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26" Bike, off road, jumps etc


My middle kid has reached the limits of his 24" Hoy for what he's trying to do, big off road jumps. He's currently hurting himself when he lands as he's taking all the force as no suspension etc. I'm concerned he's going to wreck the bike as well! He's a pretty confident rider, he took my bike home for me one evening when he was 8 for example.

I've got no experience of this off road stuff, only that I'm far too old to be doing jumps as I hit a tree last time I tried last year.

Happy to spend between 300-450. The MTB's from frog/isla seem excessive in cost at double that budget, but if he's likely to wreck any new bike.

For the sort of jumps he's starting to do, I've got him clocked at about 3 foot in the air once, what should I be looking for??

I'm thinking a hard tail XS from decathlon might be ideal? But other options, suggestions welcome!


  • JBAJBA Posts: 2,608
    For that budget and activity I'd look for a good second-hand bike.
    “Life has been unfaithful
    And it all promised so so much”

    Giant Trance 2 27.5 2016 ¦ Bird Zero Mk1 ¦ Giant Revolt Advanced 2 2019 ¦ Giant Anthem 3 2015 ¦ Specialized Myka Comp FSR 2009
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,123
    Agree with JBA, get a small frame 26 second hand bike with decent spec. Loads around as people have ditched them in favour of bigger wheels. My youngest went from a 24" merida dakar to a 27,5 boardman hardtail at around 11 for similar reasons, he's 15 this summer and still rides it occasionally.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • johnwardsjohnwards Posts: 10
    Sadly I'm not into bike specs, so I can't really tell good from bad, other than "expensive" = "good". I'm a computer geek, and I know that doesn't work in the world of computers.

    Any rough pointers?
  • steve_sordysteve_sordy Posts: 1,948
    I built my grandson a bike from scratch for Xmas 2016. It has grown and developed with every birthday and Xmas since. It is a Giant XTC frame (size XS), resprayed in Audi Laser Red by my local paint spray shop. It currently has the following kit hanging off it:

    The 26" wheels are Mavic Crossride, with a Maxxis Quest 2.4" front tyre and a Continental Trail King 2.2" on the rear. It has a Rockshox Silver Solo Air fork, Shimano XT 10-speed mech, cassette and shifter. Shimano SLX brakes, Nukeproof Sam Hill Series riser bar cut down to 720mm wide. Sundry RaceFace finishing kit. All new headset bearings and BB after respraying. Everything listed was bought new to replace the previous kit.

    It has a pre-loved Shimnao Deore crankset converted to a 1x10 with a new 32T ring.

    For his birthday in August 2019 I got him a Brand-X Ascend II 105mm dropper, his first dropper.

    I haven't weighed it for ages, but it was 24.5 lbs before fitting lighter wheels, bigger tyres and the dropper. The bloody thing has cost me a fortune over the years.

    He was 4'7" when I got him the bike and he still fits it now he's 5'2", but he has outgrown it in other ways. So for Xmas this year I got him a black Ragley Marley 1.0 size S, which in theory he is 1" too short for. Yes, I agree he's a lucky boy to have a grandad like me!! :)

    But I now have a bike for sale! Here is a pic posed in front of his Marley. The grips and saddle are different now.

    It's not prepared for sale or anything, I was just prompted to post by the OP looking for a bike for his son who, from the sound of it, has similar requirements to my grandson and is of the same age when he got it originally.

    If anyone has an interest or knows someone who might, please message me.
  • johnwardsjohnwards Posts: 10
    That looks brilliant Steve, I've replied direct. At the moment I'm still in research mode, if I was in buy mode I'd be straight on it, but we're a few months out from pulling the trigger.

    Here's another related question for those in the know. If I jumped him straight to an XS frame on 27" wheels would that be an issue for him for the fast off road/jump stuff he likes to do?

    He's pretty tall for his age and can handle his bike, but I've no idea the effect of "big" wheels for that sort of stuff.
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