Not quite in time to get wrapped under the tree, but Salsa Cycles has a sweet looking pair of Timberjack mountain bikes to get your kids out on the trail in the new year. Doing what Salsa does best, the Timberjack 20 & 24 pair lightweight aluminum frames & matching alloy forks, with clearance for big trail bump-eating 3″ tires, disc brakes & worry-free 1x drivetrains. And they do it all at a price that won’t break the bank.

Timberjack 20 aluminum kids’ mountain bike

Salsa sees the virtue of building lifelong cyclists early, and the Timberjacks are all about instilling a sense of adventure. While most 20″ kids’ mountain bikes stay pretty basic, Salsa thought to give a bit more versatility.

First that meant opting for meaty 3″ plus-sized tires, that soften the ride without the need for hefty suspension. Then the bike goes with Boost hub spacing and a narrow-wide single ring drivetrain to give junior the best tech. And no lack of water bottle storage for this kiddo, the Timberjack has  anything cage mounts on both fork legs. So mount a couple of wager bottle cages up, or well… anything.

Of course at the $550 pricepoint of this orange Timberjack 20, you won’t get a super high-end groupset. But Salsa managed a wide-enough twist shift Shimano Altus 8 speed derailleur on a 12-32 cassette, and Promax cable actuated disc brakes with 160 front & 140mm rear rotors.

Timberjack 24 aluminum kids’ mountain bike

The 24″ version shares the same spec in bright blue for $560. That includes the same Promax & Velo finishing kit that like the geometry of both bikes is sized down to fit smaller riders.

Both bikes are 1x specific (so no accommodation for a front derailleur) and get internal routing in the front triangle to get cables out of the way. Both also spec a 28T chainring with a plate style chain guard, but can fit up to a 30T ring if you kid needs some more speed.

The bikes do stick with standard threaded bottom brackets, IS brake tabs, and QR axles (although specs mention bolt-on axles). Wheels on both bikes use 32 spoke formula hubs and 20″ or 24″ versions of WTB’s i35 rims, suggesting both tubeless compatibility & their wide, stable 35mm internal profile.

The bigger wheeled Timberjack 24 adds a single downtube set of bosses, plus the fork mounts. Its rigid fork is also suspension corrected, meaning you could swap in an 80mm travel fork if your kid starts to get too rad with the full rigid setup.



Salsa says the little Timberjacks are ready for “family camping, solo expeditions in the nearby woods, or any other youthful mission”. Get one from your local Salsa dealer from the first weeks in January 2018.


  1. This is what Salsa (QBP Incorporated) does best: it waits until an entrepreneur discovers and establishes a niche market, and then it uses its wealth and Asian factories to demolish the little guy by providing a cheap alternative.

    Yes, now is when you defend the big guy who crushes the little guy with overwhelming resources. Have at it.

  2. if the little guy did not patent something or does not provide a service or feature that is above and beyond what salsa can provide, then what else do you expect to happen?

  3. So a whole hands on write up and NO ONE thinks to weigh the dang bike?? Very, very few things are more important than weight to a little 60lb rider. Also no word on the crank length either (critical). For 550$, you’d expect to see at least some hydraulic brakes (hand fatigue is real with little people). For 100$ more you could get a MUCH better bike and I’m guessing lighter in the Norco Charger 2.1 (22lbs) with a real air fork and hydraulic brakes etc. Or you could buy a similar bike as this but for nearly 200$ less in the Cannondale Cujo 20″ @ 22lbs (needs a crank swap to 127mm tho). It’d be nice if these pieces were a real review rather than a marketing piece with photos. Also their sizing statement seems off. 49″ to 58″ (4ft 9in) is a little crazy. Imagine a 4ft 9in kid riding on a 20″ wheeled bike?? There are 24″ bikes that have a smaller size window…

    • Just tooo lazy to go to the salsa cycles website yourself and find that info out without complaining ?

      The 24 inch is 25.6 pounds, and the 20 inch is 23 pounds. The Norco isn’t a plus tire bike and thus isn’t at all comparable. The Cujo has skinnier tires (2.6) and narrower rims (29mm inner width). The Cujo 20 is also only a 1×7. Both only have single bottlecage mounts on the downtube and the tires are Kenda Slant 6s which are not very good tread for sand/snow/loamy soft dirt, etc. The Chao Yang’s on the Salsa use a much better tread pattern which isn’t going to see little Billy sliding off the train. Also the standover heights are higher on the Cujos. 24.3″ for the 24″ and 20.4″ on the 20″. The Timberjacks are 23.4″ and 18.4″ respectively.

  4. I don’t see anyone demolished.

    When the time will come to replace her standard 20″ bike I think I’ll buy my daughter the 24″ version or similar. The rigid + fattish tire seems to be a better combo than the narrower tires and the super duper heavy low-end suspension forks you see on most kids MTB’s

  5. With regard to wheel sizes, keep in mind that 20 and 24 plus tires are bigger than the number suggests. 24+ should be similar in diameter to a normal 26” MTB tire.

  6. I’ve tried digging up some info on the tires spec’d but I’m coming up empty. The rims are tubeless ready, what about the tires? Tubeless on a kid’s bike would cut a lot of weight, especially with mini-plus tires.

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