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  1. #1
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    ... and if we just ... Orbea MX 20 Team Disc

    This was delivered today for my 6 year old son. He learned to pedal without training wheels 3 weeks ago. Is it too much bike for a kid that just figured out pedaling without training wheels? Yes, but he earned it with outstanding behavior at home and school, excellent marks on his report card, and meeting the riding goals I had set for him a month ahead of the schedule. We rode 7 miles together last Saturday, he set the pace and I followed. An impressive distance I thought on a 12" wheel toddlers bike.

    It is a little bit big for him, I'm short 5'6", my wife is short 5'3", my 6 year old is the size of an average 5 year old, but he would outgrow a 16" bike which fits him perfect faster than my wallet could keep up with, and I won't throw away money on a Wally World\Target special just for a proper fit. He will have 3-4 years in this bike which made the price justifiable.

    After he achieved all goals set for him ahead of schedule and looking at every 20" mtb $500 and under, I narrowed my choices down to this and the Specialized RipRock 20 since he wanted disk brakes like daddy's bike has. Priced $50 more than the Specialized it comes with Altus derailleur and trigger shifter opposed to the RipRocks Tourney with Revo Grip shift, which is not a big step up, but is a step up and no grip shift that he found difficult on the bikes we had him try out. Also it has a rigid fork (I view this as a plus for a learning child), weighs under 20lbs, and has hydraulic disks rather than cable disks making it easier for little hands to pull the levers to stop. The wheels are also tubeless ready. For a $50 price difference from the Specialized, it seemed a logical choice for me.

    After assembling it today, I am extremely pleased with the quality of this bike for the price. He spent about 20 minutes on it this evening and I watched his confidence level rise with each pedal stroke. I'm taking him to a low traffic paved bike path this weekend to increase his confidence and make sure that he fully understands braking and shifting. Next weekend I will introduce him to the dirt trails that he keeps asking to ride!

    My wife also just learned to ride a bike 3 weeks ago. She has my 17 year old Trek hardtail for now. We have been enjoying family rides around the neighborhood with the end game plan being family rides on local bike park single track as a continuing effort for this dad to get well under his current Clyde weight and in shape rather than round shape.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8326.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Looks great! Thanks for sharing your story and good luck on the trails!

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    Its funny how many similarities exist between my situation and yours!

    My son's Orbea MX 20 Disc also arrived this week, and we just finished his first ride on dirt today after just doing cul-de-sac rides for the first few days. His previous bike was a Haro with coaster brakes, and I didn't want to get him out on the trail before he was comfortable with the hydraulic lever brakes.

    We also narrowed things down to this bike and the Specialized Rip Rock, and it was the Rip Rock's useless front suspension fork that made me stay away. My 6 1/4 year old was too light to even activate the suspension, so all it did was add weight and unnecessary complexity. I did love the Rip Rock's plus size tires though, and wish the MX 20 had a little more clearance for wider tires. The Kenda Small Block 8 tires might as well be street tires, and I'm planning to at least upgrade them to some meatier 2.2 tires soon.

    A couple of early bits of feedback on the MX 20 from me: First, I have the brake levers dialed all the way in, but his small hands still have some trouble pulling them while keeping a firm grip on the bars. But his hands will grow, and I'm hoping this will be his bike for 3 years, so I'm not that concerned.

    Likewise, he has trouble with the lower thumb shifter as well, as the "throw" is pretty long and his small thumbs have trouble pushing it far enough to shift. I've watched him have to rotate his wrist WAY downward to apply enough pressure to get it to click. Again, a little time to grow will fix this, but I see why grip shifts are more popular at this age.

    Happy trails to you and your son, I hope your entire family enjoys your time riding together.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szy_szka View Post
    Looks great! Thanks for sharing your story and good luck on the trails!
    Thank you, I can't wait to get him out on the trails

    Quote Originally Posted by quaestionis View Post
    Its funny how many similarities exist between my situation and yours!

    My son's Orbea MX 20 Disc also arrived this week, and we just finished his first ride on dirt today after just doing cul-de-sac rides for the first few days. His previous bike was a Haro with coaster brakes, and I didn't want to get him out on the trail before he was comfortable with the hydraulic lever brakes.

    We also narrowed things down to this bike and the Specialized Rip Rock, and it was the Rip Rock's useless front suspension fork that made me stay away. My 6 1/4 year old was too light to even activate the suspension, so all it did was add weight and unnecessary complexity. I did love the Rip Rock's plus size tires though, and wish the MX 20 had a little more clearance for wider tires. The Kenda Small Block 8 tires might as well be street tires, and I'm planning to at least upgrade them to some meatier 2.2 tires soon.

    A couple of early bits of feedback on the MX 20 from me: First, I have the brake levers dialed all the way in, but his small hands still have some trouble pulling them while keeping a firm grip on the bars. But his hands will grow, and I'm hoping this will be his bike for 3 years, so I'm not that concerned.

    Likewise, he has trouble with the lower thumb shifter as well, as the "throw" is pretty long and his small thumbs have trouble pushing it far enough to shift. I've watched him have to rotate his wrist WAY downward to apply enough pressure to get it to click. Again, a little time to grow will fix this, but I see why grip shifts are more popular at this age.

    Happy trails to you and your son, I hope your entire family enjoys your time riding together.
    Thanks, I really look forward to getting us all out in the dirt! When I was putting it together the first thing I did was dial the brake levers all the way in. On last nights getting familiar ride he had no issues locking up the rear wheel, and when the rear end got light he figured out really quick to be gentle with the front brake. On the riprock he test rode, he had issues with enough hand strength to make the cable disk work well. Hydraulic was certainly the right choice.

    He has the same issue with shifting, but I went with triggers for a reason. I have read so many stories about kids having issues with the grip shift, especially after some use that I figured a little extra work until his hands grow will be ok for the increased reliability of a trigger.

    We live in South Florida so the tires should be ok down here until he starts more advanced trails. The easy trails are sand over hard pack. When I see that they are no longer adequate I'll swap to a meatier tire, and probably go tubeless then.

    May you and your son enjoy your trail time too!


    Edit:
    I did notice he was stretched out a bit further than I like, so today I ordered this from Amazon in 32mm length.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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    Today's riding around the neighborhood went very well! He will ride his first trail tomorrow. We will stick to the beginners trail the first few times out until I am comfortable with his abilities.

    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8361.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8362.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8367.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8364.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8365.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8366.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8370.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8371.jpg

    I am a proud papa with how quickly he adapted to a bike that is a bit big for him. His confidence increased 10 fold as soon as he figured out how to mount it, start moving unassisted, stop, and dismount. He is able to hold a straight line on it which he could never do on the short wheelbase 12" bike. Any time a car would come down the street, he would pull off into the grass and stop. The first car we encountered today, I told him "stay on your side of the road", he went all the way to the grass line, and held it there for a couple house lengths as we passed the car. It was like a light switch flipped at that point in his head, and we rode 5 more laps of the neighborhood (about 4 miles) with out stopping! A half block at a time was the prior maximum distance.

  6. #6
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    We went to the bike park today and rode in monsoon conditions. The tires definitely need to change, they are useless off-road. He dumped it in bottom bracket deep water several times with the front or rear washing out, also several times on wet roots, the tires just slid out from under him. I had him at 18 psi too, so plenty soft. My son took it all like a champ though! He kept getting back up and riding, and is looking forward to going back.

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    Great ongoing reports! Glad he's doing well, sounds like a tough and talented rider.

    Great suggestion on the shorter stem, my son is really stretched out as well. I may pair that 32mm you posted with a pair of cheap Chinese carbon bars from ebay to drop a little more weight.

    The last thing I'm still processing is the pedals. My son's feet are constantly slipping off the stock plastic pedals as he rides more technical sections of trail. I don't think he's quite ready for clipless shoes/pedals, but am considering getting some different flat pedals with better grip soon.

    Oh and the stock Small Block 8 tires are garbage. I'm getting rid of those ASAP. Its like ice skating out on the trail...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by quaestionis View Post
    Great ongoing reports! Glad he's doing well, sounds like a tough and talented rider.

    Great suggestion on the shorter stem, my son is really stretched out as well. I may pair that 32mm you posted with a pair of cheap Chinese carbon bars from ebay to drop a little more weight.

    The last thing I'm still processing is the pedals. My son's feet are constantly slipping off the stock plastic pedals as he rides more technical sections of trail. I don't think he's quite ready for clipless shoes/pedals, but am considering getting some different flat pedals with better grip soon.

    Oh and the stock Small Block 8 tires are garbage. I'm getting rid of those ASAP. Its like ice skating out on the trail...
    Thanks! He is a tough little guy once he sets his mind to it. Sometimes getting started he is a bit whiny. To his credit it was torrential rain with less than 20 feet visibility when we first started.

    I just sized him with the stem in, much better! I ordered some Kenda Smoker 20x2 today after watching him slide on things yesterday. The small blocks would be a great groomed track bmx tire, which is what it is. The Kenda Smoker is an aggressive, knobby mtb tire. Not as wide as I would have liked, but make up for it in tread pattern.

    I replaced the pedals Friday with some Forte platforms. His feet have not come off since.

    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8378.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8379.jpg
    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-img_8380.jpg

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    Be careful with the bigger pedals. I've got adult size platforms on my youngest's 20" and while he's just fooling around in the culdesac currently if he leans into the turns much he's going to end up with pedal strikes. Unfortunately I can't find a good OE sized platform pedal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher2011 View Post
    Be careful with the bigger pedals. I've got adult size platforms on my youngest's 20" and while he's just fooling around in the culdesac currently if he leans into the turns much he's going to end up with pedal strikes. Unfortunately I can't find a good OE sized platform pedal.
    Wellgo KC001 is a good choice, I used to have them on my son's Hedgehog. That said, if he's keeping his inside pedal at 6 o'clock during turns they're going to hit the ground regardless of pedal size. Inside leg up during turns and pedals at 3 o'clock/9 o'clock the rest of the time is an essential skill. When my son was first getting out on trails I tried to "coach" him as little as possible and just let him ride, have fun and figure it out on his own. But, whenever I saw his pedals shift to 12/6 I would immediately yell "Pedals flat!"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Wellgo KC001 is a good choice, I used to have them on my son's Hedgehog. That said, if he's keeping his inside pedal at 6 o'clock during turns they're going to hit the ground regardless of pedal size. Inside leg up during turns and pedals at 3 o'clock/9 o'clock the rest of the time is an essential skill. When my son was first getting out on trails I tried to "coach" him as little as possible and just let him ride, have fun and figure it out on his own. But, whenever I saw his pedals shift to 12/6 I would immediately yell "Pedals flat!"
    Exactly this! When I was a Junior racer many, many moons ago, my trainer drilled this into my head. With my son being 6 I let him have fun for the most part and learn from his mistakes, but I do correct coasting and cornering pedal positions, and to keep pedaling in general. Most of the times he has dumped the bike is because he just stops pedaling in places where you can not coast.

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    Totally agree with you guys about pedal position.

    Also Dicky, what is the pressure that you are running on the SB8 tires? I only ask because I have found them to be a pretty capable tire for my son in varying conditions...hero dirt, rocky, rooty, moderately loose etc. Lat year my sons weight was in the high 40's mid 50's. I ran his tires at about 12.5 to 13.5 psi. That was with tubes also. There was a sweet spot for his weight that he didn't have any bounce from the tire but they ran excellently, and gripped very well. During the week while we weren't riding, I would air the tires up to about 55-60 psi and let them sit. This would stretch out the casing and I'd air them down to riding pressure right before we were ready to throw our legs over and get going. Helped immensely.

    Also, mine are the foldable version. Not sure if that's going to make a difference in the ride quality though because both the folding and wire bead versions are rolling on 60tpi.

    It helps to have an accurate pump for lower pressures. I have a Specialized MTB pump which is accurate at low numbers (down to single digit) and I am able to confirm it with a digital gauge (SKS).

    I later ran them ghetto tubeless with gorilla tape on rims not meant to be run tubeless and they have been a great tire. Even better than before, which was pretty darned good.

    Your son looks like a pretty light guy, maybe try running the pressure down a touch? I'll bet they out perform those Kendas you got. They've got decent volume, and they are pretty supple. Something that's proven pretty hard to find since no companies want to throw a dime at putting out a decent tire for our little men and women.

    Anyway, just thought I'd throw that out there to see if it helps at all. I could be totally up a tree, lol!

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    My kid is really light and small for his age, 42" and 35lbs currently. I had the tires at 18lbs, monsoon conditions, lots of sand. I'll try going lower for him. I have a good Lezyne pump that I have tested accurate to 15 psi with digital gauge, I have not gone lower, but it should hopefully not be too far off a couple psi lower.

    Next time I take him out to the bike park I'll take both sets of tires and stick just to the front loop so he can ride it twice without exhausting him and I can observe both on the same day.

    Thanks for the tip!

    I've also considered cutting some of the lugs off. I competed in RC Rockcrawling for years and we always ended up cutting pins\lugs off of our tires for better traction. The small blocks look very similar to a Crawler pin tire.

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    Oh yeah, for sure those tires will be night and day different with about 5 or 6 or so pounds out of them. My son has these on his Zaskar 20. It came with 1.95's which were just stupid skinny. They were at least foldable. (I just don't understand why these companies are making these anorexic tires in these sizes anymore, but I digress).

    I searched out a set of foldable 2.1's and they were sooo much better. I then would watch how his bike was acting on rides and in various terrain and would adjust his pressure till I found what worked all around. I think it was like 12.5 or something...it was interesting that 1/2 a lb. would make a ton of difference in terms of tracking/bounce/rebound etc.

    Like your MX20, his Zaskar was rigid and the tire set up had him searching out and cleaning rocky sections and little techy root drops etc.

    It's because of this that I'm not too worried about the 24" SB8's that are coming on the MX24 TD that should be here by today. I figure that the bigger contact patch with them will be even better with that tread.

    Good luck with them.

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    We hit the trails as a family on Saturday! It was my wife's first time and the kid rode circles around her, I was proud! We tried the different tires and have opted to go with the Kenda smokers. They do give up .1" and a some volume to the small block 8's, but he was much more confident with the Smokers on the bike. Ran both sets at 12 psi, that really helped the small blocks, but in our sandy, rooty conditions the kid did much better with the Smokers, so they will stay. I'll put the small blocks on my 20" wheeled kick scooter that I use for urban mushing, they will be a nice upgrade.
    Last edited by DickyT; 05-08-2017 at 02:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingfisher2011 View Post
    Be careful with the bigger pedals. I've got adult size platforms on my youngest's 20" and while he's just fooling around in the culdesac currently if he leans into the turns much he's going to end up with pedal strikes. Unfortunately I can't find a good OE sized platform pedal.
    If anyone is looking for great lightweight pedals for kids I can highly recommend AEST pedals. They come in heaps of colours, are very light, last very well and are grippy. They come with Titanium axles and you can also buy replacement axles. For under $50 they are a great buy.
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    You can pick them up on ebay for a resonable price as well (they also come in oil slick if you want to really make your kid smile). We get ours from Toronto Cycles.

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    Great info about this bike!
    Anyone tried to fit a wider tyre on it?
    How wide is that fork?
    Planning to buy one and upgrade to the specialized 20" x 2.8 tyre.

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    If I recall it is just over 2.5", a 2.8" won't fit. I'll verify when I get home tonight.

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    The fork is 2.78" at the widest part of the tire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DickyT View Post
    Thank you, I can't wait to get him out on the trails



    Thanks, I really look forward to getting us all out in the dirt! When I was putting it together the first thing I did was dial the brake levers all the way in. On last nights getting familiar ride he had no issues locking up the rear wheel, and when the rear end got light he figured out really quick to be gentle with the front brake. On the riprock he test rode, he had issues with enough hand strength to make the cable disk work well. Hydraulic was certainly the right choice.

    He has the same issue with shifting, but I went with triggers for a reason. I have read so many stories about kids having issues with the grip shift, especially after some use that I figured a little extra work until his hands grow will be ok for the increased reliability of a trigger.

    We live in South Florida so the tires should be ok down here until he starts more advanced trails. The easy trails are sand over hard pack. When I see that they are no longer adequate I'll swap to a meatier tire, and probably go tubeless then.

    May you and your son enjoy your trail time too!


    Edit:
    I did notice he was stretched out a bit further than I like, so today I ordered this from Amazon in 32mm length.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
    I was just looking at a shorter stem for my daughter and had seen this on Amazon. is this a Truvativ stem like the pictures or some random brand and they just used Truvativ picures?

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    It is marked Truvativ, though I have a feeling it is a chinese counterfeit piece.

    I'm still happy with it for the price and it serves my son well. He is far from a little shredder, more of a leisure ride the dirt trails type, so adequate for him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DickyT View Post
    It is marked Truvativ, though I have a feeling it is a chinese counterfeit piece.

    I'm still happy with it for the price and it serves my son well. He is far from a little shredder, more of a leisure ride the dirt trails type, so adequate for him.
    It doesn't look like any current Truvativ stem and it does scream counterfeit.

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    Take a look at Wren Stems. Go down to 40mm without looking like a DH chunk, light as all get out, and quite affordable.

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    thanks!!

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    thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by DickyT View Post
    The fork is 2.78" at the widest part of the tire.

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    I have one of these on order for my daughter, I'm going to go with a 35mm stem to shorten up the reach. Are the stock handlebars 25.4 or 31.8?

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    The stock bars are 31.8.

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    I realise this will be unpopular with him but you might try to wean him off that helmet. I've seen the photo a few times and it's just on my mind to say something.

    Helmets have 2 main functions .. the first and most obvious is adsorbing impacts but the less obvious is to slide not grip.

    If he lands on his head and the helmet grips and lodges behind a root etc. it can lead to nasty injuries like broken necks. I'm surprised they are sold as you wouldn't think of this in the first instance. I'd have probably done the same .. jnrs first helmet was chosen by colour. And what was in the shop. but I ended up looking into helmet designs later when getting an expensive one for downhill

    If you compare with adult or youths BMX helmets you'll see they are designed to slide on impact making it a glancing blow.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    I realise this will be unpopular with him but you might try to wean him off that helmet. I've seen the photo a few times and it's just on my mind to say something.

    Helmets have 2 main functions .. the first and most obvious is adsorbing impacts but the less obvious is to slide not grip.

    If he lands on his head and the helmet grips and lodges behind a root etc. it can lead to nasty injuries like broken necks. I'm surprised they are sold as you wouldn't think of this in the first instance. I'd have probably done the same .. jnrs first helmet was chosen by colour. And what was in the shop. but I ended up looking into helmet designs later when getting an expensive one for downhill

    If you compare with adult or youths BMX helmets you'll see they are designed to slide on impact making it a glancing blow.
    That helmet has been gone (too small now), and was never worn off-road, only for neighborhood learning. He has a Bell Sidetrack with mips that matches the matte orange on his bike now! It also breathes much better, which is a huge plus in the hot and humid South Florida climate.

    Orbea MX 20 Team Disc-bell-matt-tang-orange-seeker-2017-sidetrack-mips-kids-mtb-helmet-0-a41b3-xl.jpg

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by DickyT View Post
    The stock bars are 31.8.
    Thanks! Bike is be arriving this week, so I was able to order the correct size stem right away and it should get here at the same time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DickyT View Post
    That helmet has been gone (too small now), and was never worn off-road, only for neighborhood learning. He has a Bell Sidetrack with mips that matches the matte orange on his bike now! It also breathes much better, which is a huge plus in the hot and humid South Florida climate.
    No need to justify to me... I'd just have felt bad not mentioning it and something happening.
    On the other hand it might be good if another parents see's it and chooses differently.

    I quite honestly wouldn't have given it a seconds thought when we bought his first helmet... indeed as a parent I'd think "if that gets him to wear a helmet why not"

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    Quote Originally Posted by zuuds View Post
    Thanks! Bike is be arriving this week, so I was able to order the correct size stem right away and it should get here at the same time.
    If by any chance they are not then I have had very good experience with cheap carbon bars ... I initially was very sceptical but thought I'd take a chance for 50lb kid .. bought 2 thinking I'd really test they weren't going to break by actually breaking one (at <$15 I figured why not)

    When they arrived initial tests indicated they were stronger than I feared... so I cut one set down and stuck them on Jnr's bike and stuck the uncut ones onto my XC bike.

    Both have received and coped with multiple crashes ... I did a whole OTB and the stem twisted 90 degrees (over a year ago) and the same bars are still going strong..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    No need to justify to me... I'd just have felt bad not mentioning it and something happening.
    On the other hand it might be good if another parents see's it and chooses differently.

    I quite honestly wouldn't have given it a seconds thought when we bought his first helmet... indeed as a parent I'd think "if that gets him to wear a helmet why not"
    It was a great first and second helmet, he had them from age 2 to 6 and loved wearing it. It took 1 fall while still on training wheels at about 3 1/2 with the helmet smacking the sidewalk for him to understand the importance. That is where the second one came in, visible crack in the outer shell. And looks wise it is a pretty cool kids helmet, at least to my metal\punk music loving self.

    The Bell Sidetrack I am really impressed with. I've owned several Bell helmets over the years and it is nice to see the quality of product is carried into the kids line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    If by any chance they are not then I have had very good experience with cheap carbon bars ... I initially was very sceptical but thought I'd take a chance for 50lb kid .. bought 2 thinking I'd really test they weren't going to break by actually breaking one (at <$15 I figured why not)

    When they arrived initial tests indicated they were stronger than I feared... so I cut one set down and stuck them on Jnr's bike and stuck the uncut ones onto my XC bike.

    Both have received and coped with multiple crashes ... I did a whole OTB and the stem twisted 90 degrees (over a year ago) and the same bars are still going strong..
    That is great to know, thanks! I might look into a set for him. He is done riding trails for the summer, both he and my wife won't ride again until the weather cools down some. We need some from mom and dad stuff for Christmas, my wife hates Santa getting all the credit. I want to drop some weight from his bike so I'll talk to my wife about bike upgrades for him.

  36. #36
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    Where are yall picking up the Orbea MX 20s from? Online or local? If online can someone point me in the right direction?
    If you're gonna be dumb you gotta be tough

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    You can do a dealer search and see if there are any folks around you that are dealers. On the other hand, I wrote to Orbea Usa to see if they knew of any MX24 Team Disc's left in the country (there weren't a whole lot of them brought in), and they were really helpful in locating what I think was the last one for sale here in the states. I bought it from a shop in Iowa or Kansas (can't remember now) sight unseen. He'd brought in two, and already sold one.

    I'm not sure what the import situation was with the MX20 TD. Hopefully it is better than with the 24.

    Try reaching out to Orbea. Super nice folks and really helpful.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by poonamibaxter View Post
    Where are yall picking up the Orbea MX 20s from? Online or local? If online can someone point me in the right direction?
    I got mine from Jensonusa, it was one of 2 left they had in stock.

  39. #39
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    I got mine from Jenson as well, was 1 of 2 they had at time of purchase.

  40. #40
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    Thanks guys. Appears Jenson is out so I emailed Orbea.


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    If anyone else is curious, I heard back from Orbea today. They expect to have more in the US in mid to late August.


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    Orbea MX 20 chain line issue

    Hi there

    I just got a MX 20 Team non-disc for my daughter . -

    Really nice bike - frame is amazing - and made in portugal - that is rare
    these days that its not china / taiwan made

    It has one major issue and i was wondering if you have same issue -
    When in 1st gear, and my daughter back pedals - chain comes off in front immediately - BIG BUMMER

    Also for other people considering this bike - it is 21.5 lbs -
    I expected it to be lighter w alloy frame and fork and nice components

    Rims also have not so nice rim joints that create brake knock - hopefully sanding those down will help - but thats where Islabikes does a much better job w machined rims

    Anyway - appreciate help / input

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    I also just picked what I believe to be one of the last MX Teams (non-disc) for my son's 6th birthday on Sunday. We have only done a couple of rides around the block and he isn't shifting yet.

    In assembling the bike, I noticed the same issue with the chain. I spent a lot of time adjusting the rear derailleur and it still isn't to my satisfaction, but much better than where it started. Hi/Low adjustment seem decent, but the shifting can still be a bit finicky. It seems that the provided gear set might be the absolute limit of what the Shimano Altus might be able to handle.

    I had also considered upgrading to a large tire in the future, but given the clearances, I doubt anything larger that the Kenda 2.1s is going to fit on the bike.

    Do not let any of that dissuade you! Overall I am extremely happy with the purchase and really appreciate what Orbea has to offer at this price point. My son loves the bike and I can not wait to get out onto a trail with him for the first time.

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    For finicky shifting with the rear derailleur, I recommend yanking the cablebthats in there currently, and putting a new stainless steel, slick one in. My sons bike had the same issue, but it was due to the cable being slightly unwound (one strand was raised a bit) and that caused drag inside the housing and erratic shifting. You won't see this if its the case because it's inside the housing...if that's even the issue. But I recommend replacing the cable anyway. The stock cable is a lower quality stainless cable and a thinner extruded and slicker offering is available from either your bike shop or online. I also dripped Rock and Roll cable magic into the housing slowly for a good amount of time before I sent the new cable through. Shifting has been dialed.

    If the chain is coming off the front when you backpedal, the derailleur is not adjusted properly, the chain line is off (relating to bb spindle width, or both. How much room is between the stays and the crank arms when you position the crank at 3 and 9? I'm betting there's room to drop down a spindle width or two. If you know how to measure chain line, you can do that too. It depends on how many rings you have up front and is measured from the center of the bb shell/or seattube (same thing). The number you are looking for varies depending on rings up front (1, 2&3).

    Check this out for understanding chainline. It is talking about 1x setups but still has pertinent info for 2 and 3... https://www.oneupcomponents.com/page...-and-non-boost

    If your derailleur cage is not adjusted right it also could be allowing the chain to drop. People didn't know how to adjust them correctly back when they were on every bike, and now that most bikes are coming out of the schute with one ring up front, shop cats are even worse than back when I was a one. (No offense meant to any shop guys...I was one too. But I could/can dial in a front derailleur and unfortunately that eluded many a wrench...for no good reason) I'll save the front derailleur tutorial unless folks need it. Not complicated but just gotta follow steps just like a rear derailleur.

  45. #45
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    Also, not sure if the 20" frames are tighter in the stays than the 24's or not, but on my sons 24" we could fit a solid 2.4 in there, with room to spare, if there were some decent ones available. Inside stay to stay, both chain and seat stays is measuring 2.69. That's slightly above the tire where the cross section would end up with a larger cased tire. Currently has Rocket Ron's with room to do the backstroke.
    Last edited by jochribs; 08-15-2017 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Punctuation

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    For reference, the Orbea MX 20 Team and Team Disc are equipped with a 1x8 drivetrain. The front ring is 34T and the rear cassette is a Shimano HG31 11-34T. The derailleur is a Shimano Altus M310.

  47. #47
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    Ah, I kind of thought they were 1X, but from Pluzall's post I thought the Team might have been geared up front. Shouldn't have assumed.

    So that being confirmed, I'd take a look at the chainline on the cranks. I'm betting the bb should be swapped out for a shorter spindled one. All things correct and adjusted, the chain shouldn't be riding off the chaining from backpedaling. The chain angle is pretty harsh due to the shorter chainstays for sure, but that's most likely being exacerbated by incorrect chain line.

  48. #48
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    Looking for a disc version. Can't find one anywhere!!! Need to have one mailed out as I am deployed at the moment. So hard to find!

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by usmceric1 View Post
    Looking for a disc version. Can't find one anywhere!!! Need to have one mailed out as I am deployed at the moment. So hard to find!
    Mid to late August for more to arrive in the US. Mid being now it may trend towards late.

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    I've been digging into a 20" in bike for a while. If you are doing dirt and getting some downhill, I'd definitely look at a decent air fork like the Spinner 300 or something similar. It definitely is safer. (FYI not like the boat anchor on the RipRock, you were right to avoid that). I've seen my kid hit the downhill slope and the trail roots/rocks on the slope are certainly ripe for tossing him. He can do it with body position today but he has gone over the bars before he was more experienced. A fork will help depending on your terrain.

    Also, I'd find some hydraulic disk brakes. The V-Brakes issue is that they aren't super effective on sketchy terrain and your kid can get fatigue with them if they are braking over extended periods. Kind of have to adjust them a lot too as the brake pads wear. I hate doing it on my kids 16". Plus the short brake handles don't have a long pull...this makes the V-Brake issue even more annoying as the margin for error and how tight your brake pad has to be is slim.

    Your chain could be fixed with a clutched derailer shortcage like the Zee or SRAM GX.

    I got a chance to chat with the owner at Prevelo cycles (I'm kind of ignorant to a lot this) and he was cool enough to talk about some of the kids gear on these bikes. It was enlightening. Especially if your kid will be using his bike for a while/alot/challenging terrain.

    21+ lbs is super heavy for a nice$$ rigid fork 20" bike. That's odd. Isla Beinn is a similar bike at 17lbs.

    I'm interested in what you think about those Smoker tires. I agree the Small Block 8 isn't really appealing unless you are just basic trail riding I guess. Maybe the Maxxis MaxxDaddy is better? I don't see a ton of options in 20" tho.

    As your kid is just getting into pedaling...I would absolutely get him some light pads. We got the G-Form pads for elbows and knees and they have been awesome. They look cool, but more importantly they are comfortable enough that my son actually uses them. They save our day all the time. I do wish they went down to cover his shins tho...I still need something to help there. Also, gloves have been great too. Any fall seems to always include his hands.

  51. #51
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    I did a ton of research on 20" bikes as well, prior to placing my order for the MX20 Team. Like, 28 column, 50 row spreadsheet style research. And I agree with you on the need for wider availability of some decent air fork options at a reasonable price. 99% of what you see on these kids bikes is heavy, garbage "suspension" forks. That is one of the big reasons I went with Orbea over some of the other options. There are a few 20" air fork options, but most of them are as costly as the initial bike purchase or near impossible to find. I really wish Suntour would release a 20" version of their XCR LO Air. I could justify dropping an additional $150 on the bike, but there is no way I could get my wife to even consider spending $445 on something like a Brood air fork on a bike my son may use for three years.

    The other thing to take into consideration if you purchase an MX20 Team, is that the upgrade from V brakes to disc (mechanical or hydraulic) isn't quite so simple. The frame and fork will accommodate the upgrade, but the hubs do not have disc brake mounts. That means you either need to re-lace the with disc brake hubs, or more likely purchase a new custom built wheel set. Just looking at those two upgrades, you can see where purchasing an MX20 Team (and most other kids 20" bikes) with the intention to upgrade isn't all that wise. You're much better served to pay up front for a bike equipped to a level that will satisfy your child (read: yourself).

    I took a look at Prevelo as well. The Alpha Three's biggest advantage is the weight and stand over height. The Zulu Three is nicely equipped for the money, but well beyond what we were willing to spend for a short term bike. In the end, the MX 20 Team just seemed like a better deal for us (because there were no 20 Team Discs available anywhere).

    In terms of protection, we plan to pick up some G-Forms pads for our kiddo. We already scored a great deal on a small Bell Super 2 MIPS which fits him extremely well. If you're shopping kids helmets, I would highly recommend looking at clearance sales for adult smalls. Sizing is often the same and you can find some very nice deals.

  52. #52
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    For you guys that are looking at suspension but leery of cost, I'd consider giving Spinner an email. They'll sell you forks direct.

    That said, I don't think they're necessary in the least. Getting the tires to a good pressure ( yes, the small block eights are a fine tire when you don't run them at concrete psi) will do more for your kids handling than a questionable fork on the front end of a hardtail. Volume is the key, with proper pressure. I ran my sons SB8's on his rigid 20" at about 12.5 psi. He rode everything from smooth single track to rocky, rooty tech with nothing but climbs and chunky descents. No problems whatsover. Cleaned stuff that some of the older S-works riding racing crowd would get off and walk. The tires and lack of fork aren't the issue in the least, but they will be if you set them up wrong and look for gear to compensate for technique when they need to be learning it. Look at Spawns Brood tires in 20" for a decent volumes tire with moderate tread. Unfortunately, there just aren't many options available for 20 or even 24 that are worthy tires.

    For pads, if they are absolutely necessary, keep looking into finding stuff for kids. G form and Troy Lee Designs are good places to look. The adult small, even women's small, is guaranteed to have them swimming in it if they are at proper body size for a 20".

  53. #53
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    Bike Bling has some of the non disc versions in stock or can get them in a week depending on color preference. I ordered my son one today because I was tired of waiting for the disc version plus he is 40 lbs, we live in Colorado and i still cant see a scenario where v brakes aren't enough for him.

    The guy at Bike Bling said the Disc Version will be available Sept 18th for anyone wondering. A local shop here told me 45 days about two weeks ago so seems legit.
    If you're gonna be dumb you gotta be tough

  54. #54
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    I picked up a used (for a weekend vacation) Orbea MX 20 Team for my son today. It was $250 at the local bike shop, which represented a much better value than the entry level Giant XTC Jr., Cannondale, Trek Precalibur, etc. that I could get locally. It felt lighter and appears to be very well built and have higher quality components to boot. It was down to the MX 20 Team and the GT Stomper Prime, and the Orbea seemed like a substantially nicer bike.

    He turns five next week, but is very large for his age. It may still be a hair too big, but he was towering over his old 16". He got the blue one with pink accents...so he will definitely stand out.

    Anyway, lots of good info here. I really appreciate it. He's stoked about it, and I, like many of you, cherish our family rides. Having him be even more excited about them is going to be great.

  55. #55
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    I got my son's non disc version in this weekend. I was surprised to see the internal routing for the derailleur. I was also surprised to see a 70mm stem, i'll be replacing that with a shorter one. I ran into the problem with the chain wanting to jump off in the lower gears like others and it was pretty obvious the derailleur hanger was bent pretty bad. It is pretty damn flimsy actually. It appears to be the weak link on an otherwise solid build.

    I noticed it has holes for a water bottle cage, has anyone had any luck finding one that fits and will hold some sort of bottle? My kid would be jacked if I could make that functional for him.
    If you're gonna be dumb you gotta be tough

  56. #56
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    The water bottle location in the main triangle of my sons 24 is not really well placed, to be honest. I'm figuring that on the 20 it might possibly be even worse. I haven't done anything about it yet as I just let him drink from my bottles on rides, but I have been figuring a functional set up could be had with a side loading bottle cage like the Specialized Zee cage and a smaller bottle (21oz). If that isn't enough, something like this should make it work by moving the whole thing down the downtube further and closer to the seat tube a touch... Jenson USA - Online mountain & road bike parts, clothing and accessories shop | Jenson USA

    There's also a set of mounts on the underside of the downtube on my sons 24. Not sure I'd use them, and probably better suited for mounting a mud guard.
    Last edited by jochribs; 2 Weeks Ago at 02:33 PM. Reason: Correcting autocorrect's typos ironically.

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    Appreciated. I tried to shove one of my 20oz bottles in there and it aint happening. I'll have to see if i can find a smaller bottle. I have a couple side load cages i can toss on if so.
    If you're gonna be dumb you gotta be tough

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    Hmmm, are there bottles smaller than 20/21oz?

  60. #60
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    Jenson shows a 12oz. I will probably run up to REI and see if i can score one there.
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    We use a hydration bladder ... now Jnr is bigger he can use a small adult rucksack but when he was smaller we just used a dept store kids one and sewed some velcro into the top.. and fastened it round his waist to stop it bouncing about.

    A friend has tried all sorts on his kids 20.... including side loading (which falls out of rough stuff) and eventually copied the bladder idea...

    Only problem with bladders I find is the chore of cleaning/drying after you get back.

  62. #62
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    I carry a 3l bladder with me and have my son drink as needed. He has enough issue keeping the bike upright while off road, attention span issues.

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    Try the Source bladders. Supposedly do not need cleaning as much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    Only problem with bladders I find is the chore of cleaning/drying after you get back.
    After cleaning, I move mine immediately to the freezer to limit the possibility of bacteria growth.

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    My son loves his mini-mule. He uses it hiking, MTBing etc. Never complains and allows him to take some snacks, a light wind/rain jacket and store 'treasures' that he finds. Also makes him feel like a big kid - same gear as his dad.

    MSRP is $50, but can usually find for less than $30
    https://www.camelbak.com/en/packs/R01020--Mini_MULE

    Smaller pack, very light and 1.5L bladder. More than enough for a kid. I usually only load 0.5 to 1L for the distances he normally rides. On the couple occasions when he ran dry, he just draws from mine.

    I only ever put water in, saves the cleaning and funk production. Also rinse with cleaning tablets. I like the freezer idea though.

    db

  66. #66
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    Seriously guys...take a look at the Source packs and bladders. I'm not even a pack sort of guy, and these look pretty good. Lot of reviews stating that cleaning was often neglected and there were no issues whatsoever.

    edit...there's often an ad in the sidebar.

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    They make great gear, but I don't recall them making kid specific sizes. Has that changed? That's the only reason I went with the mini mule. Small pack, small bladder - perfect for a 5 year old. Plus, if you get it for $30 you basically get the bladder for free.

    For adults, there are better options than CamelBak imho. But it is personal, like debating the best bike manufacturer...

    db

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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalBoy View Post
    They make great gear, but I don't recall them making kid specific sizes. Has that changed? That's the only reason I went with the mini mule. Small pack, small bladder - perfect for a 5 year old. Plus, if you get it for $30 you basically get the bladder for free.

    For adults, there are better options than CamelBak imho. But it is personal, like debating the best bike manufacturer...

    db

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    I'm pretty sure that I did see kids stuff. And the bladders are not brand specific. Stick in a shopping bag if it floats yer boat.

    If I were going to use a bladder, one that has zero taste and doesn't need freezing or tableting would be making a bunch of sense to me. I remember scrubbing mine from years back...using the hose scrubber, and scrubbing out the bladder itself...then having to hang the stupid thing just right to dry it. No thanks.

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