Replacing 26" wheels with 24"

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Replacing 26" wheels with 24"
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Posted: Sep 10, 2019 at 6:52 Quote
My 9 year old wants to find a full suspension MTB, he'd need a 24" size bike. Have been looking for a good used one but they are hard to come by in 24" size. I'm looking to buy small frame 26" bike and put 24" wheels on it... is that possible and has anyone done it before? Pics?

Thanks.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 at 9:21 Quote
no.. bikes are designed to be used with the wheels that they are designed for.. You will need to either get a cheap 24" and upgrade to a 26" when he is big enough, or what I would do is get a ~$200 - $300 Hardtail have him ride that for a year or two, and then upgrade to a full suspension. Being serious here, at 9 years old, what is he doing that requires a full sus? But whatever you do, do not buy a 26 and put 24 inch wheels on it unless you want a serious headache and 3 months of solid macgyvering the bike.. It will not work

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 at 10:26 Quote
YuriyO923 wrote:
My 9 year old wants to find a full suspension MTB, he'd need a 24" size bike. Have been looking for a good used one but they are hard to come by in 24" size. I'm looking to buy small frame 26" bike and put 24" wheels on it... is that possible and has anyone done it before? Pics?

Thanks.

If you put smaller wheels on a frame than the wheel size it is designed for, the bottom bracket will be too low (1 inch lower than normal in this case), so he will get pedal strikes.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 at 11:21 Quote
It has been done before, it can be done again (circa 2001 when 24" wheels's were all the rage).

Assuming you are using the same hub spacing, and cassette, everything will work. But there are some issues with sizing as a whole:

Yes, the BB will be lower, which may or may not be an issue depending on the original geometry, and how it's being ridden. But think too about crank length; most MTB cranks are going to be in the 165-175mm length; now think about how it would feel jumping on a bike with 185 or 190mm cranks; it'll be the same feeling because his legs are shorter. Not insurmountable (look at BMX race cranks), but something to consider.

Assuming stand over height is not an issue, how is length going to work? Sure the modern thing is long and slack, but as this will likely be an older bike, it will probably end up being long and steep.

There are some cool bikes bike available, but like adult bikes, the price tag can seem a little out of touch with reality, especially when you consider how quick they will grow out of them (and let face it, short attention spans). But there are some available, and hold value pretty decently, relatively speaking. But for a quick solution, a hardtail probably would be easier to find, easier to fit, and cheaper.

Kids are adaptable, have soft bones, and heal quick. At the end of the day, as long as he's happy he'll be riding, and as long as hes riding, he'll be happy. So like a bike you would buy, have him try out the stuff you are looking at, he may surprise you by being comfortable on bigger wheels.

Posted: Sep 22, 2019 at 6:04 Quote
I can't answer to a full susser, though at present my 10 yr old is riding a 14" frame hard tail
Kona five O suited to 26" wheel, I have fitted a pair of DMR dee vee 24" wheels,
Fox float 100mm travel up front and race face cranks 170mm arms,
160mm arm cranks were fitted and rigid forks prior when he was aged 8yr on the same bike.

absolutely no issues, we do trail riding moderate descents, heavy rooted tree
and shoe size rocky technical sections.

He's not a heavy fella being 10 yr, so getting the bounce out of a full suspension
would seem wasted on him, he needs to learn the handling characteristics whence the hardtail,
not to mention cost, and it can grow with him just by changing the parts to suit.

As he gets bigger and more experienced he can look forward to a full bouncy at a later time.

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