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Giant XTC Jr 24 Lite review

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Old 08-14-15, 06:33 PM
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Aqua_Andy
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Giant XTC Jr 24 Lite review

This past spring the wife and I were trying to figure out how to do family rides with our 8yo son. He is at a point where he is too big for a trailer and heavy enough that towing him on the tag along is a miserable experience. We tried having him ride his single speed twenty inch bike last year but he could not keep up with a 10 to 12 mph pace as it was just geared too low. So we started looking for 24" bikes to purchase for him to ride. I wanted a light weight steel or aluminum frame without a suspension fork and around $400 max. Well all I can say is the pickings are slim. Each manufacturer only had one bike to choose from with out a sprung fork and even fewer had a relatively light frame. All the bikes we looked at with a steel frame felt like a tank and seemed heavier than my 17" Trek 7.4. That left the Giant xtc jr Lite, with an aluminum frame and a steel fork and at $250 it seemed like a bargain. I might also add that this is the only bike that gave him proper stand over height due to the down curved top tube "four months later he has the leg length to fit any of the 24" bikes. As expected this bike does not have top of the line components but everything turned out to be perfectly serviceable for a bike that is ment for a lightweight child. The only thing I have had to replace so far were the tires as they were a total joke, most of the knobbies have fallen off and they have absolutely no flat protection. After two punctures, one being a slice from a broken sea shell fragment I just ordered and installed a set of Continental Tour Ride Urban bicycle tires. The build of the bicycle when we picked it up was not even funny. Both brake handles would touch the grips and still not stop the bike, the rear derailleur was way out of adjustment, rear bearing cones were so tight you could hear them screaming and the head set was loose. Now I can't fault Giant for these issues as it is the responsibility of the selling dealer to assemble and set up the bike before purchase. When I pointed these issues out to the delivering salesman he told us that he would have there service department take care of them right away. I politely declined and when he insisted I told him there was no way in heck I was going to let there goons mess the bicycle up any more than they already have. After bringing the bike home I set it up properly and when my son came home from school we pack the bikes and went for a family bike ride. What a difference this bike made, he was keeping up just fine and enjoying the ride. Now he keeps up at a good pace and we do 8 to 12 mile rides at least once a week. I know many people have the opinion that 24" bicycles are a waste of money as most children will outgrow them in a couple of years. For us this was a good step as it allows us to ride as a family like we have been doing for the past few years. I would not hesitate to purchase this bicycle again and feel it is a bargain at $295 for the bike and replacement tires.

XTC Jr 24 Lite (2016) | Giant Bicycles | United States

Amazon.com: Continental Tour Ride Urban Bicycle Tire
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Old 08-15-15, 06:25 AM
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Waist of money? Thats just the general response you get when you buy something more expensive then what someone else deems OK. Well just about anything you get for a kid he will outgrow. My 7 year old had a Jet 12 then a 16 now he has a 20 inch Electra rat rod. He rides 10 miles with me almost every night after dinner. He rides 12 to 14 mph. If I take my heavier bike I can not catch him when he sprints. Every time we try to ride with one of his friends something is inevitably is wrong with their bikes. I have the luxury of being able to afford good bikes for my kid but I do understand that not everyone can. I think a quality used bike would be a much better alternative to a cheap department store bike.
Thanks for the review. Im searching for options on 24 inch bikes as well. Your criteria is about the same as mine. Lite frame and no suspension fork. His inseam is only about 21 inches so it might be awhile.
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Old 08-15-15, 06:28 AM
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Could you measure the stand over height for me? Its not listed on the Giant site.
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Old 08-15-15, 08:38 AM
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flyjimmy, the stand over height about four inches forward of the seat measures 23.5". This is where my sons crotch is when he stands. After going to bike shops and actually measuring the stand over height of these bikes, what I found is if the specs did give a measurement it was the height of the bar directly in front of the seat post and not where the child would actually be standing. I forget what the weight came out to but XTC Jr was the lightest of all the bikes we looked at when weighed at the shop.
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Old 08-15-15, 09:47 AM
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Thanks Andy. I think my guy has a few more inches to go.
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Old 08-15-15, 09:57 AM
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A colleague got the 20" version for his son. It's a decent little bike. All the threading is standard so it's as adjustable as you like. 7x Tourney isn't wonderful but if you wanted to garnish it with premium components you could. I wonder if he made a mistake not getting the 24", cause the kid is already 9. But it was a huge upgrade from his Walmart bike.
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Old 08-15-15, 12:39 PM
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You are a smart parent for buying a bike that fits your son right now, for not buying one he will eventually "grow into", and for selecting one based upon needs rather than what looks fancy. The gear range on this bike is 27 to 62 gear inches if the crank is 170mm. It's probably not great for steep hills but for ordinary riding it should suffice. If your read how adults approach bike purchases, one item that shows up a lot is how bikes fit the individual. It is more fun and a lot safer to ride a bike that fits. I also chuckled at your response to the bike shop. Many buyers don't know how to assess the competence of the bike shop when it comes to assembling a new bike by checking it out carefully. You can read one person's story here: http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...es-riding.html. It's rather shocking that a real bike shop (vs mass merchandiser) can do such a poor assembly job. I had a similar experience with a young boy who's father bought the bike at WalMart. It lasted about 2 miles into a 10 mile cycling merit badge ride before both pedals stripped the crank arms.
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Old 08-15-15, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
You are a smart parent for buying a bike that fits your son right now, for not buying one he will eventually "grow into", and for selecting one based upon needs rather than what looks fancy. The gear range on this bike is 27 to 62 gear inches if the crank is 170mm. It's probably not great for steep hills but for ordinary riding it should suffice. If your read how adults approach bike purchases, one item that shows up a lot is how bikes fit the individual. It is more fun and a lot safer to ride a bike that fits. I also chuckled at your response to the bike shop. Many buyers don't know how to assess the competence of the bike shop when it comes to assembling a new bike by checking it out carefully. You can read one person's story here: http://www.bikeforums.net/general-cy...es-riding.html. It's rather shocking that a real bike shop (vs mass merchandiser) can do such a poor assembly job. I had a similar experience with a young boy who's father bought the bike at WalMart. It lasted about 2 miles into a 10 mile cycling merit badge ride before both pedals stripped the crank arms.
I must confess, we did not purchase this bike entirely for our son. Yes we bought the bike mostly for ourselves as
we love to ride and our youngest was to big for a tag a long or a trailer. Yes we selfishly bought our kid a bike, he wanted the one with a shock and motorcycle fenders. He got the XTC and now after the fact he loves the bike and love riding it. Does this make us bad parents? I do like what Islabikes has done but there bikes were just too far out of our price range. I know what you mean about the cycling merit badge issues having helped run the program for our local troop for the past four years. We required all the participants to bring there bikes in for the first few meetings so they could learn the bicycle maintenance part using there own bikes. Most if not all needed work anyway and when it was time for the actual rides we knew the bikes were safe for the road.
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Old 09-26-17, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Aqua_Andy View Post
This past spring the wife and I were trying to figure out how to do family rides with our 8yo son. He is at a point where he is too big for a trailer and heavy enough that towing him on the tag along is a miserable experience. We tried having him ride his single speed twenty inch bike last year but he could not keep up with a 10 to 12 mph pace as it was just geared too low. So we started looking for 24" bikes to purchase for him to ride. I wanted a light weight steel or aluminum frame without a suspension fork and around $400 max. Well all I can say is the pickings are slim. Each manufacturer only had one bike to choose from with out a sprung fork and even fewer had a relatively light frame. All the bikes we looked at with a steel frame felt like a tank and seemed heavier than my 17" Trek 7.4. That left the Giant xtc jr Lite, with an aluminum frame and a steel fork and at $250 it seemed like a bargain. I might also add that this is the only bike that gave him proper stand over height due to the down curved top tube "four months later he has the leg length to fit any of the 24" bikes. As expected this bike does not have top of the line components but everything turned out to be perfectly serviceable for a bike that is ment for a lightweight child. The only thing I have had to replace so far were the tires as they were a total joke, most of the knobbies have fallen off and they have absolutely no flat protection. After two punctures, one being a slice from a broken sea shell fragment I just ordered and installed a set of Continental Tour Ride Urban bicycle tires. The build of the bicycle when we picked it up was not even funny. Both brake handles would touch the grips and still not stop the bike, the rear derailleur was way out of adjustment, rear bearing cones were so tight you could hear them screaming and the head set was loose. Now I can't fault Giant for these issues as it is the responsibility of the selling dealer to assemble and set up the bike before purchase. When I pointed these issues out to the delivering salesman he told us that he would have there service department take care of them right away. I politely declined and when he insisted I told him there was no way in heck I was going to let there goons mess the bicycle up any more than they already have. After bringing the bike home I set it up properly and when my son came home from school we pack the bikes and went for a family bike ride. What a difference this bike made, he was keeping up just fine and enjoying the ride. Now he keeps up at a good pace and we do 8 to 12 mile rides at least once a week. I know many people have the opinion that 24" bicycles are a waste of money as most children will outgrow them in a couple of years. For us this was a good step as it allows us to ride as a family like we have been doing for the past few years. I would not hesitate to purchase this bicycle again and feel it is a bargain at $295 for the bike and replacement tires.

XTC Jr 24 Lite (2016) | Giant Bicycles | United States

Amazon.com: Continental Tour Ride Urban Bicycle Tire
Hi, I know this is an old thread and you're probably not around anymore, but how did this bike end up working out for your son? I'm looking at getting a used one of these for my 7 year old daughter. Right now she's on a 16" bike that's way too small. I'm sort of leery of getting her on a 20" bike as she might outgrow it in less than a year (she already has a 24" cycling inseam (barefoot to the ground), so I was looking at the 24, but am afraid it might be too big. It looks like you said that the standover is more like 23", so it might work if I can convince her that she doesn't need to touch the ground from the saddle. It does seem like a huge step up though. Any thoughts you might have would be greatly appreciated (if you are still around). Thanks.
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Old 09-26-17, 10:14 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Hi, I know this is an old thread and you're probably not around anymore, but how did this bike end up working out for your son? I'm looking at getting a used one of these for my 7 year old daughter. Right now she's on a 16" bike that's way too small. I'm sort of leery of getting her on a 20" bike as she might outgrow it in less than a year (she already has a 24" cycling inseam (barefoot to the ground), so I was looking at the 24, but am afraid it might be too big. It looks like you said that the standover is more like 23", so it might work if I can convince her that she doesn't need to touch the ground from the saddle. It does seem like a huge step up though. Any thoughts you might have would be greatly appreciated (if you are still around). Thanks.
I just picked up a specialized hotrock 24 street (no suspension fork) for my 6yo - he's pretty strong on the bike and prefers a high seat, but is handling it no problem. Throwing the bike around a little better if anything.
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Old 09-27-17, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
I just picked up a specialized hotrock 24 street (no suspension fork) for my 6yo - he's pretty strong on the bike and prefers a high seat, but is handling it no problem. Throwing the bike around a little better if anything.
Yeah, at that size, without suspension is probably better to make the bike lighter. I'd been looking for one without suspension, but I found a pretty solid deal on the XTC 24 online so I decided to go with it. By the time it arrives, we'll probably be done with most of the riding for the winter, but that'll give me time to make sure to give it a full overhaul before she takes it out. It might be a pretty big adjustment from the coaster brakes and no shifting she's using on her Trek Jet 16 now, but hopefully she'll do well with the changes. Right now she's super cramped and her knees are coming up super high as she tries to pedal, so it was definitely time to go larger.
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Old 09-28-17, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Yeah, at that size, without suspension is probably better to make the bike lighter. I'd been looking for one without suspension, but I found a pretty solid deal on the XTC 24 online so I decided to go with it. By the time it arrives, we'll probably be done with most of the riding for the winter, but that'll give me time to make sure to give it a full overhaul before she takes it out. It might be a pretty big adjustment from the coaster brakes and no shifting she's using on her Trek Jet 16 now, but hopefully she'll do well with the changes. Right now she's super cramped and her knees are coming up super high as she tries to pedal, so it was definitely time to go larger.
I had to replace the seatpost with a longer one on his 20" miele - he insists on being able to straighten his leg like I can on my bike. Not upset about it at all.

He picked up on the handbrake gradually - I think it helps that he's been practicing monkey bars and other hanging things at the playground - his grip is stronger.
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Old 09-29-17, 05:04 AM
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In my daughter's case, I'd need to find a much longer seatpost (probably not too difficult) and a much taller/longer stem to keep her on her current bike. At that point, it just seemed like well, I could drop $40-50 on some new components or I could just buy a used bike that fits properly for not that much more. As you did, I might have to go with a longer post/stem until she gets used to the hand brakes anyway.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:12 AM
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Sorry to revive a super-old thread, by a bike shop just recommended this bike for my 48” 7 year old. I was a little surprised. He has clearly outgrown his 16”, but they said a 20” wouldn’t last at all. My son is a really good rider (he never used training wheels), but the whole thing was intimidating for him (size, hand brakes, etc) and they didn’t have an open enough space for him to get comfortable test riding. Any thoughts on how I can tell if this is really appropriate for him?

[QUOTE=Aqua_Andy;18076368]This past spring the wife and I were trying to figure out how to do family rides with our 8yo son. He is at a point where he is too big for a trailer and heavy enough that towing him on the tag along is a miserable experience. We tried having him ride his single speed twenty inch bike last year but he could not keep up with a 10 to 12 mph pace as it was just geared too low. So we started looking for 24" bikes to purchase for him to ride. I wanted a light weight steel or aluminum frame without a suspension fork and around $400 max. Well all I can say is the pickings are slim. Each manufacturer only had one bike to choose from with out a sprung fork and even fewer had a relatively light frame. All the bikes we looked at with a steel frame felt like a tank and seemed heavier than my 17" Trek 7.4. That left the Giant xtc jr Lite, with an aluminum frame and a steel fork and at $250 it seemed like a bargain. I might also add that this is the only bike that gave him proper stand over height due to the down curved top tube "four months later he has the leg length to fit any of the 24" bikes. As expected this bike does not have top of the line components but everything turned out to be perfectly serviceable for a bike that is ment for a lightweight child. The only thing I have had to replace so far were the tires as they were a total joke, most of the knobbies have fallen off and they have absolutely no flat protection. After two punctures, one being a slice from a broken sea shell fragment I just ordered and installed a set of Continental Tour Ride Urban bicycle tires. The build of the bicycle when we picked it up was not even funny. Both brake handles would touch the grips and still not stop the bike, the rear derailleur was way out of adjustment, rear bearing cones were so tight you could hear them screaming and the head set was loose. Now I can't fault Giant for these issues as it is the responsibility of the selling dealer to assemble and set up the bike before purchase. When I pointed these issues out to the delivering salesman he told us that he would have there service department take care of them right away. I politely declined and when he insisted I told him there was no way in heck I was going to let there goons mess the bicycle up any more than they already have. After bringing the bike home I set it up properly and when my son came home from school we pack the bikes and went for a family bike ride. What a difference this bike made, he was keeping up just fine and enjoying the ride. Now he keeps up at a good pace and we do 8 to 12 mile rides at least once a week. I know many people have the opinion that 24" bicycles are a waste of money as most children will outgrow them in a couple of years. For us this was a good step as it allows us to ride as a family like we have been doing for the past few years. I would not hesitate to purchase this bicycle again and feel it is a bargain at $295 for the bike and replacement tires.
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Old 03-05-18, 09:15 AM
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Sorry to revive an old thread, but my bike shop just suggested this bike for my 48” seven year old. He has clearly outgrown his 16” and the shop thought this made more sense for him than a 20”. He was a bit intimidated by the size, hand brakes, etc. Any thoughts on how to determine if this is appropriate for him?
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Old 03-05-18, 09:24 AM
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My daughter is also 48" and just getting back into riding for the spring and with her 24" bike. It's clearly the right size for her when she's riding, but she's so used to being able to sit on the saddle and reach the ground like she could on her 16" (when she rode her knees looked like they were almost coming up to her chin), so she has a lot of issues with trying to stand over on it and saying it's too big. If she straddles the bar with both feet flat on the ground, it gets pushed uncomfortably into her crotch. I keep showing her the same thing is true on my bike, but you never ride with your feet flat on the ground and, if you put one of your feet on the pedals, you can stand in such a way that it shifts your hips and isn't uncomfortable.

I guess that's a long way of saying that 24" may be the right size for your son, but coming off a bike so much smaller, it'll probably not feel like it at first. I'm currently worried that adjustment period will make her not enthused to ride until it's too late, so you might want to see if you can find a 24" he can stand over (even if it's not crucial), just to make the transition easier.
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Old 03-06-18, 05:01 AM
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My son started riding a hotrock street 24 last summer at 6 1/2 yo - about that height. He does better on that than his 20", mainly due to it being lighter, I think.
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Old 03-06-18, 06:48 AM
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When they're that height, I think the 24" is the right size, it's just a big jump for them to get used to coming from a 16".
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Old 03-07-18, 03:38 PM
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My 7 year old son is 50" now. He was about 48" last fall when we bought him a Woom 5 24" bike for his 7th bday as a size up from his 20" Islabike Beinn Small, which he'd been riding for over 2 years. The Woom is a fairly small 24" and still the bigger size was pretty intimidating to him. He still fits on the Islabike and, given a choice, will generally choose that over his 24" bike. I can't imagine jumping from a 16" coaster brake/no gear bike to a 24" with hand brakes and gears. I agree that a 20" probably wouldn't last more than 2 years, depending on how fast he grows, but I'd recommend looking for a used 20" as a "bridge" bike rather than going with the 24" now.
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