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Any thoughts on this bike(http://www.gtbicycles.com/usa_en/2018/bikes/kids/stomper-ace-24)as a starting point with a few upgrades that are listed below?

Chainstay length is 405mm and the bike currently we is 26lbs ( so says a bike shop that I called who weighed it for me)

Bike $350
Upgrade to RST F1rst Air 24 $210

Laying around the house I have a set of SRAM hydro brakes and as well as several carbon bits like seatposts and bars.


Seems like it could be a contender for less than $600.
 

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For $350, it ticks every box better than any mainstream kids bike I've ever seen at this price. I haven't seen that fork in person so can't comment on its usability, but everything is right with this bike.

130mm crankset
Disc brakes
Al stem, bars, and post
Trigger shifter
Actual cassette and 8 sp drivetrain (not freewheel)

Again, I'm not sure about the fork, but this bike is almost spot on to every complaint of kids bikes you'll find here or in other threads.
 

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That bike is a really nice effort by GT for sure. At least they are trying to make a proper sized, affordable kids bike! With a final cost of $600 in mind, I don't think you'll do much better. And considering the spare parts you have for it, I'd go for it.

The RST upgrade will probably slice off a pound or so. And your spare parts will perhaps take off another half. I'd also suggest on some AEST Ti Pedals for better grip.
 

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I will be working as the shop tech at sportchek here soon, I am buying this bike for my son, in 26" however for him to grow with. I will report back as soon as I get it built.
 

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I will be working as the shop tech at sportchek here soon, I am buying this bike for my son, in 26" however for him to grow with. I will report back as soon as I get it built.
We just got this one for our son too. On sale for $350 CAD so I don't think we can go wrong. I weighed it at around 29 lbs. His Giant XTC JR 24 was 32 lbs! Seems good so far but I am worried that there isn't enough of a granny gear for rides/climbs that we do.

Did you end up buying it for your son? What do you think about it?
 

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Looks like a great base though a shame you need to buy the more expensive 24 to get a cassette rear hub. If you plan on changing wheels the cheaper version looks a better bet as the frame has the mounts.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Just spent a few hours hitting every local bike shop in my area to get my son a new bike for is birthday. He's finally outgrown his 20 inch Specialized Hotrock. We settled on the GT Stomper Ace 24. There really was no comparison except for the DB Syncr 24. But it was also twice the price. The GT was nicer then the Specialized, Trek, Jamis and Haro we looked at. I'm very impressed with it. Hopefully it will hold up over the next few years. We paid $289.
 

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I have been back and forth on rigid vs front suspension the problem being our tight budget. But the more riding we do the more I am convinced my son needs the front suspension. The problem is all the front suspension bikes in our price range aren’t that great. I initially looked at this and thought could upgrade the front suspension eventually but was essentially told the bike wasn’t that great. I would love to hear from those that own it any pros or cons and how it is treating you.
 

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If you can't drop 700$ or so, pass on a front fork bike. The Suspension won't work anyways. Any decent riding kid can still go hard on a rigid bike with proper geometry, they'll just be slower but in the end maybe a bit better. Look at all the BMX kids, they learn to be real smooth because they have no suspension. Don't fall for the garbage coil fork crap, it's a trap for kids that "want suspension" but it does not function for kids and weights a ton. You can get a really nice rigid for around 350 to 500 iirc.
 

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So far the GT Stomper Ace 26 has been great for us. I believe it was $500 regular price and we got it for $350 on sale. It weighs right around 30lb on my scale and for comparison, his Giant XTC Jr 24 was 32 lbs. The front fork was crap on the Giant and needed to be replaced so we replaced the bike instead. They outgrow bikes so quickly at this age, not sure it would be worth spending so much more on a bike at this stage. We do a lot of biking, a lot of 30 km trail days and a lot of blue, technical single track in the mountains. I know my kids would not be able to go as far or for as long without having front suspension.
 

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So far the GT Stomper Ace 26 has been great for us. I believe it was $500 regular price and we got it for $350 on sale. It weighs right around 30lb on my scale and for comparison, his Giant XTC Jr 24 was 32 lbs. The front fork was crap on the Giant and needed to be replaced so we replaced the bike instead. They outgrow bikes so quickly at this age, not sure it would be worth spending so much more on a bike at this stage. We do a lot of biking, a lot of 30 km trail days and a lot of blue, technical single track in the mountains. I know my kids would not be able to go as far or for as long without having front suspension.
I think you need to give more credits to your kids, they did it in spite of the crappy front suspension. That fork on the XTC Jr 24 has barely any compression when I lean on my whole 210 lbs, hard to believe it has any benefit for a 60 to 80 lbs kid. ;)

Cheers,

Sebis
 

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I have been looking for a stomper 24 in my area and every time I go to a store that had one listed available on the web site they are sold out!! lol For around $300 it seems like a great all around bike.. similar spec to the $500 plus bikes out there so I want to get to see one and have my son check it out., I’m going to head to one more store tomorrow and if that doesn’t work I’m working on a 2016 diamondback line 24 as another option.. I didn’t know it was going to be this crazy looking for a more capable 24” mountain bike for my little guy!!
 

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I think you need to give more credits to your kids, they did it in spite of the crappy front suspension. That fork on the XTC Jr 24 has barely any compression when I lean on my whole 210 lbs, hard to believe it has any benefit for a 60 to 80 lbs kid. ;)

Cheers,

Sebis
Possibly. But, my kid is 85 lbs and he could definitely compress the front suspension on the XTC and seems to do so on the new bike too. I agree that it’s not as finely tuned as a good fork on an adult bike but it definitely does at least something for them on the rooty, rocky trails around here.
 

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I think you need to give more credits to your kids, they did it in spite of the crappy front suspension. That fork on the XTC Jr 24 has barely any compression when I lean on my whole 210 lbs, hard to believe it has any benefit for a 60 to 80 lbs kid. ;)

Cheers,

Sebis
I tried the same fork on a Cube ... I'm only 70kg but couldn't shift the fork more than 1/4 of the way.. the girls dad is 100kg and could shift it nearly half way.

However before saying what THAT specific fork is like its worth considering the fork can be THAT BAD that the springs are completely different between forks... it could simply be luck of the draw as to the strength of the spring you get with any specific (individual) fork... perhaps with the variability being so bad some people luck out?
 

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I have been back and forth on rigid vs front suspension the problem being our tight budget. But the more riding we do the more I am convinced my son needs the front suspension. The problem is all the front suspension bikes in our price range aren’t that great. I initially looked at this and thought could upgrade the front suspension eventually but was essentially told the bike wasn’t that great. I would love to hear from those that own it any pros or cons and how it is treating you.
"Not that great" is all relative...
Kids bikes cost no less to make than an adult bike (probably more as they are in smaller numbers) so expectation should be the same.
Most adult bikes in the same price category will be trash ... and worse not trash you can economically upgrade

The GT is way better than trash... it is obviously not a $2,000 or $5,000 bike.
The Ace has a cassette ... disk hubs, disk mounts and 130mm cranks (placing it ahead of many kids bikes 2x the price)

The Prime doesn't have the disk hubs or cassette so you are "economically" stuck with the freehub and low end gears.

Under $200 buys a decent air fork.... Jnr has the RST F1rst... but the Suntour Air also seems good.. (the problem is I don't know anyone who has had BOTH to compare)

If you wanted a really good bike for the minimum cash I'd buy the Prime and throw out the wheels and fit a decent group set and fork

If you wanted a ready to ride decent bike then the ACE is still pretty good value but your paying more for the mechanical brakes and mid range parts... (which may be quite fussy) and when the drive chain wears stick a 10/11sp on.

Both bikes have the same frame which does look a bit long at the back... which will translate to harder to keep the front wheel up.. This will be even harder with a heavier fork. Ultimately the bike will be a larger part of the kids weight so where their weight is will make a bigger difference that an adult who is moving way more weight forwards or backwards on the bike compared to the bike weight.

Based on that I'd probably prefer to start with a Orbea 24 which has short chain-stays... making for a more agile bike but needs the cranks changing from stock.

Either way GT seem to have made a great effort at the price point when you consider what the components cost.
 

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I finally got out of work on time and had my son so we could check out the Stomper Ace. After looking at it and letting him ride it around a bit he loved it. He said he fled more comfortable on it with the slightly wider bars and the brakes were much more responsive than he is used to and everything just seemed to fit better. I have to say GT did a nice job making a legitimate mountain bike for kids that doesn’t hit the $600 range.. this was $289 and at that price the way it is spec’d I think it’s a bargain and with a couple of upgrades here and there it’s a great bike! If you are looking and on the fence about this bike or the others out there just find one and look at the build. I think they did it right.. I did notice the rear caliper is outside the chain stay where it’s pretty exposed but that is more likely due to space constraints back there and the fork is just a typical coil fork.. I could have taken a rigid but it’s there so maybe upgrade down the road. Definitely check this bike out for your kids and it will save you a little in your wallet too!!
 

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We found a bike shop locally that rented this bike. I have been having a hard time finding something that would make my son (and me) happy that was decent and yet still made the financial dept (my wife) happy.

We took it out yesterday to Mary's loop out at Kokopelli (we live in Fruita). We did Mary's up to Wranglers then down. Not a long ride but my son is only 8 and he is pretty tiny. He then rode Rustler's with my wife this morning. Anyway, he loved the bike, at 26 pounds while not super light it is lighter than a couple other he has been able to try. He also loved that it is a 1x and also actually commented on the brakes compared to his old rim brakes on his 20" Marin. While the front shock is nothing to write home about, it did the job, he was able to compress it and it did seem to soften some of the steps he went down. the rental still had all the reflectors etc on it. As a base 24" I can't complain about the bike or the price. We will be buying him a 2019 the shop has. He absolutely loved the bike! Just my .02 for anyone with a little one needing to move up from a 20" but with a very tight budget.
 

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I am upgrading my 9 year old's Stomper Ace for Christmas, I got him one of the Suntour Air shocks and Kenda Kinetics tires, but I would like to address the drive train to give him better ratios for climbing.
Will I need to replace the rear wheel if I move up to a 10 speed cassette from an 8 speed?
I was thinking of Shimano ZEE or XT and just getting the freewheel, deraileur , chain and shifter....I would prefer not to deal with swapping cranks, bottom bracket etc. if I can get away with it.
Is this a good direction or should I look elsewhere?
 
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