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Got my son a Hotrock 20 three years ago and he quickly learned how to ride and outgrew it and I got him a GT Stomper 24. His little sister finally got big enough to ride it and does awesome on it. My question is she can't reach the brake lever. So what are my options for a replacement brake lever with shorter reach? It's the coaster version and I'd also like to maybe upgrade to a suspension fork and put a front brake on it. What's available that will fit these little frames? I searched and all the previous posts were quite old and didn't know if the info was still relevant.
 

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From reading through older and newer posts myself, the consensus seems to be that kids bikes are improving rapidly enough that investing time and parts in upgrading something older (particularly if it has coaster brakes) will usually have a worse cost / benefit ratio than getting something newer, unless you already have a large parts bin on hand to draw from.

To put on a suspension fork, the cheapest 20" air fork option is ~$120 from Suntour, then $50 or so for a disc brake & lever (since the fork doesn't have v-brake mounts and there aren't any adapters that fit), another $50 or so for a disc front wheel and $15 for a rotor.

At that point, you're $200-300 in parts and still have a single-speed bike with a coaster brake.

Bikes like the Vitus 20+ are a huge improvement over the coaster Hotrock 20 for ~$400 -- here's a pretty recent thread looking at one:
https://forums.mtbr.com/families-riding-kids/vitus-20-just-delivered-1102729.html
 
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