Which first proper mtb frame for kids – xs or jump frame?

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  • Which first proper mtb frame for kids – xs or jump frame?
  • Premier Icon brassneck

    Keep an eye on the usual sources for a 24″ – anything smaller than 14″in 26 wheels are rare, and even the 14″ isn’t common.
    Picked up a 24″ HotRock with real forks, deore v brakes and mini triple for £40 from a car boot for my eldest, so they are out there.


    IME it’s more a case of seeing what comes up – as you say choice is limited

    I have 3 kids – first 26″ wheeled MTB was a 14″ inbred from the classifieds. That frame has just transitionded from daughter no 1 to daughter no2 (no1 is now on a 16″ frame)

    My 10 year old boy is now nearly as tall as 13 yo daughter number 2 – so I was again on the look out for an XS frame

    I managed to get a 14″ Cotic BFE from the garage sale (simple fix of a bent mech hanger) – very good timing as he is very excited to have a bike like mine (I ride a solaris)

    I avoided jump frames – I always assumed they would be very heavy and harsh(although I suppose a BFe and an inbred are hardly light and compliant – they both built up lighter than the hotrocks they replaced though)

    You don’t say how old your daughter is – mine moved from 24″ wheeled bikes to 14″ frames.


    Someone had a FAB Rocket for sale on here the other week, that’d be an ideal frame as they’re pretty tiny and also amazingly cool!


    Me and my daughter (or should that be my daughter and I) are going to build her first proper mtb bike as a longer term project, she actually asked me to. She has SEN and she’s moving up from a 20″ hotrock to a 26″ wheel size, she previously went form 14″ to 20″ (10 inch frame) without any issues at all.

    I had a quick look, I cant decide whether to get a kids specific (difficult to get just a frame and value for money -expensive), xs frame/ womans frame (difficult to get hold of) or jump/x4 style frame (plentyful and cheapest option, I could have a go too).
    What are the pros and cons putting brands and colour aside of the three types of hardtail? Shes looking at developing her skillset and confidence. I know Isla bikes is the flavour of the month… I’m old skool.

    But what I ideally want is:
    12 , 13 or 14 inch max frame size, geared, qr,
    26 inch wheel size – got some already,
    a low top tube – more clearance the better for an easy exit,
    chain/ bash guard -hopefully iscg compatible to keep the chain in place running 1×8/9 maybe 2×9 later,
    disk brake mounts is a must – if its got v brake bosses too thats fine for starters as I might buy some s/h Avid ‘v’s before moving to disks to aid the transition,
    a 1 1/8 headset -I got a pair of newish 100mm forks.

    I already have a few bits and to keep want servicing and carrying spares to a min. My thoughts are to get a jump frame and try that out as it may teach her more about control, technique and confidence if that doesnt work I can always swap the frame, I’m just concerned about the geo -the top tube length and head tube angle.

    I’m based in NE London, if you have a cheap frame or corrected rigid forks or BB’s brakes that fits the bill you can PM or email me to keep this post clear for others to use as guidance in the future.

    So whats the wisdom of the crowd? Which type of frame should I look at and why? What are my options?

    Thanks, shaun & little rider.


    Both 26″ Rockhoppers and Mykas come in XS which is 13.5″ frame with good standover.

    My son’s first full size MTB is a Rockhopper – with a short stem and flat bars to get the front end low enough.


    Got my kid a MBK tiny 26″ (great bike) he’s gone on to bigger things now but sill uses the bike for assholeing. Not a xc bike and your kid wont break it.


    Thanks for the quick responses, my daughter is 9.
    Brassneck- I didn’t want the hassle of getting a 24″ bike given that a 26″ would be only an inch taller in real terms, but I will consider them too if I cant find a 26″ in the near future, unless one jumps up and bites me in the as before than. I will see if there any booty near me.
    Grievoustim – a fine quiver of bikes for kids have. I guess it is a matter of seeing what comes up but I will have to run it past her just to make sure shes happy with it and therefore involved and more motivated to ride it.
    Isitafox -With regards to the Fab rocket I cant find any geometry info on it but they look like they are solid. The one in the link needs a respray I think making it over my budget. But I’m still leaning towards a short x4/jump style frame only because they seem more plentiful. In reality she will ride xc and use it to hone skills like trackstands and wheelies.
    Bartimaeus- I have considered Spec’s but I simply dont see them too often in that size the A1 and M frames are really lite, I had a cromo one in 1990 -still going strong with a friend and again more recently.

    I will place a wanted add on here too. thanks dudes

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