Trailcraft or build?
I have been very intrigued with the Trailcraft line of 24" bikes for my girls.
On the other hand I would love to build a bike for them.
So XXS/XS 26" framed bike, or go with a fully built bike like the Trailcraft?
Tough to find those small frames in a used 26er.
Suggestions? Not looking to spend more than what a Trailcraft retails for.
Girls are 10 and 12. On the smaller side.
My wife rides a 14" frame, so I'm used to looking for small MTB frames as a matter of course.
This is her Ti SS.
TrailCraft bikes look nice, but if you enjoy building bikes, building an XS 26" bike starting with a used frame will be cheaper, IMHO.
The standover on most xs/13" bikes is around 26 - 26.5in. I would start there. If your daughters are small like mine, they might be able to use a 24 until they're 16 or 17, in which case they'll definitely appreciate the smaller bikes.
If they can or will likely be able to fit the 26" frame in the next year or so, it's worth considering finding a used frame. I would set up an ebay and craigslist alert for xs or 13" frames or bikes. It's definitely not easy to find good quality in this size range.
try driving your car less
Build! If you have time, look for a used XS bike on CL locally. I found a trek 4300. I changed the fork to a SID, put on a mechanical disc brake in the front and an extra wheel I had. I put on a better rear wheel, old XT 8 speed cassette and then put on some tires that are lighter. I had a seat and post that fit and were lighter.
If you don't have time and are buying new, I would still go new. For the price of the trailcraft you can get a nice XS bike at the LBS. My son is 10 and is now on the XS and it's great. The 24" will be outgrown so quickly.
Only boring people get bored.
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