20" 32 spoke Options for Kids Bike- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    20" 32 spoke Options for Kids Bike

    I am thinking of doing some improvements to my kids 20 bike. I got the bike from a friend and the frame is pretty decent (Columbia branded bike with 6061 Aluminum frame). I can upgrade the brakes and shifting with some new and old stuff I have from past years.

    The stock wheels are heavy. I have several sets of old school XT hubs laying around which are all 32 spoke. What are my options in 20" rims, 32 spoke, rim brake for a kids mtn bike. I don't think it needs to be BMX strong.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
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    Check these out http://www.alienationbmx.com/parts/rims/deviant and there pretty light.

  3. #3
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    I put Velocity Aeroheats on my son's bike. Laced them to an older XT 8 speed rear hub and a Ringle Bubba Hub on the front. Nice rims... Stiff, light, just no eyelets around the spoke holes, but they don't seem to be suffering for it.
    I like turtles

  4. #4
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    If your kid is the size for a 20" bike he/she probably wieghs less than 60 lbs. You don't really need a bmx sterngth rim/wheel unless they are doing hardore BMX stunts and jumps. Even then bmx rims and wheels are built for abuse from kids weighing much more than 60 lbs.

    What you need is light, light , light.

    I really think the best way to go is to get a light 36 hole rear hub (no longer standard so you can find them on the cheap) and lace a light 36 hole rim to them using an 18 spoke crowsfoot pattern and lacing every other hole. Since you are using the holes on only one side of the rim, the holes can be on the side that would allow the wheel to be built with less dish and balanced spoke tension = stronger wheel plus fewer spoke lengths (but you need to find a relatively flat faced rim to prevent significant bending of the drive side spokes at the nipple rim interface).

    The span between these reduced number of spokes will still be about the same as a 26 or 29 inch 32 hole rim because the size of the 20" rim is so much smaller.

    There are 48 hole rims in 20" sizes, so you can straight lace 16 spoke to a 32 hole rim for the front. You'll need the 48 hole rime so that every third hole (every hole that actually recieves one of the 16 spokes) is on the alternate side of the next spoked hole so that the holes align with the rim.

    Fewer spokes, lighter weight, less cost, easier to build.

    I built up two kids 20" mt bikes this way and got the weight down to 21 lbs and 23 lbs (with a few other tricks). But the biggest redux was in the wheel wieght where it is most important, and even more important than rims or spokes is getting light tires (and even tubes). Those two bikes are still rolling true even after passing on to the next kid.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobytao View Post
    If your kid is the size for a 20" bike he/she probably wieghs less than 60 lbs. You don't really need a bmx sterngth rim/wheel unless they are doing hardore BMX stunts and jumps. Even then bmx rims and wheels are built for abuse from kids weighing much more than 60 lbs.

    What you need is light, light , light.

    I really think the best way to go is to get a light 36 hole rear hub (no longer standard so you can find them on the cheap) and lace a light 36 hole rim to them using an 18 spoke crowsfoot pattern and lacing every other hole. Since you are using the holes on only one side of the rim, the holes can be on the side that would allow the wheel to be built with less dish and balanced spoke tension = stronger wheel plus fewer spoke lengths (but you need to find a relatively flat faced rim to prevent significant bending of the drive side spokes at the nipple rim interface).

    The span between these reduced number of spokes will still be about the same as a 26 or 29 inch 32 hole rim because the size of the 20" rim is so much smaller.

    There are 48 hole rims in 20" sizes, so you can straight lace 16 spoke to a 32 hole rim for the front. You'll need the 48 hole rime so that every third hole (every hole that actually recieves one of the 16 spokes) is on the alternate side of the next spoked hole so that the holes align with the rim.

    Fewer spokes, lighter weight, less cost, easier to build.

    I built up two kids 20" mt bikes this way and got the weight down to 21 lbs and 23 lbs (with a few other tricks). But the biggest redux was in the wheel wieght where it is most important, and even more important than rims or spokes is getting light tires (and even tubes). Those two bikes are still rolling true even after passing on to the next kid.
    Do you have a picture? I laced up an Aeroheat for my son, 32h and did the standard 3-cross. It's hard to visualize what you are stating.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scoobytao View Post
    But the biggest redux was in the wheel wieght where it is most important, and even more important than rims or spokes is getting light tires (and even tubes). Those two bikes are still rolling true even after passing on to the next kid.
    So what 20" tires and tubes do you recommend? I picked up a 20" Hotrock for my 5 year old, and it needs at least a rear tire.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by indianadave View Post
    So what 20" tires and tubes do you recommend? I picked up a 20" Hotrock for my 5 year old, and it needs at least a rear tire.
    I use Small Block 8 and Intense Race Lite tubes. I had to put slime in the tires because it kept flatting. The tubes ended up around 130g but doesn't flat in thorny areas.

  8. #8
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    So are you saying you tried running them tubeless originally? or that the racelite tubes don't seal without slime?

  9. #9
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    No, not tubeless. I haven't done any tubeless conversions and not really looking to. I put slime inside the Race Lite tubes. They are presta tubes, so I cut the ends off the valve stop nipple so I can unscrew the stop all the way out. We hit goat head thorns now and then, and it sucks major when both tires go out.

    The Race Lite tubes are regular tubes, just thinner and lighter weight.

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