Kids bike comparison chart- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Kids bike comparison chart

    I have been looking at getting my 6 year old a better bike for this summer. He currently has a 16” Royal Baby that weighs in around 25lbs and a 16” hand-me-down GT that probably weighs about the same or a little more.

    These bikes are way too heavy and I am pretty mad at myself for being suckered into buying that Royal Baby at 25 fn lbs. I really should have done more research before buying as there is no reason to have a bike for my 6 year old that weighs more then my steel bikes from the early 90’s.

    So, I started looking around at different kids bikes to try and sus out the heavily marketed “crappy” kids bikes from the actual “quality” kids bikes and found this cool web site that does great side by side comparisons of different size kids bikes with weights included.

    https://www.twowheelingtots.com

    I am currently looking at Pelli Reddi 20”, clearly Owl 20” and the Guardian 20”. These all come in under 20lbs

    Now, it obviously doesn’t have all kids bike brands, so what quality kids bikes are missing from this site that might be something to consider?

    Are there any other 20” bikes under 20lbs I should consider?

    Together, we mainly ride mello singletrack xc trails in the park across from our house and at the Truckee pump track/bike park.

    Thanks!
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  2. #2
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    Hola! Don't sweat it, we all have bought a crappy bike or two. Now my problem is that I bought the wrong bike ENTIRELY because of that crappy twowheelingtots website that does zero to take in effect what kind of riding you are hoping to do (MTB!) and more importantly critical Skill Development. They focus solely on sitting and pedaling and light weight bikes. Which do nothing for kids except make for a boring Neighborhood cruiser. Lame.

    What kind of riding are you trying to do? Find a bike like Trailcraft makes but cheaper. Prevelo, Spawn too. Their airfork are second to none in this size.

    Rei Coop makes a nice 20" plus bike... And while I don't like plus bikes, it's only 320$ and you could swap tires. You want disk brakes, preferably hydraulic. That's a no brainer for kids and safety when riding trails. I think that bike has mech disk brakes. Not ideal but at least you can upgrade.

    Don't freak out about weight so much that you buy a bike that isn't capable. 21 to 23lbs for a hardtail is fine enough.
    Just like adult bikes you can drop cash and go light, that's where the Trailcraft bike comes in at 19lbs I think. I've seen plenty of Dads buy Islabikes which are nice roadie bikes for kids, but it's still just a road bike. Then they are out on the trails with razor thin tires and it's crash city. Even worse when they show up at the BMX parks for day camps. The coaches immediately get them a rental. Consider the riding you are doing and consider the bike you would want for yourself.

    A BMX is the ideal neighborhood bike BTW. Skills development through the roof. Perfect for the Pumptrack. I'd find a cheap used BMX for sure for 100$ and then figure out whatever trail Hardtail you are going to use. Cult Juvenile or Fit Misfit are nice options in 16" (the sizing is smaller for BMX BTW). Don't underestimate the kid either, I've seen plenty of kids go from barely riding to RIPPING Pumptracks and small jump lines in a matter of months. They just develop so fast at this age if you are really riding with them.

    Oh the Norco Charger 20" is VERY cool for a cheaper option than Spawn/TC stuff. Nice little bike! Note that often an expensive bike can actually cost less in the long run. The components hold up better for sure but more importantly the used bike market for those quality bikes I mentioned is often rabid. It's the opposite of adult bikes. You can get great resale value for sure if you buy something high quality/high function.
    Last edited by svinyard; 04-20-2019 at 01:36 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks svinyard! Really appreciate the insight.

    Most the riding we do is mtb trails in North Lake Tahoe, bike park/pump track and maybe some bike paths for when my wife wants to ride too, so things like a sus fork and disc brakes will be total overkill. Just good old singletracks and bike park for the most part. Not going to do DH at NorthStar with him or slam thru a rock garden a high speed or anything.

    I took a look at trailcraft, spawn and prevelo. Trailcraft and spawn have very poor options not offering 20” bikes with a rigid fork or rim brakes. The spawn Kotori looked pretty good, but sold out and doesn’t look like there’s a rigid fork option. All three are way too expensive for the poor selection of options. I don’t have a problem paying for quality, but do have a problem with very limited components. Prevelo looked better, but no single speed option and that derailleur hanging that low will not last long on the singletrack trails where we ride.

    Really glad you pointed out REI as they seem to have not only a good selection, but bikes that offer smart durable kid options like rim brakes and rigid forks. I also really like the cleary owl 20” 3 speed as I have seen many a kid rip the local pump track on those bikes.

    Also, the more I look at guardian bikes the better I like, but don’t know how I feel about their “sure stop” braking system. Anyone have experience with this?
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    Thanks svinyard! Really appreciate the insight.

    Most the riding we do is mtb trails in North Lake Tahoe, bike park/pump track and maybe some bike paths for when my wife wants to ride too, so things like a sus fork and disc brakes will be total overkill. Just good old singletracks and bike park for the most part. Not going to do DH at NorthStar with him or slam thru a rock garden a high speed or anything.

    I took a look at trailcraft, spawn and prevelo. Trailcraft and spawn have very poor options not offering 20” bikes with a rigid fork or rim brakes. The spawn Kotori looked pretty good, but sold out and doesn’t look like there’s a rigid fork option. All three are way too expensive for the poor selection of options. I don’t have a problem paying for quality, but do have a problem with very limited components. Prevelo looked better, but no single speed option and that derailleur hanging that low will not last long on the singletrack trails where we ride.

    Really glad you pointed out REI as they seem to have not only a good selection, but bikes that offer smart durable kid options like rim brakes and rigid forks. I also really like the cleary owl 20” 3 speed as I have seen many a kid rip the local pump track on those bikes.

    Also, the more I look at guardian bikes the better I like, but don’t know how I feel about their “sure stop” braking system. Anyone have experience with this?

    Flow Bikes is local to you I believe and another option. Are you looking for rim brakes and a rigid fork specifically? Most companies that focus on higher end tend to stick for what sells - suspension forks and disc brakes. Woom and Cleary make some nice bikes (with rim brakes and rigid forks) but I'm not sure I would call them "bike park capable" per say like Flow, Trailcraft, Prevelo, Spawn, etc.. If you are trying to stay in the $500 range, then the rigid fork and rim brakes makes sense. Hard to build a light bike with a suspension fork. It can be done but it gets very expensive very fast.

    Trek made a rigid 19 pound bike that was a killer deal and spec. Name escapes me, but it was rigid, v-brakes, etc. and probably on the used market in numbers. Trek "upgraded" the model by adding 4 pounds in the wheels/tires.

  5. #5
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    Ive had a version of the Owl. Rigid with rim brakes and small block8 tires. It was the least durable bike we've had (frame was fine) but you just hit the limit to easily and those kind of components arent built to last. The bikes are like late 90'a rigid mtb that we used to ride too. Steep with long-ish backends. Sure we shredded those but the geometry sucks. You wouldn't want to ride one of those today.

    -Single track is legit around Tahoe. My 4yro has regularly found the limit of his rim brakes (7yro is on a Spawn).Especially on downhill switchbacks. Maybe you are on the really mellow flat stuff, but kids advance lightening fast, especially if they are pumping the Pumptrack and doing it right. Disk brakes open up so many trails. We just got a new 6mile, max 5% grade green trail. Awesome kid shuttle but sketchy without disk brakes for little hands. Great development opportunity and way to get miles in via Mom shuttle. I assume you guys have similar stuff.

    -Rim brakes suck. As a Dad you are stuck adjusting the damn things non-stop and because the lever pull is so short, the wheels have to constantly be in perfect true to avoid brake rub or poor brake performance. Even worse in wet weather. The least durable component I've had to mess with. Always needs work and the plastic stuff brakes down so fast etc. Disk brakes have been bullet proof for us.

    -Derailleurs are awesome and work with 20" in a short cage. If you are riding mellow enough stuff for a rigid single speed with small tires...you have nothing to worry about other than the kid laying it over. Derailleur hangers are cheap. Decent 11-36 (still very limited) will open up trails that have some mellow climbs. You'll get more miles and have more options. Even mellow single track has climbs.

    While rigid is OK for a while, it only takes one cased jump at the park to open your eyes on needing a fork. Also these 20" wheels have the worst rollover possible and an air fork helps with some of that and keeping them upright and going fast and not bouncing around as much. Even little stuff deflects a little 20" wheel easily. Fork keeps the traction higher.

    Now if you really are just doing the super duper mellow stuff (boring) then any of those neighborhood cruisers will work. But since you are riding the Pumptrack etc (pumping hopefully) you could see REALLY rapid development. Then you'll be stuck again with a limited bike with limited resell value. Regardless that Norco is about the price of an IPad, but a much better investment and it'll add miles and more importantly confidence to your rides.

    This was my Kindergarter (last year). He didn't do ANY of this before we had the bike (not that it was the bike making it all happen). If we had gone for a cheaper option, who knows what it would have looked like. We'd prob be buying a second bike. Never a bad idea to invest in a capable hardtail. I mean its just a simple hardtail, not like it's a 180mm travel sled or anything. Still a rough ride for the kids.
    https://youtu.be/HtmvsScjqPA

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Trek made a rigid 19 pound bike that was a killer deal and spec. Name escapes me, but it was rigid, v-brakes, etc. and probably on the used market in numbers. Trek "upgraded" the model by adding 4 pounds in the wheels/tires.
    You’re probably referring to the Trek Superfly 20. We have one and made a few changes to it:

    - installed brood maxtion 20x2.2 tires, for better grip and improved confort due to higher volume
    - replaced the crank with a shorter Spawn 127mm crank with 30T chainring
    - relaced the rear wheel with a cassette compatible hub to get better gearing options. The original hub had a freewheel...
    - installed a SRAM 9 speed 11-36 cassette
    - changed the 6 speed twist shifter for a 9 speed trigger shifter
    - installed a short cage rear derailler for better clearance

    I have 3 sons and we’ve had the bike for 5 years. There weren’t as many good options back then, otherwise I would of started with something better. Nonetheless, it has held up well and is a fine bike for mellow trails and the pump track, but I would look elsewhere for anything more serious.

  7. #7
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    Thanks everyone. Really appreciate the insight.

    I guess I am coming from how I grew up learning to ride bikes and ride mtb. No suspension, no disc brakes. I am also a big believer in simple is better and want my kids to learn the basics really well before moving on to doing the type of riding where disc brakes and suspension is a necessity.

    As for rim brakes, v-brakes work very well, need little adjustment, much less hand strength needed as cantis and are also light. But, if the quality kids bikes all come with disc, then not that big of a deal, plus probably safer in the long run. Really don’t want the complication of a sus fork for a variety of reasons, but also want my kids to learn the skills needed to ride without suspension. Learning to properly unweighted the front wheel then the rear when going over obstacles and how to bunny hop without the aid of loading suspension I feel is very important to master.

    I also see Commencal have some pretty sweet 20” options with no sus forks. Not sure if anyone has experience with that brand, I know Commencal is a legit mtb brand.

    Either way, definitely going to be looking into more capable bikes with proven solid components than some that I have lister so far.
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    Does Orbea still do the MX20? That's a solid rigid. The other thing with the MX line is that the headtube can accept an internal pressed in cup to raise the stack height/slacken the front end a touch while running the same original fork. Tire clearance with them is plentiful, the chainstays are on the short side too, which is good.

    Plus, it looks like there are finally some decent suspension options coming along, namely new ones from Manitou, so that would be an upgrade that could be done later if you decided to do it.

    Edit...here's a link to it.

    https://www.orbea.com/us-en/bicycles...x-20-team-disc

    The geo on these bikes is pretty well placed where they can handle having a longer fork put in without janking up everything else about the bike. (HA, SA and BB height/drop).

    I wouldn't shy away from discs per say. The MX's come with Shimano 395/396 brakes and they've got great feel to them. The rotors are steel pigs but the hubs are centerlock and these can be upgraded pretty easily. My son has the MX24 Team Disc and while I upgraded the brakes to XT's, there was nothing wrong with the 396's.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    As for rim brakes, v-brakes work very well, need little adjustment, much less hand strength needed as cantis and are also light. But, if the quality kids bikes all come with disc, then not that big of a deal, plus probably safer in the long run. Really don’t want the complication of a sus fork for a variety of reasons, but also want my kids to learn the skills needed to ride without suspension. Learning to properly unweighted the front wheel then the rear when going over obstacles and how to bunny hop without the aid of loading suspension I feel is very important to master.

    I also see Commencal have some pretty sweet 20” options with no sus forks. Not sure if anyone has experience with that brand, I know Commencal is a legit mtb brand.
    It's great that you are dialed into the skill side. That's the good stuff!! First of all fun for the kids to do; and second, turns them into legit mtb kids fast.... which means they are riding adult blue trails and hit features like you would. It's a blast to be off the bunny hill if we can use ski analogy.

    So to develop those skills, DEFINITELY get solid geometry. Trailcraft geometry (Spawn too) is spot on for this. I'd like slacker HTA at 66d but the backend is where it counts. These long silly mtb make it super hard to learn to bunny hop and do little manuals and hold the front end on a jump etc. Checkout the 20" chainstay length on the upper tier bikes and definitely don't compromise much there. In the end tho, all of the best riding kids start on a BMX bike. My kids struggled with a bunny hop for a while. When we got him the used BMX, he did it in about an hour. There is no question that the BMX side is the right tool for the job for most of these early skills. Go watch videos of the best grom of all time, Harry Schofield. It's all BMX. Now at like 10yro he is doing 60ft back flips on a Spawn bike at Nitro Circus. It's cheap and easy and you are already riding the Pumptrack. Gamechanger for sure. Also you can lockout the fork if you want it rigid. It doesn't hold a kid back from anything. You could also air it up firm like a DJ too. Highly recommended.

    Notice the Commencal Ramones rigid. They kind of suck and it's a heavy brand. They have heavy wheels and plus tires and the backend is really long. My buddy bought a giant bike with that very similar geometry and he's had to sell it now after watching his kid struggle on the Pumptrack with that long backend and trying to lift the wheel too. He went and bought a Yama Jama and Prevelo and now his kids are on the mtb team. Now the new Commencal Clash 20 and 24 and have prob the best geo I've seen for a kids FS. They've learned their lesson. Check out the chainstay length for those =). It's dialed. It's just a kids version of a modern adult bike. That's how you can tell it's appropriate. If an adult would buy it (if it was bigger) then it's going to be relatively great.

    The problem is kids rim brakes is that they aren't very nice like on a high end road bike. It takes a lot of torque for them to sqeeze the damn things. Especially when your kid is going 20mph down some singletrack goodness. You won't want that. Hell imagine them trying to one finger with it lol. It's bad. My oldest easily one fingers his brakes (sometimes two) on his Spawn. His coaches really focus on that because of the safety of little kids with limited grip riding legit terrain. It would be a nightmare on V brakes. You gotta just get some hydraulic disk brakes. It's night and day.

    Also Vitus makes a kids 20" bike for 370$ that has disks. It's plus tires and mechanical brakes but it's cheap and could be upgraded. The HTA is nice and slack for a trail bike too. Watching your kid go OTB on small stuff will leave you begging for a slacker hta fast, especially on a rigid. Those 20" hangup on anything. Good luck.

    Vitus 20" - 370$
    Vee Crown Gem tires - 50$
    Suntour Airfork 20" - 110$
    Cheap Tektro Hydraulics - 80$

    Around 600$ and that bike would rip. Vitus is killing it on value, particularly in the 24/26in with the Nucleus but that 20" isn't a bad starting point as the geometry is fairly dialed iirc. Even our Spawn is stuck with 68d hta which sucks on a hardtail as it steepens fast deeper in travel from braking or hitting stuff. 66 would be nice. Heck even 65 with 80mm of travel would be good as the bikes are so short anyways. I think the Vitus is 66.

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    Boy Svinyard, you sure have reinvented yourself.

    From a guy that really had no idea about bikes just a year ago, to someone that sounds like a seasoned veteran, and is telling other parents that 68-69 degree head angles are bad, is just bad form.

    Slow down buddy. Not every trail is a lift served one. And not everyone needs a bike for fear that they may be on a down hill every now and then.

    You are going over board on your advice and it's gotten worse since last year.

    To your credit, some of what you say is spot on (bmx bikes being good for handling development being one), but much of it is marketing regurgitation which is misleading all who read it and haven't the knowledge or experience to question what you say.

    I, on the other hand do, and after coming back to this site after riding pow all winter, I'm having a hard time reading the utter BS you are broadcasting...unchecked.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Boy Svinyard, you sure have reinvented yourself.

    From a guy that really had no idea about bikes just a year ago, to someone that sounds like a seasoned veteran, and is telling other parents that 68-69 degree head angles are bad, is just bad form.

    Slow down buddy. Not every trail is a lift served one. And not everyone needs a bike for fear that they may be on a down hill every now and then.

    You are going over board on your advice and it's gotten worse since last year.

    To your credit, some of what you say is spot on (bmx bikes being good for handling development being one), but much of it is marketing regurgitation which is misleading all who read it and haven't the knowledge or experience to question what you say.

    I, on the other hand do, and after coming back to this site after riding pow all winter, I'm having a hard time reading the utter BS you are broadcasting...unchecked.
    I misread your comment earlier. While I'm happy to take a seat and will take your advice, I'm not sure it's BS is it? Most if it came from guys like yourself or just general industry stuff.

    A 68-69d HTA is far from idea on a hardtail with 20" wheels. We ride that and its sketchy when it compresses combined with the little wheels. Hang ups happen and turn into OTB. Plus there is not much downside to going to a 66s hta for that bike. My 4yro rides a 69d and it's twitchy. A 66d rigid he rode was more stable in general, which is more of a priority for most kids I think that are riding mtb trails (we love our Yoji as a skill bike tho).

    Marketing wise id say it's the opposite. Everyone says kids need to be on plus bikes and whatever else the lbs has. I don't think that's the case in what I'm relaying. Anyways, clearly I've run my mouth and that's never a great thing. Cheers

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    Ha! Yeah, me thinks that if next year the industry and marketing bro brahs tell you that we should be laying down on bikes like Tron and be fully choppered out, you'll be saying 66 degrees is stupid steep and unsafe. Meanwhile, people that haven't gotten the memo are still smoking the droves of riders that think they're buying skill by running down the ol' rabbit hole, and riding more bike than they'll ever be able to remotely use, on anywhere USA mundane IMBA sanitization to boot.

    I'm just saying this is getting crazy.

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    From what I can tell, marketing says 63d HTA on a long travel hardtail. I'm way off that. We have a friend of a friend who is a paraplegic from a slow speed OTB on flat ground. She was apparently a hell of a rider too. It doesn't take much sometimes I guess. A 66d HTA hardtail on tiny 20" wheels seems reasonable to me when given the choice. I've seen it work well lately with Prevelo's and that was a rigid...so why not since we have choices?

    Both my kids are on 68d & 69d HTA. My perspective only comes from that and their crashes/successes. My kids have gotten hung-up on small stuff that I don't even notice with those little wheels and flopped over the top. OTB are super scary man when its your kindergartner, any little bit to help with that in a positive in my opinion.

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    My son rode rocky tech on his 20" that had a (gasp) about a 71+ HA. He rode drops, roots, descents. Did he put the bike down? Yup. Is that part of riding? Double yup. And the bike didn't get hung up on anything because of the head angle.

    This sounds to me like either an over worried parent, or a kid that is riding above what they can negotiate because he/she is just not ready (may or may not ever be ready for it). Another thing your getting hung up statement brings to mind is what the kid riders positioning on the bike was. What my son was riding on 20" wheels (with SB8's, a rigid fork and a 71+ HA) would have been worthy of hanging up a 29er, and he did just fine. He didn't even have a dropper (in whispered scared tone....The Horrorrrrrrr) Aimed for that stuff in fact.

    My point is that very often ones lack of ability will lead them to believe that they need all sorts of things in order to do what many, many have done well before them, on lesser. When they look around and see nothing but fellow koolaid dirinkers, it just reinforces the belief.

    Sorry about your friend. That is truly terrible. But it doesn't have to do with the bike.

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    And oh...I missed this one...long travel hardtail??? That goes together about as well as Pornstar priest. Just makes zero sense. A 63 HA ain't helping, and that's only that because they wouldn't be able to fit the stupid thing on bike with out it being a chopper. (Or make it one of these equally ridiculous looking and riding bikes that have nosebleed stack heights and and relatively steep front ends...pretty much like all the 24's that people are wedging 27.5 forks on to.

    Just because you can....you know the rest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    And oh...I missed this one...long travel hardtail??? That goes together about as well as Pornstar priest. Just makes zero sense. A 63 HA ain't helping, and that's only that because they wouldn't be able to fit the stupid thing on bike with out it being a chopper. (Or make it one of these equally ridiculous looking and riding bikes that have nosebleed stack heights and and relatively steep front ends...pretty much like all the 24's that people are wedging 27.5 forks on to.

    Just because you can....you know the rest.
    I've never ridden one, but apparently the steep HTA on the long travel hardtail is due to the fact that as it compresses, the HTA steepens quite a bit, unlike a FS bike. So a 63d, under sag becomes 64d or whatever and on bigger chunder (BC stuff) it gets to like 65d. Sounds a little crazy but maybe it works for the flannel bros that pass me on those hardtails. Personally as a 6-4 guy, I can't get enough stack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I'd like slacker HTA at 66d but the backend is where it counts. These long silly mtb make it super hard to learn to bunny hop and do little manuals and hold the front end on a jump etc.
    Personally I prefer a HTA in the 68 degree area, my own bikes that are in the 66 or slacker (and most recently Transition Sentinel) quite frankly, climb like poop and wander all over the place.

    I think pushing the long tt/slack hta/short cs has gone too far with adult bikes personally.
    A 65 or 66 degree HTA is stable and works OK at speed if you are railing desents 80% of the time but most kids are doing just as much climbing as descending, unless you are a park focused rider. On top of that, to see these bikes spec'd with 800-1000 gram Minions further numbs my mind for 24 and 26" "trail" bikes. I'm in Denver (5,200 feet) and to ask a kid to ride a 28-30 pound 66 degree hta bike with 800g+ tires up 2,000 feet for 90 minutes to ride 20 minutes back down is just silly. OK rant off.

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    Here's the rigid spawn: https://spawncycles.com/raiju-20

    My oldest is currently on the older version (savage 1.0) and it's been great. I've slowly upgraded it over time as her riding has progressed. Great bike. It really is amazing how well these high end kid bikes hold their value. I recently sold my daughters spawn banshee in just a few days for just slightly less then it cost new.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Personally I prefer a HTA in the 68 degree area, my own bikes that are in the 66 or slacker (and most recently Transition Sentinel) quite frankly, climb like poop and wander all over the place.

    I think pushing the long tt/slack hta/short cs has gone too far with adult bikes personally.
    A 65 or 66 degree HTA is stable and works OK at speed if you are railing desents 80% of the time but most kids are doing just as much climbing as descending, unless you are a park focused rider. On top of that, to see these bikes spec'd with 800-1000 gram Minions further numbs my mind for 24 and 26" "trail" bikes. I'm in Denver (5,200 feet) and to ask a kid to ride a 28-30 pound 66 degree hta bike with 800g+ tires up 2,000 feet for 90 minutes to ride 20 minutes back down is just silly. OK rant off.
    On the money GSJ. It's gone full nuts. I don't think anyone is really thinking anymore, and they're just sliding down a vaselined slope. These bike designs don't make a lick of sense for probably 95% percent of anyone riding them. But, I think the mindset is that if a little was good, a lot more is better. And you end up chasing designs that the echo chambers in industry then convince Joe rider he must have.

    It's time for some smelling salts and a firm slap.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyeballs View Post
    Here's the rigid spawn: https://spawncycles.com/raiju-20

    My oldest is currently on the older version (savage 1.0) and it's been great. I've slowly upgraded it over time as her riding has progressed. Great bike. It really is amazing how well these high end kid bikes hold their value. I recently sold my daughters spawn banshee in just a few days for just slightly less then it cost new.
    Can't beat that. It's like you rented it for a few bucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrackmack View Post
    I have been looking at getting my 6 year old a better bike for this summer. He currently has a 16” Royal Baby that weighs in around 25lbs and a 16” hand-me-down GT that probably weighs about the same or a little more.

    These bikes are way too heavy and I am pretty mad at myself for being suckered into buying that Royal Baby at 25 fn lbs. I really should have done more research before buying as there is no reason to have a bike for my 6 year old that weighs more then my steel bikes from the early 90’s.

    So, I started looking around at different kids bikes to try and sus out the heavily marketed “crappy” kids bikes from the actual “quality” kids bikes and found this cool web site that does great side by side comparisons of different size kids bikes with weights included.

    https://www.twowheelingtots.com

    I am currently looking at Pelli Reddi 20”, clearly Owl 20” and the Guardian 20”. These all come in under 20lbs

    Now, it obviously doesn’t have all kids bike brands, so what quality kids bikes are missing from this site that might be something to consider?

    Are there any other 20” bikes under 20lbs I should consider?

    Together, we mainly ride mello singletrack xc trails in the park across from our house and at the Truckee pump track/bike park.

    Thanks!
    8 year old son: 24" Spawn, 20" DK Sprinter, 16" Kink
    5 year old daughter: 20" Flow, 16" Spawn
    2 year old daughter: Balance bike and 14" Spawn

    Having the right tool for the task has been important. It is a lot of money but we have been able to pass bikes down, "Re-color" them, and their skills have surpassed mine. My wife and I just bought a Transitiion DJ so we can continue to develop our skills and keep riding with our kids. I honestly thought it would take years and years for them to bypass me. I was wrong. And we will resell them at the end. The only bikes I have regretted were the Trek and the Liv kids bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    On the money GSJ. It's gone full nuts. I don't think anyone is really thinking anymore, and they're just sliding down a vaselined slope. These bike designs don't make a lick of sense for probably 95% percent of anyone riding them. But, I think the mindset is that if a little was good, a lot more is better. And you end up chasing designs that the echo chambers in industry then convince Joe rider he must have.

    It's time for some smelling salts and a firm slap.
    You know more than me, but I can tell you that there is a drastic difference in kids bikes. Spawn, Flow etc have gotten it right and it has made a lot of difference. Kids are shredding at a whole new level now that they have better tools. You seem to imply that is some kind of marketing gimmick. They are a lot of money for a kids bike, but we live around really nice stuff that require really nice tools for an 8 year old to be able to do them all. Watching him fly down a mountain jumping and dropping, I wouldn't recommend it on a lesser bike. Maybe I am paranoid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Flow Bikes is local to you I believe and another option. Are you looking for rim brakes and a rigid fork specifically? Most companies that focus on higher end tend to stick for what sells - suspension forks and disc brakes.
    OP here...

    Thank you Gsj for pointing out spawn. Their rigid 20” looks pretty sweet! Too much bike for now however. And, please do not take offense, I appreciate your insight, but I realize companies stick to what sells and that happens to be bikes that look like what we see at Wally World. Spawn looks sick, and they will be on the list for the next bike when my son has the skills developed to where it will benefit him as well as the skills/knowledge to use components like disc brakes combined with a sus fork safely (currently rolls coaster brakes, rigid fork), but for now what I am specifically looking for is a solid, light, quality base with good geo; components that are basic, safe, proven, light and most importantly, simple and that wil not add unneeded complications or safety issues.

    My plan is to build on that base and have him learn about the different components and upgrades, what makes them different, advantages/disadvantages, how to install and maintain. There is so much great engineering going on at all levels that I feel this is just another great aspect to take advantage of as well as improving the capability of the bike over time as his skills grow. Also, great way for him to save up doing chores to buy upgrades.

    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Woom and Cleary make some nice bikes (with rim brakes and rigid forks) but I'm not sure I would call them "bike park capable" per say like Flow, Trailcraft, Prevelo, Spawn, etc.. If you are trying to stay in the $500 range, then the rigid fork and rim brakes makes sense. Hard to build a light bike with a suspension fork. It can be done but it gets very expensive very fast.
    I like cleary a lot, but no way on the woom. As for the bike park, not talking N* or lift, but pump track/jump tracks. N* might be a just over the ridge, but we are blessed to have mountain bike trails that literally surround our house. Everything from beginner single track built in the early 80’s out our back door in the regional park to rim trail access out the front door and all the trails that connect everything. The bike park is about 10 miles down highway 267 which we discovered last year and is pretty much the best thing I have ever done with my kids.


    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Ive had a version of the Owl. Rigid with rim brakes and small block8 tires. It was the least durable bike we've had (frame was fine) but you just hit the limit to easily and those kind of components arent built to last. The bikes are like late 90'a rigid mtb that we used to ride too. Steep with long-ish backends. Sure we shredded those but the geometry sucks. You wouldn't want to ride one of those today.
    Again, svinyard, thank you for your replies and perspective and many suggestions with different brands. I definitely agree with many of your points regarding geo for kids bikes and other perspectives. However, like I mentioned just above, we will be replacing components as skills improve so that is ok if not everything is high-end.

    Also, as a retrogrouch I would have to respectfully disagree about not wanting to ride old 90’s rigid bikes. That is my bike of choice (see avatar) unless the trail I am going to ride warrants more advanced tech. However, my old bikes have good geo with short chain stays much shorter than most all modern bikes and I ran the widest, highest volume tires they made on i21 rims (run up to 2.5”s presently), Today, with modern high volume tires and wide rims, well designed, quality old steel classics are a blast to ride.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    -Single track is legit around Tahoe.
    Yes, very much so, but not everything is black diamond. My 1992 Bontrager Race is more than capable for the flume trail, but I wouldn’t even think about taking it on a trail like the grinder. My boys will start off on beginner trails and as they advance to more difficult trails, we can add sus forks and disc brakes.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    -Rim brakes suck. As a Dad you are stuck adjusting the damn things non-stop and because the lever pull is so short, the wheels have to constantly be in perfect true to avoid brake rub or poor brake performance. Even worse in wet weather. The least durable component I've had to mess with. Always needs work and the plastic stuff brakes down so fast etc. Disk brakes have been bullet proof for us.
    Depends. In my experience, V-brakes work very well, are easy to adjust especially if you know some tricks, lighter, less complicated, don’t squeal and are more durrable. I can also true a wheel in about a minute using the rim brakes as guides and this is going to be great skill for my boys to learn. Not to judge or anything, and I am guessing your kids can, but do your kids know how to true a wheel? Have they ever needed to?

    Cantis and u brakes are much more of a pain. However, i can easily lock both front and rear tires at the same time on my 1988 Bridgestone mb1 with cantis. However, this is a really well made bike, rigid (no fork dive) with XT components.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    -Derailleurs are awesome and work with 20" in a short cage. If you are riding mellow enough stuff for a rigid single speed with small tires...you have nothing to worry about other than the kid laying it over. Derailleur hangers are cheap. Decent 11-36 (still very limited) will open up trails that have some mellow climbs. You'll get more miles and have more options. Even mellow single track has climbs.
    Ya, I have accepted the rear der. Having the gears will be needed right away anyways. Agree about getting more miles too.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    While rigid is OK for a while, it only takes one cased jump at the park to open your eyes on needing a fork. Also these 20" wheels have the worst rollover possible and an air fork helps with some of that and keeping them upright and going fast and not bouncing around as much. Even little stuff deflects a little 20" wheel easily. Fork keeps the traction higher.
    Tires are by far the most important thing for traction and small bump suspension as a tire will compress way before suspension is activated. That is why pinching tires is so common. Suspension is sluggish. However, it is needed once skills have reached to where cased landings are a possibility, and we will upgrade the fork.

    Now, to me, the rigid fork is a necessity for a young beginner biker for many reasons.
    First is safety. Fork dive heavily increases chance of endo. Mix that with powerful disc brakes, a grippy front tire and an inexperienced rider who is used to coaster brakes and that is how we find out how good of a helmet my kid has
    Second, suspension mutes the input the rider gets from the trail. As a beginner, I think it is extremely important to learn to feel the tire connecting with the dirt, rocks and roots and build a sense for the limits of traction as well as a feel for the tires soaking up small rocks and bumps. That is one of my favorite things about mtbing and it is so much better on a rigid.
    Thirdly, rigid is lighter, more responsive and lively and rider inputs are more direct. All of this I feel will help to make a well rounded rider that appreciates all aspects of riding and enjoys simple singletrack just as much as hitting park features.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    So to develop those skills, DEFINITELY get solid geometry. Trailcraft geometry (Spawn too) is spot on for this. I'd like slacker HTA at 66d but the backend is where it counts. These long silly mtb make it super hard to learn to bunny hop and do little manuals and hold the front end on a jump etc. Checkout the 20" chainstay length on the upper tier bikes and definitely don't compromise much there. In the end tho, all of the best riding kids start on a BMX bike.
    Yes, short chain stays, slackish front end. Party in the back, business up front. However, there is a lot more to geo that makes bunny hopping and manualing easier than chainstay length. Also, plan on picking up a used bmx from the bike co-op this summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Also Vitus makes a kids 20" bike
    BAM!!! And I think you found a winner for me. Thank you svinyard again!

    Geo is pretty dialed on this bike and looks like a solid base to build on. Oh, and it comes in red.

    Kids bike comparison chart-ee3782cc-738b-4231-b7d5-b98174ff234a.jpg

    Kids bike comparison chart-20563930-f7e0-41d6-aa9f-0513efaeffc2.jpg
    Last edited by singletrackmack; 04-23-2019 at 09:25 AM.
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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    Vitus is a game changer. The only negative is they always seem to be sold out. What you get for the money is crazy. Great choice.

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    I don't necessarily agree with the OP's choice of bikes and options. However I was at the local bike shop when I was shopping a couple of months ago and I believe it was Trek that had a new bike that really fit the bill, it was very light, it was a really nice little spec and when my kid rode it around in a parking lot she was awfully fast on it.
    However my just turned 7 girl has pointed down some rough liittle chutes that some adults are scared off, getting her on a full suspension 24", light as I could manage was definitely the way to go for our trails.
    If the weather clears up I''m taking her and her mom to Bentonville this weekend.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    I don't necessarily agree with the OP's choice of bikes and options. However I was at the local bike shop when I was shopping a couple of months ago and I believe it was Trek that had a new bike that really fit the bill, it was very light, it was a really nice little spec and when my kid rode it around in a parking lot she was awfully fast on it.
    However my just turned 7 girl has pointed down some rough liittle chutes that some adults are scared off, getting her on a full suspension 24", light as I could manage was definitely the way to go for our trails.
    If the weather clears up I''m taking her and her mom to Bentonville this weekend.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
    Where do you guys live? we are in NWA. Bentonville has so much.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    You know more than me, but I can tell you that there is a drastic difference in kids bikes. Spawn, Flow etc have gotten it right and it has made a lot of difference. Kids are shredding at a whole new level now that they have better tools. You seem to imply that is some kind of marketing gimmick. They are a lot of money for a kids bike, but we live around really nice stuff that require really nice tools for an 8 year old to be able to do them all. Watching him fly down a mountain jumping and dropping, I wouldn't recommend it on a lesser bike. Maybe I am paranoid.
    I don't even know where to start with this.

    You are bringing up bikes companies that are running 68 ish head angles and trying to argue with me about my saying that 66 and less degrees is ridiculous for the majority of the riding that is out there and the reality of what that bike will really be ridden on.

    I think that is defined as barking up the wrong tree.


    Furthermore, what is the definition of a lesser bike in the context of your post? What are you comparing to? Are we talking about Walmart/Target bikes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    I don't even know where to start with this.

    You are bringing up bikes companies that are running 68 ish head angles and trying to argue with me about my saying that 66 and less degrees is ridiculous for the majority of the riding that is out there and the reality of what that bike will really be ridden on.

    I think that is defined as barking up the wrong tree.


    Furthermore, what is the definition of a lesser bike in the context of your post? What are you comparing to? Are we talking about Walmart/Target bikes?
    I think I maybe just misread the intent of your post. Between Vaseline slopes and smelling salts and slaps, it sounded like you were saying new technology had lost the plot and people were being duped by marketing ploys to oversell bikes to kids who don't need them.

    To answer your question, I think even reputable adult bike makers (Trek, Specialized, Liv, etc) make lesser kids bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    I think I maybe just misread the intent of your post. Between Vaseline slopes and smelling salts and slaps, it sounded like you were saying new technology had lost the plot and people were being duped by marketing ploys to oversell bikes to kids who don't need them.

    To answer your question, I think even reputable adult bike makers (Trek, Specialized, Liv, etc) make lesser kids bikes.
    No you read me right, and that was what I was saying...about 65-66 degree head angles and stupid high stack heights built around too much fork, being ridden on XC trails.

    If a kid is sending gaps and railing downhill berms, then yeah, but you and I both know that is what people want others to think their kids are doing, but very few of them actually are or ever will. Pushing bikes for the 1% of kids (and adults as well) on all riders is up a frigging tree. Especially when a more modest bike will do most of what is being ridden and more, better.

    So yes, I believe in those regards, it is marketing ploy, based on perceived image of the 'tribe' of MTBing that is selling these things to an audience that in reality DOES NOT NEED THEM, or can in reality even use them. When that 'progress' (tongue firmly in cheek) starts to effect everyones choices by pigeon holing them, it's not a good thing. Call it what you will.

    Agreed on the Treks, Specialized et al being lesser. But they're just lesser in the opposite direction.

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    Instead of continuing to build kids bikes around moderately long travel adult forks, which basically forces the whole slacked out and nosebleed high front end, and then selling that idea as what every kid needs, there need to be better options for the smaller bikes. That is the issue.

    And as I say that, I will still say that those sorts of bikes and angles have their place. But not as the only option outside of Trek, Specialized et al.

    There's an inbetween. And most kids and geo on 24 and 26 will be served well by 80 to 100mm of travel, head tubes that are no longer than 100mm, running 68ish head angles, so that if a longer fork is installed, the bike can handle it, and little Johnny's bars aren't at chin height. It's not hard to come up with a bike that can do all of this. I've cad drawn a few for every wheel size, and I'm not even that experienced in frame design.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    Where do you guys live? we are in NWA. Bentonville has so much.
    Austin, TX.

    You live in a great place for MTBing!

    What I have found with the dual suspension on my kid's bike is that the front fork absorbs a lot of uncomfortable chatter and helps keep the front tire pointed in the correct direction. Much less deflection than what she experienced on her previous no suspension bike. The rear suspension at her 46# is darn near a hardtail except it suddenly moves when she hits something solid, especially since she is still grasping the concept of standing up over rough sections this seems like a nice feature.

    It seems to work well as she essentially at this size has a hard tail for efficiency and some bail out protection and shock relief when the obstacles become larger in a 22# package. She uses about 80% of the front travel as set up and about 65% of the rear, by judging the O-rings. Could certainly reduce air pressure further to get more suspension movement but it seems pointless at her skill level. Soon enough she'll weigh 30% more and I can then really work on dialing both ends of the suspension in.

    Don't underestimate what a good bike can do for your kids riding. My kid went from wobbling around for 1 mile on a XC trail to hammering out 6-7 miles quite easily on more rough trails, literally overnight, all from a bike upgrade. That said, I don't know if the terrain covered and average speed really effects their fun that much as they have fun either way.

    Some feel that bikes that are hard to ride teach people important bike handling skills. I on the other hand feel that hard to ride bikes just train people to ride slower speeds and they have a hard time breaking those habits and ridding themselves of the belief that this is as steep/ fast/ rough as they can go.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    but we live around really nice stuff that require really nice tools for an 8 year old to be able to do them all. Watching him fly down a mountain jumping and dropping
    Why does this remind me of Napoleon Dynamite? Sweet Jumps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post

    What I have found with the dual suspension on my kid's bike is that the front fork absorbs a lot of uncomfortable chatter and helps keep the front tire pointed in the correct direction. Much less deflection than what she experienced on her previous no suspension bike. The rear suspension at her 46# is darn near a hardtail except it suddenly moves when she hits something solid, especially since she is still grasping the concept of standing up over rough sections this seems like a nice feature.

    It seems to work well as she essentially at this size has a hard tail for efficiency and some bail out protection and shock relief when the obstacles become larger in a 22# package. She uses about 80% of the front travel as set up and about 65% of the rear, by judging the O-rings. Could certainly reduce air pressure further to get more suspension movement but it seems pointless at her skill level. Soon enough she'll weigh 30% more and I can then really work on dialing both ends of the suspension in.

    Have you thought about doing a suspension service with lighter weight oil? Could help quite a bit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Don't underestimate what a good bike can do for your kids riding. My kid went from wobbling around for 1 mile on a XC trail to hammering out 6-7 miles quite easily on more rough trails, literally overnight, all from a bike upgrade. That said, I don't know if the terrain covered and average speed really effects their fun that much as they have fun either way.

    Some feel that bikes that are hard to ride teach people important bike handling skills. I on the other hand feel that hard to ride bikes just train people to ride slower speeds and they have a hard time breaking those habits and ridding themselves of the belief that this is as steep/ fast/ rough as they can go.
    That goes two ways. Define a hard to ride bike. Too much bike is also not making riding any easier.

    My son has been doing 15 miles since he was about 5, now doing up to 30 depending on the trail (at 9000 feet base elevation mind you) on a bike that I would surmise you might think is hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Instead of continuing to build kids bikes around moderately long travel adult forks, which basically forces the whole slacked out and nosebleed high front end, and then selling that idea as what every kid needs, there need to be better options for the smaller bikes. That is the issue.

    And as I say that, I will still say that those sorts of bikes and angles have their place. But not as the only option outside of Trek, Specialized et al.

    There's an inbetween. And most kids and geo on 24 and 26 will be served well by 80 to 100mm of travel, head tubes that are no longer than 100mm, running 68ish head angles, so that if a longer fork is installed, the bike can handle it, and little Johnny's bars aren't at chin height. It's not hard to come up with a bike that can do all of this. I've cad drawn a few for every wheel size, and I'm not even that experienced in frame design.
    Almost all of the common hardtails in the upper echelons are what you are describing. No one but maybe Commencal is doing more than 100mm for the 16" to 20"...maybe more on the 24"?? Even Spawn's Yama Jama is still 80mm as I'm sure you know. I haven't seen any long travel stuff. Stack is an issue with 26" forks on 24" bikes but that's changing and somewhat mitigated with the 90mm HTL.

    The HTA thing on a hardtail is funny. When you sag out a 66d HTA becomes very close 67d which is totally fine for a 80 to 100mm trail bike. Most kids aren't climbing big steeps (and we live on a volcano with a zillion groms) or anything and wheel wander is more about rider position in my personal experience at least until they are on 24" bikes or over. (this thread was about 20" stuff iirc)

    As a tall guy, I'm recently extremely intimate with wheel wander in demo'ing a bunch of bikes in the last couple of years. I rode a SC HT with 67d+ and it wandered around. Yeti SB5 at 66.5hta was amazing going up. Last week I rode a RipMo with 65.9 HTA and it was epic going up hill. That is a freaking amazing climbing bike, no joke. WB is felt on tight switchbacks but still, wow. A buddy of mine is good friends with Kendall-Weed and says that Jeff (who is unreal) absolutely loves that damn thing too and that dude is climbing all around the world literally. It climbs better than my 68d 26er with 90mm stem (for a number of reasons unrelated to HTA) and also better than my 66.5 29er. So its not all in a vacuum and kids aren't on 29ers.

    67d effective HTA does fine for kids in my hands on experience with kids going nuts climbing up on Ripcords (these kids do Sedona/StG/Moab literally every year at least once) and climb it all at 9yro. So a 66d hardtail would be about the same effectively at sag. Its a non-issue and very reasonable, I've seen it work really well. And then if the Kindergartner does start to rip (mine did at least) and clear 5ft gaps in 3mo of riding a 20"...well then some of the more forgiving geo is nice to have in my humble opinion.

    Fwiw I put my kid on a 66d rigid last week that buddy had bought. It was great and worked well for my 4yo (who isn't bad and can climb fairly well out of the saddle and jump etc). More slack than I'd like on paper for a rigid...but damn if it wasn't nice in reality. That's not some MTBR/PinkBike/Marketing dramatic HTA debate. It was real world use of the tool and it was fine. I say all this respectfully. Clearly you are a super bike Dad going on all out for his kid and having a good time. I'm sure it'd be a blast to ride with the boys together, cheers and thanks again for the BMX help in the past. We passed that along and its been prob the biggest difference maker for us aside from team riding. The HTA thing seems like its politics or something and I'm guilty of being over the top with it.

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    Your kid is the 1% of the kids that are riding the 1% of what's out there.

    Edit...adding more, just getting in without pasting your entire post

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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Almost all of the common hardtails in the upper echelons are what you are describing. No one but maybe Commencal is doing more than 100mm for the 16" to 20"...maybe more on the 24"?? Even Spawn's Yama Jama is still 80mm as I'm sure you know. I haven't seen any long travel stuff. Stack is an issue with 26" forks on 24" bikes but that's changing and somewhat mitigated with the 90mm HTL.
    I'd say in those cases, it's the stack height that I take most issue with. They aren't running 90mm headtubes. They are running 110, 125 (for the 24 and 26, not sure of the smaller ones anymore, but I'm sure they're too long, as I remember being frustrated by this when my son was smaller.

    If they're running 80 and 100mm forks, then good. They are still too tall for an XC bike, which every other angle on them points to them being.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    The HTA thing on a hardtail is funny. When you sag out a 66d HTA becomes very close 67d which is totally fine for a 80 to 100mm trail bike. Most kids aren't climbing big steeps (and we live on a volcano with a zillion groms) or anything and wheel wander is more about rider position in my personal experience at least until they are on 24" bikes or over. (this thread was about 20" stuff iirc)
    This is all relative Svinyard. A sagged 68 becomes a 69, and so on and so forth, and those are just fine. The logic of your premise is flawed, since the same thing happens to a 68 or 69 static HA as does your 65-66. And for the majority of riding out there, the 65-66 is too slack.


    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    As a tall guy, I'm recently extremely intimate with wheel wander in demo'ing a bunch of bikes in the last couple of years. I rode a SC HT with 67d+ and it wandered around.
    Yeti SB5 at 66.5hta was amazing going up. Last week I rode a RipMo with 65.9 HTA and it was epic going up hill. That is a freaking amazing climbing bike, no joke. WB is felt on tight switchbacks but still, wow. A buddy of mine is good friends with Kendall-Weed and says that Jeff (who is unreal) absolutely loves that damn thing too and that dude is climbing all around the world literally. It climbs better than my 68d 26er with 90mm stem (for a number of reasons unrelated to HTA) and also better than my 66.5 29er. So its not all in a vacuum and kids aren't on 29ers.
    As a tall guy, I will say with confidence that your front wheel is wandering because of the way the bike has distributed your weight to the front wheel (in conjunction with the head angle, the forks rake and trail numbers coming from that.). I'm also betting that your position on the bike is close to bolt upright. I'm just not buying that they climb better than a bike with a steeper head angle. Do they climb well enough? Probably. But better?? GTFO. No effing way.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    67d effective HTA does fine for kids in my hands on experience with kids going nuts climbing up on Ripcords (these kids do Sedona/StG/Moab literally every year at least once) and climb it all at 9yro. So a 66d hardtail would be about the same effectively at sag. Its a non-issue and very reasonable, I've seen it work really well. And then if the Kindergartner does start to rip (mine did at least) and clear 5ft gaps in 3mo of riding a 20"...well then some of the more forgiving geo is nice to have in my humble opinion.
    There is no way on this green earth that those bikes are excelling at twisty tech single track with those angles, let alone excelling at climbing. Again, this is all relative Svinyard, because you are looking at all of your estimations of a bikes handling by riding bike parks and the like. That isn't tech 'singletrack'. That isn't tight turn, not so techy singletrack. It's a different style of riding/trail all together that is less prevelant than the sort of trail and single track that is...pretty much everywhere. Which bring me back to my original point...that these slack sorts of bikes aren't the scourge of the earth, but they are not what is needed FOR EVERYONE. But unfortunately, they are taking up too much of the focus.

    I jump 20' on 20" wheels with a 75 degree HA by the way Just being silly, not one upping your kid.

    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    Fwiw I put my kid on a 66d rigid last week that buddy had bought. It was great and worked well for my 4yo (who isn't bad and can climb fairly well out of the saddle and jump etc). More slack than I'd like on paper for a rigid...but damn if it wasn't nice in reality. Tha'ts not some MTBR/PinkBike/Marketing dramatic HTA debate. It was real world use of the tool and it was fine. I say all this respectfully. Clearly you are a super bike Dad going on all out for his kid and having a good time. I'm sure it'd be a blast to ride with the boys together, cheers and thanks again for the BMX help in the past. We passed that along and its been prob the biggest difference maker for us aside from team riding. The HTA thing seems like its politics or something and I'm guilty of being over the top with it.
    Maybe a 66 on a rigid is good with those wheels for rake and trail reasons (what wheel size are you talking about anyway?) But my feeling is that in reality it was very stable in a straight line, but a friggin bull to turn. And that would be the illustration of the pendulum swinging too far in the opposite direction, i order to correct something that only needed a subtle adjustment.

    Case in point. You mentioned that your Yori was twitchy, while having a 69 degree HA. I looked it up. It has a *72* degree HA. That's your twitchy right there combined with tiny wheels. 69 would probably be just right. 66 sounds, and invariably has to ride, like it has exchanged certain drawbacks for other ones.

    I appreciate you saying that. We all have our own opinions. What I gather from you, is that you go all in on what is new, and what was just last year becomes the worst thing ever.

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    Understood. Good catch on the Yoji, you are right and I agree. Fwiw we don't ride Park but a few times a year and a kids DH race once or twice. Its all Singletrack/Flow etc a few times a week. My kids are middle of the pack. At the BMX park they aren't even close (no 180's on the halfpipe, no 360s, no flatting jump lines, no clearing the big lines etc.).

    HTL on Ripcord, TrailCraft, Reaper, are all right about 90mm which helps. Spawn's is longer tho as is Commencals.

    These kids bikes are so tiny that the twisty single track is where the kids seem to do the best when I ride with them. Our town in crawling with 67d Ripcords. Half of them are pimped out 3k$ rides because there are a bunch of Transition sponsor'd adult riders here. Any one of those kids is liable to drop you on the downs (some of the ups too), especially when it gets tight and twisty. 67d just plain works up and down for them, even if on paper and historically it doesn't. A Sqaumish Dad I spoke with told me most of the kids on their team were riding Rokussuta FS as trail bikes and crushing the climbs...I think those are 66d bikes (I know they ride park too of course). I haven't seen it but that's mecca up there for climbing and gnarly/tight singletrack. Maybe you have different real world experience but I see it directly like 2-3 times a week in the spring/summer/fall when we ride with one of the teams or the Enduro youth kids. I certainly am not the rider you are but I struggle to believe what you are saying vs what my eyes see all the time with a bunch of groms. Regardless, we can agree to disagree and let this one go having learned a few things from a good debate.

  38. #38
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    I have been watching these treads for a while with interest. My son turns 3 this summer and is ~39" tall and a muscular 34lbs, need to measure his inseam. He is doing well on his balance bike and learning to use the brakes (cleary starfish with dual v-brakes) and I want to get him a bike with pedals this summer. He will ride in the neighborhood, maybe a little at a skate park and I plan on taking him to easy smooth mtb trails as often as I can (duthie or st eds). I think we can go straight to a 16" based on his size and hopefully get 2 summers out of it before moving to a 20".
    I like the spawn component package and it has a bit lower seat height but I don't like the steep head angle on adult sized trails.
    The prevelo alpha 2 looks solid but comes with skinny tires and they said bigger ones might hit the brakes and I can't see one to confirm. The zulu 2 is a lot heavier and slacker and might be too much to start with.
    The cleary hedgehog is a bit heavy and has long chainstays but should fit real tires.
    Everything else seems too road oriented

  39. #39
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    Is that tall for 3? I can't remember anymore. Been 7 years.

    Honestly, these look like the ticket.

    https://www.commencalusa.com/ramones...19-c2x26304790

    https://www.commencalusa.com/ramones...19-c2x26304786

    These look way better now than they did a few years ago. Plenty of volume in the tires. The gumwalls are just friggin hot.

    Free wheel hubs, short cranks. Pretty much check all the boxes in my eyes and if I were doing it again (kinda makes me miss when my boy was little piece of pound cake) I'd grab one of these toot sweet.

    So much better than the POS Hotrock 16 that cost more, and I had to re-lace a GT Micron hub into in order to get rid of the coaster brake. Plus, I had to hunt down clamps for brake bosses to throw some Avid V-brakes on it.

    These Commencals look really good.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    Have you thought about doing a suspension service with lighter weight oil? Could help quite a bit.



    That goes two ways. Define a hard to ride bike. Too much bike is also not making riding any easier.

    My son has been doing 15 miles since he was about 5, now doing up to 30 depending on the trail (at 9000 feet base elevation mind you) on a bike that I would surmise you might think is hard to ride.
    That's great. Your kid could be extremely talented, mine could be particularly untalented, or it could be in the trail differences. Likely it's a combo because very few adults hammer out even 20 miles on our trails. Or even 10 for that matter.

    However yours kids mileage is irrelevant to tne point. What is relevant is that the same kid on the same trails increased her trail distance approximately 400% overnight with just a change in bike.

    The lightweight oil idea is a good one, but really saddle time and keeping it fun is my focus. Also her forks have a negative chamber so I can quickly make them use all the travel.

    In our terrain, I consider heavy, poor braking, no front suspension, steep hta bikes poor performing. All they teach you to do is how to be scared and go slow.

    I ride a 65 degree hta bike that is exceptionally long, and that bike flies through the tight stuff because it's my first bike that has the rider in the proper location front to back. But I can't say if a kids bike at their lower speeds needs that slack of a bike. But my kid does great in tight trails on the Ripcord. How could she not? The bike is low, short (even if long fora 24" bike), efficient, and light.





    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

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    Actually it is relevant to the point. You state a bunch of markers that don't add up as what is the reason for not riding particular mileage. No front suspension being one of them. And that's pure horse pucky. There is no way that the trails in your neck of the woods or Bentonville are somehow more chunky and tech than what my kid, on a 71.5 headangled 20" was putting down 10-15 miles consistently on (It had no name linear pull brakes too! The friggin horror). My point in saying that isn't to say my kid is better than yours. That wouldn't be cool, and furthermore it wouldn't matter worth a hill of beans. I am saying that because stating all the markers for performance that you do is pure crutch talk. It isn't the bike. It's the rider, it's the teacher. Full stop. When you learn to see the trail, and work with it, you can do what many others can't. When you place reasons why this or that can't be done, because you don't have this or that, you limit your own, and your childs own ability.

    Period.

    The reason I stated the mileage done at 9000 feet base is again not to brag, but to show that it isn't the bike. He is doing it on a 69-70 degreed Orbea hardtail that I have optimized for him. It could be better if I built lighter wheels, but my focus is now on building a 26" frame.

    I get sick of reading people saying what you're saying about what is needed for performance as if it is God's gospel. It isn't, and it misleads the folks in here that come to learn. All they learn is that they need a bunch of shit that they don't from reading that. Or that their kid won't have fun if they don't have that. Effing BS. It's your opinion, based on, no offense, questionable skill, and the need to convince yourself that getting this or that will solve what you don't have, and was money well spent. It's funny what we will delude ourselves with.

    Don't tell me that riding a rigid mountain bike isn't fun. If it isn't you ain't doing it right. My son had a shit eating grin on his face everytime we rode on all three of his rigid bikes. And our local trails were some of the rockiest and rootiest in the country.

    Also, adults not able to put down 10 miles is a statement in itself. I wouldn't admit that. I hope they aren't riding decked out whips. That would be embarrassing.

    You want to state what YOU need to be able to do anything, fine. Don't state it as if everyone else reading it will have the same requirements in order to perform or have fun. There are people reading this stuff that don't need to be scared off by thinking they need a frigging Ripcord for their kid to ride easy trails.

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    Well there ya go, thanks for putting me in my place.
    Take care.

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    Anytime, don't mention it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlhulit View Post
    I like the spawn component package and it has a bit lower seat height but I don't like the steep head angle on adult sized trails.
    The zulu 2 is a lot heavier and slacker and might be too much to start with.
    Sounds like where I was at in the fall looking at bikes. I split the difference and added a 20" air fork to a Yoji. Cost was a little cheaper than the Zulu and about 2 lbs lighter, albeit with a bunch of work involved. Most of the effort came from trial and error around brakes and building up the front wheel.

    Here's the thread with details:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/families-rid...k-1096130.html

    All that being said, lately he seems to be preferring to ride his balance bike over either Yoji (we also have a 14"), partly because his younger brother just got one and their speeds are a little more evenly matched when both on the balance bikes and partly because it's a less scary platform for him to experiment with new stuff.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    67d effective HTA does fine for kids in my hands on experience with kids going nuts climbing up on Ripcords (these kids do Sedona/StG/Moab literally every year at least once) and climb it all at 9yro...
    Quote Originally Posted by jochribs View Post
    There is no way on this green earth that those bikes are excelling at twisty tech single track with those angles...

    Maybe a 66 on a rigid is good with those wheels for rake and trail reasons (what wheel size are you talking about anyway?) But my feeling is that in reality it was very stable in a straight line, but a friggin bull to turn.
    Looking just at the HA alone is really not giving a clear picture of how a bike may handle. As for steering response being quicker/twitchy or stable/sluggish; stem length, handle bar width, stack, trail and rake also play a big role as well. Now when your getting into handling on tight twisty singletrack; front center and rear center (CS) and most importantly, wheel base also play a big role along with HA.

    For example taking a look at 2 bikes I was recently comparing, the Norco Storm 2.3 and Vitus 20”. Both are rigid and the Norco has a 69* ha and the Vitus a 67.5*. So just looking at the HA alone, one might think the storm would be the bike that would excel at tight twisty singletrack and the Vitus would be more of a bull to turn.

    However, here are some other angles that I think are key to look at that will combine to directly effect handling and stability:

    ............... Norco .......Vitus
    CS........... 356 .........335
    WB.......... 868 .........832.9
    Stack....... 431 ..........372
    Reach...... 308 ..........311
    BB drop... -10 ..........-35

    The Vitus with the much shorter chainstay, lower stack and, most importantly, shorter wheel base will make for better handling on tight single track even though it has a 1.5* slacker ha. The Norco, while maintaining a quick steering feeling up front, positions the rider higher up with the more stack making it harder to weight the front wheel for traction in tight turns. Also, the much longer Cs and wheel base on the Norco will make it feel more sluggish with the back end sticking out much further and the inherent effects of a longer wheel base on tight twisty singletrack.

    When it comes to high speed stability, the Norco should be nice and stable with the long cs and wb but with quicker/twitchier steering up front. The Vitus with its low B.B. drop and slacker HA should also be nice and stable at high speed but with more stable steering up front and a lively/less stable back end.

    As for climbing, both should do equally well with the Norco’s long CS keeping the rear end planted and front from lifting and the steeper HA helping to stop the front wheel from wondering. The Vitus, even though the cs is much shorter, the lower B.B. and stack will help shift the weight forward and the 2.5* steeper Seat angle combined with the lower stack will help to keep the front wheel weighted and keep wheel wander on control.

    Just looking at the two bikes side by side, you can see how the big differences in geometries will position the rider differently on the frame with the wheels either being further behind the rider’s center or more in front. This is also something to consider when thinking about avoiding the dreaded endo.

    Kids bike comparison chart-94f940f8-84c2-4be6-a658-ab9aa6014b90.jpg

    Kids bike comparison chart-d5c64e86-4f12-4a9b-a08a-2d68b3488463.jpg

    Vitus 20”
    Kids bike comparison chart-036180c0-9b4d-406d-9bf9-3b9650d48e7d.jpg

    Norco Storm 2.3
    Kids bike comparison chart-5dc074e7-eca7-4196-86c2-766178e3c267.jpg
    Get out of the gutter and onto the mountain top.

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    That looks like a sweet build, not sure how you did it cheaper than a zulu unless you started with a used yoji, new the zulu is only about $40 more.

    I am tempted to order the ramones 16 and replace the seatpost and saddle for lower height and maybe a few other parts to drop weight but not sure if it will still be too big.

    the other question is if it is worth buying a 14 knowing that it only lasts this year? If I do this I would try and find something used, maybe I can find a spawn 14 in vancouver and make a weekend of it.

    The ramones 16 is the same weight as the zulu 2 for over $100 less with the big loss being v-brakes instead of discs. The spawns are easy to resell, the commencal or prevelo might be harder as they are less know.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    Sounds like where I was at in the fall looking at bikes. I split the difference and added a 20" air fork to a Yoji. Cost was a little cheaper than the Zulu and about 2 lbs lighter, albeit with a bunch of work involved. Most of the effort came from trial and error around brakes and building up the front wheel.

    Here's the thread with details:
    https://forums.mtbr.com/families-rid...k-1096130.html

    All that being said, lately he seems to be preferring to ride his balance bike over either Yoji (we also have a 14"), partly because his younger brother just got one and their speeds are a little more evenly matched when both on the balance bikes and partly because it's a less scary platform for him to experiment with new stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlhulit View Post
    That looks like a sweet build, not sure how you did it cheaper than a zulu unless you started with a used yoji, new the zulu is only about $40 more.
    My point of reference was the Zulu Two Heir (the $799 model @ ~18lbs), not the base Zulu Two.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    My point of reference was the Zulu Two Heir (the $799 model @ ~18lbs), not the base Zulu Two.
    That makes sense. I think I will stick with rigid for this bike and wait until he is big enough for a 20" for suspension. At the rate he is growing that might not be to long.

  49. #49
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    I'd save yourself some headache for a relatively shortlived bike in your boys riding career. Get the Ramones. The weight you are worrying about right now won't be an issue in the least. I know where you're coming from, from an obsessing parent's perspective, but believe me, it isn't going to make a hill of beans difference. I wouldn't obsess about discs vs. linear pulls either. Adjust the linears well for decent lever throw, and be done with it. They are plenty strong, and will have plenty of stopping power for a 16" bike. Same goes for suspension. All suspension is going to do on a 16" bike is completely faff it up.

    Spend the time making quality time on the trails. The next size wheel will open up more options and be better suited for suspension and discs.

    I personally, have never worried about resale value on any of my sons bikes. They have been kept, used as extras for younger nieces and nephews and just generally looked back at with fond memories. Just not worth selling them for the relatively easy
    to save money for the next bike.

  50. #50
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    What about a 12" BMX as a stopgap bike? Do they make a 14" BMX? Might be able to use for a while alongside the forthcoming 20". For young kids at this age, a part of me thinks that the BMX skill development/fun stuff is a better use of their time and they can ride smooth mellow trails a bit.

    You get a take on the sizing in this video. Not sure if its appropriate but this Harry kid beasted one for while despite being a pretty big kid (kid is insane rider).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ2YS0golKo

    Funny you say that Jochribs. I don't know if I'll be able to part with these little bikes either. My tiny guy with his long hair cruising around on that neon Yoji. Makes me wish we'd had more kids lol.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    What about a 12" BMX as a stopgap bike? Do they make a 14" BMX? Might be able to use for a while alongside the forthcoming 20". For young kids at this age, a part of me thinks that the BMX skill development/fun stuff is a better use of their time and they can ride smooth mellow trails a bit.
    The only downside to BMX that I've seen so far is that we don't have any dirt tracks close by and falling on cement hurts a little more than falling on dirt.

    There are a few options at 14":
    Cult Juvenile - $340, center-mount u-brake:
    https://www.albes.com/cult-juvenile-...2019-bmx-bike/

    DK Aura - $230, coaster brake:
    https://www.albes.com/dk-aura-14-inch-2018-BMX-bike/

    Kink Pump - $260, 990-mount u-brake, not available until May:
    https://www.albes.com/kink-pump-2020-14-bike/

    Also worth noting -- for their 2019 lineup, Fit went with v-brakes for their Misfit 12" and 16" because they were easier for kids to use, but they don't have a 14".

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post

    Funny you say that Jochribs. I don't know if I'll be able to part with these little bikes either. My tiny guy with his long hair cruising around on that neon Yoji. Makes me wish we'd had more kids lol.
    Seriously. I'd get rid of mine before I would unload his. My guys a long hair too! Badass.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    The only downside to BMX that I've seen so far is that we don't have any dirt tracks close by and falling on cement hurts a little more than falling on dirt.

    There are a few options at 14":
    Cult Juvenile - $340, center-mount u-brake:
    https://www.albes.com/cult-juvenile-...2019-bmx-bike/

    DK Aura - $230, coaster brake:
    https://www.albes.com/dk-aura-14-inch-2018-BMX-bike/

    Kink Pump - $260, 990-mount u-brake, not available until May:
    https://www.albes.com/kink-pump-2020-14-bike/

    Also worth noting -- for their 2019 lineup, Fit went with v-brakes for their Misfit 12" and 16" because they were easier for kids to use, but they don't have a 14".
    DK Aura is out immediately due to the coaster. What is DK thinking?

    Between the Cult and the Kink, my nod goes to the Cult. Frame is aluminum, and it will be much lighter than the Kink, which will invariably be high-ten.

    My son had (still owns) the Cult 16. I honestly would go for the 16 if your guy isn't miniature at the moment. 14 is going to be gone in a flash, whereas he can be riding the 16 for a longer amount of time.

    The Cults are aluminum up to the 18" and thereafter go to high ten and also Cromo if you want to grab the Chase Hawk frame and fork.

    Also, let the boy roll on some concrete transition. He will be fine. Pick him up, rub the booboos and let him know that it's ok to try again. Getting hurt is totally part of all of this. Part of life really. It will also help if you buy yourself a complete 20", (or maybe one of the newer 22"s) and ride with him. Nothing will put stars in his eyes like watching his big cool dad doing it. Believe me.

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    Elbow and knee pads FTW. My guy also rocked a full-face pretty much all the time when he was little too. Paid off 1000 times.

    Haro/Premium also puts out nice little 16 and 18 BMX bikes, readily available in a lot of shops.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    What about a 12" BMX as a stopgap bike? Do they make a 14" BMX? Might be able to use for a while alongside the forthcoming 20". For young kids at this age, a part of me thinks that the BMX skill development/fun stuff is a better use of their time and they can ride smooth mellow trails a bit.

    You get a take on the sizing in this video. Not sure if its appropriate but this Harry kid beasted one for while despite being a pretty big kid (kid is insane rider).
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GJ2YS0golKo
    Uggg...who the hell would think it's a good idea to let a kid that crashes that much ride park with no shirt and just crappy helmet? Sketch-y.

    I would actually think he's gotta be a pretty small kid if he's rocking a 12" at 5 years old; (maybe he just turned?). Mine was on 16" (park/jump) and 20" (race) at that age and they didn't seem too big at all.

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    (And he was pretty hairy there for awhile too!)
    Kids bike comparison chart-dscn0330.jpg
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    To the OP. What caught my attention was your proximity to the Truckee Bike Park. With that kind of access, frankly access most of us wish we had. You live in a MTB mecca region. I would think disc brakes and a reasonable shock would be a must have. In comparison to some kid living in a subdivision with a 150mm FS bike (for example).

    Stopping short of a FS bike or some ridiculous boat anchor. Yet staying clear of a bike that's really not that durable, has inferior brakes, poorer traction and generally worse control. Including the lack of a shock. I dunno. Perhaps you're uncertain about your kid's enthusiasm. But if they are on the cusp of liking Vs LOVING a bike. And considering we're all trying to moderately influence our kids to LOVE a bike as we likely do. I'm surprised you're uninterested in a more reasonable quality bike.

    Because you perfectly describe a guy who would be really happy with a quality 20" dirt jumper for their kid. A DJ bike where they could go on fun but mellow trail rides. And have an all out blast with jumps or the summer clinic at the Truckee Bike Park.

    If you're attending the Truckee Bike Park Little Big Festival later in May, look for the guy with twin girls riding Yama Jamas. Feel free to say hello! I'm the same guy who swore he wouldn't spend more than XYZ on a kids bike. Then did. Then never gave it a second thought. Because a quality bike makes a huge difference in the kids control. Which translates to the kids confidence being boosted.

    For me, all of that resulted in getting to the "fun" riding much sooner.

  57. #57
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    I think these days many folks are a tad too obsessed with bike quality for kids. Here's some of the reasons why I, a dad of 2 who loves his kids, will only buy entry level bikes for my kids. And the number 1 reason is not as some might expect.

    1. I want my kids to love bike riding. I want them to put the effort in and reap the rewards. I want them to know that everything they achieve is all them, not the bike.

    2. I want them to make the bike their own. I want them to find the limitations and quirks of the bike, and give some thought to what they might change to improve things for them, whether that's functional or just styling.

    3. When they grow up and make their own way in the world, and start paying for their own stuff, I want them to know they can have fun on a cheaper bike. They don't need to pay thousands that they can't afford. If they grow up on entry level bikes, and have fun and develop skills on such bikes, then anything they can afford on their first junior salary will be OK, and if they are lucky enough to earn a bit more and afford something better than they're used to, so much the better for them.

    4. I remember the kid in our neighbourhood who had a PK Ripper bmx when I was a kid. He was probably a perfectly likeable kid. We never really found out. Whenever he tried to join in with us we didn't really notice him, we were too busy drooling over his bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anf View Post
    I think these days many folks are a tad too obsessed with bike quality for kids. Here's some of the reasons why I, a dad of 2 who loves his kids, will only buy entry level bikes for my kids. And the number 1 reason is not as some might expect.

    1. I want my kids to love bike riding. I want them to put the effort in and reap the rewards. I want them to know that everything they achieve is all them, not the bike.

    2. I want them to make the bike their own. I want them to find the limitations and quirks of the bike, and give some thought to what they might change to improve things for them, whether that's functional or just styling.

    3. When they grow up and make their own way in the world, and start paying for their own stuff, I want them to know they can have fun on a cheaper bike. They don't need to pay thousands that they can't afford. If they grow up on entry level bikes, and have fun and develop skills on such bikes, then anything they can afford on their first junior salary will be OK, and if they are lucky enough to earn a bit more and afford something better than they're used to, so much the better for them.

    4. I remember the kid in our neighbourhood who had a PK Ripper bmx when I was a kid. He was probably a perfectly likeable kid. We never really found out. Whenever he tried to join in with us we didn't really notice him, we were too busy drooling over his bike.
    So to recap, you want your kids to love riding by asking them endure something dangerous and something you would never do yourself?

    You make a lot of assumptions in your post. And it also depends on what your kid is riding. With a lot of the stuff kids are riding these days, an entry level bike would get them seriously injured.

    We do some BMX and I agree that parents go crazy spending $2000 or more to help their kids gain an edge. (Our kid rides an entry level DK Sprinter.) MTB is nowhere near the same. If you are riding light trails there is no need, but take your kid down some of the stuff a lot of kids are riding on an entry level bike and it won't be about obsessed parents.

    Forks that don't work creating all sorts of issues on gnar and jumps.
    Weight and gearing where they can't reasonably climb with you.
    Geo that limits virtually anything other than basic trails.
    V Brakes that would be seriously dangerous on some steep descents.

    I understand the life lessons thing, but coming on a message board and implying that parents who buy their kids bikes that fit their needs are obsessed is probably painting a broad stroke.

    I am not exactly sure what you are qualifying as an "entry level bike" but they do a great video on youtube where they take a walmart bike down a black diamond. Check it out.

    There are LOADS of life lessons that has really attracted me to encourage my kids towards biking.

    Earn your fun- You gotta climb if you want to descend.
    Get back up after a tough fall.

    Teaching them endure riding a crappy bike that is not nearly adequate for the task at hand seems like an odd lesson. Again, maybe your kid is riding green gravel trails. If so, your post might should have specified. Entry level would more than do that job. We live in an area where an entry bike would be severely limiting and downright dangerous.

    Sincerely,
    Obsessed Parent

  59. #59
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    Agree totally with the above.

    Yeah, not every kid needs a high end bike, but there are a helluva lot of kids out who operate at a level where riding entry level equipment is not just less enjoyable, but downright dangerous. Two of our local young shredders (12 and 13) just shared the first place prize at this weekend's Fox US Open of MTB Whip-Off event at Highland mountain, beating many of the top pro riders on the planet.

    One of those kids a few years back. Ain't happening on a BSO.

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  60. #60
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    I was at Highland for Thursday's slopestyle event practice and competition. Those kids are INSANE! Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the rest of the event (still got 8 park days in though). Highland does races every Friday, and one of the younger kids in my daughters' camp group managed to beat out a counselor. I was totally blown away by how many insanely talented tiny riders were out there. Definitely going back next summer.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by eyeballs View Post
    I was at Highland for Thursday's slopestyle event practice and competition. Those kids are INSANE! Unfortunately I couldn't stay for the rest of the event (still got 8 park days in though). Highland does races every Friday, and one of the younger kids in my daughters' camp group managed to beat out a counselor. I was totally blown away by how many insanely talented tiny riders were out there. Definitely going back next summer.
    Yeah, it's incredible how good some kids are.
    Mine was easily a far better rider than I am before he was 10. Now it's all moto, all the time. You wanna talk about blowing through money...but it boils down to the same thing: I'm not gonna put him out there to test the mechanical, structural and durability limits of a cheap ride. Too much at stake.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slapheadmofo View Post
    Agree totally with the above.

    Yeah, not every kid needs a high end bike, but there are a helluva lot of kids out who operate at a level where riding entry level equipment is not just less enjoyable, but downright dangerous. Two of our local young shredders (12 and 13) just shared the first place prize at this weekend's Fox US Open of MTB Whip-Off event at Highland mountain, beating many of the top pro riders on the planet.

    One of those kids a few years back. Ain't happening on a BSO.

    @antshreds
    It really is crazy. My background is not in 2 wheels. I played collegiate sports and work in the athletics world but I have zero previous experience with mountain biking, BMX etc. I have been surprised by how quickly a kid develops and what they can do when given the right tools. The previous poster talked about drooling over his neighborhood friends bike. My question is, if he was riding it around the neighborhood or going to skate parks, pump tracks etc.

    We aren't spending $450 on cranks for his BMX to shave a half second off his track time but his friends who have bad bikes struggle in so many areas. The standover height , HTA etc alone on some of those bikes affect their confidence more than I ever realized until I saw the difference.

    From my starting point, I remember the sticker shock I got from his first Trek Precaliber. I thought $250 was crazy for a kids bike!

    The best advice I ever got on here was get a BMX bike and take them to skate parks and pump tracks.

  63. #63
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    One thing I love about mtb'ing is that it's a great outlet to get the whole family out together in the woods. Put a kid on a heavy, poorly setup bike and they will get frustrated at the first climb. Whining ensues, and nobody has fun. Give the same kid a lighter bike with a large gear range and good geometry, and all of a sudden the rides can last for hours and everybody has fun spending time together outdoors(assuming xc and not lift park riding).

    I understand not everyone has the option, but I don't see a nice kids bike as something just for them. It's an investment for my entire family.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    We aren't spending $450 on cranks for his BMX to shave a half second off his track time but his friends who have bad bikes struggle in so many areas. The standover height , HTA etc alone on some of those bikes affect their confidence more than I ever realized until I saw the difference.

    From my starting point, I remember the sticker shock I got from his first Trek Precaliber. I thought $250 was crazy for a kids bike!
    Yeah, I've seen a decent bike absolutely transform a kid's riding instantaneously on multiple occasions. The safety thing is very real, too. Your bike trying to kill you hasn't been cool since Kranked 2.

    Two years ago my kid had gotten to the point where a FS seemed justified, so I took $2,000 that I had been saving up for a new bike for me and bought him a Rokkusuta 20. It made a huge difference in his progression and likely saved him from some crashes. He rode it for 2 years and I just sold it for $1600. I'm pretty happy with how the net cost of ownership worked out.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by RMCDan View Post
    Yeah, I've seen a decent bike absolutely transform a kid's riding instantaneously on multiple occasions. The safety thing is very real, too. Your bike trying to kill you hasn't been cool since Kranked 2.

    Two years ago my kid had gotten to the point where a FS seemed justified, so I took $2,000 that I had been saving up for a new bike for me and bought him a Rokkusuta 20. It made a huge difference in his progression and likely saved him from some crashes. He rode it for 2 years and I just sold it for $1600. I'm pretty happy with how the net cost of ownership worked out.
    I do think its funny when dads own a $5000 rig and their kids is on a $50 walmart bike. The justification being the kid grows out of it! Not every kid is RMCDan's kid or lives in Whistler but with my kid I have seen the difference.

    As an aside to the dad who said he wanted the kid to have some ownership in the bike: We built up a DJ a few weeks ago from frame and parts and he definitely sees that bike differently than the other ones because he "made it." It took quite a bit longer to build but it was worth every extra hour.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by svinyard View Post
    I don't know if I'll be able to part with these little bikes either. My tiny guy with his long hair cruising around on that neon Yoji. Makes me wish we'd had more kids lol.
    Same! Wish I had more kids (but wife doesn't agree) and I'm totally keeping and 'displaying' my kids' run bike, 14" Spawn Furi, and 16" Banshee forever in my workshop. I'll sell and the 20" and up bikes.

  67. #67
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    The cost of a good kids bike is marginally higher than the cost of the cheap bike.
    It's like a $200 rental fee really.
    They have killer resale.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    I do think its funny when dads own a $5000 rig and their kids is on a $50 walmart bike.
    That always cracks me up, especially when followed by complaints that their kid doesn't like to ride and isn't any good. Gee, I wonder why. I get asked a lot what the "secret recipe" was that resulted in my kid being as talented as he is--I bought him good bikes and took him riding a lot.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    I do think its funny when dads own a $5000 rig and their kids is on a $50 walmart bike. The justification being the kid grows out of it! Not every kid is RMCDan's kid or lives in Whistler but with my kid I have seen the difference.

    As an aside to the dad who said he wanted the kid to have some ownership in the bike: We built up a DJ a few weeks ago from frame and parts and he definitely sees that bike differently than the other ones because he "made it." It took quite a bit longer to build but it was worth every extra hour.
    If you look at the post history of the dad who commented about putting his kids on cheap bikes, it sounds like he's spent a lifetime riding cheap bikes -- chances are he likely will have fun with his kids doing the limited types of riding he grew up with:
    Quote Originally Posted by anf View Post
    I've been riding bikes for about 40 years, and have always enjoyed riding off road and doing little stunts and things, but never really anything near the level that your average modern mountain biker does.
    ...
    I've also always rode entry level bikes, often quite rubbish at that.
    ...
    My latest bike, bought last year, is entry level like all my bikes have been.
    ...
    The bike is a Rockrider 520.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by TimTucker View Post
    If you look at the post history of the dad who commented about putting his kids on cheap bikes, it sounds like he's spent a lifetime riding cheap bikes -- chances are he likely will have fun with his kids doing the limited types of riding he grew up with:
    Yes good point. I wasn't talking about that poster in particular. My original post was directed at them, that it felt like maybe he was painting a broad stroke implying that buying nice bikes was fueled by obsessive parents. But the point about dads who have nice rides and their kids ride bad bikes was more general observation that we see here a lot! Certainly not directed at him/her.

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