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  1. #1
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    Lighter Bike for my 9 year old Daughter

    So my 9 year old daughter is pretty tall, like 4'8-4-9 and I tried her on a 24" bike and she was too big for it so I went with a 27.5" ladies extra small. I went with a Giant Tempt 5 I think is the model. She's riding trails with me, climbing like a machine, and overall I'm really having fun with her being out with me on the trails. Problem is that the bike is like a lead weight compared to my 29'er. It's got mechanical breaks, and a pretty low end spring front shock. I'm wondering if I can simply upgrade the bike frame with new brakes, wheels and shocks or should I start over with a lighter bike. I don't have unlimited budget, but i'm thinking for $650 I can replace the wheels and brakes. Then I'm not sure how much I'll spend on shocks. Should I just look at a new bike, upgrade this aluminum framed bike, or do nothing and let her lug this brick up the hills while I pedal casually next to her? I don't want her to get burned out on the sport. Any suggestions welcome.Lighter Bike for my 9 year old Daughter-phia-bike.jpg

  2. #2
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    I ride with my 9 year old all the time. She loves to ride with me. But what she enjoys even more is riding with me and some of her friends. Bring one or two of her friends. Pack a lunch, make a day of it. Also Im huge on safety but is the full face helmet completely necessary?


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  3. #3
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    she's new, and we have pretty rutty and rocky terrain. I'd rather be safe than sorry and it's really wasn't a big price difference on the helmet. She had her first decent wipe out last weekend and banged her face off the ground, so I was happy we had done it. Plus she digs how tough the whole look is.
    .

  4. #4
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    I would attack this a couple of different ways; fit and weight. Both of which will achieve higher confidence and fun. And, I agree with you about the full face helmet. My son wears his TLD 8-Ball full face just because he thinks it looks cool. I'm good with it. That said, Right now she looks like a hamster about to get in a truck. The cranks look way to long and the handlebars too wide. Has she been sized on the bike? I don't know what the crank size is but 155-160mm would be about right. I'd also check her reach. You might need to buy a shorter stem 45-60mm. I would also cut those trucker handlebars down if they haven't been already to 23". It's difficult to judge without seeing her sitting on the bike.

    After you get the right fit, some places to cut weight are wheels and that boat anchor fork. Unfortunately, neither are very cheap but building your own wheels can save some dough. Right now a good bang for the buck wheelset vs. weight are the Stan's Crest @ $650/set and 1500 grams. A decent set of tires will also save about 1/2lb per end.

    The fork is a little tougher as the negative spring won't be adjusted for her weight and 27.5" forks are heavy. Price point has a good price on a Rockshox Revelation RCT3 100mm travel but it's still 1800g's. But it's also over half off @ $350 (retail $780).

    There's a lot of other things you can do but costs will continue to climb. At the very least get the fit right. Also, ditch the tires for something lighter and better. Fit and tires will go a long way and possibly the most economical bang for buck thing to do.

    I'll be posting my new build soon which is similar to what XC71 did using a XS Chinese carbon frame. I'm shooting for a sub 20lb 26" HT for under $2k. Possibly you can get some ideas from that. Good luck.

  5. #5
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    Thanks. This is great feedback. Much appreciated.

  6. #6
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    Chinese carbon is the one of the more cost effective upgrades. I have a 26" hardtail carbon frame for when my daughter is ready. It weighs 2.5 and was about$400 shipped. My daughter is 4' 4" and is 7, but only weighs 49lbs so weight is critical.

    Carbon seapost is cheap and saves a ton of weight. Wheels are a huge weight area. Crests are good for their light weight.

    Another big area was the cranks. The stock cranks weighed 1.75kg. Replaced them with bombshell crx at 155mm and .75kg. So 2.2 lbs for 150

    I'm down to 22 lbs without changing the wheels

  7. #7
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    FF and goggles but no knee/shin/elbow pads seems kinda funny.
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  8. #8
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    Pads are next, but it's mainly just protecting the face and head. Goggles cause they were free and she likes looking tough

  9. #9
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    Last year I got my 11 year old son into riding as well. We went through the bike sizing dilemma as well. He ended up with a small 26” Full Suspension bike from BD. The bike appears solid but weights a ton, 36+ Lbs. Over the last year I have taken various used parts from my old bikes and swapped them out. I also picked up a decent RockShox fork off of Craig’s List. In all, I have shaved about 6 Lbs. from the bike and he loves it. I’ll keep picking away at it as he gets better.

  10. #10
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    I watched my 11 year old daughter in front of me go off the side of the mountain and thankfully crash face first into two small trees that stopped her from going any farther.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom92673 View Post
    So my 9 year old daughter is pretty tall, like 4'8-4-9 and I tried her on a 24" bike and she was too big for it so I went with a 27.5" ladies extra small. Problem is that the bike is like a lead weight compared to my 29'er. It's got mechanical breaks, and a pretty low end spring front shock. I'm wondering if I can simply upgrade the bike frame with new brakes, wheels and shocks or should I start over with a lighter bike. I don't have unlimited budget, but i'm thinking for $650 I can replace the wheels and brakes. Then I'm not sure how much I'll spend on shocks. Should I just look at a new bike, upgrade this aluminum framed bike, or do nothing and let her lug this brick up the hills while I pedal casually next to her? I don't want her to get burned out on the sport. Any suggestions welcome.Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    I would attack this a couple of different ways; fit and weight. Right now she looks like a hamster about to get in a truck.
    I agree your daughter looks pretty small for that bike still. 26" would have been a better bike but the availability from bike shops is pretty bleak right now that 27.5 is the new standard. With what you've got, the goal should be to bring the front end way down. The bars in the pic are literally up to her chest!

    The stack height of the headset looks super tall if this is the bike you have:
    Tempt 4 (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States

    Your number one priority and goal should be to drop the front end down at least a couple of inches. 27.5" wheels might only appear a bit taller on paper, but in your daughters case the bars are super high.

    If it were my daughter, I would go light weight 26" wheels, 26" fork, get a shorter/lighter stem, handlebar, seatpost and some 450 gram tires set up tubeless to get the weight down. Those are likely 170mm adult cranks, 150-160mm would be ideal as stom_m3 mentioned above. 26" wheels will lower the bottom bracket, but shorter cranks will help correct it a bit I think.

    Quick interweb searches:
    Marzocchi Corsa $349.00 1600 grams Marzocchi Corsa LR 26" Fork > Components > Frames, Forks and Suspension > Forks | Jenson USA

    Stans Crest 26" 32 hole in white (on sale) just $44 each ZTR Crest 26" - 32 Hole White If you call them, I bet you can get a nice wheelset for $300-ish and under 1600 grams. Tubeless! Maxxis Aspen Tire > Components > Wheels, Tires and Tubes > Tires and Tubes | Jenson USA in 26" are solid and light for the price. Shop around for better deals on ebay if you are patient.

    The Marzocchi linked above and white Crest wheels would look really nice. Which is important! More important is you will probably drop 5 pounds with the above mentioned mods.. An older SID fork (if you can find one) would bring the weight down even more. Just make sure it has disk mounts. If you have extra money you can work on the disk brakes after tackling the above stuff.

  12. #12
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    Thank you very much for the detailed response. I was going to go 26 and was on the fence, but ended up getting this one because it was inexpensive at the time and I didn't know if there would be much interest. Figured it would become my wife's bike if she blew it off.

    That said, I was also worried about standover height and I couldn't find a 26 with a lower standover than this bike.

    All that said I'm currently looking at doing a carbon frame build from ground up. As much for the fun as for her. Also going to involve her and my younger daughter to introduce them to mechanical work. And finally I'm going to try and use the components off my bike as much as possible then upgrade to XTR.

  13. #13
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    By the time you do all that, IMO/E you'll find you would've been far better off to have invested in a really sweet used complete bike.

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    I haven't ruled that out. As this good intention turns into a project, half the fun will be doing it. Even though I know it will end up being expensive. But I may end up getting a donor bike and just tweaking it. So I appreciate the feedback.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom92673 View Post
    Thank you very much for the detailed response. I was going to go 26 and was on the fence, but ended up getting this one because it was inexpensive at the time and I didn't know if there would be much interest. Figured it would become my wife's bike if she blew it off.

    That said, I was also worried about standover height and I couldn't find a 26 with a lower standover than this bike.

    All that said I'm currently looking at doing a carbon frame build from ground up. As much for the fun as for her. Also going to involve her and my younger daughter to introduce them to mechanical work. And finally I'm going to try and use the components off my bike as much as possible then upgrade to XTR.
    Curious what is her inseam? Standover is important, but also just as important look at wheelbase, chainstay length and front end height. The smaller they are, the more important shorter is as well in these areas.

    The bike you have has a 439mm chainstay length as an example and 42" wheelbase which is pretty long. There are 27.5+ bikes now with a 430mm (or shorter) chainstay length. This bike as an example Specialized Bicycle Components has a wheelbase of 40.43" (1027mm) and a CS length of 16.7" (426mm). Bummer it is 27.5" still, but this would be a fun bike if it was 26" and the weight was in the 23-24 pound range.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Curious what is her inseam? Standover is important, but also just as important look at wheelbase, chainstay length and front end height. The smaller they are, the more important shorter is as well in these areas.

    The bike you have has a 439mm chainstay length as an example and 42" wheelbase which is pretty long. There are 27.5+ bikes now with a 430mm (or shorter) chainstay length. This bike as an example Specialized Bicycle Components has a wheelbase of 40.43" (1027mm) and a CS length of 16.7" (426mm). Bummer it is 27.5" still, but this would be a fun bike if it was 26" and the weight was in the 23-24 pound range.
    I had looked at one of these for my son and decided against it. After buying a Marin and replacing just about everything on it, hindsight- I wish I had just started with this frame.

    diSSent ALC KD Junior 26er Frame - PSYCLESTORE
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    I had looked at one of these for my son and decided against it. After buying a Marin and replacing just about everything on it, hindsight- I wish I had just started with this frame.

    diSSent ALC KD Junior 26er Frame - PSYCLESTORE
    Wow, yeah that would be perfect. 26" wheels, 424mm cs and a 39.7" wheelbase.

  18. #18
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    So I tracked down a frame from Astro Engineering in Taiwan. It's a 27.5 size small weighing in at 1.05kg for $419.

    I'm worried it may be too big for her but I'm thinking of building it anyway as she'll be ready for it in a year the way she's growing.

    Anybody heard of that company and their frames?

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