You may recall that a while back we did a story on many of the currently available fat-bikes that are aimed at kids and I asked for readers to send me their impressions if they’ve owned a 20” or 24” fat-bike that one of their kids was riding. Neat Mike from NorthEast Alternative Transportation Bicycles up in Maine has the following story about his son’s 20″ Mongoose.
You asked for thoughts on the bikes if we owned one, so here you go: I bought the Mongoose Massif when it was the only kids fat bike available (2 years ago if I recall). I did what any bike shop mechanic dad would do and rebuilt it to make it FUNctional. I greased all the bearings and adjusted them properly because they were nearly dry and much too tight. Then I added a quill adaptor and swapped the stem and bars for alloy parts. He got a decent seat and pedals too.
He was extremely excited and it was the hit of the neighborhood…but it came with motor scooter slick tires that were so heavy that you could run them without air and they would be fine. At least we could hit the beaches in Maine with those tires and also light duty trails. He never minded them or the 41lb bike weight!
And Daddy waited, and waited…for decent knobby 20×4.0 tires. Finally I was able to order some Specialized tires from a local dealer here. Then it was game on! Out came the hole saw, colored duck tape and the scale. I went crazy drilling out the 100mm wide rims because kids are not heavy and I found a source for the rims if I messed it up. Between the drilling and the tires the wheelset lost over 5lbs of rotating weight! He was now able to shred in style! Granted the gearing is still high but he’s pretty good in 1st and 2nd gear on the trail at age 8. It was bought and built as a cool birthday gift and as a proof-of-concept test for Dad. Now I know it’s worth buying a 24” fatty. I just have to save up my meager income!
Older son on Surly Wednesday joining in the fun!