Part Two of the Specialized Riprock 20
Updated: May 31, 2020
The original intention of this bike was to lighten the wheels up a bit to make it easier for a kid to push this thing around. The bike has seen many miles of fun and was in need of a refresh for little brother, along with a unique identity.
The Fork: The upgraded original fork was carbon fiber and saw some wear due to the bike rack so a swap was in order. The new fork chosen was sourced from https://www.trailcraftcycles.com. The fork is aluminum, straight steer with a similar axle to crown measurement as not to change the geo too much. you can find it here: https://www.trailcraftcycles.com/product/trailcraft-aluminum-fork/ for a very reasonable price.
The cranks: I would say the the heaviest component on the stock bike was the crankset. It uses a square taper BB that is a lead weight. The trailcraft aluminum crankset is great for kids. They have some good kid sizing and the cranks come with a BB and a chainring for a good price. They are also much lighter than stock. you can also find them here: https://www.trailcraftcycles.com/product/trailcraft-direct-mount-cranks/
Disclaimer: I have no ties to trailcraft cycles, just giving credit where is is due. Good components for a reasonable price that are well suited for kids projects.
Brakes: the original mechanical disc brakes were good enough but needed to be upgraded after many miles. I chose the Shimano MT-201 hydraulic disc brake. They are cheap and work great for kids and the stopping power is much better than stock.
Drivetrain: The drivetrain was replaced with something that not only functions better but saves a bit of weight too. The Shimano ZEE FR derailleur fit nice on this bike due to the lower profile and is also a 10 speed system. Nothing else will fit on this bike due to the chain line and large rear tire. The cassette is an 11-36 with a 26T front ring. This equates to some real easy pedaling for kids if needed. The shifting and functionality of the system is also much greater.
The wheels have many miles on them and are still the same as day one. Again, you could drop some weight with a tubeless setup but I haven't tried to set that up.
The final weight of the bike is right at 19.5 pounds with pedals and the mandatory speedometer. A considerable difference from stock and should be the standard for kids bikes.
In the End, this bike has been ridden many miles and will be ridden many more so the cost to upgrade is well worth it to me, you can really see a difference in bike handling and ability with a proper setup bike for kids.