Making Your Grom's Bike Park Experience Epic

Aug 5, 2015
by Brett Gossman  
 
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For most of their existence, bike parks have been the domain of the hardcore, freerider / downhiller, but as time rolled on these hardcore twenty-somethings hit their early thirties and became new parents before raising a herd of full-fledged groms some years after that. As this progression took place, bike parks have recognized that their demographics have expanded and whole families of travelling bikers were making their way to the grass covered ski hills. The trick, though, is how to make sure your grom has the best bike park experience so that they'll want to come back to do it all over again.

This article talks specifically about the Whistler Bike Park, but the points below are applicable to any bike park or trail center in the world.

Images for the article on Making Your Grom s Bike Park Experience Epic
  A series of fun and successful first few rides can lead to a lifetime of enjoyment.

With events like Kidsworx (hosted in parallel with Crankworx every year), Whistler Blackcomb has been at the forefront of the youth movement. Whistler also invites the kids into racing fun throughout the summer with a few 'Phat Kids' DH races (when the local beer league takes a week off), and it's also home to what's got to be one of the world's premier bike daycamps, DFX. Obviously Whistler has some of the best biking in the world, but it's also home to some spectacular lakes, constant events and festivals, and world class amenities that make it a pretty easy sell for all around great family summer vacation.

If the Whistler Bike Park is on your itinerary and your grom is ready to have the rides of her/his life, then here's a rundown of what they'll need and what to expect.


Skills Requirements
The Whistler Bike Park requires that all bikes have hand operated brakes for the front and back wheels, so they must have that skill mastered. Beyond that, if your grom is comfortable on the local BMX track, gaining speed on the downhills in order to make the ups, they shouldn't have any problem stepping into the green-level trails in the park. They should also be able to comfortably roll off medium sized curbs that are high enough for them to need to shift their body weight back to ride out comfortably.

If they've got these two skills down, then they're ready.


Bike Requirements
Now that you feel comfortable that your grom is ready for the park, you'll need to ensure that their bike is also ready to go. As we all know, the bike can be what makes the difference between your grom having the time of his or her life in the bike park, or ending up hating life that day (and likely taking you down with them).

Brakes
Great brakes are necessary, and I don't mean good as in they work great for skids in the driveway - I mean hydraulic disc brakes ideally with a reach adjust feature. The bike park takes a serious toll on your hands, especially at the beginning of the season. Add that to the fact that your grom is going to be riding the brakes and holding onto the grips for dear life all day and you get the picture of why great brakes matter. Your grom's grip strength isn't super high to begin with, and the last thing you want is an incident due to the fact that they can't apply enough force to the lever to slow themselves down when needed.

Being able to adjusting the reach of the lever makes things more comfortable, especially when they're going to be used so often.

Photo by Sean St.Denis
  The Lil' Shredder bikes are some of the best out there for pint-sized pinners, but they're not inexpensive. If you're thinking about picking one up, it makes sense to rent a bike a few times to be sure that your little one is into it.

Front Suspension
The bike also needs good front suspension. The thing is that most kid's bikes, even the relatively high-end ones, have terrible suspension forks. You can see how well their fork is working, at least in terms of travel being used, in the same way you'd do on your own fork: by using an o-ring or zip-tie on the stanchion tube to see if the fork is moving enough relative to your child's weight and the terrain. Take him or her out for a ride and keep an eye on how much travel is being used - the less it's moved, the less the suspension has engaged. Now consider that all the rest of the bumps have been absorbed by their arms and wrists, then consider how big the bumps and ruts of Whistler are relative to your grom. If their bike suffers from an under-performing fork, don't be shy about taking it to your local shop and seeing if there's anything that can be done, we've seen some incredible performance transformations at the hands of innovative bike-techs over the years.

Rear Suspension
This isn't necessary, but it's a really good idea. Not only will rear suspension smooth out the landings when your grom catches a bit of air, it also makes it easier for them to hold a line on the trail. Good rear suspension can also help conserve their energy, meaning that you're more likely to get a few extra runs in over a hardtail.

Renting a Bike
As grom parents we have a lot invested in the prospect of our rippers having a good time, and if you're willing to put down the money, your grom will almost certainly enjoy things more on a high-performance, full-suspension setup. Summit Sport, which is just across from the gondola, rents out Lil' Shredder Prodigy bikes, which are the gold standard in 20" wheeled mountain bikes (and can also accommodate 16" wheels). For 24" wheeled bikes they also rent the Lil' Shredder Phenom, or you could head over to the Whistler Blackcomb rental area and pick up a 24" Giant Yukon.


The Gear
The bad news is there's a very good chance that your grom is going to fall at least once or twice in the bike park - it's part of the sport. The good news is that there's all sorts of gear to minimize the tears that will come from leaving the bike in a hurry.

Full Face Helmet
This is non-negotiable. Make sure your grom wears a full face helmet in the park. If they don't have one, rent one.

Images for the article on Making Your Grom s Bike Park Experience Epic
  You may feel fine wearing a regular helmet, but your grom should be sporting a proper full face and full pads. After all, less downtime and injuries equals more fun and more enthusiasm to go out again.

Padding
Another must-have, and not just little elbow and knee pads, either, but forearms and especially shins. Pedal strikes and minor tumbles are going to happen, and while protecting your grom from the bigger bails is necessary, minimizing the minor bumps and bruises will keep the smiles lasting longer. Gloves are another requirement. It's what they're going to land on, not to mention that bike parks are hard on the hands in general. A hydration pack is also nice to have on your back in case they get thirsty, but there's also water fountains at the top and bottom of the hill.


What to Keep in Mind
Lower your expectations. Riding the park can be difficult, and unless your grom is an endurance rockstar on your home trails, they're going to get tired pretty quickly. And let's not forget that the park can be intimidating for a kid... do you remember your first time? But it's more than made up for with the exhilaration factor.

When it comes to lift tickets, it might pay to think short-term. While the Whistler Bike Park offers a pretty decent discount on lift tickets, there's probably little chance that your grom's first day will last longer than three or four laps. For this reason, consider a 'Sampler' ticket, which is good for up to three laps. It's meant to allow a rider to get a taste of the park without committing to an entire day, and it's a little more than half the price of a full-day ticket. If they're loving it, you can just upgrade it later by paying the difference. Everybody wins.

They're going to bail, and when they do (and you've assessed that they're not in need of EMS attention) make a big deal of it! It's awesome! Mountain biking is a burly sport and they just took a hit, can walk it off, and get back on their bike! Creating a positive connection with falling not only takes a bit of the fear out of the ride, and it'll encouraging them to try more things on the bike without being so concerned with leaving the bike. You'll probably find that at the end of the day they'll be bragging to people about the (in their minds) spectacular crashes they had as much as any other element of the ride.


The Riding
Ideally, you'll be able to pre-ride and scope out the trails ahead of time because the ratings they're given in the park don't provide a comprehensive understanding of what the trails include. If you don't have that chance, I'd recommend starting out on 'Easy Does It', which has had a lot of work lately and is a great introduction to banked corners. Also, some smaller trails can be accessed from Easy Does It that are a great introduction to tighter riding without being too intimidating.

Then it's on to a perennial favourite, B-Line. B-Line is smooth, fun, and has lots of pull-outs to let riders pass safely, most of which have a good view up the trail so you'll know when it's a good time to drop back into the trail and continue riding. Whistler has a pretty good rundown of how your day might progress, but keep in mind that, for the groms specifically, smooth trails are the key. Those brake ruts or rocky bits that riders complain about are far worse when the rider is half your height and a quarter your weight.

Images for the article on Making Your Grom s Bike Park Experience Epic
  Always ride behind your grom as it creates a safety barrier between them and over-eager park rats, and you can also see what they're doing right and wrong.

Always ride behind your grom, at least until they get to the point where they're leaving you in the dust. This not only allows you to see how they're doing, it also puts a physical barrier (you) between them and the odd racer-boy that thinks he owns the trail and should pass wherever and whenever he feels like it. It should be said that these jerks are very few and far between, and that 99% of the riders you'll encounter will holler encouragement and offer high-fives rather than do or say anything negative - with about sixty days of park riding with my grom in the past couple of seasons, I've only had one bad experience.

Got an enduro / trail bike for yourself? Bring it! If you've ever ridden a full-on DH sled, you're familiar with that feeling of riding an engineering marvel that's core purpose is go fast, it's something that rides better the less you brake, and feels like a caged monster that just wants you to let go of the reigns and let it fly. Riding this sort of bike with your grom will make both you and your bike cry. You'll always be on the brakes, riding their back wheel, and wishing you could just go fast for a little bit. A heavy trail or enduro bike is much better suited for the trails you'll be hitting with your grom and the speeds you won't be hitting.

You're also going to go through brake pads quickly while following your grom down the trail. Your larger and heavier body is going to be fighting gravity more to keep from gaining momentum, and it's going to be a bit of a strain on your fingers and your brake pads. You may want to consider longer-lasting, sintered pads for your trip, as I personally go through pads twice as fast on my trail bike even though I spend more time riding my DH sled.

And what about one of the most intimidating aspects of anyone's first time to a bike park... loading the bike onto the lift in front of everyone. Depending on your grom's age or size, getting their bike on the lift the first few times can be rough. Never fear, your friendly neighbourhood lifty is always around to help. Just wave and make eye contact and they'll totally hook your little riding buddy up (or more specifically, hook their bike up to the lift). There's also the option to go up on the gondola, but be aware that there aren't any beginner-friendly trails past mid-station, although the top does have some pretty good food.

Images for the article on Making Your Grom s Bike Park Experience Epic
A little encouragement goes a long way, so make sure to shower them with praise.
Images for the article on Making Your Grom s Bike Park Experience Epic
This isn't just a boy's game.

After the Ride
After you're done, hit up the GLC or anywhere that you can sit down and relax with an apple juice for them and a beer for you, and talk about all the awesome things you did together that day. Review how much improvement was made and all the different features you hit together, and let your grom describe all the awesome trails in the park to the rest of the family. In short, make them the hero who slayed the bike park! Hopefully these stories will be retold in the playgrounds and at school, and will lead to an excitement to return to face the bike park once again.

You've likely spent the better part of a lifetime developing your love for all things biking, and this introduction to park riding is a delicate time. If your grom loves it, it could lead to a WAY better selection in family vacations and weekend getaways. Then again, it could also be a day filled with tears and regrets. The most important thing is that you help them discover what they like about riding, whether it's big corners, table-top hits, or just riding doubletrack while making motorcycle noises. Do this right and you could have a riding buddy for life, or at least until they drop you and prefer riding with their friends who can keep up.

Ten year old Shredder Jackson Goldstone of Canada winner of biggest amplitutde is interviewed for the crowd at Crankworx Les Deux Alpes. Photo by clint trahan crankworx

Check out www.grompatrol.com for more info on little ones tearing it up.


MENTIONS: @grompatrol / @WhistlerMountainBikePark / @officialcrankworx

Must Read This Week

99 Comments

  • + 93
 My wife is pregnant. Its a boy. I approve of this article.
  • + 13
 Congrats. Already bought a push bike?
  • + 27
 He sold his dh bike.
  • + 17
 My son is about to be 2 years old now and I'm already feeding him with bike propaganda each and every day. We watch everything that pops up on pinkbike these days and he looks hooked. I really do hope he turns into a biker later in his life. Oh and I'm about to get him a pushbike, he's asking for one every day Smile
  • + 3
 My son is 6 and after taking him to a dh race he's ready to take his training wheels off his big kid bike....now to teach him to use hand brakes! Congrats I have my 2nd boy do in a week.
  • + 1
 The world needs more
  • + 32
 Girls can ride too!
  • - 20
flag loopie Plus (Aug 5, 2015 at 4:39) (Below Threshold)
 Which Black Diamond runs should I run out and dumb down for your Kid? The same ones you and I run now...........or ones you carve out yourself?
  • + 5
 Training wheels are the devil. They teach you the how to steer the opposite of what's true.
  • + 1
 No I still have my big bike ( Just bought a new one in fact). But as soon as the kids able ill be getting him on two wheels, Im sure you can fit a kids seat on the back of an 8" bike right .......right?!
  • + 3
 I ride with my son who is 14 who races dh since 9 yo. and my daughter who is 9. My son has been riding since age 7 and my daughter since age 6 we ride dh and park and the fact of fun and positive encouragement are the biggest part of this article! Go groms....the future!
  • + 4
 My daughter is 3. Bought her a push bike when she turned 2. She could care less.
  • + 5
 @ReverseKanga...I saw a 2 yo. on the back of a 29er in a kids seat this weekend ripping trails with his dad in the bike park. Full face and armored up! He must have really trusted his dad!
  • + 3
 Mom must have really trusted dad...or not been in the know. I would not tell my wife for sure.
  • + 2
 My wife is pregnant. It's a girl. I also approve of this article. I also have another 1 year old daughter, who's 2nd birthday will include a balance bike. I've also taken her on easy dirt paths riding in her Yepp Mini seat.
  • + 1
 "Frog catching and pumptrack" is what my 5 y/o daughter requests these days when we are heading out. Pretty stoked to live somehwere with a pump track and frog catching up the road. My 2 y/o likes waddling his run bike around the track also.
  • + 4
 My daughter is 8, we watched Mont St Anne yesterday without seeing any highlights. We've watched it all, the ladies (she's a Carpenter fan), the men (She likes saying "he's going to be knocked out of the hot seat"). She see's Bryceland leave the start hut and rip that opening line to the trees and says, "He's going to win." I ask how she knows and she looks at me with a 'did you not see that?' expression.

So I got her a 'real' mt bike. Disk brakes and all... See you at Crankworx Whistler!

Girls can shred.
  • + 2
 www.pinkbike.com/photo/12534495

Just got my 2 year old son this Strider and he loves it! He also likes using my helmet instead of his...
  • + 3
 I have 2 boys - 5 and 3 years old. Both were killing it on run bikes by 2, and pedalling just after 3. My 5 year old rides single track with me now and I gotta say it's so gratifying to see your kid get pumped to rail a berm or pick a good line through roots and rocks. Took a bit of effort and patience to get here but it's paying off now. Get em hooked early!
  • + 1
 Congrats i think that it's extremly important to show children how they can spend their time not only pc games and tv. great work guys!
  • + 18
 This whole kids with good full sus bikes is only going to produce worse technical riders. I also disagree with the idea that a better rider can be almost bought, yes Jackson Goldstone can send awesome tricks and is very talented but the opportunity he has and the amount of money plowed into his biking would make most parents wince.
  • + 1
 I'm not arguing with you, but what is your suggestion instead?
  • + 6
 To be honest I think the whole idea behind starting on a hardtail is flawed. I have ridden with many riders over the years who started on a good full sus and if anything they had extra confidence in comparison to those who got kicked about on their hardtail starter bikes. Yes you learn extra skills on the hardtail at first but if you are serious about the sport there is nothing stopping you from gaining those skills on a full sus.
  • + 1
 I am inclined to agree speedy - I have been watching a 12 year old learn to ride AM on my dirt jumper until it got stolen a few weeks ago. Picked him up an XS Trance as a replacement and he instantly got better at everything, not just in the areas you'd expect FS to shine. Better manualing, better line choices, just better.
  • + 1
 Couldn't agree more, just get them a bmx so they learn how to handle a bike and don't need to spend such ridiculous money. Not worth it when they quit after the first hard crash. Those super expensive kids bikes are just another way for dad to flash his $$$ after buying himself a V10C Wink
  • + 2
 I don't think that learning to ride on a full suspension bike is the best for your skills, but this article is about how to make your kid's bike park trip the most enjoyable. And there's no point learning how to ride a bike park on a hardtail.
  • + 6
 Growing up in the whistler bike park on a hardtail is the best thing I ever did for my bike skills. I would not be nearly as smooth as I am now if I was on a full suspension. It may not be as enjoyable for the kid, but growing up on a hardtail in Squamish and whistler made me 100% a better rider. You honestly don't need back suspension for crank it up and oriental express anyways. If you don't care about your kid's bike skills than buy him a dual suspension, but your kid will eventually become a better rider if he sticks to a hardtail until the age of 8 or 9. Garunteed.
  • + 3
 Just had my son up in Whistler for 3 days of lessons, last week. He loved it, every minute, he was so excited that he "progressed" to B-line in the last 2 days. He has a hardtail (rocky edge 20), mainly because it was the best bang for the buck i could find at the time. He certainly doesn't express the need for a full suspension, in fact he doesn't even notice, especially when Dad is following him on his Chromag Stylus. Riding the park on a hardtail is no less fun, just a little different.
  • + 1
 I doubt it hurts your skills - both types of bikes require a different skill set. Why not get them riding single speed rigid bikes with cantilever brakes.
  • - 2
 I think you have no experience teaching a kid to ride and have fun while riding to make the statement you did. It doesn't matter what bike your kid is on that magically determines skill level. Ever heard the saying "It's not the bike, it's the rider"? With that in mind it doesn't matter what bike my 7 year old is on, he is happily tearing it up. He prefers his Transition Ripcord though!!!
  • + 1
 you'd think wrong then,
  • + 1
 Give them crap bikes and let them learn like most people I know
  • + 0
 I understand what you mean, but there are not so many bike parks in north England
  • + 1
 Shots fired
  • + 2
 You can give them a crap bike like everybody else and they'll learn like everybody else. However, if you want to give them a leg up, a good bike really helps. Not to mention that the sweet bike is only 1/3rd about their performance. Another other 3rd is safety, they don't get bucked as much and are able to hold better lines. The final third is about how it'll make them faster for YOUR sake, it's a lot more fun to ride with a faster grom than one who's much slower for the sake of 'paying their dues'.

Then again, I'm not even sure the old argument of hardtails making riders better holds any water. The groms I've ridden with ride FS bikes, but when they throw a leg over a hardtail they hardly skip a beat.
  • + 2
 I started out on a hardtail but to my way of thinking you end up pushing whatever bike you have to its limits anyway.
  • + 19
 What the hell is a grom?
  • + 4
 Its a little kid that rips, not just limited to mountain biking.
  • + 0
 Has something to do with special forces I think en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JW_GROM
  • + 7
 In Kamloops, BC...a grom is an age thing(typically under 18yrs old), not skill level. Skill level sets riders apart at any age. It can also just be an age difference within the majority in the group and just a fun nickname for the day. If 4 are 30+ yrs old and one is 22...he's The Grom... : )
  • + 5
 It's short for grommet (@kopaczus it's nothing to do with special forces), a term used to describe young surfers - which has now been adopted by heaps of other sports en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grommet_
  • + 0
 I've always heard "Grom" as realted to age and specifically those of smaller stature vs. a "Joey" which was an inexperienced, over-eager, older rider. Of course the term "Joey" doesn't fully fit as there are some amazing riders out there named "Joey" (Joey Schusler would be one). I'm more of a "hack" myself.
  • + 3
 as a non English native speaker, I had to look to all on line dictionaries to find out what the hell it means..... I got nothing.
  • + 13
 This is a very nerdy, yet totally useful piece of knowledge when riding with kids. I learned it from a friend who is a diabetes scientist. The muscle tissue of children can only hold about 2 mg of tATP (=fuel) per gram of muscle tissue, while the grown ups can hold about 8 mg per gram of muscle tissue. In effect, we can store about 4 times as much energy as the children. Therefore, remember to bring wine gums and offer a few every 20 minutes. It works perfectly and keeps the spirit high. I found that after the age of 10, it was no longer necessary. It is also great for skiing by the way.
  • + 15
 "Over eager park rat" hey man that hurts
  • + 4
 Just suck it up
  • + 9
 Does anyone else hate the term Grom?
  • + 8
 Just makes me think of Wallace and Gromit
  • + 0
 i like miniature shredder
  • + 4
 one thing i didnt see in the article is asking other park users to not hassle lil dudes. yes we all know lil dudes or joeys can seriously ruin the flow of a sick run. but they had to start at the bottom just like you did. dont be a douche and respect everyone out there.
  • + 2
 This, my 6 year old is getting oUT to explore real trails with me, shuttling is really the only option for someone with limited uphill capabilities, it is hard with the locals pounding out trail nearly running you over from behind...
  • + 2
 i have come across a few dad and son combos out on the XC trails and in the bike park and i always slow down! i'll take the time to encourage both of them if they are both new too.

the more people that ride the more money the bike park gets. the more cool shit they build for me to throw myself off of. Smile
  • + 3
 Anytime I see a little guy/gal at the bike park I always make a point to tell them how awesome it is that they're out there crushing it. It takes some guts going up the chair lift and bombing down the trails. It's not for everyone.
  • + 2
 same here! i get super stoked to ride with the lil dudes.

they may not be as fast but they are having way more fun on their bike then you and me Smile
  • + 3
 my 2years old can't wait to be qualified to ride DH bike, he is going crazy every time i go for a ride or watching videos on PB.....for now he is going little downhill on his baby atv and he cry's that it's too slow or when we have climbing back the hill....we both can't wait for the day we will ride together, he is my biggest inspiration to get back on the bike after 10 years off the bike, i got my obsession back since he was born, he is definitely going to be a shredder, so i better have my skills dialed up by the time he is flying huge jumps. my wife can't stop rolling her eyes on us.....
  • + 6
 Good read. Gonna apply some of this to riding with the GF who is just starting to get into Biking.
  • + 4
 When I got my wife into riding I put her in a skills clinic right away. Best $100 I ever spent on the sport. Instant confidence for her, less frustration for me.
  • + 1
 Plus one for the camp. If the camp is local it can also provide them with a starter community to ride with and people to side hug when they do something moderately challenging...because this is what I imagine happens at these camps. All jokes aside, camps were amazing for my wife and gave her a good foundation to build on.
  • + 4
 Buy her a lesson. Teaching your significant other to ride by yourself is a recipe for disaster.
  • + 2
 its a shame i can only "1 up" the comment above mine once!

i handed my wife over to a buddy to have him teach her a few things. she always gets alil fired up at me when i try and teach her stuff on xc rides so i just skipped it and asked my buddy to help.
  • + 2
 sadly there is a lack of range when it comes to kids stuff in the UK. There are a few bikes that cost a lot or you modify a cheaper bike. same goes for clothes and protection. full face helmets are not an issue however.

my blog is based on kids mountain biking wp.me/p4HYH0-2 - lewis is soon to be getting a transition ripcord.
  • + 2
 Wow, things have changed "back in my day" I would have lost my mind to even be given the opportunity to go to a bike park, let alone be concerned how much rebound damping my forks had. Didn't ride a lift until I was 18. Times have changed.
  • + 2
 Does anyone know a`good 20" suspension fork that does not cost more than 2015 RS Pike? Or a way to modify that crappy RST fork so it works a deal? I love that MRP, even the Suntour but they cost almost as much as my whole bike. I may understand the pricing but ughhh that's heavy on my balance
  • + 1
 depending on the A2C measurment you could use a 24 inch fork. pretty sure there is a spinner air fork for 20 inch wheels.
  • + 2
 A 24" fork with 20mm axle! Good lord man! How will I explain that to my 4 year old daughter? I was looking for 20" to put into Rockhopper 16" in a year or so. I don't think they need any compression damper, I just want air spring and a basic rebound. My problem with 2k+ bikes for kids is that you get a freaking cross-kart with engine and suspension, which boosts you to the coolest dad in your kids pre-school by a large margin Big Grin
  • + 1
 spinner grind 20 is an air fork, no idea about damping though.
  • + 1
 derhasi - as to Pike only in bike-components.de thy shall trust and that Suntour costs a bit more Big Grin I am looking for something around 300 € max. Thanks for info on that spinner poah, looks legit
  • + 1
 You can travel the old Pike (not Air) very easy,to the level you want it. Only open it and cut the spring!
  • + 0
 The problem is that I want 16" wheel in it and axle to crown gets insane for that wheel size already with 24" fork. For a kid It would be like me running a super monster. I have an old Shiver SC waiting for them when they get ready for 20" wheel.
  • + 2
 sorry...just wanted to throw in some high-end stuff Big Grin
  • + 0
 To set a 24" pike on a 20" bike is in my opinion not a good idea for the reason mentionned upper + for a grom of 20kg, even at 40psi, the fork will nearly don't move.
Under 40psi, the fork will go down on its own weight. Another reason is the weight : 1850g. Your grom might be around 20kg, to give him an heavy bike is not very nice...
My kid's bike has the MRP : not a good fork for groms. Nearly doesn't move except with my 60kg weight...
I'm very tempted to set the Propain Firsride Frechdax fork which is only 1400g and cost around 400 Euros. Sounds like it has been designed from the start for groms...
Btw, less expensive and better equiped than Lil Shredders : ProPain Frechdax
  • + 1
 That propain Frechdax is amazing! I am starting to save cash haha Big Grin No really, it seems that industry is going to develop this genre of bikes for kids, I love it!
  • + 1
 is that not just a rebranded spinner fork?
  • + 1
 The Frechdax 1 has a spinner fork. True. The 2 and 3 have a specific carbon one.
  • + 2
 My 5 year old daughter has been riding (read run bike) dirt jumps since she was 2. My 3.5 year old son just moved on to his first pedal bike and he's killing the local dirt jump park! So stoked to ride with my family...
  • + 4
 little dudes that have big cojones that can do tricks around better then most of our sorry a$$es
  • + 2
 THIS COULD BE YOU: youtu.be/0qmQrEM5rVA

That's not me, but both our kids were on balance bikes at 18 months, and the first went to a 16" pedal bike before his 3rd birthday. Training wheels are the devil.
  • + 1
 Training wheels are the devil indeed. I alrady bought both 12" and 16" Hotrocks for my daughter but I am encouraging here to keep on riding on Hotwalk as long as she can to develop technique. She started to ride on it standing. What I need to do now is to mount V-brakes on Hotrocks so that she does not learn to use foot brake which is the second devil. Next thing for the industry to come up with is kids specific brakes system for smallest kids (12-16" bikes), that has power and lever size&travel optimized for their small hands.
  • + 1
 They have them! My kid's Cleary has tiny Tektro levers. We looked at going the custom brakes on Hotrock, but there are a couple companies out there making affordable bikes without coasters. Cleary, Spawn, Woom, (some) Isla bikes, Redline (BMX specific). They also make unaffordable ones like Lil Shredder and Commencal Smile I bet if you called Cleary they'd get you the specs on the levers and calipers they use.
  • + 1
 Thanks man! Are them levers any good? I need to buy v-brakes bosses first (Hotrocks don't have any) then the levers and V-brakes themselves.
  • + 1
 Good article,im a so cal parent with add, so my kids have the same issues, my experience was at snow summit when my then 11 yr old comes home and says i want to race dh , whaaaat! So i spend 500 on a bike for him ,and of course i had to get one too.
So day one ,in full mx gear hes over the bars at least 5 times,im thinking ok, if he still wants to do this after all the carnage ,ill get him better eq.
Well he loved it and made the commitment, so here i sit 3 yrs later with 3 3k bikes, season passes and 2 sons and myself going to summit every other week,sometimes twice. The only thing i would hope that the resort would build to 80 % of there clien base instead of the 15% pro client, making jump aproaches less steep, that would mean 1 less broken collar bone ,OTB result.
Not to complain too much ,summit does a great job, good trail maint and happpy personel all day .its nice to talk to trail maint guys that are as
Stoked to build the runs as we are to ride them.
A family that shreds together is a family that stays together,tired, sore and stoked together!!!
  • + 1
 My girl will be 2 in September. She has a push bike already and LOVES watching bike videos "Ride fast daddy" "Whoa fast bike daddy" and we watch all the WC DH action together. It's so rad.
  • + 0
 We have just returned from a bike park holiday. I think the parks have a lot to learn from what they do in the winter for the skiers. My kids were a match for the park but we were the only family to be seen amongst thousands of 20-40's guys. The parks have to think about how a group of mixed abilities get down the hill, where everyone enjoys themselves, sort of together and kids can be given independance. There were too few stop points and too few situations where trails of different difficulties ran parallel and were visible to each other. Equally we went on one route which was lamely labelled family friendly and could quite easily have been a world cup XC course. I think they can do more in terms of planning out the trails, providing better maps and better signage on the trail. These are tweaks not huge changes. I would therefore recommend doing a fair bit of research before hand, planning it out and thinking about simple practicalities like how will my family get up the lift as they all have varying capacities and others won't let a helper return down the mountain via the lift. Or what is the order of your family's train with you as the sweeper at the back. Sure you can pick these things up as you go along but your holiday is precious and you want the kids to have a great time. So a little research goes a long way. We had a great time and sort of felt that we were at the vanguard of some thing new.
  • + 2
 Taking my son to Northstar this Saturday on his new Norco Fluid 24 inch, So stoked.
  • + 1
 My son is one in just under 3 weeks, got him a little specialized balance bike for his first birthday! Fair to say I'm more stoked on it than he is haha
  • + 1
 I got a niece... my sister and brother in law are surfers, she is gonna surf ..... but my niece is going to ride he trails with me and be a happy mountain biker.
  • + 2
 brings back memories of taking son and friends to whistler. kids progress so fast! soon leave dad in the dust. so cool
  • + 1
 Too bad the USA sucks for kids bikes that are available. Try finding a 16" bike that's park worthy with handbrakes for even riding the pumptrack.
  • + 1
 Spawn has them for sale in the US.

spawncycles.com/bikes/spawn-cycles-banshee
  • + 1
 Great. Rad. Orange. Monster. GROM. No wait, I think that's wrong. A grom is a miniature shredder.
  • + 1
 GD article my son is two now and loves his bike and Morzine I cant wait till we ride together.
  • + 3
 Grom?????
  • + 2
 as a non English native speaker, I had to look to all on line dictionaries to find out what the hell it means..... I got nothing.
  • + 0
 "Brett Gossman" eh?....Hot Damn you can write some good ad stuff. I almost wanna sign up for a Grom Camp...
  • - 1
 You didn't get it...simpleton
  • + 2
 I didn't get it either?
  • + 0
 Very well written article, my 9 year olds approve. They've been in the bike parks here on the east coast for 4 seasons now.
  • + 0
 ReverseKanga: I have two girls. I approve of this article.

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