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DD has way outgrown her 20in bike. She is 54in tall, we went to 3 nike shops today. 1 said a 24in bike and 2 said a womens xs frame.

if it helps the 24in kids bike would be a Canondale (http://www.cannondale.com/2013/bikes/kids/girls/street/24-f-street-matte-black)

or the xs womens frame a Trek Skye S

Any recommendations of what to go with? She didn't ride either but did sit on them. She liked both. Price point is about the same. It appeared the kids canondale seemed big for a 24in bike, but I don't want to spend the $ and need a new bike next year as we already had to raise the seat at the shop. But I also want her comfortable riding her bike after a really serious crash last summer.
 

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Your daughter is about 3 inches shorter than my wife, who is 57" tall. She is currently worknig with a local bike shop to find something that fits her, and is thinking about a 24" tire, as the 14" Raleigh frame they had in stock is still a little big for her. However, plans on hold until they get one in stock that she can try out. There don't seem to be a lot of choices in this size... which really stinks.
 

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DD has way outgrown her 20in bike. She is 54in tall, we went to 3 nike shops today. 1 said a 24in bike and 2 said a womens xs frame.

if it helps the 24in kids bike would be a Canondale (GIRL'S 24" STREET 21 SPEED - Street - GIRLS BICYCLES - Kids - Bikes - 2013)

or the xs womens frame a Trek Skye S

Any recommendations of what to go with? She didn't ride either but did sit on them. She liked both. Price point is about the same. It appeared the kids canondale seemed big for a 24in bike, but I don't want to spend the $ and need a new bike next year as we already had to raise the seat at the shop. But I also want her comfortable riding her bike after a really serious crash last summer.

I would say it depends on the riding you do. I tried a XS 26 for my son, but it was just too big since he is into trail riding, jumping etc... Now if he was just riding around the neighborhood, I may had gone ahead with the XS26.

Really only you can be the judge. I know as far as mountain biking, if I were in between frames I would rather go a little smaller than larger.

Do you have another younger child? That way you could justify the 24 since it can be handed down. That's how I looked at it.
 

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Get the 24" bike. My kid is 54" tall and he just grew into his. You might get a good two years out of it.
 

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I would say it depends on the riding you do. I tried a XS 26 for my son, but it was just too big since he is into trail riding, jumping etc... Now if he was just riding around the neighborhood, I may had gone ahead with the XS26.

Really only you can be the judge. I know as far as mountain biking, if I were in between frames I would rather go a little smaller than larger.

Do you have another younger child? That way you could justify the 24 since it can be handed down. That's how I looked at it.
I concur and got a Myka xs for my 54" daughter. She rides lite xc and around the neighborhood and the bike is fine for her. It is nice that the larger wheels have more momentum. She does not like to pedal, so this works out well.
Bill
 

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With out a doubt I would go with a 13" frame in 26"!! That is what my son is on and what I am currently building for my daughter. My son rips it up on his at 7 1/2 yo people are blown away when they see him on the trails. Granted I didn't build it and then have him on the trail the next day, I let him get good at shifting and using hand brakes and just in general get comfortable on the bike around the neighborhood.


Durango
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Klondike Bluffs (Moab)
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Going down the river off of White Rim
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And a short video from our trip to Moab last month
 

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With out a doubt I would go with a 13" frame in 26"!! That is what my son is on and what I am currently building for my daughter. My son rips it up on his at 7 1/2 yo people are blown away when they see him on the trails. Granted I didn't build it and then have him on the trail the next day, I let him get good at shifting and using hand brakes and just in general get comfortable on the bike around the neighborhood.
Also age means very little, how tall is he? Not to be rude but is he lifting the front to get up and over obstacles or jumping and getting some air?
 

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Also age means very little, how tall is he? Not to be rude but is he lifting the front to get up and over obstacles or jumping and getting some air?
He is currently 53.5" but was smaller when I built it for him. He is definitely lifting over obstacles, jumping, and dropping smaller ledges. He also just made the transition to clip pedals. I am running a 1x9 drive train and shorty BMX 145mm cranks.

As you can see from the pictures I am able to run a dual air fork on low psi which allows good travel for his weight too.

I have helped a few others in my area into similar rides for their sons and even though older about the same size as my son and all are doing very well with the setup.
 

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My experience is totally different, but here's a video of mine on a 24" bike. He is about 54.5" tall and he just got big enough to get on top of the bike instead of "inside" the bike.

 

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Hi Kuan, What is your son riding? A 24" Kona with a Cannondale Lefty fork? Is the fork a 26" or 24"?
Yep it's a Kona. Fork is a DLR2 carbon 110 fork with spacers to lower the crown and decrease the travel to about 70mm. Shockspital did the work. The wheel is a Velocity Aerohead 24" and the hub is standard Lefty.
 

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I'm kind of in the same boat looking for bikes for my boys. I like the idea of a small 26" frame so they can ride it longer. But I have pretty much decided on the 24" wheel instead. I think getting the proper fit is more important as they are still learning. I also think the smaller 24" wheel is more manueverable. Its not just the larger size of the 26" wheel but also the gyroscopic forces of moving a 26" wheel. So for tight single tracks I think the smaller wheel will be advantageous for a young rider. But if you are doing long flowing XC trails, I can see where a bigger 26" wheel might be better. Its a lot like the 26v29er debate. Only on a kids scale.
 

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I want to upgrade my younger son's $90 24" Walmart kids mtn bike, and have been considering a better 24" bike or an extra small 26er (men's or women's).

The Walmart bike is a good size for him now, and has served us surprisingly well for years (was first ridden by his older brother). However, we're doing less pavement and more single track these days, and its limitations are becoming more apparent.

Details:

  • Rider: Almost 10 years old boy, 4'9" tall.
  • Budget: ~$300-$600 (might spend more if I find something awesome).
  • Terrain: Jeep roads, single track (sometimes smooth, often roots and rocks), and lots of hills. Some bike paths too.
  • Group: Him, his 13-year-old brother, mom, and dad (me). Sometimes also with a couple of the boys' friends.
  • Priorities: Low weight, disc brakes.
  • Optional: Front suspension (depends on cost/weight).
  • Comments: I ride at a relaxed pace (especially when with my family) and don't pressure anyone, but even so he sometimes struggles to keep up on distance rides, technical stuff, and hills. He's a trooper and doesn't complain, but I don't want to see his enthusiasm diminished.
Some bikes I'm looking at:

  • 13" Men's Motobecane 450HT. Weight unknown. A bit too large (but he'd grow into). Reasonably priced. Disc brakes.
  • 13" Women's 26er Terry Susan B. Weight unknown (presumably lighter than the 450HT). Good size. Reasonably priced. More of a hybrid (maybe put on wider tires). No disc brakes. No front suspension.
  • Islabike Creig. More than I want to spend. Lightweight.
  • Islabike Beinn. Very lightweight. More of a hybrid (maybe put on wider tires). No disk brakes. No front suspension. At upper end of my budget.
  • Nishiki Pueblo. Cheap. Probably only marginally better than what he has now. Might outgrow soon.
  • Hotrock 24 XC disc. At 27 pounds, I doubt it's much lighter than a 13" 26er. At upper end of my budget. Might outgrow soon.
  • XS Hardrock Disc SE 26. Weight unknown. A bit too large (but he'd grow into). Costs more than bikesdirect offerings and has inferior components.
  • XS Myka Disc SE 26. Weight unknown. A bit too large, but not as much as the men's version (and he'd grow into). Costs more than bikesdirect offerings and has inferior components.
I'm leaning towards the 450HT. Posted because (1) I was writing it down to think things through anyway, (2) in case anyone has other suggestions, and (3) in case this info is useful for anyone else.
 

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I want to upgrade my younger son's $90 24" Walmart kids mtn bike, and have been considering a better 24" bike or an extra small 26er (men's or women's).

The Walmart bike is a good size for him now, and has served us surprisingly well for years (was first ridden by his older brother). However, we're doing less pavement and more single track these days, and its limitations are becoming more apparent.

Details:

  • Rider: Almost 10 years old boy, 4'9" tall.
  • Budget: ~$300-$600 (might spend more if I find something awesome).
  • Terrain: Jeep roads, single track (sometimes smooth, often roots and rocks), and lots of hills. Some bike paths too.
  • Group: Him, his 13-year-old brother, mom, and dad (me). Sometimes also with a couple of the boys' friends.
  • Priorities: Low weight, disc brakes.
  • Optional: Front suspension (depends on cost/weight).
  • Comments: I ride at a relaxed pace (especially when with my family) and don't pressure anyone, but even so he sometimes struggles to keep up on distance rides, technical stuff, and hills. He's a trooper and doesn't complain, but I don't want to see his enthusiasm diminished.
Some bikes I'm looking at:

  • 13" Men's Motobecane 450HT. Weight unknown. A bit too large (but he'd grow into). Reasonably priced. Disc brakes.
  • 13" Women's 26er Terry Susan B. Weight unknown (presumably lighter than the 450HT). Good size. Reasonably priced. More of a hybrid (maybe put on wider tires). No disc brakes. No front suspension.
  • Islabike Creig. More than I want to spend. Lightweight.
  • Islabike Beinn. Very lightweight. More of a hybrid (maybe put on wider tires). No disk brakes. No front suspension. At upper end of my budget.
  • Nishiki Pueblo. Cheap. Probably only marginally better than what he has now. Might outgrow soon.
  • Hotrock 24 XC disc. At 27 pounds, I doubt it's much lighter than a 13" 26er. At upper end of my budget. Might outgrow soon.
  • XS Hardrock Disc SE 26. Weight unknown. A bit too large (but he'd grow into). Costs more than bikesdirect offerings and has inferior components.
  • XS Myka Disc SE 26. Weight unknown. A bit too large, but not as much as the men's version (and he'd grow into). Costs more than bikesdirect offerings and has inferior components.
I'm leaning towards the 450HT. Posted because (1) I was writing it down to think things through anyway, (2) in case anyone has other suggestions, and (3) in case this info is useful for anyone else.


One of the problems with buying a complete XS 26 would be the cranks. Those XS 26er you listed all have 170mm cranks, that's what I run and I'm 5'11'' with a 32 inch inseam.

No way I put my kids on that. Buying a XS complete is way different than buying a XS frame and building it up with appropriate components.

It all depends on what you're after. A bike they can get on, pedal and control sure a XS 26er would work or a bike they can learn proper skills on?
 

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The islabikes creig is your best bet if you are doing serious riding.

My 9 year old has been riding a specialized era comp in a 13.5 since he was 8. Many components have been switched out.

Good luck finding one. They are sought after.

We have an islabikes luath 26 cross bike & love it. No regrets.
 

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One of the problems with buying a complete XS 26 would be the cranks. Those XS 26er you listed all have 170mm cranks, that's what I run and I'm 5'11'' with a 32 inch inseam.

No way I put my kids on that. Buying a XS complete is way different than buying a XS frame and building it up with appropriate components.

It all depends on what you're after. A bike they can get on, pedal and control sure a XS 26er would work or a bike they can learn proper skills on?
If I go with a 26er, I was thinking I'd swap the cranks, suspension springs, and possibly the brake levers (but now that you mention it, I'm not sure how easy it is to modify those throwaway suspensions).

The islabikes creig is your best bet if you are doing serious riding.

My 9 year old has been riding a specialized era comp in a 13.5 since he was 8. Many components have been switched out.

Good luck finding one. They are sought after.

We have an islabikes luath 26 cross bike & love it. No regrets.
You guys are making me reconsider my budget.
 

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Cleary bikes has a 24" bike in the works that might fit your needs. There is a thread here about a geared 20" cleary that talks about the upcoming 24". They will be showing some prototypes on their website after the holidays. If your not in a rush, I would keep an eye on Cleary.

Bikes | Cleary Bikes
 

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Imo cannondale is still not putting any effort into kids bikes. Trek has something nice for girls, Neko. Its a mtb, 12.6" frame but 26" wheels, kind of a 29er for kids look. Been looking at the womans version for my wife if she picks up riding with us.

And just cause u have to raise the seat a little instead if down as far as it goes means nothing, look at how far all us mtbrs (and some of our kids bikes) have the seats set way up outta the frame.
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