For those of us with mini-me’s following us around on the trails, finding a true high end frame for them to rip on usually means getting a Specialized/Trek/Raleigh/Giant kid’s bike and, perhaps, porting over a few parts from our old stock in an effort to bring the weight down a bit.
That helps a bit, but the real trick is getting top end suspension and drivetrain parts for those bikes. Enter Lil’ Shredder.
Developed by Brian Stanton, their frames are all 6061 alloy, and all made in California by Ventana. They offer both hardtails and full suspension that accommodate 16″ or 20″ wheels, plus a new 24″ full suspension platform.
The 16″ and 20″ wheels use the same frames and forks, just swap dropouts. The 24″ full suspension frames use 26″ forks with geometry adjusted frame designs. The rear triangle has three shock mounting positions letting you move from 4″ to 4.5″ to 5″, and the head angle is 65° when in longer travel and moves up to 67° in 4″ travel mode. Yes, that’s a little slack, but considering the size constraints, it’s more than acceptable.
The Icon 16″/20″ hardtail ranges from $1,600 (DJ build with single brake, single speed hardtail), and $1,800 for gears and dual disc. The frame with Spinner air suspension fork is $975. Custom colors are available for $95 extra.
The Prodigy 16″/20″ full susser starts at $1,750 for frame, White Brother’s fork and Fox air shock. Complete bikes start at $2,250. It’s shown above with 20″ wheels and at the top of this post with 16″ wheels.
Swappable dropouts let the bike grow with your kid. Part of the magic is using high end cranksets that he has machined down to shorter lengths and re-drilled and tapped for the pedals. Another really nice feature is the ISCG tabs that let you run a single ring with chain guide. Honestly, kids this size just don’t need (and rarely use) front gears, especially with a standard “adult” cassette’s range in the rear.
The Phenom 24″ frames start at $1,350 and complete bikes start at $3,200. It gets a tapered headtube and keeps the adjustable length suspension.
This is a bit cheaper because it doesn’t include the fork…but more than likely if you’re considering something like this, you have a 26″ fork laying around.