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24" steel frame with Ridgid fork verses aluminum with suspension?

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24" steel frame with Ridgid fork verses aluminum with suspension?

Old 11-05-23, 12:59 PM
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24" steel frame with Ridgid fork verses aluminum with suspension?

I'm going to look at a 24" 1999 Trek MT220 for my son. It's a steel frame with a rigid fork. I haven't had much luck finding a used 24" bike that doesn't have a heavy suspension fork. Those bikes are all aluminum frames though. So what I'm wondering is if the steel Trek frame would end up being just as heavy as the anything else?
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Old 11-05-23, 05:51 PM
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I'd expect the average steel kids bike with a rigid fork to be heavier than the average aluminum kids bike with a suspension fork. There might be exceptions out there, but I have yet to come across a steel kids bike frame that wasn't ridiculously overbuilt.
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Old 11-05-23, 11:55 PM
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keep your eyes open for a Gary Fisher Tyro

one of our kid’s fav 24” bikes
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Old 11-06-23, 12:06 AM
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another fav 24 bike was the Specialized Hot Rock A1 (A1 is the better / butted / lighter frame)

our Hot Rock was a 11.5 - believe they were also avail in 13.5

top pic shows bike fitted with Intense BMX micro knobbie tires - really woke it up for smooth trail riding etc

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Old 11-06-23, 10:33 AM
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I picked a Trek Pre-Caliber 24 21 speed with the aluminum frame that was wounded when it inconveniently left in the wrong place. While it is heavier than my daughter's Quick 24, it is far lighter than the steel frame 20" Rockhopper she had before the Quick 24. I fixed it up for her but she likes it but the Quick is more her style. Then again, she could change her mind...

The Specialized Rhythm Lite tires are a nice fit for local paved trails and were installed because I already had them.

It's for sale on FB marketplace but suspect Ohio is too far from you.

Worth noting - The seat goes pretty low and it has two sets of pedal holes on the cranks to adjust crank lengtht the rider.



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Old 11-06-23, 08:05 PM
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Here's the bike that's sort of local. I think its a 1999. There are a couple rigid fork Trek Precalibers around, but farther away and more expensive. I am a bit concerned that a 24 year old kids bike may have aged in dog years...

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Old 11-07-23, 09:57 AM
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Any more pics? I'd plan on the follow items if it were for my daughter:
- Chain/cassette or freewheel replacment
- Replace tires with more pavement friendly tires
- look a brakes (mismatched set)
- Good cleanup

What's the ask on that one? There's a Marin 24" that about 30 minutes drive from me that's been sitting at $40 for a month. Hmmm
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Old 11-07-23, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s
Any more pics? I'd plan on the follow items if it were for my daughter:
- Chain/cassette or freewheel replacment
- Replace tires with more pavement friendly tires
- look a brakes (mismatched set)
- Good cleanup

What's the ask on that one? There's a Marin 24" that about 30 minutes drive from me that's been sitting at $40 for a month. Hmmm
Thats the only picture from the listing. The seller is asking $50. The Precalibers available locally look a lot more beat up, but any bike like this is going to need consumables replaced, and a $100 bike in beter condition would probably be the bargain. Most of the 24" bikes listed have the seat post fully extended, so probably ridden until no longer rideable.
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Old 11-07-23, 02:14 PM
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Maybe the bigger question is this: Do you do your own repairs? I also think there's a difference between bikes that are ridden and bikes that are abused.

There's something about the steel frame bikes that I appreciate. The simplicity of Trek 220 has appeal. According to Vintage Trek, it is a late 90's bike:
MT Track 22097,
98, boys - ice royal blue, also ice orange, also team yellow/team purple fade, girls - ice grape purple, also ice teal
99, girls - dark red with yellow decals, also ice grape purple with pink decals, boys - yellow with red decals, also VW team blue/white fade with white decals, also ice royal blue with silver decals
00, 01, 02
Sale brochure: https://www.vintage-trek.com/Trek-Fis...d/1999trek.pdf

I'd offer $30 and settle at $40 if everything works. My repair list above with prices for reference:
$35 - 2 of these https://www.specialized.com/us/en/rh...=228682-155751
$15 - new freewheel (or less)
$12 - chain
$25 - pedals (I'd spend a bit more for RaceFace Rides)
$20 - brake pads if needed
$40- saddle

A good clean up, some adjustment, and it would be set to ride. Not the cheapest but the consumables would be up to date.
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Old 11-07-23, 03:26 PM
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And then this popped up:

Form may beat out function on this one...
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Old 11-07-23, 03:48 PM
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To do list from the picture:
Chain
Rear derailleur
Cables

Solid choice too
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Old 11-07-23, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Trav1s
To do list from the picture:
Chain
Rear derailleur
Cables

Solid choice too
Derailleur hangers bent. I can probably fix that.
It also has horizontal dropouts, which opens up running it as a single speed.

I got some more pictures and the its seen some hard use.

The bike is far enough away that I'll have to send the money and pick it up later when I can combine with another appointment in the area.
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Old 11-09-23, 08:21 AM
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I would not dismiss a steel frame bike right off the bat. A fat aluminum frame might be pretty close to the weight of an older diamond frame, non-suspended fork bike. If you look up the specs for the Trek 220 it weighs 29 pounds. That's a lot better than many of the mass merchandise bikes parents buy for their kids and wonder why the don't like riding very much.
1999 Trek Mt. Track 220 (02) Bicycle Type Juvenile mountain bike, non-suspension MSRP USD (new) $249.99 Weight 29.0
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Old 11-11-23, 07:40 AM
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I let the Rockhopper go to some one else. It was a lot of work and I had to come to terms with the goal of buying a functional bike for my kid, not just being the coolest dad on the internet...
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Old 11-11-23, 07:48 AM
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Fair enough. I love the hands on work so but I know others don't. I think the Trek 220 is a strong contender if still available. Wish you were closer as there are some great options available in Central Ohio that are reasonably priced.
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Old 11-12-23, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
I let the Rockhopper go to some one else. It was a lot of work and I had to come to terms with the goal of buying a functional bike for my kid, not just being the coolest dad on the internet...
There's a 24" road bike for $300 in Jessup..... https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...53649795282240

Or this MTB for $200 in Germantown https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...48807987084866

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Old 12-03-23, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by bark_eater
I'm going to look at a 24" 1999 Trek MT220 for my son. It's a steel frame with a rigid fork. I haven't had much luck finding a used 24" bike that doesn't have a heavy suspension fork. Those bikes are all aluminum frames though. So what I'm wondering is if the steel Trek frame would end up being just as heavy as the anything else?
Did you get anywhere with this?
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Old 12-03-23, 07:28 AM
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Well I'm still kicking my self for letting the vintage Rockhopper get away... I ended up picking up 3 different 24" bikes sort of locally for a total of $60. A suspension Hotrock, a more recent suspension fork aluminum frame Trek 220, and a ridged Trek 200. The trek 220 is in pretty good shape, the Trek 200 got rode hard and put away wet, and the Hotrock got rode into the ground.

I haven't weighed the bikes, but the Trek 220 is obviously nicer and lighter. Cursory measurement's suggest that I can swap the forks from the 200 to the 220.

Plan of the moment is to clean up the Trek 220 and put it away till spring, and lighten the Trek 200 up as much as possible by single speeding it and replacing as many steel components with aluminum as possible. That can be the "yard bike"

The I think the the Hotrock will be an organ donor for the Trek 200. I suspect that the specialized steel frame might be lighter than the Trek 200 steel frame, but its not yet obvious whether the forks are swappable.

And just to add to the grande scheme, I have vintage 24" Fuji youth road bike frame and a set of super long reach centerpull brakes. I mocked it up when the kid was 3 years old, and I think he may out grow this idea before it happens, but that's where the extra wheel set will go.

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Old 12-07-23, 03:35 PM
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Figured I'd weigh all the kids bikes I have before I start taking things apart.

All weights are very approximate.

Starting with the current out grown bikes:

20" Specialized Hot Rock single speed. 25#

20" Specialized Hot Rock 7 speed 24#

24" Specialized Hotrock 21 speed 31#

24" Trek 220 21 speed 28#

24"Trek 200 21 speed 32.5#

I will report back after the Trek 200 go's on a diet.
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