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Thread: Novara Pixie?

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2014

    Novara Pixie?

    Looking to get my 7 year old a 20" Novara Pixie from REI. Any opinions on that MTB? Any alternative suggestions?

    We'll be riding local dirt trails, street, pavement and parks. A small hill here and there, no major climbs.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2011
    My daughters use a 20" pixie that I re-built/upgraded for them.
    Novara Pixie 20" project
    Most of the pixie's stock components are pretty heavy and junky, the only original parts I re-used were the frame, rims and V-brakes. I really doubt that the bike weights anywhere close to the 25 pound spec they have listed, it originally felt much heavier.

    Major downside for this bike is that it uses an American BMX style 1 piece steel crank which is ridiculously heavy and is a hassle if you ever want to upgrade to a more standard 3-piece bottom bracket. If you ever intend to upgrade the bike, do yourself a favor and start instead with a frame that already has a standard british threaded bottom bracket. The stock one-piece crank has a 40t chainring that produces gearing that is much too large for a small rider, this will limit them from actually being able to ride up hills or on soft offroad conditions, largely defeats the point of having a MTB. Stock cranks were also too long for a small rider (I think they were around 150mm) and consequently the frame is built with an unusually high bottom bracket, notice how the chainstays slope steeply upward from the dropouts toward the bottom bracket. The high bottom bracket requires that the seat to be adjusted higher off the ground, makes it unnecessarily hard for little kids to reach the ground from the saddle if the seat is adjusted for their leg length.

    I would instead look for a 20" trek, specialized, jamis, kona, marin, cannondale or other decent bike brand that actually knows how to design bikes. At this low of a pricepoint it may not be much lighter but it at least saves you from getting stuck long term with weird frame geometry and an unsuitable boat-anchor of a crank.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Thanks for the input. I'm not really going to "build" a bike here. Just get something to ride for fun. I'll look at an LBS for bikes you mentioned.

    Do you recommend any particular brand over another?


  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Picked up a used Giant MTX 125 today. I liked the fact that:

    - Used bikes are *much* cheaper than new ones
    - The MTX has a very low standover height, and is fully adjustable (seat, handlebars)
    - No front suspension - not really needed for my 50lb kid.

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