MTB or DJ ?

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Posted: Feb 15, 2020 at 9:04 Quote
Hey all -

Here's another question for the masses. My daughter (11yo) prefers we build her next bike. She is graduating off of her Hotrock (rigid, rim brakes, grip shifters, and on 24" wheels). We're looking to get her onto a hardtail 26'er...(the reason being is that I already have some key parts for a 26'er...like the forks and and a set of disc-brake wheels).

Based upon the bikes we've sized her up on at the local LBS's....she stands over a girl's-specific 13.5" frame (sloping top tube..) on 650B's pretty well, but not a boys frame. (like a Trek Marlin). She fits well on the smallest Specialized Pitch they had but I can't recall if that was a 15" frame or something smaller...

We may wind up coming across a complete bike that fills the bill, but at this point I'm searching frames so her and I can build this together (I've built almost every one of my bikes, and yes...she's down for the work..lol). We just missed an Orange Bikes evo2 14" frame in the UK that I got outbid on...which she really liked.. Frown so it's kinda back to the drawing board.

My question is, should I try to pick up a dirt jumper frame for her or go with a mtb frame..? What would the drawbacks be of building up a 13" or 14" dirtjumper for her vs a small or extra-small frame mtb....?

We'll be riding all sorts of venues from bike path trails (relatively flat and mixed surface...), to singletrack and more technical mountain bike trails such as Hampton Hills here in Cuyahoga Valley, Ohio. And she's not against a 15-20 mile day on the bike path either. Now I've never ridden a DJ so I don't know what they feel is like for somewhat all-purpose use. I want her to feel comfortable and in control which is what made me think of a DJ frame as an option although a typical mtb frame may be the better way to go.

Anyways....I appreciate the input so I don't head us down a path that leads to her not enjoying her new ride Wink

tony

Posted: Feb 17, 2020 at 10:30 Quote
I would go for a “regular” MTB frame.
I’ve got both a DJ and a FS and the DJ has some freaky standards.

Even if you buy a modern DJ frame that accepts regular MTB-standards, it will have a very high BB and a will be built to be ridden stood up which is far from ideal for other things than playing around for SHORT rides.

Posted: Feb 17, 2020 at 15:55 Quote
If you can find a DJ frame for a reasonable price, that is compatible with the parts you have ... why not.

the only real thing I would wonder about is how the chain line would be affected with a wider spread of gears... maybe not an issue with all DJ frames, but certainly for some.

...that said...

kids grow fast, and little bikes hold value. Building bike is always more expensive, and a bike cobbled together with random parts, isn't going to have much resale value. there are some amazing modern kids bikes out there, I think you always come out on top buying these new.

... now, 650b wheels on a 13.5 frame ?!, seems bananas to me. That's like you you riding on 32"+ wheels. I struggle to see the advantage that wheel size provides to such a small person. Big wheels are harder to get moving, and harder to to roll over obstacles at slow speed... while there are some great kids bikes out there, there are still some that are designed without much thought, and not really orient to a performance market.

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 at 7:54 Quote
yonsson wrote:
I would go for a “regular” MTB frame.
I’ve got both a DJ and a FS and the DJ has some freaky standards.

I'd love to learn more from you about the "freaky standards"....

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 at 8:11 Quote
Lol. Just drop outs and axle width mostly... hardly exciting.

But every so often BBs and brake mounts. Not so much on modern frames.

... also a lack of bottle cage mounts and cable routing options

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 at 8:13 Quote
basically, a DJ is meant to be Jumped, and maualed, and ridden stood up, I have a DJ and a full sus, and they are quite different, i wouldn't say a dj is exitingly different, it is just meant for something else than my enduro I would say do not go for a dj unless it is being used for jumping and stunting. I love my dj as much, if not more than my full sus, but I would never want to take my dj on proper mtb trails.. each to their own, but that's my 2 cents

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 at 8:20 Quote
wrote:
wrote:
cmcrawfo wrote:
If you can find a DJ frame for a reasonable price, that is compatible with the parts you have ... why not.

We wound up doing just that. I have a Kona Scrap enroute from the UK as we speak. ETA late next week

cmcrawfo wrote:
the only real thing I would wonder about is how the chain line would be affected with a wider spread of gears... maybe not an issue with all DJ frames, but certainly for some.

hmmm...guess I didn't consider this since I see so many DJ's with gearsets. Plenty of single speeds, but most of what I have viewed have been geared...

cmcrawfo wrote:
kids grow fast, and little bikes hold value. Building bike is always more expensive, and a bike cobbled together with random parts, isn't going to have much resale value. there are some amazing modern kids bikes out there, I think you always come out on top buying these new.

Totally agree with you there. There are some really cool bikes on the market for kids like you say. I have a good stash of spares, plus a couple MTB friends who are donating a lot of parts to get her on the trail. So, the overall outlay will be well under the cost of a new ride.
The real value in this is coming from the time our daughter and I get to spend working on something together. She's creative and loves mechanical things. Plus. I still ride my Specialized road bike from 1984...lol....so I'm not too worried about re-sale of this bike when we are done. If I do it right, then she'll use it often and get our "money's worth" out of it. When she outgrows it, hopefully it can be passed along at a price that maybe helps another kid get into the sport.

... now, 650b wheels on a 13.5 frame ?!, seems bananas to me.

My Stinky 5 is on 26's..and I figured the smaller diam wheels on her build (26's) would lend her more confidence as she moves off her Hotrock on 24's and onto the new bike. 650b's on these small frames seems to be the MO lately....but not quite as insane as the 29'er trend on these XS frames.... (clown bike...!)

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 at 8:32 Quote
traqs wrote:
basically, a DJ is meant to be Jumped, and maualed, and ridden stood up,.......but I would never want to take my dj on proper mtb trails.. each to their own, but that's my 2 cents

your 2 cents is very much appreciated traqs ! As are the ideas of all the others who posted. That's why I put the question out there.

In the mean time, we did go with a DJ frame. She really digs it and we were struggling to find a small (or XS) MTB frame that she liked. I may have stepped in poo here by doing that, but we're going to see where this goes. She tries to jump stuff on her Hotrock so maybe I erred in the right direction for once in my life...(doubtful though...lol)

hey, what's the worst that can happen...? She winds up riding a bike that she built and likes ?? Shoot....I can think of worse directions that I've gone....lol Wink

thanks again for the input traqs..!

Posted: Feb 20, 2020 at 13:51 Quote
cmcrawfo wrote:
Lol. Just drop outs and axle width mostly... hardly exciting.

But every so often BBs and brake mounts. Not so much on modern frames.

... also a lack of bottle cage mounts and cable routing options

uuuhhhh....good points cm ! I hope I didn't out-think myself here...hahahaha....

it's an older Scrap frame so we'll see what happens when I get it and measure it all up.

#hidingfrommywifeifthisgoessouth

Posted: Feb 21, 2020 at 11:18 Quote
So you got the advice not to do it and you did it anyway. Haha, wonderful logic. Worst case, you’ll need to buy another bike as well. Wink

Never mind the DJ standards, the biggest issue with DJs is the very high BB which results in that you can’t sit down to pedal it. That’s the opposite of what you want for a kids bike. You want a very low BB so the shorty can sit down and pedal without getting the knees in the chest.

But whatever, I’m sure it will be fun to build it up, that on its own is worth it.

Posted: Feb 21, 2020 at 12:58 Quote
what dj did you get? they vary a little bit between frames, but I could tell ya I would never sit down and pedal that thing.. when I ride home from the skatepark, up hill, I never sit down, on the 2 mile climb. but I am the appropriate size for a dj, bang on 6' foot right now, so i don't know how it will be for someone smaller. well like said in the previous, I'm sure it'll be great anyways, it's pretty hard to not have a good time while riding bikes, so I hope it all turns out well for ya! let us know

Posted: Feb 21, 2020 at 16:22 Quote
For the record I never said not to do it. I am actually pretty stoked on the project. I love hacking stuff together.

Posted: Feb 21, 2020 at 20:56 Quote
yeah agreed, could turn out pretty cool

Posted: Feb 23, 2020 at 8:34 Quote
yonsson wrote:
So you got the advice not to do it and you did it anyway. Haha, wonderful logic. Wink

......the biggest issue with DJs is the very high BB which results in that you can’t sit down to pedal it. That’s the opposite of what you want for a kids bike. .............

But whatever, I’m sure it will be fun to build it up, that on its own is worth it.

aaaahhhrrrggggg !!! I know, I know. It came about rather quickly so we (her and I...) went with it. I still deserve 50 lashes. Wink

Posted: Feb 23, 2020 at 8:38 Quote
traqs wrote:
what dj did you get? ................ I'm sure it'll be great anyways, it's pretty hard to not have a good time while riding bikes, so I hope it all turns out well for ya! let us know

We snagged a Kona Scrap out of the UK... 15" C2T so approx 13 (and a 1/2 ?) inch CTC seat tube.

Again, we kinda jumped at this but we'll see where it goes. She's chomping at the bit to get it here and get started.

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