Kids bikes. How far do dads go

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  • Kids bikes. How far do dads go
  • Seeing as my 12yr old daughter has no interest riding her Hotrock (now too small, but no point upgrading) – nothing! 🙁

    Haven’t done much to their bikes – but have made them frame bags and seat bags for bikepacking trips 🙂


    changed grip shifters to trigger
    “suspension” forks – i could barely compress – to rigid
    Only on 20″ so not much point upgrading yet IMHO

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    My eldest is on 24″ and has to have her parts similar to mine. “We’ll dad, if you need it, why can’t I have it?” How do you argue with that logic??

    She has odi loc ons, elixir brakes with Kevlar pads, shorter stem, sdg seat, sram mech and shifters. Schwalbe tyres. She also has a camelback and full finger gloves with giro helmet.
    She is 7 🙂

    Son who is 6 has a 20″ hotrock(almost outgrown) who also has odi grips, shimano thumbshifter ( due to 6spd tourney mech). I did toy with the idea of trying a deore mech and shifter and trialling the setup to see if it works from 1-6 and blanking 7/8/9 but haven’t got round to it yet haha. He has maxxis max daddy tyres. And I’m looking for some Maguras at the moment.

    Am I sad? 😳

    I already know the answer


    Really dont see the need for that sort of set up at that age

    it snot like they really ride rad stuff

    Actual suspension forks that work would make the greatest difference to my kids

    transporter13 if it gets them out riding,then not sad at all.

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    In my defence. They regularly ride between 10-15 miles with me


    so do mine

    I get the temptation and one day when they will need and use a good bike they will have it but for now no

    To be fair we could probably all do the riding we do on more basic bikes, if I had the cash my two would have better bikes, and more types of bike.

    The main thing is getting them hooked and enthusiastic – but like I say to my two as long as they are using what I buy them I don’t mind.

    The already have summer gloves, winter gloves, waterproof riding jackets and padded shorts. Luca wants a king of the mountains jersey, Max wants nothing but a road bike at the moment and they both can’t wait until their feet are big enough to ride clipless.

    Last year they did a 100mile bikepacking trip around the isle of man with me on the standard revolution 20″ mtbs, and we had no problems. When they show that kind of enthusiasm why not treat them to some nice stuff


    Couple of ply struts under the rear axle bolts of the Rothan, zip tied to a cut down plastic tub, to make a rear seat for soft toys.

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    To modify them?

    Do you leave them standard or do you treat them as smaller versions of your own?

    I’m in the latter as my 2 eldest have bling parts. These range from different grips/shifters/mechs/tyres/seats and even brakes.

    Who has the most modified bike for their child?


    When they show that kind of enthusiasm why not treat them to some nice stuff

    Indeed but use and my purchasing power alos play a factor

    they are not on supermarket specials but decent bikes that will allow them to do what we do. Agree about the kit though

    What age are yours that did the 100 miler and what sort of distance per day?

    We are doing a three day tour of trail centres this year as they are in to pump tracks and skills areas at the minute and doing big climbs at the minute.

    They did the iom when they were 7&8 good mix of terrain and did up to 25 a day (not including even riding for fun around where we camped

    The rail and sail tickets meant it was a very cheap trip about 80 return for the 3 of us with a family rail card from Sheffield via liverpool

    Did fort William to fort Augustus and back the year before with similar milage


    Ok time to tell them to BTFU then 😉
    Not at those levels though they have agreed to try for 30 miles on the canal this summer

    I assumed you carried all the kit
    I can just about get them to wear a camelbak, a spare tube.
    they are happy to carry their own food mind


    My 11 year old now has a Rockhopper… I put a shorter and lower stem on it and also some narrower flat bars to bring the front end down and make it fit. I also changed the pedals and he’s an offer of a different saddle. At some point I might look for some second hand air forks… but for now the Dart 3s are OK, and giving 50-60mm of their 80mm travel.


    My youngest (10) with the rockhopper I put together for him a few months ago (probably only cost me the same as a new hardrock but has roval wheels, magura forks and hayes brakes). Lovely bike and rides well.

    Just sorted these for my boys (12 and 10) for our trip to Morzine. Owned the Norco for a few years, but have upgraded it as we went along, the kona was built last year (bought as frame only) and has been upgraded this year. Both should sell well when outgrown, my oldest will be on a small 26″ for the alps next year I think, so the Kona will go.

    We enjoy riding and kids stuff does not loose too much if bought used and looked after. Thats my excuse anyway!


    I think the dude at Sideways Cycles will in this, he had a full custom Mimi Spot with adapted WI stuff on it, or, maybe someone at Hope with their full on CNC balance bike.

    I think kids are better off having mountain biking mums (due to frame size!) as my son (small 13 year old) has inherited my Lapierre Zesty 714 just in time for a holiday mountain biking in the Alps. Works out great as I had an excuse to buy a new bike and he can have a bike just as good and probably now will enjoy the Alps as much as his parents will!


    Mine has pink spesh hotrock a camelback and some altura gloves so far she is only 4 though

    moniex – your kids have nicer bikes than some of the posters on here 😉

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    Moniex. That’s what I want to see. Fair play

    @junkyard – last year in the isle of man I carried most of the stuff but they carried their balloon beds, spare tubes and clothes on their bikes in frame and seat bags. They also had rucksacs with bladders in and room for waterproofs etc.

    The year before in Scotland, myself and my daughter had trailers and the boys just had their little camelbacks

    Pictures failed again – will try and sort later from my computer

    Premier Icon Alex

    Er 🙂

    Jessie’s Turner something. by Alex Leigh, on Flickr

    Jessie on the FOD blue by Alex Leigh, on Flickr

    She’s already out-growing it so it’ll be up for sale at some point. Turner something. Super short custom top tube, now with pink (natch) Hope Brakes and BB and some nicer discs.

    Premier Icon JoeG

    All of the cool kids will be getting an On-One Baby Fatty for Christmas! :mrgreen:


    My youngest is riding my old Argos 853 TT machine. I am 6ft but as it is such a compact frame it suits a 10 year old! I removed the aero bars and fitted some drops with STIs. Was surprised when I looked up how much it may be worth, Argos 853 frame and forks now cost £1600 and the classic Campag Zondas are worth around £400.

    It has been hanging on the wall for years so it is nice to see it being ridden.

    My eldest had a small racing bike that I had upgraded with carbon aero seat pin, new saddle, new tape etc etc.

    Then there are the mtbs…….

    The thing is, I cannot get away with buying stuff for my bikes but it seems to be acceptable to buy stuff for the kids so I satisfy my addiction that way.

    Eldest has just upgraded to full carbon road bike (getting quite jealous and he is not far off of being able to drop me!!).

    Another sad dad signing off.!

    Junkyard …
    Isle of man, my bike looking like a pack horse

    Scotland 2011, two light weight boys and their sister with a bobyak trailer


    Only at the balance bike stage with my eldest at the moment, however I cn see it getting expensive in a few years time 😉


    Eldest who has just turned 16 was riding a 1998 Marin Mount Vision that was heavily modified, then stolen. He’s graduated to a Giant Trance X2 and now will drop me on anything remotely technical!

    Son2 was riding a Kona Blast Deluxe but has graduated to a full XT Giant Talon 1W which is lighter and shifts better and has air forks. He loves it and we’ll soon be off to Wales.

    Both came via Raleigh Bluebell 12″ (solid tyres, 35 yrs old), Raleigh Kobo 1f”, Trek MT20, Kona Hula 24″.

    And Alex, that turner is far too small already 😉


    Adjustable YGM

    Premier Icon DaveP

    Stinky – lovely bike. My son used his lots and it took a pounding. Best tip from TF Tuned was to remove one of the springs from the fork legs.

    Other son had a marin bayview. Nice light bike.

    Now they have a Giant Trance XS and a Specialized Stuntjumper FSR. Been to the alps a few times. Bought my eldest son a Super tacky 2.5 for the front last year on holiday fearing that he would tear the front tyre. Has not wanted it taken off since coming back.
    Just found another one in the shed for the youngest son’s bike.

    It’s like anything with kids and activities – if they take to it in a big way I will invest in good kit, before that it’s basic stuff. (must be my inner Yorkshireman coming through!)

    The eldest did take to riding so I built him a bike around my old custom ally frame, then upgraded it bit by bit.

    The youngest is just getting back into it so he is on a Decathlon bike with a few extras.

    Both bikes are rigid so I’m hoping that they will learn to ride them before they rely on boingy stuff.

    They are heading off together over the hills today to meet family in Eyam so something must be working.

    The worst part of kids/youth bikes is that they are incredibly heavy and blessed with suspension forks that would beat bombers to death.

    Now they have a Giant Trance XS and a Specialized Stuntjumper

    Haha, this makes me smile. I have a mate who, however many times you tell him is a Stumpjumper, cannot get it in his head. Apparently he uses a Camelpak too!

    Premier Icon BillOddie

    My boys (age 3 and 5) are happy with basically stock spec Islabikes. I have swapped the tyres on a Cnoc14 for something a little chunkier treaded as it came with slicks (they now come with Kenda Small Block 8s).

    However, they both have good (and sturdy, if a little sweaty) Bell Fraction Helmets, Fox Full finger gloves (picking grit out of a 5 year old’s palms does not go down well) and the 5 year old has just got his first set of padded shorts.

    Normal baselayers make good casual jerseys too.

    My eldest has also stolen his Mum’s old tiny camelbak.

    However, I can see me spending significant amounts of money on the boys bikes as they grow up assuming they stay keen.
    However there seems to be a bit of a gap in the market for a decent trail orientated mountain bike with 20in wheels that doesn’t cost ridiculous sums of money.

    At the high end you have Lil Shredder and Kranked

    Then there is a big drop in terms of price and spec to the likes of Specialized and Kona. Their offerings are 250-300quid and come with Vs and a nasty suspension fork, I wouldn’t mind spending £500 and getting something that’s lighter and with forks that actually work.


    The worst part of kids/youth bikes is that they are incredibly heavy and blessed with suspension forks that would beat bombers to death.

    Aye my son had a set that i could not even get full travel out of Measured travel with an O ring on it and it was zero

    Tried the remove one spring and it was zero

    Replaced with rigid and then the youngest as well due to the weight saving

    My daughter is only 4, so nothing special yet, but every bike purchase has and will be guided by weight and function, so I don’t mind spending a bit extra to encourage her. Nothing worse than a heavy BSO to put anyone off cycling, let alone a kid.

    At the races I’ve seen pre and early teens with some serious hand-me-downs, like Mavic SLR wheels. I’d no doubt do the same given a whiff of enthusiasm, I’ve built up many bikes.


    just got my 11yr old a scott scale 20 with fox forks, xt/xtr mix and will put on some nice wheels.
    Best bike by far that has ever been in the family.
    Still, she really enjoys riding and racing, so I see it as a fair investment.
    Elder daughter has a giant XTC team too, at that time the best bike in the family.

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    On my son’s bikes (20″ and 24″ wheels) I have added old pair of Magura HS33’s which are big improvement over V-brakes and added a pair of those plastic platform pedals. Same stuff is now used on a second bike (24″) but I think something has to be done for suspension fork, it actually has correct spring but no damping at all.
    Can you still get those elastomer thingies like in old suspension forks? Adding some foam mat or similar stuf to other (empty) leg might help a bit with pogoing…


    Once my kid hits 20″ wheels, and if he still loves riding his bike, I’ll be very much into kids bike build projects.
    For the biggest parent modder, check out a guy called demo9 on mtbr.
    Put white Bros forks and discs on a 20″ specialised hotrock

    I’m pretty sure he’s the guy that started li’l shredder bikes


    My son has been riding a fairly trick big hit grom since he was 7. So far it has seen 3 seasons in the mountains and probably will see the same again before it gets too small. It was worth the investment as he can ride faster and longer than if he was riding a hardtail. He also has a fairly trick hardtail for dirt and general messing about.

    Personally, I reckon that if a kid is keen and rides well, there is no big deal about spending a bit of money on good bikes.

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