The first batch of kids to grow up without training wheels are nearing adulthood, a generation of mountain bikers that possess a mind-boggling level of talent. It turns out that a few extra years of practice and bikes that actually works makes a big difference when it comes to developing riding skills.
To help ensure today's pint sized shredders have equipment that's up to the task, Specialized has launched a new Riprock lineup. There are three models designed for riders age 4-12, or from 42" - 56": the Riprock 20, Riprock 24, and the Riprock Expert 24”.
The Riprock 20” and 24” retail for $650 and $700 and weigh in at 22.5 and 24.7 lb, respectively. Both come with rigid forks – according to Eric Fischer, Product Manager for Specialized Kids’ Bikes, “Most young riders don’t need suspension forks, and by offering a rigid fork, we’re able to dramatically reduce the bike weight, which ultimately results in a more positive experience for smaller, less powerful riders.”
When it comes to geometry, the new Riprocks are slacker than the previous versions by 1-degree, the chainstay lengths have been reduced, and the stack heights have been dropped to help riders keep weight on their hands.
The Expert 24” retails for $1,500 USD, and has a claimed weight of 26.4 pounds. That extra weight comes from the addition of a Manitou J-Unit Comp fork with 100mm of travel. The Expert also has SRAM hydraulic disc brakes and a SRAM NX 11-speed drivetrain.
All of the bikes in the line have components designed specifically for kids, things like smaller diameter grips, narrower saddles, and cranks with a narrower Q-factor to help ensure a comfortable fit. They also have 42-tooth cassettes on all models in order to make it a little easier for groms to get up those hills before dusting their parents on the way back down.