24 inches, gears and no suspension

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24 inches, gears and no suspension

Postby MattyK » Mon Oct 15, 2018 11:48 pm

Just general echo chamber thoughts below. Ignore if you're not interested.

Have been looking for a nice bike for MissyK who is about to be 10. Priorities were:
1 x 7-8 speed gearing with a reasonably wide range.
Rigid forks. I'm not paying for overweight garbage, and we don't offroad enough to justify needing it.
Not offensively girly colours or step-through frame (will be handed on to MasterK in a few years). Equally, must meet girl's approval appearance wise.
Higher bars than the current bike, so I guess drop bars are out.

Not that many options on the market. Though there are more 3-speed hub bikes than I recall previously, but I reckon we need more range than they offer.

Annoyingly the value leader Reid Viper 24 was high on the list but currently sold out. Also I know I would have thrown more money at it to swap the 14-28 cassette with a 14-34, since the chainring is a big 42. https://www.reidcycles.com.au/reid-viper-24.html Grey colour got a thumbs down.

Neo 24 7s geared bike not bad, same gearing issue as above, and split squarely down the girls vs boys colour/frame schemes. Overpriced compared to the Reid in my opinion, though they claim to be the lightest on the market. https://neobicycles.com.au/bikes/24/neo ... 4-7s-girls

Giant have a new 2019 model, the ARX which is impressively unisex (plain red), 8 speed (so a proper cassette not a freewheel). https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/arx-24

Vitus Twentyfour from wiggle looks alright, again 8 speed, but a bit bland. http://www.wiggle.com.au/vitus-twentyfour-kids-bike-1/

Byk 540 1x9 seems good, but on the high end price wise. https://www.bykbikes.com.au/kids-bikes/ ... 6-665.html

Eventually I've found the 2019 Scott Contessa 24 Rigid Fork that has ticked the majority of boxes. https://www.scott-sports.com/au/en/prod ... =270056043
7 speed, but a 34T (I think) chainring with an 11-34 cassette. So an excellent wide range, though the lower jumps are wide.
1.95" tyres, but fairly fine tread should roll well.
White frame with purple accents got the nod of approval (over the red Giant and the blue "boys" Scott Scale).
Claimed sub-10kg.
One thing I find weird though is that the geometry has numerous differences to Scott's "boys" version of the same bike, the Scale 24 rigid fork. Apparently girls need:
higher BB
lower bars (shorter head tube)
slacker head angle
steeper seat angle
I would love to know the reasoning behind that. Both cosmetically are very similar, the Scale and Contessa both with a sort-of dropped top tube. Without the colour scheme and the geometry chart they are almost indistinguishable, so it seems strange to manufacture two different frame models when one would probably do.

Overall, happy with the decision (so far). Managed to bargain the shop down a bit with a price match, should be picking it up this week.

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Re: 24 inches, gears and no suspension

Postby Sparx » Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:06 am

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Re: 24 inches, gears and no suspension

Postby MattyK » Tue Oct 16, 2018 9:41 am

Sparx wrote:https://www.commencal-store.com.au/ramones-24-burgundy-2019-c2x26304590

That's pretty nice; more suited to dirt than path. Of course, more $ get you more bike...

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Re: 24 inches, gears and no suspension

Postby Mububban » Wed Oct 17, 2018 11:39 pm

Nice one. A few of the MTB kids are riding Scott rigid fork bikes for the low overall weight, rather than any questionable benefit of kids "suspension".

I did end up having a larger cassette installed on the Reid Viper as the chain ring wasn't going to be an easy swap (I think it's rivetted?). Only cost $30 or so at the LBS but my daughter loves the extra large granny gear.

I've definitely learned more about gearing ratios when buying with kids in mind!
When you are driving your car, you are not stuck IN traffic - you ARE the traffic!!!

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Re: 24 inches, gears and no suspension

Postby MattyK » Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:59 am

Well the Scott got the tick of approval. First test ride yesterday and all was good. The 1:1 low gear made the local hill a breeze for her to motor up. Apparently it rolls very fast, though I think a tailwind was aiding that perception. The 1x7 twist shifter has taken no time to get familiar with, despite the shift direction being reversed from the previous 3 speed hub.

Insert stock photo because I haven't taken a good one yet:

There were some initial concerns that (due to the short seat tube design) the saddle wouldn't go high enough to last long, and that the bars weren't high enough for comfort either. Cue searching for cheap 26.8 x 350-400 seaposts (stock 300), and short 25.4 riser stems. So far that hasn't proven necessary to implement, but I know the options are there if required later.

Pre-delivery I did my usual inspection and plan to jigger with all the cable lengths, but I aborted that after way too long messing with it.
The front brake cable is too long, but really the main problem was that the V-brake noodle was only 100 degree and needed to be bent much more. Some careful manual bending to about 150 degrees and the front cable sits much neater, and still has plenty of length if the stem needs to go higher later.
The rear cables were pretty good for length; I could have knocked 5-10mm out to make them "perfect" in my usual pedantic nature, but decided against it.
The low limit on the derailleur needed a bit of tightening, especially after I cut off the pie plate. Shift cable tension spot on, as it should be.
Brake lever position was of course awful (almost horizontal).
Decided not to de-reflector it, which I usually do. It probably won't get ridden at night but you never know...
Wheel bearings are pretty good, rear hub was a Shimano Tourney unit not the specified Quando.
Wheels were quite true.
The pedal bearings are moderately stiff (over-tightened) but I'll let them run in first. Hard to find a setting between too tight and too loose, but it's probably mostly grease stiffness for now.
The bottom bracket is awful, with the chain off it only spins half a revolution before stopping. Probably 10-20 watts lost right there. Hopefully only needs a quick adjustment (it's not a cartridge type, and you can feel it notching). I'll need to get a lock ring spanner... (yay tool shopping :))

About the only real (minor) negative is that the bottle cage mount is a joke. No way will a regular bottle fit in the main triangle. A bare cage will barely fit, and only a side-entry cage would be usable, with a short bottle.

Frame build looks great, slight pearl in the white paint, welds look good. The colours are nicely muted and won't be offensive as the boy's hand-me-down (the grips would be easy to swap if necessary).

Satisfaction maintained.

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