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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My son is turning 11 this year. Last year we got him a 24" Specialized through craig's list. It was sort of an impulse buy and I sort of wish we hadn't done it. It's beefy and like many kids bikes has too much crap on it that they don't need, such as a heavy ineffective suspension fork and chain guide. The brakes were crap as were the shifters.

We've been him riding on some trails and he was belly aching away. I'm tired, I'm having trouble shiftin, I'm having a hard time braking.... We'd sort of chocked it up to the typical 10 year old I'm really a teen ager.

I took a harder look at the bike and was in a debate regarding redoing all the cable housings and putting some nicer brakes and rear shifter on it. It really was heavy and didn't brake or shift well. Instead of putting any money into it I decided to just go ahead and look at 26" bikes cause he'd be growing into them soon enough. He already likes to ride his mom's bike around

Now the next hurdle was finding an affordable small bike that didn't look like a women's bike. No women's bike names, sky blue, pink or lavendar or flowers. I wanted a frame so that I could use some of my parts bin parts and then ebay the rest. This proved much harder to do than I'd expected.

Ebay was the only real venue. All the small frames were going for more $ than I'd wanted or were full bikes. Some that I'd seen that fit the bill for a short effective top tube included trek, Fuji, a haro, marin, specialized. But once you included shipping the costs were getting a little more than I wanted. Plus I just plain lost a few in the bidding process. Small frames are hard to come by.

But then someone at mtbr turned me on to some frames that performance sells. They picked up the older superslow Access frames and their own house brand. I emailed and got some geometry measurements (shown at the bottom of this.) Decided on the red Access bike. Sort of funky tubing but cool. ETT seemed short and the plan was to put a short 50mm stem on it with the goal of increasing stem size as he grew.

$149+shipping -10% discount coupon. Plus I could send it back no questions if I needed. I was pretty impressed upon opening it. They upgraded their powder coating process and it looked pretty cool. Light too. Note that it comes with a seat binder and crap headset cups (zero stack) I did order a Woodman zero stack just to be safe. A cheaper frame is there perf. brand but I wanted red

I'd had some parts and picked out the rest through some closeouts at Icycles, treefort bikes and ebay.

We gave a box of parts and the frame to him as an early bday present. But he had to help put it together. I must say it was really really fun to do it with him. Real father son time. He did a great job and helped with almost every part. I was a little bit more excited about it than him at times. Explaining each part in detail especially some of my prized parts bin treasures like my Real Designs Square taper Bottom Bracket.

I showed him how to grease parts


and press in the headset.


Scoured the Internet for some red platform pedals


He now knows Race Face and has brand loyalty to them over nike. As I have several other race face products. They had 50mm stem. Its a downhill stem heavy and beefy but cool.


We wrapped the chainstay and even put heat shrink tubing on all the cable ends


I'm pretty stoked on it. He loves it. 27'lbs with full disc. Heavy parts, front hydraulic disc, rear mech disc. WTB saddle, Sugino impel crank, heavy easton post, bar, nashbar rigid fork. The reach is good, but the big wheels make it a little on the large side. Sort of looks like a 29er. He'll adapt no problem and will grow into it in short order.


All in all, I'm really happy as is he.

Here are the measurements from performance on their frames:
small frames geometries

https://web.archive.org/web/20061017142713/www.fujibikes.com/2006/geometry.asp?id=163
performance frame xsmall:
XS-14 S-16 M-18 L-20 XL-22
Seat Tube (C-T) 355.6 mm 406.4 mm 457.2 mm 508 mm 558.8 mm
Seat Tube (C-C) 275.6 mm 326.4 mm 377.2 mm 428 mm 478.8 mm
Effective Top Tube 533.4 mm 546.1 mm 558.8 mm 571.5 mm 584.2 mm
Actual Top Tube 516.6 mm 523.7 mm 536.7 mm 556.1 mm 577.2 mm
Chainstay 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm 430 mm
Head tube 120 mm 120 mm 120 mm 120 mm 130 mm
Bottom Bracket Drop 32 mm 32 mm 32 mm 32 mm 32 mm
Wheel Base 1018.6 mm 1031.3 mm 1044 mm 1056.7 mm 1069.7 mm
Head Angle 71 deg 71 deg 71 deg 71 deg 71 deg
Seat Angle 73 deg 73 deg 73 deg 73 deg 73 deg

Build Requirements
Seatpost diameter 27.2 mm
Headset Threadless, Standard, Pressed-in, 1 1/8" Steerer
Front Derailleur 31.8 mm
Seat Tube Collar 31.8 mm
Bottom Bracket Shell 68 mm

Miscellaneous
Weight 4.18 lbs
Replaceable Dropout Yes
Rear Rack Eyelets Yes
Rear Rack Braze-ons not included, but there are braze-on

access
2009 Access XCL Comp Mountain Frame Geometry (item 30-1873)

14.5 16.5 18.5 20.5 22.5
Seat Tube (C-T) 368.3 mm 419 mm 470 mm 520 mm 571.5 mm
Seat Tube (C-C) 298.3 mm 349 mm 400 mm 450 mm 501.5 mm
Effective Top Tube 540 mm 580 mm 605 mm 630 mm 650 mm
Actual Top Tube 524.3 mm 555.7 mm 579 mm 607.2 mm 630 mm
Chainstay 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm 420 mm
Head tube 110 mm 110 mm 115 mm 140 mm 155 mm
Bottom Bracket Drop 34 mm 34 mm 34 mm 34 mm 34 mm
Wheel Base 1012.6 mm 1047.3 mm 1072.1 mm 1098 mm 1113.2 mm
Head Angle 70.5 deg 71 deg 71 deg 71 deg 71 deg
Seat Angle 73 deg 73 deg 73 deg 73 deg 72.5 deg

Build Requirements
Seatpost diameter 31.6 mm
Headset Threadless, 1 1/8" steerer, Zero Stack
Front Derailleur 34.9 mm
Seat Tube Collar 34.9 mm
Bottom Bracket Shell 68 mm

Miscellaneous
Weight 3.9 lbs
Replaceable Dropout Yes
Rear Rack Eyelets Yes
Rear Rack Braze-ons No, and no openings for them
 

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Nice! I'm glad you and your son are happy with that frame and the resulting build. 27 lbs isn't bad at all. With all those gears he should be able to tackle some hills and climbs as long as his stamina holds out.

What size cranks did you use? I put 170mm cranks on my son's bike and he seems comfortable with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
170mm which is what I run. 165mm would probably be much better. But as a kid and not a type A detail freak like me, he wouldn't even know the difference.

We got it on the trail today, and it is amazing how well he rides it and how much better he can climb on it compared to that 24" tank.
 

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Compressorman
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163 Posts
Ha! I'm doing almost exactly the same thing for my daughter (almost 9). I found an older 13" Access XCL on Ebay, I just couldn't let that go by. Carbon fork, also Ebay, 155mm Bulletproof cranks, short stem, etc. I am giving it the "fat bike" treatment, at least from a kid's point of view - Conti Race King 2.2 tires, and I will build up some wheels with Bonty Duster rims and an Alfine 8 igh.

I weighed it out using wheels from my Hardrock Pro (Ditch Witch rims, heavier than the Dusters will be), and so far I'm right about 21# with everything but chain, cables, brake levers and calipers. The Alfine will add some, the Dusters will drop some. When it's done, I think it will come in around 23# or so, and have plenty of cush.

Like you, I am using it as an opportunity to explain in detail every part and how it works, and both my kids (my son is 6) are helping build it. As you say, it makes for high quality time. As soon as I'm done with this, I'll have to build another one for him!

I look at it this way, kid bikes are crap, and I can do better. I don't mind that I'll spend more money on this. As they grow, I'll just get the next frame size up (or two) and transfer everything over. And get longer cranks eventually. At the price the Access sells for, it makes a better deal in the long run. Heck, two weeks ago the 29er size was on sale for $110 and I had a 15% discount code - $93 baby! So now I have two projects.
 

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Compressorman
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163 Posts
My Daughter is 51". The standover is 26" measured just in front of the saddle horn, which makes it a little big for her yet. She has to stand on her tip toes to stand over it, and even with a short stem, it's a bit of a reach for her, which is to be expected for an 8 year old. I think she'll be riding it on pavement within 6 months, and on the trail before she's 10. Should be about the time she finishes out growing the 20" Marin Hidden Canyon she's on now.
 

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aka bOb
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I am starting to do this build and haven't received the frame yet, just wondering how bad the stock headset is? Also I am looking for a fork and wondering if someone could give me the total head tube plus headset height. I found a good deal on a fork with 61/8" steerer and would like to know if it will be long enough?
Thanks...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Headtube is 4 1/4
I have some cheap woodman headset and total of headset+headtube is 5 1/8.

I am using abig race face stem and have an extra inch or so for flexibility and my steerer is around 8 something.

6 1/8 might be too short unless you got some real low rise headset and low profile stem. It's probably not a good idea to leave too much gap under the topcap.
 

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Great thread.

7y/o, huh? I think my son is 45" now, so has a ways to go yet.

Man, I guess I've got some planning to do. My boy turns 7 in February. My wife has a 13.5" Rockhopper. I think I might be looking for some parts (80-100mm corrected rigid fork, 1x9 drivetrain, disc brakes, disc wheels) to do some more serious single track.
 

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aka bOb
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I just recieved this frame today and WOW really impressed for 140 clams shipped! I'm pumped to get it built up for my daughter she is going to love it!!
 

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standover on the 14.5 frame

i'm interested in building something like this for my kids. what is the standover height on the 14.5 bikes. Thanks
 

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tnt32898 said:
i'm interested in building something like this for my kids. what is the standover height on the 14.5 bikes. Thanks
I will let you know as soon as the fork comes in for my build. Should be by the middle of next week at the latest.
 

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So awesome to read this thread. I've got a 2.5 year old who loves his balance bike and going for rides on the back of the hardtail. I can't wait for a few more years to go by and share the trails with him!
 

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I just bought the Performance frame and a Dart2 for my 10 year old. We'll be putting it together in January after he gets the parts box for his b-day. Does anyone know a source for 165mm mountain bike cranks? Ebay has had nothing. I'm a little worried about his knees, but perhaps a 170 won't be a problem. Anyway, thanks to the OP for posting. I think you've given a great idea to a bunch of people. I'll try to take pictures to post. Andy
 
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