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  1. #1
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    27+ for 12 year old

    EDIT: Looking for real world feedback from people whose kids ride 27+ bikes.


    I took my 12 year old bike shopping and several LBS's recommended a 27+ (not a standard 27.5) bike for her, saying it would be confidence inspiring and help on technical terrain. I'm a little concerned about rolling resistance and weight. Curious if any other families have tweens riding 27+ and their experience?

    FYI - We live in Colorado and she is starting to ride more trails and will have to climb. An average ride from last year was 6-8 miles and 500-800 vertical. She's 5'1" in the mtn bike club and rides semi-regularly.
    Last edited by slcdawg; 04-25-2018 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Clarification
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  2. #2
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    The LBS recommends 27.5 because that's predominately the smallest wheel size they have in adult bikes. It's not like the have 26inchers hanging on the walls to choose from right? She will do fine on a 27.5 if she has the minimum height for it. Sub 5ft riders would be better on a 26in imo. That said my 4'10 10 year old girl can straddle and ride a WSD 27.5 small w/o issue. I do prefer 26 for short riders myself but as I wrote if they are over 5ft you can def look at 27.5 bikes. Find something that fits your needs regardless of wheel size.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the reply, but its not helpful. I'm looking for real world feedback from people whose kids actually ride 27+ bikes.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  4. #4
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    my 13 year old rides a small 27.5 transition scout with 26 inch wheels







  5. #5
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    My 8yr old kid rides a 24 with 2.5s and also 2.1s
    Id count 2.5 as + for the 24 wheel.

    When we do longer rides he is much better on the 2.1

    To be fair the front tire is a DH carcass so heavier but between the weight and rolling resistance it makes a noticeable difference.

    Sorry not a 27.5+ but hopefully closer to your question


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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg View Post
    EDIT: Looking for real world feedback from people whose kids ride 27+ bikes.


    I took my 12 year old bike shopping and several LBS's recommended a 27+ (not a standard 27.5) bike for her, saying it would be confidence inspiring and help on technical terrain. I'm a little concerned about rolling resistance and weight. Curious if any other families have tweens riding 27+ and their experience?

    FYI - We live in Colorado and she is starting to ride more trails and will have to climb. An average ride from last year was 6-8 miles and 500-800 vertical. She's 5'1" in the mtn bike club and rides semi-regularly.
    We're in Fort Collins and have a fleet of 26+ bikes starting at 24 pounds. We decided on 26+ due to smaller wheel size and lower wheel weight. 27.5+ is very close to 29er size and might be tall/cumbersome.

    Our son was 5'2" in this video.

    Cheers!

    Brett

  7. #7
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    Those look pretty nice - but out of my price range for my 12 year old.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brett
    We're in Fort Collins and have a fleet of 26+ bikes starting at 24 pounds. We decided on 26+ due to smaller wheel size and lower wheel weight. 27.5+ is very close to 29er size and might be tall/cumbersome.
    I guess geography makes a huge difference.
    A "really big climb" for us is 2000-3000' of vertical* ..... or we have done 2000' descend and climb back to back. Most often** we do something like 300' then descend and climb again..

    In the UK we are almost always doing this in mud... (it's just a sad fact.. The UK has some lovely trails and it's so green because its either raining or going to rain)

    *The 2.5" tyres really made a big difference compared to 2.1"... on the "really big days" Not long ago we actually swapped bikes between the two 2000' climbs... but I think the tyres made more difference than the 3-4lbs and geo of the FS vs his XC bike.

    The day after this we did a 3000' climb .. Jnr REALLY was stuck on which bike... the descent is really fun (part of the national EWS circuit) and prime territory for his FS... but he almost took his XC bike because he didn't fancy 3000' of climb on his FS.... I swapped the wheels over and he said it was "nearly as easy" as the XC bike...

    **Our more local spots don't have such big mountains so we climb the same hills. Its quite soft but for the example I'm using most of the accent we do on fireroad

    Typically we'd do about 10-12 300' climbs during the day on the 2.1" tires... but when he has the fatter (and heavier tires) we'd more usually do 8 or so before it stops being fun.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesmokingman View Post
    The LBS recommends 27.5 because that's predominately the smallest wheel size they have in adult bikes. It's not like the have 26inchers hanging on the walls to choose from right? She will do fine on a 27.5 if she has the minimum height for it. Sub 5ft riders would be better on a 26in imo. That said my 4'10 10 year old girl can straddle and ride a WSD 27.5 small w/o issue. I do prefer 26 for short riders myself but as I wrote if they are over 5ft you can def look at 27.5 bikes. Find something that fits your needs regardless of wheel size.
    I will never understand this way of thinking when it matters not one bit. I know a 12 yr old that dominates juniors classes and never once has he or any other junior class rider said that 26" is better. 27.5 fits them just fine.

    Like saying you have to be 6ft tall to ride a 29er, its a bit ridiculous.


    OP, I will tell you that yes b+ has its benefits, the weight penalty becomes a problem with someone that small. 27.5 with tires more towards the wider size for standard (like 2.4s) is going to be the equivalent of plus tires for adults. I wouldnt put my boys on plus bikes for serious trail riding, too heavy and screwy geo as plus is basically similar diameter to a 29er. Would you put her on a 29er? I know I wouldnt put my oldest on one for at least a few more years.

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  10. #10
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    Trek has a kids roscoe 27.5+ bike coming out in july... that is all i know and i dont have any details on the bike. the adult one is pretty good, i demoed one for a day.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwtch View Post
    Trek has a kids roscoe 27.5+ bike coming out in july... that is all i know and i dont have any details on the bike. the adult one is pretty good, i demoed one for a day.
    The adult small is one of the bikes I'm looking at now. Seems like a nice all rounder.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    I will never understand this way of thinking when it matters not one bit. I know a 12 yr old that dominates juniors classes and never once has he or any other junior class rider said that 26" is better. 27.5 fits them just fine.

    Like saying you have to be 6ft tall to ride a 29er, its a bit ridiculous.


    OP, I will tell you that yes b+ has its benefits, the weight penalty becomes a problem with someone that small. 27.5 with tires more towards the wider size for standard (like 2.4s) is going to be the equivalent of plus tires for adults. I wouldnt put my boys on plus bikes for serious trail riding, too heavy and screwy geo as plus is basically similar diameter to a 29er. Would you put her on a 29er? I know I wouldnt put my oldest on one for at least a few more years.

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    What's ridiculous? Knowing a 12yr old who is fast doesn't mean anything. At NICA events we have fast midgets on every size bike. It doesn't define what size is appropriate for any kid. However I have my opinions when it came to my midgets. You got a problem with that or something?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg View Post
    The adult small is one of the bikes I'm looking at now. Seems like a nice all rounder.
    seem a good price point and well equiped. best of luck in the search!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by thesmokingman View Post
    What's ridiculous? Knowing a 12yr old who is fast doesn't mean anything. At NICA events we have fast midgets on every size bike. It doesn't define what size is appropriate for any kid. However I have my opinions when it came to my midgets. You got a problem with that or something?
    Your post read more like "facts" as if it was stated rules in an owners manual, must be 5ft tall etc. Having preferences for our own kids is what we do. No issues what so ever with that. My opinions are just proper geo and as light weight as budget allows. Wheel size more my 11 yr old is basically not 20 and not 29. Anything in between goes. 24" fat bike right now (he begged for it but regretting it a bit now).

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Your post read more like "facts" as if it was stated rules in an owners manual, must be 5ft tall etc. Having preferences for our own kids is what we do. No issues what so ever with that. My opinions are just proper geo and as light weight as budget allows. Wheel size more my 11 yr old is basically not 20 and not 29. Anything in between goes. 24" fat bike right now (he begged for it but regretting it a bit now).

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    Where do I state things as fact???

    Sub 5ft riders would be better on a 26in imo. That said my 4'10 10 year old girl can straddle and ride a WSD 27.5 small w/o issue. I do prefer 26 for short riders myself but as I wrote if they are over 5ft you can def look at 27.5 bikes. Find something that fits your needs regardless of wheel size.

  16. #16
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    "She will do fine on a 27.5 if she has the minimum height for it."
    And I said "read" not that you said it was fact. Calm down man, sorry, I figured I was pretty clear that I mis-interpreted what you were saying.

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  17. #17
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    Now that all the fun is over... my son has been on 27.5+, 16" since he was 10, and 4' 8". He's now 13 years old , 5' even and does great and can huck my Stache 29+ 18.5" (with the dropper down). My wife is just under 5', and rides an Orbea Loki 15.5" 27.5+. They both do great, and habe more confidence and fun
    ------------------------------------------------------
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  18. #18
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    Thanks everyone for the input! I ended up finding a 26+ bike for her (RM Growler) that seems to be a great fit. I'll post back later after we get some riding in!
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input! I ended up finding a 26+ bike for her (RM Growler) that seems to be a great fit. I'll post back later after we get some riding in!
    Very cool, I like those hard tails! Rocky has a nice kids line surprisingly for a botique manufacturer. Did it come with an airfork?

  20. #20
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    Yeah, its actually a XS adult bike. Pretty well spec'd out, and comes with a Suntour Air fork.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  21. #21
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    My son is 5" and he used a XS Scott aspect 27.5 for a few months before getting in to enduro world and a few ramps and pump tracks. Today He tried a Scott Genius 27.5" Small and he loves it, he actually feels much better going down(of course FS bike is different). So right now he is ready for nice enduro trails here with that bike. BTW he has about 6 months riding mtb.

  22. #22
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    Did you just swap wheels? No negative effect?

  23. #23
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    I think there is a bit of a difference, for aspiring parents, between what a grom can successfully do on a bike and what makes a for a proper bike that encourages proper skill development. My 6yo can do all kinds of stupid stuff on a big heavy plus 24" bike with success. However when he is on the right bike size, he is a MUCH better and safer rider because he can control and manipulate the bike to bunny hop, baby whip, manual a big drop or adjust midair for an unexpected jump landing or gap. My personal experience with kids is that the right size wheelsize or a shade smaller benefits kids in unexpected ways. That being said we are a bit airborn, skill and downhill focused on a big mountain more than just XC style riding.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecooke21 View Post
    Did you just swap wheels? No negative effect?
    what so you mean

  25. #25
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    My 10 year old son has been riding a xs Julianna Joplin in 27.5 for a while on trails and jumps



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  26. #26
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    Anyone here consider the Diamondback clutch 1 or 2 in XS? Even the color scheme suggests that it might be for kids rather than women specific.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    I will never understand this way of thinking when it matters not one bit. I know a 12 yr old that dominates juniors classes and never once has he or any other junior class rider said that 26" is better. 27.5 fits them just fine.

    Like saying you have to be 6ft tall to ride a 29er, its a bit ridiculous.

    ... I wouldnt put my boys on plus bikes for serious trail riding, too heavy and screwy geo as plus is basically similar diameter to a 29er. ...
    This doesn't seem to make sense. You argue that a 26" rule for those under 5' is stupid, yet you then state you wouldn't put your child on 27.5+/29" due to screwy geometry.

    So why does 29"/27.5+ lead to screwy geometry for a 12 year old; but 27.5" doesn't for those MTB bikes that actually fit a 4'9" person?
    [most 12 year olds I know are >4'9"]

  28. #28
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    My son has transitioned from an older 26 extra small trek hard tail to borrowing his moms extra small Felt Surplus 27.5 X 3 and now a medium Comencal Meta HT 27.5 x 2.4. He is 12 now but a very athletic 5 4. The Plus bike was a good step for building confidenc but really was more like a fat bike with that light a rider on it. The weight was not an issue, but it is a little big and ponderous. His technique and bike handling have improved much faster since he switched to the Comencal.

  29. #29
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    Fit:
    PLus or not plus:
    Until last year, my daughter was riding a plus bike (26x3.0, long wheelbase, slack head angle). First she rode it rigid, and last summer with a front suspension fork.
    When she was 7 she chose the rigid plus bike over the super light front suspension hardtail we also had at the time.

    I think that for slower rides, rougher, looser surfaces and timid riders plus can really help. That said, for a 50 lbs rider, you can drop pressure in a 2.3 tire pretty darn low too!

    On rough trails a supple plus tire will climb easier than a narrower, higher pressure tire.

    As they get faster and ride more jumps at higher speeds, and if they ride descent with lots of braking bumps, full suspension starts to really help. I think full suspension and 2.8 tires is probably a bit over kill for younger, lighter kids.

    That said, you can play around with it too. How about a 27.5+ bike, and then swap in 2.6 tires instead of the stock 2.8 or 3.0? This will lighten the bike, and lower the bottom bracket and standover.
    Maybe a 2.4 for the rear for big days out and races, and some beefy 2.6 for the bikepark?

    Also, most plus hardtails have slacker, more trail oriented geometry, while most regular tired hardtails are XC focused.
    If that is the case, definitely go for the plus bike, even if you end up putting regular size tires on it.

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