Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Discuss the eternal "Which fork/bike/tyres should I buy?" questions.
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bobgfish
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Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby bobgfish » Sun Jan 06, 2013 18:39 pm

Hello

I brought a couple of these over Christmas for the kids.

http://www.specialized.com/gb/gb/bikes/kids/hotrockgirls/hotrock24xcgirls#specs

I'm looking to shed some weight as they are close on 12 kilos. Anyone have good cheap suggestions. So far I've found some handlebars for £3 each that are half the weight and hoping to do the same for seatpost/seat/stem and pedals.

Must be some good bargins out there that will help cut a kilo or two.

Also looking for 160mm cranks and if possible and air fork but seen anything that will even fit let alone be cheap....

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cooldad
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby cooldad » Sun Jan 06, 2013 19:33 pm

Light cheap air fork in that size isn't happening.
Decent light folding tyres will probably make the most immediate dofference.
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97th choice
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby 97th choice » Sun Jan 06, 2013 19:58 pm

I would just ride them and save the cash for their next bike which will be 26" wheel. Only upgrade if you really, really want to spend cash is some wheels with qr hubs to replace the nutted ones.
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby querhoch » Sun Jan 06, 2013 20:53 pm

upgrade them for what, are they going to be riding red rated trails or something? theyre kids bikes, they dont need upgraded or merit upgrading.

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Woodmonkey
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby Woodmonkey » Sun Jan 06, 2013 21:02 pm

querhoch wrote:upgrade them for what, are they going to be riding red rated trails or something? theyre kids bikes, they dont need upgraded or merit upgrading.

Don't really understand the sentiment behind this comment, why does one persons bike merit upgrading more than another's?
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querhoch
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby querhoch » Sun Jan 06, 2013 21:16 pm

you misunderstand me. i dont mean merit as in its not good enough, but merit as in the type of riding the kids will likely be doing doesnt really merit upgrades to thier bikes.

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bobgfish
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby bobgfish » Sun Jan 06, 2013 21:18 pm

Decent light folding tyres will probably make the most immediate dofference

Current tyres are about 500 grams and roll quite well. Not seen many 24 inch tyres lighter than this.

some wheels with qr hubs to replace the nutted ones

Allready quick release but not weighed them yet. not many places do 24 inch wheelsets either.

theyre kids bikes, they dont need upgraded or merit upgrading

Well that depends. I live in Switzerland. The bikes weigh 12 kilos and they weigh about 25 kg and 30kg each. So they have to ride a bike that's nearly half their own weight up a hill. There is no escaping the hills. Anything I can do to make it easier helps them and they get more enjoyment. Theres plenty of technical trials for them but they have to ride up first...

I know that If I rode a bike that was close to half my body weight I'd hate riding up the hills.

I'm bascailly looking for cheap upgrades. A set of handlebars that costs £4 and weigh in at 250grams rather than the 450grams that are fitted helps. If I can spend £50 on seatpost/stem/seat/pedals, whatever else and shave a kilo of the bike it's worth it. Another £50 on cheap cranks/BB and I can maybe loose another 500grams.

God air forks would help but not seen any for sale in 24inch and no idea what price they would even be.

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cooldad
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby cooldad » Sun Jan 06, 2013 21:25 pm

Kids bikes tend to be seriously heavy in relation to their size and strength.
I remember one I bought for my son when he was about seven, Looked awesome in the shop, was just too heavy for him to ride. In the end I just dumped it on the pavementfor any takers.
It probably weighed more than my full sus.
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The Rookie
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby The Rookie » Mon Jan 07, 2013 07:56 am

If they have cheap seatposts of the steel stem variety, muost are waay too long and at about 150g/100mm a hacksaw is a cheap weight saving while you look out for an alloy replacement.

Inner tubes can be a useful saving, I use 26x1.0-1.5" tubes in my tyres (upto 2.25") with no issues, £3.99 each and 125g instead of circa 200g.

Foam grips are quite cheap and a useful weight saving, Avenir AGG407 are the same as Titec prok rinds/KCNC but about half the price (and slim for kiddies hands).

I'd scan the local classifieds for cheap decent quality stems/seatposts etc. Rigid forks will be lighter, is that practical?

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Woodmonkey
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby Woodmonkey » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:23 am

have you looked at bmx stems, they are normally tough and light with short reach and pretty cheap? same for pedals, can get plastic ones with decent grip.
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97th choice
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby 97th choice » Mon Jan 07, 2013 10:30 am

Single front ring? There really isn't much you can do without starting to take stuff away as your upgrade options don't seem to include the ones that traditionally give big benefits.
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby othello » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:25 am

My two kids have 24" Specialized MTBs and I've spent a bit of time (OK, far too much time) upgrading them. They ride a lot, race them and hit the trail centres with me, so the time/money has been worth it. My son has the 24" wheel FSR and my daughter the A1 version of the 24", which is slightly lighter than the standard hotrock. But they have both benefitted from some weight saving. I've not spent huge money either, as nearly everything has been picked up via eBay bargains or spares bin.

If you want to change the fork, then the only option is an RST F1RST 24" air fork http://www.bike-discount.de/shop/a57905 ... =en&cr=GBP. I haven't upgraded myself, but a friend has, and he said they are fantastic. Really light and tuneable, but they are a serious investment.

Next step is to trim rolling weight as its worth double. If the tyres on the Hotrock really are 500g then you've done well. The ones on my kids were heavier than that. I put on a pair of Rocket Ron 24" which are 445g, but they are expensive and I shopped around for a while. Wheels are potentially a great saving, especially as the Hotrock has a freewheel and not a freehub with cassette. But light 24" wheels are impossible to find, and the only solution is to have them hand built which costs ££. I haven't done this.

A good weight saving was swapping the bars and stem. The stem on the hotrock is a big lump! I bought an alloy stem and handlebar off http://www.carboncycles.cc/ which was really cheap and saved a LOT of weight. Best upgrade in terms of weight v money.

I picked up a lightweight seatpost off eBay really cheap which saved a little. I also swapped my sons saddle for an Odessey hollow rail BMX saddle. A big weight saving but the saddle is tiny! It was a bargain off eBay though!

I took off the big ring on both bikes as its a total waste. Saved a few grams there. I also swapped off the grip shift and replaced with rapid-fire which has made a major difference on them actually being able to change gears!

I also raided my spares box for anything that might help. I had some spare light QR levers which I put in. I took off the heavy rear mech and replaced with a spare XT mech I had lying around.

Were all these changes worth the time, effort and money? Probably not! They have made the bikes lighter which is the key thing and my kids ride a lot. Plus I had a good time shopping for bargains!
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bobgfish
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby bobgfish » Wed Jan 09, 2013 20:08 pm

Othello

Many thanks for taking the time to post this very informative post !!!

Hadn't see the forks on bike-discount but they look good.

Also carbon cyles looks very good as well.

I pick the 2nd bike up this weekend. Wonder if the kids will let me pull it apart and start weighing before they get to ride?

Assume you have taken your kids to Bracknell forest then judging by where you live. If not excellent trails for kids (well was 3 years ago when I lived 1/2 a mile down the road)

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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby othello » Wed Jan 09, 2013 22:37 pm

bobgfish wrote:Othello

Assume you have taken your kids to Bracknell forest then judging by where you live. If not excellent trails for kids (well was 3 years ago when I lived 1/2 a mile down the road)


Yes, regulars at Bracknell. They love the trails there, and we all can't wait until the new trails open in March (they are putting in marked trails in graded loops).

Glad the bike info was of help!
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bobgfish
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby bobgfish » Sun Jan 13, 2013 16:51 pm

Both bikes now here. So far not allowed to changed anything...That was not the wife but the daughters...(she's obvilously been training them more than I realise...) Identical except for riser bars on the boys model (Black and red).

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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby othello » Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:54 am

Did you end up doing any upgrades?
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bobgfish
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby bobgfish » Thu Feb 21, 2013 19:28 pm

Nothing yet. It's -8 outside and the snow is deeper than then wheels. It will be another month ot two before they are used...

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spongtastic
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby spongtastic » Fri Feb 22, 2013 12:30 pm

Bars, stem, saddle. Limited with grips with gripshit although you could cut down some foam ones. If theyre 7 speed there's no choice for upgrades.

Check the tyres - you're probably looking at the weight of a decent folding version rather than the OEM wired that's fitted. German sites are the best for 24 inch. Go for anything light, folding and on sale.

Most of all don't waste too much money, save that for when they're on a bigger bike. My daughters apollo pink full sus came from a skip, weighs quite a bit, she only weighs as much as a mouse but she still keeps up on most routes. Kids are resilient and I'm dreading it when she's big enough to have something lightweight and fast.
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Re: Cheap upgrades for 24 inch bike

Postby yaya » Mon May 04, 2015 11:28 am

Bought a 2nd hand Hotrock for my son at the beginning of the year, which needed a bit of TLC...
The BB was essentially in pieces (as it ballbearings turned to rusty powder!) so got a new, light-ish FSA BB off eBay
Next was the shifters...whoever invented the twist grips should be shot! They worked on the old 3-speed Raleigh Grifter but we are in the 21st century now!!! So got a Deore-level (I think) 7 speed Rapid-fire ones and they make a HUGE difference!!!
Now to Suntour fork has got a little bit of play so I'm looking for a replacement or a fix and I'm not sure which way to go...since they are really low end there is no way to order spares so I might have to take them to the LBS and hope that they will be willing to bother fixing them...
Anything better is either a) disc only or b) expensive...
A new set from Tesco is £51 plus P&P BTW...


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