24er advice: crank arm length & options, wheels, and some other upgrades- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    24er advice: crank arm length & options, wheels, and some other upgrades

    Working on some upgrades for my son's Cleary Scout 24er which, for some unexplainable reason, they ship with a 165mm crank. He is 132cm tall with a 52cm inseam, which would put his ideal crank arm length at 125 - 130cm. I have been thinking of cheating to 140cm as he is growing like a weed.

    I have been looking at the Tailcraft direct mount as an option, and think this will also take some weight out. The $159 price (including BB) is within budget. Are there other manufactures I should be paying attention to? Am I making a mistake by cheating up to the 140, Tailcraft's next length is 127. I still feel like the 25cm difference from his current 165 will make a monster difference.

    I am also thinking of switching out the generic Cleary cockpit components for either Thomson or PNW Components alloy. This is a kids bike, and I feel that 7000 series aluminum is going to be the best option durability to dollar to weight. The Thomson posts and stems are pretty available on eBay, the PNW stuff is fairly affordable off the shelf, but their mtb bars are not.

    Also, I have found it hard to search the forums for good threads on 24er wheels, both custom builds and complete. Are there in in particular I should be reading? The Alex DP21 wheels with modeless sealed Joytech hubs feel like a natural place to invest a bit of time and sweat. However, unlike cockpit those are unlikely to travel to the next bike. He does have a younger sister, but I feel I she is growing so fast (121cm tall 55cm inseam) that she will be on her own 24er before he gives this one up.

    Thank you in advance for any help.

  2. #2
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    I've seen 165 work just fine. And, despite something like 130 being close to ideal, this isn't something I'd be losing sleep over. At the end of the day, it's probably not going to make a game changing difference because kids are pretty damn durable and grow so fast that they may blow through the entire bike let alone just the crankset. I went with a 165 on my daughter's upgrade, just slightly larger than yours because the crankset is small enough and I can just move it when she needs a larger framed bike.

    Anyway, if the bike is going to get passed down, it's probably worth it IMO. If this is a one generation ride for whatever reason, I wouldn't put a ton into it unless they are really serious or you are like some of us with a morbid desire just to upgrade and replace things.

    Also, I wouldn't do thomson, I love the brand, but just get uno and other generic brands and Chinese carbon for bars. They're cheap, as light or lighter, and plenty durable that kids aren't going to break them.
    WTB: Med Bontrager Ti Lite, PM Me...

  3. #3
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    I went with some dirt cheap Alienation Malice rims and Novatec hubs and built up a great pair of 24 tubeless wheels for pretty cheap. Trailcraft sells nice 24 wheels but they will cost you...
    https://forums.mtbr.com/families-rid...e-1024833.html

  4. #4
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    Wren stems are pretty good value for a super light stem. I'm using them on the whole family's bikes now. If you wait for 15% off ebay coupons (usually one at least every few months), you can get them for ~$35.

    If you're not sure on the crank length, you could always put on a cheap square taper BB and test out lengths with cheaper cranks. For sure, dropping down from 165mm to anything lower will make a big difference. I'm on 152mm cranks on my own bike now and like the shorter length -- easier on the knees and pedal strikes are pretty much non-existant!

    If you do go with the Trailcraft cranks and decide you really need shorter, they do sell the crank arms on their own, you just need to email.

    For bars, ControlTech bars on Amazon swing back and forth wildly in price (see camelcamelcamel.com for price history) -- I picked up some 600mm 7075 bars for $12 a few months back. Not seeing any standout deals right now, but it's something to watch for if you're willing to wait.

    Local MTB classified groups on Facebook are also pretty good for used bars -- I see them pop up all the time as people try different things out and have takeoffs for $15-20.

    For the seatpost, I'm not sure you're going to gain much from a weight perspective since it's already aluminum. The only reason I'd swap that out would be if you wanted to put in a dropper -- the Brand X droppers from CRC are probably the most cost effective externally routed 27.2 droppers available right now:
    https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/.../rp-prod159176

  5. #5
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    Thank you. This is really helpful. I saw the Bitex hubs that another on your post recmmended in some of my searches as well. Not familiar with them or the Novatec. How have you found the quality of the hubs? Also, any concerns about running BMX rims that are meant for rim brakes on a disc brake setup? The price you acheived seems pretty remarkable for what appears to be a good set of light wheels.

  6. #6
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    Thank you. I do think a dropper is in the future, but it is not a first stage upgrade and I would like to get the weight down a little and the fit better before I add that. I have been eyeing the PNW Components droppers as well.

    https://www.pnwcomponents.com/collec...2-dropper-post

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrwgrcia View Post
    Thank you. I do think a dropper is in the future, but it is not a first stage upgrade and I would like to get the weight down a little and the fit better before I add that. I have been eyeing the PNW Components droppers as well.

    https://www.pnwcomponents.com/collec...2-dropper-post
    Most of the reviews I've seen suggest the PNW droppers are actually the same dropper as the brand x, though the PNW may have a slightly nicer lever.

    For rims, other than a few grams more weight, there's no downside to using bmx rims designed for rim brakes. Alienation has 2 different tubeless models: malice (works with rim brakes) and mischief (thinner profile that doesn't work with rim brakes). There's about 40g difference between the two, but either should work fine on a MTB.

  8. #8
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    I've seen kids ride all kinds of crazy stuff. It's criminal that Cleary "a kid company" would spec adult cranks on a small child's bike tho. The good news is that you can probably just take them to a machine shop and get them drilled out down to 135mm or something like that. That long of a crank that close to the ground isnt a good recipe. If she pedals over bumps and stuff, she'll whack that crank and go down. Also if she is doing any significant climbing, it's equally or more rediculous there too. I'd def see if you can just get them cut down. Ive seen a number of guys go that route.

    Cockpit wise, Thompson is heavy. Wren stem and some cheap Chinese carbon flat bars from Ebay will do the trick for about 70$ total. Also look at getting some decent pedals too. Wellgo KC0008 aren't bad.

    Also, please send those guys a complaint email. This was an OEM spec cheapo special they assume parents won't check. They won't get better unless they hear from parents. My guess is they aren't going to be in business long.

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