Viewing 33 posts - 1 through 33 (of 33 total)
  • 24" wheel bike – any thoughts/experiences and dad fettling content
  • garage-dweller
    Full Member

    Mini g-d 1 is in need of a bigger bike and the next step is 24″

    I’m conscious of two things
    1) He’s likely to keep growing quickly for a while yet and
    2) His mates are a blooming liability when they ride with him (last week one of his friends rear ended his Frog thinking it would be funny and I’ve now got a mech hanger that’s so badly bent I need to bend it/snap it to get the wheel out and snapped mech outer cable to replace). 👿 🙄

    Riding bikes is his sport/thing so I want something that will be good and not a chore to ride. Most of his riding is with me and he does some proper hills but I’m also conscious it might get dinged by his mates being berks again.

    The specs of everything under about £600 seem really disappointing vs. his 20″ Frog (decent 8 speed and ok weight). So I find myself thinking like this:

    1) Get something with a triple on it (Decathlong RockRider 700 looks good subject to …) and make sure it has a cassette hub.
    2) Raid the considerable spares collection for some good 8 or 9 speed bits that are much lighter for the rest of the drive train
    3) Tubeless the wheels with some Stans tape and plenty of goop.
    4) Pick up a cheap seatpost via classifieds/On One/Superstar
    5) Cut down and use one of my many retired sets of 25.4mm bars
    6) Maybe buy me some nice spangly new brakes and move the Deores off the FS bike onto there as they’ll probably be lighter than the cable ones it comes with.

    It is (in my head at least) irrelevant that this all seems very complicated. I want him to have something that works for him and fosters his continued enjoyment of a sport that he really has a love and talent for (that means dumping some weight and maybe a bit of other fine tuning). I also don’t want to break the bank for reasons above.

    Allowing for a few cables (and ignoring the brakes cost) I reckon the cost all in will be a lot less than £300 (£200 for the donor bike, £25 for seat post, £10 for consumables, £15 for Stans/Gorilla tape and goop).

    If anyone’s got better ideas then happy to hear them.

    Full Member

    Sorry, why use two words when twenty will do in the last post… 😀

    Full Member

    How old/big? My eight year old would be on 24″ from most manufacturers but now has a 26″ islabikes Beinn. The bigger wheels are brilliant, make a big difference to distance and terrain ridden, I put some 2.1″ proper mtb tyres on and he’s loving it. Also light compared with most offerings, without the non- functional front ‘suspension’ found on many bikes.

    Free Member

    Sounds like a good plan to be honest, if a fair bit of work.

    Only one to add – have you seen the new Saracen kids bikes? We were impressed and reckon we’ll sell a few of these this year:

    Full Member

    TomB He’s 7 nearly 8, reasonably tall but not a giant.

    I’ve just googled the Beinn and the only thing I’m not mad keen on is the V-Brakes – it’s not so much he “needs” discs but he will ride in full on winter filth so there is some advantage there i think. It otherwise looks really good and I can always go rigid when I’m out with him so he doesn’t feel disadvantaged. HOWEVER it also means I can get proper light tyres on it.

    It’s £100 or so more but I think I can live with that if I can get him onto 26″ that will have a longer than 2 year shelf life.


    Full Member

    A few dads here have gone wild with Carrera Blasts, getting lighter forks and bits from their spares bins. Been a few threads that should come up with a search.

    Free Member

    I’m in the process of building up a new 26″ wheeled bike for my son which means his 24″ Genesis Core will be up for sale.

    Standard bike was £400.

    It is now running Crest rims with Novatec hubs and sapim spokes, 1 x 10 XT with shortened SRAM cranks.

    Let me know if you are interested. I have posted pictures on here before of the bike.

    Full Member


    Thanks also. Not worried about the work involved. He’s quite interested in the mechanical stuff so I think he might quite like to do it with me. The left over bits can go to the local bike recycling charity too so do someone else a good turn.

    I’ll give the Saracen bikes a look too. We have a 16″ Saracen Bolt from a few years ago. It’s been a terrific little bike and ridden so much the tyres are worn down to the carcass (and mini g-d2 has got another year or so to get out of it before it’s too small). Which reminds me I must order him some new tyres.

    Full Member

    @Curvature – I’ll pop you an e-mail in a moment. Thanks
    @MCTD – Will have a search, Thanks

    Full Member

    I skipped the 24″ with my lad to a 26″ frog. Like TomB said above it’s made a huge difference to how far fast and the type of stuff he rides he loves it.

    Free Member

    Winter is just about here, people will soon be building bling hardtails to save they’re main bikes, only to find they prefer riding they’re £5k full sus.
    I picked this small ragley up last year used a handful of times after being really disappointed with a kids 24″ cube. [/URL]]

    Free Member

    Buy a s/h bike like the Ragley, and then put 24″ wheels on it.

    Did this with my youngest.

    Full Member

    the only thing I’m not mad keen on is the V-Brakes – it’s not so much he “needs” discs but he will ride in full on winter filth

    The thing with disks is – they’re very effective and efficient finger-loppers. Think about the stuff you’d do with bikes when you were that age – you’d play with your bike as much as ride it. Isla Bikes put a lot of thought into their stuff and if Disks aren’t there its not by accident.

    Full Member

    Discs on Islabikes new super expensive range!

    I bought a Carrera blast for £60 off ebay, stripped it down to the frame and headset (which is fine), then fitted:
    RST F1rst air 24 forks.
    Avid disc brakes.
    Sun singletrack rims on shimano hubs, rear now changed to a superstar hub.
    Rocket Rons.
    SLX 10 speed rear mech. Deore shifter.
    XT 11-36 cassette with 42t superstar expander ring.
    Suntour 152 cranks (square taper BB I already had) removed chainrings and fitted Superstar N/W.
    Wellgo pedals.
    Hope bash guard (so it didn’t mucky his school trousers!)
    Truvativ bars. Got some Carbon ones to fit now.
    lizard skin grips.
    RSP 50mm stem.
    Madison saddle.
    no name seat post.

    It handled Les Gets and Samoens in August.

    This is him/it just before descending from top of Samoens to Morillon.

    And descending the road from Morillon ski resort after a hard ride!

    Free Member

    I just bought an extra small 26″ frame and put shorter cranks and 24″ wheels on it. Works for my 8yr old just perfect. I did have the forks and shock re-valved for his weight, which made it a ‘proper’ suspension bike.

    Free Member

    I looked at building something up from a massive box of spares but in the end bought a 24″ orbea mx team

    I managed to find a shop damaged one – paint chips only.

    Its been great. Its about the same weight as an islabike, but more MTB.

    MY Lad who is nearly 8 loves it – with a 1 x 9 speed he can ride all the hills
    The brakes are not bad – could do with better pads – but its minor thing.

    Free Member

    Problem with 26″ or bigger wheel bikes for kids is that they are designed for 170mm or 175mm cranks which are far too long. You could fit 152mm cranks but this is equivalent to raising the bottom bracket by an inch so the riders feet won’t even touch the ground, when their on the saddle. The way around this is to downsize the wheels the frame was designed for to reduce the bottom bracket height. i.e 26″ wheels in a frame that was designed for 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. Unfortunately 650b and 29″ frames in x-small are like hens teeth!

    Full Member

    We’ve got a 20″ Orbea MX that was my lads before the carrera, now passed down to my daughter. Great little bikes. lovely low stand over frame. I did think about getting a 24″ one but the carrera came out cheaper. Daughter wants it spaying a different colour when she gets it though!!

    Free Member

    I have Rockrider 5.0 which my son has used lightly. Give me a nod if interested

    Free Member

    I’ve done this, but I do suspect that it always ends up costing a lot more than what oyu totted up in your head when you started 😉

    Dead cheap 24″ Kona stuff frame, recycled 9spd drive train, wheels built from ebay bits, most other bits from the parts bin, although I ended up buying Thorn cranks and a new set of Deore brakes. Fork (and welding and respray on the frame) were courtesy of skilled/generous mates! But it probably cost close to 400 in the end with all the bits and bobs:

    [url=]Little Kona[/url] by Jonathan Bateman, on Flickr

    If I was doing it now I’d probably just cough up for something new like a Commencal Meta HT 24 or possibly get any good frame with disk mounts (eg Orbea) and start bits swapping from there.

    Free Member

    Thanks also. Not worried about the work involved. He’s quite interested in the mechanical stuff so I think he might quite like to do it with me. The left over bits can go to the local bike recycling charity too so do someone else a good turn.

    Nice. Sounds like an excellent project to tackle together!

    If anyone is after a proper rigid 26″ MTB with hydraulic discs designed for kids (so BB height/crank length etc all in proportion) we have a Genesis Core 26 from the hire fleet which is also up for grabs.

    Full Member

    I’ve just picked up this…

    …and have similar plans. I decided against going the carrera route as I figured most of the bits would get ditched anyway. Time will tell. Currently trawling for wheels and forks, so if anyone has got a suitable 80mm air fork hiding out anywhere, then please have a look here:

    Full Member

    I’ve just had a look at the Core 24. That looks like a decent set of disc wheels; alex list the rims as 390g. Time to have a chat with my local friendly Genesis dealer…

    Free Member

    We had the HOY 24″, it’s a 1*8. I fitted RST forks and decent tyres. Great for alps, bike parks, uk up and downs in the UK etc. Lack of disc brakes has been the only could-do-better for us too.

    We are looking at the Ragley for their first 26er not that they are 10.

    Good luck.

    Full Member

    We went for the ‘small 26 is a 29er for kids’ route – eldest mini B is probably the smallest in his year group (in the country more than likely) but he could tippy toe stop on it with the right choice of seatpost – and said ‘you don’t put your feet down when you’re riding’. Didn’t endear him to the cycling proficiency people though.

    Also have a Specialized HotRock 24 – that is all good serviceable components on a 13″ frame – keep meaning to check if a 26 wheel will go, or maybe swap the fork for a 26 fork and wheel to get another year out of it. That’s V brake, but kids aren’t heavy enough to really make it terrible in the wet and mud, and the wear isn’t as bad as I’d expected either.

    Full Member

    thanks all.

    Will have a better / more detailed look over the weekend. 🙂

    Free Member

    Like a few of the posters above I built up a 24″ wheeled bike for my kids. My son used it for a year or two, and now my daughter has it. I wanted to build something cheaper and lighter than the Islabike offering.

    I started with a Kona Kula frame that was cheap from CRC. It has a Shimano 1×10 drive chain. 26t NW front ring, and 11-36 cassette which has been good enough to ride up pretty much everything we have tried. Shimano brakes. 150mm thorn cranks from SJS. 24″ Crest rims on some Hope hubs I had spare… Tubeless Rocket Rons. It now has RST First forks, although it originally had Pace carbon rigid forks. A short stem, with a longer one fitted as they have grown.

    Free Member

    started lewis on a carrera blast but changed the brakes and shifters as they were shit. once he started showing an interest in actually going off road I modded it a bit with new wheels, tyres, forks, shorter crank and a 1×10 system. Eventually got it down to under 22lbs

    Then I got him a transition ripcord and basically took everything off and replaced it with stuff I already had plus I got the shock and fork tuned to his weight. Standard bike is about 30lb, lewis’s is a little over 25 with a dropper post.

    Free Member

    Only one to add – have you seen the new Saracen kids bikes? We were impressed and reckon we’ll sell a few of these this year:

    Looks good, but I wonder how much it weighs?????????????

    Full Member

    Between 11-12kg as a guess.
    Can’t argue the attention to detail

    …and the Kendal Small Block 8 tyres make this beauty corner like it’s on rails!

    Geographically specific tyres, who’d a’ thunk it!

    Full Member

    I built my lad a 24″ based on a Careers Blast.
    Picked this up from eBay for £50:

    Stripped it, got some 80mm Fox Floats and put some Deore kit on it.

    Cable brakes will be replaced with hydraulics and now has a Suntour crankset – will change that to when budget allows.

    All in cost me about £250.

    Free Member

    That yellow Carrera looks good – was it resprayed / powder coated?

    I built a 20″ full suspension bike and it took a lot more time and money than thought…but it’s v good spec on the basis I’ve 2 kids and as many parts as possible were either sourced from the spares box or will move to another bike in the future. More details here –

    I’m now swapping parts off a 2015 Transition Ripcord picked up a while ago in a sale. Replacement parts are from the spares box, ebay etc and I’ve recouped £200 – 300 selling the removed parts.

    Biggest weight savings on both build were:

    – Tyres and inner tubes
    – Bar & stem – carbon bar in 27mm and a KCNC fly ride stem
    – Fork – For the Ripcord I’ve used an old SID that J Tech modified, along with the rear shock, so suit the lower weight

    Full Member

    Thanks – I got it powder coated – think it cost me £40 for strip and coat from a local firm in Birmingham.

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