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Looking for input | 24" Kid's Bike

Inclag

Turbo Monkey
Sep 9, 2001
2,635
333
MA
My son's 6th birthday is coming up and he's asking for a new bike which I'm stoked about. He likes riding his bike and we've been going on the cart roads in the town forest some for little 15-20 minute rides with some breaks and exploring burned in so fingers crossed I may have a new mountain bike riding buddy in a few more years if the interest continues to grow.

He's always been tall and is still on the 95% percentile track for height and is around 51-52" height now so he's well outgrown his 16" wheeled bike.

Given that it is winter, I kind of feel that going straight to a 24" wheeled bike is probably a safe bet as the 20" mountain bikes look pretty tiny.

I originally considering the new Specialized Riprock 24, but the wife nixed that when I told her it was $700 and I didn't feel the need to argue about ROI or the ability to actually upgrade as the frame uses common adult bike standards (tapered ht, thru axles, etc.) so after some discussion we fell on a upper end budget of ~$500.

I'm considering a few different options;

Framed Cable

REI REV DRT 24

Jamis Komodo

I'm aware I'm probably over thinking this, but I'm currently leaning towards the Jamis. I guess if we're going to fork out the money, I'd like to try to get something that he can grow and adapt with. It's reasonably light and I'm sure I could find an old 1 1/8 air fork as my son grows if he takes more of an interest.

Are there other options or things I should be considering?
 

MikeD

Leader and Demogogue of the Ridemonkey Satinists
Oct 26, 2001
10,827
940
chez moi
I loved Cleary bikes for lightness and simplicity.

For a 24" the Cannondale Kujo got our vote.

I like rigid bikes for kids too light to really make a suspension work. The Kujo comes with 2.6 tires so it's fairly plushy.

It was $500 IIRC; my brother may have just gotten one for less online.
 

Inclag

Turbo Monkey
Sep 9, 2001
2,635
333
MA
I loved Cleary bikes for lightness and simplicity.

For a 24" the Cannondale Kujo got our vote.

I like rigid bikes for kids too light to really make a suspension work. The Kujo comes with 2.6 tires so it's fairly plushy.

It was $500 IIRC; my brother may have just gotten one for less online.
Thanks for the suggestion on the Cujo 24!!!!!! Looks like a solid bike and can be had for sub $500 through a sale at Level9.

I like that it has a super low BB and being a Cannondale I'd imagine that the frame is probably an upgrade compared to the other options. Good for some added stability and confidence building and could play well with a suspension fork upgrade some years out if it were to get to that stage.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
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I went through exactly this last winter. My son was turning 6 in March (7 this March) and had grown enough I decided to skip 20" and go straight to 24". I got him a Giant STP 24 and he loves it. Took right to it. Hydro disk brakes, 8 speed 1x drivetrain (Microsoft advent, 40 or 42t cassette). Great ergonomics for a kid. Definitely upgradeable. I've already taken him on some easy trail rides and he took right to it.


Edit: this is the model, but it looks like the price went up a bit. I did not pay $650 for it, I think it was about a hundred less.

I should also add it was one of the few bikes that was actually available. I pre-ordered it through my LBS.



 
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jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
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Thanks for the suggestion on the Cujo 24!!!!!! Looks like a solid bike and can be had for sub $500 through a sale at Level9.

I like that it has a super low BB and being a Cannondale I'd imagine that the frame is probably an upgrade compared to the other options. Good for some added stability and confidence building and could play well with a suspension fork upgrade some years out if it were to get to that stage.
Personally I don't think larger tires work well for kids unless it's a fully rigid bike, extra weight and rolling resistance. One of the problems I saw on a lot of kids bikes is just the weight.
 

TreeSaw

Mama Monkey
Oct 30, 2003
16,964
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Dancin' over rocks n' roots!
Personally I don't think larger tires work well for kids unless it's a fully rigid bike, extra weight and rolling resistance. One of the problems I saw on a lot of kids bikes is just the weight.
I thought the same about tires until I watched my youngest start ripping on her salsa 20". It gives her great stability and a bit of "cush". She will literally ride anything (gets that from her dad) and I don't seem to notice any issues with the weight & rolling resistance. Might just be the way she rides too. She's a pedal masher like her dad.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
18,448
3,651
Colorado
Personally I don't think larger tires work well for kids unless it's a fully rigid bike, extra weight and rolling resistance. One of the problems I saw on a lot of kids bikes is just the weight.
Friend is having this issue with his kid. Loves riding, hates riding his REI bike.

There is a long ass thread where we went through this (all kids 24" bikes) in detail and have it listed out.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
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Friend is having this issue with his kid. Loves riding, hates riding his REI bike.

There is a long ass thread where we went through this (all kids 24" bikes) in detail and have it listed out.
the rei 24" bike was on my list simply because it was available. decided it was too heavy. i mean its not bad, my neighbor's kid has one. but his kid is 9 or 10.
 

Sandwich

Pig my fish!
Staff member
May 23, 2002
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agree that wide tires seem silly for a kid that isn't pushing the volume of a 2.0 tire. heavier, added rotating weight, and not much need for added floatation. I get the shock absorption vs. a fork though.

My daughter loved her spec hardrock 20". I think a lot of that was down to a bike that worked right and had a nice, light, aluminum frame. my vote would go toward a rigid, lightweight aluminum bike over anything else. I'd also be wary of gears- I can't get my daughter to shift. She rides just fine, but virtually never shifts- so an 8 speed setup or even a single speed would be fine.
 

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
7,699
3,411
Ottawa, Canada
My boys have been riding "+" bikes for three bikes now, starting with a Commençal Ramones 20+, 24+, and now a 27+ Norco hardtail. I've never felt the + tires held them back at all. They're totally fine around town, and even did well at the pump track and indoor bike park. For trail riding it's been great. They offer great traction on roots and rocks, so they have been able to ride confidently. In my opinion, it's made a big difference in their learning to ride, and like it.