Gary Fisher Gamma Ray w/ mods on the cheap- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Gary Fisher Gamma Ray w/ mods on the cheap

    Have been taking a look at what I can do on the cheap to get something ready for my 3 year old for once he's ready to transition from his balance bike.

    Trying to see how low we can go, both in terms of weight and cost.

    Starting point:
    Gary Fisher Gamma Ray 16"

    Starting cost: $10 at local thrift store
    Starting weight: 23.6 lbs

    Salvation Army 10 for $5 deal:


    Weight reductions:
    • Removed the mud flaps - 295g
    • Aluminum handlebar / bar end plugs (take-off from a Kawasaki Sumo 4.0) & old pair of foam grips - 288g
    • Replaced front wheel w/ quick release front wheel from the stroller + 4 washers as spacers - 281g
    • Kenda tires & tubes from the stroller - 150g x 2
    • Wellgo pedals from the Kent - 49g
    • Removed the wheel reflectors - 34g
    • Removed the stem cover pad - 33g
    • Removed the handlebar pad - (unknown, I forgot to weigh this one)
    • Seatpost clamp from the Kent - 20g
    • Stem for 25.4mm handlebar from a $20 parts bike I had bought for the seat - 11g


    Currently down to about 20.8 lbs.


    The Kent & the stroller both had super-cheap caliper brakes that seem like they'll be hard to pull, but I'm holding out to try to find another used bike to pull something a little better.

    As a next step, I'm debating getting a Woom 2 14" freewheel kit as a replacement rear wheel ($29).
    Upsides:
    • Gets rid of the coaster brake
    • Less weight
    • Would lower minimum standover height


    Downsides:
    • May lower bottom bracket too much
    • May be harder to mount a rear brake with enough reach from the center mount

  2. #2
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    Spawn 16" Yoji is amazing. Your 3 year old will have no problem with the size. $389 is a lot for a kids bike but it is worth it! 14 lbs, crazy good tires for a 16" bike. 6 lbs to a 3 year old is like 80 to us. It is worth it. I did the cheaper (yet still proper bike) route. Wasted money. Hand brakes.

  3. #3
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    Part of my curiosity lies in tinkering around with this comes from just how little information seems to be out there on individual component weights in kids bikes -- even the Spawn site has no weights published for most of their parts sold separately.

    Looking at where they do have them published, it looks like my $0.50 stroller wheel has gotten me within 80g of the front wheel weight for the Spawn 16".

    I've been somewhat surprised by some of the differences -- for example, I wouldn't have expected that I'd be able to pull lighter parts off a 29lb boat anchor Kent and save 1/4 lb.

    Still lots of opportunity for playing around with things (or buying something new), though, since he's more than happy with his Joovy Bicycoo BMX at the moment (I'll admit that I was pretty impressed by just how light a 7.2lb balance bike feels).

  4. #4
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    The update for anyone interested, decided the time spent to try to get this down any lower in weight wasn't going to be worth it.

    With the pace of change I'm seeing in kids bikes right now, I'm thinking about getting a Yoji 14 for this year and seeing what the 16" options are when he's a little taller next year.

    Our 3 yr old only has a 14" inseam (without shoes), so the Yoji 16 seems too big for him as a first pedal bike. If we didn't also have a 1 year old to pass it onto I might be more tempted to try the larger size and let him "grow into it" a little...

  5. #5
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    Just throwing it out there - The Spawn is a great little bike. But there are others. For exmaple:

    Woom 2 is pretty great. I've seen several kids ripping & jumping them. Even though they don't have a mountain bike appearance.
    Prevelo Alpha 1 is nice and slightly more burly than a Woom.
    Stamped Sprinter 14 is a crowd pleaser around $230. I've recommended them to several friends and they're impressive for the $$.

  6. #6
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    I've been looking around quite a bit, but the Yoji seems to have by far the lowest standover height, which helps both in ensuring that it's usable as soon as he wants to try pedaling (likewise it should be a good fit for his brother once he's ready in another year or two).

    Most of Stampede's 2018 lineup is for pre-order with shipments not until August as well, so that defeats the idea of having something sooner.

    The easily replaceable rear cogs are pretty appealing as well: much of our riding at the moment will be around flat paved trails at the park across the street from our house, but local parks have more challenging trails that would benefit from changing the gearing.

    Other big factor is nostalgia: the neon green on the Yoji is pretty much the same color as my first bike (a 20" my dad painted for me).

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