MTBers with Groms - fork or disc brakes?

Any parents of groms with an opinion on bikes for thier little shredders?
My 5 y/o is outgrowing his Hotrock 16" and I wanted to buy him a Riprock 20" with disc brakes and a suspension fork. Alas, it sold out. So all I am finding (under eggregious amounts of money) are rigid forks and disc brakes or suspension forks and rim brakes.

My first impulse is the fork because he’s too light to stress rim brakes. But then again, there’s the mechanical advantage of disc brakes for hands with less grip strength. He’s also used to his pedal brake and apprehensive about the idea of losing that feature.

Pretty much 6/7 gears are offered across the board so that’s kind of a constant.
We’ve done some real trail riding, couple of blues in Utah, Wyoming and his major challenge is climbing. So the gearing and a NOT 30lbs bike are likewise priorities.

I haven’t had to search for bikes this size in a few years but if you’re worried about him not having suspension, don’t. I had my son on a 20" Specialized something or other & a 24" that was similar -both with suspension forks. They were junk & weighed a ton. When he graduate to 26" wheels, I bought used components including a SID fork which I serviced & it worked great on the X-small Ebay aluminum frame I found for him. Got him to race that thing & he won his class on the same day I won fatbike class race. What a great day! Good luck with your search. BTW, he’s a good 6 inches taller than me now & rarely rides with me anymore, unfortunately.


ha. I never once thought about the added weight penalty of a suspension fork! So obvous in hindsight.
I just looked and the rigid REI 20" weighs as much as my FS XC bike. Can’t imagine my boy will like that too much.

I’m responding to this because I’m very interested in seeing what you find that meets this criteria. My son will need a new bike in a few months but I’m hesitant to drop any significant amount of $ - I threw down on a fancy Cleary only to watch it grow cob-webs until he out grew it and we got a 20" hand me down. I’d like to get him something trail worthy, everything that’s “light” starts approaching $1K or more.

Woom is my first choice. But they’re sold out. The have a Woom 4 at 20" that weighs 16lbs, but it is 500 bucks. That is hard to stomach except I have a 3yo who will inherit the bike in a couple years.
We got a 12" for $15 and a 16" for $90 so we’ve done ok so far on costs.
I want to reward my oldest for actually enthusiastically riding with me with a new bike, but i would like to avoid the 500 dollar investment for what may be as little as 1 year.

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I’d have no problem with $500 IF, IF I knew he would ride it enthusiastically. I’m going to keep looking at the used market too for sure. Thanks! I’ve looked at Woom before I think, I’ll give it another one.

Well… Things didn’t go as planned, but they evolved much more quickly than anticipated.
I decided to shop around locally and see if anything might be available.
Called my local shop to ask about the Marin Hidden Canyon. NO luck. but they had another option.
Vaast Youth Y/1.
It’s a magnesium frame with suntour air fork, 9 speeds and disc brakes. Weighed in at 23 lbs, which is a shade over what his 16" bike weighed. Took a look at it, let him spin it in the parking lot and ultimately pulled the trigger.
I am not proud of the price I paid. Cost more than the 500 I was scoffing at earlier, but it is a fantastic little bike and he will love it for at least a couple of seasons before passing it on to little brother.
The fork is actually a 24". could swap it for a rigid or give him a mullet build in a year (kidding. that geometry would never fly).
My only real concern is that the derailluer arm is almost touching the ground in 1st gear. May need to swap it for a road model.

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