Reviewed by: Amelia
Price (MSRP): $450-$1000
Best Use: Multi-Use
Where to Buy: Specialized Dealer or Website
Testing Location: Wyoming and Montana
Testing Environment: All conditions
The Specialized RipRock is the ultimate in a mountain bike for kids. It is lightweight for easy and safe riding, has big tires (2.8 inch width) for rolling over terrain and is totally manageable for little riders. While we are big proponents of lightweight kid bikes, this one is in its own league. J has been lucky enough to test out the RipRock Expert 24, which is the top of the line in the RipRock series.
The most impressive part of the Riprock is just that it is EASY and FUN to ride beyond the paved road. The whole idea is to keep the focus on kids just enjoying their ride instead of messing with a bike that is working against them. Ten speeds of power (8 in the lower end model) help make going up (and down) steep trails easy.
What we love:
-Great geometry with a low standover means that even a kid who is barely able to normally ride a 24″ frame can easily hop on this and ride (AND won’t grow out of it super fast)
-The fat (2.8 inch width) tires work in snow, sand, dirt, over curbs, and on pavement. They have incredible traction and help give gets confidence in riding new terrain. This truly could be the only bike your kid has (and they could ride on almost anything).
-A shock that REALLY works and has a wide range. Plus, it can be locked for uphill pedaling.
-Disc brakes that are easy for little hands to engage…and make it easier to keep the bike under control
-Very lightweight, especially for a bike with such big tires.
What we aren’t so crazy about:
-It’s for serious bikers only because of the price tag. Incredible components and an incredible bike…but still big bucks for families.
J has been lucky enough to be on lightweight bikes pretty much his entire biking life. However, this is the bike he reaches for when he wants to go play on the dirt, in the mountains and in changing trail conditions. It’s the bike he talks about when he wants to tell people about biking (and talk, he does!)
The Riprock is available in both a 20″ and 24″ size, ranging from $450-$1000 depending on the model (components, etc.) Obviously this is not cheap, but for serious little riders, it’s totally a doable price for an excellent bike.
Read all about the specs of the RipRock bikes here on their website.
The Bottom Line:
A mountain bike for little riders that is truly made to RIDE and give kids confidence in the sport. While the price tag certainly reflects this (and isn’t something many families will be able to swallow), it is the most fun bike J has ever been on. The best part is that it can be used on ANY terrain, both urban and mountainous.
Q- Is this a light weigh bike as well?
A- Yes…not super, super light, but surprisingly so for how beefy the tires are!
Q- How does the RipRock roll on the pavement / hard surfaces? I am confident it would be great in the dirt but just wanting to know if the fat tyres slow the bike down in the urban environment
A- My son loves riding it on the pavement too – doesn’t seem to slow him down a bit! I wouldn’t be something you ride for like 20 miles, but great bike for playing around with and using as an every day rider (just not a replacement for a road bike!)
Q- I have an eight year old who has a 20” inseam and Rip Rock fits him wonderfully. But – is he going to outgrow this bike immediately? And it is a heavy bike – but he was so smooth on it in a local res run. Just your thoughts, and thank you.
A- My son is 8 now and still loves and rides the Riprock (he’s a similar size to your son). I anticipate him riding it this year and next at least!
Specialized generously provided us this demo bike in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own.
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