Kids OFFROAD Bike Weights by Component- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Kids OFFROAD Bike Weights by Component

    There seems to be plenty of threads about specific manufacturers kids bikes, along with lots of why bike a is better (or not) than bike b.

    Of course it all depends what use the kid will be putting the bike to ... but I have yet to see a sub $1000 kids bike that isn't really just a frame and optionally forks/wheels and a lot of components to be ripped off.

    Over $2000 you have some choice and I selected 2 excellent (if expensive) examples as something we can aspire towards or even exceed.

    Trailcraft set a standard with the fully rigid, Titanium Frame and Forks with the 24er weighing in at 19.38lbs (8.72kg).
    Frederlich do the impossible it seems with a Alux frame (but made in Europe not far East) with a rigid bike weighing in at 14.874 lbs or 6.7 kg (without pedals so add 140-160g). (This has V brakes vs disc on the Trailcraft ... so that's really not knocking the amazing stuff Trailcraft have done)

    As I thought frame material is a tiny component on tiny frames...

    The main practical difference is the Trailcraft is as sold unsuitable for riders wanting to move from a 20" as soon as possible (which is understandable with the rigid forks). The Frederlich has 130mm cranks so is suitable for a kid wanting to move off a 20".

    If however you want to move to 24 inch as soon as possible for the suspension forks ... Frederlich sell the cranks seperately so if you are buying a Trailcraft (which makes sense if you are US/Canada and have that kind of money but don't want to pay more in shipping than a average bike) you can ship only the Cranks. You can then run the Frederlich cranks until your kids height is reaching the middle-higher end of the 24er and swap to the Trailcraft 152mm. (Presumably you will be stretching the 24er until they can move directly to a adult size or you are Bill Gates)

    Compared to these your "decent" but sub $1000 bike is either something you live with or a set of components to be replaced. You can choose to rip components off before they ride or when they break but ripping them off you will be if they do any half serious off-road.

    Working out what weighs what a mixed bag. Unless you build from scratch it's a challenge to get all the weights of all the parts as parents we obviously want a rideable bike ASAP.

    Those of us that have made the journey however do get the opportunity to weigh parts and that is what this thread is really about.

    We'd also as parents like to know where to spend money and what savings/performance we get for it. Especially as kids bikes are intrinsically time limited as they grow. So parents looking to buy a bike without resources to buy the Trailcraft or Frederlich can see what's "generic", what's replaceable and decide where to place their hard earned money BEFORE buying.

    The main decisions before buying a 20 seem to be
    a) for those in the US where some federal law means that new bikes must have a dud rear wheel (coaster brake) - or buy used where its already swapped.

    For both 20 and 24 ...

    b) Do you need suspension ... options are available ... for both but simpler/better on the 24.
    c) Cassette or Freewheel ... This also affects weight and prractical;ity of a 1x10 or 1x11
    d) Disc or V brakes (I strongly suspect depends on your local geography not stopping power) - but if yes then look for a frame with mounts as well as wheels with hubs that take discs

    2 perhaps even 3 of those options are mainly about wheels...

    I strongly suspect that all ALUX alloy hardtail frames when stripped weigh about the same for a 20 or 24 ... regardless of if its Scott/Isla/Trailcraft/Trek.

    I'd predict the weight difference (for the same frame/wheel size) is around that of a inner tube and certainly less than a tube + tire/tyre for almost all alloy kids frames!

    In other words you can't really save (significant) weight on a frame regardless of what you spend unless you want to go "exotic".... and on a 20-24 frame that is a marginal weight gain because most of the weight isn't the frame but the rest of the components! (Frederlich Alux frame is 2kg but its made in Europe as opposed to the Far East) (by comparison that's only just over double the weight of a Suntour 152mm crank and also about the same as you can save on components without going exotic OR a bit heavier than a RST Air 24" fork)

    As a starter, and I'll add updates if anyone else does!
    FORK 1690 MFR RST F1rst Air 24" 1690g (manufacturers claimed)
    FORK 660 MFR Trailcraft Titanium
    WHEEL 310 MFR Stans Crest 24" rims 310g (manufacturers claimed)
    WHEEL 191 MFR Novatec 811 - 191g (hub only without skewer)
    WHEEL 298 MFR Novatec 812 - 298g (hub only without skewer)
    WHEEL 1623 MFR Stans Crest 24" rims on Switch Ultra/Ultalite (Superstar)
    WHEEL 1550 WEIGHED crest with novatec D771/D772, DT DB spokes and brass nipples - ~1550g
    WHEEL 1156 MFR Frederlich SL
    WHEEL 1440 MFR Frederlich Standard
    WHEEL 1500 MFR Trailcraft 24" wheels
    WHEEL 82 WEIGHED Titanium Skewers (eBay)
    WHEEL 840 weighed Front wheel (no skewer, but rim strip) - 840g (as supplied on Cannondale Race Z1000 rims Formula Alloy, QR)
    WHEEL 1400 weighed Rear Wheel (and freewheel) - 1400g (yikes)(as supplied on Cannondale Race Z1000 rims Formula Alloy, QR)
    WHEEL 452 weighed Freewheel - 6 speed
    WHEEL 60 weighed Front Skewer - 60g
    WHEEL 20 weighed Front Skewer - Titanium/Alloy (eBay)
    WHEEL 66 weighed Rear Skewer - 60g
    WHEEL 24 weighed Rear Skewer - Titanium/Alloy (eBay)
    WHEEL 320 weighed Stock tubes 160g each
    WHEEL 870 weighed Front Tire was 870 grams (As supplied on Cannondale Race)
    WHEEL 630 weighed Rear Tire (identical to front) was 630 grams (As supplied on Cannondale Race)
    DRIVE 615 MFR Trailcraft 152mm (104 BSD sq taper) cranks 615 grams (manufacturers claimed)
    DRIVE 558 MFR SRAM S600 (104 BSD/sq taper )shortened to 142.5 with Narrow Wide 558g
    DRIVE 985 MFR SunTour 155mm (as supplied on Cannondale Race) was 985g
    DRIVE 340 MFR Square Taper Bottom Bracket Tange 68x122 (as supplied on Cannondale Race) 340g
    DRIVE 336 MFR XT 11-36 Cassette
    CRANK 250 weighed Left Crankarm is 250 grams
    CRANK 700 weighed Right Crankarm with the stock steel rings is 700 grams - Suntour 152mm (riveted)
    CRANK 950 weighed Crankset total - 950 grams - Suntour 152mm Riveted
    CHAIN 312 weighed Chain - 8 speed
    PEDALS 330 weighed Stock Plastic Pedals are 330 grams (as supplied on Cannondale Race
    PEDALS 170 mfr AEST - 170g / pair Titanium Spindle 80mm x 80mm x 17mm (ebay)
    SEATPOST 340 weighed Seatpost - 340 g (as supplied on Cannondale Race 120g of which is the mount to the saddle)
    SADDLE 330 weighed Saddle - 330 g (as supplied on Cannondale Race)
    SADDLE 187 MFR Odyssey Seat Junior
    STEM 230 weighed Stem - 230 g (as supplied on Cannondale Race)
    STEM 203 MFR Husslefelt 40mm
    BAR 230 weighed Handlebar - 230 g (as supplied on Cannondale Race)
    BAR 140 WEIGHED EBAY CARBON PRE-CUT WEIGHT
    HEADSET 61.7 MFR Tange Seiki IS22 Integrated Headset - 1 1/8" (top)
    SHIFTERS 262 weighed Pair Shifters (incl. Grips) - Shimano Revoshift
    MECH 180 weighed Front Mech - Shimano Tourney
    MECH 320 weighed Rear Mech - Shimano Tourney
    BRAKES 410 weighed Front V Brake -
    BRAKES 374 weighed Rear V Brake -
    Last edited by Steve-XtC; 03-23-2016 at 03:56 AM. Reason: Extra Info

  2. #2
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    crest with novatec D771/D772, DT DB spokes and brass nipples - ~1550g

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    I'm sorry for being critical but this thread is totally pointless and while at at it, very poorly organized. Most importantly, not every parent is going to 'rip off' components of a newly purchased bike, yet alone stress over 100 g weight difference. If you're one of them, I commend you for trying to build the greatest bike for your kid and - by all means - do share your findings. But I think trying to make very broad and generalized statements such as the one you make in this thread is really pointless and not really helping anybody.

  4. #4
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    Just pulled a BB from the Cannondale Race : Its a tange 68x122 and comes in at 330g which is a sod... since I'd hoped it would be a cheap/easy replacement for a UN55 but that weights 340g so far as I can tell.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Szy_szka View Post
    I'm sorry for being critical but this thread is totally pointless and while at at it, very poorly organized. Most importantly, not every parent is going to 'rip off' components of a newly purchased bike, yet alone stress over 100 g weight difference. If you're one of them, I commend you for trying to build the greatest bike for your kid and - by all means - do share your findings. But I think trying to make very broad and generalized statements such as the one you make in this thread is really pointless and not really helping anybody.
    Just because not EVERY parent is going to rip off the rubbish that comes fitted is no reason that those that do can't help each other. What is possibly more helpful though is that many those of us that have been through it would do it differently second time! Why pay $100-$200 more for a bike with slightly better components that are still poor... or as someone said on another thread..(to paraphrase). why choose bike A with a 8sp freewheel but spring forks over bike B with rigid forks but a cassette or bike C with Air forks.

    My confident prediction is the alloy frames will all weigh about the same until you go "exotic". Fork choice is limited ... so a better informed parent can choose the right level of bike and customisation before buying the bike.


    It's not like it's actually choice of replacing low end components. Any bike fitted with low spec equipment used seriously offroad will need them ripping off anyway when they break.

    My kids 20 went through 3x rear mechs and 1x shifter (Shimano Tourney) in 6 months whereas I doubt a XT rear mech would have been more than scratched.


    A considerable number of parents HAVE ripped off the entire drive chain, if for no other reason than the one fitted was suitable for a much larger youth and NOT a kid moving to a 24 inch.

    And its hardly about 100g... Where do you get 100g? The cranks alone were 400g lighter .
    Stock pedals vs light ones... are a 160g and that's before looking at wheel weights.

    Overall, Its more like 1500g-2000g.(or more).. depending what you start with, how many spares you have already and wish to spend or you could go straight for the $2000 bike.


    For a nominal 10kg bike saving 15-20% off the weight for a 25-30 kg kid is pretty significant. Compare that to a 100kg (220lb adult) with a bike that is over 1/3rd of their weight... that's equivalent to a 66lb bike for a 200lb adult

  6. #6
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    Just as a note: I calculated the "money no object" savings on the Cannondale Frame with the RST AirFork and adding disc brakes.

    This is quite easily (with money no object) 3000g (+ possible)
    That is from:
    11.58 kg or 25.7 lbs to
    8.61 kg or 19.12 lbs using XT not XTR and not having a load of spare titanium bolts sat about.

    What's amazing is this is LIGHTER than the Titanium Rigid (by a few ounces) but that is with a 1.69 KG Air Fork.

    I deliberately didn't put costs in the weights, it's enough we have lbs and kg... without exchange rates, shipping costs, import duty...not to mention many of those who want a light off-road bike will be parents who own an ADULT one and have a spares box and also use fleabay etc.

    The major reasons for this thread are to share experiences/weights ... enable parents to have this knowledge upfront before buying and plan effectively WHAT and WHEN they change or replace components.

    With some planning I believe it's ultimately cheaper to replace a drive train from day 1 than keep replacing damaged low end components. YMMV

    If you use ebay and/or have your own spare parts the main cost items are cranks and wheels.

    Another reuse option (I'm considering) having ripped everything off and build a "non trail bike" for school/street etc. on ANY half decent frame sold as spares.... as of the present my kid is 6 and I have no immediate plans for him riding on a road but we could ride to school and other non-offroad activities where you don't want a "handbuilt bike" being stolen or wrecked. We currently use his old 20" for this but it also fits in his mothers station wagon wheels on.

  7. #7
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    Here are some measured weights from my builds;

    20" Marin Open Country build. Note: the XTR group is the old 8spd from '92. Also, the columns are;
    Marin = stock component
    MFR = Manufacturer's claim
    Scale = New component (listed on right column)



    24" Scott RC Jr build



    26" XS small frame build;


  8. #8
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    I have a pretty good brain. This thread makes my brain hurt.

    I generally understand what you're trying to do. But, might be best to start over with something much shorter and more coherent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post
    I have a pretty good brain. This thread makes my brain hurt.

    I generally understand what you're trying to do. But, might be best to start over with something much shorter and more coherent.
    I think the takeaway is, kids bikes are heavy. Lots of work has been done in various threads to lighten kids bikes for a multitude of reasons. It's nice having a single thread as quick reference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post
    I have a pretty good brain. This thread makes my brain hurt.

    I generally understand what you're trying to do. But, might be best to start over with something much shorter and more coherent.
    Thank you! I am glad I am not the only one!

  11. #11
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    Not everyone agonizes over details to this extent. I do, and I have found these threads very helpful for the build that I have in progress with my son. Kids don't ride to their potential on a 30 lb bike. It takes this effort to get them on a 20 lb bike, unless you want to spend 2g. My sons will weigh in the low 20s for a few hundred dollars, and is strong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stew325 View Post
    Not everyone agonizes over details to this extent. I do, and I have found these threads very helpful for the build that I have in progress with my son. Kids don't ride to their potential on a 30 lb bike. It takes this effort to get them on a 20 lb bike, unless you want to spend 2g. My sons will weigh in the low 20s for a few hundred dollars, and is strong.
    and half the reason for this thread is people like us....
    the other half is for people who are looking to buy so they can see before they buy and with some planning save a whole load of money and get a very decent bike

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    Quote Originally Posted by ReXTless View Post
    I have a pretty good brain. This thread makes my brain hurt.

    I generally understand what you're trying to do. But, might be best to start over with something much shorter and more coherent.
    I will clean-up as we go along and if people contribute/find it useful

    One idea was using say google docs for a spreadsheet so people can filter etc.

    Despite the bewildering choices that seem to be available there are really a few common components and a few frames made in 2-3 factories in the far east and sprayed different colours. Then there are a few significant differences ... things that you might chose brand A over Brand B....

    I'm hoping that with more data both of these will become clearer!

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    I think the way you are presenting the info so far is more confusing than it needs to be.

    The concept here is really helpful. I'd love to know where the best place to knock some weight off my kids bikes are.

    This is generally a difficult process, compared to working on modern adult bikes, because many of the standard part sizes are not used and are very difficult to find documentation on (axle spacing, BB sizing, etc).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garasaki View Post
    I think the way you are presenting the info so far is more confusing than it needs to be.

    The concept here is really helpful. I'd love to know where the best place to knock some weight off my kids bikes are.

    This is generally a difficult process, compared to working on modern adult bikes, because many of the standard part sizes are not used and are very difficult to find documentation on (axle spacing, BB sizing, etc).
    I have some spreadsheets Stom sent which when I get some time I'll consolidate and try and simplify.

    The confusing part is really
    a) because of the way manufacturers use components, especially on kids bikes.
    b) because some components are all dependent so you need a cassette hub for example to run a cassette and hence a 1x10/11... and that is obviously built into the wheel
    c) The interaction of a and b and the fact we are also looking at $$/lb

    Every bike seems to be a bit of a mixed bag.
    On the Cannondale there are some quick wins... in terms of $$/lb ... will they be they same quick wins on a different kids bikee?

    The problem here is the Cannondale is a very nice frame and the best 24" air forks you can get unless you mod some Reba 26"..... the problem is I can't tell you exactly the weight of the frame as I haven't weighed it but by taking away the weight of individual components it is 600g-700g or so.

    Money no object ($1000+) Handbuilt kids 24" frames seem to be about 600g.... perhaps the trailcraft Titanium a little less.
    So in terms of $$/lb the frame that came with my kids bike is not worth changing!
    Put in context that's less than the weight of an inner tube difference!

    This then brings two questions:

    a) What about all the other decent (adult bike) manufacturers frames... My feeling is they are also in the same ballpark .... so the reality seems to be it doesn't matter which frame you purchase within reason, it is really about the components and what you keep vs what you don't!

    Most specifically I'd say its about
    *crank length because almost no-one sells 24" bikes with appropriate crank lengths for a kid moving from a 20" to 24"
    *disc or rim brake because of the wheels
    *suspension or not...

    b) Is the real head-scratcher... WHY ??? Especially on the inexpensive changes we are not talking huge $$ increase.

    The saddle is one example.... even retail its a 15 item....
    The seatpost was similar, no need to go titanium because 1/2 the weight of the seatpost was in the steel fittings at the top.... the bars were super-heavy ... yes they are alloy but more than double the weight of the alloy bars on my XC (based on feel)

    Drive-trains are another matter ... and one where you can quickly descend into a pit due to dependencies!

    Wheels .. if you can find quality wheels used can be a good investment depending on what you want and what you have on the bike!

    So the point is Cannondale saved $20 (or thereabouts) and added 500-1000g/ 1/2lb -1lb (or more) just on seatpost, saddle, bars and stem and some other relatively cheap items like pedals....

    It is the identification of these that may differentiate what is the best $$/lb for any specific stock bike!

    Unless you strip your kids bike down (or someone creates a list) you don't know which of these your bike manufacturer got cheap on.




    The stem and bars, saddle, seatpost, pedals are a very cheap start.
    I've shied away from prices for the simple reasons that importing stuff can be more expensive than the savings and for some reason specifically between UK (where I am) and US.. Weirdly I can have items shipped from Australia cheaper and how the delivery included from China can make any profit loses me but hey... and also of course we then introduce exchange rates and the fact many of us have a spares bin or can buy used (or in the case of 10 speed even never used if someone bought a bike and fitted 1x11)


    I got a Chinese stem (labelled: Wake) for 5 sourced from the UK (as I didn't want to wait) ... but these can be bought for 3 delivered. The dependency is bars as kids bars tend to be (but not always) narrower and I combined this with some Chinese Carbon bars that cost me 7 delivered ....

    I was dubious at this price .(obviously you don't want your kid impaled on broken bars).. but the stem seems good enough (for a 25kg kid - I wouldn't necessarily use it on a 50kg kid doing big jumps every day) and the carbon bars I ordered a second one for my bike. I had thought (at the price) to deliberately try and break the bars... but just trying to flex them and cutting them shorter I'm convinced they are really strong enough...

    Saddle I got for 15 .... but this is a BMX race saddle and really small ... it worked out for us because Ollie is still 6.... but its half the weight of the 330g monster that came with the bike and has kevlar sides and hollow rails...

    If you can get one (they seem to be end of line) Oddessy Junior but someone tried to import to US and it was a stupid amount in P&P....
    Odyssey Seat Junior : Custom Riders - CRMO

    Seatpost I got a used Ti one off ebay.... 20... I specifically didn't get carbon as I can see him over tightening it... exotic seatposts can be a good bargain used because people cut them and then the resale drops but for a kids bike you hardly want a full length anyway!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve-XtC View Post
    Unless you strip your kids bike down (or someone creates a list) you don't know which of these your bike manufacturer got cheap on.
    I think that's where I am with my project. I have a Gary Fisher Precaliber, and doing the magnet test revealed that the stem, handlebar, cranks, and seat all appear to be aluminum, making me wonder how much weight I could really save in those areas.

    Guess the best way is just weigh em and see!

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    Unless someone posts the results

    Frankly I was shocked at the stem and bars... (and seatpost and saddle) but when I got the second carbon bar and took the factory fitted alloy ones of mine (Giant Contact) I was astounded how much heavier the shorter alloy ones were on the kids bike!

    I hadn't thought they were lightweight but they are super heavy (230g)...

    The bit that semi baffles me is why design and manufacture a frame that is within 50g of a $1000 frame.with nice touches like V brake and Disc brake mounts... add wheels within 100g of $300 wheels and then cut corners on the cheaper items!

    I understand them not sticking a XTR groupset....but not the saddle,seatpost etc.
    The front tyre alone (870g) weighs more than the wheel (840g with tape)!
    If it was some high performance tyre I'd perhaps understand but its really really por are barely fit for footpaths, let alone off-road .. yet it comes with a RST F1rst Air Fork .. which is as good as 24" forks get!

    When I say semi-baffled it's because I work for a big multinational and I know somewhere in Cannondale is a bike designer crying at what the beancounters did to the bike they designed!

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    when kids are done with their bike

    Quote Originally Posted by stom_m3 View Post
    Here are some measured weights from my builds;

    20" Marin Open Country build. Note: the XTR group is the old 8spd from '92. Also, the columns are;
    Marin = stock component
    MFR = Manufacturer's claim
    Scale = New component (listed on right column)



    24" Scott RC Jr build



    26" XS small frame build;

    Just curious, I assume you guys sell the bikes when you are done? How much can you sell it for vs how much you spent on upgrades? Is it difficult to get your money back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4mikealike View Post
    Just curious, I assume you guys sell the bikes when you are done? How much can you sell it for vs how much you spent on upgrades? Is it difficult to get your money back?
    Funny you ask. I just sold both my 20" Marin and 24" Scott Scale RC build. I sold the Marin for $100 and the Scott for $200. Usually I give my bikes away to friends as usually the amount of effort vs. money rec'd isn't worth it to me. This time I sold it to a neighbor who has young kids. Gave him what I thought was a good price on something he would never be able to match on a new bike. He scooped them right up no questions asked.

  20. #20
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    And now that I think about it more, 4 months ago I just gave away my 2011 Epic Expert to a friend in CO on the condition that they cover shipping. And I gave my other neighbor my little Specialized Hot Rock for her 3 year old. I guess sometimes I would rather see them go to a good home with an appreciation for the gift.

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