Advice re: new bike for 8 year old MTBiker

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  • Advice re: new bike for 8 year old MTBiker
  • sibbsy
    Member

    Looking for advice on buying a new bike for 8 year old who is loving his mountain biking. Currently riding a Hot Rock Specialized 20″ and as a tall lad he’s outgrown the bike. He is doing quite a bit of technical riding now – cross country/trail centres.

    So far thinking front suspension again and looked at the Specialized and Merida (same thing but packaged differently).

    Any advice on what would be a good next bike to bring him on much appreciated!

    Thanks

    richpips
    Member

    Scott Scale 24

    Felt Q24

    Cannondale Trail 24

    There’s loads of choices out there.

    <edit> Though personally I’d avoid suspension, all the ones we’ve tried are rubbish.

    nbt
    Member

    Add islabikes, and as richpips suggest avoid suspension

    ianv
    Member

    Don’t avoid suspension if he is doing anything reasonably technical. Commencal Ramones 24, Kona Shred 24 and Scott Voltage 24 are all worth a look.

    reedspeed
    Member

    Carrera Blast !,Halfrauds >>>

    richpips
    Member

    Don’t avoid suspension if he is doing anything reasonably technical.

    How’s a heavy front end that doesn’t really compress going to help him?

    neninja
    Member

    My lad got an Orbea MX24 Team in May 2012 – he loves it. It’s rigid fork which makes it lighter plus 1×10 Deore shifters with SLX 11-36 cassette which is pretty awesome for a kids bike.

    His riding has come on loads since getting this bike. He’ll happily do 30km rides on it and uses it on the local 4X track too.

    2tyred
    Member

    Don’t avoid suspension if he is doing anything reasonably technical.

    Just not true for an 8 year old. You’d be surprised what a technically confident 8 year old will ride (and ride well) on rigid forks.

    At that age, its all about skills – rigid and lightweight is much better. I coach 8 year olds, and in most cases those riding bikes with 24″ wheels and suspension forks lose out both on more technical terrain and some key techniques because their bikes are heavier than those with lighter bikes.

    Most 24″ bikes with sus forks are surprisingly heavy, even those from decent manufacturers. In most cases, kids that age aren’t big enough to get any benefit from suspension, and they aren’t on 24″ wheels for very long.

    If budget allows, I’d recommend Islabikes or Frog. Those Orbea Mx24 look amazing, although I’ve never seen one in the flesh.

    ajc
    Member

    Another vote for lightweight and rigid bike. My lad at 5/6 was riding rocky technical trails in the alps, just fitted fatter tyres. kids don’t weigh much and just float and bounce over the rock and roots with no problem. Riding a heavy bike up hill is no fun for anyone. Those Oreba mx team do look great.

    globalti
    Member

    Definitely go rigid; suspension forks are a luxury not a necessity.

    rewski
    Member

    Frog or try and track down a gary fisher pre caliber 24, longer top tube than most kids bikes and very light. Same sram grip shift and suntour forks as most 24s in that price bracket.

    twoniner
    Member

    Depends on budget but the Islabikes Creig 24 is a nice ride. I went down at the weekend to get my daughter fitted but it was a tad too big for her.

    ianv
    Member

    Just not true for an 8 year old. You’d be surprised what a technically confident 8 year old will ride (and ride well) on rigid forks.

    All I can say is that changing to a bike with front suspension made a massive difference to my sons ability to ride harder and longer technical trails. Also, we know some really good kids (eg BMX world champs semi finalist) that struggled on trails (with his rigid forks) that my son managed fairly easily. Yes they are heavy and yes they only give about 2″ of travel but it makes a big difference to their ability to clear stuff and to enjoy the riding IME.

    sibbsy
    Member

    Really interesting to hear everyone’s views on suspension – I personally rode a rigid bike until I was about 24 and reckon it taught me a lot about handling.

    Definitely going to check out some of those frames mentioned above.

    Fab to get such great feedback.
    Thanks

    Premier Icon booktownman
    Subscriber

    The lowdown on Frog bikes from my LBS here:

    Room under the Christmas tree for a Frog bike? 3 Frog reviews we love

    Decent, solid bikes but nice and light, easily comparable to Isla.

    Just been doing a photoshoot with a 17-year-old pulling bunny hops on one of them – they can more than stand the abuse!

    thesurfbus
    Member

    I would be looking at 26ers, my 7.5 year old son is now on one, having outgrown his Carrera Blast 24. His 9 year old sister will shortly be going 26, when she stops being so cheeky.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Thread hijack as I didn’t really find what I was looking for when I posted this last night. Any idea where I can get 24in rigid fork with dick mount to swap with the suspension on my daughters soon to arrive Carerra Luna (Girlie blast)?

    richpips
    Member

    Thread hijack as I didn’t really find what I was looking for when I posted this last night. Any idea where I can get 24in rigid fork with dick mount to swap with the suspension on my daughters soon to arrive Carerra Luna (Girlie blast)?

    Exotic do a carbon one. £100+ though.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Exotic do a carbon one. £100+ though.

    Might be a bit steep, the bike is only costing me £70!

    Premier Icon Leku
    Subscriber

    with dick mount

    I calling the Child Protection services..

    Premier Icon Scapegoat
    Subscriber

    Sorry, but what is a dick mount? Why would your daughter need one on her bike?

    richpips
    Member

    Depending on the axle to crown measurement, you might get away with a 26″ fork ?

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Subscriber

    Sorry, but what is a dick mount? Why would your daughter need one on her bike?

    Disk, obviously 😳

    Premier Icon DaveP
    Subscriber

    My son had a Marin trail bay view se.
    Great bike, bought specifically for the lack of weight.
    Fork was rubbish though. Put an air Reba on it very low pressures.
    He had no problem in the Alps on it.

    Marmoset
    Member

    My 6 year old is on a 24″ bike (an apollo, but not the halfords one but the aussie brand) and it came with some RST capo forks, not the best but they do move and stop him from getting to beat up when we’re out for a few hours. I wouldn’t overlook suspension, just because it’s not sophisticated, it does help save some energy and delays the “I’m too tired to carry on” moment, which inevitably occurs as far away from anywhere as your ever going to be on the ride 😕

    Premier Icon uphillcursing
    Subscriber

    Boy #1 went from a Bein 20 to a GT Zaskar 24. Islabikes would not shop overseas. In fact they would not even enter a conversation as I was willing to pay for postage/insurance. Anyway, ended up with the Zaskar and replacing the forks with a set of Reba. AC not affected with plenty of sag corresponding with his body weight. Made a hell of a difference in the rough section for him. Only other thing that I had to replace pretty quickly were the pedals. OEM ones were nice sized but had tiny little pins for safety I should think.
    For me the Saturday morning ride is one of the great pleasures of my sorry existence. Might as well make it as much fun for the kids as I can and hopefully keep him engaged till I can no longer keep up and am just the means of getting to the trails. I am ready for that day when it comes but in the mean time upgrades can come from my spared box, bought new or second hand in the case of forks.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    The boingy forks on our small 20″ Scott and 24″ Kona did very little. For some reason the same (ish) forks on the 24″ work really well.
    .
    For reference the 26″ wheel Manitout Mars Elite air forks on our Islabike Beinn 26 are half a centimeter shorter (crown race to axle) than the 24″ wheel steel coil cheapo forks on the Scott.
    .
    The Manitou’s cost £40 IIRC from Retrobike.

    IMGP3612 by matt_outandabout, on Flickr

    Comrie Croft pump jump track by matt_outandabout, on Flickr

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    You may be able to get a good deal on some old 28mm SIDs, I’d be using those over a rigid, even on a kids bike.

    smaca
    Member

    My advice would be don’t go too mad price wise. In my case the 24s really didn’t last long before the kids outgrew them.

    When daughter was 10, I ended up buying a Merlin Malt frame in small + some REBAs that were on special offer. A few odd bits of finishing kit + what I had in my shed, and we set about building her new bike together.

    Was a fun exercise showing her how it all goes together, so she learnt a lot about the mechanics of bikes, and as I had some decent kit lying around it ended up being pretty light. In the end it was much cheaper spec for spec than a complete bike due to my bike part hoarding skills.

    At 13, she’s not far off it being too small again, so I might end up buying another frame at some point, and swapping the bits over. Bound to be some bargain 26er frames coming up soon 😉

    Si

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