24" Full Suspension options circa 2017- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    24" Full Suspension options circa 2017

    My friend and I are both in the market for 24" FS bikes for our kids and spend a few hours over beer last night digging through the options. I was hoping to consolidate some information here about specific bikes and some pros/cons that I have seen reported about the frames, suspension, components, weight etc. My own hope was/is to buy a frame only and go from there as I have a set of light 24" wheels I just built up from closeout items and I already have a F1rst shock kicking around. But that seems to really but back options...

    This site here seems to layout most of the modern options (seems relatively up to date to with 2017 models listed).

    Little Shredder Phenom
    Spawn Rokkusuta
    Norco Fluid
    Commencal Supreme
    Transition Ripcord
    Kona Stinky
    Trek ex JR
    Rocky Mtn Reaper
    Propain Yuma
    Trailcraft Maxwell

    A couple of thoughts for starters...
    Suspension- It seems like many of the shocks, both front and rear, need some tuning to make them work with lighter riders (so add some $$ into your equation). I have F1rst 24" air fork and find it to be fairly decent for my 6 year old. But it would be really helpful to record specific feedback about each of the rear shocks and what people had to do to get those properly tuned...

    24 vs 26 front end- It sounds like while the idea of a slacker front end via the 26" fork makes sense, I also see it raises the bars way up, probably too much for smaller kids who just fit a 24" wheel. Also, seems like 26" forks have the most challenges for getting set up for lighter riders.

    Weight- it's a mystery for some of these bikes, they dont seem to be accurate and/or transparent. So I see people buying a bike and then swapping out a number of parts to lower weight (again, aded $$ into your overall cost projection). Coming off hardtails in the low 20lb range, I think many parents are looking to avoid tipping the scales at 30lbs, but is that possible with these bikes, or possible without bumping up the cost a ton?

    Comments or input?

  2. #2
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    I know a guy who just got his son a Rokkusuta 24, I could probably find out the weight for you. I can't personally speak to the 24" Rokkusuta, but I just got my son the 20" version and it is amazing.

  3. #3
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    My son has the Norco Fluid. We have changed a few things on it but not much - we put a higher range rear cassette and shorter cranks on it (140mm) but it was not to reduce weight - it was as that is the crank length he prefers and changing the cranks led to a larger front ring so changed the cassette to compensate. I think we actually added a few grams doing this but not sure.
    We did not have to do anything special to tune the front or rear suspension - set it using sag then sent him out jumping on it. Found that he was bottoming out the rear shock so added 5psi. Now runs 20% sag in the back and 25% in the front and gets full travel. I can not tell you off hand exactly what shock and forks his bike has but they both work really well (he weighs 25kgs = 55lbs). Details are on the Norco website.
    His bike weighs just under 13kgs = 28lbs. Would I like it to be lighter - well yes. Will I spend a fortune to make it lighter - no. Does he ride it well - you bet. Its a great bike and for the $'s I think its fantastic. So to answer your question, yes it is possible to avoid tipping the scales over 30lbs with a 24 dually without spending more money.

  4. #4
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    I bought a used Diamondback Splinter 24 off ebay for $950 in January. Take a look at this bike too.

    The 2017 uses 1x11, the 2016 NOS is discounted by $700 now and uses an 11-36 10 speed.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Staktup View Post
    I bought a used Diamondback Splinter 24 off ebay for $950 in January. Take a look at this bike too.

    The 2017 uses 1x11, the 2016 NOS is discounted by $700 now and uses an 11-36 10 speed.
    For those with access to DB corporate perks website, the current pricing on the Splinter 24 (2016 model) paired with a 10% code (TAKE10) is simply phenomenal. I own one and while cannot offer a true comparison to other 24 inch FS models, I love what the bike has to offer, particularly at this price point.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    I know a guy who just got his son a Rokkusuta 24, I could probably find out the weight for you. I can't personally speak to the 24" Rokkusuta, but I just got my son the 20" version and it is amazing.
    I talked to my friend. He said it's 28 lbs. On the heavy side for sure, but it's also 140 mm travel which is way more than the Norco or DB 24" FS bikes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Staktup View Post
    The 2017 uses 1x11, the 2016 NOS is discounted by $700 now and uses an 11-36 10 speed.
    It uses the NX 11-42 cassette, so no XD driver and it's a tank at 540 grams. I'd rather have 10 speed with a Sunrace 11-42 cassette.

  7. #7
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    Looking at the DB corporate site now, as well as the retail site. I can see the 2017 for about $1k with 10% off. I dont see the 2016 model on the corporate site. But I do see the 2016 on their retail site for $950 with 10% off. Anyone have a link to the 2016 model on the corporate site or tell me where on the site it is located?
    At 31.5 lbs though, I cannot really understand how to get this thing down to a reasonable weight. But worth looking at...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinmysaddle View Post
    Looking at the DB corporate site now, as well as the retail site. I can see the 2017 for about $1k with 10% off. I dont see the 2016 model on the corporate site. But I do see the 2016 on their retail site for $950 with 10% off. Anyone have a link to the 2016 model on the corporate site or tell me where on the site it is located?
    At 31.5 lbs though, I cannot really understand how to get this thing down to a reasonable weight. But worth looking at...
    Try searching for Splinter 24. On the retail side, I see SPLINTER 24 for 1,499 (that's 2017) and SPLINTER 24 - SALE for 1,049 (that's 2016). Identical search results show once you log in into the your DB account (assuming you set it up earlier with a corporate code) but the prices are significant lower.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szy_szka View Post
    Try searching for Splinter 24. On the retail side, I see SPLINTER 24 for 1,499 (that's 2017) and SPLINTER 24 - SALE for 1,049 (that's 2016). Identical search results show once you log in into the your DB account (assuming you set it up earlier with a corporate code) but the prices are significant lower.
    Got it, thanks. Yeah, pretty good price. Gotta look at the specs and see if it is possble and economical to get 3 lbs off this.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinmysaddle View Post
    Got it, thanks. Yeah, pretty good price. Gotta look at the specs and see if it is possible and economical to get 3 lbs off this.
    Check the designated thread on the bike for some ideas few folks have implemented: http://forums.mtbr.com/families-ridi...ld-989393.html.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szy_szka View Post
    Check the designated thread on the bike for some ideas few folks have implemented: http://forums.mtbr.com/families-ridi...ld-989393.html.
    Thanks, hadnt seen that. I have a spare set of fairly late 24 inch toothless wheels and a GX drive train and 11-42 cassette from a 24" hardtail, so I could probably get this thing down under 28 pounds easily

  12. #12
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    Got it, thanks. Yeah, pretty good price. Gotta look at the specs and see if it is possble and economical to get 3 lbs off this.
    Just remove the depleted uranium they put in the wheels.... ?

    More seriously...in answer to your original post...

    I think you need to decide on the use ... I'm sure the Stinky is great so long as you don't NEED to pedal it....

    Everything is a compromise and paying more just means less compromises...
    Ultimately everything is adult weight/size because that's what is made... unless you go for some exotic non chain drive chain then the spacing on a chain determines the mech wheels, cassette, chainring etc. so overall the groupset if going to make a bigger difference on proportion of kids weight.

    Meanwhile in the HT world frame weights are all pretty similar ... as the frame isn't that big is effect on the overall bike weight is fairly low... in FS then it starts be be more significant.

    From experience the F1rst is a great XC fork for kids weight... but it's not a DH fork for kids...
    The 26" fork bikes are designed to take a 26" fork .... if you fitted a F1rst then they would be really too low

    In the end we ended up with 2 bikes .... Jnr has got into racing XC (as that's what's available) so we have the HT kitted out for XC and weighs in about 9kg with the F1rst's and custom built wheels with XT and every component off the original bike changed..

    This is sorta OK as we bought the whole bike WITH F1rst's for 250.... so the BB/headset etc. all got trashed (the headset trashed itself and the BB was changed for the cranks)
    The cranks need changing anyway as they were enormous (152mm) more appropriate for an adult XS than a kids bike... and we weren't throwing out more expensive mid-range parts

    The other riding we do is trail centre with the occasional DH and uplifts so I wanted a FS but that will be mostly pedalled ....

    For the FS I really wanted a Transition Frame.... the forks and wheels would have to go anyway if we bough the whole bike... but it proved impossible to get one in the UK cheaper than buying the whole bike.

    In the end we got used a Norco Fluid 24....(as it is impossible to buy the kids fluids new anymore in the UK ...) and stuck on a SID .. changing the wheels for his XC wheels (which are actually much stronger anyway) saved over 2kg...

    I don't know if they are fitted to the newer ones but they are insanely heavy.... the FRONT wheel and tire weighed more than both his Stans Crest, CXRay, Novatec D711/D712 wheels WITH cassette!

    It seems pretty good though ... the Rear Susp works really well... and I swapped out Deore level for XT as I had it hanging about unused...

    It's filled our need .... its been used in small local DH and bike parks.... (with push up he can ride) and also we did a 30 mile single track with about 2000' of climbing last weekend... we bumped into a friend after the first 10-15 miles (I wasn't really counting) and his Dad was recording on Strava and we did another 22 miles after that mostly at kids Race speeds.. (which is what the bike is mostly used for) the little shock works surprisingly well for the trails... as Norco have put a lot of thought into the leverage on the frame.

    This weekend we have 3 days of uplift booked so it will be the first trial on big downhills and though I doubt is quite so good as the DH specific 24ers I expect it will be pretty good based on his testing on smaller DH's.

    So I think in summary, decide what the bike is mainly used for and sometimes used for... but be prepared to rebuild...I'd still ideally go for the Transition frame for our use...

  13. #13
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    Thanks Steve-XtC, I am in the same place as you were. We have a low 20 lb 24" hard tail with 1x11, light wheelset and F1rst air fork already and it's allowed both my son and daughter to get further out onto trails and do more tough climbing than I thought possible. I'm not really a bike park or ski lift guy, so most of what I ride is long climbs followed by "downhill" as in "down the hill." What I find is the 24" hard tail is great for climbing up but leaves a lot to be desired on the descents. But I worry (scratch that, I know) that a 31.5 lb FS bike will be a big step backwards on the uphill portion of our rides. I've got light wheels, 1x groupsets, etc kicking around or easily obtainable but it kills me to buy a new complete bike only to strip it down to frame only and rebuilt to get under 28 pounds. But it seems like that is the only way to go...

    I am finding lots of deals on Norcos, what is the weight of your post-modified Fluid 24"?

  14. #14
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    I can' tell you the present weight as I left my luggage calls out in the rain ....
    I'm guessing about 11-12kg.... though its got some heavy zee cranks (or more accurately the spindle is the heavy part) and some DMR V12's ...

    it kills me to buy a new complete bike only to strip it down to frame only and rebuilt to get under 28 pounds. But it seems like that is the only way to go...
    Yes and for me it's not just the cost... it just feels wrong....

    If I could I'd have bought the transition frame only...
    https://www.transitionbikes.com/Bikes_Ripcord.cfm

    It's just that for a complex set of reasons it's not possible in Europe right now without importing bikes frames already imported into the US then re-exported....

    If you look here...
    New bike - Transition Ripcord « Singletrack Forum

    POAH has the bike at 25.85lb with pedals.
    However if you wanted you could reduce that ... the wheels are light but could be lighter with Crests, the D771/772 instead of the rebadged 881/882

    On Terrain he's using the Hutchinson Toro ... we don't need to and the rocket tons have never had a puncture (that didn't self seal) but that's because where we ride vs POAH... and I think that's about albs weight just in tires... but he's riding sharp rocks and a bike you can pedal with navy tires is lighter than one you need to push

    I know he switched pedals now and is using the AEST ones.... in the middle he was using Saint pedals... but he seems to have taken my kids pedals which are 160g vs 300g...

    Anyway.. the point is it's not as light as a hard tail but it's not 30lbs.... My nearly 8yr old CAN notice the weight difference but he was all set to do a XC race on the FS a few weeks ago... I got him to do a few laps of the climb and he decided against it... but on general trail use it's the Norco every time...

    The XC needs (or needed) to be light as he was racing against 9yr olds on $3000 bikes when he was 7.... some of the line-up pictures are comical as the kids are more than a full head taller than him... so back then an extra pound was pretty significant... now it's far less as he's much stronger.

    Last Saturday he carried an extra 2.5 kg of water he didn't even use... well he used 1/2l but the 2l in his backpack was still full...and I took his first gear away... but he met another of his racing buddies and they rode over 20 miles at a pace where they passed a LOT of adults...

    To all intents the Norco is "light enough" for the purpose... but I do think the light XC bike has been important in him doing the distances and getting stronger.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    I can' tell you the present weight as I left my luggage calls out in the rain ....
    I'm guessing about 11-12kg.... though its got some heavy zee cranks (or more accurately the spindle is the heavy part) and some DMR V12's ...
    It turns out that the Chinese luggage scales left open and dried and new batteries now work ...

    25 lbs ... (11.2-11.3 kg) with the dropper, Zee's and V12's (and some extra Stans at the moment) ...so my guess was close. When I swap the chain I'll stick a lighter one on but the current one is good so no rush ...

    If I really wanted I could swap cranks and the pedals, remove the dropper - nip an inch off the steerer .. stick in a few Ti bolts and with the chain drop it another pound perhaps as much as 1.5lbs but I'm not really trying as it's light enough for the intended purpose.

    As it happens I just got myself some new pedals so my saint pedals (though not that light) are available ....

  16. #16
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    Thanks, 25 lbs is good. I have the parts to do that, now just trying to figure out whether to do Norco Fluid or DB Splinter as I those are the 2 that I can get cheaply in 31 lb format and then just strip down and rebuild. Or I may keep him on the hardtail a few more months and spend 3-4 months looking for frame only.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinmysaddle View Post
    Thanks, 25 lbs is good. I have the parts to do that, now just trying to figure out whether to do Norco Fluid or DB Splinter as I those are the 2 that I can get cheaply in 31 lb format and then just strip down and rebuild. Or I may keep him on the hardtail a few more months and spend 3-4 months looking for frame only.
    I can't speak for the Splintr but the rear shock on the Norco works very well. Norco have put a lot of thought into the linkages so it's running at about 100psi in the default build. Can't remember the exact build but it's a very light one.

    What is is worth considering is what you'd do if it was damaged.
    As far as I can tell it's irreplaceable. In the U.K. I was told it's 3 mo from SRAM to get a new piston (when it was serviced). It's very slightly scratched but not leaking air....but they warned me to keep an eye as the lead time was so long.

    I did then go online and try and find a replacement but they don't exist in the light tune build. Even in a med tune they are like hens teeth and I dont know of any other shocks of that length. So just worth taking into account.


    That said we were riding Sunday and some poor kid had a brand new bike with a Suntour shock.... brand new as straight from the bike shop... he jumped off a tiny drop off (we were sessioning 3 in a row) and the shock went pop. I was carrying a shock pump and lent it to his dad but the shock was toast ....

    now ive ridden the Norco over much bigger jumps ... and the shock didn't just explode... so that's in its favor I just worry a bit what we'd do if it did get damaged.

    Other than that that with the SID it's very pedalable on the climbs and capable on the descents .... most of all it's a really fun bike ...in that he now chooses lines with the opportunity to jump a root or rock

  18. #18
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    Since you have an extra set of 24" wheels, I would buy a used small or xsmall 26er and put them on there until your kid grows and then swap out the 24's for 26s.

    Get a few more years of biking without having to add more cost/time of ulitmately looking for two bikes.

    Did that for both my boys on an 08 Heckler that has seen plenty of use over the last two years and will be good for 3 or so more years, I figure.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar-man View Post
    Since you have an extra set of 24" wheels, I would buy a used small or xsmall 26er and put them on there until your kid grows and then swap out the 24's for 26s.

    Get a few more years of biking without having to add more cost/time of ulitmately looking for two bikes.

    Did that for both my boys on an 08 Heckler that has seen plenty of use over the last two years and will be good for 3 or so more years, I figure.
    Problem with that is my guy is only 6, he is pushing it on a low top tube height 24" bike, no way he is fitting a 26", i have done the measurements.

    BTW- a local kid had the Norco Fluid, stock. Holy heavy. He picked up my large Hightower and said "wow, thats so much lighter than my bike!"

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by backinmysaddle View Post

    BTW- a local kid had the Norco Fluid, stock. Holy heavy. He picked up my large Hightower and said "wow, thats so much lighter than my bike!"
    The frame and rear shock are light. I didn't get weights as my scales were broken when I had it stripped but I was surprised

    The cranks were not heavy but the sq taper bb was fairly but the cranks had to come off anyway as they were too long. I fitted the XT with clutch and removed the chain retainer

    The bars, stem and Deore shifter, rear mech and brakes were ok ... I had a spare XT set I lifted as is from my XC bike but weight saving isn't huge.. and the saddle and seatpost were surprisingly reasonable but he's got a Thompson dropper fitted and a light BMX race saddle ...

    So that leaves wheels and fork....
    the wheels on our 2015 model are just terrible ... they are as bad as it's possible to make them. Not only are they very very heavy but they are narrow rims... not even disk specific so weight is in the wrong place .. I have a super cheap rear wheel (40 new ) Raleigh and it is about 200g lighter and wider rims...

    (Weighed both and the super cheap had a SLX cassette vs a lighter XT on the Norco one)

    The fork saving is probably more modest

    I'm away at the moment on the phone but I did weigh it for someone and it was a touch over 11kg which is reasonable enough for a FS... I could drop another 500g (or a pound) possibly but it seems light enough for Jnr for trail riding... equally I think with the stock seatpost, stem and Deore it may be a bit heavier but not much.. the biggest problem with the fitted Deore are the brake levers are impossible to use properly and I struggle to do 1 finger braking on them

    My conclusion as a stock bike (not specifically kids stock bike) is it's no different from an adult bike at that price... the wheels "work" and it benefits from a fork upgrade

    My own trail bike had heavy wheels and I upgraded the fork and retails at double the price

  21. #21
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    I replaced the 1150g per Kenda Nevegal wire bead tires for a Big Betty (750g) up front and 450g Rocket Ron in the rear on my 9 y.o. son's DB Splinter 24. The wheels are heavy too but what can you do. I tried ghetto tubeless to no avail.

    The rims that come with the Kona Stinky 24 seem nice and wide at least for proper fitment with a Minion 2.4- if it's gonna be heavy at least it should work well with the tire...

    Good luck!

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