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  1. #1
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    Spawn Yama Jama 24 Vs Trailcraft 24 Special Build

    As a "Do anything, all around kids bike" - Actual MTB rides on real trails, Bike Parks, jumps, screwing off down at the school, screwing off on dad's home made driveway features, possibly a groms XC race or two during their life span.

    Realizing I can't always get out to a trail with my twins. Nor do I want to. My interest is in fostering their sense of fun while playing on a bike. A bike made for fun anytime, anywhere.

    Which one and why? Trying to figure out if I'm overlooking anything.

    I've spent a great deal of time researching this proposition and I'm curious what the collective genius here thinks. I'm 99.9% sure I'm buying 2 of either the TrailCraft or the Spawn in the next 60days for Christmas.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    As a "Do anything, all around kids bike" - Actual MTB rides on real trails, Bike Parks, jumps, screwing off down at the school, screwing off on dad's home made driveway features, possibly a groms XC race or two during their life span.
    For that, YJ24 hands down. The Trailcrafts are XC race bikes, and not much lighter than the YJ24 but cost a lot more.

  3. #3
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    Agreed.

    TC appear to be marketed towards the XC racing folks. True. But aside from gearing, are they really that different? In how they actually ride? Geometry is similar-ish.

    Price is actually closer than you might think. $1574 +$70 for shipping for TC Special Build (no sales tax for me). Spawn YJ is $1150+ tax 8% $92 + shipping $40 + 155 to 140mm crank swap $150. $180 per bike price difference.

  4. #4
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    I built my son a TC Pineridge 24. Exceedingly happy. Not racing, just trail riding with dad. But also includes neighborhood cruising, goofing around etc. He was building jumps off our patio tonight onto the lawn. I looked at the YJ but was noticeably heavier (for the build I was planning). To get the weight down would have to spend more than the TC. For some of our trails, we climb over 1,000 ft. Every gram counts for kids.

    To be fair, this was not the TC special build, but custom from scratch (full XT, carbon bits etc). So YMMV. Was just easier for me to get the weight down and keep to budget with the TC. No regrets.

    db

  5. #5
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    1- What do you guys think of the difference in Forks? I don't know either all that well.

    2- How big of a difference is there between SRAM GX and Shimano XT components?

    Also, if its somewhat of a wash...I go TC for the better girlish color options (I know gender neutralality but its a reality). Spawn all day for boy colors. That neo green is insanely cool and even better in person.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    1- What do you guys think of the difference in Forks? I don't know either all that well.

    2- How big of a difference is there between SRAM GX and Shimano XT components?

    Also, if its somewhat of a wash...I go TC for the better girlish color options (I know gender neutralality but its a reality). Spawn all day for boy colors. That neo green is insanely cool and even better in person.
    I showed my girls the Spawn and one picked purple and the other wanted black. I did it just as a test to see what they intuitively preferred. Showed them the TC and they didn't care. Just said, "anything but blue". Kinda funny. They're pretty "girly" girls too.

    The fork on the TC is the standard benchmark for legit 24" forks. It's good. Beyond what most others spec. The fork on the Spawn is considered equal. Although has slightly more travel.

    XT Vs GX...hmm. GX is "good" we all know XT is solid.

  7. #7
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    Can only speak to the RST F1RST. I've had a couple. Very impressed for what it is designed and supposed to do. It is the benchmark as noted above. The x fusion fork is supposed to be good however. You just don't see as much chatter on this so more of an unknown (search the forum and you'll see the RST opinions)

    Color, whatever the kids like I guess. I would say the TC frame is much better in person. I have the blue and it is a great eye popping color. I have seen the green too, it looks sharp.

    As for componentry, kind of personal preference. I have/had both but prefer Shimano, esp XT (brakes even more so. Had Tektro brakes, not in the same league as XT).

    db

  8. #8
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    One other thought if it helps. Spawn have kind of come out of the bike park scene and it shows. TC are more trail/all mountain (and xc). Although this differential is less in kids bikes, think about the type of riding you will be doing. For me, we hit trails, climb mountains. Never do DH park stuff. A superlight trail bike was key, hence TC. Just another thought if it helps.

    db

  9. #9
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    Just a follow-up on this. I ordered 2 24" Spawn Yama Jama's yesterday on their pre-order for the next batch as a Christmas gift for my girls. I'm probably more excited than they will be.

    The Trailcraft is a superior bike. No question. Because I have to buy 2 at once, the price was just more than I was willing to spend. If I were only buying one bike, I would have ordered a tricked out Pineridge. Perhaps a Maxwell.

    My biggest criticism/frustration with the Yama Jama is the crank size spec. The 155mm cranks are perfect for BMX racing where you're sprinting for 60seconds. Or maybe even for downhill runs. But for an XC (trail) ride over rolling terrain, with mostly seated but intermittent standing pedaling, for a 24" bike sized rider, the seated pedal stroke with 155mm cranks is GIGANTIC and inefficient. So I ordered 140mm cranks separately. This will also allow us to move the seat up slightly higher for a better neutral riding position. Rather than slamming the seat so they can reach the pedals but their knees nearly hitting their chest at the top of the stroke when seated. When they have nearly outgrown the bike, I will swap back to the 155mm cranks.

    That being said, I think the Yama Jama is a sweet bike and a pretty good value. The frame itself is excellent. With great geometry and overall specs for the rest of the bike. I'm a fan of the 2.3inch tires and the 80mm travel fork. Perfect for all around riding. Doesn't hurt that it's built to be somewhat bombproof. Kids are hard on things. Regardless of their abilities.

  10. #10
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    I like the YJ Geo better than the Trail Craft Pine Ridge for sure. TC Maxwell, not the PR, is the real All-Mountain bike and has closer to modern all-mountain Geo. PineRidge is a XC machine and phenomenal it seems. I like the YJ geo etc over it for "All Mountain" needs tho. I'm guessing most kids are riding XC style stuff or neighborhoods and not All-Mountain stuff. I LOVE the YJ 20 so far and we are truly riding All-Mountain and taking advantage every day of that slacker headtube. That being said, the 24" YJ has that 26" fork on it. I wonder what the impact the higher stack is. Same with Ripcord/Rosukksuta etc. Seems like only TC is effectively using a true 24" Fork. Maybe its no big deal though, I don't understand the impacts of the higher stack and hoping someone can explain it. I'm still leaning towards the Maxwell for a 2019 spring purchase for now due to the weight, improved HA and a more normal stack.

    Side note, which Cranks did you end up buying? I don't think Brood/Spawn makes a 140mm crank.

  11. #11
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    Well, it's a modified 26" fork reduced from 100mm to 80mm and tuned for a lightweight rider. The frt of the bike on the YJ might even be similar because the HA @ 68. All things being equal, if the same HA bike were equipped with a 60mm Vs an 80mm fork, the 80mm would be higher of course.

    But if the HA were at 70 with an 60mm Vs a HA of 68 with 80mm fork, I would guess the handlebar height difference is nominal. If that makes any sense.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    Well, it's a modified 26" fork reduced from 100mm to 80mm and tuned for a lightweight rider. The frt of the bike on the YJ might even be similar because the HA @ 68. All things being equal, if the same HA bike were equipped with a 60mm Vs an 80mm fork, the 80mm would be higher of course.

    But if the HA were at 70 with an 60mm Vs a HA of 68 with 80mm fork, I would guess the handlebar height difference is nominal. If that makes any sense.
    Nice, thanks. I put in some of the numbers into BikeGeo. I'm missing some stuff but I think I have enough for a decent enough comparison of the stack. What do you think?
    Spawn Yama Jama 24 Vs Trailcraft 24 Special Build-image-4.png

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Side note, which Cranks did you end up buying? I don't think Brood/Spawn makes a 140mm crank.
    They do, but they're not available in the US. If you switch to the Canadian site they're on there. If you need a 140ish cranks in the US, Flow's 135 mm cranksets are really nice and very reasonably priced: https://www.flowkidsbikes.com/produc.../flow-crankset

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    They do, but they're not available in the US. If you switch to the Canadian site they're on there. If you need a 140ish cranks in the US, Flow's 135 mm cranksets are really nice and very reasonably priced: https://www.flowkidsbikes.com/produc.../flow-crankset
    Actually - I ordered the Brood 140mm cranks from the Canadian site and hit the drop down for the "shipped to" country for USA shipping. It took me a few minutes of cursing before I figured it out. But it took the order and I got the confirmation this morning.

    https://spawncycles.com/brood-eldorado-syx-155

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Nice, thanks. I put in some of the numbers into BikeGeo. I'm missing some stuff but I think I have enough for a decent enough comparison of the stack. What do you think?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hey I did pretty good just eyeballing it and counting on my fingers and toes! I think the fork length on the YJ within your calc is probably wrong. Just throwing it out there. Since the difference in travel is only 20mm but you're showing the fork length difference at 50mm difference. But I could be overlooking something.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    Actually - I ordered the Brood 140mm cranks from the Canadian site and hit the drop down for the "shipped to" country for USA shipping. It took me a few minutes of cursing before I figured it out. But it took the order and I got the confirmation this morning.

    https://spawncycles.com/brood-eldorado-syx-155
    Interesting. A year or so ago you couldn't do that.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Interesting. A year or so ago you couldn't do that.
    Some of the stuff explicitly say's they don't ship whereas other stuff seems only available on the Canadian site BUT doesn't say they won't ship ??

    It's a bit weird but ......

  18. #18
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    Got the bikes just in the nick of time!

    Spawn Yama Jama 24 Vs Trailcraft 24 Special Build-newbike.jpg

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    Got the bikes just in the nick of time!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ha, awesome. What do you think so far?

  20. #20
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    They're pretty awesome! Worth the $$ for sure. The frame itself is very very nice. Certainly a kid friendly "beefy" built bike that will take a fair amount of abuse/neglect. The fork is legit. Limited flex and very smooth. Although it's annoying the 20" gets a carbon fiber fork and the bike costs less $$. With the specs otherwise identical to the 24". The wheelset is impressive. Along with the tires. I swapped out the rotors for Ashima because it was cheap weight loss along with tubeless conversion prior to the first ride. That seat/post combo. Well the jury is out. It's stout for sure. They say it's really comfortable. So that's a bonus. I really wish they'd come with 140mm cranks and taped up rims. I also ordered a 28T frt chainring for them yesterday. Because they are over-geared for any sort of real trail riding for the average, active, non bike racing kid.


    But their ability to ride faster/farther/smoother and clear obstacles was immediate. I'm guessing any kid making the leap from 20-24" would experience something similar. The fact that these bikes weigh the same as their 20" bikes is a big bonus though. They're adapting to the size of the bike. Not the weight of the bike.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    They're pretty awesome! Worth the $$ for sure. The frame itself is very very nice. Certainly a kid friendly "beefy" built bike that will take a fair amount of abuse/neglect. The fork is legit. Limited flex and very smooth. Although it's annoying the 20" gets a carbon fiber fork and the bike costs less $$. With the specs otherwise identical to the 24". The wheelset is impressive. Along with the tires. I swapped out the rotors for Ashima because it was cheap weight loss along with tubeless conversion prior to the first ride. That seat/post combo. Well the jury is out. It's stout for sure. They say it's really comfortable. So that's a bonus. I really wish they'd come with 140mm cranks and taped up rims. I also ordered a 28T frt chainring for them yesterday. Because they are over-geared for any sort of real trail riding for the average, active, non bike racing kid.


    But their ability to ride faster/farther/smoother and clear obstacles was immediate. I'm guessing any kid making the leap from 20-24" would experience something similar. The fact that these bikes weigh the same as their 20" bikes is a big bonus though. They're adapting to the size of the bike. Not the weight of the bike.
    Apparently Brood is making some 24in Forks or at least experimenting with them. The Trail Craft guys mentioned they had some. Perhaps in another model. Glad to hear the fork it comes with in nice tho. Agreed on the cranks.

    Glad you are stoked and that it was worth the wait. Nice to hear some hands on experience with the 24". Thanks!

  22. #22
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    So I threw the Yama Jama 24" on a scale this morning 24.5lbs :-/

    This is with the bike set up tubeless (2 0Z of fluid) with Ashima rotors. I swapped the rotors because the stock ones were bent in shipping. I know I could have trued them. Or paid someone to true them. But I didn't want to bother.

    Spawn Yama Jama 24 Vs Trailcraft 24 Special Build-yamajama.jpg

    I guess I'll go down the rabbit hole of putting it on a diet. Something I didn't really plan to do.

    Suggestions on how to affordably get the weight down?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post

    Suggestions on how to affordably get the weight down?
    You just need to strip and weigh everything
    Then itís a $/oz calculation with a durability chucked in.

    Somewhere on here is a thread I started with weights ... stuff like saddle/seatpost and bars/stem are usually quick wins... you can save 100g on tires for example with rrs but they might be less grip and less durable. Then you need to work out vs if that works for your kids riding.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    You just need to strip and weigh everything
    Then itís a $/oz calculation with a durability chucked in.

    Somewhere on here is a thread I started with weights ... stuff like saddle/seatpost and bars/stem are usually quick wins... you can save 100g on tires for example with rrs but they might be less grip and less durable. Then you need to work out vs if that works for your kids riding.
    Ordered AEST Pedals today. Should be good for 150gm Vs stock

    Carbon bars are next - I'd sure like some suggestions for affordable carbon bars that aren't crap.

    Later this spring I'm going to attack the wheels. There's up to a pound to be had there. They weigh 1765gm. Not awful. But not light.

    If I can get it to 23ish lbs with those tires and that shock, I'll be satisfied.

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    Good start .... though I'd seriously recommend to strip one bike as much as you can and weigh or you will end up spending more than the TC as digital boy said.

    It's almost endless ... (in my experience) because there is always something lighter at some cost and often it only makes sense when reduced or in combination with something else. e.g. what does the X fusion weigh ?? you could change to a F1rst or get a SID modified etc. and end up not saving so much weight but spending lots.

    There is also the ticking clock thing... the longer you wait for any upgrade the less use they get... especially any specific to 24 wheels!

    I took a gamble on carbon bars ... and got some $15 ... I was sceptical and bought 2 pairs and planned to test one set to destruction. When I got to cutting them down it was obvious they were not going to break and the 2nd pair went on my XC bike.
    Both pairs have been crashed multiple times (the ones on my XC with adult weights) enough to break XT shifters or need the stem re-aligning etc. and both are fine. The ones from my XC are now on his trail bike!

    Same way wheels are endless..... by chance when I was building there was a 66% discount on CX-Ray.... I wouldn't say its worth it at retail $3/spoke but at $1 it was a good weight reduction with the Novatec D771/772 and Stans Crest.

    Its also the combo's so is it really worth changing free hub to XD? With 10 speed (for me) its worth the extra for the XT cassette vs SLX but rear mech your savings on weight (3-4g from memory) are not worth XT rear mech... whereas shifters possibly are but in the newer 11sp the SLX shifters and mech are probably better for kids than XT as they have significantly less force required...

    The reasons for me sticking with Shimano are really just compatibility that saves money longer term.
    I can swap out components across bikes and keep spares (pads etc) I buy at discount, keep a single bleed kit.. and buy shimano hydraulic fluid in the big pint pot.

    Longer term it might be worth having 2 sets of wheels rather than rebuild ...?
    It depends what you/they ride but we have a (slightly) heavier pair with big tires and the light pair with Rocket Rons and XC ray.

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    I'll be into the bikes more than a Trailcraft. I've already accepted that. I agree with you on the timeline for upgrades and available usage. I think that factor is overlooked by many.

    I'm very familiar with the wheels rabbit hole. I have ENVE wheels for my other bikes. I may just go all in with some Stans+CX Ray+DT350. Looks like about $5-600 per set. Or just buy the Trailcraft wheelset with tires and call it a day. Gotta give it some thought. The freedom of having 2 sets had also crossed my mind.

    I don't know the weight of the fork. But I'm not willing to spend the $$ for a Fox or the trouble of modifying a SID when the fork is already very nice and has 80mm instead of 60mm travel.

    My current list in order or importance is:

    Pedals - AEST

    Carbon Bars - ?

    Might go after the seat post and seat. But I'd just buy a Flow/Trailcraft seat

    Wheels

    Not much interest in chasing grams on a rear mech. Dropping weight via the brakes is a terrible value proposition. But if one of them fails, it's getting upgraded. Lightweight cassettes are too expensive.

  27. #27
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    Wheel wise, I don't know much...though the Trail Craft wheel set is fairly affordable and weighs 1524 with tape for like 330$. I'd keep the Maxtion tires...they are light for as beefy as they are! Love those.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    I'll be into the bikes more than a Trailcraft. I've already accepted that. I agree with you on the timeline for upgrades and available usage. I think that factor is overlooked by many.
    Well I guess we are used to buying our own bikes ... so we don't think of it the same as we learn to thin of kids shoes or winter coats?

    I'm very familiar with the wheels rabbit hole. I have ENVE wheels for my other bikes. I may just go all in with some Stans+CX Ray+DT350. Looks like about $5-600 per set. Or just buy the Trailcraft wheelset with tires and call it a day. Gotta give it some thought.
    I underuse my Carbon Rim DT's (Giant P-TRX).... I could buy a nice TC for the kid for the price of replacing either wheel... and I swapped them out for a bike park trip for some other wheels ... what I realised is they are nicer in every way .. but not THAT much nicer.

    As it happens I got the other wheels hugely discounted to replace the ones that came with my trail bike.. they cost me the equivalent of $125 (for the pair) and retail should have been $450 ish... (not that I'd have paid that for the specific wheels)

    What I realised is the difference between the "with the bike" wheels and the "discounted ones" is huge... but between those and the $2000 wheels isn't big enough for me to bother changing the tyres over for normal riding.

    Of course that's my very subjective opinion for riding for fun as opposed to racing.
    That gives me a subjective view on the Stans/CX Ray/DT350's ....
    I'd pay full retail for the Stans Rims... no hesitation. They are IMHO fantastic, you expect Stans to go Tubeless easily... but do you expect it to be so easy a 8 yr old can seat them with just a track pump ?? (With RR's... obviously other tires might vary)

    DT350's .. I'd not bother for a kid unless they were discounted or I had a set spare.
    The reason being the Novatec D771/D772 are heavier than the 240's...but lighter than 350's and way cheaper and have proven strong enough for a kid.
    (He even uses a (non free hub friendly) SLX cassette on them when racing and the free hub is unmarked whereas my DT free hub is nicked using a XT)

    CX Ray's I don't think I'd pay $3 a spoke for a build.. it makes changing a hub/rim a expensive proposition if it includes 32 new spokes... (you also have to find the spokes in the right length)

    The freedom of having 2 sets had also crossed my mind.
    It works for us... he has 2 bikes one for trail and one for XC racing.
    However the XC racing wheels get used on the trail bike for specific types of non-race riding. (Especially longer > 20 mile and 2000+ of climbing type as he goes further)
    The other wheels have what would be in proportion plus size... and these get used at bike parks and shorter but more technical/rocky rides.

    I don't know the weight of the fork. But I'm not willing to spend the $$ for a Fox or the trouble of modifying a SID when the fork is already very nice and has 80mm instead of 60mm travel.
    Depends what use for the bikes and the AC as to if it would be better.
    For XC the 60mm on the F1rst is overkill. His trail bike is designed to use a 26" fork and 26" XC forks are pretty cheap now (new but older stock). It's set at 100mm travel and he still has a spacer and the external lower headset adds 12... so he could even get 120mm (with a straight steering tube and ZS lower) .. in this case there was no need to modify except getting the shim stack tuned... which can be done alongside a full for service.

    My current list in order or importance is:

    Pedals - AEST
    They are amazing... even knowing the weight doesn't prepare you when you pick them up.

    Carbon Bars - ?
    The cheaper $15-$20 ones I bought have been fine. As the kids grow you can buy a new set and cut down slightly longer.

    Might go after the seat post and seat. But I'd just buy a Flow/Trailcraft seat

    Wheels

    Not much interest in chasing grams on a rear mech.
    Not by itself as anything lighter than the GX is $$$ for very few grams...
    Dropping weight via the brakes is a terrible value proposition.
    But if one of them fails, it's getting upgraded.
    I look at brakes from a 3rd angle... my time/convenience.
    I'm sure any 160mm hydraulic brake will stop a kids weight... but pads wear etc. brakes need bleeding and hoses changing.

    I really don't want to carry 2 sets of pads and take a extra bleed kit etc. and any brake can't have the pads changed without removing the caliper for me goes in the trash.

    Lightweight cassettes are too expensive.
    Depends on "lightweight" and other factors.
    XT cassettes are a fair bit lighter than SLX... but they are also "free hub friendlier" because of the spiders.

    However I apply common components whenever I can be that chains or split links etc..
    When we go away for a weekend or week I'll have a full set of spares for most things that can go wrong. If we drive 2 hours to get somewhere for a weekend I don't want to be driving back because either of us broke a part or damaged the brake hose.

  29. #29
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    Trailcraft has a winter special right now at $1299 which looks appealing looking at their side banner ads. More limited on colors and remaining stock but Shimano components, 140mm cranks with 30 tooth chainring, 11-42 cassette and Rocket Ron tires looks like a great setup for a low weight. The square taper crank is a bit old school, but I can easily look past that for a 22.5 pound bike at that price.

    Tires/wheels/chainring/cassette seem to be what everyone is swapping out post-purchase on other bikes to make them lighter/better geared and it's already done.

    https://www.trailcraftcycles.com/pro...-winter-build/

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by thefuzzbl View Post
    Trailcraft has a winter special right now at $1299 which looks appealing looking at their side banner ads. More limited on colors and remaining stock but Shimano components, 140mm cranks with 30 tooth chainring, 11-42 cassette and Rocket Ron tires looks like a great setup for a low weight. The square taper crank is a bit old school, but I can easily look past that for a 22.5 pound bike at that price.

    Tires/wheels/chainring/cassette seem to be what everyone is swapping out post-purchase on other bikes to make them lighter/better geared and it's already done.

    https://www.trailcraftcycles.com/pro...-winter-build/
    The Sq taper is perhaps a positive .... (for a few reasons)
    1/ The main potential problems around square taper for adults that can put out 800W don't apply to kids... (I guess thats more of a non-negative) but kids won't be suffering flex in the cranks...

    2/ the BB is heavier but the bike's already 22lbs... so it can only get better

    3/ Your going to likely need to change the cranks before they outgrown the bike anyway

    My reservations would be the wheels are not the Stans they put on the premium bikes... and they have stuck Acera brakes... (which need the callipers removing to take pads in/out) as far as I know... if I was shopping I'd be happier to pay another $100-$200 for these two and .. drive chain and rear mech are disposable anyway.... whereas you're buying wheels and brakes to last the bike out.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Wheel wise, I don't know much...though the Trail Craft wheel set is fairly affordable and weighs 1524 with tape for like 330$. I'd keep the Maxtion tires...they are light for as beefy as they are! Love those.
    The stock Brood wheelset is 1765gm. I'd need to dump at least a full pound on the wheels to feel it was worth the trouble. The Trailcraft wheelset is a great value. But I think I'll be reaching a bit further. I'll be shooting for a very tough built Stans rim based wheelset. I have a team deal through a dealer so I would guess I can get a solid price break.

    Those tires are much better than I expected. They rode through rocky sections today I wouldn't have imagined they could clear. And the bite/traction they get from the sidewalls on narrow off camber trails is really good.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    The Trailcraft wheelset is a great value. But I think I'll be reaching a bit further.
    I think in the context of the brood wheels it is a great 2nd wheel set but it's not THAT much of an upgrade.

    Those tires are much better than I expected. They rode through rocky sections today I wouldn't have imagined they could clear. And the bite/traction they get from the sidewalls on narrow off camber trails is really good.
    Where we live and ride having 2 sets .. the lighter one with Rocket Rons and the heavier one with bigger and grippier tires seems a really good combination.

    The Brood wheels with the tires seem a pretty good 2nd wheel for everyday and hard duty use. If you reach a bit further then the Rocket Rons are pretty good and very light...
    Like everything else on kids bikes there is scale and kids weights.. so a 2.1" XC tire has more grip for the weight etc. than the same tire on a 650/29er with the same weight..

    As with adults but in my experience amplified with kids they get tired faster on bigger and grippier tires.. but most of the time that's not really a big issue... things like speed/acceleration only really matter if your racing whereas having a tired out kid for the last 10 miles is not fun for anyone. Its not like it makes a huge difference when you are out cycling as a family and at least for us the differences in time seems more on the technical descents than climbs.

    Its not that I can't climb faster but that the climb is comfortable for a family ride and I'm not going to be pushing myself to the limit with a 8yr old anyway so it ends up more like an EWS between stages rather than adult XC pace - I don't feel like it's painful - whereas on really technical (black) descents I do find the speed somewhat painful in terms of having more fun. Either I'm ahead and have to keep stopping or I'm behind and dragging my brakes... I have to do this noticeably less when he's riding the big/grippy tires.

    Going for that better build and some light tires will be good if they do some races but equally when you can get out and do some epic family rides. The current Brood wheels should really be great for everyday use (or if you did a weekend with uplift).

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    I had a local wheel builder do up some lighter hoops for the YamaJamas.

    It made a huge difference in how they handle the bike. Not cheap. But not awful either.

    Spawn Yama Jama 24 Vs Trailcraft 24 Special Build-kids-wheels.jpg

    Spawn Yama Jama 24 Vs Trailcraft 24 Special Build-all-wheels.jpg

    I think this will be the last of the mods for a while. Meaning I think I've gotten the bikes down to a more manageable weight for my girls. Carbon bars, Ti pedals, lightweight wheels, Ashima rotors.

    If you're in NorCal I would highly recommend KB Wheels in Auburn.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by SactoGeoff View Post
    I had a local wheel builder do up some lighter hoops for the YamaJamas.

    It made a huge difference in how they handle the bike. Not cheap. But not awful either.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    I think this will be the last of the mods for a while. Meaning I think I've gotten the bikes down to a more manageable weight for my girls. Carbon bars, Ti pedals, lightweight wheels, Ashima rotors.

    If you're in NorCal I would highly recommend KB Wheels in Auburn.
    Awesome! What was the total price?

  35. #35
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    1270 grams per set.

    Stans Crest 24" MKIII 24h + Sapim Lazer + aluminum nipples + Bitex lightweight hubs frt/back. He did each set for under $450.

    Bitex is a Chinese hub maker who several wheel builders or mfr's have re branded for their wheel sets. Ibis used them on their wheel sets for example. Other wheel builders have their own logo etched onto them. They're out there. People just don't realize it. The free hub feels far tighter with better engagement and the bearings are much much better than the stock wheels. Zero play. And these don't use plastic end cap spacers like the stock frt wheel hubs.

    The new wheels are 1.1lbs lighter + have better bearings + better fork/hub connecting point + better engagement at the free hub. They're on par with a quality wheel set for an adult bike.

    FWIW - KB Wheels owner Casey is heavily involved in a NICA kids team here in NorCal. So when I said I want some badass 24" wheels, his eyes got wider. He was all into it!

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    How much of the weight savings was hubs vs. rims? Got a link for those hubs?

  37. #37
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    Here's a link to the distributor. They appear to be mostly available to wheel builders directly.

    Frt hub. Bitex : MTB hub,BMX hub,SHOW hub,FOLDING hub,CHILD hub, Wheelchair hub

    Rear hub: Bitex : MTB hub,BMX hub,SHOW hub,FOLDING hub,CHILD hub, Wheelchair hub


    I couldn't say the hub for hub weight savings because I didn't dismantle the stock wheels. But the stock wheels published weight is 1765gm per set. Which is pretty decent.

    I suspect half the savings per wheel is in the spokes/rims/nipples. The hubs are certainly lighter but I'm mostly impressed with the precision of the bearings and the freewheel bearings/engagement Vs the stock ones. The total package is more efficient.

    Nothing wrong with the stock wheels. They're not bad. Moving to a higher grade wheel set brings the bike up a few notches in all around efficiency.

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