Does this make sense for a soon to be 11yo boy?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Does this make sense for a soon to be 11yo boy?

    Does this make sense for a soon to be 11yo boy? He measures 5’6” with my tape measure. He can ride a 26” wheeled 19” frame ancient rockhopper. And he can ride his sister’s 29” wheeled 17” frame women’s trek Cali. Does that seem right? He is at the low end of the 26” rockhopper seat height and maybe mid height on the 29” Cali but tough to tell being a women’s bike with him on it. Does smaller 29r frame make sense versus larger 26r for someone?

    And he wants a fat bike, as he loved his 24x4 charge Cooker once I swapped out the cassette and front ring to easier gearing. I’d like to see him on a mid-fat? What would you recommend? We do ride near the shore so we encounter sand quite often in the summer.

    Pics of those bikes to show his seat height:


    Last edited by fishrising; 03-18-2019 at 07:18 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'm 5' 7" and even fit and ride on XL bikes made for those over 6'. While I can do most normal things on such big bike, the most comfortable position I can find while resting is quite compromised, due to the stretched seated position. The non-normal things that I avoid doing often just are improved by more standover clearance and a slammed saddle. Hard to freely pitch forward and back, like over pump track rollers, with top tube and seat interference; there's some lost boldness too, knowing the frame can trip you up when trying to bail, and ending up with a worse injury as a result.

    Honestly not many bikes I can recommend, as bike makers don't make geo that is very versatile nor very well balanced in smaller sizes. My 29er days involved riding miles/elevation for the sake of just racking up #s, and improving my average speed or times through fitness, leading to burnout and losing all my fitness, and needing something to respark my interest (like a new bike). I much prefer experiencing a wider variety of riding styles, which tends to lead me to tough versatile bikes the "hardcore AM" designs.

    Perhaps the Marin San Quentin in size M fills your needs. If you want to get a bit more spendy, I recommend the Canfield Riot in size medium (on sale for $1000 frame + shock). More options in 26, shopping used, with the Stumpjumper FSR Evo 26 (in med) being one of my favorites for building skill.

  3. #3
    turtles make me hot
    Reputation: NYrr496's Avatar
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    When my son was ten I built him a medium 907 fat bike. It started out with 65mm wide rims and 4" tires. I then built him 29+ wheels for it and he loved it that way. When it started snowing, we'd swap the fat wheels back on.
    5'6" is tall enough for a medium fatty.

    Now he's fourteen and 6'2" and outgrowing his Large.
    I like turtles

  4. #4
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    Ask your boy which one he likes more, and to demonstrate why he likes that one more. If he's treating it like a "big BMX" bike, rather than cruiser and endurance bike...

    Check what the other boys he hangs out with do, who might be influencing him. Check his youtube history or something (e.g. ask him what kind of cool youtube videos of riding he recommends). See what kind of riding he's visualizing.

    I have a hunch. It could be this kind of riding that gives him drive. He just needs to visualize everything and just try it. There's a diverse world of riding out there, and I can understand that parents can be overprotective and don't want to spare the effort to provide a safe environment... gotta give a kid an outlet for their imagination, letting it develop/thrive, else they turn into sheep.


  5. #5
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    Thank you all! Appreciate all the thoughts!

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