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  1. #1
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    Trailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.

    Hi guys, I would like to take the opportunity to do a well deserved review on a Trailcraft 24 mtb.

    I've been researching for a nice 24 mtb for my 8-year-old boy for a few month. Previously he had a Trek M60 and it weighed a ton, he didn't like it and was struggling so I knew I needed something light enough. I started looking for a full suspension bike but those are too heavy for him as he only weighs about 54 pounds (he is a skinny kid) and the components weren't that great for the price. I asked a few questions here in mtbr and checked other threads on different forums. By the information I gathered and some pm's with memebers from this forum I decided to go with a hardtail.

    The main thing I was looking for was a light bike, thumb shifters and better components. My son hated and couldn't work the twist shifters from the Trek.

    I learned about other brands I never heard of that looked really nice but for the price I wasn't going to get a great bike so my first pick was the Trailcraft Pineridge 24 because is a dedicated youth bike with a great geometry and components and best of all LIGHT, did I mentioned is LIGHT?. At just 22 pounds, hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano components, ZTR Crest wheels and Schwalbe tires, RST First 24 air fork I knew that was the bike. If I want to go a bit lighter I could go tubeless which I'll be doing soon as the wheel set is tubeless ready.

    Guys, this is a high end bike, I actually weighed the bike and it did weigh 22 pounds as claimed without pedals. With pedals it weighed 22.5 pounds and that was with tioga mini spyder platform pedals I had for his bmx racing bike that we never used as he is using clipless pedals.

    We went to the trails as me and my son couldn't wait to try the bike, he was so exited and so happy with the bike, I never gave him any details of the bike so he didn't know it was a lighter bike.

    Wow, the first thing he said when we started riding was that the bike was so light, smooth and responsive compared to the Scott we bought for him to start on a 24 (I wasn't that happy with that bike), the thumb shifters were an absolute hit. He hated the twist shifters from all his previous bikes including the Scott so that was a great thing also as I was looking for that upgrade. He is very comfortable in the seating position thanks to the kid's size Velo saddle. He was also complaining about his butt hurting. We usually spend about 2 hours on the trails and he hasn't complained not even once.

    My wife is 4'8" and loved the bike too and the saddle. She has a Trek 4200 xs size and she now prefers the Trailcraft bike. She said that if my son doesn't go to the trails for some reason she would be using his bike over hers. As you can see this is not just for kids, it could be also for small size petite ladies.

    He is into bmx racing and doing very well, he won first place in a 2014 gold cup in Rock Hill SC so he knows bikes and he's been doing mtb for about 3 years now. Thats how he knows how to give me feedback when it comes to bikes as I always trying to tune or find the perfect gear when he goes to race. He will be starting mtb racing this May so I'm expecting him to do very well at that race thanks to this light and nimble mtb. He shouldn't have any problem other than dealing with more experience mtb kids.

    They offer an aluminum 24, titanium 24 even lighter than the aluminum one and they are working on a 26 version now. That probably would be my son's next bike when he outgrows the 24.

    About Ginger, the owner and mastermind of TC or Trailcraft Cycles, trailcraftcycles.com, When I first spoke to her I had so many question and she was able to answer all of them. The whole process was very smooth, she replied to each and every email I sent her quickly. Once I spoke with her over the phone we continued communicating via email. She is awesome, super nice, she takes the time to explain and reply to every question and she really knows this stuff pretty well.

    I placed the order for a green bike and she got back to me to make sure the order was correct and to let me know she got the order. Shipping was very quick, I place the order Friday and told me she was going to ship the bike on Monday as it was already a weekend. On Monday, the first email I got was the tracking number and to my surprise it was here by Thursday, she is in Colorado and I'm in Georgia, I was so happy and excited, my wife told me that it looked like the bike was for me .

    The box she uses to pack the bike is a heavy duty cardboard box with a lot of protection throughout the bike, there isn't a chance for that bike to get scratched, she even put a cardboard between the bike/frame and the front wheel.

    She also includes an envelope with step by step instruction on how to take the bike out of the box and how to put it together. That's nice as I never seen that on the other new bikes I have purchased in the past.

    I am very PLEASED with the bike and I feel that my money was WELL spent as this is an investment for me, my wife and my son as we are going to enjoy even more mtb'ing together. He is having so much more fun on the bike and his riding has progressed so much more than his heavier Scott bike. We will be creating great memories and more importantly enjoy the time together by doing something we all love to do.

    I would like to clarify that I don't know her and that I don't work for her, i'm just another super happy customer. I'm doing this review because it is a great bike and people need to know there is a mtb youth specific bike with great components and very lightweight and it deserves to be considered when looking and researching for a youth mountain bike.

    I can assure that you won't be disappointed with the product and with Ginger, the mastermind behind this bike. She'll take care of you, she believes in her product and she is very proud of it and I want to THANK her here by posting this review.

    You built an awesome bike and I'm a very happy to own a Trailcraft Pineridge 24 and to be your customer.

    I would be more than happy to answer any question and if someone is in my vicinity (augusta ga) I would be more than happy to show the bike and let your kid go for a test ride.

    Will be posting pics soon as we are out of town and don't have the pics I took from the bike.

    Thanks guys and hope people looking for a mtb for your kids give them a chance. I know she would be more than happy to answer any question.

    JR.
    Last edited by wellcraft; 05-04-2015 at 07:12 AM.

  2. #2
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    Awesome! But you forgot the most important thing... Pictures.

  3. #3
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    We have had a pineridge for about 6 months and the bike is perfect. My 8 year old loves it. And your correct not only does Ginger make an incredible bike but she is VERY easy to deal with.

  4. #4
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    I need to get the pics, I promise i'll get them soon. I bought a new rapala digital scale today with almost perfect reviews as my analog broke and didn't trust that one anyways, I weighted the bike today with the new one and it weighted 22.17 pounds including pedals and a small light.

  5. #5
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    I'll add a review of the Trailcraft Pineridge 24 (aluminum) to this thread. As background, I have 3 kids (ages 10, 6, 4) with the kid bike quiver including a mix of Islabikes (Rothan, Cnocs, Beinns), Spawn Cycles (Banshee), and now this Trailcraft Pineridge 24.

    The Trailcraft is absolutely stunning. The geometry is perfect. The build quality is top notch. The 22 lb weight for the 2x10 setup is as good as it gets, and the bike rocketed my 10 year old daughter's riding to the next level.

    My 10 year old moved up from an Islabike Beinn 20" large (modified to be 2x7 drivetrain). The Beinn was a great bike to learn basic mtb skills on, but moving up to the Trailcraft resulted in a rapid growth curve including drops, jumps, faster downhills, steeper climbs, and much bigger grins.

    The only modification I made to the Trailcraft was installing a Salsa Fliplock seat collar (easier for little hands to change seat height) and cutting down the bars a little bit. Other than, it's stock.

    We've tested (and owned) a lot of kids bikes over the years, and I've witnessed what bad bike geometry looks like. After being disappointed with the Spawn Banshee build quality and geometry, I have remained partial to Islabikes because their geometry is spot-on for the younger kids. I did a lot of research on 24" MTB geometry before springing for the Trailcraft (including comparing it to the Islabike Creig 24 geometry), but I was nervous the geometry would come up short. Hah! Not only did I have nothing to worry about---the geometry was better than I could have imagined for my kid. By her 2nd day on the bike, she was being more playful than she'd ever been on the Beinn. The amount of air she's catching continues to go up week by week (we've had the bike for ~2 months now).

    For reference, my 10 year old is just over ~50" tall in socks and weighs ~50 lbs.

    Lastly, as many have already posted in these forums, dealing with Ginger at Trailcraft is an absolute pleasure. Her passion for the sport, kids on mountain bikes, and her product comes through in every word she writes. She is responsive, helpful, and it just doesn't get better than that.

    The Pineridge 24 is hands-down the best 24" XC bike available (considering geometry, weight, build quality, 2x10 for climbing, etc.). If your kid needs full suspension, that's a different set of bikes (Transition, Lil Shredder, Commencal, Norco), but for hard-tail 24" mountain bikes, nothing else even comes close.

    I've attached a few pictures, but more for see the featured rider this month on Trailcraft's web page: Trailcraft Cycles.

    Trailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-kaiawoodberm_aim.jpgTrailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-kaiaelevatorshaftup_ael.jpgTrailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-allthreekids_aim.jpgTrailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-kaiainforestdown_ael.jpgTrailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-kaiajumpfront_aim.jpg

  6. #6
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    Those bikes are really nice.

    I might have to get in touch with Ginger in 18 months time and see if she can ship me a frame over to the UK for Char's next bike.

  7. #7
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    Do you find that the suspension fork is worthwhile for a 50 pound kid?

    I just ordered a Pineridge 24 for my son's 10th birthday present. It has a rigid fork and 1x10 gearing with an 11-42 cassette, and it has the Stans Crest wheels. Weight is just 20 lbs. It was a 2016 model at a special price. And it's green! (my son's favorite color)

    My son is almost 10, and he is small for his age -- about 50" and 50 lbs. His current bike is a Trek Superfly 20. It's a nice bike, pretty light, and still fits him okay, but he can also fit on a 24" now. My LBS has a trade-up deal on kid's bikes, and I was looking at the Trek Superfly 24 and the Cleary Meerkat, but they are both kind of heavy (25.5 lbs for the Trek and 25 lbs for the Cleary). I could also get a good deal on a Specialized Hotrock XC Pro 24, which has a great component spec, but the chainstays are pretty long so I was concerned about the geometry.

    I debated whether to go with a rigid or suspension fork, and finally decided on rigid for now. Besides trail riding, my son also does some triathlons and the rigid fork will be better for that. Also, he doesn't do very aggressive trail riding yet. I also think that riding rigid will help develop some skills and I'm not sure if suspension makes a lot of sense for a 50 lb. kid. If he starts doing jumps or drops or more aggressive riding through roots and rocks then I'll consider adding a suspension fork later.

    Even at the special price it's a huge amount of money for a kid's bike, but I don't want the weight or geometry of his bike to hinder his climbing or riding over obstacles. And when he outgrows it he has some cousins who can enjoy it after him.

  8. #8
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    The suspension fork works great for light kids. My daughter started riding her Pineridge 24 when she weighed just north of 40 lbs, and the suspension was plenty active for her (we went well under the recommended pressure). It also has a well-functioning lock-out for smooth / pavement that is easy enough the kids can operate it while riding.

    Coming off of a rigid Islabike, the suspension fork on the Pineridge made a lot more terrain a lot more fun for my kiddo, coming onto the Pineridge at age 10. I also thought about going with a rigid fork for the weight, but I'm glad I went with the suspension fork---it allowed a big jump in riding progression.

    Either way, it's a great bike, and ours is just about to get handed down to the little brother.

  9. #9
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    My son's 10th birthday present is on the way. Rigid fork for now, but I'll probably get a suspension fork in the future.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Trailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-crop_20170511_190921.jpg  


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    Do you find that the suspension fork is worthwhile for a 50 pound kid?

    I just ordered a Pineridge 24 for my son's 10th birthday present. It has a rigid fork and 1x10 gearing with an 11-42 cassette, and it has the Stans Crest wheels. Weight is just 20 lbs. It was a 2016 model at a special price. And it's green! (my son's favorite color)

    My son is almost 10, and he is small for his age -- about 50" and 50 lbs. His current bike is a Trek Superfly 20. It's a nice bike, pretty light, and still fits him okay, but he can also fit on a 24" now. My LBS has a trade-up deal on kid's bikes, and I was looking at the Trek Superfly 24 and the Cleary Meerkat, but they are both kind of heavy (25.5 lbs for the Trek and 25 lbs for the Cleary). I could also get a good deal on a Specialized Hotrock XC Pro 24, which has a great component spec, but the chainstays are pretty long so I was concerned about the geometry.

    I debated whether to go with a rigid or suspension fork, and finally decided on rigid for now. Besides trail riding, my son also does some triathlons and the rigid fork will be better for that. Also, he doesn't do very aggressive trail riding yet. I also think that riding rigid will help develop some skills and I'm not sure if suspension makes a lot of sense for a 50 lb. kid. If he starts doing jumps or drops or more aggressive riding through roots and rocks then I'll consider adding a suspension fork later.

    Even at the special price it's a huge amount of money for a kid's bike, but I don't want the weight or geometry of his bike to hinder his climbing or riding over obstacles. And when he outgrows it he has some cousins who can enjoy it after him.
    The First works very well.... It's not as good as a $700 SID but the $700 SID would then need $100 worth of tuning to work as well as the F1rst and wouldn't fit without physically modifying to drop the AC... (after which it's obviously a better and lighter fork but $$$/performance?)


    You can always change fork later....

    My kid does Jnr XC and the F1rst isn't needed.... (they make it so tame at least here a CX bike would be faster on most U10's courses)

    On the other hand we took the F1rst on uplift days .... and my 7yr old rode stuff I wouldn't want to ride on my HT XC bike.... I did a quick fork rebuild after but it was given some very serious abuse and 15 mins sorted it out. (Its so simple its a doddle to service at home)

    I very much doubt we could have ridden all day on a rigid fork.... if nothing else arm pump would have stopped us. As it was we were racing top to bottom continually throughout the uplift opening from 10:00-16:30.... he even ate on the uplift and when we missed the last one by seconds he was devastated...

    Don't get me wrong.... its no substitute for a proper kids FS for downhill.... and we since got a FS bike for uplifts and DH.... but I quite honestly don't think it would have been possible with a rigid fork.

    We will probably ride more trials on the FS.... but that is because he prefers black over blue.... but the F1rst on a HT is much much better than I'd expected... (My XC has a Fox Float Kashima 100mm (i.e. a freakin expensive fork) - and subjectively the F1rst seems to perform pretty well.... $$$/performance it's way ahead ...

    At 35-40lbs it was a bit compromised on stiction but now he's 50lbs and we added more pressure its working even better. His FS came with Rockshox 30 tk's.... The F1rst is WAY better....

    In the coming weeks we are fitting a SID on his FS... (as it takes a 26 fork) and getting it revalved and tuned.... The F1rst is so good I considered the 26" F1rst Platinum but it's probably not going to work so well as it will doubtless be valved for more weight.... and if you're paying for a revalve and tuning....

  11. #11
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    Trailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-trailcraft-full.jpgTrailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-trailcraft-cockpit.jpgTrailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-trailcraft-crankset.jpgTrailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-trailcraft-rear.jpg

    Here is my son's 10th birthday present. Super nice for a kid's bike. It weighs 20 lbs even with pedals. Green is his favorite color, and he loves it.

    The one issue I've had is getting it to shift perfectly at both the high and low end of the cassette. If I adjust it to shift well at the high end, then it's not as good at the low end, and vice versa. It will shift through all the gears okay, but not always as quickly and smoothly as I would like.

    I think I'd also like to install a bash ring. My son often rides in long pants, and I'd like to help prevent getting them caught in the chainring, plus just offer some additional protection for his leg.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Trailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-trailcraft-crest.jpg  


  12. #12
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    I have a pretty similar setup on my son's Pineridge. Shifting is buttery smooth. Inconsistent shifting can come from many places but would kind of start in this sequence.
    1. Check derailleur hanger is straight
    2. Check upper and lower limit settings on the derailleur (and b screw)
    3. Check cable placement on the derailleur. If it is not seated exactly it creates slightly different pull rates and you can get misalignment across the cassette range
    4. Unlikely if this is all new gear, but check the cable and housing (old cable, kinks, bad routing etc), shifter, derailleur itself, cassette, hub and so on

    Lastly, obvious, but check the wheel/skewer is seated in the dropouts perfectly. Seen plenty of bad shifting simply because the entire wheel is not aligned.

    Hope that helps
    DB

    Sent from my XT1254 using Tapatalk

  13. #13
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    Here are a couple pics of my 7 yr old on his Pineridge - what your son will be up to on that sweet ride. Has transformed his riding. I know he'll enjoy it, which means you will too. We can now do 1,000 ft climbs with only limited grumbling 😀

  14. #14
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    The Trailcraft bikes are amazing, it looks like you got a sweet bike. 20 pounds on a rigid is a good way to start them out. You can always add suspension bikes later. The kids in our youth riding program going from heavy bikes to Trailcraft's transformed their riding and climbing skills immediately. We've now got a loaner fleet in the program they are that good!

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    I so wish I could have purchased these for my kiddos, but I definitely bought their cranks to install them on their bikes and could not be happier! no chain slips ever.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slow poke View Post
    I so wish I could have purchased these for my kiddos, but I definitely bought their cranks to install them on their bikes and could not be happier! no chain slips ever.
    I can't recommend it highly enough. Initially the price was a barrier for me (I think I threw up in my mouth a little). I'm sure most people have the same reaction - how much? For a 7 year old?

    My son has been riding since 3 and is fairly capable. So we've been riding "adult" trails for a while and typical kids bikes were holding him back, and therefore holding ME back. I started out with a 20" Giant XTC and slowly upgraded it. New wheels, freehub, cassette, shifters, cranks, chainring, bars, seatpost etc). And I saw how the decreased weight and increased performance transformed his riding. That is what sold me.

    TIP: don't think of this as spending money on your kids. I rationalized it as spending money on me . I actually enjoy *my* riding more because of this. We can ride faster, climb higher, ride longer. 1,000 ft climbs, 20 mile rides are now the norm. I'd say that it's pretty good for a 7 year old and was frankly impossible on cheaper, heavier bikes. Not trying to say how amazing my son is (he's not), rather what the bike has enabled him, and therefore me, to ride.

    I built the Pineridge myself as I had a box full of new or near new parts for a different 24" build I was planning. Carbon bars, stem and seatpost, selected lightweight components (seat, pedals, grips etc) and full XT 1x11 30T/11-42. Exactly at 20 lbs *with* the RST suspension fork.

    Haven't regretted it for a second.

    db

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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DigitalBoy View Post
    I can't recommend it highly enough. Initially the price was a barrier for me (I think I threw up in my mouth a little). I'm sure most people have the same reaction - how much? For a 7 year old?


    TIP: don't think of this as spending money on your kids. I rationalized it as spending money on me . I actually enjoy *my* riding more because of this. We can ride faster, climb higher, ride longer. 1,000 ft climbs, 20 mile rides are now the norm. I'd say that it's pretty good for a 7 year old and was frankly impossible on cheaper, heavier bikes. Not trying to say how amazing my son is (he's not), rather what the bike has enabled him, and therefore me, to ride.

    Haven't regretted it for a second.

    db
    I couldn't agree more ... Even if it wasn't my own kid then my ride is so much more enjoyable when I can ride normally, not stop at steep climbs etc. or only ride a couple of hours

    Obviously I'd also like my kid to be enjoying himself as well... but my initial push was exactly as you say ... back on his heavy 20er rides were a series of stops and pushes and unless we were riding on the flat 20 miles was not on the cards...

    Now he has a decent bike (which is still cheap by bike standards as there is no reason a kids bike should cost less than an adult one) I don't need to plan special routes or trips, he just rides the same as I do....

    If anything his bike is more important than mine for both our enjoyment...
    A month or so ago we set out on a long trial .. I didn't even have to think "Can he ride this circuit?" we just rode it... we were staying at my mothers and riding a local to her trail ... and next day grandma wanted to take him swimming and he was up for it so I told them to go ahead...I'll meet you for dinner...

    I had an idea in my head I'd do this by myself in half the time.... it's a fairly long and gruelling route with mainly red but some black... but I figured I'd do it much faster alone... as such I delayed setting off ... and then when I was just short of half-way thought I'd better check the time ... it soon became apparant "half the time" wasn't even close... and I was going to have to really push to make the dinner...

    I didn't really time it... but I'd say when he was with me I was perhaps 25% slower
    I can't decide how much of this is how unfit I am vs him being race fit in the middle of the race season but I was genuinely surprised how little a 7yr old actually slows me down ....

    Perhaps the most telling part is how he got to a position of podium places on all the kids races ... when he's racing usually a year older kids who are part of clubs...

    The real answer his that his training is just riding out with Dad ... the races are often only 15-30 minutes long and we ride for 4-6 hours ... in fact usually when he finishes a race we will go riding straight away... (one he missed his medal presentation) ...

    The whole thing is it is getting him a decent bike that has enabled him to do this... if he had a heavy hunk he wouldn't ride 10-20 miles and 4-6 hours.. he'd be tired out and demotivated after 30 minutes ..

    He enjoys his racing ... and I enjoy him enjoying the racing but to be honest I'd much rather be out on the trails riding with him

  18. #18
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    Well, I just made the bike heavier.

    I added a bash ring. My son usually prefers to ride in long pants, and I thought it was a good idea to add a little protection from the chainring.

    I added an RST F1rst suspension fork. On our last trail ride, my son was complaining that his hands were hurting and he was losing confidence riding over roots and rocks, so hopefully this will help.

    I added a water bottle cage. Found one on Amazon for less than $2 that matches the frame color.

    I also added a kickstand. This was because he does some triathlons and needs a kickstand to set up the bike in the transition area. After his last triathlon of the season I will probably remove the kickstand.

    So, it was 20 lbs even with pedals. Now it is 22.9 lbs.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Trailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-trailcraft-newfork.jpg  

    Trailcraft Pineridge 24 youth mtb review.-trailcraft-bashring2.jpg  


  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabrabu View Post
    Well, I just made the bike heavier.

    I added a bash ring. My son usually prefers to ride in long pants, and I thought it was a good idea to add a little protection from the chainring.

    I added an RST F1rst suspension fork. On our last trail ride, my son was complaining that his hands were hurting and he was losing confidence riding over roots and rocks, so hopefully this will help.

    I added a water bottle cage. Found one on Amazon for less than $2 that matches the frame color.

    I also added a kickstand. This was because he does some triathlons and needs a kickstand to set up the bike in the transition area. After his last triathlon of the season I will probably remove the kickstand.

    So, it was 20 lbs even with pedals. Now it is 22.9 lbs.
    I have a very similar setup and it is exactly 20 lbs. Groupset is going to be harder/more expensive (I'm running full XT) but I'd target bar, seat post, seat, grips etc. These are relatively cheap and you'd be surprised at the cumulative weight saving. If it helps, here is what I put on.

    Bar - cheap Chinese carbon from eBay. Plenty strong enough for lightweight kids
    Stem - ditto
    Seatpost - ditto
    Seat - wtb volt off eBay
    Grips - Ritchey WCS are great, superlight and cushy. But tears easily if crashing a lot. Otherwise try ESI racers edge of you need something more robust
    Pedals - wellgo kc008 are perfect for kids

    Tubeless too of course. Kickstand is tough, they can be anvils. Take a look at Leegoal kickstand on Amazon. Aluminum and not crazy heavy.

    Combined, you can shave lbs off the total weight for under $100.

    db





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