Electronic Gear Shifting (SRAM eTap & Shimano Di2) on kids bikes?
Ever since the initial introduction of electronic shifting systems with the release of Shimano’s Di2, we’ve been very interested to see how the various setups would develop over time and how their application might finally solve the age-old problem of kids with small hands struggling with adult-derived shifters. The benefits of electronic are plenty;
- Very short-throw electronic levers – perfect for kids short fingers
- Smaller shifter body – great for kids smaller hands
- High quality, lightweight groupsets – less weight than typical ‘child-orientated’ groupsets
- Flexibility to mount additional shift-buttons to suit the rider
- A full groupset that can go with them on future frames/bikes
Kids between the ages of 5 and 11 want to ride road bikes with road shifters, but the current design of cable-operated shifters often requires huge articulation of the shift lever to change gear. Kids fingers are simply too short, their arms not strong enough. Watch any U6/U8/U10 peloton as they all steer left trying to change down a gear on any incline.
Cost however continues to be the biggest hurdle, ending many hopes of kids exploiting the real-world benefits of this great technology. Or maybe not, what if the groupset your 8-year old uses, is the same one they still use at 28 and beyond?
After careful and considered R&D, Kids Racing are pleased to announce our new Scatto J-Race bike is now available with the SRAM eTap 11-speed electronic groupset. A lightweight (7.45kg) road bike with a low standover (recommended min 65cm) and the all-important short top-tube (49cm). This is the ultimate kids road bike for 8 year olds+
Our small 9-year old tester (134cm tall with a 62cm inside leg) gave it a bike thumbs-up! The bike was built using the 135mm cranks and the shortest cockpit length to get his fit correct, allowing for plenty of room for future growth.
So why did we choose SRAM eTap?
- Installation is clean, lightweight & simple – utilising Wireless technology to remove problematic wiring
- SRAM have reduced the size of the shifter body to accommodate smaller hands
- Reach adjustable brake lever – gives the same finger reach for braking as Microshift Short-Reach
- Facility to add satellite shift buttons – so kids can change gear from the top bar
- WiFli option to use a wide-range cassette suitable for climbing or XC
As with all our custom-builds, we can create the Scatto J-Race 28 eTap to fit your rider perfectly. Selecting the right cranks, handlebars, stems, saddles and gearing to suit their requirements of either road racing or leisure road riding.
Scatto J-Race eTap ‘Racing‘ Specifiction:
This is the lightest version at 7.45kg using 30mm deep (British Cycling legal) wheels, correctly geared for the rider’s racing category and retains a ‘criterium-friendly’ Aluminium alloy frame and alloy wheels to cope with wet races.
Scatto J-Race eTap ‘Road’ Specifiction:
A versatile version weighing slightly more at 7.65kg, but uses the eTap WiFli derailleur for a wider range cassette for more climbing, alongside bar-top mounted blip-shifter buttons to allow easy shifting whilst climbing on the top-bars.
More eTap Conversions
We can custom-build eTap versions of our Scatto J-Cross 26 and J-Cross 28 bikes too. We know eTap is expensive, but as the system is transferrable from one bike to the next (7-years+ on the Scatto 26) then the cost is not as much as you might think. How many different bikes will you be buying from the age of 7 to 18 when (hopefully) they stop growing?
Our philosophy is you should only be changing the Frame and Cranks, pretty much everything else gets transferred forwards to the next frame up. The Groupset should be no different. Take a look at the new Scatto J-Race 28 eTap.
We can also convert your existing child’s bike to eTap, as long as the rear wheel hub can take an 11-speed cassette (or hub/wheels modifications are required) with prices from £1300 fitted. Contact Us for more details.