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Hardtail for a 10 year old

mountaingoatimnotmountaingoatimnot Posts: 185
edited June 2012 in MTB buying advice
Having now completed a few rides with my son, the last being the Verderers Trail at FoD (rated blue with optional red sections) I'm thinking its time I started to get him something more suited to these trails.

His current bike is a girls (ssshhh don't tell him :o ) Apollo 15" frame, 26" wheel which is about the right size for him (taller than the average 10yr old!) but the quality obviously isn't great, and the front fork is so stiff it does next to nothing soaking up bumps. Its an MTB by look, not by design, and in fairness it was picked up at a car boot sale on the basis of just being a bike to kick around the neighbourhood.

I don't have an infinite budget and i'll obviously be looking for a small (or even extra small) frame size dependent upon manufacturer. I don't mind buying secondhand via eBay or the classifieds either.

Budget £300 absolute tops, but would prefer something more around £250 as in a year or so time he'll need a bigger bike.

I've looked at the Decathlon website (sadly no store anywhere near me), ruled out their cheaper 'leisure MTB' range (not suited to rough terrain) so that pretty much leaves this as their only offering..

http://www.decathlon.co.uk/rockrider-52-id_8156187.html

Alternatives are the GT Agressor from Pauls .. http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.p ... 1b0s2p3348

or this Jamis..

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/jam ... e-ec031810

Thanks
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Posts

  • warpcowwarpcow Posts: 1,448
    I'd keep an eye out for 2nd-hand Islabikes Beinns (probably the 26" version). You should be able to get one for well under your budget.
  • Thanks - i had a quick look through the window at their place yesterday as i passed by. Their outfit looks OK, but couldnt get up close to the bikes as they were closed for Bank Holiday
  • After a bit of searching around i've come up with a few more options. I've included womens models on the assumption that the fork springs will be a little softer than buying a small sized mens model ??

    Anyway, here's my shortlist..

    Giant Revel 2 Womens 2011..
    REVEL 2 W
    Key upgrades (from Revel 3W):
    - SR Suntour XCT 80mm travel suspension fork
    - Shimano 24 speed EZ Fire shifters with Acera rear derailleur
    - Giant CR18 double wall aluminium rim, Formula cassette hub
    - SIZES: XS (14”), S (16”), M (18”)
    - COLOUR: Gun Metal/Cyan
    Model - Revel 2 W
    Sizes - XS (14") ,S (16"), M (18")
    Colours - Gun Metal/Cyan
    Frame - AluxX aluminium
    Fork - Suntour XCT V2 80mm
    Shock - N/A
    Handlebar - Steel low riser
    Stem - Giant aluminium ahead
    Seatpost - Giant aluminium
    Saddle - Giant for Women Sport Trail
    Pedals - VP resin cage pedal
    Shifters - Shimano EZ 50 24 speed
    Front Derailleur - Shimano TX50
    Rear Derailleur - Shimano Acera
    Brakes - Tektro linear pull
    Brake Levers - Shimano EF50 2 finger
    Cassette - Shimano HG30 11-32
    Chain - KMC Z7
    Crankset - SR Suntour 22/32/42
    Bottom Bracket - Cartridge
    Rims - Giant CR18, DW aluminium
    Hubs - Formula
    Spokes - Black stainless
    Tyres - Giant Path 26x2.1"




    Specialized Myka HT Disc 2011..

    FRAME: A1 Premium Aluminum, fully butted, women's geometry, low standover TT, ORE DT, externally relieved HT, forged dropouts w/ replaceable alloy hanger
    FORK: SR Suntour SF11-XCT-V3-DS-26, 80mm, 1pc. alloy lower, 28mm Hi-Ten stanchions, coil/mcu spring w/ preload adj.
    HEADSET: 1-1/8" threadless, loose ball
    STEM: Alloy A-head, 4 bolt, 20 degree rise, 25.4mm clamp
    HANDLEBARS: Hi-Ten riser bar, 35mm rise, 8 degree back sweep, 4 degree up
    GRIPS: Specialized Myka, dual density Kraton, 130mm
    FRONT BRAKE: Tektro IO Mechanical disc brake, dual pad angle adj., 160mm rotor
    REAR BRAKE: Tektro IO Mechanical disc brake, dual pad angle adj., 160mm rotor
    BRAKE LEVERS: Alloy, linear pull
    FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano FD-M310 Altus, 34.9mm clamp
    REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano RD-M310 Altus, 7sp direct mount Long cage
    SHIFT LEVERS: Shimano SL-M310 Acera SL, 7sp rapid fire trigger
    CASSETTE: SRAM PG-730, 7-speed, 12-32t
    CHAIN: KMC Z7 w/ reuseable Missing Link
    CRANKSET: SR SunTour, square taper spline
    CHAINRINGS: 42S x 32S x 22S, w/ chainguard
    BOTTOM BRACKET: Sealed cartridge, square taper, 118mm
    PEDALS: Composite body, reflectors, toe clip compatible, 9/16"
    RIMS: Alex HRD 26", alloy double wall, pinned, 32h
    FRONT HUB: Forged alloy, double sealed, ground race, disc, QR, 32h
    REAR HUB: Forged alloy, double sealed, ground race, cassette, disc, QR, 32h
    FRONT TYRE: Specialized Fast Trak LK Sport, 26x2.0", 60TPI, wire bead
    REAR TYRE: Specialized Fast Trak LK Sport, 26x2.0", 60TPI, wire bead
    INNER TUBES: Schraeder valve
    SADDLE: Body Geometry Women's Riva MTB, 155mm width
    SEATPOST: Alloy two bolt, 12.5mm offset, micro adjust, 30.9mm
    SEAT BINDER: Alloy QR, nylon washer
    NOTES: Chain stay protector, reflectors, clear coat, owners manual



    or a bit off budget, but much better spec wise this Giant Yukon FX2 2009..

    Frame ALUXX aluminium, Fluid Formed, 4''/100mm travel, GIANT air shock rebound adjustable
    Forks RockShox Dart 2 100mm travel, preload, rebound adjustable with TurnKey lock out
    Rear Derailleur SRAM X.5
    Front Derailleur Shimano Alivio
    Shifters SRAM X.5 24 speed triggers
    Chainset TruVativ ISOFlow 3.0 22/32/44
    Bottom Bracket Cartridge
    Chain KMC Z7
    Freewheel SRAM PG850 11-32
    Stem GIANT A3 aluminium ahead
    Handlebars GIANT A5 aluminium riser
    Front Brake Shimano hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
    Rear Brake Shimano hydraulic disc, 160mm rotor
    Brake Levers Shimano
    Rims WTB Dual Duty XC
    Front Hub Formula disc
    Rear Hub Formula disc
    Spokes Stainless steel
    Tyres Kenda Nevegal 26x2.1'' Stick-E (F) DTC ®
    Saddle GIANT
    Seatpost GIANT A3 aluminium
    Pedals Alloy platform


    Is the last one overkill for blue and (future) red trials ??
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    I would steer well clear of full suss at this price, will likely be heavy and not work well.

    The Myka is good if below £300 - its a good bike at that price, just not at the £500 odd that new ones cost with a downgraded spec for 2012.

    If you can go above budget though, look at the Voodo bikes from Halfords. They get great reviews here.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    Blimey a 10 year old on a 15", I ride 16" and I'm 45/5'10".

    Why not reframe the apollo using a decent 15" frame and forks and as much as is worth carrying over for now, the apollo is worth 2 parts of nothing anyway......could do it for £100 or less.

    If you buy a bike, then a used one will always offer better value for money, if you can pick up a small Vulcan or similar for example....and it will lose less for when you have to sell it in 2 years time!
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • apreading wrote:
    I would steer well clear of full suss at this price, will likely be heavy and not work well.

    The Myka is good if below £300 - its a good bike at that price, just not at the £500 odd that new ones cost with a downgraded spec for 2012.

    If you can go above budget though, look at the Voodo bikes from Halfords. They get great reviews here.


    Yes i have my doubts about a FS at a supposed £750 RRP - several reviews suggests its OK albeit the component spec is budget level, but then any hardtail at £250-350 is similarly budget spec'd. The Voodoo Bantu does have the benefit of an air fork but the 16" frame (smallest) coupled with a straight top tube probably equates to nil standover at present.

    The Myka is £270, so £100 less than the Bantu or Yukon

    Given he's currently riding blue and green trails on a Halfords Apollo (girls) hardtail with nigh on nil front fork travel plus cheapest of cheap shimano derailleurs , anything is going to be better !
  • Blimey a 10 year old on a 15", I ride 16" and I'm 45/5'10".

    Why not reframe the apollo using a decent 15" frame and forks and as much as is worth carrying over for now, the apollo is worth 2 parts of nothing anyway......could do it for £100 or less.

    If you buy a bike, then a used one will always offer better value for money, if you can pick up a small Vulcan or similar for example....and it will lose less for when you have to sell it in 2 years time!

    Thanks for the suggestion !

    The current Apollo is 15" and being a girls design the top tube is slightly lower so a good fit for him - he has about 3" of seat tube showing currently and then a big padded girly saddle ! The safety of correct standover height is partly why i need to find a 15" frame, preferably with a kink in the top tube - hence partly my reasoning towards womens models.

    I doubt its economcal reframing - a set of even basic Suntour forks is £50, the current wheels are cheap alloy so would have to be replaced (Mountain King tyres are new) and the shimano grip shifts and cheap derialleurs aren't worth the effort required to transfer them. So by the time i've bought a frame, fork, gearset and a set of wheels it isn't worth the effort (and neither do i have the time if i'm honest !)
  • mac_manmac_man Posts: 918
    My Mrs has a Marin Juniper trail. She's 5'3'' and it fits great. Loads of standover clearance. Bought it second hand a few years back for £350 as a year old model. They were going for £800 new. The good thing is that you'd never know it was a womens bike. No girly pink or flowery graphics.

    pic here: http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/Bike ... &Type=bike

    EDIT: check out Konas as well, they always seem to do a wide range of sizes down to 14''
    Cool, retro and sometimes downright rude MTB and cycling themed T shirts. Just MTFU.

    By day: http://www.mtfu.co.uk
  • Well visits to several outlets this weekend revealed a fat ZERO :(

    One LBS tried to sell us a Mongoose Fireball dirt bike - i know the intention with the frame size was probably all good, but the non trail orientated tyres, £500 price tag, and worst of all ca 18Kg weight were hardly conducive to forest trial/centre riding.

    Two Halfords stores had nothing in stock in 16" frmaes, bar girly Apollo bikes - even their womens Carrera stock was all large frame.

    I've browsed the usual internet suspects for deals, and got so carried away I've even been considering Mongoose Teocali Comp, but then saw sense about the budget and the weight.
  • forest2forest2 Posts: 13
    isla bikes lightweight makes a big difference , my son loves his , designed for children and hold value
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    I think the Yukon FX2 is a good bike, good build, though I haven't ridden one. You can see the rear shock on entry level Trance models, it is good. And it has better forks, gearing and wheels than most of the other bikes here.
    But see reviews on how it rides. Cheers.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • forest2 wrote:
    isla bikes lightweight makes a big difference , my son loves his , designed for children and hold value

    Don't disagree, but all they do at their Ludlow factory is unbox them and screw 'em together just like any other bike shop. I keep reading reviews suggesting you can get sprung fork option, but i can;t see it listed at all for the Beinn model and the Creigg is a bit silly at £700. Upgrading the fork (if you can) and upgrading tyres to more trial orientated ones pushed the Beinn to £400+
  • 386ka wrote:
    I think the Yukon FX2 is a good bike, good build, though I haven't ridden one. You can see the rear shock on entry level Trance models, it is good. And it has better forks, gearing and wheels than most of the other bikes here.
    But see reviews on how it rides. Cheers.

    Yes i've not read a bad review on the 2009/10 range - in fact most reviews are very complimentary bar the fork, but that can be upgraded as and when. My only concern is the weight of a full susser , perhaps too much for your average 10yr old ?

    We've narrowed it down to..

    Giant Yukon FX2 @ £375 (15" mens frame)
    Giant Revel 0 (14" men frame) @ £400
    Giant Revel 1 W (16" women frame) @ £325
    Spesh Myka Disc @ £300


    All mens models with straight top tubes in 15/16" frames don't give enough standover height so the Voodoo Bantu, Vitus Nucleus and many other options have now been discounted (based on trying a couple of neighbours bikes and checking listed frame geometries tonight)

    I'm still drawn to the Giant Arete 1 whcih is just great spec at £700, but i know its complete overkill for his needs
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    edited June 2012
    Well, the Arete has really good specs, and truth is that when he gets taller, you can just swap for a bigger frame.

    But, it may be overkill for him for now, and what if it gets neglected, or when he grows older, asks for better components etc?

    Anyway, weight is not everything in the bike. You can give a bad bike more lively feeling by changing to better, lower drag, lighter tires (read kenda small block 8 ). Although, as childhood was not far from now, I can say that weight does play a bigger role for kids than for adults.

    Ps, the Revels have the Dart2 equivalent fork.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    Personally I'd look on ebay/gumtree for a good used one, you can get some real bargains, the lads Spesh P1 has cost less than £300 and has Manitou air forks, spds, fulcrum wheels and full X9 shifting......
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • To be honest i'm wary of buying used, especially on eBay as you just can't tell the real condition and use its received.

    But as more references to 'dirt bikes' are appearing here I do wonder whether something like the Giant Brass might actually be more in line with what a 10 year old "wants", rather then the guidance i'm trying to enforce regarding "needs" !

    http://www.ashcycles.com/site/giant-brass-1-2010

    http://www.ashcycles.com/site/giant-brass-2-2011

    the supposed stand-over of 726mm (12" frame) and 755mm (14.5" frame) might be an issue though ?
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    Be wary of dirt bikes, they are heavy, the suspension is stiffer, and may not be the choice for mountainbiking.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,804
    Buying on ebay can be a bit hit and miss, but the hits are well worth taking, as long as it's local ask some probing questions, if it's misrepresented you have a valid reason to walk away, that or gumtree where you can look before buying!
    Current steed - Whyte T129, 2013 frame, mongrel Revelations, Giant dropper, Stans S1 wheelset. 12, Magura Trail Sport brakes, 1x11. 12.8Kg
  • Well there is one item on eBay , thats in my town and i'm sort of interested in. Seller seems genuine but apparently has a lot of watchers so won;t deal outside ebay(currently no bids). Will see what happens.

    In the meantime i did a bit more measuring of his current 'bike' (i use that word loosely :wink: ) and the centre of the top tube gives a standover of 740mm. Thats actually the same as a Carrera 16" mens frame .

    Anyway , not wanting to go more than 740mm standover height rules out..

    Giant Arete (790mm ! in 16" - not sure thats right, but its the printed number in the Giant '09 catalogue)
    Giant Yukon FX1/2 (767mm in 15" frame) - almost glad its too much as it settles the debate over whether a FS is too heavy for him
    Giant Brass is OK for s/o at 729mm in a 12" frame, but the 35lb weight is far too high for him and the fork probably too stiff


    The Voodoo Bantu is 740mm , so thats actually back in the running.
    All Giant Revels (mens or womens in 14/16" frames are OK - 709 - 731mm)
    Cannondale SL3 W is an option perhaps at 729mm s/o in petite sizing, or 743mm in small
    Specialized Myka models are 650mm s/o in 13" an 688mm in 15" so plenty of room
  • Sorry to drag this on..

    we tried a 16" Voodoo last night and he didn;t like the feel, and the standover height (measured 740mm mid top tube) was a bit too close for comfort :shock: I think his dislike of the feel is as much to do with the geometry compared to his current relatively short top tube and higher handbars, so nothing that couldn't be improved.

    I've posted over on the women forum to try to get some feedback from lighter riders, but the shortlist is

    Spesh Myka Disc or giant Revel 1 W - very similar spec, Suntour XCR V3 80mm shock, mechanical disc and lower end shimano gearsets

    Giant Revel 0 W - for an extra £50 he'd gain hydraulic discs and Alivio gear set

    I'm adding the following to the mix..

    Marin B-17 - its an old men's model, but standover is OK at 729mm, the component spec is good (RS Tora SoloaAir 130 fork, SRam X7 / Shimano Alivio gearset, Deore hubs, Shimano Hydraulic brakes) and at £500 it looks a good buy compared to its original RRP ?

    Cannondale SL 3 W - womens geometry (so top tube length should be better for him), great components (SRam x5, RST Deuce fork, Tektro hyd brakes but the absolute max i want to pay at £550 delivered.

    The latter two offer a degree of future proofing, but again are potentially overkill for his use ?

    Any comments about the Marin and Cannondale ?
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    The air fork is a good bet for very light riders. Also, links to the specified bikes always help.
    By the componentry, I would be inclined to the Revel 0 or Marin B-17, or that Canondale, but try before you buy.
    Also, for kids it's always better to have hydraulic brakes as it cancels out brake cable friction.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • Revel 0

    http://www.ashcycles.com/site/giant-rev ... free-goods

    Marin B-17

    http://www.winstanleysbikes.co.uk/produ ... _Bike_2010


    Cannondale SL 3 W

    http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/products.p ... 0s163p3629


    Truth is, that at £300-350 its difficult to find decent spec aside from Decathlon and Halfords (both of which don't go small enoguh in frame size / stand over), so i've either got to buy a lesser bike, that'll be 10 times better then the current one , and upgrade the fork / components as and when needed or stomach a bigger initial outlay.
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    The Marin B-17 is I think too trail oriented. 130mm fork, heavy rims and those Nevegals aren't helping either (but you can easily swap them).
    They are all good bikes, the latter two have better gearing and components. I would say go with whatever you find fits the best, but swap the tires for lighter and low resistance ones (like the kenda small block 8 )

    PS. I would stay away from the Suntour XCT fork, it is sensitive to small bumps but difficult to control - it has no rebound damping.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • Thanks for the input re shocks and the Marin - its often difficult to keep in mind its for a child, not for me ;)

    Running out of options bar buying the Cannondale SL3W at this rate :(

    Bearing in mind his current bike was probably all of £100 when new many years ago, and has a Zoom 63mm shock that does virtually nothing (even with my weight on it), are the Revel and Myka really that bad ? Surely they have to be a step up ?? Whether they are the best bike at £300-350 is another matter but they seem to be the best ones fit wise.
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    Well, the Revel is definitely a step up. Hydro brakes, and the fork, although basic, is very easy to maintain. The gearing is pretty basic 8 speed but will suffice for his needs.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • Maybe this is another option...

    http://www.winstanleysbikes.co.uk/produ ... _Bike_2011

    lighter frame, reasonable gear sets and Raido air fork affords some adjustment for his lighter weight. Mountain King tyres should be lighter than the Nevegals too
  • 386ka386ka Posts: 479
    That looks pretty good actually, good fork, good gear set, hydro brakes, ticks all the boxes. I don't know anything about the tires thou, but it's a minor thing to worry about.
    If you are ready to splash the money, I think this is the deal.
    A much loved, Giant Trance X3 2010
  • Thanks for the input (again)

    I have a Marin dealer close to my office, so aiming to call there today. I went there a month or so back when looking for my own steed, and i was impressed with a Nail Trial they had (same hydro HT range as the Hawk Hill) because it was very light - Admittedly it did have some top end kit on it which i'm sure helped but it felt super light in my hand.

    Not worried about the tyres , despite some very poor reports- he has the 2.0" MK on his current bike and they give more than enough grip for him at his speeds and current weight; in fact he really likes them as (to him) they roll well on tarmac.
  • Sod's law the Marin dealer was closed on Wednesdays !

    Went to two other LBS, one had Felt QW ladies models which were too high on standover (upwardly curving top tube) and the other had a mens Giant Revel in Small 16" which looked OK but was the basic model. Both places suggested that coil forks would be fine, partly because they didn;t have anything with air until £700+ !! The second place also had a Trek Skye SL on offer which didn;t look as girly as i'd thought, but still wasn't going to appeal looks wise to a young boy :?

    I've looked at reviews of the RST Deuce coil shock that features on the Cannondale SL3W and there's not one favourable comment, in fact a lot describe the fork failing in fairly short time periods . Given its the most expensive option on my short list that's not very encouraging.

    I'll try the Marin dealer again tomorrow but at this rate i might just plumb for a cheaper Giant Revel and be done with it - its bound to be a massive step from the current Apollo !
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,535
    I would go for the Marin - its a nice bike and the air fork will be loads better for a kid. Not just because its lighter than springs, but because the springs will be specced for an adult and your son wont get the benefit of all the travel - whereas air forks can be set for his weight. The Marin is probably overpriced at RRP but is fantastic for £500.

    The Giant Revel will be a good step up but the extra is well worth it in my opinion.
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