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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My just-about-9-year-old is on a 20" Gary Fisher (and the fit is OK I suppose). I'm wondering if I will be able to leap-frog the 24" size when he gets too big and just go to a small 26".
There is so much advantage to the larger wheels when mtbing. I would build it up myself, so can choose a bmx crankset of the right size for him at the time and make it a 1x9 drivetrain.

I've seen that both Trek and Specialized have hardtails that start at 13". Is this the smallest available for 26" wheels?

For someone his age, weight is a big factor, so I'd like to start off with a pretty lightweight frame too, so any recommendations there?

Thanks.
 

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one chain, two sprockets
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classic dilemma

I think 13" is the smallest 26" you'll find. I'm in a similar predicament, as are many that post in this section. I compared a NOS 13" fisher Cronus frame against the Kona Shred 2-4 we just bought, and they are remarkably similar. The Kona has a shorter rear end, but the cockpit is very nearly identical. That said, my son is more comfortable and confident on the Kona. Would the 26" wheel "last" him any longer? Will he enjoy having the 24 as a play bike if he gets a larger-wheeled-bike?

For us, the maneuverability advantage on tight technical trails made the decision to go 24's easy. I don't recommend this for everyone, but being 6'4" and also riding 24" wheels, I think I am well aware of the plusses and minuses ...

Tom P.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What's the weight of that Kona 2-4? Isn't it designed to be a bit tough, therefore heavy?
I could easily put together a 20lb bike. I'm fairly happy with my son's Gary Fisher 20"...it's not quite as light as my bike, but close. It's not just that 26" wheels roll over stuff better (while maneuvering less quickly as you mentioned) but I know I can build a 26er light....
So I'm wondering how light a 24" will be?
 

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I haven't weighed it. I'll try to get a weight for you.

It doesn't feel bad for a complete bike, it's spec'd halfway decent, and the fork has a light spring for low body weight. I also see it as a parts cache when time comes to pick-up a new frame and do more of a custom build. I just couldn't pass this one up...

Tom P.
 

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Specialized made a 12" in 08. You may still be able to find one.

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?arc=2008&spid=32573&menuItemId=0

A friend bought one for his some so he could ride with us on occasion. Seems to be a decent frame with entry level components. For it's worth, my kid is on a 24" Kona and his bike control seems to be much better on the smaller bike. I think the other kid is a better rider but he typically falls 2 or 3 times everytime we ride.
 

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My feeling is that MTB is hard enough for my 8 year old and I want him to be excited about it ( which he is!) So i spent the money and got him a 24" specialized which he loves. It is tough enough getting through a rock garden or steep down hill / drop on a 24 " bike that fits him VS a 26" that is a little big and he is not strong enough to handle.

I know the 26" wheel roll over rock better but I think overall fit is more important.
 

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one piece crank said:
I think 13" is the smallest 26" you'll find. I'm in a similar predicament, as are many that post in this section. I compared a NOS 13" fisher Cronus frame against the Kona Shred 2-4 we just bought, and they are remarkably similar. The Kona has a shorter rear end, but the cockpit is very nearly identical. That said, my son is more comfortable and confident on the Kona. Would the 26" wheel "last" him any longer? Will he enjoy having the 24 as a play bike if he gets a larger-wheeled-bike?

For us, the maneuverability advantage on tight technical trails made the decision to go 24's easy. I don't recommend this for everyone, but being 6'4" and also riding 24" wheels, I think I am well aware of the plusses and minuses ...

Tom P.
One Piece...How tall is your child that got the Shred 2-4? I am considering this bike for my 8.5 year old, but wasn't sure about the standover height. He is about 52" tall for comparison purposes.

Also, any updates on the bike? Would you still recommend this bike?
 

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My son is 53 inches tall. We got the specialized Hotrock A1 FS 24"
Fits him well and he is very happy with it. We made couple small changes. best and simplest upgrade so far has been a BBG bash guard.
 

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yzblue242 said:
One Piece...How tall is your child that got the Shred 2-4?
My son is around 4'8". The Shred 2-4 stand over is 26", but that is at the apex of the top tube bend, and it increases from there. My son loves it. He rode a 26" wheeled bike for a few months last fall, but never really took to riding it, and always went back to his BMX when the terrain pushed him. Now on the 2-4 he tears up the trail, challenges himself, and works on low gear tactics like track stands. He never felt this confident on 26's, and never would have taken a 26 to the skatepark.

We'll be getting a 2010 2-4 for his younger brother...

Tom P.
 

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Jamis probably offers the widest size range for a production brand, from 13" to 21" for most models. They used to offer 10" and 12" models for their hardtails as well but I think they've discontinued the option (other than on the Komodo jump bikes which come in a 12.5"). Check ebay for older Jamis hardtails and you might find one.
 

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OP,

The tweener ages can be a tough choice sometimes. When my 6 year old was ready to move up from his 16" bike, we skipped the BMX thing and went straight to 24". Not sure how tall your 8-9 year old is, but my boy is 51" atm.



26" isn't in the cards for him yet, but my other son was able to ride his Trek 4300 26er when he turned 9. That one has a 13" frame.

HTH
 
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