Like many other's, I've been inspired by the other Hotrock builds here and decided to do my own.
I bought a purple hotrock 16 for my daughter about 2 years ago (she was 5 at the time, I think) and bought a strider for my 2 year old son (at the time).
Well, 2 year old son was set to turn 4, was doing awesome on the strider and the seat was about maxed out for height. At the same time, the daughter never really developed an interest in riding, but she was starting to look awful cramped on her 16" bike (she's grown to a tallish 6.5 year old).
I started to develop a hand me down scheme.
Step 1 - Get a 20" bike for daughter. I keep an eye on the local CL for hotrocks so I knew I had a few possiblities. A few texts later, and I had this (for 75!). The only cleaning required was some garage gunk off the white handlebar.
This step has had an unexpected side effect. My daughter has a MUCH easier time riding the 20" bike. She loves it. She is now constantly asking to go ride. She's never once asked to ride the 16" bike. Wishing I had done this sooner
Another interesting note, one of the first things she said about her new bike, after her first ride, was "wow these brakes work a lot better" (the V brakes on the 20" vs the sidepull brakes on the 16"). It gives me hope she's got some real biking buried inside her somewhere!!
Step 2 - Make 16" hotrock less girly.
This was the starting point.
I wanted to showcase my son's favorite color, orange, make it masculine, and make it look like a different bike. I was especially inspired by chrisjmcqueen's build, which I thought had a really well done, clean look. I knew I wouldn't be doing much metal fabrication - just a paint and parts deal.
Ordered some parts, bought some spraypaint. Finished the orange bits with Testor Dullcote to give them a matte look. The frame paint job is bad - it flakes off like paper if you think about touching it, and I had a bunch of touchups done before I even had the frame assembled.
For those of you considering spraypainting a bike frame, I encourage you to do it - the results CAN be good. But make sure you don't rush it. And make sure you get a very good layer of clearcoat on and give it plenty of time to cure. My main problem was having to rush into assembly before the silver paint was properly topcoated. It was a good learning experience though, and this only has to last a year or two.
He was super excited when we gave it to him and he loved riding it. He didn't immediately pedal off into the distance - in fact he's a bit confused about the pedals at this point, but starting to get the hang of it.
It fits him nicely, although is probably just a smidge on the big side. He'll have plenty of time to grow into (and then out of...) it.
Here's a pic of the whole stable. I think this gives a very nice impression of the actual size difference between 12" strider, 16" hotrock, and 20" hotrock.
Thanks again to everyone for sharing their experience and knowledge regarding this little bikes. You can see how each build inspires others!!!
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Thread: Garasaki's Hot Rock 16 build