He doesnít love the Riprock- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    He doesnít love the Riprock

    Hello!

    Looking for help picking a new bike for my 10 year old. He currently has a Specialized Riprock 24 and doesnít love it. Itís the entry model. We ride up to 10 miles, very hilly California fire roads and now sometimes single track. He loves biking SO MUCH and says itís his passion in life!

    Increasingly he likes doing tricks, jumps, drop offs, aggressive fun riding.

    He knows more about bikes than I do so... Iíll list his issues with the Riprock:

    Front fork suspension barely works

    Chain constantly pops off when landing jumps

    Doesnít like the plus tires

    Shifting is not smooth, itís glitchy

    Questions:

    Is it worth swapping things out to make the Riprock better for him?

    Or should we sell it and get a new bike?

    If we get a new bike, he says he wants rear suspension. Is there a real benefit to this, or will it just add weight? Heís about 65 lbs.

    Bike recommendations from $500-1000?

    Any recommendations for places to buy higher end used kid bikes in LA area?


    Thank you! Heís getting me into the sport, and Iím trying to figure it out as I go! Iíve been a long distance trail runner for years, and I love being out there but the bike stuff is new to me
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  2. #2
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    I would be hesitant to get a 10 year old a new bike when the bike they have still fits them.
    Suntour makes a 24 inch air fork with 80 millimeters of travel that could solve his front fork issues, and depending on which chainring the chain is dropping off of a chain guide for the front or a clutch derailleur for the rear could solve that and likely also his shifting problems.

    If he doesn't like a plus tires put some narrower tires on.

    All of that is definitely going to be well under $500.

  3. #3
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    The bike looks like it fits good. Address his issues on that bike, he will be super happy. Upgrades are also a fun way to spend time together in the shop!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dacaur View Post
    I would be hesitant to get a 10 year old a new bike when the bike they have still fits them.
    Suntour makes a 24 inch air fork with 80 millimeters of travel that could solve his front fork issues, and depending on which chainring the chain is dropping off of a chain guide for the front or a clutch derailleur for the rear could solve that and likely also his shifting problems.

    If he doesn't like a plus tires put some narrower tires on.

    All of that is definitely going to be well under $500.
    Thanks for your reply. This was my first thought, get a couple of years out this bike with better components, then move to a 26Ē when he grows. Heís really hoping for rear suspension too, but I donít know if thatís a realistic option. He says at this point he mostly loves freestyle, but we do cover distance as well.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Adams View Post
    The bike looks like it fits good. Address his issues on that bike, he will be super happy. Upgrades are also a fun way to spend time together in the shop!
    I love the idea of spending time working with him on this! Iím so happy to be able to ride together. I had built my own road bike back when I was a young lass, but that was with lots of help from proper mechanics.

  6. #6
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    One of the kids in our local youth riding program was having chain drop issues as well, same bike. You can throw $500.00 at it to upgrade, or you can get him a lighter used bike possibly? Check Pinkbike.com classifieds, tons of stuff. The full suspension used 24" bikes seem like they are in the $1300+ range or so.

  7. #7
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    I wouldn't upgrade that bike, even the geometry is awful. He could fit on a 26" bike it looks like. Sell it for 350$ and find an air fork hardtail. Vitus Nuclues 26" is really affordable option. Its not perfect but for the price it's great. He might fit an XS 27.5 too.

    On the riding side. More Mom shuttles to avoid longer climbs is great. The kids usually get more miles, more jumps, more berms and more experience.

  8. #8
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    There may be some good ideas in this thread:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/families-rid...a-1080557.html

    Apparently 26" wheels will fit.

  9. #9
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    Check out Pinkbike buy and sell kids bikes
    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/list/?category=4
    The Diamondback Sync'r 24 in Carlsbad is a good deal but not full suspension. Seller knows what he's doing so good person to reach out to.
    Transition Ripcord is a good 24" fully to watch for.
    XS 26" wheel bikes are common but definitely ask for opinions before committing.

    Looks like 24 is a good fit for his size and riding style but probably be ready for bigger soon. Bigger wheels roll faster but smaller is more maneuverable, since he likes freestyle he will probably want a smaller trick bike, maybe bmx, and then a fast trail bike. He's got the passion so multiple bikes is what happens.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I wouldn't upgrade that bike, even the geometry is awful. He could fit on a 26" bike it looks like. Sell it for 350$ and find an air fork hardtail. Vitus Nuclues 26" is really affordable option. Its not perfect but for the price it's great. He might fit an XS 27.5 too.

    On the riding side. More Mom shuttles to avoid longer climbs is great. The kids usually get more miles, more jumps, more berms and more experience.
    I am with svinyard. You will spend at least $500 to upgrade a bike that has limits in its geo. And no one is going to buy a custom riprock for what you paid for it. My son is 8 and rides a 24" Spawn YJ. There are a few bikes like this that he will LOVE! You can get a really nice HT in that $1000 range. He has some friends who even ride 27.5" and can shred. He won't need a FS unless he is a REALLY good rider and riding on some gnarly stuff.

    You can get a decent new 18" BMX for $350 and a used one $200. You could get a HT Vitus and a BMX bike for less than $1000. He will see his riding take off with some park/pump track time.

  11. #11
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    I have a thread in this forum on upgrading the Riprock 24 if you search my threads. Short answer is no, itís not worth it unless you have a good fork and wheels laying around.

    At his age, id be looking for an xs-s (13-14.5Ē) 27.5Ē wheel bike. You can get a decently equipped hardtail or very cheaply appointed full suspension at 1,000

    If youíre ever out towards Corona let me know and he can check out a XS 27.5 hardtail and a Commencal Jr. 27.5. From your picture heís probably like the Commencal.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    One of the kids in our local youth riding program was having chain drop issues as well, same bike. You can throw $500.00 at it to upgrade, or you can get him a lighter used bike possibly? Check Pinkbike.com classifieds, tons of stuff. The full suspension used 24" bikes seem like they are in the $1300+ range or so.
    Interesting to know that someone else was having the same chain drop issues. I like the idea of a used bike, and selling this Riprock. Thanks for the link to Pinkbike, I hadnít heard of this before. It looks like a great resource!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesleyGO View Post
    Interesting to know that someone else was having the same chain drop issues. I like the idea of a used bike, and selling this Riprock. Thanks for the link to Pinkbike, I hadnít heard of this before. It looks like a great resource!
    To solve the chain drop, you can go with a narrow wide chainring style, new chain, and a derailleur with a tension spring on it which will retain the chain better. On those entry level Specialized bikes as I recall it is just a generic lower end derailluer with no spring tension built in.

    In our group sad to say the kids on these bikes are the ones typically off the back, and it is primarily due to bike weight. They are like 29 pound bikes, with most of the weight in the wheels and fork. The plus wheels are nice for beginners and kids maybe new to riding, but if he is climbing and doing jumping - he will notch up a few levels with a better bike with more traditional tires and lower rotational weight. This better bike could be saved for the 26" later, replacing the drivetrain might be a nice step for now. Dropped chains are a buzz kill for sure. Buy the best bike you can afford, the more money you spend the lighter they get is the trend. Vitus as mentioned here makes some great bikes and a super nice performance to value.

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    ..,

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I wouldn't upgrade that bike, even the geometry is awful. He could fit on a 26" bike it looks like. Sell it for 350$ and find an air fork hardtail. Vitus Nuclues 26" is really affordable option. Its not perfect but for the price it's great. He might fit an XS 27.5 too.

    On the riding side. More Mom shuttles to avoid longer climbs is great. The kids usually get more miles, more jumps, more berms and more experience.
    Thanks for the suggestions, Iím really considering the Vitus. One question, some of these bikes are not available in any LBS near me. Should I have him try a few 26Ē in the store from other brands just to see how that size fits, and then order and hope for the best?

    He is doing a weeklong camp at Woodward and absolutely does not want to bring the Riprock, itís in 3 weeks 

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric0919 View Post
    There may be some good ideas in this thread:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/families-rid...a-1080557.html

    Apparently 26" wheels will fit.
    Great Iíll look through, Thank You!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck View Post
    Check out Pinkbike buy and sell kids bikes
    https://www.pinkbike.com/buysell/list/?category=4
    The Diamondback Sync'r 24 in Carlsbad is a good deal but not full suspension. Seller knows what he's doing so good person to reach out to.
    Transition Ripcord is a good 24" fully to watch for.
    XS 26" wheel bikes are common but definitely ask for opinions before committing.

    Looks like 24 is a good fit for his size and riding style but probably be ready for bigger soon. Bigger wheels roll faster but smaller is more maneuverable, since he likes freestyle he will probably want a smaller trick bike, maybe bmx, and then a fast trail bike. He's got the passion so multiple bikes is what happens.

    Thank you for the link! And yes Iím beginning to see the multiple bike thing happening already. He also has a really basic Giant that was his first MB bike before the Riprock, a BMX a neighbor gave him (still a bit too long) a Haro, and this little toddler bike that he wonít get rid of because he does wacky tricks on it! Then Iíve got two bikes, plus my husband and daughterís... itís starting to look a bit crazy in our garage

    Much rather spend the time and $ on this stuff then on more screens, games and devices tho!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    I am with svinyard. You will spend at least $500 to upgrade a bike that has limits in its geo. And no one is going to buy a custom riprock for what you paid for it. My son is 8 and rides a 24" Spawn YJ. There are a few bikes like this that he will LOVE! You can get a really nice HT in that $1000 range. He has some friends who even ride 27.5" and can shred. He won't need a FS unless he is a REALLY good rider and riding on some gnarly stuff.

    You can get a decent new 18" BMX for $350 and a used one $200. You could get a HT Vitus and a BMX bike for less than $1000. He will see his riding take off with some park/pump track time.
    Spawn looks really interesting, I keep looking over their website. Glad to hear your son loves his YJ!

    Thanks for your thoughts on suspension. Iím not sure why but I feel really hesitant to buy a FS right now. Sure some of that is the $, I just want to get him a high performing hard tail for now. That alone will seem like such a vast improvement for him, then we can consider FS further down the line.

    A neighbor gave us a 20Ē BMX, but itís not the right fit. I know I can get a good deal on a 18Ē though, Iím sure he would love it. Brings back good memories of when I was in my twenties, we all rode around a lot, I had street bikes, even a sweet vintage Maserati cruiser, but a lot of my guy friends rode BMX. All hours of the night, riding through Boston...those were good times. I know itís a totally different type of biking, but the passion is the same- so stoked my kid loves biking!

  19. #19
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    Don't throw money at the Riprock. Maybe tires, nothing else. Fork upgrade will be spendy. Absolute cheapest option will be a RST F1RST 24 which will cost you $200ish. Chain drops could be mostly fixed with a Microshift Advent group which is $125, but without replacing the cranks with something that will take a NW chainring drops will probably still happen. The current whacky shifting could probably be fixed pretty easily. Since you're a runner I assume you don't know how shifters/derailleurs work, but a $50 tune up at a bike shop should fix this, assuming the RD and/or hanger isn't bent.

    If you are riding terrain that justifies it (from what I've seen on the internetz, most SoCal fire roads and singletrack counts), rear suspension has HUGE benefits. Not cheap, but resale tends to be good so your long-term net cost will be considerably less. Same goes for good hardtails. Nice kids bikes are money in the bank.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    To solve the chain drop, you can go with a narrow wide chainring style
    Riprock is spec'ed with fixed chainring cranks. Need new cranks to run a NW. Fixed chainring cranks irritate the hell out of me.

  21. #21
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    Fairly common complaints. Plus tires are clumsy, 24in suspension on lower end bikes is worthless, grip shifters suck.

    Personally, hell no on FS unless you have the money and they're racing.

    If you want to upgrade this, smaller tires, front fork, trigger shifters, a derailleur with a stronger spring, and that's it. Otherwise look for a new, or used but new to you, bike in the price range. Check craigslist, pinkbike, and if there's any local clubs, you should be able to save a ton.

    Biggest issues are there are only a couple good 24in forks, the F1rst 24, and Spinner grind. There may be a few others but these are generally considered the most usable 24in forks.

    Get normal size tires. Plus size tires look great but they make a bike really sluggish because of the rotating weight.

    Get trigger shifters ideally in 8+ speeds so you are using a normal cassette.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Biggest issues are there are only a couple good 24in forks, the F1rst 24, and Spinner grind. There may be a few others but these are generally considered the most usable 24in forks.
    Suntour XCR Air also seems to be well reviewed. More travel than the RST (80 mm vs. 60 mm), though it's about 200 g heavier. The new Manitou Machete JUNIT forks are legit, but too expensive to justify on a Riprock that is nearly outgrown already. Even the RST and Suntour forks seem like throwing good money after bad. Lesley should just save the money for a new bike. New Commencal Meta HT Junior looks pretty rad: https://www.commencalusa.com/meta-ht...19-c2x26304783

  23. #23
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    If he's going to Woodward for a camp then give them a call to see what they say for a bike. I picture foam pit, pump track, skatepark, sounds like a single speed dj bike is the call and go 24" so he can work on tricks. Spawn would be my choice. Camp will be awesome, please keep posting your kids bike adventures.

    We've got the crazy garage full of bikes, even before he arrived. Our 9 year old has 4 at the moment, moving up from 20 to 24, hardtail and full suspension. We actually picked up a 24 Vitus but wouldn't consider that a good DJ bike, just couldn't resist the deal. He's a DHer and needs a DH bike for our annual Whistler trip so we picked up an older model Commencal supreme 24. He's had the 20 inch version for a couple years and has ridden many different bikes, always has fun no matter what he's on but knows whats good. Wish he had a bud like your son around to ride with, they'd get along great.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by LesleyGO View Post
    Spawn looks really interesting, I keep looking over their website. Glad to hear your son loves his YJ!

    Thanks for your thoughts on suspension. Iím not sure why but I feel really hesitant to buy a FS right now. Sure some of that is the $, I just want to get him a high performing hard tail for now. That alone will seem like such a vast improvement for him, then we can consider FS further down the line.

    A neighbor gave us a 20Ē BMX, but itís not the right fit. I know I can get a good deal on a 18Ē though, Iím sure he would love it. Brings back good memories of when I was in my twenties, we all rode around a lot, I had street bikes, even a sweet vintage Maserati cruiser, but a lot of my guy friends rode BMX. All hours of the night, riding through Boston...those were good times. I know itís a totally different type of biking, but the passion is the same- so stoked my kid loves biking!
    The sizings are tricky. Because everything online I could find was wrong. It all said he was an 18" Park bike. Some guys on here talked me into 16" and they were right. 18" is way too big for him. My son rides a 16" in a park BMX and will for a couple more years. His race bike is a 20" Junior. And his MTB is a 24". We are in the process of building a 24" DJ for him. 20" Was probably the right size but I am fine him having a DJ that he can grow into.

    Spending a $1000 for a summer camp and having the wrong bike seems tough.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Don't throw money at the Riprock. Maybe tires, nothing else. Fork upgrade will be spendy. Absolute cheapest option will be a RST F1RST 24 which will cost you $200ish. Chain drops could be mostly fixed with a Microshift Advent group which is $125, but without replacing the cranks with something that will take a NW chainring drops will probably still happen. The current whacky shifting could probably be fixed pretty easily. Since you're a runner I assume you don't know how shifters/derailleurs work, but a $50 tune up at a bike shop should fix this, assuming the RD and/or hanger isn't bent.

    If you are riding terrain that justifies it (from what I've seen on the internetz, most SoCal fire roads and singletrack counts), rear suspension has HUGE benefits. Not cheap, but resale tends to be good so your long-term net cost will be considerably less. Same goes for good hardtails. Nice kids bikes are money in the bank.
    Yep we are for sure not upgrading the Riprock, after reading through the helpful replies here and doing more research. Wish I had done research BEFORE we bought that thing in December! Live and learn. I think I'm going to wait on FS until we go up to 27.5. I'm a really short lady, so then I can borrow that bike, too... I'm sure he'll love that...or not!

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by MXIV424 View Post
    I have a thread in this forum on upgrading the Riprock 24 if you search my threads. Short answer is no, itís not worth it unless you have a good fork and wheels laying around.

    At his age, id be looking for an xs-s (13-14.5Ē) 27.5Ē wheel bike. You can get a decently equipped hardtail or very cheaply appointed full suspension at 1,000

    If youíre ever out towards Corona let me know and he can check out a XS 27.5 hardtail and a Commencal Jr. 27.5. From your picture heís probably like the Commencal.
    Thanks. I read through your thread about the Riprock. Yeah, I see why the upgrades on this bike are not worth the time or money. Plus, he really wants to say goodbye to this thing.

    For his his age, he's a bit on the short side, 54" but inseam is barely 23". I'm a bit nervous about jumping him up to that size, plus his sister is 8 and can take a 24 or 26" next, so will get a lot of use out of it. I think we are going to the LBS to just try out different sizes, so we know what to order.

    Thanks so much for the offer! If we are ever down that way I'll let you know. Commencal is one of his top choices.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jestep View Post
    Fairly common complaints. Plus tires are clumsy, 24in suspension on lower end bikes is worthless, grip shifters suck.

    Personally, hell no on FS unless you have the money and they're racing.

    If you want to upgrade this, smaller tires, front fork, trigger shifters, a derailleur with a stronger spring, and that's it. Otherwise look for a new, or used but new to you, bike in the price range. Check craigslist, pinkbike, and if there's any local clubs, you should be able to save a ton.

    Biggest issues are there are only a couple good 24in forks, the F1rst 24, and Spinner grind. There may be a few others but these are generally considered the most usable 24in forks.

    Get normal size tires. Plus size tires look great but they make a bike really sluggish because of the rotating weight.

    Get trigger shifters ideally in 8+ speeds so you are using a normal cassette.
    Thanks for your thoughts! We are definitely looking for used, but due to a time crunch might have to bite the bullet and buy new. Looking through Pinkbike is exciting! I'll make that a new habit to see what I can pick up in the future.

  28. #28
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    What's a bummer is your kid is already probably about halfway through his time on a bike of this size.

    Check out Trailcraft brand bikes. You will completely blow your budget but your chances of finding what you need and having it delivered inside of 3 weeks is pretty much non existent. I searched for months to find a good quality used light weight dual suspension bicycle, which was cause my kid wasn't yet ready. The good thing is the Trialcrafts really retain their value so you'll only lose a few $100. Good luck.


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  29. #29
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    Someone is making a new convertible bicycle, that covers both 24" and 26" wheels. I think that would be the ticket for you.

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  30. #30
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    That's the Spawn Rokk Suns. It's a little weird tho. 438mm chain stays in 24" and 450mm in 26". Prob great for stability in the rough but pretty damn long. Both of those are longer than my XL 29er that's an enduroy bike. I'm not a fan of the convertible bikes other than the non-existent Flow 24/26. They only focus on the backend of the bike and BB and nothing else.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    That's the Spawn Rokk Suns. It's a little weird tho. 438mm chain stays in 24" and 450mm in 26".
    That's crazy. At first thought you had mis-typed as I hadn't really looked at the Rokk since I'm already committed to a Clash 24. Clash Jr, which sports 27.5 wheels and another 20mm of travel, is 434 mm. At the same time Spawn is listing a shorter WB and Reach. Seems kinda whacky.

  32. #32
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    If he wants to focus more on tricks and jumping my vote would be the Spawn yama jama. Especially if you guys have a bmx/skate/jump park nearby. If he wants to fly through the rough stuff and hit large drops, he'd love that commencal.

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    If you're close to a Rocky Mountain dealer you could see if they have the Vertex Jr 24" in stock. I just picked one up for my son. It has the SR Suntour XCR air fork, Sram X5 1x drivetrain with an SR Suntour crank, external bearing bottom bracket and Shimano hydraulic disk brakes. I think they're just a hair over 25 pounds. Not the lightest, but not the heaviest either. Geometry is decent too for a bigger branded kids bike. Just throwing it out there since you're looking for something in a short time frame.

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    YAY!!! Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to respond! I learned so much from all of the comments We went with the Spawn YJ, and he is so stoked!!!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -bf2cac62-2003-465a-b5d1-617948544c5d.jpg  


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    Congrats, that is an awesome bike!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eyeballs View Post
    Congrats, that is an awesome bike!!
    Thanks for the recommendation!!!

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    Pretty curious about the new Rokk from Spawn.

    Interesting the top tube is almost 6 cm shorter than the Rokkusuta 24. Some of that is the steeper seat angle, but I think it is actually a shorter bike.

    Interesting comments above on the chainstays as well.

    Curious what folks think compared to the current Rokkusuta 24.

    Looks like RS is making a kid specific 26 inch fork now too...

    https://www.sram.com/en/rockshox/models/fs-reba-26-a1

  38. #38
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    We're in whistler now and hoping to see the Rokk and get our kid to at least sit on it and the Rokkusta. Been here for 5 days and seeing lots of cool kids bikes but no clash or new spawns yet. I should be trying to take more pictures of the kids and their bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck View Post
    We're in whistler now and hoping to see the Rokk and get our kid to at least sit on it and the Rokkusta. Been here for 5 days and seeing lots of cool kids bikes but no clash or new spawns yet. I should be trying to take more pictures of the kids and their bikes.
    Thank You. Interested in comparisons of the 24 inch bikes and what people think of the Spawn flip chip to get to 26 inch wheels. They are stocking 145 and 160 cranks now, so all you really need to go to 26 is new cranks (or Canfield cranks) and bigger 26 inch wheels.

    Short top tube great when on the 24, but might be short on the 26. I guess get yourself some 35 - 50mm stems and deal with it that way. Or an offset headset.

    Also curious how the Rokk suspension setup compares to the Rokkusuta.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by airwreck View Post
    We're in whistler now and hoping to see the Rokk and get our kid to at least sit on it and the Rokkusta. Been here for 5 days and seeing lots of cool kids bikes but no clash or new spawns yet. I should be trying to take more pictures of the kids and their bikes.
    If you get a chance to go to the Spawn retail store in Squamish to check them out, I bet folks would be interested in what you find out as well.

    For those of us on the East Coast a bit harder to get there.

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