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  1. #1
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    What to look for? Cannondale, Opus, Hotrock

    I am not sure of the important aspects to look for in a kids bike, so I am soliciting some assistance from others.

    My son has narrowed down his 20" bike down to 3:
    Cannondale 20" Trail 6 speed
    Opus Doppler 20" 7 speed
    Specialized Hotrock 20" 6 speed

    He has ridden each one at the 3 different LBS. He enjoyed each one and now he cannot decide which one he wants. So I am trying to nudge him into the "right" direction (this is where I could use some help).

    So, based on the below specs and / or anyone's experience with these specific bikes, I would really appreciate some recommendations. (I hope it posts in a readable format)


    Cannondale Opus Doppler Hotrock
    Price $335 $345 $360
    Weight ? 20 lbs
    Frame Optimized 6061 Alloy Aluminum AL-6061 Specialized A1 Aluminum, front suspension geo, formed top/downtube, forged droputs, alloy replaceable der. Hanger
    Fork Suntour SF9-XCT JR
    1-1/8, 30MM travel, coil w/canti mounts
    Oversized 6061 - 1 1/8 stiff SR Suntour SF9-XCT JR, 40MM travel
    Crank Alloy 140MM crank, 36T steel chainring Samox Alloy, 36T 127MM Forged alloy /single outer chainguard, 36T steel
    Bottom bracket Cartridge square taper 3P steel 68MMx128MM
    Shifters Shimano RS-36 Revo Twist SRAM MRX Twist 7sp Shimano RS-35, 6 sp Revo twist
    Cog Set Shimano, 6 speed freewheel, 14-28 Shimano TZ31 14/34, 7 speed Shimano, 6 speed freewheel, 14-28
    Chain KMC Z33, 1/2x3/32" KMC Z51 KMC HV500, 1/2" x 3/32"
    Front Derailleur None None None
    Rear Derailleur Shimano, TX-35, 6 speed, Megarange TX-55 Shimano FT30, 7sp short cage
    Rims Alex Z1000, single wall 36 hole Alloy 32H Alloy, pin joint, 32h
    Hubs Formula alloy hubs, nutted axle, rear 6 speed Joytech Alloy-Aluminum
    Tires Cannondale 20x20, wire bead Kenda Smallblock 8, 20x1.75 Specialized Roller, 20x2 125" wire bead, 30TPI
    Brakes V-Brake, alloy linear pull Alloy Lever, Tektro Alloy V-Brake V brake alloy linear pull
    Handlebar Alloy, 560mm wide, 25.4MM Opus 6061 PG, 25.4 Alloy riser, 25MM rise, 25.4MM
    Stem Alloy head, 60MM Opus 6061 - 60MM, 15 deg Alloy head, 4 bolt 20 deg rise, 25.4MM
    Headset Tange Seiki alloy, 1-1/8" ahead VP Aheadset 1 1/8 1- 1/8" threadless cartidge w/seals
    Brake levers Alloy linear pull Alloy lever Alloy linear pull compatible
    Spokes Steel, 14G Stainless 2.0MM
    Seat post Cannondale alloy, 27.2 Kalloy SP-242, 27.2 Alloy, 27.2MM
    Rear shock None None None

  2. #2
    Havok
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    I know Specialized Hotrock from 2009, 2010 and 2011 were about 25lbs. Not sure what year you were looking at.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the addition. I forgot to mention that these are all brand new bikes, not used. So 2012/2013

  4. #4
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    THe opus looks like a great option. No heavy useless suspension fork, better components overall, crank that is suitably sized, 20 lbd weight shows that they did not load it down with cheap junk.

  5. #5
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    I agree on the suspension fork. Although I have read some posts here that the cannondale fork is not that bad, but I am skeptical since it looks to be the same as on the hotrock. Thanks for validating the quality of the Opus components. I honestly do not know which ones are better across the bikes and which ones are the important ones to consider.

    I thought my son would jump all over the Cannondale since it is the "coolest" looking of the 3. The Opus is the most plain looking and I want to make sure if I nudge him that way I a. Doing based on weight and higher quality components.

  6. #6
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    Hight points I see for the opus are;
    7-speed drivetrain to providewith lower gearing,. My daughters 20" has 34x28t gearing, needs to be even lower for some of the hills she cannot climb.

    Appropriate length cranks 140mm is too long for kid starting out on a 20" bike.

    32 spoke wheels instead of 36. 32 spokes is still massive overkill for a kids 20" wheel but at least they saved a few spokes.

    Brand name Kenda tires (instead of generic house brand). Some of the opus's weight difference probably comes from the narrower, less-lugged small-block tires but these should be faster for combine road/trail riding. They might want wider, more rugged tires for riding tough offroad conditions but those would be slower & heavier on pavement.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info! My son decided on the Opus with no input from me.

    For anyone in the DFW area, I highly recommend Knobbies and Slicks, the LBS we bought it from. They are in Colleyville/Southlake. Great guys and very helpful.

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