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  1. #1
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    Hotrock 16 Upgrade Advice

    I just picked up a 2012 Hotrock 16 and looking for some upgrade advice. Most of the upgrade advice I have come accross on the forum is for the larger 20" Hotrocks. My son is only 3 (~41" tall w/ 16.5" inseam) so he just barely fits on the bike. What are some mods to make it lighter and more comfortable for him to ride?

    I have the seat almost at its lowest setting so he can stand up if necessary. He just came from a Hotwalk balance bike so he has the balance thing down, but pedaling on anything except downhill or very flat is a problem.

    I was considering a Crupi mini padded seat/seatpost combo and maybe a set of Crupi Mini 2" or 3" aluminum bars to bring him down lower and lighten the bike up a bit. I know the back wheel is heavy with the coaster and steel axles, but he little fingers probably can't reach hand brakes yet so re-lacing the rims with a freewheel and lighter hub might not work yet.

    What about the cranks? They seem really short, but like I said he just barely fits on the bike and the seat is low so I am not sure something longer like a Sinz 115mm crank would work yet. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Spend your time and money building up a 20 inch 7 speed. Our kids blasted through the 16 inch bike frame pretty quick. They also don't roll over and obstacles that well. Anything you can find lighter that fits is great. We did put a hand brake on the 16" so he could be like the big kids.

    The 20" shocks are junk but can be over hauled to decent. Spend the coin on one of the lightest frames possible.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image, NOT YOURS.

    Speed just slows me down...

  3. #3
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    Yeah, he barely fits on the 16" so he will probably have it for a year before we upgrade him to the 20". In the meantime I am just looking for easy inexpensive options to lighten up his Hotrock and make it a little more comfortable for him.

  4. #4
    scn
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    Regarding cranks, I think it would be a good idea to use the stock (or at least stock length) cranks for a while until he can figure out pedaling and also keeping the cranks level in turns and over obstacles. We had a recent bike change for my son and he is now using 115 mm cranks on a 16-inch bike and he has been catching them more, even with close to 2 years pedaling experience. On the 12-inch hot rock he started with at the beginning he would occasionally catch a pedal on the inside and almost high side. That was mostly at greater lean angles, and he figured it out pretty quickly.

  5. #5
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    I spent $80 total on upgrades for my daughters hotrock 16 first I put hand bakes($20 a piece) on and then once she was stopping with those primarily, and e-braked her self OTB trying to level her pedals following me off a bigger root on a local trail. When she got up from her first OTB sh says" Dad I don't think I like those pedal brakes they messed me up" I had a free wheel rear wheel built for her($40). Those made a night and day difference in her riding and confidence, not to mention when she transitioned to her 20 shifting was the only new thing I had to teach her which I believe made her transition to her new bike way smoother.

    Good luck Mom's and Dad's out there and happy trails

  6. #6
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    The Hotrock already has a front brake installed, but his hands are still too small for the hand brake so I don't think that is an option yet. Hopefully he can start getting used to it as his hands get bigger.

    Anyone recommend a lower handlebar?

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    have dialed the reach set screw in all the way and he still can grab it?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crackhead_Willy View Post
    The Hotrock already has a front brake installed, but his hands are still too small for the hand brake so I don't think that is an option yet. Hopefully he can start getting used to it as his hands get bigger.

    Anyone recommend a lower handlebar?
    I used a Redline mini bar on this one, cheap and light. Hotrock 16 Trials Build

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIOM View Post
    I used a Redline mini bar on this one, cheap and light. Hotrock 16 Trials Build
    Not sure why I can't see the pics in your post. Maybe because it is an older post. What size Redline bar did you go with? It looks like you have a 20" fork according to your post so your Hotrock 16 is a probably a couple inches taller in the front. I want to lower the bars down some, but don't want to lower it too much since I will likely be raising the seat soon since my son is growing like a weed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowbeaverking View Post
    have dialed the reach set screw in all the way and he still can grab it?
    Yeah the reach screw is all the way in an it is still tough for him to grab it. Maybe there are smaller levers than the Tektro that was installed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crackhead_Willy View Post
    Not sure why I can't see the pics in your post. Maybe because it is an older post. What size Redline bar did you go with? It looks like you have a 20" fork according to your post so your Hotrock 16 is a probably a couple inches taller in the front. I want to lower the bars down some, but don't want to lower it too much since I will likely be raising the seat soon since my son is growing like a weed.
    Hi, no it's the standard 16" fork.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hotrock 16 Upgrade Advice-hotrock.jpg  


  12. #12
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    You can go out and buy a longer screw from your local hardware store to increase the amount of adjustement you have.

    I bought some cheapo brakes for a hotrock 16 when I first got it and am considering upgrading at this point and going to a freewheel. Couple questions, maybe you guys know the answers off the top of your head:

    What are the specs on the front sprocket? Interface type, bore size, teeth count?

    What do I need for a freewheel? Tooth count on the back?

    What bar width are you guys ending up with?

  13. #13
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    If you stay with 25.4 bars, carbon fiber bars are cheap and easy to score on the 'bay. Took a ton of weight of the front of my daughters 20" Hotrock. Still watching for a cheap 27.2 carbon seat post.

  14. #14
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    I would look at these cranks Parts Spawn Cycles for an upgrade. The 115mm Sinz cranks are a little long unless you put a longer fork on the bike to raise up the bottom bracket. You will as need a amercian to euro bottom bracket adapter as well as a euro bottom bracket. With the new cranks also comes new pedals with 9/16" spindles.

  15. #15
    GMF
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    I would consider swapping the front chainring for a smaller gear. The stock stuff is usually such a tall gear that it is just straight up difficult to ride. On my daughter's bike i dropped from, i believe, a 36t to i think a 24. She could actually ride something other than a downhill after that.

    And yeah, I swapped in an old flat bar.

    The 20" bike gets the mods, though...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIOM View Post
    Hi, no it's the standard 16" fork.
    How did you mont disk brakes to that bike? I have the same bike for my son and would love to do that set up. What kind of brakes are they and what did you have to do? How much $$$? Thanks Jeff

  17. #17
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    Hi Jeff

    The brakes are actually Clarks Exo Skeletal. I used these as their adjustment range is great and you can get the lever within 2cm of the bar, which is great for small hands. the brackets are made from 6mm aluminium.

    The rear I just cut with a jigsaw and filed/sanded, the front I cut then had welded on. All told it cost me about 75 (the brakes are on offer at CRC for 50 complete for the pair including discs!).

    Of course you need hubs which will accept discs. I got a pair of wheel from Oset for 50 and sold the other wheels to offset costs.

    If you want any templates or anything let me know. The rear is easy, the front is easy as well, as long as you have a friendly welder nearby!

    Once done the bike is transformed, with proper working brakes, which of course is important for skids and stoppies!!

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