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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Trek MT220 24" "Goodwill find" build for my 8 year old daughter

Starting off with a $15 Goodwill purchase that has been hanging in my garage for a couple years until the day my daughter outgrew her 20" Hotrock. That day has come.
It had broken shifters, no grips, and someone had cut the front brake bosses off.
The cut brake bosses were almost a deal breaker, except for this forum.
Thanks to this place, I scored a brand new fork for it.
I've also already changed the headset from 1-1/8" threaded to threadless.
Will upload pics of the build soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ordered some parts. Got Sram X-9 9 speed grip shift on the way, along with a SRAM 9 speed PG970 cassette and PC951 chain. Also ordered Schwalbe Smart Sams and Dans Comp ultralight tubes.
I'll probably re-use the X-9 rear derailleur from her 20" although I really don't want to take it apart. We'll see if I can find a deal on another.
Daughter wants to do the chameleon paint, with some anodized purple parts. I think it's going to look pretty cool.
Can't decide if I want to just use black cables, or maybe do purple cables too. Might be too much.

I promise I will upload pics soon. For some reason I can't navigate to the folder where my pics are. Gotta figure that out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Got the bike together, and of course, she can't compress the front fork at all.
I tried and it took a lot for me even.
Took it apart, and understand how it works, sortof. There's a long spring in the one leg,(with the preload adjuster) and a very short spring in the other.
Went to local bike shop for cables, and asked them if they could get different rate springs like Suntour. He did some searching, and sure enough, they offer 3 different springs also. Come to find out, this one is the lightest one, so it's down to some backyard engineering to find a lighter spring.
I am putting it together as is for now, and swapping the last couple bits over and hope to have the first trail ride tomorrow.
 

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Forget the bike shop, just take your current spring to hardware store and look for a lighter spring of similar OD which are usually 3/4" or 7/8" for forks. Springs made from smaller wire diameter and those with more coils or larger coil diameter will have a softer spring rate. Most decent hardware stores have a selection of generic replacement springs in the fastener aisle. I found a much more suitable spring for my kid fork at home depot that has worked great, just needed to be cut to length to yield correct pre-load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did look while in Lowes, but they didn't have anything... Home Depot and Menards a a little ways away, but I will check there.
I can order from McMaster Carr or Grainger, or any other companies thru work, so won't have a problem finding a spring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Finally rideable!

Got it together.
25 pounds as it sits.
That's wth the stock bottom bracket, and cranks, except I drilled out the rivets and removed the big and little rings.
Running it 1x9 and just a test ride around the block it seems like it should be fine for her.
Going to hit some hardware stores for a lighter spring for the fork.
I am going to find a bottom bracket and single speed crankset for it also. The stock one works but is pretty hideous.
The grips and seat are off her old bike. They will be replaced soon also.
 

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You could always try just removing the spring completely from one side (I'd figure the short one in this case). That's worked for me in the past.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The opposite fork leg had a short spring, and it really didn't seem to do anything. I might take it back out and see what happens.
Took her down to s park with some dirt nature trails, and she seemed to work great.
Even rode thru some tall grass in a field, and I got bogged down more than she did... Of course, I was pulling the Chariot with her 1 year old sister in it. LOL
 

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Looks like your 16 spoke wheel build came out nice.
My daughters MT220 is somewhere below 21lbs, there is likely some more weight that yours can shed. The trek's stock steel crank arms probably weight a ton so are a good candidate for weight loss upgrade.
Are the Smart Sam tires wire bead or folding? Happen to get an actual weight on the tires?
Flame graphics on the seat and grips compliment the frame nicely!

If no luck shopping for springs at big-box hardware store, try a smaller neighborhood oriented hardware store. I have sometimes found decent springs for bikes in among all the bins of specialty fasteners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I didn't weigh the tires... I will say that the tire/tube/wheel combo feels like it weighs about the same as the stock tire alone. LOL
The tires are wire bead. I couldn't justify such a higher price for the weight difference of the folding bead.
The seat and grips are just temporary. the matched her 20" Hotrock even better. (It is (was?) black w/ red flames)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It dropped to 24lbs after swapping her Sinz cranks off her Hotrock. They are only 115mm, but that length seems to work really well for her. The inner pedal holes on the stock Trek cranks put her knees into her chest on the upstroke. I can raise the seat a little more, but they would still be pretty long.
The shorter cranks also create moreg round clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Took the first real trail ride this past Sunday and she flew on this thing. So much smoother and faster than her old 20". Everything works really well.
Blew it apart tonight (except headset cups and stubborn bottom bracket)
Going to buy a headset tool and remove it the proper way...
Soaking the bottom bracket cup with PB Blaster overnight.
Tomorrow night begins the prep for paint. Hopefully will get it painted over the weekend, and back together before next weekend.
We decided on Rustoleums Colorshift paint, and I'm going to try for ghost flames under it. It looks cool in my mind... hopefully it turns out that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Final product (Well...are they ever actually done?)

After the first shake down ride, we came home a tore it all apart for the paint job...
Paint job turned out fantastic!
Ghost flames didn't quite work out like I wanted, so we just went with solid paint job. I did just get some dark purple Trek decals in the mail though.
Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel Tire Wheel

Bicycle tire Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel Tire Wheel

Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Bicycle frame Tire Bicycle wheel rim


We haven't had much sun the last week, but it looks ten times cooler in the sun.
The paint changes colors pretty dramatically.
We're going to add some more purple anodized bits to match the axle QR nuts.
 
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