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  1. #1
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    advice for my daughters bike build; kids race bike

    there's a couple of other forums this would fit in, but you xc guys are the coolest!

    My daughter is 9, average- size, (not freakishly tall like my son). I've had her on a 24" wheel spec hotrock, she races cyclocross and I'm gently pushing her towards some shorter course jrs xc. I think she'll be happier on a 26er, - the old 17" Ibis Alibi her brother outgrew is going to be too big for a few years.

    I just bought an old (new) 14" Access XCL 26er frame off Craigs for $30, I built one of those up years ago for my wife, -actually a decent frame. I've got two good parts donors, -one from a pawn shop today with a Fox Vanilla 125 RLC and older avid mech discs. The other donor bike has really light mavic wheels and X-0 shifting, plus some XT bits (I think it's what's left of an old jr nat champ bike, I'll have to ask my friend that gave it to us). The Access should turn out pretty light given my parts stock.
    I've read that the Fox Vanilla can be lowered from 125 to 80mm or 100mm, so it should be a good fit for the frame, and it's reasonably light weight (I'm reading 4+ pounds).

    my question; Would I be better off buying a rigid carbon fork and saving about 3 pounds? She's not an aggressive rider, she's very cautious, and she only weighs about 62 pounds; there's not much risk of pushing a rigid fork beyond it's limits. Given her light weight, she might like a 21 pound rigid bike better than a 24 pound bike with a shock. Ideas?

  2. #2
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    Tough call. Does she have a suspension fork on her bike now? I know the little kids suspension forks aren't all that good, but she may be used to having at least a little bit of give in the front. It would help encourage her to try more difficult terrain if she got a little help from the fork. If the terrain she's riding is fairly smooth, you can probably find a rigid 26" fork for fairly cheap to try out, then upgrade to a suspension fork once she's more used to the bigger bike.

  3. #3
    LMN
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    Go with the suspension fork. Kids typically don't have a lot of upper body strength and anything that helps smooth out the trail is a major benefit.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  4. #4
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    LMN; that's what I like about the Fox, it's really plush and would actually move for her. The smooth factor is also why I'm eager to get her on 26s from 24s. There's some cool factor with the fox too. Eness; her hotrock has the stock cheap 'shock', none of us would be happy with a shock like that.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimPacNW View Post
    LMN; that's what I like about the Fox, it's really plush and would actually move for her. The smooth factor is also why I'm eager to get her on 26s from 24s. There's some cool factor with the fox too. Eness; her hotrock has the stock cheap 'shock', none of us would be happy with a shock like that.
    Yes to using the Fox fork. Specially if you can reduce the travel so the front end isn't too high.

    I find that kids with a good susp fork also learn how compress the fork and it helps with learning how to pop the front end (to start learning bunnyhops etc).

    Another thing is crank length, keep them on short kids cranks.

  6. #6
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    Shortest crank I've got is some old 170mm suginos, how short is short enough for 4'8"? It might be tricky to source good quality affordable shorter cranks.

  7. #7
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    it's really easy if you have a square taper bb that'll fit your frame and don't mind a single ring up front - BMX crankset Sinz Aluminum Square Cranks at J&R Bicycles

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