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  1. #1
    parenting for gnarness
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    mtb for 4.5 foot tall rider

    looking to get my 8yo a full suspension. Trying to get info\experiences about size. Obviously a 26 would be preferable over a 24, for parts selection if i could make the size work. If you are looking to sell, or heck even demo for a week or 2 (will pay $$) so we could see what sizes fit?

    thank you.
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  2. #2
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    What is the inseam of the young'un? I would say if you forsee a growth spurt in the next year or two, go 26 inch. You could start with 165mm cranks and increase them until kiddo sizes out of the frame itself.
    Vassago Cycles, Shadetree Bikes, Flat Tire Bikes, Galfer Brakes USA

  3. #3
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    Tough question, for sure. My son is just about to turn 11, though I don't think he's quite at 5ft tall yet. He was outgrowing his junior DB bmx bike (20") and wanted to try more mtn biking. So I started shopping around and just couldn't find what I wanted. The 24" bikes had fit him better, but I didn't want to just buy another 'tweener bike knowing all along that eventually we'd end up at 26". But wasn't entirely happy with the entry level 26" bikes at the bike shops either.

    I knew what I wanted, but never see them for sale...a used Santa Cruz Juliana. Then on one of my "let's check Craigslist today" whims, one pops up. A little older, but size small, well kept, and not much more than the new, but entry level, bike shop 26's. We jumped on it!

    He loves it, and I'm very happy with getting something that a) makes him happy b) isn't a cheap POS and c) has some room to grow.

    All that said, you probaly just have to do some fit-checking. 8yrs old, and 4.5ft seems a bit small for even the little 26's. Maybe you can stretch the little one a bit longer on whatever they are currently riding while searching for "the right bike" to pop up?

  4. #4
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    Another option...

    Do you have an older "spare" bike you don't really ride anymore? While it can be hard to come across full bikes that meet your specs, there's often frame-only sales that offer some good deals.

    Tear down your old bike to outfit the kiddo's new frame, and you might be into something nice for a reasonable price.

  5. #5
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    Went through this with my son a few years ago. Fortunately my MTBing wife is only 5 foot. So his first fs bike was her old/spare a Titus Racerx size xxs. It fit when he was about 4.5' tall until about 5.5. Weight is a huge issue with the youngsters, with their weight and strength muscling a 30lb bike really holds them back. As for sizing look for something with a short toptube the Racerx was 20" I think anything over 21.5" would be a challenge to manage until they get a lot taller.
    Have fun riding with you kid(s) was and is some of my best rides. Now he's 22 and can kick my but...
    HoJo

  6. #6
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    Just saw a pretty sick Norco 24" that was released at Interbike. Pretty well equipped and the msrp was $1500 if I remember correctly.

  7. #7
    parenting for gnarness
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoJo View Post
    Went through this with my son a few years ago. Fortunately my MTBing wife is only 5 foot. So his first fs bike was her old/spare a Titus Racerx size xxs. It fit when he was about 4.5' tall until about 5.5. Weight is a huge issue with the youngsters, with their weight and strength muscling a 30lb bike really holds them back. As for sizing look for something with a short toptube the Racerx was 20" I think anything over 21.5" would be a challenge to manage until they get a lot taller.
    Have fun riding with you kid(s) was and is some of my best rides. Now he's 22 and can kick my but...
    HoJo
    yeah i heard tale of a xxs Pivot Mach4 too. I would pay that, they are so hard to find you'd get it back on the resale. Alas...couldnt locate one.
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  8. #8
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    My kid has a Scott Park Jr. He is almost 10, but on the smaller side, I'm hoping for another year out of it. Most of the other "kids" bikes out there are way to heavy as said. This is a 24" that his older brother used and passed it on. We also had the 20" version. I would say that it has been light years better than anything else. It is lightweight and has kid specific suspension that actually works. It makes him want to ride more, which is the idea. I would get the 24. It is way easier for them to throw around than even a xs 26. You will have no problems selling it once it is outgrown.

  9. #9
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    We have a Giant XS 5" travel trance frame (the older generation with low standover) built up with 24" wheels that worked really well when he was 8-11. It is an efficient pedaler but we used it also for DH riding as well. A 100-140mm adjustable fork makes it very versatile. Don't expect to ever get your money back out of it though, these things have to be with love in mind, not a recoup investment.
    Michael
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by azfishman View Post
    My kid has a Scott Park Jr. He is almost 10, but on the smaller side, I'm hoping for another year out of it. Most of the other "kids" bikes out there are way to heavy as said. This is a 24" that his older brother used and passed it on. We also had the 20" version. I would say that it has been light years better than anything else. It is lightweight and has kid specific suspension that actually works. It makes him want to ride more, which is the idea. I would get the 24. It is way easier for them to throw around than even a xs 26. You will have no problems selling it once it is outgrown.
    i checked that out, very interesting. other than the rear shock it has comparable parts to the $500 24inch bikes by kona, Ugly Red S, Trek. Its ~75-100 more, with its suspension. Is it worth it for the weight, or, is it more stuff that isnt too well made? Its about the only 24inch full sus I've seen. Most of these bikes came in around 26-7lbs for the hard tail, the Scott was like 28.5 with suspension. Even in the 24inch, so many of these bikes still come with $10 deraileurs, lower-end parts and wheels, no QRs etc. so i'm leery of adding a suspension for only $100 more, yknow? Kona has a 24inch Stinky DH bike, for $1800, and its got good parts on it and looks like a nice frame, hence the big price.
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