Looking advice on an MTB for my 11-y-o grandson

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Looking advice on an MTB for my 11-y-o grandson

Postby Steve922 » 6 Jun 2016, 11:21pm

My 11-year-old grandson is taking quite an interest in off-road riding. Mountain Biking, that is, not surfaced trails. We've been several times to Sherwood Pines doing the Red and Blue routes; he's riding a cheap kids (24" wheel) hybrid but manages ok.
Now he's wanting to get more into Mountain Biking proper and I'd like to get him a half-decent bike to tackle more adventurous stuff and have more fun. My problem is that he's only really big enough for a 24" wheel bike (my 17" adult MTB is easily too big for him.) Any suggestions or advice would be most welcome. Some more information about our situation....
Intended rides:- MTB trails with drop-offs, jumps, mud, rocks, roots, etc. nothing too adventurous; I don't want him damaged! Also the great offroad outdoors (Peak District to start with.) Maybe progressing to some Trailquest or similar events.
Budget: this is a hard one so I'll pitch at somewhere between £200 and £800 new, half that second-hand. That budget is just a wild guess and isn't rigid.
At the moment, I'm thinking something weighing less than my adult MTB, hardtail, front suspension (air?), SPD pedals, knobbly tryes and I haven't really got much of a clue - its 20+ years since I bought an MTB!
Any advice appreciated.

Trail Beater

Re: Looking advice on an MTB for my 11-y-o grandson

Postby Trail Beater » 7 Jun 2016, 12:25pm

There are just so many choices out there.
But the first one that springs (always) to mind is the Specialized Rockhopper.
You can get them for about £500 new,and it will give him a proper mountain bike,which can be upgraded easily.
Top frames that will not break the bank,whilst giving him a genuine MTB.
My first MTB was a Marin Bear Valley SE in '92,because it makes sense to NOT start with a bike that isn't up to the job.
That's my opinion anyway.

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Re: Looking advice on an MTB for my 11-y-o grandson

Postby roubaixtuesday » 7 Jun 2016, 1:30pm

I have a specialized 24" hotrock available.

A few years old and with the wear and tear you'd expect from a used bike, but all working.

It's actually got slicks on it (to help him keep up with his brothers on the road), but I think I've got at least one if not both the original knobbly tyres.

PM me if you want more details, we're near the peak district too, S. Mancs.

This is the 2015 model, mine is c. 2011 I think.

https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized ... l-EV175494



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Re: Looking advice on an MTB for my 11-y-o grandson

Postby hamster » 7 Jun 2016, 1:37pm

Probably the best for smaller people is an Islabike. You get what you pay for, everything is scaled down for smaller hands etc. You will also get your money back at resale time.

Alternatively look at a Kona, they always have smaller frames.

Older bikes (say mid-90s) were lighter, which matters a lot if you only weigh 40kgs.

I've just built up a 1995 Kona Cindercone for my son, 11 this month using a 16" frame (more like a 14" for any other make). It replaced a 24" Islabike. It's a little on the big side at present, but he should be fine within the year.

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Re: Looking advice on an MTB for my 11-y-o grandson

Postby elPedro666 » 17 Jun 2016, 12:46am

Agreed, Islabikes are always the right choice!

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my wobbly using hovercraft full of eels.