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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:47 pm 
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Location: Poppy Fields
Seen a deal on a 12" frame and my daughter is coming up for a new bike and thought it might be nice to build her one.

Started looking for forks to start with when I came across the Suntour XCR 24 but they weigh in at 1.9 kilos which is a fair bit more than the forks on my Trek. So any ideas guys? Light preferable but don't want this build going silly and travel up to 65mm.

Can do most of the rest of it fairly easily I think but what about wheels?

Got a couple of bikes to shift along the way to help fund it but any ideas for smaller parts would be gratefully received. Ideally I would like to get it done for October at the latest.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:17 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
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Location: New Forest, UK
Personally I would forget about suspension - the bike is already going to weigh proportionally much more of her weight so will be harder work. Most kids really don't need suspension too much. Saving a kilo or so will be much more useful.

Look for shorter cranks - the biggest fit problem is over-articulating the knee, which also reduces pedalling ability. It's like us trying to pedal 250mm cranks. Spa Cycles do some reasonably-priced 150 or 160mm chainsets, and they come up occasionally on ebay.

For braking, make sure you use the lever reach adjuster to get the lever closer to the bars, which should of course be less wide.

Islabikes are good examples of how a good kids bike is set up. My 9 year old overtook two blokes on carbon full sussers on his rigid Isla 24er the other week. :oops: :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:48 am 
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Thanks for that, was thinking about rigid forks last night instead to save weight. She currently rides an FMF junior race BMX that weighs next to nothing and has a reasonably short crank on. I could reuse that I guess though it is single ring up front though I don't think this would bother her too much.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:55 pm
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Single ring is fine, especially with something like 32T up front and 9 speed.

Those BMX racers are beautifully light, it's a shame most kids ride the park ones made of scaffolding poles.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2012 10:28 pm 
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Location: East Lothian
How old is she?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:27 am 
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She is seven but tall for her age.

As far as BMXes go, race ones, even minis can be quite long in the top tube. The boy is getting a bit big for his 14" wheel Ridgeback and was looking to install him on my daughters old race BMX which is a GT Power Series Jr but sadly even with the seat at the bottom it is just a little too long on the top for him, three months will change that though if he can keep at the Ridgeback.

I like them as a light bike for a kid and the fact they are 20" wheels is good though the tyres range from 1 1/8 up to 1 3/8 so quite skinny and easy to push.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:38 am 
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Presumably you are looking at something with 24" Wheels?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 11:50 am 
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Exactly. 24 is the way to go for now I think. Islabikes are nice but dear and boring so don't want to go down that route. Her friend has one and while being nice and functional it doesn't really have any draw to it if you know what I mean.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:02 pm 
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I am just about to go through this for my daughter as she is growing out of her 20" Hotrock.

Her older brother has 3 24" wheeled bikes - an old steel framed Specialized Rockhopper that I was going to do up for him, a Marin something or other trail and a Specialized FSR that I bought as a frame.

While I may want to build a retro special for my daughter, she doesn't so I will probably end up buying a Specialized, Marin, Kona frame and transfer the parts from the Rockhopper.

If you can find one, Raleigh make a really nice Alulite frame

The weight of the childs Forks is disproportionate to their benefit and front gears are an unecessary complication I think but children want what they see their role models ride. RST Capas are usually fairly cheap.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Child friendly brake levers, ones they can reach.


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