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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been doing a bit of research on this specific board.

Like his daddy, my oldest son seems to be on the tall side since birth. At 7.25 years old, he is 53" tall and his true cycling inseam is 22". He also just (finally) learned to ride his current bike (16" wheeled junker) pretty well.

Being that he is so tall, likely to continue to grow quickly and will not receive his new bike till Christmas, I've been thinking of leapfrogging right past even 24" bikes to a XS or XXS 26" frame. Part of this stems from my current stash. I have quite a few parts already including wheels, brakes, etc that are all mid-range or better in quality. With everyone parting out their 26" gear to buy 29ers, I'm quite sure I could even upgrade on the cheap. Plus, if I do it right, my youngest will move up to this bike when my oldest grows beyond it.

Does anyone have a kid around my son's height and/or age that rides a 26" wheeled bike? What is the setup?

Thanks!
 

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Wēk Sôs
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Kids are weird and very unpredictable as to when/how the growth spurts occur. This is one reason why some parents advocate not spending much. I like XS 26" frame, so you have a bit of growth. 22" inseam may not get you onto a XS 26" even with 24" wheels unless you get a step through frame. The thing is, as he grows, so does his reach, and he may get cramped in a XS.

There are a few, do a search in the forum for builds, or scroll down a bit and look for some builds with the performance access frame and the sette reken frame. There's a few that did the XS 26" build (with 24" wheels). I believe someone did a build with an Orbea frame as well. I'm in the middle of one myself with a 13" Ragley Shitehawk. My son is around your age, just a bit shorter, but has a 23" inseam. I haven't measured the standover of the bike that will be built, but I figure standover will be right around 24". I figure by the time I finish with the build (approximately winter time), he should be able to fit on a 26" frame with 24" wheels.
 

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My son is almost 10. I think we all feel your pain that the bike industry almost ignores kids not big enough to ride a 26" wheel. (Trying to sell us anchors with wheels does not count)
My son is I think 56" tall with an inseem that is closer to 24". Here he is with the XS Nashbar frame build I did for him this summer. This is actually after his first ride in our local beginners trail. It looks too big for him when he rides it but he seems to be able to manage it pretty well.
 

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A nice solution....

My son is nowhere ready for a full size frame. He's barely ready for a 24" wheel. When he is ready I plan on getting a 13-14 inch disc frame and build it using 24" rims. I may even just buy a complete bike like a Rockhopper disc and build up the 24" rims.

Then, as he grows I will build up the 26" wheels and get another year or 2.
 

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I had seriously considered the 24" wheel solution but after a lot of thought I went with the 26" wheel. I think the hard part was knowing that in order to get a 24" disc wheel I was going to have to make it and then after a year it would be put on a hook as he moved up to 26".
(I also got those Neuvation wheels for like $110 shipped)

Good luck with whatever you go for, they sure don't make it easy for us to put a good bike under them.
 

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I bit the bullett, went to the LBS and traded in two heavy bikes and some cash for a KHS Alite 24" for my 9 yo daughter. Light, disc brakes (makes a huge diff for the downhills), and bright orange. Absolutely the best investment Ive made in kids gear. Yesterday we rode some singletrack in Stowe and its a whole new ballgame for her. I'm getting another one for my son next year even if I have to sell some of my own stuff. The light weight and braking ease has improved her confidence exponentially. Generally, I think kids bikes are crap and way too heavy, but this KHS is awesome. Its what many kids who race up at Catamount Family Center in Burlington use, too. Just a thought...
 

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Wēk Sôs
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I've been trying to find the Alite locally, but have not been able to. I've since given up on the store bought 24". However, Kona has the Kula 2-4 this year. The specs are very nice. Maybe go for that as an alternative to the KHS for your 2nd?
 

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I've been trying to find the Alite locally, but have not been able to. I've since given up on the store bought 24". However, Kona has the Kula 2-4 this year. The specs are very nice. Maybe go for that as an alternative to the KHS for your 2nd?
Keep an eye on Ebay, there were two 13inch Specialized frames on there recently.

I know I probably paid too much but this is what I bought
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

I have some 24 inch wheels, Novatec Disc hubs and Sinz rims.

Looking at the KHS, I'll have about the same money in my build, but I think better parts in the long run and hopefully a lighter bike
 

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I've been trying to find the Alite locally, but have not been able to. I've since given up on the store bought 24". However, Kona has the Kula 2-4 this year. The specs are very nice. Maybe go for that as an alternative to the KHS for your 2nd?
The Kona looks like a great bike, but I can get another Alite 24" for $409 from my LBS about 5 minutes from my house. Thats a pretty good deal. He just came back from Interbike, too, and was looking for another bike of the same quality, component set, and price point, and still believes the KHS to be the best bang for the buck kids bike. The best selling point for me, though, is the difference its made in my daughters riding and confidence (most of that is not just emotional, either. Coming from a tank-like diamondback she had, the bike is definately a big part of the new equation).

Someone who knows what they are doing could likely put together a better bike for the money, but I don't have either the time or the skills, really, to source parts and build one up. Perhaps I can do that for her next bike...
 

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Wēk Sôs
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Keep an eye on Ebay, there were two 13inch Specialized frames on there recently.

I know I probably paid too much but this is what I bought
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

I have some 24 inch wheels, Novatec Disc hubs and Sinz rims.

Looking at the KHS, I'll have about the same money in my build, but I think better parts in the long run and hopefully a lighter bike
Thanks, I bought a 13" frame last year and had it powdercoated last month. It's half built now. I just need wheels, a seatpost, and a crank set. My build, currently, is well over the KHS in cost and will be over the cost of the Kona when all is said and done. Sadly. The bulk of the cost is the 2010 Rock Shox SID, and the wheels.

I saw the wheels you bought. :) I was going to get them, but I wanted mountain size tires instead of BMX. It was a good deal though. I'm going to get Aeroheat rims with DMR Revolver hubs and DT Swiss Revolution spokes at 2X what you paid for yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for all the replies guys. I've been watching Craigslist and E-bay like a hawk, but may end up grabbing a new XS 26" disc frame and building it up initially with 24" wheels and short crankarms.
 

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You may want to hold off buying a frame just a bit if your interested in the Reken. I know Pricepoint has a winter clearnce sale and in the past, the Reken was on sale. I chose that one since the stand-over is very low, just over 25" with 26" wheels and my son's is just over 24" inches with the 24" wheels. At just over 51", he rides it great in the trails.
 

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It sounds odd but you might try a women's bike. There are some smaller 26" "women's" bikes that have better standover than their "male" counterparts. Other aspects of the geometry can be a little different as well though not by a lot. Color might be an issue though YMMV.

Examples: information taken from Specialized's website
Specialized Myka (Women's) 13" frame standover: 650mm (25.6")
Specialized Jett (Women's) 13" frame standover: 651mm (25.6")
Specialized Hardrock 13" frame standover: 696mm (27.4")
Specialized Hotrock -24", 13.5" frame standover: 648mm (25.5")

I realize standover isn't everything. Just gives you more options.
 

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Since he's your oldest why not go with the smaller bike and then just be able to pass it along to the other kids as he outgrows it? Just a thought. My son is around 53" as well (I think - I think the cut off to ride the thunderbolt at Kennywood is 52" and he rode it this year) and he seems to have a few years of growing room on his 24". When he outgrows it I will put is aside for one of my other kids. If a 26" works now by all means go for it but if it's a case of "kind of big but sort of works" I'd just plan on passing the bike down to get more for your dollar.

I would think a small adult frame would be for a small adult who isn't going to grow much more so it seems to me like that would be outgrown just the same whereas with a 24" couldn't you go from that bike to a larger adult bike? I'm 5'4 and I can make the 24" work but barely. I need a 16" frame. So it seems a 13" frame and a 24" bike would be outgrown about the same time? I am not expert though! Very much learning!

Newbie question though - what does riding single track mean??? (Like I said, not an expert!!!)
 

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Since he's your oldest why not go with the smaller bike and then just be able to pass it along to the other kids as he outgrows it? Just a thought. My son is around 53" as well (I think - I think the cut off to ride the thunderbolt at Kennywood is 52" and he rode it this year) and he seems to have a few years of growing room on his 24". When he outgrows it I will put is aside for one of my other kids. If a 26" works now by all means go for it but if it's a case of "kind of big but sort of works" I'd just plan on passing the bike down to get more for your dollar.

I would think a small adult frame would be for a small adult who isn't going to grow much more so it seems to me like that would be outgrown just the same whereas with a 24" couldn't you go from that bike to a larger adult bike? I'm 5'4 and I can make the 24" work but barely. I need a 16" frame. So it seems a 13" frame and a 24" bike would be outgrown about the same time? I am not expert though! Very much learning!

Newbie question though - what does riding single track mean??? (Like I said, not an expert!!!)
The point of the XS 26 inch frame 24 inch wheel build is depending on the deals you find, for a little more than a new 24 inch kids bike with sub part components, I'm building a much better bike.

One example, I found a 2008 Rockhopper M4 frame and Manitou Skareb fork.
Heck the M4 frame is the same materiel my $3600 2000 Sworks FSR was made out of.

I just found a full set of Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes used for $60 with the adapters. These are the best mechanical disc brakes you can get
From the same seller a complete used XT drive train- $60
 

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OK. :) So now this has me thinking for my son's next bike (we were going to sell the old 220 and buy a new one) I should just get a small frame version of whatever hubby and I have and like.

What does riding single track mean?
 

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OK. :) So now this has me thinking for my son's next bike (we were going to sell the old 220 and buy a new one) I should just get a small frame version of whatever hubby and I have and like.

What does riding single track mean?
Single track (mountain biking) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As far as the bike, just depends on how much you're willing to spend. had I not already invested in some parts, I would have bid on this:
eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

And thrown a set of 24 inch wheels on it. It cost about the same as a good kids 24 inch, but had much better components on it. Sell the 26 inch wheels to pay for the 24s.
 
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