Any parents able to help? 6 year old MTB'ers - How far is too far?

jonboy

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My daughter's Islabikes Creig 24 is 10.5kg. Can't see any point in rear suspension at this age/size - they need to learn how to use their legs to weight/unweight the rear wheel properly first. Happy with it having suspension forks, as they help provide more confidence and predicatbility in the feel of the front end.
 

MartinYorkshire

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My daughter's Islabikes Creig 24 is 10.5kg. Can't see any point in rear suspension at this age/size - they need to learn how to use their legs to weight/unweight the rear wheel properly first. Happy with it having suspension forks, as they help provide more confidence and predicatbility in the feel of the front end.

10.5kg, thats more like it. Still, I think kids deserve a factory 24" under 10kg from somewhere.

My lad just turned 6 and weights probably 25kg wet through if that, he's just tall hence the 24". At factory spec for most 24" bikes, say 12-13kg, its the equivalent of asking an average male adult to ride a bike weighing what, 40kg+? It's crazy, literally crazy. We're asking them to ride those bikes for miles on end. Makes the Raleigh Activator II almost acceptable as an MTB!

The kids frames are so small they should be light, but I suppose the parts, being adult size, weigh the same as on any other bike and therein lies the problem.

Can I ask, did you change the tyres? My sons bike also came with crown gems and they are so heavy/fat as to really only be useful for park/downhill use. It saved over 1kg rotating mass just by changing those for some 2.1's and as I mostly ride XC with him, it didn't matter.

The stans crest rims on the isla are nice and I'm considering them for an upgrade, but choice of hubs is a bit limited so I'm procrastinating a bit. I wonder if Islabikes are using Novatech hubs with a different label.

I feel like a wheel upgrade will shave another 1kg off too, especially if I go 24/24 spoke and I can't see any reason not to. Trouble is for a Hope Pro 4 build (which arent' the absolute lightest but should be decent quality), I'm looking at circa £500. I'm sure I'd see some of it back if not most of it, but it's a bit ouch, wallet wise.

I'm pretty focused on rotating mass, especially with the 1x11 setup. Stuff like seatpost and bars can wait I think.

Roll on 26", then at least we can get some super light retro bits on there!
 

MartinYorkshire

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Schwalbe do a 24" Rocket Ron, they are about 485g each

Thats the ones we went for in the end. They do a race version which was even lighter I think?

The problem with the standard rocket ron is it's not tubeless compatible and theres one or two issues with the bead when trying to do so, so i gather, although not tried myself.

In any case, it's a very very good tyre in my humble...
 

2manyoranges

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MartinY - That's good mileage. And about the distance I did with my small one. The weight saving on tyres is a good quick win. I used 24 inch Rocket Ron kevlar folding, which were SOOOO light. And I did a lot of work to get a light rig for him. A sub-9kg hardtail with biggish tyres on it - and they provided the rear suspension required - more on the front shock in a moment. Key things were - powerful brakes with short reach - stops tendonitis. Good grips which are not too small or too big. This means a relaxed grip and protects the carpal nerve. Front suspension which works for a light person = I used a spring-based 24 inch Spinner fork into which I put an XS judy spring, VERY responsive and plush for a small one, and then an air-sprung SID RACE - very light indeed, 26 inch with a 24 inch wheel and disc brake, V brake on the rear. The axle crown length on the SID was the same as a 24 inch fork in the Kona 24 inch wheel frame. 24 inch Airnimal rims on Hope hubs - Hope3 road hub rear and ti road front - 28 spokes DB with alloy nipples and you could go 24 easily. A youngster is not going to pretzel a 24 three cross off road. And it will flex nicely, helping with comfort without compromising precision. A very light wheel set indeed. Ti saddle with a groove and hole in the middle to protect perineum. Ti Hope BB. And importantly, 140 then 150 then 155 Thorn cranks from SJS cycles. This makes a HUGE difference. Gets the geometry right and protects their legs and hips. I ran a 1x9 setup which was light and correctly geared. Narrow wide front ring. Changing from 30 to 32 depending on what we were doing, only takes 10 mins to change the ring. Very high quality shifter and mech - XT - which made gear changing easy for a small thumb due to the light action. Premium outers and inners for easy action. Encouraged gear shifting, which protected muscles and joints. Get bar width right, using the same angles as an adult, bars are often far too wide for small ones. You will have to change it as they grow, but that's not too much of a hardship, This bike could take huge features and handled brilliantly. It's on the IoM now. It cost a lot, but it was worth every penny. He once followed a renowned coach into tough single track. The coach stopped at the exit, thinking they would need to wait for ages, only to have the Grom pop out immediately after him. 'Blimey' he said, genuinely shocked. Doing all this with them gets them interested in the bike and a sense of ownership.
 

MartinYorkshire

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MartinY - That's good mileage. And about the distance I did with my small one. The weight saving on tyres is a good quick win. I used 24 inch Rocket Ron kevlar folding, which were SOOOO light. And I did a lot of work to get a light rig for him. A sub-9kg hardtail with biggish tyres on it - and they provided the rear suspension required - more on the front shock in a moment. Key things were - powerful brakes with short reach - stops tendonitis. Good grips which are not too small or too big. This means a relaxed grip and protects the carpal nerve. Front suspension which works for a light person = I used a spring-based 24 inch Spinner fork into which I put an XS judy spring, VERY responsive and plush for a small one, and then an air-sprung SID RACE - very light indeed, 26 inch with a 24 inch wheel and disc brake, V brake on the rear. The axle crown length on the SID was the same as a 24 inch fork in the Kona 24 inch wheel frame. 24 inch Airnimal rims on Hope hubs - Hope3 road hub rear and ti road front - 28 spokes DB with alloy nipples and you could go 24 easily. A youngster is not going to pretzel a 24 three cross off road. And it will flex nicely, helping with comfort without compromising precision. A very light wheel set indeed. Ti saddle with a groove and hole in the middle to protect perineum. Ti Hope BB. And importantly, 140 then 150 then 155 Thorn cranks from SJS cycles. This makes a HUGE difference. Gets the geometry right and protects their legs and hips. I ran a 1x9 setup which was light and correctly geared. Narrow wide front ring. Changing from 30 to 32 depending on what we were doing, only takes 10 mins to change the ring. Very high quality shifter and mech - XT - which made gear changing easy for a small thumb due to the light action. Premium outers and inners for easy action. Encouraged gear shifting, which protected muscles and joints. Get bar width right, using the same angles as an adult, bars are often far too wide for small ones. You will have to change it as they grow, but that's not too much of a hardship, This bike could take huge features and handled brilliantly. It's on the IoM now. It cost a lot, but it was worth every penny. He once followed a renowned coach into tough single track. The coach stopped at the exit, thinking they would need to wait for ages, only to have the Grom pop out immediately after him. 'Blimey' he said, genuinely shocked. Doing all this with them gets them interested in the bike and a sense of ownership.

I'm very tired and it's late but I appreciate your post. I will respond properly when I'm more awake.
 

FluffyChicken

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If I could only get my son to do that, he's 16 now 😂
Used islabike Beinn's and they're light and good, used the tyres fitted and suspension wasn't really needed, though we stuck to local trails and dalby/pines again no real need for suspension.
Ended up with 24" Black Jack's on them but other than grip, didn't gain to much using them. He could still easily ride and the GripShift worked well with the smaller hands.

Still got both bikes in the shed somewhere.

He rides my old bikes now.

Front sus, there are quite a few Rockshock MAG/SID 24" conversion, good because they are air sprung.
Also PACE and Manitou conversions for 24".

------

But I know of kids that bike everyday and can hit 30miles plus, just because they are used to it, just riding with parents etc as a mode of transport.

So 10 miles off road seems fine if they're enjoying it, there no rush to go further, it may not be far for you but hey ho.
Pushing up a hill is fine, I know plenty of adults who would do that.
Have fun, don't worry about it. They moan like hell if they are tired or don't want to do any more.
 

2manyoranges

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I’ve just re-built a GT Moto 24 for a friend’s 8 year old - it cost 68.00gbp complete and came with 170 travel Manitous on the front (!) - and stripping back all the unecessary gubbins which was on it (a chain device weighing over 2kg, a seatpost made of scaffolding pipe, and a stem made from a lump of tungsten...you get the idea) we managed to get the weight right down and the performance right up. Light short stem installed, with light XC bar cut to match his shoulder width, Shimano Deore and XT brakes installed with reach adjusted carefully for his hands - and really well bled so there’s little movement required on the levers. It has 36 spoke wheels and those could do with coming off. But the rims are wide and have H..U..G..E DMR tyres on - and he loves it. We did Thetford last weekend and I think we can actually use the word ‘shred’ without being stupid. He kept up with us and weren’t going slowly. The big tyres help a lot and after a year or so on 35mm rims myself I am now converted to wide rims and fat tyres.

It’s a bike you can hold up at shoulder height and drop onto tarmac and nothing rattles. Solid and capable, long and low. I photographed the proportions of my 15 year old Grom to his bike (Medium Marley and my medium Sentinel which he nicks) and have set up the GT for the 8 year old with exactly the same wheel, frame, bar-saddle proportions. That’s bigger than we would have done 5 years ago, but it sure works for him. The ‘sitting in the bike not on the bike’ ....see the photo from Pinkbike below. I was impressed with it. And so is he. And it still has the 170 forks on it.
 

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domo

Geoff Capes
It's about fun. Kids will tell you when they've had enough. Bike handling skills and awareness should be the key at this age. Get them on a bmx, learn the skills then progress with the other. Think the point has been missed.....
 

2manyoranges

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That’s a good point. The 8 year old in question has a 20 inch bike which he uses in the pump track to do exactly that. Using a BMX bike for skills development is A Very Good Thin - see Joy of Bike and the ever-young 57 year old Alex Bogusky.....
 
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