I found this bike on CL way before my son was old enough to ride it, but bought it anyway and stashed it away. I think this is a 2003 and these came in 2 sizes, 11" and 13.5" and this is the larger one. My son was not really big enough to ride it until he was about 9. He primarily cruises up and down the dirt road we live on and we made a short trail through the woods next to our house. A couple of Saturdays a month we go out with some other dads and boys onto some mellow singletrack, advancing a bit every weekend.
I wanted to keep this fun and cheap. I see some bikes on here that are too nice to dump on a neighbors lawn while playing whatever. I wanted my son to have that freedom I loved so much at that age. But we all know that a nicer bike will be more fun. Just not too nice to stress about it. I also see some folks posting bikes that cost them very little but took lots of time and expertise. I have little time to tinker with this bike (like make a custom brake arch) but I have the tools and experience, except for wheelbuilding.
So I took this bike, which cost a little over $100 and found a good compromise with the following:
carbon bar and post. easy to swap, about $20 each on the bay and dropped some weight and my son thinks it looks cool.
removed the kickstand
shorter stem, $10 on the bay shipped from china. how do they do that?
I felt that the wheels were not worth the $$ to upgrade. he does not need discs. The cassette rear hub was tempting, but I did not do it.
I left the triple up front because he uses mostly the middle, and sometimes the granny. Removing the big ring does not really save you much of anything.
the big upgrade that I was on the fence and did it was the fork. the spinner air fork actually works, as opposed to the stock RST. It saved 0 grams. This is the most recent and final upgrade. Only a few rides but I can see it was the right move, as opposed to finding a SID and building a front disc wheel.
The drivetrain works well, my son can handle it, and the $ for upgrades seems not worth it on this bike. I did put on an old LX front brake because the stock front would not work with the spinner fork (without getting shorter mounting bolts).
He is the oldest of 3 so it will get some use! I have about $325 into it total. Weighs 25 pounds with the lights and flashing valve caps.
OK having trouble with pics... coming soon.
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