Lightweight rigid 24" forks options
A lot of folks here seem to be looking for air sprung forks to get better performance for their kids. Fair enough for real mountain biking but for about town and gravel paths or fairly smooth trails its overkill IMHO.
I'm thinking rigid for the lighter weight. Almost certainly rim v brake for weight savings too.
Any good aftermarket options out there?
Or am I stuck looking at the cannondale or specialized or similar "Street" versions of their 24" bikes that come with rigid forks?
I just went through this. Off the top of my head, this is what I recall finding:
Islabikes Beinn 24
Cannondale Kids Street 24
Specialized Hotrock 24 Street
Trek Kids' FX
Raleigh Mtn Scout/Ivy
Giant Revel Jr
I ruled out Islabikes as they won't ship to Canada and the Cannondale Street because the disc brake is a Tektro Novela and I've read many stories of brake failure with that model (and someone has a YouTube video of it). The other models had various bit of steels so the weight wasn't a huge saving anyway. Lots came with low end Tourney components as well as it seems they don't care as much about making their rigid fork models decent. Pricing on many were the same as the shock models and the ones that were lower were as heavy as shock models due to more steel.
And since I didn't want a heavy shock that my kid couldn't make use of anyway, I ended up going with an air shock model. I got the XtC Jr 0 24 (2014) | Giant Bicycles | Canada Others I had considered were the Cannondale Race 24, the Specialized Hotrock 24 XC Disc and the Opus Fever. I had initially discounted the Giant for what reason I can't remember, until another member here pointed me back in it's direction and pointed out to me that it's a great bang for the buck. Unfortunately, it's not available in the USA.
And yup, the bike I got is overkill for her, but the weight wasn't different enough between that and the rigid fork models and she's getting better components since I don't have the desire to do upgrades at this point in time. She's only 7.5 so has some time ahead of her on this bike so it's there for her to handle more if she decides she wants to take on more.
If I recall any other rigid forked bikes I stumbled on, I'll let you know. Oh, and I had the LBS weigh the 2011/2012 Specialized Street and it was 24.75#. No kickstand, and no seat reflector, but had reflector on front and back wheel. The frame has changed shape for 13/14. And newer versions of the components, not sure how much any of that changes the weight.
Last edited by QueenMAUW; 05-18-2014 at 09:02 PM.
Thats a good list of bikes available with a rigid fork.
I'm actually hoping to find some aftermarket rigid fork options as that would open up a whole lot more options in the world of buying used and easily modding lighter.
The Islabikes Beinn at under 20lbs is an example of where i'm looking to get to - 1x drivetrain, rigid fork and its significantly lighter than anything else out there at retail.
Your specialized street weight of 24.75 is proof of concept - off the rack it has to be probably several pounds lighter than than the sprung fork version.
I had considered this as well but unfortunately I live in an area where there is literally zero decent used bikes available. Only steel big box store bikes.
Originally Posted by dcp_nz
Carbon Cycles has 2 forks available.
Xook Creature No Brake, BMX, 1.4 lbs (uncut I believe)
24" Disc Recumbent Disc Only, 1.7 ( again I believe uncut)
I've found both of these on Ebay direct from Carbon Cycles...I do remember the Disc fork was $149.
I thought seriously about going this route for my daughter and may still buy one to see how she likes it compared to the air fork that comes on her Cannondale Race.
I rode the 29er version for two years on very technical trails in the Colorado Mtns keeping up with fast guys on full suspension bikes...I now ride a 140mm Kona Satori but if I built another rigid bike this would be the route I go again.
The 24" carboncycles fork has a 210 pound weight limit and is seriously overbuilt for kid use. A high performace kid specific carbon fork could weigh less than 1/2 the 1.7 pound weight of this fork and would be able to provide a small amount of flex compliance on bumps.
Perhaps a better example of the sort of fork that would be nice to have available is the 24" redline aluminum BMX race fork which is 1/2 pound lighter and 1/2 the price of the carboncycles fork, unfortunetly this BMX fork has no brake bosses or disk mounting brake mounts.
Redline R6 Aluminum Race Fork at Danscomp
Keep in mind that Redline fork comes with a 169 mm length steerer while the Exotic comes with a 265mm steerer, both factored into the weights. Once the steerer tube is cut to the correct length you'll loss alot more weight off the Exotic getting it much closer to the Redline's weight. I'll also still say you'll get as much if not more compliance on bumps with the carbon over the aluminum and you'll get a brake option.
Originally Posted by GrayJay
I added Frog bikes to my list above. The Frog 62 is their 24" wheel with rigid fork and it's 21.8#. Ships from the UK though.
I think a front brake is fairly important on a kids street or mtb 24" bike.
At ~$150 and 1.7 lbs for the exotic it's the best option I've seen thus far and probably the best bang for buck on the weight saving front when compared to the average 24" suspension fork at around 2kg or 4.4 lbs.
Wish I could find something similar with v brake mounting studs though.
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