Adult 26" dirt jumper as hardtail for 11 yo?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Adult 26" dirt jumper as hardtail for 11 yo?

    My 4'9" 11 year old is ready for a hardtail and I wondered if anybody has their kids riding a 26" DJ.

    I'm looking at something like a Haro Steel Reserve frame or Octane One Circus or Void frame, as a starting point. These frames can be found pretty cheap, around $200.

    DJ frames have extremely short chainstays, and low stand over, and many have HT angles in the neighborhood of 67-69 degrees. Though the frames are kind of long for a kid, with a 100mm fork it might end up being basically a mini All Mountain bikes.

    The build would be completed with a used 26" Fox 32 100mm fork.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    As long as you can get a small or extra small frame size, I can't think of any reason why not to try it. Maybe use an angleset to slacken the hta if necessary.

    I actually looked at those frames last year when I was thinking of building a cheap hardtail for myself, but ended up finding a black friday deal on a full build.

  3. #3
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    Given the kind of abuse that DJ frames are built to handle, I'd imagine that you could probably also get away with running a 120mm fork to slacken the geometry too.

  4. #4
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    I think it is a good idea and it should work well even without HT slackening.


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  5. #5
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    Definitely look at the geo on them and figure out what the BB height is going to be with a 100mm fork on them. Some of these are really stretched out. Otherwise, no reason they wouldn't work.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Otherwise, no reason they wouldn't work.
    Well, assuming he wants to run gears the horizontal dropouts on the frames he listed are going to be a problem. There are some adapters out there that supposedly allow you to run gears but I have no idea how well they actually work. Personally, I'd proceed with caution and expect it to be at least a mild PITA that may always be finicky.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Well, assuming he wants to run gears the horizontal dropouts on the frames he listed are going to be a problem. There are some adapters out there that supposedly allow you to run gears but I have no idea how well they actually work. Personally, I'd proceed with caution and expect it to be at least a mild PITA that may always be finicky.
    Crap, didn't think of that. I had the SC Jackal in my head when I was thinking of a good DJ frame to make into a kid's bike.
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  8. #8
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    I bought a lightly used 15 Ventana El Chiquillo......worked perfectly. I actually have it listed on Pink Bike

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Well, assuming he wants to run gears the horizontal dropouts on the frames he listed are going to be a problem. There are some adapters out there that supposedly allow you to run gears but I have no idea how well they actually work. Personally, I'd proceed with caution and expect it to be at least a mild PITA that may always be finicky.
    Assuming that it's 135mm QR I wouldn't worry about it much -- there are LOTS of people out there running old 70's road bikes with horizontal dropouts and gears and it's generally considered to be "no big deal".

    This is the style that my parents' bikes use -- dead simple to install, just slide into the dropout with the notch lined up with the dropout and tighten the bolt. The bolt & the axle / skewer & keep the whole thing locked in place:
    https://www.treefortbikes.com/Sun-Ra...nger-Plate-Nut

    Honestly, it's probably less finicky to get setup than trying to get the chain tension right running the bike as a SS.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Honestly, it's probably less finicky to get setup than trying to get the chain tension right running the bike as a SS.
    While I've never run gears on a bike with horizontal dropouts, I'm going to guess that I'd agree with this. Single speed chain tension sure can be annoying.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CascadiaPNW View Post
    While I've never run gears on a bike with horizontal dropouts, I'm going to guess that I'd agree with this. Single speed chain tension sure can be annoying.
    What is it that gives you guys trouble?

    I've never had any issues when using horizontal or sliding dropouts, and generally not too bad a time with vertical drops and a tensioner. (Also had no issues with horizontal and a rear derailleur.)
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    What is it that gives you guys trouble?

    I've never had any issues when using horizontal or sliding dropouts, and generally not too bad a time with vertical drops and a tensioner. (Also had no issues with horizontal and a rear derailleur.)
    Just getting the wheel even when tightening down the left / right sides.

    Not that big of a deal, just a slightly longer time to get the rear wheel in place. Best guess on how long it usually takes me to get the wheel locked down:
    Through-Axle: 15 seconds
    QR: 30 seconds
    SS w/ Horizontal dropouts: 45 seconds

    Similar effect to the different in brakes:
    Disc brakes: 0 seconds
    V-brakes: +15 seconds to secure / remove noodle
    U-Brakes: +60 seconds to remove 1 or both pads

  13. #13
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    I still haven't pulled the trigger on the frame. The benefits of a DJ frame for a kid is that they typically have shortest possible chainstays, while most kids 26ers have longer rear ends.

    The other consideration is that most DJ frames have a higher BB and whether that is ideal.

    We are in Florida and ride at Alafia and at skateparks. There are several videos of Alafia park from the YT celebs like BKXC and Singletrack Sampler. It is a park built on an old mining site and there is surprising amount of climbing, for FL, as well as awesome wooden features, and short trail loops of around 3 miles or so. Most of the trails are for the most part smooth and flowy. As far as gears, many DJ frames do have a derailleur hanger, but I'll make this bike single speed for lightness, durability at skatepark, and to build strength.

    The other potential shortcoming of DJ frames is that the seat tube angle is usually very slack. In my case that's ok since we will just keep the seat low and she will pedal it standing up for the most part, like a proper DJ. It would be nice to be able to raise the seat with a quick release to a decent seated pedaling position for covering ground.

    Thus far, the Chromag Monk comes in a variety of sizes and I'm mulling the XS version. I have a Large Haro Steel Reserve 1.3, and it's a bit big for her but she enjoys riding it. I'm still looking for a small DJ frame with a lower BB and short reach, and steeper seat tube angle, as the ideal.

  14. #14
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    I have a Octane One Zcircus DJ with 26" wheels and a 100mm fork. I have let my 53" / 9 year old ride it around the street. While he can ride it, it is way too big. More long than tall, even with a 35mm stem and short rise bars.
    But that frame does have an optional derailleur hanger that is like $12.

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    I like turtles

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYrr496 View Post
    Yup, and add this to the list as well if lighter bike weight is of concern- https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/268...cttofirstphoto
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