cockpit setup: downhill bike: short 9yr old son- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    cockpit setup: downhill bike: short 9yr old son

    I bought my 9 year old son 53.5inches high a 2010 Kona Stinky 2-4 including all the protective padding. He is leaning forward with the present cockpit. I am concerned the position is an accident waiting to happen in downhilling. How do I improve the situation:
    Do get a shorter stem? I think it is a 65mm.
    Do I get handlebars that are more swept back?
    Do I sell the bike and buy him one when he is a little taller?

    He would be using the bike at Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park.

    He is an athletic kid. (Proud father moment) He looks like is on the US demo team going through the black moguls after only two seasons of skiing.
    I don't want to hurt him by putting on a bike for which he is just too small and I don't want to keep him from learning a sport he would love. Advice please.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Do I sell the bike and buy him one when he is a little taller?

    No 9 year old needs a full suspension bike.
    Quote Originally Posted by irieness
    ...it's just that when I'm wondering what things are like head tube, seat post, cranks, flux capacitor, SS, FS, hardtail...

  3. #3
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    What do you mean no 9 year needs a full suspension bike? My daughter is 7 and clearing 3ft tall 4ft long gaps I already have my eyes set on a FS for her as she will be trailriding in no time. I also take my 13year old daughter downhilling and she loves it.

    Never to young or too old to start.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poser
    I bought my 9 year old son 53.5inches high a 2010 Kona Stinky 2-4 including all the protective padding. He is leaning forward with the present cockpit. I am concerned the position is an accident waiting to happen in downhilling. How do I improve the situation:
    Do get a shorter stem? I think it is a 65mm.
    Do I get handlebars that are more swept back?
    Do I sell the bike and buy him one when he is a little taller?

    He would be using the bike at Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park.

    He is an athletic kid. (Proud father moment) He looks like is on the US demo team going through the black moguls after only two seasons of skiing.
    I don't want to hurt him by putting on a bike for which he is just too small and I don't want to keep him from learning a sport he would love. Advice please.

    Thanks

    right on! As far as bike fit you can indeed find shorter stems. Thhat will move him back a bit. Centering his weight over the BB more. You could also move the seat forward if its just a fitment issue. But if he is nose diving of lil stuff his weight would need to go back more.
    Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of
    arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body.

  5. #5
    NWS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poser
    I bought my 9 year old son 53.5inches high a 2010 Kona Stinky 2-4 including all the protective padding. He is leaning forward with the present cockpit. I am concerned the position is an accident waiting to happen in downhilling. How do I improve the situation:
    Do get a shorter stem? I think it is a 65mm.
    Do I get handlebars that are more swept back?
    Do I sell the bike and buy him one when he is a little taller?

    He would be using the bike at Trestle Bike Park at Winter Park.

    He is an athletic kid. (Proud father moment) He looks like is on the US demo team going through the black moguls after only two seasons of skiing.
    I don't want to hurt him by putting on a bike for which he is just too small and I don't want to keep him from learning a sport he would love. Advice please.

    Thanks
    You could move the bars back about 3cm with a shorter stem. And if it starts feeling cramped (which I'm sure it will before long) you can add room by putting the old one back on, and then go even longer for his last season or two with the bike.

    Before changing handlebars, take a look at where his hands are, relative to the steering axis. I suspect the steering would start to feel weird if his hands get placed behind it.

    But really I think the first question should be, is this a bike problem or a rider problem? I mean, are the handlebars really too far forward, or does he just need to adjust his posture or his arms to move his CG back? Also, is this a problem when he's seated, or standing, or both?

    Kids grow, so even if it is a bike problem, I'm not sure I'd sell the bike. Keep riding, just stick to easier stuff until he grows into it. Six months, maybe? Does he have a BMX bike he can ride in the meantime?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by clockwork
    What do you mean no 9 year needs a full suspension bike? My daughter is 7 and clearing 3ft tall 4ft long gaps I already have my eyes set on a FS for her as she will be trailriding in no time.
    I mean that a kid that young would benefit greatly from riding a hardtail, and 4 foot gaps hardly need any sort of suspension...but I can't wait for the day when I can teach my kid to send it over doubles
    Quote Originally Posted by irieness
    ...it's just that when I'm wondering what things are like head tube, seat post, cranks, flux capacitor, SS, FS, hardtail...

  7. #7
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    Thanks everybody! The Question is fit possible?

    NWS Thanks for the input. Is it possible to buy a 35mm stem and where. How short can a stem be without causing a loss of control. I have seen a 0 stem where the handlebars sit on top of the steer tube but I just assume that this would not work well downhilling.

    I assume the steering axis is the line going straight up through the center of the steer tube

    Clockwork
    Thanks for your input. I will move the seat up as far as possible.

    Poser

  8. #8
    NWS
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    Yes, that's what I meant by steering axes. Control and feel are just going to change as the stem gets shorter, I don't think you can pick a number and call it the limit. Or, you could, but you'd just be picking a number.

    I used Google to find a bunch, you can too...

    http://www.bikeparts.com/search_resu...p?id=BPC104026
    http://www.bikewagon.com/2010-KORE-B...-p6584176.html
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/M...?ModelID=15837
    http://compare.ebay.com/like/3704938...=263602_304662

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poser
    NWS Thanks for the input. Is it possible to buy a 35mm stem and where. How short can a stem be without causing a loss of control. I have seen a 0 stem where the handlebars sit on top of the steer tube but I just assume that this would not work well downhilling.
    dh/fr is actually what those stems are meant for.

  10. #10
    Moose Member
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    Post pics of your kid shreddin on the stnky 2-4... I wish my dad got me into DH/FR at 9... It's okay, 12s pretty early I guess...

  11. #11
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    Pricepoint has the shorty Truvative stem, 40mm:
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/216...-31.8-2010.htm
    1 1/8" and 31.8 bar.
    Worked wonders for the 7 yr old.
    The Kona is a sweet bike for full on kid dh.
    Also look for a Specialized GromHit in the used world.

    As far as having a super short stem? Look at the stuff the bmx kids use. Super short.
    But TALL bars. Just don't give your kid flat bars...
    And as far as steering, kids frames are made a bit long in the top tube.
    A shorter stem/longer top tube is exactly what they're playing with in the big leagues right now. There's a guy who's developed a 10mm stem mount and he's racing it on a 1 size up larger bike.
    A short stem will not screw them up or make them crash. I've played a bit with reach on my dh bike (M9) and change the stem out based on verticallity of a track.
    I like it shorter for steeper sections, but the 40mm I use regularly corners better on level and slightly sloping corners.
    I say let them try it and tell you.
    Thank the lord young kids can't ride the internet as much as we do...

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