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  1. #1
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    Need Advice on 24 inch bike

    Looking for some wisdom from those who have already tread the path. My eight year old has outgrown his 20 inch bicycle. I was looking to build him up a 24 inch bike with a donor frame but found a used Scott Scale JR that was already converted into a HT with decent components and the price was right. However, due to the frame construction his inseam is too short to safely ride the bike with the RST F1RST fork (standover Ė 64.5 cm, 25.5 in) and by the time he will be tall enough to ride the reach will be relatively short (340 mm, 13.5 in) and heíll likely be able to move on to a larger wheeled bike fairly soon after that.

    Thinking of my options.

    1. Put a rigid fork (A2C in the range of 355 mm, 14 in) on the Scott Scale JR. This will drop the standover to 62 cm (24.5Ē), head angle of 70, reach of 360 mm (14 in). The benefit of this approach is he can start riding it this summer. As a family approach it will probably work out as well as his brother on a 20 inch HT will be able to more closely keep up with him. The disadvantage of this approach is that when the kids are ready to move up in wheel size, this bike will probably still be bit too large for child number 2 if setup as a HT. While keeping the older child on a rigid for another year right now isnít a deal breaker it really wonít be viable to move the younger from a HT to this rigid in two years from now. So long term I will probably need to eventually buy a different 24 inch frame. That would give me 2 years to sort out a compatible used frame or possibly wait for manufacturers to come out with more frame options. In the short term I would also need to source a disk ready 24 inch rigid fork which doesnít appear to be readily available.

    2. Alternatively, start over right now with a new frame preferably with a standover less than 58 cm so that the youngest will be ready for it as well when he is too large for his 20 inch. If this is a path you would take what frame would you recommend? Price range would be around 250 pounds/ 280 EUR / 300 USD.

    3. Get another donor frame with a smaller frame size that the Scott. Upgrade to the Scott when the child is large enough. Any advice on a 24 inch frame that would be more suitable for small riders?

    4. Any other ideas? What would you do?

    The kids are largely interested in XC riding and enjoy doing off road multi-day bikepacking as well and are starting to carry more and more of their gear on these trips. Itís unlikely we will be doing enough technical downhills or shuttle runs to warrant A FS setup


    edit: The seatpost diam on the Scott Jr is 27.0 as well. I would like to run a dropper post as well which means if I stay with the frame I will have to ream it out to 27.2 somehow.

  2. #2
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    I don't have a lot of advice on your questions, but I reamed my son's Scott Spark JR out from 26.8 to 27.2 to run a dropper and it has been working great for over a year. I debated purchasing a reamer but in the end I just paid a local frame builder to do it for me.

  3. #3
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    I remember when we moved from 20" to 24" inch mtb. The first day I thought we had made a mistake. On day 2 he looked comfortable. By day 7 I was worried that we should have gotten a 26" or xs 27.5. I have a shorter than avg 8 year old.

    Depends on what you are riding but a rigid 24" sounds limiting moreso than than the sizing. It is amazing how quickly kids progress if given the opportunity.

    The problem with a 24" air fork is they are so expensive. Vitus seems to be the best value MTB around. After that you are going to spend $1000.

    As a side note, I need to see what you guys are doing who have kids who like XC!!!! hahah. My kid only wants to do jump lines, dirt jumps, pump tracks etc. We tried a bit of a distance the other day and I about left him on the trail.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    As a side note, I need to see what you guys are doing who have kids who like XC!!!! hahah. My kid only wants to do jump lines, dirt jumps, pump tracks etc. We tried a bit of a distance the other day and I about left him on the trail.
    We're definitely not XC'ers, but I've managed to get my kid (now 9, but small for his age, just moved up to 24" about a month ago) up some respectable climbs. Friends help as then no one wants to be the whiner who wussed out, and make sure there's a descent at the end that makes the work worth it.

  5. #5
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    As a side note, I need to see what you guys are doing who have kids who like XC!!!! hahah. My kid only wants to do jump lines, dirt jumps, pump tracks etc. We tried a bit of a distance the other day and I about left him on the trail.
    Itís a constantly changing game ... especially after they discover uplifts.

    Other kids along is always the biggy now heís 9.. less so when he was younger.

    Itís always changing but what worked last time.. was there was a chance to go out on a group ride with the guy who designed his frame (but that was a trigger) ... and after doing this ride he had a DH race next week... I kept telling him how heíd pedal more (there are a couple of sections) and he knocked about 3 secs off a 2 min run and got 2nd in the 12 and Under Cat (which being 9 he was pretty pleased with)

    This is currently providing a bit more motivation... but like everything else Iím sure it will wear thin and Iíll need to find a new motivation..


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by nwa bike dad View Post
    I remember when we moved from 20" to 24" inch mtb. The first day I thought we had made a mistake. On day 2 he looked comfortable. By day 7 I was worried that we should have gotten a 26" or xs 27.5. I have a shorter than avg 8 year old.

    Depends on what you are riding but a rigid 24" sounds limiting moreso than than the sizing. It is amazing how quickly kids progress if given the opportunity.

    I think this is the case when you maybe keep your kid on a 20" for too long? Our kids were on 24" bikes for a solid three years. Going from 20" straight to 27.5"? Yikes.

    We tried our son on a 26" bike at 4'6" and it still was too big, he enjoyed the smaller 24 wheels better. So it sat in the garage for almost another full year. We put our kids on 24's at about 4' tall (49 and 51 inches if memory serves) and put them on 26 at about 4'8" tall.

    I saw kids at the bike park 2 weeks ago 5-6 inches smaller that my kids on 170mm travel xs/small 27.5 enduro bikes that weigh 33 pounds, probably heavier. Seems they work ok for going downhill, but just dismounting off the bike at the bottom was painful to watch and loading their own bike onto the lift rack was impossible requiring lift operator help and slowing down the lift to a crawl.

    You can put your kids in ice hockey skates 2-3 sizes too big with the thought "they will just grow into it soon enough" but performance suffers with equipment sized too big, at least from our experience. Those kids riding 27.5 bikes at the park would develop better skills way faster as riders on 24" bikes that actually fit (IMHO). In no way can you jump, manual or whip when you can't even put your bike onto the lift rack. But hey they have a ton of travel (they will probably never use) at a rider weight of 60 pounds!
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