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  1. #1
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    Marin Hidden Canyon 20". Going to put XTR on it. (Now Complete! post #9)

    The other day I took my son for his first mtn bike ride on his BMX race bike. I thought I would just give it a try and see how things went. I geared it down to the lowest setting I had the gears for a 35/16 or 133" roll out. He usually races on 37/14 or 161" roll out. He did well for his first time but his tires were just too narrow for the slightly sandier areas. He sunk instantly. Also the gearing though low, was still not low enough on some parts. He also pretty much stood for the whole 6.5mile loop. We took a lot of breaks but I wanted to make the experience more enjoyable for him. So I started my search.



    I looked at the Specialized, Trek, GT, Performance and a few others. Come to find out there's nothing cool out there. I was going to get him a Scott Scale 20" but the 2011's are all sold out and it would be a while before the 2012's came in. I decided to get him the Marin Hidden Canyon 20"



    I was especially excited after I read that the other thread about the 20lb Marin that quasi888 did for his son and it was way too cool.

    The 20-pound Geared 20" Hardtail Project (Customized Marin Hidden Canyon)

    So I started my research on what it would take to get various types of parts and make them fit. I than realized that I had an old S-Works HT that I built but haven't ridden in 11 years. I built it with full XTR and it was just hanging on my wall doing nothing. So my first pass through the Marin Hidden Canyon looks like I'm going to keep the frame, fork and maybe seat. All of the other parts are going. Here's a pic of my SW HT. Still love the bike but would rather put it to use in other ways.



    The only parts I can't reuse off the SW HT are the hubs and cranks with the associated bits that go with them. Here's the current plan for a 1x8 build;

    Wheels - (new) Sun Envy Lite 36h, Shimano XT M775, dbl butted spokes.
    Brakes - XTR from my bike
    Levers - XTR from my bike
    Shifters - XTR from my bike
    Cassett - XTR from my bike, 8 spd. I have to verify it will fit the XT hub. If someone knows or has tried it, please chime in.
    Derailluers - XTR from my bike for the rear, Simple guide for the front
    Handlebars - Titec titanium from my bike but it's 1". I may get a newer 31.8mm bar.
    Stem - (new) probably a 70-75mm
    Grips - (new) tbd
    Tires - Stock Marin for right now
    Pedals - (new) Shimano PD-540M clipless
    Bottom Bracket - (new) Sinz Crmo or Titanium
    Cranks (new) Sinz 140mm
    Chainring - 34 or 35. I already have a lot of different sizes I could try to get the best ratios

    The above "new" parts add up to a little under $600. I got the Marin at Sports Chalet for $238 ($280 less additional 15% because the frame was scratched). In the end, he'll have a pretty nice bike for $850. Not bad for a bike with XTR.

    And just because I'm proud of my boy, here's another pic of him at the track.



    Thanks for reading. I'll post pics once I complete the bike. Should take me a couple of weeks to get the parts and have the rims built up. I also have to see if the parts I'm assuming fit actually fit.
    Last edited by stom_m3; 08-12-2011 at 10:31 PM. Reason: updated title

  2. #2
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    Thats awesome. Some will say too much money, but who wants their kid to have to ride a hooptie.

  3. #3
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    Nice. I'd do the same, if I had a bike lying around.

  4. #4
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    I had to lace a wheel to my old XT hub in order to give my son 8 gears. I also only used a single up front to reduce weight and cut down on confusion. I did almost exactly what you're planning with all the XT stuff of my old Cannondale.
    I like turtles

  5. #5
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    Thanks all!

    Nyrr496 - My hubs are 32 hole which is why I couldn't reuse them. What were yours and were you able to find a 32 hole rim? In my search, I was unsuccessful. thanks,

  6. #6
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    I used Velocity Aeroheats. Wish I could figure out how to post pics. I really love how my son's bike came out.
    I like turtles

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    I used Velocity Aeroheats. Wish I could figure out how to post pics. I really love how my son's bike came out.
    Thanks for the reply. I looked at the website and they do make a 32 spoke hole 20" rim. Of course now I have two options, My XTR hubs with Velocity Aeroheat AT rims and I would have to build them or new XT M775 (disc brake compatible) hubs with Sun Envy Lite rims and Pro Wheel Builders build them. I'm thinking about using PWB since I don't know how to build wheels but I may take on the challenge. Also, I can leverage the hubs to his next wheel with disc brakes.

    I would love to see how your son's bike came out. Use Photobucket and they will provide you direct links to put into your thread. It's easy if you do it once. The Photobucket website is user friendly too. I'm sure there are a lot more websites but I use that one. Thanks,

  8. #8
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    Thanks. I'll try it.
    I like turtles

  9. #9
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    Done!

    I was able to finish my son's bike today! I ended up taking a stock Marin, scrapping all but the frame, fork, headset, stem, seat. I modified the front fork and increased the front travel from 40mm to 60mm. Easy modification by cutting down a bumper. I also whacked about 2" off the steerer tube. He doesn't like the seat so I'll probably change the seat and cut the seat post down a bit from the 400mm length. Here's how the build ended up;

    Frame - Marin Hidden Canyon
    Fork - SR 60mm travel (increased from 40mm by modifying bumper and cut steerer down)
    Seat - Stock
    Rims - Sun Envy Lite
    Spokes/Nipple - Sapim Dbl Butted and Gold Alloy Nipples
    Hubs - XT 36h
    Brakes - XTR (resuse)
    Levers - XTR (resuse)
    Cassette - 12-32 XTR (resuse)
    Shifter Front - None
    Shifter Rear - XTR (resuse)
    Front Derailleur - XTR (reuse) using as chain guide
    Rear Derailleur - XTR (reuse)
    Handlebar - Titec Titanium (reuse)
    Stem - Marin
    Grips - Sette
    Tires - IRC Siren 20x1.75
    Pedals - Shimano PD-M540
    Cranks - Sinz 140mm
    Bottom Bracket - Sinz Ti 113mm (should have bought 108mm)
    Chainring - MCS 35t
    Chain - Shimano 8spd (reuse)
    Seat Post - Kalloy 27.2mm (reuse)

    Finished project!


    Sun Envy Lite w/ XT hubs.


    Putting the brakes, bars, derailleurs on.


    Getting ready for the final adjustments.


    Now to take him out for his first ride before he goes to football practice!

  10. #10
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    Don't keep us waiting!

    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    I was able to finish my son's bike today! I ended up taking a stock Marin, scrapping all but the frame, fork, headset, stem, seat.
    Well, what's it weigh?

  11. #11
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    Really nice job. What did taking the fork apart entail?

    My son is jumping his and actually just yesterday complained that he was bottoming out the fork.

    Why do you feel a 108 BB would have been better?
    Tantrum incoming
    Ibis Mojo 3
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Really nice job. What did taking the fork apart entail?

    My son is jumping his and actually just yesterday complained that he was bottoming out the fork.

    Why do you feel a 108 BB would have been better?
    The fork mod is very easy. You can read about how I modded it here;

    Increasing SR Suntour 40mm travel fork to 60mm

    Essentially remove the top cap and bottom screw out of the right fork leg, cut down the rubber grommet and reassemble.

    Took my son for his first outing on the new bike. He ended up using 44mm of the 60mm of fork travel available (after reviewing the dirt/clean line on the stanchion). Glad I did the mod. I still haven't drilled air holes in the fork yet and I might do that soon to get smoother action on the fork.

    As for the 108mm BB, it's to have better chain alignment. Right now with the chain line runs between the 2nd/3rd smallest cog. Going in 2.5mm (per side) would have the chain line running between the 3rd/4th smallest cog. The gearing is a 1x8 so I would like it to run between the 4th/5th cog. And also note, there's still plenty of room for pedal clearance and larger chain rings.

    Right now there's two ways I'm thinking about solving the chain line; Buy Redline cranks which have more seating depth or buy a 108mm BB and put the 113mm on his race bike. The bike does shift good so I may leave it. It just annoys me a little. I don't know if annoys me enough to buy more parts though.

    As for the weight, my LBS scale weighed it at 21.9lbs. Quasi888's Marin came in at 20.8lbs. I can account for most of the weight difference;
    - 1.75 vs 1.5 IRC Siren tires
    - Stem, I'm still using stock though that may change as I do have a Truvative Team 75mm, 31.8. and Bontrager Carbon Fiber bars.
    - Seat, I'm using the stock seat but will be changing to the Odysse JR just like Quasi888 did because my son's butt is too small for the relatively large seat. He can only sit on the front half because of leg extension.
    - Sinz vs Crupi cranks
    - Seat Post, I still have the full 400mm in the tube.
    - Front Derailleur, I'm using it as a chain guide though I may remove it based on today's ride. He doesn't seem to have a problem with the chain jumping off the front.

    Last thing, I'm glad he has the push/pull shifters as opposed to the twist shift. He bangs through gears without problems. And the twister seemed to take more effort for him. Hope that helps! It was great seeing him on the trail this morning. He was so stoked.
    Last edited by stom_m3; 08-13-2011 at 02:22 PM. Reason: more detail

  13. #13
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    Nice job.

  14. #14
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    Will you adopt me? LOL! Seriously, that's an amazing bike and you are a great dad. Someday your son will look back in life and realize just how lucky he is to have you.

  15. #15
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    Weights!

    I made a couple of small changes to the bike. I replaced the seat with a THE MTN-X saddle that I had. The saddle has a much narrower profile than the fatty that came with the Marin (width 4.75" vs 6.25"). Surprisingly the saddles weigh the same. I also swapped out my Titec Ti Handlebars and Marin Stem which I had to use as a combo because the Titec is 1". A friend at work gave me his Bontrager Race X Lite Carbon bars so I could use my Truvative 31.8mm Team Stylo stem. Not really a weight savings but it is a cool look with the carbon fiber. I also removed the front derailleur based on this weekend's ride. The bike didn't have a problem with chain slip at all. Last thing, I changed the Shimano 540 pedals with my old 747's. The new Shimano pedals don't go full loose like the old pedals. My son could release out of the 540's but not as positive and quick as I would like. Here's an updated pic of the changes.



    I also weighed parts on a gram scale. (MFR = manufacturer's claim, WW = Weight Weenies claim, Scale = what I weighed)



    My scale wouldn't go past 620g so I couldn't weigh wheels, frame, fork and the heavy Marin Kenda tire. From a weight savings perspective, you can save the most weight from wheels, tires, cranks and bottom bracket. Of course by the time you change out those, you might as well add better shifting and new brakes. I tried weighing the stock Marin Kenda tires but my scale hit 620 and errored out. They are HEAVY. You could potentially save a pound switching out tires alone. I still plan on cutting off a few inches of the Seat Post but I can't imagine it saving more than 50 grams.

    Other than that, I still plan on drilling an air hole in the fork to get better actuation but that's about it. Happy riding.
    Last edited by stom_m3; 08-16-2011 at 12:26 AM. Reason: Corrected to 747

  16. #16
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    More pics

    Here are some more pics of our latest outing. He actually dropped his chain 5-6 times after I took off the front derailleur so I put it back on and got a new chain. The previous chain was stretched too far and whenever he back pedaled the chain would skip off the larger rear cogs and bind. Surprisingly, I was unaware of how much help the front derailleur guided the chain on the extreme ends of the rear cogs as well. I put it back on and will see how the next ride goes. Here are the pics.





    The ruts and steepness are actually a lot bigger than they are portrayed in the picture.

  17. #17
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    a BBG bashguard with a n-gear jumpstop would work as well. Is use that configuration.

    Nice pictures, he looks very happy.

  18. #18
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    Storm, I just picked up a Hidden Canyon off Craigslist for my 6-y/o. It looks to be about a 2005 model (Al frame, 1-1/8" threadless headset). Without looking too closely, it looks like the rear frame spacing is 130mm. Is yours 130 and you forced a 135 hub in there, or is the newer bike 135?

    Thanks

  19. #19
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    I think I measured mine at 132mm but yes, I have to pull the rear stays apart when putting on the rear rim. It's not too hard but it doesnt just fall into place. Mine actually had too much paint in the dropouts such that, I had to file the paint out of the slot. It fits perfectly now.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    I think I measured mine at 132mm but yes, I have to pull the rear stays apart when putting on the rear rim. It's not too hard but it doesnt just fall into place. Mine actually had too much paint in the dropouts such that, I had to file the paint out of the slot. It fits perfectly now.
    Thanks for the info!

  21. #21
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    This is ultimately why we do what we do...

    Brain storming bike ideas for son = 3 hours
    Ordering parts = $$$
    Tearing apart my old mtn bike = 1 hour and lots of memories
    Anxiously awaiting ordered parts 1 week
    Building his new bike = 3 hours
    Sharing the experience = Priceless


  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    This is ultimately why we do what we do...

    Brain storming bike ideas for son = 3 hours
    Ordering parts = $$$
    Tearing apart my old mtn bike = 1 hour and lots of memories
    Anxiously awaiting ordered parts 1 week
    Building his new bike = 3 hours
    Sharing the experience = Priceless

    The adage "A picture is worth a thousand words comes to mind" with this picture.

    Frame it!

  23. #23
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    congrats! not only on the bike but on the resulting ride

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    Update

    I updated a few things on the Ryan's bike; added a BBG Superlight Bashguard, put the front derailleur back on, Kenda Small Block 8 tires, and more travel increase and spring mods to his forks.

    The combination of the BBG bashguard and the FD make chain jumping non-existent. He wore threw his Sette grips already so I'll be replacing them with Sinz Expert grips which is what he uses on his BMX bike. They are also decently lighter than the Sette's.

    I've also updated the weight chart with a few more parts.








  25. #25
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    so awesome! i have gotten a fisher 20" for my son, and i need to do that fork modification to increase travel and lower the force it takes to actually move the fork, as you did. other than that i am going to stay away from putting my XTR stuff on this bike for now. i will save my extra parts for when my son grows into his 24" wheel mtn bike (which will not be too far off). then his sister can ride the 20" fisher, and the other sister after that as they grow into it.

  26. #26
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    This is one hell of a thread, and really inspiring. I took the easy way out and got my son the Scott Scale Jr, but what you've created is really fantastic! The pictures are wonderful to see as well.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylinedrive View Post
    so awesome! i have gotten a fisher 20" for my son, and i need to do that fork modification to increase travel and lower the force it takes to actually move the fork, as you did. other than that i am going to stay away from putting my XTR stuff on this bike for now. i will save my extra parts for when my son grows into his 24" wheel mtn bike (which will not be too far off). then his sister can ride the 20" fisher, and the other sister after that as they grow into it.
    Thanks! Moving brakes is pretty easy as it should be plug and play. Moving the drive train could be a little more difficult as most likely you would need to build new wheels like I had to. You may be able to do it cheap if you only buy rims and spokes(~$100) but I didn't want to deal with lacing wheels and opted for building a new set of wheels.

    Quote Originally Posted by flipwils11 View Post
    This is one hell of a thread, and really inspiring. I took the easy way out and got my son the Scott Scale Jr, but what you've created is really fantastic! The pictures are wonderful to see as well.
    Thanks! It's been great to see my son learn the sport. For me, being able to share these types of experiences with him has been priceless.

  28. #28
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    Here's some video of Ryan hammering a pace @ Sycamore Canyon. I'm still working with him on gear selection, pace, looking ahead, coasting and brake modulation. So far he's doing awesome especially at 7 yrs old! The video doesn't really do justice to the climbs or rockiness but it's more than what it looks like.

    Ryan Sycamore #6 6 24 12 - YouTube

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    Will you adopt me? LOL! Seriously, that's an amazing bike and you are a great dad. Someday your son will look back in life and realize just how lucky he is to have you.
    I was going to say the same thing!!

  30. #30
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    Wow that is awesome. I wish i could do something like that for mine.

  31. #31
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    First new bike for the little guy.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Just bought my 6yr old a Marin Hidden Canyon 20".  Going to put XTR on it.-imag0579.jpg  

    _______________________________________________
    08 Intense 5.5

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    great Marin build

    I'm a newbee to this 20" customizing thing... i have an older 2008 marin and attempting the same although I seem to have a pedal to ground clearence problem... I installed 140mm AC mini le ahev siren sx IRC tires and have about 3 3/8" from ground to the center of the pedal hole...I you dont mind what do you have for pedal clearence...thinking maybe I can go with a 130mm crank and higher profile tire to gain an inch plus? any help is appreciated

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledz View Post
    I'm a newbee to this 20" customizing thing... i have an older 2008 marin and attempting the same although I seem to have a pedal to ground clearence problem... I installed 140mm AC mini le ahev siren sx IRC tires and have about 3 3/8" from ground to the center of the pedal hole...I you dont mind what do you have for pedal clearence...thinking maybe I can go with a 130mm crank and higher profile tire to gain an inch plus? any help is appreciated
    Sledz - I measured mine at about 3 3/4". On another thread, I commented that I don't recommend increasing the crank length beyond the 140mm based on how many pedal to ground strikes my son gets during his ride (about 5-10 strikes).

    Also, you can increase the pedal to ground distance, assuming your son doesn't have any stand over height issues, by trimming the Top Out Bumper in the fork. Check out post #17 of my SR fork mod. I cut the top out bumper 5/8" which increases the axel to crown the same amount and will increase your pedal to ground clearance.

    Increasing SR Suntour 40mm travel fork to 60mm

    Also, a bigger tire could buy another 1/4" or so.

    Hope that helps.

  34. #34
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    pedal to ground clearance

    thx stom.....noticed SINZ make a 115mm square taper crank... that may give another inch or 25mm shorter than the 140mmm I have... unsure if that effects his powerr at a young age.. today I tested and jsut on the street in 10 minutes 3 pedal to gound strikes and one sent him flying

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledz View Post
    thx stom.....noticed SINZ make a 115mm square taper crank... that may give another inch or 25mm shorter than the 140mmm I have... unsure if that effects his powerr at a young age.. today I tested and jsut on the street in 10 minutes 3 pedal to gound strikes and one sent him flying
    How tall is your son? His height will help you gauge the crank length.

    It sounds like he is having issues riding in the street and pedaling in a turn. And he's probably sitting down. Is that correct? If that is correct, you will need to teach him technique. On the street if he wants to pedal while cornering, he will need to stand up and sway his bike opposite the powered leg (imagine sprinting throwing your bike side to side). That is the only way he will be able to corner while pedaling.

    Or you can teach him to weight the outside pedal (down) while cornering.

    If you watched the videos I posted of my son on the trail, the only time my he had issues with pedal strikes is through rockier sections going straight but never while turning.

  36. #36
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    sweet thx for all the help again.....47" tall he is just transitoniong from his proline redline micro mini which has slightly over 51/2" pedal clearance and had 18" wheels.
    And yes... he is pedaling in circular strokes in a tight circle in the cul de sac with a heavy angle on the bike trying to go faster...he might think he's in a velodrome
    it's my fault we would do fast bike path rides with 80psi on the 18x1" bmx tires...

    I also noticed you went from the siren IRC to the Kenda block 8s..Im running a 20x1.5 rim with the siren IRC 20x1.5.... Does the Kenda have a higher tire profile, would a kenda 20x1.75 work well on my 20x 1.5 rim.... I run the Kendas on my Ellsworth Epiphany and love 'em

  37. #37
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    That bike is a hell of a job and your son is sooo cute on it. You almost make me sad because I am just 18 and therefore to young for kids )

    Congratulations!

  38. #38
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    Nice build. If you want to ditch the front derailer Paul Components makes a trick little adjustable chain guide that works great on the little frames. I have had it my boys hotrock with a profile mini crank and I have been very happy with it.

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    Stom,
    Are you satisfied with the 34/32 granny gear combination for your son? Does he ever seem to need something lower?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by tubored View Post
    Stom,
    Are you satisfied with the 34/32 granny gear combination for your son? Does he ever seem to need something lower?
    I'm actually running a 35t front sprocket on his bike. It seems to be close to ideal. Any hill that would require a lower gear, he would not be able to climb regardless. The difference between the 34 vs 35 is approx 3%.

    The following is a gearing chart for his bike;



    For reference, I run a 1x10 (36 tooth front sprocket) on my bike with the following gear inches. The columns jump around because the Stumpjumper uses a 24/38, the epic 26/39, epic EVO 36 and my old stumpjumper 22/32/44.



    Even on my lowest gear, his gearing is considerably lower. This should help you gauge what you may need for your son.

    I find that my son typically rides in gears 4-8 with 4th being used extensively. He'll use 1-2 on downhills but by that time he's already going +18mph. Hope that helps.

  41. #41
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    Bought the same Marin for my 7 year old Daughter same color. Took her to the local bike path to practice her cycling 101 skills,14 miles out 14 back at the end she wanted more did it again instructing her on always finding a happy gear so that she can always have something to spare. Its a heavy little bugger so I bought her a set of Maxxis Hookworm tires 66 Dollars put in 100 psi and this way she can hang with me on my Cross bike learn proper cadence, form and building her endurance level. We ride it every day and her Birthday is tom so I picked her up a Cygolite rechargeable helmet light 100 hours per charge, Pearlizumi cycling shorts, gloves, shirt and a Incredabell along with other essentials because when school starts here in the East Coast we will be heading out at dusk and coming back using the lights , right now im drafting her watching her tracking a straight line finding the right gear and concentrating shes not keen on the clipless pedals quite yet shes afraid of coming to a stop and forgetting to clip out..hmmm wonder if that ever happened to be before lol..30 years riding ? yes but its a lot worse at a 4 way with tons of traffic watching me fall over and pretend like I meant to do that...keep em loose, anyway my thinking is she will learn all the rules in a controlled environment on a heavy bike and when she outgrows this 20 ill buy a lighter 24 inch frame and all the time training on a heavier bike will pay off when shes introduced to a lighter frame more gears and better components. Time will tell..for now its safe fun and a great bonding experiance

  42. #42
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    So my 5yr old daughter is now big enough to fit my son's ol' "hand me down."

    Took her in the canyon for a 6 mile ride. She was a trooper!





    And of course, the obligatory frozen yogurt after a hard ride.



    I'm currently running my very old XTR 8spd (12-32t) in a 1x configuration. I'm thinking about putting on a no longer used SRAM X0 10 spd (11-36t). This should give her a little more range and it's currently just gathering dust. The only thing I don't like is the SRAM push-push vs. push-pull of Shimano. I think it's a lot more intuitive to use thumb finger than thumb thumb. That said, I think she will adapt fine. I guess it's another little project.

  43. #43
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    Became industrious this morning and decided to go ahead and put on the 10spd SRAM X0.

    The upside is that she adapted very quickly to the push-push methodology and the 10+ year newer components are much easier to shift. With the change, she gains an extra gear on the low side and closer ratio in the top 6 gears.


  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    The upside is that she adapted very quickly to the push-push methodology...
    That bikes looks amazing. Your daughter is wonderfully lucky. (And so is dad, I imagine).

  45. #45
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    My 11 year old is riding adult size bikes now. I miss building cool small bikes.
    I like turtles

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