New Specialized Riprock is a kids’ mountain bike built to stoke tiny shredders

Specialized’s next-generation trail bikes for kids are looking better than ever

Specialized Riprock 20

Specialized has overhauled its Riprock kids’ bike, updating the geometry and ditching the suspension fork to make this a shred-ready trail bike for children.

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Having been first released in 2016, the new Specialized Riprock now takes its geometry cues from the brand’s full-sized bikes, with a slacker head angle across the range, designed for children aged from four to 12 years old.

Pricing starts from £599 / $650 for the 20in rigid model and rises to £649 / $700 for the 24in bike. There’s also the top-of-the-range, suspension-equipped Rockrider 24 Expert for $1,500.

Ditching suspension (mostly)

As we learn more about what’s the best way to start cycling with kids, including the more recent emphasis on balance bikes – such as the (admittedly very expensive) Specialized Hotwalk released last year – Specialized has opted for a lightweight rigid fork on both the Riprock 20 and Riprock 24, compared to the previous model’s 60mm travel fork.

(We’ve got a guide to kids’ bike wheel sizes if you want to see where your child fits).

Specialized Riprock 20 rigid fork
Both the 20in and 24in size options feature a rigid fork.

This switch yields a significant weight saving, which is crucial for young riders, where minimising bike weight is key.

The smallest Riprock 20 model weighs in at a claimed 10.2kg, according to Specialized. Getting the basic mountain bike skills dialled without suspension is now generally accepted to be a smart route.

“We designed the new Riprock to give young riders everything they need and nothing they don’t,” says Eric Fischer, product manager for Specialized kids’ bikes.

“Most young riders don’t need suspension forks, and by offering a rigid fork, we’re able to dramatically reduce the bike weight, which ultimately results in a more positive experience for smaller, less powerful riders.”

Specialized Riprock 24 Expert
There’s 100mm travel on offer up front on the Expert model.

More experienced and confident riders can work up to the Riprock 24 Expert model, featuring a 100mm Manitou fork for trail progression and young riders starting to tackle those more technical features.

Geometry update

Taking design cues from Specialized’s full-sized range, frame updates include shortened chainstays, a slackened head tube angle and shorter stack heights.

Specialized says these changes put a greater level of control into the hands of your budding shredder, without losing that nimble ride feel.

20in24in24in Expert
Stack (mm)385449523
Reach (mm)295350355
Head tube length (mm)759595
Head tube angle (degrees)686867
BB height (mm)239287.5287.5
BB drop (mm)303030
Trail (mm)668389
Fork length (mm)320370455
Fork rake/offset (mm)404242
Front centre (mm)482565611
Chainstay length (mm)350390390
Top tube length (mm)405479505
Standover height (mm)520593618
Seat tube length (mm)290310310
Seat tube angle (degrees)747474

Tiny components for tiny riders

Confidence follows on from comfort, so getting sizing and position right for nippers is key.

The new Riprock features thinner grips, a smaller 130mm saddle and a narrower Q factor, all intended to optimise body position.

Specialized Riprock 24
The Specialized Riprock 24 really is like a modern trail bike in miniature.
Paris Gore / Specialized

Expect everything you would from your trail bike here: hydraulic disc brakes, internally routed cables, a wide-ranging 1x drivetrain with a 42t cassette, capable trail tyres and even an inbuilt front mudguard.

Specialized Riprock range overview

Three Riprock models are on offer, sized with 20in or 24in wheels, with a 100mm travel Manitou J-Unit fork option for the larger size.

Specialized Riprock 20

  • Size range: 42in/107cm to 47in/119cm
  • Weight: 10.2kg/22.5lbs
  • Price: £599 / $650

Specialized Riprock 24

Specialized Riprock 24
The rigid, 24in wheeled Specialized Riprock 24.
  • Size range: 47in/119cm to 56in/142cm
  • Weight: 11.2kg/24.7lbs
  • Price: £649 / $700

Specialized Riprock Expert 24 with Manitou J-Unit Comp 100mm fork

Specialized RipRock 24 Expert
The suspension-equipped Specialized RipRock 24 Expert.
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  • Size range: 47in/119cm to 56in/142cm
  • Weight: 12kg/26.4lbs
  • Price: $1500