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  1. #1
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    My daughter's 7spd needs more grunt!

    My daughter has a Giant Boulder Jr 24in 7 speed bike from 2011. It was a weird deal, because the switched from steel frames in 2011 to aluminum in 2012, but I did all of my research on the 2012, and thought I was getting her an alum bike but its steel and heavy.

    Anyway, on our first real mountain bike ride, a pretty moderate hill was very challenging for her (she is almost 8).

    So I am torn between trying to do something to give the bike some more low-end hill climbing power, or just punt the bike and get her something else.

    The bike has a 14x28 cassette right now and a Tourney RD. Could we just swap in a 12x32 or a 13x34? Could the Tourney handle that? Would we need a new chain? Would this be a big enough change to give her more power for hill climbs?

    Or we could change Crankset - its currently a 38T. Im guessing we are talking alot more $$ here, but probably also drop a-lot of weight. Rough ballpark of cost of this, any any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    I wouldn't be dumping any money into that bike. Kids grow like weeds and your daughters gonna outgrow that bike sooner than later. You can then spend the money u would have wasted on that heavy steel boulder (perfect name imo) and get her a lighter better specd aluminum 26" bike.

  3. #3
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    I believe that bike uses a freewheel. If so, you can swap it for an 11-32 very inexpensively.

    I wouldn't do much more than that, given the above post.

  4. #4
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    You should be able to install a Shimano megarange cassette. I just put one on a 20 in Hotrock. It was 13 dollars on Amazon. My daughter is also 8 and it helped a lot.

  5. #5
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    I've been looking for a cassette rim for sons hotrock 24 with no luck. Amazon sells the mega range freewheel and tool for like $20! If I can't a light 24" rim soon, I'll go that route. I've also become a believer in investing in good parts via craigslist that will transfer to the 26" bike (seat post, stem, handlebar)' and ripping stuff like the front derailleur and big chainring off.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vxc961 View Post
    I've been looking for a cassette rim for sons hotrock 24 with no luck. Amazon sells the mega range freewheel and tool for like $20! If I can't a light 24" rim soon, I'll go that route. I've also become a believer in investing in good parts via craigslist that will transfer to the 26" bike (seat post, stem, handlebar)' and ripping stuff like the front derailleur and big chainring off.
    Here is the cassette I used:
    Amazon.com: Shimano MF-TZ31 Tourney Freewheel (14-34T Mega 7 Speed): Sports & Outdoors

    and you can use the Park Tool FR-1 which is $7.00 roughly.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBoneAz View Post
    Or we could change Crankset - its currently a 38T. Im guessing we are talking alot more $$ here, but probably also drop a-lot of weight. Rough ballpark of cost of this, any any recommendations?
    The problem with the crankset idea is that it is hard if not impossible to find a cheap short crankset that will take smaller than a 34t chainring. Only 4 teeth is not a huge difference over what you've got (still helps a little, though).

  8. #8
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    Awesome, this is exactly what I was looking for!! Thanks for posting this!

    Quote Originally Posted by Venturewest View Post
    Here is the cassette I used:
    Amazon.com: Shimano MF-TZ31 Tourney Freewheel (14-34T Mega 7 Speed): Sports & Outdoors


    and you can use the Park Tool FR-1 which is $7.00 roughly.

  9. #9
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    Also, just like training for grownups, those first hills are tough!, but they get a lot easier with some 'training', which for kids I think is mostly just going on regular fun rides. Maybe ride a bunch and avoid that hill for a bit?, kids improve so quickly, ride regularly and try that hill again in a month!, by the time the parts arrive her legs may show significant improvement.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    Also, just like training for grownups, those first hills are tough!, but they get a lot easier with some 'training', which for kids I think is mostly just going on regular fun rides. Maybe ride a bunch and avoid that hill for a bit?, kids improve so quickly, ride regularly and try that hill again in a month!, by the time the parts arrive her legs may show significant improvement.
    Well, my 6 yo had a hotrock 20, and he could do this hill as we rode to baseball practice, and was on top of the world (because his 5yo brother on the trek 20" tank couldn't). Well, when I got him a hotrock coaster, the gears were too tall, and he couldn't do it. To add insult to injury, his 5yo brother, now on the hotrock 16, could. He was crushed, and it took a long to overcome.

    So, for my kids at least, I'm going to coddle them until they're 8 or so. I just don't have the time to counsel them for hours. For me, it's much better off to set them up for victory from the start, get them to enjoy riding, then crush their spirits later.

  11. #11
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    I have found that first gear with the 34T, seems to closely match the cadence of my Tallboy granny with 22T/ 36T ratio. For the hills we encounter in our terrain, I wouldn't want my daughter to have an higher granny.

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