Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    ilmfat
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    Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel.

    "And so what?", I say. Now, don't go reaching for your pitchforks and torches. I get it:

    Should riders progress? Yes.

    Is riding proficiency "all about going faster"? No. Being a better rider decreases accident rates on even moderate trails. That said, quite a few injuries have happened at low speed on trails "I've ridden a hundred times".

    Should we encourage riders to grow in their skills? Yes.

    Can my kids ride their bikes without incorporating the above ^ ideas into their riding? Abso-friggin-lutely.

    I'm an average rider that doesn't like chunk and barely tolerates a sus fork. Though I like riding a sofa down the mountain as much as the next guy, most of my riding is buff side hill. Steep chunk I will gingerly hike down and I just won't ride that trail again. We tried a new line yesterday and ( I swear I ain't making this up) my wife couldn't fall asleep last night because of mini panic attacks from a bit of steep side hill. No exposure. No sheer drops. Injury possible, sure. But not harrowing. And she didn't crash. Didn't come close to crashing. Just the possibility bothered her such that she lost sleep. My point here is that we are not a hard charging family. I may have given her a bit of crap for the "insomnia", but I am not inclined to push her to conquer her fears. I'm not inclined to focus on "advancing skills" for the minions. I'm inclined to find trails they like already. I'm inclined to have most of our rides be easy rolling with cheap thrills. Wiped out from yesterday's climb? Let's do a creek bottom, not the same ridge plus another.

    My youngest is 4'5". Graduated up to an Xs Salsa TJ this season. 27.5x3F/26x2.8R. I ain't gonna blow smoke. Some of you guys are way better riders than I am. Some of your kids are way better riders than I am. And I'm sure the techier the trail, the better a 20" or 24" can be. I've watched the minion struggle with her new bike on sections she cleaned on her 24. But I also watched her, overnight, get faster and go further on the larger wheels. Gravel and buff, including climbs. The techier stuff we walk anyways.

    Both ride 29x2.2 Ikons on their "road" bikes. I guess I'm just tired of reading about "you shouldn't put your kids on big wheels" written by parents, while my kids' friends who are "too small for 29ers" ride around on (not even extra) small 29ers and love it, especially for neighborhood stompin. And we have hills.

    Both my girls are stronger climbers than I am. On bikes that are "too big". The older one is faster than my wife already. And she is only 11. 9 year old will be faster than her mom by the end of this season. On a bike that is "too big". Maybe they are such strong riders because I have put them on the biggest wheels they can barely fit since my oldest outgrew her 12" Walmart bike before she could fit it.

    Maybe if I had kept them on "proper" sized bikes, they'd be stronger technical riders. But based off the way my wife and I prefer to ride, that seems highly unlikely.

    TLDR: Don't skimp. Spend some sheckles and get your henchperson some Mk3 Sentry wheels from Universalcycles. Sub $300 for the 27.5F/26R pair. They come taped and valved for tubeless.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel.-family.jpg  

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  2. #2
    ilmfat
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    I forgot the most important part:

    Droppers are almost required for kids. Mine is super convenient. And I love it. But I don't need it to be able to get proper pedal extension and still touch the ground. It's hella nice, fur show. But not necessary. For kids, it makes the bigger wheels instantly more accessible.

    Also, the 26 rear necessitates a shorter crank. Spawn FTW.
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  3. #3
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    You're doing it all wrong!
    Do you even mtb, bruh?!!




    Of course I'm just kidding Thanks for the different perspective. There is nuance to every situation, and it's great to hear your family has found the answer that works for y'all!

    I've recently been wondering what my kid would look like (he's 4'8/9) on a 27.5x/xs, just so he could do a ride with a group and not feel like people were waiting on him. All the adults riding 29/27.5 Carbon is hard n for a baby on 24s!

    Would love to see what your kids look like on those bikes-- I know I'll just have to find a store with a bike and try him on, but it's hard to get an idea when you're pushing boundaries!

    Cheers,
    Ridwan

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  4. #4
    ilmfat
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    Lemme go get an inseam and a pic. Back in 5 minutes.
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  5. #5
    ilmfat
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    Or, ya know, 25 minutes.

    24.5 inseam. Shoes on, feet flat.

    Felt is 29x2.2 Ikons. 29" at seat

    https://www.vitalmtb.com/product/gui.../Nine-20,11804


    Size XS S M L XL
    Top Tube Length 560 585 605 625 645
    Head Tube Angle 71° 71° 71° 71° 71°
    Head Tube Length 90 90 100 110 120
    Seat Tube Angle 73.5 73 73 73 73
    Seat Tube Length 356 406 457 508 559
    Bottom Bracket Ht 65 (drop)
    Chainstay Length 440 445 445 445 445
    Wheelbase 1049 1075 1095 1115 1136
    Standover 679 714 760 794 823
    Reach 384 397 414 431 448
    Stack 595 614 623 632 642

    Felt currently has a mini pivotal post, but it is raised about 2 inches. Could likely fit a dropper on it, but no hole for internal and frame design precludes external. I'd drill it, but the TJ is more versatile, especially with the dropper. She handles the fixed post on the road just fine, tho does miss not having a dropper.

    Salsa TJ is 27.5x3/26x2.8. 29.5" at seat.

    https://salsacycles.com/bikes/timber...rjack_deore_29 , but numbers will be different with the smaller wheels.

    The TJ as pictured has about an inch of dropper up.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel.-ella-felt.jpg  

    Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel.-ella-jr-jack.jpg  

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  6. #6
    ilmfat
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    Felt has 170 cranks. She doesn't seem to "need" shorter ones. TJ has 155s. She rode em back to back and didn't mention crank length. She does like the TJ more, but I'm not sure if that's JUST the dropper, or if it is other things. We're gonna have her do some rides on both in case she decides she'd rather run narrower tires. 27.5x2.3 won't be much taller than her 26x2.8.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info. Starting to think about upgrading my ten year old son to something bigger than his 24” bike and this is great info.

  8. #8
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    I have my 12y/o (4'10") on a Santa Cruz Superlight 27.5, and the 8y/o on a Trailcraft Timber 26. Moving them up to the bigger bikes has made a huge difference. They can both pop the front wheel a little on these bikes. The longer wheelbases have made it harder to get the front end up, but they have more confidence descending and nearly instantly handle trail obstacles they couldn't before. Both are getting droppers, at first I thought it was going to be something else for them to deal with. (still have shifting issues sometimes) Now I have changed my mind, droppers going on when they get here.

  9. #9
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    I can't figure out what in the world this thread is about.

    Is it a recommendation to put your kids on bikes that are too big for them ASAP so you don't have to worry about them becoming better bike handlers than you are?

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  10. #10
    ilmfat
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    If you guys go fast in twisties or bomb chutes and huck doubles, it may be worth keeping a 24 around for now. But if you guys see more miles than trials, especially on gravel, it's no contest. WTB Rangers roll for days. I run em on a townie, even. I swear, some rides feel downhill both ways. Nothing like that in a 24 above a 2.1. Kiddo is rolling on 2.8s.

    I will say, I always thought I would be #29er4Lyfe, but turns out I prefer the 27.5x2.8s in the trees and bushes and twisties. My older one went to 29 and never looked back.....until I had her try 27.5x2.5s. And now that's her main ride.

    Depending on your fam's genetics, a 10 year old could fit on a 27.5x2.8 F/R. HenchLady in above pics could prolly do it and last I knew she was exceptionally average sized. 26 Sentry is the great deal, however. That's why I didn't just go 27.5 F/R. Saved well over $200 just on the rear wheel.
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  11. #11
    ilmfat
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    SlapHeadMofo: You wanna come ride with my kids and show em how to ride fast, feel free. But don't just do it once. My kids knowing how to ride fast doesn't do them any good if no one else will ride with them. Not EVERYONE's riding style = "kIdS oN BiG WheElS BaD!"

    For OUR riding, my kids are faster on wagon wheels.

    Again, feel free to come show them the light. I appreciate your evangelism. But peeps like you are why I posted this thread.

    So, unless you're going to put up and come make them even more fasterer than me (because they already are), and ride with them so they can enjoy going fast without feeling alone, Ima keep making threads like this of my kids on top of "mountains" they rode up, even if they had to walk some bits and only go 60% throttle on the way down.
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  12. #12
    ilmfat
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    Because a smiling kid who takes 5 minutes longer to get down is better than a scared kid who is trying to keep up with me while I am already riding past my own abilities.


    Good advice, Breh.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    SlapHeadMofo: You wanna come ride with my kids and show em how to ride fast, feel free. But don't just do it once. My kids knowing how to ride fast doesn't do them any good if no one else will ride with them. Not EVERYONE's riding style = "kIdS oN BiG WheElS BaD!"

    For OUR riding, my kids are faster on wagon wheels.

    Again, feel free to come show them the light. I appreciate your evangelism. But peeps like you are why I posted this thread.

    So, unless you're going to put up and come make them even more fasterer than me (because they already are), and ride with them so they can enjoy going fast without feeling alone, Ima keep making threads like this of my kids on top of "mountains" they rode up, even if they had to walk some bits and only go 60% throttle on the way down.
    I still have no idea what you're talking about, nor what 'going more fasterer' has to do with learning bike handling.

    Actually, you learn a lot more about bike handling at slow speeds. Taking kids without handling skills and trying to set them to go as fast as they can isn't all that great of an idea IMO. Reference many videos of people with more money than skill crashing supercars going around simple corners.

    But hey, your kids, your call. Hopefully they don't find themselves in a situation where they actually need to do something besides sit, pedal, point and shoot. Personally, going fast was never any sort of thing I or my kid put high on the list of riding priorities That may or may not come naturally way down the road from learning the fundamentals of how to really handle a bike at lower speeds. Breh.
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  14. #14
    ilmfat
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    Cool story, bro.

    How often do you need to loft your wheel on buff side hill?

    You gonna come ride with my kids on the trails where they "need" these skills?

    If not, Ima keep riding the trails they like best on equipment they like best that enables them to ride as safely as possible.

    And until you come assess their bike handling skills on various wheel sizes in person, you are words on a screen. While their ability to ride further increases with wheel size.
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  15. #15
    ilmfat
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    "I'm sorry, honey. SlapHeadMofo says your wheels are too big. I know you can climb faster and safer and further than you could before, but someone with ideas and a keyboard says you're doing it wrong. I'm sorry I let you explore options and choose your own instead of just listening to SlapHead when he was spouting the same nonsense last year when I was posting about your older sister."
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  16. #16
    ilmfat
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    Maybe listen to potential customers and our club's fleet of bikes would say something other than Salsa.
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  17. #17
    ilmfat
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    Nah. I'm sure 23 bikes is chump change to the big guys.

    Half of which^ are for kids under 5'. Some set up 29ers, and the minions get to the bottom just fine.
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  18. #18
    ilmfat
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    More importantly, getting to the top "seems" to take significantly less energy out of the kiddo, assuming light wheels and tires.
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  19. #19
    ilmfat
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    If there had been a 12" 29er on the market last spring, our club's bikes would have different labels.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    Felt has 170 cranks. She doesn't seem to "need" shorter ones. TJ has 155s. She rode em back to back and didn't mention crank length. She does like the TJ more, but I'm not sure if that's JUST the dropper, or if it is other things. We're gonna have her do some rides on both in case she decides she'd rather run narrower tires. 27.5x2.3 won't be much taller than her 26x2.8.
    Didn't mention crank length....I've been MTnBiking for 37 yrs and raced 32yrs. Didn't think crank length would make a difference, man was I wrong...,5' 27" inseam. Went from 170mm to 165mm to 135mm Will never go back to longer. Feels just terrible when I jump on a friends bike with 165mm....nope, will never go back...
    Tread killer....

  21. #21
    ilmfat
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    My HenchPersons are getting tall enough now and confident on the bikes such that they are more tolerant of disproportion. A kid who can sit on a bike leaning to the side propped on one toe can fit a taller frame than one who needs both feet tip toed. Some kids don't feel safe if they can't flat foot. SlapHeadMofo is right in general. But the #KidsOnGoodBikes crowd is either gravity focused or stuck on 26.

    Look at the Transition Ripcord: Look at the suggested sizes and ages. Now look at the Salsa suggested size chart. My kids rip it (slow-ish downhill, decently fast uphill) on bikes the chart says they need 6 more inches to fit..
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  22. #22
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    Day drinking is cool, but you still don't make any sense. Breh.

    Nugget of wisdom in amongst all the weird ramblings:

    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    SlapHeadMofo is right in general.
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  23. #23
    ilmfat
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    The ladies actually started on "too big" singlespeeds when they were wee. They like to torque more than spin.
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  24. #24
    ilmfat
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    My viewpoint seems to not make sense TO YOU, SlapHead.

    You seem to think wagon wheels and good bike handling are incongruous for the agefully challenged.

    I defo think you're wrong, if it didn't seem that way.

    Feel free to move on.
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  25. #25
    ilmfat
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    Or come ride with my kids and see what an average 10 year old rider can do on wagon wheels.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    My viewpoint seems to not make sense TO YOU, SlapHead.
    I'm still not even sure what your viewpoint is; you communicate horribly. Breh.

    But hey, enjoy riding whatever a BufFSiDEhilL is, and hopefully, you can find yourself a 50" wheeled bike. Cuz faSteReR!??!?!?
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  27. #27
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    No torque involved....except while standing on the pedal for the first 1/4 slice of pie....goggle it....foot still travels the same 360 degrees, just able to exert more power when UR knees aren't in UR chest at the top of the stroke.
    Tread killer....

  28. #28
    ilmfat
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    Wow, man. I come here to provide a ride report on our anecdotal and anomalous perceptions "hiding" an accusation of number chasing, and SlapHead took the bait in less than 24 hours and now I have homework?

    Hyperbole is the refuge of the unarmed, SlapHead.
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  29. #29
    ilmfat
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    I don't know what other metric my riders cannot meet except speed, Slaphead. You tout that they lack riding abilities. But don't really quantify what that means.

    And, phwigh, they couldn't loft their smaller front wheels, either. But they're working on it, and have made improvements, even on their "proportionally a 72 inch" wheels.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    I don't know what other metric my riders cannot meet except speed, Slaphead. You tout that they lack riding abilities. But don't really quantify what that means.
    I was going by the "bike-too-big-kid-cant-loft-front-wheel" metric.
    No idea where I got that idea. Breh.
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  31. #31
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    Oh. So you think that is a requirement?

    All this riding of blues and a couple "blacks" they love and ride regularly was.....I don't get what YOU are saying.

    You don't make sense when you go from "everyone should know how" to "you're doing it wrong until you know how".
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  32. #32
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    Putting words in other people's mouths is the refuge of the unarmed, Breh.
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  33. #33
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    Let the readers take our own words for what they may.

    It's funny because I appreciate and agree with your viewpoint. And I'm even a bit jealous of it, Slaphead. I wish I was a better rider. I wish I could be faster. But my 9 year old "recklessly" (when it is wreck-lessly) riding down a black line is already making my wife feel slow. I ain't gonna speed my kids up so that my wife feels more abandoned. And bigger wheels and tires help them keep up on the parts she's faster at.

    I love your enthusiasm. I appreciate your work and respect your evangelism. I even like about half of your zeal.

    But the fanaticism tastes foul in my mind. Especially when it directly defies so much of my "anecdotal data" acquired from helping a bike club with young families grown into a club with less young families.

    While you were telling me my kids wheels were to big, they were using bikes they barely fit to build strong riding, even if our definition of strong riding doesn't meet your fanatical requirements.
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  34. #34
    ilmfat
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    This post is an accusation of gatekeeping.

    And here you are, demanding the Sacred Wheel Loft.
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  35. #35
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    So is that the point you've been trying to make? You're trying to slow your kids down on challenging terrain and speed them up on easy terrain and putting them on oversized, harder to handle but easier-rolling bikes accomplishes this? And that if anyone suggestion that developing good bike-handling skills might be important when riding a bike, that qualifies as a fanatical attack?

    Okay then, have fun. Breh.

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  36. #36
    ilmfat
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    Me: "My kids are faster on bigger wheels. Not Recklessly fast. Just same pace of comfort, less time to get between miles. They can ride further and enjoy themselves more. Still can't quite loft the wheel, tho."

    SlapHead: "You're trying to slow your kids down on challenging terrain and speed them up on easy terrain and putting them on oversized, harder to handle but easier-rolling bikes accomplishes this? And that if anyone suggestion that developing good bike-handling skills might be important when riding a bike, that qualifies as a fanatical attack?"
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  37. #37
    ilmfat
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    Again: You seem to think it is impossible for a small kid to handle big wheels. They can make it up and down. How is that not handling a bike?
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  38. #38
    ilmfat
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    Because they could be faster? What other metric matters? Safety? They bail rarely and know how to tumble. Jesus. My kids crashed on small wheels, too.
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  39. #39
    ilmfat
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    Adults crash. It happens.
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  40. #40
    ilmfat
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    Oh. Are we back at the Sacred Wheel Loft again?

    Execute the heretics who are ignorant of our gesticulations and gyrations!
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  41. #41
    ilmfat
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    *You advocate skills building, yet heavily imply kids are on the wrong wheel size and lack skills?











    That just sounds like virtue signal gatekeeping with extra steps
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel.-sorcery.jpg  

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  42. #42
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    Never said it was 'impossible', said it made learning strong handing skills that much harder. Good luck finding anyone knowledgeable who disagrees.

    Oversized bikes are a perfectly fine way to go if your bar for handling skills is low based on your terrain and/or personal preferences, as you've described. For many (if not most) mountain bikers though, developing a strong base of technical (aka - "bike handling") skills is considered essential, particularly as speeds go up. Those skills you seem to consider useless can actually come into play a lot more than you'd think, particularly when things go south.

    But really, if you guys are having fun, then have fun. I'm slow and have pretty shitty handling skills myself and I still manage to.
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  43. #43
    ilmfat
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    Rider confidence>Wheel Size

    Two different kids of the same size:

    10 years old.

    One can ride all the way up to a 29.

    The other, is sketched out even on a 24.

    One can ride any wheel size on 50% of our trails. The other couldn't ride any wheel size on our (very) easiest one.
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  44. #44
    ilmfat
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    "Those skills you seem to consider useless"

    "Putting words in other people's mouths is the refuge of the unarmed, Breh.", indeed.
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  45. #45
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    Something something "fanaticism" something
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  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    "Those skills you seem to consider useless"

    "Putting words in other people's mouths is the refuge of the unarmed, Breh.", indeed.
    "Maybe if I had kept them on "proper" sized bikes, they'd be stronger technical riders"

    Front wheel loft, Breh.
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  47. #47
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    Lol.

    I believe this isn't the first year I've invited you to come get them trained to YOUR standards.

    Your deflection strongly indicates it won't be the last.
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  48. #48
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    Do you know how to code a computer? Hot wire a car? Skin an animal? Sculpt? Manage 3 million employees? If you answered "no" to any of those^ your point is moot. If you need more examples until we find a "no", you're an even sexier beast, but I'm down to keep playing until we find one.
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  49. #49
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    Your hyperbole is not mine.
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  50. #50
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    Wow, this thread beats "presta valve hater" guy's thread.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    Lol.

    I believe this isn't the first year I've invited you to come get them trained to YOUR standards.

    Your deflection strongly indicates it won't be the last.
    I could care less how well your kids learn to ride, or not.

    But for those parents who want to give their kids the best chance at developing good fundamentals MTB skills at a young age, my advice, and I"m sure that of many, many others here, would be to steer clear of sticking them on oversized bikes.

    Breh.
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    Wow, this thread beats "presta valve hater" guy's thread.
    Right?

    Virus is bringing them out of the woodwork.
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    "Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel. My youngest is 4'5". Graduated up to an Xs Salsa TJ this season. 27.5x3F/26x2.8R."

    Your kid can't loft the front wheel because the bike is too big. You don't think it is a problem? So your kid is cruising down the road, and can't bunny hop a curb? Imagine all the cool thinks a 4'5" rider could be doing on a 24" or 26" bike that actually fits, the technical obstacles they could clear, the sketchy trails with exposure they would be able to ride. Sorry to play devils advocate. . My kids are about 5 feet tall and still riding 26" wheels, and able to ride things the 4'10"-5'4" kids can't ride that have bigger 27.5 and 29" wheels.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    "Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel. My youngest is 4'5". Graduated up to an Xs Salsa TJ this season. 27.5x3F/26x2.8R."

    Your kid can't loft the front wheel because the bike is too big. You don't think it is a problem? So your kid is cruising down the road, and can't bunny hop a curb? Imagine all the cool thinks a 4'5" rider could be doing on a 24" or 26" bike that actually fits, the technical obstacles they could clear, the sketchy trails with exposure they would be able to ride. Sorry to play devils advocate. . My kids are about 5 feet tall and still riding 26" wheels, and able to ride things the 4'10"-5'4" kids can't ride that have bigger 27.5 and 29" wheels.
    Yeah, but can they skin an animal breh?
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    I could care less how well your kids learn to ride, or not.

    But for those parents who want to give their kids the best chance at developing good fundamentals MTB skills at a young age, my advice, and I"m sure that of many, many others here, would be to steer clear of sticking them on oversized bikes.

    Breh.
    While SHM delivery can be rough, he is right. Even you mentioned they can climb well but ride down slowly. It sounds like you 2 have very different goals.

    ilmfat- your kids love their bikes and love riding and you do it as a family. They aren't going pro and the "over-sized" bike meets your needs. You presented it as an alternative solution. SHM kid is really really good. His kid handles bikes much better than yours do, and he is right... If he had done it your way, it wouldn't look the same. You don't need to defend why you made the decision you do, as long as you aren't saying everyone should do it. It worked for you with where and how you ride. Great. It is misleading if you believe that all families should buy big bikes. There are disadvantages to it for sure.

    The proper sized bike will help a kid in bike handling. That seems a fair statement. Climbing isn't really an accurate indicator of that in most cases as the term is typically used. Recommendations were made to me from here about BMX and proper sized bikes and it made all the differences in the world.

    P.S. SHM rips on pretty much everyone who buys any bike FYI!

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    P.S. SHM rips on pretty much everyone who buys any bike FYI!
    Nah, I just poke fun at the people who think shopping and weighing parts = mountain biking! Oh yeah, and the people who get all bent out of shape about training wheelz.

    I rarely, if ever, make any sort of negative comment about any bike in particular unless it's something I've had a personal crappy experience with.
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  57. #57
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    It's funny. I once was guilty of this "shopping and weighing parts = mountain biking"

    SlapHeadMofo was instrumental in me being realistic about my riding style. He was instrumental in me deciding to have my kids try as many options as possible. He was an inspiration to take my kids out and have them explore their interests and abilities.

    And now me and my kids are riding more than ever. Further. Quicker. And more capably.

    And I still get steamrolled by "those who know better" who think I'm doing it wrong, but, "well, okay, TECHNICALLY, there is no way to do it 'wrong'. But....you're doing it wrong."
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  58. #58
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    I'm still not sure, other than lack of wheel loft, what my kids and I lack that makes us not yet mountain bikers.
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  59. #59
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    Simply because their wheels are too big, Slappy?
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  60. #60
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    Is Wheel Loft Flair required before we are mountain bikers?
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  61. #61
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    Are the requirements for Wheel loft codified? Duration? Height? Distance?
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  62. #62
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    What makes one (potential)mountain biker "better" than another? Quicker times? Less injuries? More enjoyment?
    crap! i gotta learn to climb. - 2011

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    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    I'm still not sure, other than lack of wheel loft, what my kids and I lack that makes us not yet mountain bikers.
    I don't think anyone is saying you aren't mountain bikers. You have found a fantastic solution for you and your family and presented an alternative view to people. I am new to biking and love to hear the different options. I am grateful for your perspective.

    I wouldn't get into it. He argues with everyone. I am convinced it is his hobby! hahah. He has really good insight if you sort through some of the banter. His kid can rip. He knows what he is talking about.

    You are talking about distance. In your very first post, you talk about walking the tech stuff and not hucking. Those are traditionally related to "bike handling." If that's not your thing you have come up with a great option for you and your family. For kids who want to rip, learning on smaller bikes is beneficial.

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    You gotta do what works for you, BUT I can def tell you from experience that taking advice from guys like Slaphead\others\coaches who have proven to coach their kid decently well (young shredders aren't born)...it'll make your kid a heck of a lot better rider. Its just good advice tho...nothing more and you certainly don't have to do it to ride down trails. It sounds like he's given you excellent advice before...this is simply just more of that.

    That being said, our local MTB kids team coach is an ex-DH racer and has a student in Rampage. One of the coaches on his kids team is a former Enduro pro. They tell the parents about the same thing as Slaphead says when it comes to bikes. He isn't a Dad-hack like us but coaches hundreds of kids and throws a nasty backflip among other things and rode for Transition. Lot of experience there that you can take to the bank.

    Their goals aren't racing kids but solely building strong riders and having a lot of fun. They don't care about who can roll down the trail but want the kids to be able to pump, jump, throw it around, drift a little, boost a slow jump, bunny hop logs, slow-manual-into-a-drop, lean it over, roll a chute, leap into a chute, corner super well, flat corner really well and keep those damn elbows out etc. etc. etc. It takes years but man, MTB is a blast with the kids and once they get to be a pilot...they will never go back to just rolling down the hill. Those kids have more fun on a bike than anyone else on the planet.

    Fwiw they start teaching wheel lofts in their 4/5 yro boys&girls teams so they are comfortable with that critical skill and everything else it leads too.

    I've had to continue to learn a lot as a rider for sure and doing it together with the kids has been even more fun. Never a bad idea to pick up a BMX for the kid and a new DJ for Dad! Its amazing what a BMX bike can do to a kids skills in even just a week with some riding.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    You gotta do what works for you, BUT I can def tell you from experience that taking advice from guys like Slaphead\others\coaches who have proven to coach their kid decently well (young shredders aren't born)...it'll make your kid a heck of a lot better rider. Its just good advice tho...nothing more and you certainly don't have to do it to ride down trails. It sounds like he's given you excellent advice before...this is simply just more of that.

    That being said, our local MTB kids team coach is an ex-DH racer and has a student in Rampage. One of the coaches on his kids team is a former Enduro pro. They tell the parents about the same thing as Slaphead says when it comes to bikes. He isn't a Dad-hack like us but coaches hundreds of kids and throws a nasty backflip among other things and rode for Transition. Lot of experience there that you can take to the bank.

    Their goals aren't racing kids but solely building strong riders and having a lot of fun. They don't care about who can roll down the trail but want the kids to be able to pump, jump, throw it around, drift a little, boost a slow jump, bunny hop logs, slow-manual-into-a-drop, lean it over, roll a chute, leap into a chute, corner super well, flat corner really well and keep those damn elbows out etc. etc. etc. It takes years but man, MTB is a blast with the kids and once they get to be a pilot...they will never go back to just rolling down the hill. Those kids have more fun on a bike than anyone else on the planet.

    Fwiw they start teaching wheel lofts in their 4/5 yro boys&girls teams so they are comfortable with that critical skill and everything else it leads too.

    I've had to continue to learn a lot as a rider for sure and doing it together with the kids has been even more fun. Never a bad idea to pick up a BMX for the kid and a new DJ for Dad! Its amazing what a BMX bike can do to a kids skills in even just a week with some riding.
    As always, great post! Getting a new DJ for Dad being the best of it!!!! In all seriousness, when my son started riding at the pump track and skate park I was "getting some work done while he rode... Until we went on the trail and he smoked me down the mountain. I bought a DJ and ride the parks with him now.. FOR NOW he can't beat me down most stuff! He can jump better than me (think the penalty is warding off my normal send it nature.) But I am going to have to learn how to jump and drop better or it will eventually limit what I can ride with him.

    Again, I don't see this as creating a little pro. We have so much fun in nature and it is testing him and teaching him new character traits every day! Not to mention we live in a God's MTB country! When in Rome!!!!

  66. #66
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    I get to ride with kids on a after school team and also the HS race team. We always have one or two certified coaches with us. I was bringing up the rear, this one kid was having all kinds of trouble on this very technical trail....he said "this isn't my bike" I said "who's bike is that....It's my mom's bike. Why? Because his parents thought it would be better for this trail...NOT! The bike was way TOO BIG for him....A dropper post will just make things worst with crank arms that are too long....Parents are not always right....
    Tread killer....

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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    Wow, this thread beats "presta valve hater" guy's thread.
    For the life of me I cannot understand what is going on here. I think I can loft my wheel on buff sidehill but I wouldn’t bet all my tp on it. Why is there seemingly so much hostility from OP?


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  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by austink26 View Post
    For the life of me I cannot understand what is going on here. I think I can loft my wheel on buff sidehill but I wouldn’t bet all my tp on it. Why is there seemingly so much hostility from OP?


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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    I wouldn't get into it. He argues with everyone. I am convinced it is his hobby! hahah. He has really good insight if you sort through some of the banter. His kid can rip. He
    Asked a simple question, OP took it all personal and went full freak-out.

    This one ain't on me.
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    Assuming I understand the intent of the OP I may actually agree with the wheel size point trying to be made, but the OP has really chosen the worst possible method to get the point across.

    It really just looks like the OP is just trying to prove he is smarter than everyone else.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody special View Post
    Assuming I understand the intent of the OP I may actually agree with the wheel size point trying to be made, but the OP has really chosen the worst possible method to get the point across.

    It really just looks like the OP is just trying to prove he is smarter than everyone else.
    Slaphead, Yeah I agree.

    Yeah. His point is they basically do cross country. If it requires "bike handling" they walk it anyway. So if distance as a family is the goal, this could be a viable option. He doesn't care about his kids developing bike handling skills. He wants them to be able to go for more distance at a reasonable pace.

    His kids seem happy. He seems happy. And he is all over the place. He starts by saying he isn't very good, his wife is easily scared and he isn't interested in his kids developing. Then when someone says, yeah but your kids won't develop, he gets really defensive.

    The part that was weird, is his OP says "based on the riding my wife and I like to do." Why make decisions on your kids based on your preferred riding style?

    I have gotten some really good advice on this forum.. Keep it coming!

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post

    His point is they basically do cross country. If it requires "bike handling" they walk it anyway. So if distance as a family is the goal, this could be a viable option. He doesn't care about his kids developing bike handling skills. He wants them to be able to go for more distance at a reasonable pace.

    His kids seem happy. He seems happy.
    Then all is well apparently (as long as no one mentions 'wheel loft'! LOL!)
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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    Slaphead, Yeah I agree.

    Yeah. His point is they basically do cross country. If it requires "bike handling" they walk it anyway. So if distance as a family is the goal, this could be a viable option. He doesn't care about his kids developing bike handling skills. He wants them to be able to go for more distance at a reasonable pace.

    His kids seem happy. He seems happy. And he is all over the place. He starts by saying he isn't very good, his wife is easily scared and he isn't interested in his kids developing. Then when someone says, yeah but your kids won't develop, he gets really defensive.

    The part that was weird, is his OP says "based on the riding my wife and I like to do." Why make decisions on your kids based on your preferred riding style?

    I have gotten some really good advice on this forum.. Keep it coming!
    Does he really seem happy?

    I recently bought my 9YO 55" tall 75 lb son a 27.5 Commencal Meta HT Junior to replace his 24" Trek MT220. My son is having problems wheelie-ing the Commencal, it is a 30lb bike with 1094mm wheelbase with 432mm chainstays, I'm not going to debate that, it is true. That is the only down side I have seen so far. The MT220 has a 985mm wheelbase with 409mm chainstays at 28 lbs.

    However he can pull the front tire over the typical 10"-12" log and the rear tire just bounces right over behind him. He could not clear those same logs on the 24" tire. Occasionally he could, but most of the time he would walk the logs or pop the front tire over and then climb off the bike onto the log and pull the back tire over. From that standpoint the larger tire has made him faster over obstacles.

    What I have found to be true, he is faster everywhere on the 27.5 vs the 24. Climbing, descending, cornering, braking, all faster, and noticeably faster. Faster to the point where I never used to worry about him crashing the 24 but I'm now considering getting him knee and elbow pads for the 27.5, because he is carrying much more speed now that he ever did before. Wheelies, no not so great, but good enough to consistently clear obstacles he never really cleared before. On the 27.5 he is more confident on larger jumps, larger drops, and steeper descents. I put a calbe tie on the stanchion and he is using about 130mm-140mm of the 150mm fork travel. We have lots of roots in our area, and I use about the same amount of travel on my 150mm Pike. I don't really know what to say other than it seems like his fork is working as good as mine.

    Some local dads have looked at him out on the trails and mentioned it was "a big bike", but after seeing him ride it and jump it, they are usually interested in where I bought it from and how much it cost.

    Not every kid will respond the same way to the same bike, I do understand that. What I have seen from my experience though, is that my kid, who is supposed to be too small, can handle the larger bike much better than his smaller bike.

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    @Nobody - Some of that improvement is simply is because the Trek MT220 is basically a VERY entry level gravel bike. Its trash compared to the slacked out Meta sled you bought, no offense to Trek or you. When you going to upgrade those wheels and tires on that Meta . Wayne at SpeedGearBike builds freaky cheap custom wheels to your spec. (we are also a Commencal family and had the heavy wheels tires if you recall)

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    @Nobody - Some of that improvement is simply is because the Trek MT220 is basically a VERY entry level gravel bike. Its trash compared to the slacked out Meta sled you bought, no offense to Trek or you. When you going to upgrade those wheels and tires on that Meta . Wayne at SpeedGearBike builds freaky cheap custom wheels to your spec. (we are also a Commencal family and had the heavy wheels tires if you recall)
    That's a good point. I imagine you'd also have seen just as marked of an improvement going from the MT220 to a Clash, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    @Nobody - Some of that improvement is simply is because the Trek MT220 is basically a VERY entry level gravel bike. Its trash compared to the slacked out Meta sled you bought, no offense to Trek or you. When you going to upgrade those wheels and tires on that Meta . Wayne at SpeedGearBike builds freaky cheap custom wheels to your spec. (we are also a Commencal family and had the heavy wheels tires if you recall)
    Yeah that bike makes sense on so many levels except the weight which some comes from the wheels. Can you give an idea of the cost?

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    Yeah, well Wayne does a bunch of different wheelsets. We picked Stan's Crest Mk3's with Bitex Boost hubs 32h and Saphim lazer spokes (same weight as CXRays but unbladed). 450$ if I recall. Stan's sells a worse build for 670$ I think. The bitex hub is an excellent and common value hub.

    That being said he is doing nice builds for about 380$ which is just laughably cheap. He was awesome to work with and we got our wheels in about 2 or 3 weeks. Wayne is the man. Get some light wheels and maybe throw a Dissector or for super light with Rocket Ron depending on your terrain and it would be amazing. Hell I just noticed Wayne is build LB carbon hoops for like 900$.

    https://www.speedgearbike.com/439084750

    We had the 24" Alex i30 rims/wheels/heavy spokes etc. They are tanks, then combined with the Flap Snap tires (also uber heavy)...it just killed the bike. I'm fine with heavier stuff but the stock stuff is abnormally heavy. When we swapped wheels and went to lighter tires (on DHF/DHR now), its was night and day. YMMV. Good luck.

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    I agree that there is more of a difference than just the wheel size. The Flow Snap tires on the Meta are way grippier than the Rocket Rons on the MT220. Hydraulic discs on the Meta are way better than V brakes on the MT220. Yes some of the comparison is apples to oranges. However, the rollover of 27.5 vs 24 is pretty much just a function of diameter, and the improvement in climbing I really can't explain other than just longer wheelbase from the bigger bike.

    I already have the stuff to convert to tubeless, and this morning after my last post, we went and rode 5.8 miles of trails. Towards the middle he said "my legs are tired" and my response was "well we rode 13 miles on Sunday afternoon, and 3 miles yesterday, and now we are riding again, and the bike is heavier than your old bike, that's why your legs are tired. We can always try some lighter tires, I'll find some that are both lighter and also grip the ground just as good". He finally was OK with new tires. He has been resistant to changing the Flow Snaps because they stick to the ground very very well. So now I need to go back to my other post and find lighter high traction tires and I'll put the Flow Snaps on my hardtail.

    How much should a light 27.5 wheelset weigh? Boost front hub and QR135 rear hub? His front wheel, when I weighed it, was 2.40 lbs (1090 grams) on our shipping scale (pretty good accuracy). I have no ideal what the rear wheel weighs.

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    Sooooo... did we agree on 29+ Ebikes being the best option for 4-12 year olds??

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    Quote Originally Posted by nobody special View Post
    I agree that there is more of a difference than just the wheel size. The Flow Snap tires on the Meta are way grippier than the Rocket Rons on the MT220. Hydraulic discs on the Meta are way better than V brakes on the MT220. Yes some of the comparison is apples to oranges. However, the rollover of 27.5 vs 24 is pretty much just a function of diameter, and the improvement in climbing I really can't explain other than just longer wheelbase from the bigger bike.

    I already have the stuff to convert to tubeless, and this morning after my last post, we went and rode 5.8 miles of trails. Towards the middle he said "my legs are tired" and my response was "well we rode 13 miles on Sunday afternoon, and 3 miles yesterday, and now we are riding again, and the bike is heavier than your old bike, that's why your legs are tired. We can always try some lighter tires, I'll find some that are both lighter and also grip the ground just as good". He finally was OK with new tires. He has been resistant to changing the Flow Snaps because they stick to the ground very very well. So now I need to go back to my other post and find lighter high traction tires and I'll put the Flow Snaps on my hardtail.

    How much should a light 27.5 wheelset weigh? Boost front hub and QR135 rear hub? His front wheel, when I weighed it, was 2.40 lbs (1090 grams) on our shipping scale (pretty good accuracy). I have no ideal what the rear wheel weighs.
    1090g is a tank of a front wheel. Your rear wheel is prob about 1250g. Our entire 24" Stan's Crest wheelset is 1300g. A generic Stan's Crest 27.5 is around 1550g. That's for i23, which works well for a 2.3 tire and well enough for a 2.4 in our experience (we ride 2.4/2.3). Stan's Flow, a heavier duty wheel with i29 width is around 1800g total.

    When you get a wheel built with Wayne, he can advise you on a good choice and also get you lighter spokes. We opted for the lighter rim (crest i23) and went with 32h laser spokes. So it's light and a bit stronger with the extra spokes. 75lb kid on a hardtail isn't likely to outride that unless they are super groms at the park. Even then I see uber groms on light weight used Enve wheels with 28h hitting the bigger free line lines in town (like 13ft gaps and 7ft ramps) just fine. Don't think you need some super burly wheel or that it has to be real wide.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post

    His kids seem happy. He seems happy. And he is all over the place. He starts by saying he isn't very good, his wife is easily scared and he isn't interested in his kids developing. Then when someone says, yeah but your kids won't develop, he gets really defensive.
    Big, tall, heavy bikes! Kermit agrees!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZJ--IPg7Hs

    The sad thing is when you walk into a bike shop looking for a bike for your 4'6" kid that weighs 65 pounds, they try to sell you a small 27.5 bike designed for a 5'2" woman and it's 30 pounds. Or heavier.

    My prediction is we will see the resurgence of 26" wheel bikes again and are starting to a bit. I don't understand why anyone would want a 27.5 plus bike unless they were 55+ years old and cared less about performance.

    I'm not sure I have any thing else to contribute. I really wanted to be post #80 to this dumb thread, but got a phone call from my Mom asking how much TP we had left. svineyard beat me to it.

    Love swatting the hornets nest!

  82. #82
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    Always amazed at how many different approaches to and definitions of "mountain biking" there are out there.

    The idea of "get off your bike if it'll be faster to get through a section on foot" is a pretty integral part of cyclocross racing -- being able to spot which sections the delay of hopping off and back on again will be worth it is also a technical skill.

    For our local kids XC racing league, the training usually hits on both approaches -- they'll session some of the rougher sections during practices to build confidence riding through, but also emphasize learning when it'll be faster to just run your bike through during a race.

    Looking at the podiums, big wheels almost always come out ahead of small wheels, but it's hard to say how much effect is the bigger bikes vs. slightly older / bigger kids being able to ride faster.

    I do think we can all find common ground in asserting that this kid needs something smaller:
    Bike too big. Kid can't loft front wheel.-cf07c01b61aa81a5c452cab10c18e478.jpg

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    The idea of "get off your bike if it'll be faster to get through a section on foot" is a pretty integral part of cyclocross racing -- being able to spot which sections the delay of hopping off and back on again will be worth it is also a technical skill.

    For our local kids XC racing league, the training usually hits on both approaches -- they'll session some of the rougher sections during practices to build confidence riding through, but also emphasize learning when it'll be faster to just run your bike through during a race.
    Makes sense if 'cross or XC racing on mainly non-technical terrain is one's main focus.
    IME, this probably describes less than 1 in 100 riders tho; shaving off a couple seconds isn't really all that a big thing to most riders, particularly kids. Racing is it's own little world. I don't know if I've ever seen anyone outside a race actually run through a tech section.
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  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilmfat View Post
    SlapHeadMofo was instrumental in me being realistic about my riding style. He was instrumental in me deciding to have my kids
    Wow! I never knew how entertaining the Family Forum was.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott O View Post
    Wow! I never knew how entertaining the Family Forum was.
    Almost as good as the BikesDirect forum!

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  86. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by MXIV424 View Post
    Sooooo... did we agree on 29+ Ebikes being the best option for 4-12 year olds??
    Only if they have Schrader valves.
    This post is a natural product. Variances in spelling & grammar should be appreciated as part of its character & beauty.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Only if they have Schrader valves.
    At least there's an easy fix for that:
    https://shop.ride-air.com/products/convertair

    I actually just bought a set to convert all our bikes after getting tired of Lenzyne screw on chucks removing presta valve cores (tried tightening the cores more & chucks less, tried locktite, but nothing fully fixed the problem).

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by MXIV424 View Post
    Sooooo... did we agree on 29+ Ebikes being the best option for 4-12 year olds??
    Big missed opportunity here for DirtySixer to announce a kids line as an April Fool's day joke.

  89. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    At least there's an easy fix for that:
    https://shop.ride-air.com/products/convertair

    I actually just bought a set to convert all our bikes after getting tired of Lenzyne screw on chucks removing presta valve cores (tried tightening the cores more & chucks less, tried locktite, but nothing fully fixed the problem).
    I have the Slime brand presta to schrader adapters on all our bikes. There are others as well but the Slime brand are conveniently available from REI and Dicks, etc for $3/pair. They replace the presta valve stem caps and allow me to fill with the air compressor very easily. I actually have been using these types of adapters (non Slime brand) since the 1990s and they always work well. I imagine everyone must already know about them though.

    https://www.rei.com/product/857301/s...-valve-adapter

  90. #90
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    I'd recently been wondering about getting the baby a 26/27.5 for XC rides with other adults. He rides well but people be rolling on their 29ers on a local Blue trail and it's just a bit disheartening for the kid to feel like he's being left behind.
    So I let him ride my Large Nukeproof Scout:
    As a comparison, here's him a day ago on a 24" wheeled 12" frame:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-gE9qmn...d=6d5jjgeqdlgq
    Obviously the jump itself is different, but it's pretty obvious what a difference correct fit makes.
    To the OP's original thought-- I'll have to find a middle ground here and see if an xs26 will make a good compromise as a trail bike-- accepting it will be less fun, but it will increase range. http://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5e87ef9b..._131347_LS.mp4

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

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    Man. I'm glad I was sitting around bored enough this morning to dive into this shit show of a thread. I take it the OP sobered up and hasn't returned?

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Big missed opportunity here for DirtySixer to announce a kids line as an April Fool's day joke.
    Indeed! It was that or a recumbent DirtySixer... wait... that's actually...
    DirtySixer Bikes, California
    Big 32er & 36er bikes for tall riders
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  93. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by rabitoblanco View Post
    I'd recently been wondering about getting the baby a 26/27.5 for XC rides with other adults. He rides well but people be rolling on their 29ers on a local Blue trail and it's just a bit disheartening for the kid to feel like he's being left behind.
    So I let him ride my Large Nukeproof Scout:
    As a comparison, here's him a day ago on a 24" wheeled 12" frame:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B-gE9qmn...d=6d5jjgeqdlgq
    Obviously the jump itself is different, but it's pretty obvious what a difference correct fit makes.
    To the OP's original thought-- I'll have to find a middle ground here and see if an xs26 will make a good compromise as a trail bike-- accepting it will be less fun, but it will increase range. http://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5e87ef9b..._131347_LS.mp4

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
    The tapatalk link doesn't work. However from the jump on the 24, we have what are probably similar sizes around here and my 9YO can clear most of the on the 27.5 Commencal. IE tabletop lengths roughly 1.0x-1.5x wheelbase length and between 30" and 40" of overall tabletop height from ground level.

    I honestly don't really see a benefit of 26" vs 27.5" in the real world. As a paper calculation, sure, why not?

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