Faced with the problem of trying to outfit her son with an appropriate bike, Ginger Rosenbauer didn’t care for the fact that most of the choices weighed almost half of what he did, and were woefully inappropriate for actual off road riding. Located in Fort Collins, CO, they were already able to do a lot of design, prototyping and production this year, and they are ready to go to market.
Launching by using Kickstarter, they already have the first production available for delivery before the holidays. Rosenbauer says “One of the most valuable benefits of the Pineridge 24 are the memories made together on the bike as a family. The awesome ride quality and lightweight components of the Pineridge 24 has allowed for longer more enjoyable rides, creating fun times on the trail together, and a lifetime of memories. This time and connection together is priceless.”
Founder Ginger Rosenbauer (married to Niner Bike’s International Sales Manager Brett Rosenbauer) started this project when they could not find a suitable bike for their 8 year old son.
From Trailcraft Cycles: Trailcraft Cycles was created to answer the need for a high performance, lightweight, 24-inch XC kids bicycle. With high end components mirroring those of mountain bikes two to three wheel sizes bigger, Trailcraft Cycles brings two options of both aluminum and titanium bicycles to the kids bike market. Nestled on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, Trailcraft Cycles was founded in Fort Collins, Colorado which is known for for its great riding and family friendly atmosphere. Trailcraft Cycles was started after modifying a 24- inch high-end mountain bike for founder Ginger Rosenbauer’s son. “Our son’s riding progression was held back by a heavy bike. His high-end bike was designed around a stock frame with long chainstays making it difficult to learn to manual over obstacles and change directions quickly. The heavy components hindered his ability to ride longer and learn key skills which he was ready for at 8-years-old,” said Trailcraft Founder Ginger Rosenbauer. “The choices available for a high performance 24- inch bike were slim to none so I set out to create bikes which would give aspiring young riders the option to ride a great bicycle from the beginning.”
Rosenbauer initially didn’t think the project would take off, as many of the ODM manufacturers of the frames were not interested in the low quantity associated with an expensive kids bike. It took them a bit of time to work through the process, until their son was starting to approach 9 years old.
They found a manufacturer that worked in high-quality small batches, making the frames from 7005 aluminum and titanium. Additionally, a custom crank was created with the correct length for kids of this size, and a gear ratio that worked with their strength and ability. Trailcraft says the majority of 24-inch bikes are all designed to hit a price point. Most “high-end” 24-inch bikes are in the $600.00+ range, and still weigh 25-30 pounds, and this was still not appropriate to ride off road.
Knowing that rotational weight is the best place to improve performance, they started with super light Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires, and then worked with NoTubes to create the Crest in a 24″ size. This created an extremely light wheel set that was a great starting point to put a proper frame design on.
Offered in blue, green and purple, the Pineridge 24 also features a 1600 gram, 60mm travel RST First air sprung suspension fork. Just like an adult fork, it has high quality alloy lowers, lockout and pre-load adjust.
Attention was also paid to the cockpit parts, saving weight wherever possible. Rosenbauer says even carbon fiber parts were considered, but for the small size, the alloy parts were similar in weight and kept the cost in control better.
Most cranks on the market for kids bikes have a single ring that is geared way too high for off road riding. Trailcraft created a proper crank with a 152mm length, 22 tooth granny ring and 32 tooth big ring, complete with a bash guard. This gives proper body fit, low enough gears for climbing, and the guard keeps the errant shoe laces out of the drivetrain.
Complete Pineridge 24s are finished off with spec highlights such as Shimano Deore M615 rear derailleur complete with Shadow Plus clutch system and M615 hydraulic brakes and Ashima light weight rotors. The Pineridge 24 aluminum framed bike sells for $1,699. Opt up to the titanium frame, and it would be $2,699 with your choice of titanium rigid fork or RST First fork.