Specialized Hotrock 20 6-Speed Boys Kids

3.64/5 (11 Reviews)
MSRP : $220.00


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Reviews 1 - 11 (11 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:5
Submitted by John

Date Reviewed: January 31, 2013

Strengths:    lightest 20er in its class, standover clearance for 5 year olds, quality pull brakes, good derailler (if you train your kids not to drop his bike on it), looks like a real MTB not a cartoony toy bike

Weaknesses:    Heavy front suspension is useless other than looks: For a kid <70 lbs, front suspension only make their bike heavier. It may look like dad's (which can be important) but they could drop a pound or two and go with a stiff aluminum fork like SE's landing gear. When a kids is under 8, anything that makes it lighter makes a huge difference. If I find a used aluminum or carbon fork, I'll do it.

Bottom Line:   
So glad I bought this bike used on craigslist. Worth the money new, but an awesome deal if you find one used less than 5 years for 1/2-1/3 of the price. My 5 year old can ride up a steep paved hill in the lowest gear, but not a steep bumpy trail. Specialized has done a great job but should offer a stiff lighter fork option.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by cdaler a Weekend Warrior

Date Reviewed: September 27, 2012

Strengths:    geometry, is great for shorter kids or younger that have advanced to needing a bike with gears. Grip shift works well for beginners.

Weaknesses:    bolt on front wheel

Bottom Line:   
So was riding the Santa Fe Trail (old RR bed trail) with my 6 yr old son on a 16" SS. And noticed that the only reason he can't keep up is the lack of gears. He was pedaling as hard as he could but kept falling behind. Was at the LBS and saw a kid the same age and side and had him standover a Hotrock 20, fit great. So in my head I said a 20" bike will be great. Looked online and found a 20" bike at REI online for half of what they wanted for the Specialized Hotrock. Well bike came and the top tube was 2-3 inches too high for him to even touch the ground... Uhh oops. So we went to the Specialized shop and sure enough the Hotrock 20 has plenty of stand over. So the little guy rips along the trail inspiring his younger siblings to try and ride as well.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Santa Fe

Duration Product Used:   6 mo

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   Criterium Bike Shop

Similar Products Used:   REI- Novara 20" too tall, K2- 20" too Tall, Looked at the Kona 20" afterwards and it may have worked.

Bike Setup:   While leaving the shop to go home decided that his bike would fit on the roof rack, but I didn't have a wrench to remove the front wheel. So took it back in and just had them install a 9mm QR skewer. Otherwise stock

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by chadtheman11b a Weekend Warrior from fort riley KS

Date Reviewed: February 16, 2012

Strengths:    it looks like a mountain bike. better than Walmart bike. you might have to do some research (i have done hours) but this bike can be upgraded somewhat

Weaknesses:    to long for my 7 year old grip ships suck bottom of the line components no quick release on wheels. heavy very heavy

Bottom Line:   
this is a decent bike. that being said i feel that the mtb industry has let us down with the kids bikes. seems like i have spent countless hours finding the upgrades required to help my son improve his riding. most of the high quality parts can be taken from the mini bmx bike parts groups to lighten up this ride.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   mtr

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $200.00

Purchased At:   used

Bike Setup:   i have replaced the crank& bottom bracket with sinz 135mm crank and truvitiv isis bottom bracket also clipless pedals (sinz) new bars (salsa) and stem witch is a mild dh stem but had a shorter reach and was a bit lighter also put 7 speed freewheel and shimano index shifter/breaklever combo

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by being.frank a Weekend Warrior from michigan

Date Reviewed: October 7, 2010

Strengths:    low center of gravity, Cane Creek threadless headset, good crank, strong frame, quality hubs, bike is 7 years old, and has held up like new. Built to last, this bike was ridden and has stood the test of time. Where it counts this bike is a great bike.

Weaknesses:    seat post to tall for the 9 inch frame, had to cut seat post so it could go all the way down, frame kind heavy, no front shock, If your child is going to ride on sidewalks or places with out curb cuts front shock works great for hopping curbs, also helps with a smoother ride, and learning to wheely walk. the 2004 model of this bike and newer has the option for the front shock. Grip shift sucks on any bike. index shifting would be better not sure why grip shift was put on this bike, grip shift is still used on the 2010 model. Linear pull brakes where used on this bike, something that is about the same cost (little less, little more) but a lot nicer to go with would have been, centre pull brakes, cantilever brake. shimano sis derailleur is bottom shelf shimano. It would be better if the bike was a 3X6 (18 speed) instead of a 1X6 (6 speed)

Bottom Line:   
The model and year bike I am talking about is a 2003 SPECIALIZED hotrock.

Overall this bike is better then a department store bike where it counts!!!!(low center of gravity, Cane Creek threadless headset, good crank, strong frame, quality hubs)!!!!!

comparable to other kids bikes that are at the same cost level.($200-$350)

(upgrades that could be done to this bike index shifting, braking system, derailleur is okay for what it is.)

Overall for a kids bike how long do you want it to last, and what brand do you want on the bike to be. I would say if your child is really into bike riding and knows how to take care of there bike, get them something nice. Otherwise just pick them up something from a department store.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   If I'm on my bike I am having fun, ride everywhere and anywhere

Duration Product Used:   More than 3 years

Price Paid:    $5.00

Purchased At:   ?

Similar Products Used:   Gaint, Trek, Fuji.

Bike Setup:   I bought this 6 speed bike for my 4 y/o converted into a single speed, so she could use her training wheels, later converted back into a 6 speed bike when she no longer needed training wheels

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Philly 5.5 a Racer from Wayne, PA

Date Reviewed: November 19, 2009

Strengths:    Cool graphics, Lighter than most kids bikes this size.. better quality than department store bike.. Shifting works well.

Weaknesses:    Cheap plastic chain guard on front breaks quickly and chain started coming off. (how bout some aluminum?)

Bottom Line:   
Overall a pretty decent bike for kids.. I've taken by 7yr old on 3-5 mile MTB trails with it, but its not suited for any big hills or really rough trails (nor is my son!) but overall I'd buy another one... I'm looking at the K2 and Marin for my other son or maybe another one of these.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   wissahickon

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $299.00


Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:3
Submitted by SDak Rider a Cross Country Rider from Rapid City, SD USA

Date Reviewed: June 25, 2009

Strengths:    Lighter than most others this size although still heavier than my Stumpy. Looks great and my 5 year old loves it as he thinks he is on a real MTN bike.

Weaknesses:    So far not many althouygh I would love to be able to put some hydrolic disks on it so he didnt have to pull so hard to stop but I dont know if this is possible as I have not researched it enough yet.

Bottom Line:   
Do not buy the 89.00 dept. store bike as you will regret it if you ride a fair amount at all. This bike is great for what it is but I do plan to upgrade some components so it is more cross country and single track capable.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anywhere in the Black Hills

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Price Paid:    $325.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Hot Rock 16

Bike Setup:   Stock except the 1 inch I cut off the seat post so it would fit him better as the bike is a little big for him yet but the Hot Rock 16 was to small to get him through the summer and with the post cut down a little he loves it.

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by j_anicich a Cross Country Rider from Burbank, CA, USA

Date Reviewed: August 1, 2008

Strengths:    It looks like a mountain bike

Weaknesses:    Heavy. I wiegh 200lb. My bike wieghs 25lb. Why can't I get a <25lb bike for the kid? He wieghs almost 60 now.

Bottom Line:   
Its a neat bike. Not particularily functional however. It says "Specialized" on it but it doesn't go uphills. I had grand visions of the kid riding with me up the hill (10-18% grades) but after the 3-4 trip I did the math and decided I wouldn't want to ride a 100lb mountain bike up those grades and he was right to be complaining. Perhaps we are victims of geography. We have actual mountains...

Anyway I am still looking for a lighter frame with lighter wheels under it... Why do kids need 1 1/2" wide rims?

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Strawberry Peak

Duration Product Used:   1 Year

Price Paid:    $300.00

Purchased At:   LBS

Similar Products Used:   Hot Rock

Bike Setup:   Stock

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Michael from Exeter, RI

Date Reviewed: February 2, 2008

Strengths:    Tough. Reliable. Good geometry. Well spec'ed. With modification, it is trial-worthy.

Weaknesses:    Heavy (though lighter than many). Fork is too stiff to be useful. Stock gearing is to high to really go out on the trails.

Bottom Line:   
My 7 year old son takes this bike on hour and a half rides on real mountain bike trails with me and it works. He takes it over and through everything. If you make the gearing change, it will go in the woods. I also only inflate his tires to about 5-10 pounds. When you weigh only 50 pounds, you don't need 30 lbs of air. It gives it a more comfortable ride. He says he can feel the difference. My second son needs a new bike, and this one is on the short list.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Arcadia

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $220.00

Purchased At:   Stedman's in Wakefield

Similar Products Used:   Spec. Hot Rock 16". Which is a really great bike.

Bike Setup:   Swapped out the stock freewheel for a MegaRange. Had to swap the deraileur to match it. It cost an extra $20, but he can now go up and over just about anything.

Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Michael from Exeter, RI

Date Reviewed: February 2, 2008

Strengths:    Tough. Reliable. Good geometry. Well spec'ed. With modification, it is trial-worthy.

Weaknesses:    Heavy (though lighter than many). Fork is too stiff to be useful. Stock gearing is to high to really go out on the trails.

Bottom Line:   
My 7 year old son takes this bike on hour and a half rides on real mountain bike trails with me and it works. He takes it over and through everything. If you make the gearing change, it will go in the woods. I also only inflate his tires to about 5-10 pounds. When you weigh only 50 pounds, you don't need 30 lbs of air. It gives it a more comfortable ride. He says he can feel the difference. My second son needs a new bike, and this one is on the short list.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Arcadia

Duration Product Used:   2 Years

Price Paid:    $220.00

Purchased At:   Stedman's in Wakefield

Similar Products Used:   Spec. Hot Rock 16". Which is a really great bike.

Bike Setup:   Swapped out the stock freewheel for a MegaRange. Had to swap the deraileur to match it. It cost an extra $20, but he can now go up and over just about anything.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Joel a Weekend Warrior from Philadelphia, PA USA

Date Reviewed: June 7, 2006

Strengths:    QUALITY. None of this walmart crap here. Very tough. I've already taken in through it's paces- uphill, DH, even a jump or two. Very solid. Oh yeah, my 6 year old likes it, too. It fits him great, and it will for a few more years. Then I just replace what's worn out and have it ready for my now 4 year old.

Weaknesses:    I've had nothing but bad luck with RST forks, but that's on adult bikes. I can't seem to get the forks to go through their full compression. They only go about half way. But I guess this isn't much of a problem for my son who only weighs like 40 or so lbs. It's also a bit more than I wanted to pay.

Bottom Line:   
If you ride, which you probably do because you are on this website, a brand name bike is the ONLY way to go. The deparment store bikes are just plain cheap. If (I really mean WHEN) something breaks, you can't fix it. You just end up throwing the bike away. The brakes suck and it won't shift right after the first crash.
On the other hand, the SPECIALIZED is basically a kids frame with adult components on it. The bike weighs in at about 30 lbs (that's what the shipping weight was), but if you want to go carbon and XTR components, the weight would drop dramatically. Here's a list of what you can swap out from your ADULT bike onto this bike: Stem, bars, headset, brake levers, shifter pods, grips, vee brakes, bottom bracket, crank arms (if you can find ones short enough), chain, rear casette, rear derailer, wheels and tires (you can shop the BMX catalogs for lighter ones of these). As a dad, I LOVE this bike. My son crashes and breaks his brake lever. NO PROBELM, I just let him use one of my old ones off of my old bike. The parts just swap right over.
PURE GENIUS. I won't be getting a new bike for my kids for a LONG time. And when I do, I'll be getting the Hotrock 24!
THANK YOU SPECIALIZED!

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Anything that's long and steep and fast

Duration Product Used:   Less than 1 month

Purchased At:   Trailhead Bikes in Cleveland, TN

Similar Products Used:   Walmart CRAP. If you are serious about your kid biking, don't even BOTHER with department store crap.

Bike Setup:   I had to cut about an inch off of the bottom of the seatpost so the seat would go low enough for my son, and I swapped out the stock stem for a shorter, subbier DH stem that fit the length of his arms better.

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Jorge a Cross Country Rider from San Diego, CA

Date Reviewed: May 2, 2005

Strengths:    I bought this bike for my 5 year old, it feets him pretty well, it has a strong and light frame, good components and it gives him good power on the uphills

Weaknesses:    a little noise with the bearings designed to keep the chain in place

Bottom Line:   
This bike is great I already took him to the mountain and he was able to climb a tuff 1.5 miles uphill that first I thought he was going not be able to, he enjoys it and fits him perfectly, he can reach no problem the brakes and the pedals.

Expand full review >>

Favorite Trail:   Otay Mesa

Duration Product Used:   3 months

Price Paid:    $230.00

Purchased At:   Bicicle Warehouse

Similar Products Used:   toys r us steel bikes, no comparison, he tested the kids trek but did not fit him on the arms lenght

Bike Setup:   standard

Reviews 1 - 11 (11 Reviews Total)

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