First Look: Specialized launches new Riprock kid’s MTB line

Plus bikes for kids

Kids Plus
Specialized's newest kids model's borrows tech from the adult market to help improve confidence and fun for everyone.

Specialized’s newest kids model’s borrows tech from the adult market to help improve confidence and fun for everyone (click to enlarge).

Despite already offering several impressive children’s mountain bikes in the form of the Hotrock series, Specialized recently launched several new models designed for the sons and daughters of mountain bikers. This new series, dubbed the Riprock, is built around large volume 2.8” tires – making them essentially plus bikes for kids.

The larger tires on the new Riprock will help kids clear challenging trail obstacles.

The larger tires on the new Riprock will help kids clear challenging trail obstacles (click to enlarge).

If you’re not familiar with the concept, the plus sized trend began by mounting large volume tires onto 27.5” wheels to give them the same effective outside diameter as a 29”. In our testing, we’ve found that these monster tires roll more easily over technical terrain, offer improved stability and traction in loose conditions, and can give novice riders a big confidence boost.

Specialized has paired these oversized tires with a custom tuned fork, disc brakes, and a durable aluminum frame with low stand over to create the ultimate ripper.

All of the Riprock models are available in an array of colors, including several gender neutral tones, and pink.

All of the Riprock models are available in an array of colors, including several gender neutral tones, and pink (click to enlarge).

The Riprock will be available in two wheelsizes: 20 and 24”. The 20” model utilizes a Shimano Revoshifter (think twistie grip) for easy gear selection. Retail is $450.

We think kids will love the ultra low standover of the new models.

We think kids will love the ultra low standover of the new models (click to enlarge).

The Riprock 24 is available at three different price points. The $500 base model has an 8 speed Shimano Tourney drive train, 70mm coil fork, and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes.

For kids coming from department store bikes, the Riprock will be an amazing upgrade.

For kids coming from department store bikes, the Riprock will be an amazing upgrade (click to enlarge).

Jumping upto the $750 Comp model nets you an air sprung fork with hydraulic lockout and 9 speed Shimano Alivio Shadow drivetrain.

The Expert level model has a part spec most adults would be stoked on.

The Expert level model has a part spec most adults would be stoked on (click to enlarge).

The most expensive Expert model (presumably reserved only for kids who do all their homework and get straight A’s) retails for a $1,000 and is equipped with Shimano Deore hydraulic disc brakes, the same air sprung fork as the Comp model, and a 10 speed Shimano XT Shadow drivetrain.

For more information visit www.specialized.com.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

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  • justwanna ride says:

    It looks like what plus sized wheels do best is inflate (sorry) prices. On adult bikes for 2016 we have 1500€ 27+ hardtails with suntour forks.

  • Lars V says:

    hmmm, those bars look way too high. I think these bikes would’ve been way better with shorter, rigid forks.
    You might ask yourself if kids need +tires at all… Function or form?

  • Rob says:

    Why can’t any of these companies make a good 13″ frame 26″ wheeled kids bike that’s light and has 1×11 and has a 155mm crank?? That is what’s missing in the market right now! It’s SO hard to get these kids on a good light weight mountain bike.

    • MARTIN says:

      ROB,
      Check out TREK Kids Dualsports, 12.5-frame rigid 26inch wheels, I bought as is upgraded the wheelset and using 2.2 tires on the bike for my tall 7 year. He loves it. He also got dads old XTR 975 brakes, dad got a set of xt 8000.
      cheers,
      Martin

  • craigsj says:

    “If you’re not familiar with the concept, the plus sized trend began by mounting large volume tires onto 27.5” wheels to give them the same effective outside diameter as a 29”.”

    Fire the person who wrote this.

    • luke says:

      I need to agree a bit with craigsj. Credit where credit is due. Surly started the whole “plus” thing on 29″ inch wheels.

      I have been riding since ’89. I bought a surly 29+(ECR) as a back up hard tail because I repeatedly was missing out on rides. My fully sprung monkey seemed to need constant service. Since buying the plus bike I’ve found that my fully ridged plus bike is the most confident, competent and stable bike I have ever owned. I ride it on the rock strewn technical trails in AZ. I choose it 9 out of 10 times over my $5000 trail bike.

      In my opinion a plus bike for a kid is a no brainer. You put them on something feels more confident, they have more fun. Put them on something more stable, less scrapes or stiches. It really does make sense.

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