A beautiful mix of rugged playfulness and affordability, the Commencal Ramones 24″ is an excellent choice for young groms getting started on true single track or bike skills parks. Coming complete with a modern matte paint job, trigger shifters, and mechanical disc brakes, the Ramones provides the tech young riders need to get started, but without breaking the bank.
From fit to geometry, in this review we’ll cover everything you need to know about the Commencal Ramones 24 so you can confidently determine whether it’s the right bike for your progressing grom.
Commencal Ramones 24 Overview
RATING: Highly Recommended
BEST FOR: Playful riders who want a capable bike for tackling everything from basic single track to the local pump track. Inseams ranging from 24″ to 26.5″.
SEAT HEIGHT: 26.5″ – 32″
WEIGHT: 24.25 lb.
DRIVETRAIN: 7-speed w/ Sunrace trigger shifters
BRAKES: Mechanical Disc
FRAME: Aluminum Alloy 6061
What we love about the Commencal Ramones 24:
- Beautiful matte paint job with modern mountain biking style and design
- Playful frame design with shorter chainstays makes the Ramones easy to maneuver and fun to experiment on
- Lightweight build with trail-worthy components offers a lot of bang for your buck in a mid-range price point
- Trigger shifters are easy to use, even with the smallest of hands
- Wide 2.6″ tires allow for lower psi setting for additional cushioning
What you need to know about the Ramones 24 before you buy:
- Rigid fork helps keep the weight and the cost down (bikes with cheap suspension forks add a lot of weight with very little, if any, trail value)
- Long crank arms/high bottom bracket make the bike challenging to ride at minimum seat height
- Included brake levers are a bit long and can pinch fingers that remain on the grip. Adjusting the position of the brake mount (shown in review below) can help to remedy the problem.
- Bike has a narrow ideal fit range (allows for about 2 to 3″ of growth), but that is on par with other mountain bikes in its price range
Commencal Ramones 24 Inch Mountain Bike Review
We put the 2022 Commencal Ramones 24 to the test with four different riders, aged 7 to 10, on everything from bike skills parks to single track. Confident and capable, the Ramones proved itself through every jump, berm, and narrow trail we threw at it.
With the fun factor kids crave paired with a friendlier price tag than many competitors, there’s a lot to love about the Ramones. Like any bike, however, the Ramones also has its limitations. From its narrow proper fit range to gearing and braking, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about the Ramones.
What size kid fits on the Commencal Ramones 24?
We tested the Ramones for several months with 4 different kids ranging in height from 47.5″ to 55″. During this time many of our testers came to love the Ramones as its playful nature fueled their fun. On the flip side, several of our testers also struggled on the Ramones. The main difference really came down to the height and size of the child.
The testers who properly fit on the bike loved it, while those who were on the very low end of the “fit” range, struggled. So before we get into the specs and details of the Ramones, first and foremost we are going to jump into our height recommendations for a proper fit.
Seat Height Range
The seat height of the Commencal Ramones 24 ranges from 26.5″ to 32″. All four of our testers could properly sit on the saddle with both of their tip-toes touching the ground, but only our taller testers felt at home on the bike, while our smaller testers felt that it was too big for them.
Our 51″ tall 7-year-old tester with a 24″ inseam as well as our 55″ tall 10-year-old tester with a 26.5″ inseam both fit great on the bike. For both riders, the bike was quick and nimble and was a blast to ride.
Riding with the saddle set to 28.5″, our 51″ tall tester still had plenty of room to grow on the Ramones, while our 55″ was already maxed out on the Ramones – he was riding with the seat height set to its max of 32″ (5.5″ above his inseam of 26.5″ – measured with shoes on).
On the shorter end, the Ramones was not a great fit for our 47.5″ and 49″ tall 7-year-old testers. While both could sit on the saddle with their tip-toes touching the ground (with the seat set to its minimum height of 26.5″), the bike felt and looked too big for them. Even after some practice and encouragement, both testers felt nervous and hesitant on the bike and much preferred other bikes.
High Pedal Stroke
A repeated complaint from both small testers was that the bike was hard to pedal, regardless of what gear the bike was in. Looking at the high stroke of the pedal and taller bottom bracket height of the Ramones 24, it was clear to see why they struggled.
The Ramones’ top range of the pedal stroke (measured from the top of the pedal to the ground when the crank arm is straight up) is pretty high in relation to the minimum seat height of the bike. This high pedal stroke, when combined with the Ramones’ low minimum seat height, provides little room for the child rider’s legs to bend as they rotate the pedals.
When set to its minimum seat height of 26.5″ there is only 8.5″ of space between the top of the pedal and the saddle. As a comparison, the woom 5 OFF (minimum seat height is higher at 28″), has 12.75″ of space.
How does this affect a child riding the bike? It plays a major role in the leverage a child has on the pedals, particularly on the downstroke. With the saddle set to the minimum height of 26.5″, our 49″ tall tester’s knees extended above her waist during the high stroke of the bike. As a result, she had very little leverage to push down on the pedals, which made the bike more challenging to ride.
This was also true of our 47.5″ tall 7-year-old tester with the seat set to the 26.5″ minimum. She found the bike hard to pedal, especially on any hills, and eventually gave up during a trail ride.
As a comparison, with the seat set to its max of 32″ (so adding an additional 5.5″ of space between the top stroke and the saddle), our 10-year-old tester had plenty of leverage on the pedals and had no issues pedaling.
Our 51″ tall 7-year-old rider, riding with the saddle set to 28.5″ (2 inches above minimum seat height) didn’t have as much room as our 10-year-old, but had no complaints or concerns about pedaling the bike. While her pedal stroke wasn’t as efficient as the 10-year-old’s, the two extra inches between the pedals and the seat provided enough room so as to not greatly inhibit her stroke.
Ramones 24 Fit Bottom Line
As a result, we feel that the Commencal Ramones 24 is best used when the saddle height is set between 28.5″ and 32″. Considering our testers typically rode with the seat height anywhere from 3.5″ to 5.5″ above their inseam (depending on their height, comfort level, as well as shoe size), we roughly estimate the Ramones will best fit kids with 24″ to 26.5″ inseams. To allow for the most growth, the Ramones is a best fit for kids with a 24″ to 25″ inseam.
When estimating seat heights, keep in mind that younger, shorter, and/or more timid riders on 24″ bikes typically prefer seat heights closer to 3″ to 4″ above their inseam, while taller and more experienced riders prefer 4″ to 5.5″ above.
The narrow 24″ to 26.5″ inseam range does make for a shorter fit window, but to be fair, many of the Commencal Ramones competitors, such as the REI REV and Specialized Riprock have a similarly small ideal fit range.
We do not know of another bike in Commencal’s price range that offers a significantly better fit range. If a long fit range is a top priority, out of all the 24″ mountain bikes we tested, the woom OFF 5 (shown above in the comparison) has by far the widest fit range.
Rigid Fork and Beefy Tires
To help keep the weight – as well as cost – down, the Commencal Ramones 24 come with a rigid fork. As a bike designed for beginning to intermediate riders, we commend Ramones for keeping things simple and not adding a cheap suspension fork simply for looks.
While quality suspension forks can help young riders up their game, they also run $300+ on their own. As a result, any kids mountain bike with a quality, efficient suspension fork will cost upwards of $1,000.
So for the progressing rider who needs a quality bike without killing the pocketbook, we much prefer lightweight bikes with durable components and rigid forks over heavier, cheaper bikes with low-quality suspension forks.
2.6″ Wide Tires
To help provide a little squish for rougher terrain, the Commenal Ramones comes with beefier 2.6″ wide Crown Gem Vee Tires. In addition to providing plenty of grip and traction for the dirt trails, the extra width allows the tire to be run at a bit lower PSI to provide some cushioning compression as well. Like any tire, however, just be sure to add more air before trying out more bunny hops on the pavement!
To be clear, the low front tire pressure shown above is 100% user error and is NOT an issue with the Ramones’ wheel.
The rims and tires on the Ramones are not tubeless-ready. Tubeless-ready setups are available on higher-end 24″ mountain bikes such as the Prevelo Zulu and Specialized Riprock Expert.
Geometry and Weight
The Commencal Ramones is certainly one playful little pony! Coming in at 24.25 lb., the Ramones is on the slender side for 24″ MTBs and it certainly isn’t shy about it. Whether your little grom is bunny hopping every chance they can get, or gaining confidence on elevation climbs, the Ramones stands ready for action.
Climb-Friendly Frame Geometry
Kids, like most adults, really struggle when pointed uphill. Unfortunately, riding only downhill is rarely, if ever, an option! Considering many kids simply don’t have the stamina to power up major inclines to begin with, they need all the help they can get.
In addition to reducing the weight of the bike, Commencal speced a climb-friendly 69-degree head tube angle on the Ramones (same angle as the woom OFF 5). This angle helps keep the front tire tucked under the handlebars to better allow kids to keep weight on the front tire. Keeping weight on the front tire helps the tire stay planted, thereby increasing efficiency during climbs.
The Ramones climb-friendly design was especially noticed by our 51″ tall 7-year-old tester. While on the Commencal, she was able to climb up trails with much less frustration and a lot more fun than on her regular recreational mountain bike.
On the flip side, the steeper head tube angle does make the bike less stable on the downhill, but our developing young riders (aka green and basic blue trail riders only), showed no signs of struggle on the downhill.
More advanced riders, as well as those planning on doing shuttled or lift-assist rides, would benefit from a bike with a slacker head tube angle such as the Commencal Meta HT 24 (67 HTA) or the super slack Commencal Clash 24 (64.5 HTA). The Prevelo Zulu Four with a 66-degree head tube is also worth considering.
To keep the backend nice and playful, the Commencal Ramones 24 features shorter chain stays than many competitors. The shorter chainstay brings the rear tire closer to the frame of the bike and more underneath the child’s body.
As a result, the bike is easier to maneuver around tight turns and obstacles, and much to our 10-year-old tester’s delight, much easier to bunny hop and jump.
The steep head tube angle paired with a shorter chainstay does lead to a shorter overall wheelbase. At 948mm, the Ramones 24 is on the shorter side, but not significantly so. The Specialized Riprock 24 comes in at 953mm while the woom OFF 5 is 970mm.
The shorter wheelbase does make the bike less stable at higher speeds, but it also helps it to be more maneuverable. Considering the Ramones isn’t designed for all-out groms, we didn’t find the slightly shorter wheelbase to be problematic.
The Ramones 24 features 7 gears with a Sunrace trigger shifter and derailleur. We’ve never tested a bike speced with Sunrace components, so we weren’t sure what to anticipate, but we are glad to report that we had no concerns or problems.
Push/Pull Sunrace Trigger Shifter
The Sunrace trigger shifter included on the Ramones 24 is different from other trigger shifters as it is a “push-pull” shifter. To shift up, push the lower, larger lever towards the front of the bike with the thumb. To shift down, pull the smaller lever found on the opposite side of the grip, towards the body with the index finger.
While different from the standard double-push thumb trigger shifters, all of our testers were able to master the Sunrace Shifter. Even our smallest of testers with the shortest fingers were able to activate both levers without any concerns.
With 7 speeds on a 13-34 cassette and a 30t chainring, the Ramones 24 features a gain ratio of 1.9 – 5.0 (gear ratio 0.88 – 2.3). For our beginning to intermediate riders, the gear range got the job done without any issues.
If steep inclines are commonplace, a lower gain ratio would likely be beneficial, but be prepared to pay more for it. Derailleurs that allow for a wider range cassettes, such as the 11-42 on the $700 Specialized Riprock (1.6 – 5.9 gain ratio), cost a lot more to spec.
At 640mm, the handlebars on the Ramones 24 are a bit wider than other brands. While designed for the same size rider, the woom OFF has a 600 mm handlebar and the Specialized Riprock has a 620mm. Handlebars, however, can easily be cut shorter at home or at your local bike shop.
While testing, our 49″ tall tester struggled with the width of the bar and was uncomfortable having her hands so far apart. Our 51″ tall tester, however, had no complaints. As a result, we recommend having your child ride the bike prior to cutting the bar.
The Tektro mechanical disc brakes on the Commencal Ramones 24 offer plenty of stopping power for advancing riders. With 160 mm rotors in the front and the back, the Ramones has the brawn to take on more challenging terrain.
While the brakes offer solid stopping power, the long brake levers on the Ramones were problematic for a few of our testers. With the brake lever extending almost the entire length of the grip, our testers found it pretty easy to pinch their pinky and ring fingers when fully engaging the brake.
As shown below, the brake levers on the Ramones 24 are considerably longer than on other bikes, which leaves little room for the pinky and ring finger when braking with one or two fingers. The high-end Prevelo Zulu is shown as a comparison below, but shorter levers are also found on similarly-priced bikes as the Ramones.
Although our testers are still adjusting to one or two-finger braking, it quickly became apparent that it’s not an option on the Ramones as the long brake lever pinches their other fingers. Shorter brake levers, like those on the Zulu on the right, provide plenty of room for the remainder of the fingers on the grip.
Adjusting the Brake Levers
By adjusting the factory setup we were able to provide more room for our testers’ fingers. Our adjustments included moving the brake mounts more towards the center of the handlebar (further away from the grips) as well as reducing the throw of the brake levers (minimizing the distance the brake level travels towards the grip).
Moving the brake mount inward on the left hand was quick and easy, but the right hand took some more work due to the shifter. Due to the placement of the shifter, the only way to move the brake mount inward on the right hand side was to reverse the position of the shifter with the brake mount.
Unfortunately, this required removing the grip. We were able to force it off with an air compressor, but be warned that grips can be a pain. If needs be, just cut it off and order a new set – grips are pretty cheap.
Once the grip is off, the brake mount and shifter easily slide off the end of the bars and can be switched and slid back on. Upon repositioning the shifter and the brake, we quickly learned that the brake mount and shifter no longer sit flush with each other as the bottom of the brake mount hits the top of the shifter.
As a result, we had to position the brake lever farther out as well as slightly higher up than we would have liked, but not enough as to be awkwardly placed or cause issues with braking.
After taking the new setup for a test ride, our tester was happy to report that his fingers were much happier with the arrangement as they were no longer getting pinched.
While the adjusted setup certainly isn’t as fine-tuned as those on the higher-end Specialized Riprock, woom OFF or Prevelo Zulu, for being hundreds of dollars less, the brakes on the Ramones shouldn’t be a deal-breaker if you make these adjustments.
Even with the components of the Commencal that aren’t as dialed in as we would like, it is still an amazing bike for the price, especially for taller kids with at least a 24″ inseam (or able to ride a seat set at 26.5″ height).
Compared to similarly priced brands, the Ramones is a great value. It is lighter than both the REI REV and the Specialized Riprock (which also don’t have a front suspension fork), while still being similar in size.
|Ramones 24||REI REV||Specialized Riprock|
|Seat Height||26.5″ – 32″||25.25″ – 31.5″||26″ – 31.5″|
|Weight||24.25 lb.||28 lb.||24.7 lb.|
|Brakes||Mech Disc||Mech Disc||Hydro Disc|
|Gain Ratio||1.9 – 5.0||2.2 – 5.2||1.5 – 5.5|
For adventurous riders, the Ramones also features much-needed trigger shifters as well as mechanical disc brakes.
Commencal Ramones 24″ Bottom Line
The perfect mix of playfulness and brawn, the Commencal Ramones 24 is an excellent bike for young riders (with at least a 24″ inseam) who need a capable bike without completely blowing the budget.
Its playful geometry, climb-friendly head-tube angle, and trigger shifters are the perfect combo for tackling basic and intermediate XC single-track or your local pump track.
Compared to higher-end bikes, the Ramones isn’t as fine-tuned, but for its price, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a lighter and more capable bike!