TAIR Cycles offers mountain bikes for kids built with a 14″ carbon frame that can run with 24 inch, 26 inch, or 27.5 wheels. Hailing from Golden, ColoRADo the company’s mission is to “Kick start your child’s riding life with the opportunity to choose or design their bike”.
If you need more information about TAIR, simply call Tony Tousley at 303.919.3297 or Blair Simpson at 970.988.1454. Either one of these guys will answer your questions and get you on the right path towards the right size wheels and build for your young mountain bikers.
Finding the right bike for your kids is important. That’s what TAIR co-owner and co-founder Tony Tousley told us when we spoke on the phone a few weeks ago. The story behind TAIR’s inception is a common one shared by many companies we have worked with. Existing kids’ mountain bikes just weren’t good enough. Tony said the last big-brand bike he purchased for his child was too heavy and it wasn’t geared correctly. Together with his business partner Blair Simpson, they recognized the need for a carbon frame, high-performance kids’ mountain bike – and they started TAIR.
TAIR Takes The Term “Growth Cycle” Literally
A TAIR Ripper can have up to 6 years of use with the same child. That means plenty of value for parents while a child gets to ride one of the best cross country mountain bikes for kids on the market.
The color combinations are almost infinite because once your child picks the frame color, she or he has the option to select their own TAIR sticker kit. The company has a vinyl cutter and and owners can choose whatever color material they want. Sticker kits can be changed out for different riders, as long as the frame can make it back to TAIR headquarters.
Local customers can even assist with building up their own bikes at the shop. TAIR’s, “I design it – I build it – I ride it” experience educates children and parents about a bike’s parts and components. Tony said, “Parents and kids get a lot out of it because the experience helps everyone involved take ownership of the bike to a new level. It strengthens the brand, too”.
As of this writing, in-stock frames will take 10 to 14 days for building up and fulfillment. Estimated lead times to get a fully customized bike is 4-5 weeks.
A Quick Look At The TAIR Ripper
Min ~27 inches
1 x 12
24in, 26in, or 27.5in
~21 lbs sans pedals
Here Are Some Numbers And Angles For The TAIR Ripper
|Seat Tube Length
|355 mm / 14 inches
|Top Tube Length
|536 mm/ 21 inches
|420 mm / 16.5 inches
|305 mm / 12 inches (with 26 inch wheels)
|Seat Tube Angle
|Head Tube Angle
|1050 mm / 41 inches (with 26 inch wheels)
Our demo had a Fox Transfer Extreme, external dropper [100mm travel] and a Selle Italia saddle. This is the TAIR Ripper with SRAM GX Eagle build kit.
|Rockshox Reba SL 26, 27.5 in. 100mm travel
|STAN’S CREST MK3 24, 26, 27.5
|Vittoria Barzo TNT
|Sram NX Eagle 12 speed 11-50
|Sram GX Eagle 12 speed
|SRAM GX Eagle - 12-Speed
|SRAM NX 155, 165mm
|SRAM GX Eagle 12 Speed
|Sram NX GXP 32 tooth
|SRAM GXP BB92
|Race Face Next Carbon
|Race Face XC
|Race Face XC Ride
|SDG Fly Jr.
|Race Face Chester
|ESI Racer’s Edge
|~24 lbs without pedals
|Varies. See the TAIR Cycles website.
Riding The TAIR Ripper
We were able to demo the TAIR Ripper for a couple of weeks and get two different kids on it. Our demo featured 27.5 inch wheels and it had a standover height of 27.5 inches. The bike weighed in at ~21 lbs. without pedals.
When TAIR co-founder Tony Tousley told us hot pink was a more popular with the boys than the girls, that proved to be true. Once the demo Ripper arrived, our 13 year old loved it. After we finished building it up, he quickly donned his matching hot pink gloves and took it for a ride around the block. Tuning the fork can easily be done by adjusting the sag with a shock pump. Once you’ve adjusted the reach for the brakes and height of the seat post collar, you’re good to go.
Having a good suspension set up allows a rider keep that front wheel where it belongs. The RockShox REBA is one of many assets on the TAIR Ripper.
Climbing hills with the TAIR Ripper is where the bike truly shines. The gear range on the SRAM Eagle group and 27.5 wheels enabled our rider to throw his power down on the flat pedals and bust out a climb that he has never ascended before. He got very excited when he realized he was going to punch it out.
The bike’s weight allows a rider to punch out miles as she/he gets out of the garage, cruises the neighborhood and meanders over cross-country terrain.
Shifting and braking were second nature to our rider. She was able to move the chain up and down the cassette as the terrain dictated.
Knowing full well that the bike’s components are secondary to the frame, everything worked great for us. Kids are getting used to having droppers on high performance bikes and the Fox Transfer post behaved as intended while on rides with undulating terrain.
The Vittoria tires performed well on our local singletrack. It was a little dusty and loose in places, and they gripped the turns just fine.
Keeping the Shimano XT brakes Even-Steven while in use, and feet level on the pedals helps tame speed while gravity does its work.
Tear Out Good Times With A TAIR Ripper
If you have a young XC racer or if you plan on taking your kid on long rides, you have to consider the TAIR Ripper. Its small size carbon frame may be the only one on the market – it’s the first and only one we have seen. The bike’s “growth cycle” capabilities will keep it paired with your grom for several years if you purchase it early enough.