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  1. #1
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    Shock or rigid front fork for kids 24" mtb

    I've been trainging my kids up the last couple of years for some mountain biking. We started them on easy trials with 16" tires and moved up to 20" as soon as we could. It made a huge difference. Now I'd like to move them both (6 & 8 yrs old) up to 24" bike tire. We've been taking them on some pretty difficult trails so its not just riding around the block. They do great on their little 20" bmx bikes, but I know the bigger 24" tire would really roll nicer.

    My question is, how much do the front shocks weigh on a kids bike and is it worth the extra weight. I've weighed a couple bikes at local bike shops and was appalled that a kids 24" bike weights 30lbs when my 29er comes in at 27lbs. Thats a lot of weight for a 40lb kid to move around. The most trouble they have on the trails currently is getting to the top of the hill. So thats why I question the shock. It seems they add a good 2lbs from what I recall.

    I'd really like to keep the bike as light as possible, I want riding to be fun. Not a chore to drag the bike up the hill. So I've been looking at bikes with rigid forks and 1x gear setups to keep things simple.

    Also, I noticed when I recently switched my bike from full rigid to front suspension, it was a lot more difficult to do wheelies and things. Would it be easier for kids to learn some of the basic skills with a rigid front fork?

    So what do you guys say. Rigid or shocks for kids leaning mtb skills?

  2. #2
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    Your average 24" kids suspension fork is very heavy (>2kg) and performs badly. There are a few air sprung options in 24" but if you use/build a 24" disc front wheel then I'd recommend using an older SID. I've used a 1999 SID SL and a 2007 SID Race with my kids' 24" bikes and the axle-to-crown measurements on the older SIDs in 63mm or 80mm mode are very close to what the 24" 60mm forks are, so the geometry/handling is not adversely affected.

    As to whether your kids need suspension or not, I only added suspension forks to my kids' bikes when they started complaining of hand cramps. The forks helped alot to make riding where we ride a bit more comfortable.

  3. #3
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    I'll 2nd running an older Sid 26" fork on a 24" bike. We ride mostly technical terrain with alot of wet roots, so front suspension makes a big difference, especially having an air fork like the older Sid's with external rebound damping adjuster. There are finally 24" air forks available, but they are heavy compared to something like a Sid Race carbon that my son runs at 1270 grams.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Shock or rigid front fork for kids 24" mtb-img_0328.jpg  


  4. #4
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    Thanks for the replies. It sounds like my first impressions are correct. Kids shocks are heavy and perform poorly. From what I have read so far, I think I would prefer to get an aluminum framed bike with an aluminum fork and purchase a better shock later if needed.

    I saw some good articles on that faqload.com page I'll have to read. Do most 26" forks work with a 24" bike? It seems like it could be hard to find those 2 specific old shocks. It also seems like it would be harder to spend $200 for a shock to put on a $300 bike. But I might be able to find some other 26" shocks too. I'll be having to build 2 bikes and I'd like to keep both light and both similar. So they may just use the aluminum fork until the grow into a small frame 26" bike.

  5. #5
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    If you're running disc wheels, then almost any fork will work but you will want to keep the axle-to-crown distance similar to what the frame was designed for (otherwise, you could adversely affect the handling). For v-brake wheels, you will need a fork with v-brake bosses and a home made adapter to drop the brake mounts so they line up with the smaller 24" rim braking track. There are many of the older SIDs getting around as they made that type from 1998 to 2007. Some have better/more tunable dampers, but they are almost all light weight and user serviceable with readily available spare parts.

  6. #6
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    If you want to stay with (lighter) V-brakes, it is possible to shorten some older 26" forks to work with 24" wheels. Less expensive and lighter weight than any 24" OEM fork;
    http://forums.mtbr.com/families-ridi...ng-932945.html

  7. #7
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    I've been at the same dilemma a couple of years ago and decided to get an air fork (24" RST First Air). However, very soon I recognized that for my son any front suspension just doesn't worth the added weight penalty. Certainly all kids are different and so on, but for him personally a rigid carbon fork is way better. He has had strong cycling background in BMX and liked pedaling out of the saddle at that time, BTW. Since your kids do great on bmx either, I wouldn't exclude they might like a rigid fork better too.
    One tipp: a short 26" rigid fork + 26" wheel gives the same front end height (geometry) as a suspension 24" fork + 24" wheel. Our setup now is: PZ Racing A1FK fork (387 mm axle-to-crown, available on chainreactioncycles) and 26" Mavic 717 with Schwalbe NobbyNic, frame "Superior" for 24" wheels.

  8. #8
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    I wouldn't say my kids are good at BMX. They can't even pull the front wheel off the ground. Thats just the style of bike they are riding. But I do see your point that a rigid fork will give a lower standover height.

    From everything I have seen here I am more confident than ever that a rigid fork will be the best solution. Now I just need to find the bike.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    I wouldn't say my kids are good at BMX. They can't even pull the front wheel off the ground. Thats just the style of bike they are riding. But I do see your point that a rigid fork will give a lower standover height.

    From everything I have seen here I am more confident than ever that a rigid fork will be the best solution. Now I just need to find the bike.
    Only you can decide, my son love having an air fork on his, but he is jumping and landing to flat etc.. Not huge jumps, but it does take the edge off. Also we're on the east coast, so lots of roots, rocks, an air fork helps settle out all that trail chatter for him.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoTone View Post
    Only you can decide, my son love having an air fork on his, but he is jumping and landing to flat etc.. Not huge jumps, but it does take the edge off. Also we're on the east coast, so lots of roots, rocks, an air fork helps settle out all that trail chatter for him.
    Oh yeah, if I could find one with a nice air fork I would be interested. Or maybe adding an old SID or something later as we discussed.

    I meant I prefer a fixed aluminum fork to the cheap Suntours you see on everything. Around here all you see are the cheap and heavy susp forks. I would be interested in something with the RST First Air. Or changing out to an old SID later. Correct me if I am wrong, but from my understanding, it seems that no suspension is better than those cheap and heavy forks.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    Oh yeah, if I could find one with a nice air fork I would be interested. Or maybe adding an old SID or something later as we discussed.

    I meant I prefer a fixed aluminum fork to the cheap Suntours you see on everything. Around here all you see are the cheap and heavy susp forks. I would be interested in something with the RST First Air. Or changing out to an old SID later. Correct me if I am wrong, but from my understanding, it seems that no suspension is better than those cheap and heavy forks.
    The Cannondale Race 24 is a decent option, you get an Air fork on a $500 bike. Considering the air forks are around $200.
    It's what I picked up for my daughter. I went with a Marin Bayview for my son and upgraded to an air fork.

    Different children with different skill levels and needs.
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  12. #12
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    Kids don't need suspension at that age. The longer they ride without suspension, the better off their handling skills will be. They learn so much more riding rigid, and with the few options available for lightweight 24" forks, rigid is the only way to go. You won't be sorry if you go with rigid, lighter bike, better skills, and what kid can even compress a fork to make it of any value?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooperdrummond View Post
    Kids don't need suspension at that age. The longer they ride without suspension, the better off their handling skills will be. They learn so much more riding rigid, and with the few options available for lightweight 24" forks, rigid is the only way to go. You won't be sorry if you go with rigid, lighter bike, better skills, and what kid can even compress a fork to make it of any value?
    I would argue the RST First 24 is a great air fork, 1600 grams and offer enough bump compliance make a rough ride more enjoyable for a kid. Though selfishly I want my kids to ride rigid and learn the skills of picking good lines like we did in the 80's, I also want them to have a good time.

    Curious, who offers a rigid 380-400mm A-C rigid fork?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    I would argue the RST First 24 is a great air fork, 1600 grams and offer enough bump compliance make a rough ride more enjoyable for a kid. Though selfishly I want my kids to ride rigid and learn the skills of picking good lines like we did in the 80's, I also want them to have a good time.

    Curious, who offers a rigid 380-400mm A-C rigid fork?
    I bought a custom Ti fork from Taiwan, it weighs 500 grams for a 24" bike. You can buy carbon rigid forks on ebay for 24" wheels that weigh about 800 grams. Skills learned are the best part of rigid forks!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooperdrummond View Post
    Kids don't need suspension at that age. The longer they ride without suspension, the better off their handling skills will be. They learn so much more riding rigid, and with the few options available for lightweight 24" forks, rigid is the only way to go. You won't be sorry if you go with rigid, lighter bike, better skills, and what kid can even compress a fork to make it of any value?
    My son and daughter compresses theirs constantly. There is a big difference between the junk that comes stock and an air fork.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    Curious, who offers a rigid 380-400mm A-C rigid fork?
    PZ Racing A1FK Forks 2014 | Chain Reaction Cycles

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    Thanks for input guys. Its encouraging to see that others also think that kids will learn better habits by starting with rigid forks. It just seems to me they will learn how to read the trail better if they start rigid, rather than relying on the fork to absorb the shock. I have seen some argue that starting with a front shock will teach them to pick lines better for racing since they don't need to worry about the trail, but I would rather them learn to read the trail. They can learn about racing lines later if they follow that path. being able to read the trail and know who it affects the bike seems like a bigger advantage to me. I'm glad to hear others confrim that. I was starting to look at bikes with those cheap shocks.

    I did pick up a used Raleigh Mtn Scout with a rigid fork. Its fairly light at 25lbs, but I'm not happy with the cranks and other components. So I question if this is the right bike to build or not.

    Its a shame there are not more manufacturers putting rigid forks on kids 24's. I guess shocks sell to kids. I did find Specialized makes a 'Street' version of their Hotrock 24 with a rigid fork. But going that route I have to change out the tires and its only $10 cheaper than the suspension version. I can't beleive the rigid fork is only $10 less than the spring shock.

  18. #18
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    Good close example of what is needed is this aluminum redline 24" BMX fork;

    BMX PARTS - Forks - Aluminum Forks - REDLINE R6 Aluminum Expert Fork | 24" - J&R BMX Superstore BMX Bikes, Parts and Gear- Custom Bikes and Wheels

    515gr and cost just $90. Compare that to the faux carbon MTB forks that some people use that weigh even more and cost much more.

    Only dealbreaker for this BMX fork is that frustratingly it is not available with break bosses or disk mount. Redline should really sell a a version of this fork with provision for brakes!

  19. #19
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    I found that between the 16, 20 and 24 inch bikes, the 24s were the worst to find parts for. There just were no forks in the 24 inch category that did not weigh less than a boat anchor. I build a spesh hotrock 24 with a manitou skareb that I bought used for $100, and that actually works. He's been using the bike for two years on local trails and even at a few kids races and mountain descents and loves it.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/families-ridi...ts-854480.html

  20. #20
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    At 515 grams that aluminum fork is 2.5lbs lighter than the lightest air shock I have seen for a 24" bike (F1rts Air - 1600g). It makes me wonder how much the aluminum fork on my kids new (to him) Raleigh Mtn Scout weighs. Even if its poorly designed and twice that weight I am still 1.5lbs lighter than the best airfork you can buy for a 24" bike. However, I doubt it is that heavy. His bike weighs in at 25lbs from the factory. I'm starting to feel better about having paid $105 for this bike. Its pretty rough but it turns out the frame and fork might be worth it as a starting point.

    I wonder if you called your local Raleigh dealer if you could purchase a new aluminum fork from their parts dept. The 2015 Mtn Scout has gone to a cheap shock but the new Cadent has a very similar design with aluminum fork. Also, Specialized makes a street version of their HotRock that has an aluminum fork. I wonder if this fork would be available to purchase separately and how much this fork would cost.

    Has anyone done a build with the street versions of these bikes? I think its mostly a change of tires and the rigid shock that are different.

    I'd love to get the street hotrock for my kids, but at $100 more than the Raleigh I'm not sure its worth it for the Specialzed name. Geometry is a bit different but I'm not sure how much difference that will make for a kid.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    ...
    Its a shame there are not more manufacturers putting rigid forks on kids 24's. I guess shocks sell to kids. I did find Specialized makes a 'Street' version of their Hotrock 24 with a rigid fork. But going that route I have to change out the tires and its only $10 cheaper than the suspension version. I can't beleive the rigid fork is only $10 less than the spring shock.
    I totally agree.
    Seeing some of the pics and videos people post of their 5 year old kids tearing up the trail I can understand that for a few kids front (and maybe even full) suspension might be a good idea, but to the vast majority of kids, rigid will be just fine.
    It probably comes down to what you are riding and what you plan to ride. I recently rode a no-sus Nicolai on some local trails and I think my kid won't be doing anything more rad. Yeah, little hands and little arms get maybe tired sooner, but how much / how long do you really ride?
    IMHO, Nobody needs a supension fork for riding on gravel trails...
    For some perspective, see also: The Hippie Daredevils Who Were Just Crazy Enough to Invent Mountain Biking | Collectors Weekly

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrayJay View Post
    Good close example of what is needed is this aluminum redline 24" BMX fork;

    BMX PARTS - Forks - Aluminum Forks - REDLINE R6 Aluminum Expert Fork | 24" - J&R BMX Superstore BMX Bikes, Parts and Gear- Custom Bikes and Wheels

    515gr and cost just $90. Compare that to the faux carbon MTB forks that some people use that weigh even more and cost much more.

    Only dealbreaker for this BMX fork is that frustratingly it is not available with break bosses or disk mount. Redline should really sell a a version of this fork with provision for brakes!
    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but racing BMX forks in 24" ("cruiser" size) are very special and they are hardly suitable for 24" MTB. First, in "expert" size 24" BMX use 24x1 3/8 tires as a standard, which means 520 mm rims (not normal 507 mm as all 24" MTBs). Thus, even if there were such thing as "BMX fork with V-brake studs" the studs would be 6.5 mm too high. Second and the most important, these forks are _rather_ short at about 367 mm axle-to-crown and rather narrow (since the nominal tire width is only 1+3/8" for "expert" size.
    P.S. Corrected the post

  23. #23
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    I just found this bike that I had overlooked before on Islasbikes webpage.
    Islabikes Beinn 24 lightweight bike for kids aged 7+

    Its a kids 24" mountain bike with a rigid fork that weights 19lbs for $500. No question its still a lot of money. But its only 19lbs. It also appears to have a real cassette in the rear and not a freewheel design.

    So for rough comparisons this is what I see:

    Raleigh Cadent : Ridid fork, 1x7 freewheel, 25lbs+/- $320+/-
    Spec Rockhoper: Spring fork 3x7 freewheel, 30lbs+/- $410 +/-
    Cannondale Race24: Airfork 3x7 freewheel, ??lbs +/- $550 +/-
    Isla Beinn: Rigid fork 1x8, cassette 19lbs+/- $500+/-

    It seems to me that kids might have more fun on a rigid bike that is 10bs lighter than a typical shocked bike.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but a cassette is better than freewheel right? Its my understanding that cassettes could be changed for different gearing but freewheel gears can not be changed.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    So for rough comparisons this is what I see:

    Raleigh Cadent : Ridid fork, 1x7 freewheel, 25lbs+/- $320+/-
    Spec Rockhoper: Spring fork 3x7 freewheel, 30lbs+/- $410 +/-
    Cannondale Race24: Airfork 3x7 freewheel, ??lbs +/- $550 +/-
    Isla Beinn: Rigid fork 1x8, cassette 19lbs+/- $500+/-

    It seems to me that kids might have more fun on a rigid bike that is 10bs lighter than a typical shocked bike.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but a cassette is better than freewheel right? Its my understanding that cassettes could be changed for different gearing but freewheel gears can not be changed.
    You might also like Orbea MX Team: MX 24 TEAM ? Orbea A previous year model was somewhat better with Deore Shadow 10sp.
    Yes, cassette is much better. You can change a freewheel anytime but it would always be limited gear range with 14t minimal cog (a typical cassette may start with 11t).

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceBiker1972 View Post
    I'm sorry to disappoint you, but racing BMX forks in 24" ("cruiser" size) are very special and they are hardly suitable for 24" MTB. First, in "expert" size 24" BMX use 24x1 3/8 tires as a standard, which means 520 mm rims (not normal 507 mm as all 24" MTBs). Thus, even if there were such thing as "BMX fork with V-brake studs" the studs would be 6.5 mm too high. Second and the most important, these forks are _rather_ short at about 367 mm axle-to-crown and rather narrow (since the nominal tire width is only 1+3/8" for "expert" size.
    P.S. Corrected the post
    I was not necessarily suggesting using this exact fork, just that it is a relevant example of what could be available for 24" MTB if some chinese factory would just get a minimum size order.

    If you want to go all out on a lightweight 24" rigid fork, start with a 440gr ritchy WCS carbon leg, carbon steertube 700c cyclocross cantilever fork, these will fit up to 45mm wide tires OK. Cut 2" off the bottom of the fork ends and epoxy new dropouts into the stubs of the fork legs at correct distance for a 407mm rim!

    Ritchey WCS Cross Fork Straight Blade 1-1/8"
    Last edited by GrayJay; 10-24-2014 at 01:59 AM.

  26. #26
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    I would not suggest throwing money into 24's. The 8yo is not far off from a small 26 unless below average height, and they don't stay there long. Growth spurts push them up through the bikes quickly 9-14yo. My oldest lasted eight months on his med frame, grew from barely big enough to "Holy smokes your knees ARE hitting the bar!", over a foot. I wouldn't suggest a 24 for the 8yo. except maybe as an interim bike to be passed to the younger one within a year. Maybe a period for learning the gears before the heavier 26 is brought into play. I was considering this route, but my oldest was as comfortable the 26 as he was on the 24 when we moved him off his tank.

    Suspension is not required. They don't have as much weight, don't take a beating like we do. They can run a lot less pressure in the tires than we do, and enjoy not having a heavy front end. Can even throw some extra tire if desired. Mine rode black D on a Trek 980 with oem tires and never asked about suspension until they were growing out of that small frame and their weight was starting to impact the endurance of their hands. They both called the 4300 they moved up to a "cush" bike, and I think they have an appreciation for the front strut having ridden without one first.

    Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    I would not suggest throwing money into 24's. The 8yo is not far off from a small 26 ...Growth spurts push them up through the bikes quickly 9-14yo.
    Good luck!
    Thanks for the thoughts. I do have that concern. On the other hand, I figured this bike will be the one they really learn to ride the trails on. So I wanted it to be a nice setup. I was really excited when I picked up a Raleigh Scout because it has a nice aluminum fork. But then I realized the cranks are an insanely long 165mm. I could put shorter cranks on it. But then the BB is really too high for a short crank. So I will have to raise the seat too much.

    The other headache is that my youngest is only 2" shorter than the oldest and appears to be a stronger rider. So I expect they will both be ready for 24" and 26" about the same time. So it means building 2 bikes at once.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamingtaco View Post
    I would not suggest throwing money into 24's. The 8yo is not far off from a small 26 unless below average height, and they don't stay there long. Growth spurts push them up through the bikes quickly 9-14yo. My oldest lasted eight months on his med frame, grew from barely big enough to "Holy smokes your knees ARE hitting the bar!", over a foot. I wouldn't suggest a 24 for the 8yo. except maybe as an interim bike to be passed to the younger one within a year. Maybe a period for learning the gears before the heavier 26 is brought into play. I was considering this route, but my oldest was as comfortable the 26 as he was on the 24 when we moved him off his tank.


    I understand some kids are tall for their age, but putting a kid on a bike that is 3-4 sizes too big is honestly not a good idea. Would you want to ride an XL if your proper size is a Medium? My son at 51" can ride my 13" 26er just fine, but he can't ride it if you know what I mean like his 24". Aside from top tube clearance issues, the tires are too tall and wheelbase too long to really ride the bike.

    Also, 26" bikes also have a full 3" longer wheelbase than a 24" wheel bike. That's huge.

    No way would I want my son on a bike where he racks his nuts. Not to mention a bike that risks his safety.

    I guess my point to parents is let the kid really choose what he/she feels is the best fit. Do not not force them into a bike that is going to really suck for them and hinder their ability of developing good riding skills because their bike is way too big until they grow into it in 2-3 years just to try to save some money, yet a terrible ride experience for years potentially.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSJ1973 View Post
    I understand some kids are tall for their age, but putting a kid on a bike that is 3-4 sizes too big is honestly not a good idea. Would you want to ride an XL if your proper size is a Medium? My son at 51" can ride my 13" 26er just fine, but he can't ride it if you know what I mean like his 24". Aside from top tube clearance issues, the tires are too tall and wheelbase too long to really ride the bike.

    Also, 26" bikes also have a full 3" longer wheelbase than a 24" wheel bike. That's huge.

    No way would I want my son on a bike where he racks his nuts. Not to mention a bike that risks his safety.

    I guess my point to parents is let the kid really choose what he/she feels is the best fit. Do not not force them into a bike that is going to really suck for them and hinder their ability of developing good riding skills because their bike is way too big until they grow into it in 2-3 years just to try to save some money, yet a terrible ride experience for years potentially.
    That's the biggest issue I have with these types threads. Just saying a kid can ride an XS26 isn't enough, define ride.

    My son can get on and ride my wife's XS Trek WSD 90 on the road, he can't handle it in the air off jumps or as well on actual technical trails.

    He will be on a 24 until it doesn't fit. I've said many times before-before I bought my daughter a 24 inch bike, he used to swap with her and you could see the difference in her riding the bike that was a little too big and in him trying bunny hops, wheelies etc.. on a smaller bike( easier for him)
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    You guys make valid points about putting kids on bikes too big. I might be rushing a little bit to get my kids on a 24" bike because I think the bigger wheels will really be a benefit them on the trails. Then again, the first thing my oldest did with his new 24" bike was to setup a ramp outside. So I think he feels comfortable with the size.

    I really hope to keep both kids on the 24" as long as possible. I think as they grow the 24" will be a durable platform for them to practice jumping and bunny hops and things. I think moving to a 26" will be a marginal improvment vs going from 20-24. So I won't rush into a 26. Who knows, maybe they will go from 24 to 29er.

    I guess its becaues I want to keep my kids on the 24 as long as possible that I am hoping to build a good rigid fork 24" for both kids. Let them really get a good grasp on how to read trails and handle things before putting a suspension under them. Looking at whats available on the market though, I must be a minority because everything has these super heavey garbage forks on them. With the limited amount of 24" parts available its frustrating that decent rigid bikes are so hard to find.

    In my mind, the 24" bike is probably one of the most important bikes the kids will have. Its really the first mountain bike geometry they will ride. What they learn on this bike will be carried with them the rest of their mtb riding. Am I putting to much on this?

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    i was recently in the market for 24" mtb for my twin 8yr olds who are eager to get around more difficult terrain in the austin area. looked at the islabikes 24 and 26 and the orbea mx team for a rigid lightweight bike but then the giant xtc sl jr popped up on my radar. i had been thinking that they dont need suspension, what they need is a light bike. when i saw the specs on the giant i reconsidered.

    hydraulic brakes, decent parts, air fork, good frame. stock weight is 27lb. while i was concerned about the weight diff (about 5 lbs) between this and the rigid bikes i was looking at, i realized that given their desire to take bigger drops and our rocky terrain a workable air fork is probably best. they bike mechanic set the forks with 60 lbs of pressure and its working beautifully for them.

    i had gotten some advice to set up the bikes as a 1x instead of 3x to save weight and simplify the gearing but i decided to let them ride the bikes as is with the 3x front.

    so far they are making climbs with ease that they hadnt been able to do and the stopping power of the bikes are a revelation for them. anywho, thought i would chime in with some insight. certainly the right air fork is helpful for kids on difficult terrain and the weight penalty isnt a big deal in terms of climbing.

    heres a link to the giant

    XTC SL Jr 24 (2015) | Giant Bicycles | United States

  32. #32
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    My concern with the Giant is the long chainstays... 411 mm is loooong.
    Reading through this thread, i'm late to chime in, but I bought my boy a rigid 20inch bike and all he does is ride his friends bikes that do have a fork. He even has a sweet 18inch DJ/BMX bike that he'd rather ride his friends Mtn bike with a suspension fork when we are at Valmont Bike Park.
    I grew up riding rigid, but i'm not nostalgic for being a better rider for it. I think thats BS. I still have a rigid SS and i'm over it. Its way more fun to rip and roll every rock on the trail then go around them!

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    The chainstays may be long but that may help with climbs and stability. Not sure how it all works but it's also possibly the reason there is so much rear tire clearance. Looks like a 2.3 would fit. I still need to take that measurement.

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    Sorry for reviving this old thread but I was wondering if this fork is a good one for a scott spark 24 Rockshox SID TEAM suspension fork vintage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fargo1 View Post
    I just found this bike that I had overlooked before on Islasbikes webpage.
    Islabikes Beinn 24 lightweight bike for kids aged 7+

    Its a kids 24" mountain bike with a rigid fork that weights 19lbs for $500. No question its still a lot of money. But its only 19lbs. It also appears to have a real cassette in the rear and not a freewheel design.

    So for rough comparisons this is what I see:

    Raleigh Cadent : Ridid fork, 1x7 freewheel, 25lbs+/- $320+/-
    Spec Rockhoper: Spring fork 3x7 freewheel, 30lbs+/- $410 +/-
    Cannondale Race24: Airfork 3x7 freewheel, ??lbs +/- $550 +/-
    Isla Beinn: Rigid fork 1x8, cassette 19lbs+/- $500+/-

    It seems to me that kids might have more fun on a rigid bike that is 10bs lighter than a typical shocked bike.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong, but a cassette is better than freewheel right? Its my understanding that cassettes could be changed for different gearing but freewheel gears can not be changed.
    Yes, cassette is nicer. Since these bikes are 1x, having as wide a range on the back as possible is a good thing. Cassettes are also lighter, especially in the mid range and up.
    And, if you want to bump up to and even wider gear range, you can put on a 9, 10 or 11 speed drivetrain without swapping the rear wheel.

    The Islabike is really nice. Besides the weight, the equally big thing is the fit. Their cranks are MUCH shorter and narrower stance width than most others, even high priced options.

    The fork is also a skinny steel fork, rather than the big bladed forks found on some others, so should give some more compliance over bumps.

    I will say, the front fork won't fit giant tires, but 2.1 Schwalbe Rocket Ron fits just fine.

  36. #36
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    This looks like an interesting solution for my problem. What do I need to know if any of these 26" suspension forks will fit my son's Diamondback Octane 24 featuring v-brakes and a seized Omni RST 181 CL. At the moment, I am considering the RST F1RST air 24 from Germany.

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    26" forks will work, and a SID set at 63mm will have a similar axle to crown length as your current fork, so the geometry will not change much. For v-brakes, you will need to make up some sort of adapter to drop the brake mounts down. XC71 did this on his kid's bike - http://forums.mtbr.com/families-ridi...ds-697418.html

  38. #38
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    TigWorld - Thanks for the reference. I printed out the XC71 thread to read later. I think a few SIDs are currently on ebay. However, I need to narrow the list of useful SIDs. How can I accomplish this type of review exercise? Your terminology indicates I can alter the SID suspension travel if other than 63 mm. Is this correct?
    Last edited by RVC; 04-30-2015 at 06:05 PM. Reason: meaningful content

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    Yes. All SIDs have an air spring that can be travel reduced (lowered) with what Rockshox calls All-Travel Spacers. Here's the procedure for the newer 32mm stanchion SIDs but its the same for older SIDs. Note: for the sake of completeness, the really new solo air SIDs need a different air spring rod to change travel.

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    My twins were previously on 20" bikes with a rigid fork, and on longer trail rides would tell me after that their forearms were tired or "buzzing". This year I've switched them to 24" wheel bikes with older Rock Shox Indy SL's modified to 24". They can ride more challenging terrain, and they have volunteered that they no longer have that problem, and they feel more in control. My 2 cents.

  41. #41
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    Can this 26" fork interchange also be performed using the Reba? If yes, what is the weight of them?

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    Yes. Reba can be travel reduced using all-travel spacers just like SID. Reba will be around 200g+ heavier and Reba chassis will have a longer A-C for the same travel compared to 28mm SIDs. The 28mm stanchion SIDs are around 1200-1300g. The Reba's from that time are between 1500-1600g.

  43. #43
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    The other issue is I have not seen a Reba with the cable brake posts like the DIS features so, a Reba would also be coupled with a conversion to disc brakes which I have read are heavier than those on my son's Octane 24. Otherwise the Reba is similar in weight to the F1RST air 24. I have to prefer the ability to service and adjust the Rockshox forks. It gives some of the power held by manufacturers back to the owner.

    The Diamondback website indicates the 2015 Octane 24 features a 1-1/8" threaded headset. I have not disassembled my son's yet to know if his older Octane 24 is the same. If it is presumably, it is no issue to cut the steering tube and thread it as required. What is the best way to deal with an issue like this? Most SIDs I have seen are 1-1/8" threadless or tapered. I guess it goes along with lighter weight stem and handlebar so, the need to cut threads may vanish.

  44. #44
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    Any references regarding use of the older Manitou R7, Skareb, Black or some of their newer forks? These retail for far less than the SIDs so, I have to take these into greater consideration then I previously have.

    Additionally, what options do I have for a lightweight disc conversion? I have found a few NOS lightweight air suspension fork that are for disc only, yet they cost ~1/6 of a new SID...arrrgggh!

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    Manitou R7 are a good option. Some had v-brake bosses too. To go disk, the cheapest would be to get a disc hub laced into your wheel and Avid BB7 mechanical disk caliper (so you can use your existing levers etc.).

  46. #46
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    TigWorld, you are a gold mine of knowledge. What I do not see with the R7 (or others...) is the 63 mm suspension travel setting you mentioned for the SID. I think just 80 mm & 100 mm. If correct, this suggests fabrication or purchasing custom rebuild hardware. How is this distinction handled?

    Yes, R7 and a few others are the equivalent in weight of the SID. However, what about the end result? The durability, design of the suspension and its dynamic behavior are the most important factors. I am already turned off by the F!RST air 24 in view of the market approach RockShox & Manitou have regarding their products (hopefully both retain this philosophy).

    I also just located this reference:

    http://forums.mtbr.com/all-mountain/...ad-845123.html

    claiming/stating me Manitou are not travel adjustable???

    If I cut the steer tube to fit the Octane 24 does this require new uppers to transfer the fork to a 26 when he is ready? Are these major components readily available even from RockShox for these older SIDs? Manitou were open in that the 2004 & 2005 forks I have located are no longer supported but, they referred me to Quality Bicycle Products and looked up a $75 rebuild kit for the R7 while I was on the phone with them. Nice!
    Last edited by RVC; 05-05-2015 at 07:23 PM. Reason: Additional mtbr reference

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    I am not familiar with the R7 internals. The only Manitou I own is a Nixon, but the general principle with these types of air forks (SID, R7, Fox Float etc) is that you can shorten their travel by placing a spacer underneath the air spring piston. You will need to look at an R7 parts diagram to see if they can be shortened. Otherwise, for lighter riders, running less air pressure (and more sag - eg 40%) can shorten the fork and make it work nicely for a kid rider.

  48. #48
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    What about the older Mag 21 or Indy SL? These appears to be useful candidates in terms of weight, but I do not know how they behaves dynamically. From what I have learned so far, the only organization I can find that can service these older forks is Risse. Where can I get parts for these older forks? Are their parts OE specification such that I might not be able to locate a source for them or, are they simply standard size o-rings and seals that I can identify at my local dealer or with the seal number?
    Last edited by RVC; 05-08-2015 at 05:41 PM. Reason: added 2nd fork

  49. #49
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    I have used the old Mag21 for a kids fork. It worked well in the end but there was a lot of trial and error to get it to that stage. The design made it difficult to dial in for a light rider. The air fill method was also painful and I replaced it with a Schrader valve system as well as converting the fork to air only in one side. I also did the long travel mod to get a whopping 60mm out of it. Parts are hard to come by, but I did find a source for the wiper seals (again through lots of trial and error). The other parts all seem to tbe Rockshox specific items. There really aren't any o-rings etc involved. If I had my time over again, I wouldn't bother.

    I also had an Indy SL in '96. They are an elastomer fork, and largely garbage. They are not that light either.

  50. #50
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    I don't have a wealth of experience with suspension forks, but I thought I'd offer my 2 cents on the Indy SL. I've shortened two Indy SL's for my twins 24" bikes, and installed new elastomers for them (one side only). They are actually quite light, coming in at 1,200 or so grams each. The suspension is quite active, and doesn't have much means of adjustment, but I have very little to compare it to, other than the 1999 SID on my Specialized S-Works. Both sons have said that the suspension forks have taken away the buzz they used to feel in their arms when riding, and made their arms less tired = able to go further, ride harder terrain. If you were to go the Indy route for a 24" bike, I would recommend having a metal working expert handle the shortening of the fork, I did for the second one having learned from the first.

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