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  1. #1
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    Garasaki's Hot Rock 16 build

    Hi Everyone,

    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!!!

  2. #2
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    Awesome job. Mind sharing where you got the new parts? Looks like chainring, handlebars, seat, maybe headset?

  3. #3
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    Yeah you know that's a good question. I struggled finding a good source for parts.

    In the process of doing this, I thought "boy it'd be a good idea if MTBR had a sticky with places to get kids bike parts"

    I got most of it from https://www.jrbicycles.com/storefront/ . The shopping experience was OK there - no confirmation email, had to call them to find out they had a part out of stock, but the shipping, parts, and prices were great. I got the handlebars, chainring, brakes, and seat from there.

    I got a new headset from ebay. I was thinking of putting in one with sealed bearings, but accidentally purchased one with regular ball bearings. My bad. But the stocker always annoyed the heck out of me so since I had to take the cups out for painting, I wanted to put a new one in. THis one is better than stock for sure (WTB momentum).

    I also got grips from ebay. AME mini grips, at the recommendation of some on the forum. They are perfect for little hands, and they had bunches of color choices. I got them from ebay seller porkchopzz4, and it was a really good ebay transaction.

  4. #4
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    Nice one

  5. #5
    Havok
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    Really nice work. Does the 16" still have the kick brake?

  6. #6
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    Yep still has the coaster.

    Yesterday, both kids were asking to ride bikes again. Daughter took off all over the place on her own, I took the new 4 year old out on his new ride.

    He got the hang of pedaling pretty quickly, and before I knew it he was riding the entire length of our block by himself. He still tries to stop by putting his feet down and he dosen't quite get the coaster brake yet (meaning he applies it on accident often). He already gets a kick ut of skidding though *rolls eyes*

    If there were anything I'd change about the hotrock 16, it'd be adding V brake bosses. It is so difficult to set up a sidepull brake to work effectively for small hands with this bike.

    Unfortunately, the cost of a switch to disk brakes ends up being almost as much as the original MSRP of the bike! I can definitely see why other's have gone that route though.

  7. #7
    Havok
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    yeah, switching to disc brake required me to find the right bike to start with. I passed on several before I found one with disc tabs. It was tough, but hopefully once I'm done It'll have been worth the wait.

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