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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm Kids 20inch MTB's

    So... Like a lot of you guys, I too am searching for a bike to build for my son. I want a 20" mtb to customize. After searching nearly 100 different brands I found a lot of worthy results. This way I can scour "search tempest" for all these different names. Before I was only looking for a hotrock.

    FELT - Q20-R & Q20-S
    Cannondale - TRAIL 6
    Specialized - Hotrock
    Kona - Shred 20 & Makena
    Fuji - DYNAMITE 20
    Scott - Spark, Contessa, Scale, Voltage
    Trek - MT 60
    Marin - HIDDEN CANYON
    GT - Zaskar & Aggressor
    Gary Fisher - Precaliber & Cosmo
    Haro - Flightline 20
    Giant - STP 125 & MTX 125
    KHS - Raptor
    Orbea - MX20 Dirt , MX20 XC, or MX20 Team
    K2 - Zed 20
    Kranked - Ripper 20 <----These look insane!
    Raleigh - Rowdy, Ivy
    Polygon - VANDER 20, RAPID 20, RELIC 20, CLEO 20
    CUBE - Kid 200
    Ghost - Powerkid 20
    Dawes - Lightning, Bullet, Redtail
    Opus - Bolt, Thomper, Doppler, Nix, and Thunder
    Isla - Beinn 20
    MEC - Dash 20"
    Last edited by Jordan300; 09-01-2013 at 03:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Curious...did you rule out Opus and Islabike as options? If so, why? (Only ask because I am considering these 2 along with several others in your list)

  3. #3
    Havok
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxhead View Post
    Curious...did you rule out Opus and Islabike as options? If so, why? (Only ask because I am considering these 2 along with several others in your list)
    Nope, just missed those. Just added them.

  4. #4
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    I recently bought a Marin Hidden Canyon--it seems fine, and it's been upgraded with disc brakes, click shifters, and quick release. I love it, but...
    I also bought an old Hotrock, which is 1/7 vs the 2/7 Hidden Canyon. It's an older hotrock, so it's also a solid front fork--it's lighter, and after a quick tune-up, much smoother and faster than the Hidden Canyon. I'll post pics soon (since I want to ID the year), but the old Hotrock is very smooth! In general, it seems like a used hotrock is easy to find and good, safe bet. Good luck!

  5. #5
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    I can address how the K2 Zed compares with the Hotrock. My daughter has the K2 (actually a Stormy - which is just the Zed in girls colors), and a friend of hers at school rides a Hotrock, so I was able to examine the two side-by-side.

    The components are virtually identical. They both had the same Suntour fork, derailleur, shifter, handlebar, cranks, and so on. One difference was that the K2 has a 7-speed freewheel, while the Hotrock was 6-speed (though I understand the older Hotrocks are 7-speed). The Hotrock frame is probably lighter. They're both the same 6061 aluminum, but the K2 has a wider, oval shaped downtube that probably adds some needless weight. They seem to feel pretty close weightwise though, but I didn't weigh them on a scale or anything.

    It is upgradeable. On my daughter's bike we changed the brakes to Avid calipers and levers, changed the twist shifter for triggers (my daughter didn't have enough hand strength to downshift with the twister), replaced the gas-pipe handlebar and stem with aluminum, new grips, lighter tires and tubes, and Jagwire cables all around.

    We went with the K2 because my daughter didn't like the colors of the Hotrock, but the K2 was in purple. Very important.
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  6. #6
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    my son is currently riding a 20" Raleigh (older bike) ... 6 gears in back. He's doing great, but it seems like the gear on the crankset could be a little smaller. It looks like all of the 20" bikes are going with a 32 tooth up front. Anyone know why they decide to go so big?

    Going up to a 24" bike gives a front derail with a smaller granny gear, but that's a lot of bike for my 6 year old!

  7. #7
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    I upgraded my daughters Shred 2.0 with new trigger shifter, rd and freewheel. The shimano Mega range gives her a really nice low gear.
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  8. #8
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    Nice! Is tough getting into that mega low gear?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vxc961 View Post
    Nice! Is tough getting into that mega low gear?
    She doesn't have any problem with it.
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  10. #10
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    I'm in the same boat,
    one thing I noted: unless your kid is strong, or doing really aggressive or rough trails the suspension fork adds a significant weight penalty.
    There are a few notable units with rigid forks I would consider very acceptable, In Canada two are Norco brand, and the Ilsabikes Beinn at 17lb.
    Stripping the front derailleur and running 1x is my other must, and at least half this list has 2 or 3 gears up front.
    Alloy cranks are a toss up, i won't insist on them but they really help the weight.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by roobydoo View Post
    I'm in the same boat,
    one thing I noted: unless your kid is strong, or doing really aggressive or rough trails the suspension fork adds a significant weight penalty.
    There are a few notable units with rigid forks I would consider very acceptable, In Canada two are Norco brand, and the Ilsabikes Beinn at 17lb.
    Stripping the front derailleur and running 1x is my other must, and at least half this list has 2 or 3 gears up front.
    Alloy cranks are a toss up, i won't insist on them but they really help the weight.

    I added an air fork, saved weight and functions very well. Really helps on jumps.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I added an air fork, saved weight and functions very well. Really helps on jumps.
    I assume you lowered a quality 26" fork? if not, what air fork in this 20-24" did you find?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by roobydoo View Post
    I assume you lowered a quality 26" fork? if not, what air fork in this 20-24" did you find?
    RST makes a nice 24" fork - F1RST. Put one on my sons Giant. It's light too.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by roobydoo View Post
    I assume you lowered a quality 26" fork? if not, what air fork in this 20-24" did you find?
    Spinner I bought from a member on here. He imported a bunch of them. He even had 20 inch air forks. Need to check with him if he has any left.
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  15. #15
    Havok
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    I'm in Florida and I have been searching for months now. Still not able to find a suitable frame to start with.

  16. #16
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    Ah yes, I know about the shredders, thanks.

    I should let him run in the kids races for a year first before committing to a quality unit.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by roobydoo View Post
    Ah yes, I know about the shredders, thanks.

    I should let him run in the kids races for a year first before committing to a quality unit.
    My point is that he sells 20 and 24 inch air forks or at least he had some, he imported 20 or 25 of each if I remember correctly.
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  18. #18
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    My 6 year old loves her Marin Hidden Canyon 20". Only upgrade needed for her age is disc brakes as she has a hard time squeezing the V brake hard enough to stop quickly or at all on steep grades (SoCal).

    I haven't put it to the scale but the new Hotrocks feel much heavier.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LB412 View Post
    My 6 year old loves her Marin Hidden Canyon 20". Only upgrade needed for her age is disc brakes as she has a hard time squeezing the V brake hard enough to stop quickly or at all on steep grades (SoCal). r.
    I agree. On long downhills, I find disc brakes are much more forgiving to tiny hands.

  20. #20
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    Thanks for making the list that we parents can reference while researching these 20" bikes.

    There is the MEC Dash 20" from MEC Canada. A light weight bike, with good bang for your buck components for $290:
    MEC Dash Bicycle (Kids') - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

    and the REI brand name (Novara) Duster & Pixie:
    Novara Duster 20'' 6-Speed Bike - 2013 at REI.com

    Right now, I am planning on buying a 20" bike, and then purchasing the Spinner Grind 1 (Air fork) to replace the cheap spring fork that is found on majority of these bikes. I narrowed it down to 3 choices and wanted to get some feed back.

    Local, there is a used Marin Hidden Canyon frame with all the components of a Rocky Mountain Edge for $275.

    LBS has a Opus Thumper on sale for $340. (With BC tax that would be $381)

    and I really fancy the MEC Dash with how light weight it is, and the if it doesn't work for some odd reason with the kiddo, MEC offers the guarantee return policy. $290 and $325, but will have to travel (but we plan to travel to Vancouver for other reasons in the future.)

    Thanks,

    Chris

  21. #21
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    Hi there and sorry for questioning the rationale of a suspension fork. The kid on a bike with 20" wheels is likely going to be between 5 and 8 years of age. At that age, all the kids I know are still learning the ropes, i.e. balancing, pedalling, braking, shifting, dealing with traffic, different surfaces and terrain. There are very few kids (none that I have ever seen) that actually get any use out of a suspension fork at that age. As a rigid fork is lighter, I am certain that for 95% of all kids a rigid fork is preferable.

    Of course, if you and the kid go DH or ride single tracks a lot, it might be a different story, but please ask yourself how much serious DH or single tracks that kid / the bike is going to see. NB: Even for single tracks, I'd doubt the benefits of a suspension fork for a young child. I tend to value their ability to climb uphill much more and shaving off the unnecessary grams of a suspension fork helps with that imho.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jplonks View Post
    Hi there and sorry for questioning the rationale of a suspension fork. The kid on a bike with 20" wheels is likely going to be between 5 and 8 years of age. At that age, all the kids I know are still learning the ropes, i.e. balancing, pedalling, braking, shifting, dealing with traffic, different surfaces and terrain. There are very few kids (none that I have ever seen) that actually get any use out of a suspension fork at that age. As a rigid fork is lighter, I am certain that for 95% of all kids a rigid fork is preferable.

    Of course, if you and the kid go DH or ride single tracks a lot, it might be a different story, but please ask yourself how much serious DH or single tracks that kid / the bike is going to see. NB: Even for single tracks, I'd doubt the benefits of a suspension fork for a young child. I tend to value their ability to climb uphill much more and shaving off the unnecessary grams of a suspension fork helps with that imho.
    By the time my son was riding his 20 inch bike he was launching off one of those black skateboard ramps you see around, so yea his fork was used everyday.
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  23. #23
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    I have put a lot of thought regarding the front suspension. I see the benefits of the rigid fork with light weight and teach them to control the front, etc. But, 100% of her crashes on her 16" rigid fork/bike, have been hitting a 4-6" rock on the trail, causing her tire to turn sideways to 90, thus, she goes over the handle bars. With ever crash, she loses confidences and the drive/motivation to bike. My goal is for her not to become the best biker, but for her to enjoy biking to the fullest. If it means that we can bike for 1 hour more because she is having fun, not getting tired or frustrated, then the suspension fork was worth it. IMO.

    My questions was aimed at the bike frames and the components and getting opinions with cost, weight and quality.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmgraves View Post
    I have put a lot of thought regarding the front suspension. I see the benefits of the rigid fork with light weight and teach them to control the front, etc. But, 100% of her crashes on her 16" rigid fork/bike, have been hitting a 4-6" rock on the trail, causing her tire to turn sideways to 90, thus, she goes over the handle bars. With ever crash, she loses confidences and the drive/motivation to bike. My goal is for her not to become the best biker, but for her to enjoy biking to the fullest. If it means that we can bike for 1 hour more because she is having fun, not getting tired or frustrated, then the suspension fork was worth it. IMO.

    My questions was aimed at the bike frames and the components and getting opinions with cost, weight and quality.

    That MEC Dash looks like a great starting point if you're willing to upgrade, wish I had know about those 4 years ago.
    Nice thing about kids bike is you can find a ton of 'older' higher end stuff that is still an upgrade, but a good deal on EBay
    That's how I upgraded my son's 24 inch.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmgraves View Post
    I have put a lot of thought regarding the front suspension. I see the benefits of the rigid fork with light weight and teach them to control the front, etc. But, 100% of her crashes on her 16" rigid fork/bike, have been hitting a 4-6" rock on the trail, causing her tire to turn sideways to 90, thus, she goes over the handle bars. With ever crash, she loses confidences and the drive/motivation to bike. My goal is for her not to become the best biker, but for her to enjoy biking to the fullest. If it means that we can bike for 1 hour more because she is having fun, not getting tired or frustrated, then the suspension fork was worth it. IMO.

    My questions was aimed at the bike frames and the components and getting opinions with cost, weight and quality.
    If you are riding trails, I agree, a suspension fork/bike is a huge advantage. It doesn't matter if the rider is 5 or 45, riding with suspension that works is more more fun.

    A Spinner Air 20" will save about .5 lbs over the stock forks on a kid's bike and will increase performance. Probably other parts can save more weight per dollar, but it is certainly an upgrade worth considering if you have made the other obvious changes.

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