 20 to 24 dwarfs any variation among 20" chainstays! It has taken her a while to get used to how radically different a 24" rides and handles. That said, I cannot imagine having anything long than what she has in the 24" size.

  16. #16
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    Not to sound like that guy, but it's why I've been preaching about Marin bikes. Until the recent crop of new bikes for kids, it had the shortest chainstays and WB for a 24'' bike.

    I keep readin how kids can't tell a difference and disagree. My son notice right away when he rode his sisters new Race 24, which has long CS and WB.
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  17. #17
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    How did he feel on his sister's Race 24 vs his Marin?

    The 20" Marin was a great bike for my younger son. He was impressively smooth through tight singletrack on that bike. We're stuck with the Specialized for now until the Cleary 24 comes out in Sept.

    First world problems, indeed!
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  18. #18
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    Anyone know what price the cleary will be?

  19. #19
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    The price has not been released yet.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    How did he feel on his sister's Race 24 vs his Marin?

    The 20" Marin was a great bike for my younger son. He was impressively smooth through tight singletrack on that bike. We're stuck with the Specialized for now until the Cleary 24 comes out in Sept.

    First world problems, indeed!
    He noticed it right away and didn't like it. That's why when I read a post on kids not going to know the difference, I call BS.

    All he knew was that is was a 24'' bike like his, but he had a harder time getting the front wheel off the ground and didn't like the way it felt jumping. He rode it for a little while then literally just asked if hers was bigger than his.
    Last edited by TwoTone; 08-03-2015 at 09:09 AM.
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  21. #21
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    Interesting, my son found that he really has to work to get the Specialized to go around corners while the Marin was "point-and-shoot"
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Interesting, my son found that he really has to work to get the Specialized to go around corners while the Marin was "point-and-shoot"
    I take my son on tight single track and he has no issues turning his hotrock 24 bike. but at 7 he has been taught from day one the proper way to brake and lean his bike into turns. they are not terrible handling bikes but could be better with shorter stays.
    Last edited by Rakuman; 07-30-2015 at 06:14 PM.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rakuman View Post
    I take my son on tight single track and he has no issues turning his hotrock 24 bike. but at 7 he has been taught from day one the proper way to brake and lean his bike into turns. they are not terrible handling bikes but could be better with shorter stays.

    Attachment 1005481
    No one said they were and my son wouldn't have a hard time riding his sisters bike, but he does notice a difference and I bet you if your son rode a Marin 24'' he'd notice as well.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
    Interesting, my son found that he really has to work to get the Specialized to go around corners while the Marin was "point-and-shoot"
    Just saying hence my post! Im sure a bike with shorter stays would corner tighter for sure but the hot rock doesnt seem to be a problem in the corners or the climbs at least in my opinion by watching my sons riding
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  25. #25
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    Hey Derek, I don't know the price of the new Cleary 24 yet either but was curious as to your thoughts on what might be an acceptable price range for the new Cleary 24. I am curious because I see the Trailcraft bikes are priced at $1700 which seems like a lot for a kids' bike though they do look really nice.
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  26. #26
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    For me. Anything over 450 is way too much. I bought my other kids specialized bikes at various sizes and was able to sell them on Craigslist for great prices and get most of my money back.

    I was hoping it would be around 400 based on the price slope of their other bikes. Seems like each size went up 50 bucks or so?? So I think hat would put it in the 385 range. Haven't looked so may be off on the slope.

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