Please note that many of the links on our site are affiliate links. These are denoted with an *.  By clicking on them, Rascal Rides gets a small commission on any sale.

Spawn Yama Jama 24″ Kids’ Mountain Bike Review

Author: Kristen Bonkoski


Any parent that has been a part of the mountain bike community for long has heard of Spawn.  The Canadian-based company has emerged as a leader in the kids’ mountain bike market by producing high-quality, reasonably-priced rides. 

The Spawn Yama Jama is their 24″ hardtail trailbike for kids ages 8-12, and as expected, offers a high-quality build with tubeless-ready tires, X-Fusion fork, and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes. 

For this review, avid mountain biker and dad, Geoff Black, lends his experience with the Spawn Yama Jama.  He has not one, but two, daughter’s riding the bike. 

All words from here on out are his…..

Spawn Yama Jama 24 Review

May 2023: Updated to address component build changes.

Spawn Yama Jama Review in a Nutshell


  • Well-built and durable
  • Excellent geometry and handling
  • 100 mm air fork
  • 1×11 SRAM drivetrain
  • 2.3 inch tubeless Brood tires for increased traction
  • Routing for a dropper


  • Spotty customer service
  • Heavy for a kids hard tail
  • Might have to modify the crank length and gearing to optimize it for your child

Price & Where to Buy:

Spawn Yama Jama Kids Mountain Bike

Choosing and Ordering the Yama Jama

When I set out to find the next bike for my 8.5-year-old twin girls, I wasn’t looking for a downhill bike or an XC race bike or a dedicated trail bike. I wanted a mountain bike suited for bike parks (think BMX-sytle bike parks), pump tracks, jumps, trail rides and maybe an XC race or two. 

It need to be something that would help them develop handling skills as much as pedaling skills. Something along the lines of “If Santa Cruz made a kids bike….”

The bike I was looking for needed to serve a variety of challenges. I knew this was a tall order. I also knew that it would be the twin’s first real introduction to mountain biking with me. So I wanted it to be good!

We had already spent some time on their modified 20″ Specialized Hotrock single speeds in bike parks along with some basic trail rides.  There were also some homemade jumps sprinkled in there. My master plan of converting them into mountain-bikers was coming together!

After nearly driving myself crazy analyzing every angle of every 24″ hardtail available in North America, I settled on the Spawn Yama Jama.  Marketed as the “World’s Best Kids Bike” my expectations were high. 

At the time, the Spawn Yama Jama was sold out, so  I had to pre-order them.  I paid for the bikes on October 13th with an estimated delivery of Nov 25-30th.

At the same time, I also ordered a set of 140mm Brood cranks. The Yama Jama comes stock with 152mm cranks but I felt the shorter cranks would be ideal for my 23″ inseam kids at the bottom of the Spawn sizing chart.

The shorter cranks help with keeping their pedal stroke appropriately sized for short legs, which means more endurance and their knees won’t go past neutral at the top of the stroke when seated. (Note: the Spawn Yama Jama 24 has since been updated and is now stocked with 145mm cranks. This is a much better fit for kids this age).

The wait was going to kill me!

spawn yama jama cranks

Un-boxing and Assembly

After unexpected shipping delays, the bikes arrived on about December 18th–just in time for me to avoid marriage counseling because I may have ruined Christmas.  The first thing I noticed is the bike is robust.  Everything on the bike is quality built and appears durable.

The frame itself is a combination of boxed and round hydroformed aluminum tubes. You can tell right away this thing is tough. It also has a port for an internally routed dropper post if that’s something that you choose to add in the future.

The graphics scheme is great and targeted at kids.  A bold “BORN TO RIDE” emblem looks right up at the rider.

Spawn Yama Jama 24" Kids bike

Assembly is a pretty straightforward affair for someone with some experience working on bikes.  For the less experienced, you may consider taking it to a local bike shop for assembly. 

I found that many of the bolts were loose so I double-checked the torque on everything.  Luckily, the shifting was spot on straight from the box.  

One rotor on each bike was damaged in transit, so that took a bit of fiddling around. Beyond that, it’s the standard setup for any new bike: shock pressure, dialing in the brakes and the shifters, and then go ride!

The Ride

From their very first time on the Spawn Yama Jama, my twins’ cruising speed increased tremendously!  On our first REAL ride, and their most difficult to date, they easily cleared rocky sections they would have walked before. 

Their ability to simply roll over obstacles due to the large Brood 2.3in tubeless tires (aka tiny Minions) and 80mm travel of the X-Fusion air fork was immediate. (The bike now comes with a 100mm Rock Shox Reba fork–even better).

Because they have so much traction, checking their speed with the hydraulic disc brakes gave them a huge boost in control.  Their confidence shot through the roof!

Like any transition to a bigger bike, they had the basic struggle of managing a larger machine. They quickly discovered they can get the front wheel off the ground to clear obstacles or even just the driveway curb. 

The timing of this progression wasn’t an accident.  The Yama Jama is one of the few kids mountain bikes with short chainstays to help favor lifting the front wheel over obstacles and jumps.  

In contrast, the twins’ smaller Specialized HotRock’s are engineered for stability.  As much as they tried on their old bikes to get the front wheel up, it just didn’t move much.

The slightly slacker than normal head tube angle helps them carve the corners.  These handling enhancements were obvious and immediate.

kid on the spawn yama jama 24

The Drivetrain & Wheels

The Spawn Yama Jama comes with a 1×11 drivetrain with the capable and reliable SRAM NX shifters and derailleur. 

The crankset is a Brood two-piece direct mount. Those cranks are stout! Also, direct mount cranks allow you to run smaller chainrings (purchased separately) than previous designs allowed–this opens up a lot of options.

spawn yama jama drivetrain

The stock gearing of 32T front with a 12-36 rear proved to be a bit ambitious for my 8.5y-year-old somewhat-fit girls.  I’ve since ordered 28T chainrings to help them keeping the party rolling and minimize exhausted dismounts on climbs. (Today, the Yama Jama comes with an 11-42T cassette which should help most kids).

As expected at this price range, all of the bearings are sealed cartridge.  Everything rolls smoothly and should last longer than other bearing designs.

The 1,765g Brood tubeless ready wheel set is nice. As expected, tubeless conversion was easy.

The wide rim construction appears to be a fair compromise between durability and weight.  Heavy kids wheel sets can be north of 2000gm, while kids 24″ race wheels are often in the 1350gm range.

About the Supension Fork

The current version of the Spawn Yama Jama comes with a Rock Shox 100mm suspension fork.  (The bike we tested was a 80mm X-Fusion fork).

Most kids’ 24″ hard tail bikes come with a 60mm fork.  The extra travel from a 100mm is welcome. 

The Reba fork is very smooth and tuned specifically for lightweight riders.  Thanks to the through axle on the front hub, the fork & wheel combo is very rigid. The Reba also has a lockout feature which isn’t offered on many 24″ kids bikes.

X-Fusion Fork

Areas for improvement

The Spawn Yama Jama is marketed as a “trail bike,” and is intended to be a bit of a jack of all trades.  The bike excels in handling and maneuvering because of the thoughtful geometry.  Due to the larger than average tires and the 100 mm fork travel, it’s better than most hard tails at handling choppy sections.

All of this comes at a bit of a cost though. I didn’t weigh the bike out of the box, but with the tubeless conversion and lightweight Ashima brake rotors it tips the scales at 24.5 pounds which is a bit heavy for a high-end kids hardtail.  The Woom OFF Air 5, for example, weighs 23 pounds.

The bike also comes with an innovate adjustable pivotal seat and post combination.  The real reason for a pivotal seat is during big impacts–it can hold up far better than a regular seat rail system.  

Unfortunately, this also means that your kid won’t be able to easily carry their own tube on the seat post. Also, you won’t be able to swap it to a carbon post without changing the seat as well.

Spawn Yama Jama weight

While most kids bikes from the major brands come with 165-155mm cranks, the Yama Jama 24″ comes with 152mm. A 140mm stock option would be ideal.

This might seem minor, but the difference in 12mm when your inseam is 22inches is huge.  Also,  I think that for most kids moving up from a 20″ to a 24″ bike the gearing is probably too tall.

I realize most other kids bikes come with similar or even taller gears. I think it’s too tall on those bike too. PSA to anyone building mountain bikes for kids: most kids are not cyclists.

They are recreational bike riders.  For those few kids who ride every day, let them upgrade to taller gears rather than having everyone else upgrade to lower gears.

(Both of these last two complaints have been addressed with the latest model of the bike. Thanks Spawn)!

Spawn Customer Service

I have to say, researching and buying these bikes was exhausting.  I recognize that Spawn is a small company and I respect that they are driving new innovation for kids’ mountain bikes.

However, because I can’t walk into a showroom and see it, I had a variety of questions.  The website is very helpful and well done, but I needed clarity on a few things before committing big money, particularly knowing that  I would have to wait an estimated 6 weeks to receive them.

Reaching out via email was hit and miss. Calling on the phone is fine if someone is there to take the call. 

I signed up on the wait list roughly 30 days prior to when they opened up for orders. Pre-paying in full was an adjustment for me.  (I’m accustomed to a large deposit and settling up just prior to shipping with other custom or boutique items).

The shipping delay was another hurdle which nearly resulted in a cancelled order at the demand of my loving wife.


Despite any issues I had with Spawn customer service, the bottom-line is that my girls love their new bikes!  And as my Mother-In-Law likes to say, “You just can’t put a price on love!”

More Help Picking A Bike For Your Kiddo

About The Reviewer

Geoff Black is a Mortgage Loan Originator with Guild Mortgage in Sacramento California.  When he’s not helping people with a loan, he’s probably riding or racing his bike!  Geoff has also been chasing his twins around with a camera since birth.  And now he’s teaching them to chase him around on a bike!  Find him at @sactogeoff on Instagram or  

14 thoughts on “Spawn Yama Jama 24″ Kids’ Mountain Bike Review”

  1. The Spawn Yama Jama is at the top of my list for mouting bikes for my son, but I’m still trying to decide if he’s going to like it better or the Prevelo Alpha Three. And then there’s the Commencal. He’s currently outriding his Cleary, and I want something that will encourage him to keep ripping. Then again, that Salsa Timberjack just looks like plain fun, although it’s not necessarily a mountain bike per se. What are your thoughts?

    • So many factors here. Is he using it for mountain biking? Is budget an issue? Will he ever want to ride on snow? Unless he’s going to do some “fat-biking,” I would stay away from the Timerbjack as it’s pretty heavy and there’s no suspension. If he’s mountain biking, I’d pick the Prevelo Zulu over the Prevelo Alpha since it has the suspension fork and disc brakes. I tend to think that the Prevelo bikes are a better deal than Spawn….

    • My 2 cents. The Spawn will handle better than the Prevelo Zulu and the Spawn has more durable parts on it. Along with a superior shock on the Spawn and more traction with the stock tires + tubeless. But that may or may not be enough to justify the price jump. If your son likes to jump and play with his bike, I would look more towards the Spawn or the Commencal. If he’s sticking with “bike rides”. Perhaps the Zulu. Or even a Cleary Meerkat (which is often overlooked).

  2. I’ve been a fan of the Spawn bikes for years, but couldn’t justify the expense for 16″ and 20″ bikes. I recently jumped the gun and bought a Specialized Riprock because my 7 year old likes the fat tires, but am quickly realizing that was a big mistake. I’m selling it after only a few months of use to upgrade to either the Spawn Yama Jama or the Prevelo Zulu 4. Waiting on Prevelo to release the specs on the 2019 version…supposedly going to thru-axles, shorter derailuer w/clutch, and a more aggressive geo and tubeless tires. These are essentially the biggest advantages that Spawn had over the Prevelo last year. It’ll be interesting to see if it stays at the current price-point ($900), or if it jumps up to the Spawn ($1200). If it stays sub-$1000, it’d be hard to justify the extra expense for the Spawn considering the suspected new upgrades to the Zulu….but that black Yama is pretty damn awesome looking.

    Thanks for this review, it was very helpful and honest.

    • Chris, I’m in the same boat. I’m in the same boat. My 8 yr old twin boys are on Specailized Riprocks. 20″ & 24″ because one of them is 4 inches shorter. We got them new in the Spring and they’ve ridden them way beyond what the bikes are capable of. Seriously contemplating the Yama Jama. They’d both love a FS bike like they’re older brother is on… but I can’t justify the cost yet. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Geoff, thanks for the helpful review. You’ve provided some great insight.

  3. This thread is alive! It’s May 2019 and i’m eagerly awaiting the updated 24 inch Yama Jama from Spawn which is currently unavailable at this time (but is expected to arrive soon). I think after doing a lot of research on this category of bikes it feels like a good value in terms of what you get compared to other brands, and it looks great. For hard tails in this category, the Commencal Meta HT+ 24 (2019) and Early Rider Works 24 look pretty nice, as well. The Trailcraft Pineridge 24 weight wise is still in a category of it’s own, but i’m not looking to drop an extra $400 or more simply for that benefit. My 8 year old is pretty big for his age so he’ll be able to carry it no problem. I’m stoked to see the new version of this coming out!

  4. Great feedback.
    My son is about to out grow his yama jama 24 and has absolutely loved the bike. Fortunately his younger brother is ready to take it from him and this definitely helps justify the cost. That aside, the resale of the spawn bikes is ridiculous and was the reason we went new. If you can afford the upfront pain, you will get most of it back when you resell it.
    I credit his love for his bike as a major reason he loves to go out and ride and because of this, I’m okay with the premium paid. That being said, I didn’t have anything near like it when I was growing up!
    Now looking at 26″ dual suspension for his next ride….now the real pain begins.
    Happy riding!

  5. 1.5yrs into ownership of these bikes, and having built several kids bikes for friends. I can say I’m still a huge fan of the YamaJama for the total package it presents. I believe it’s the minimum a parent can spend and get a complete setup. Without constantly thinking “I wish it had xyz…” The through axle front wheel, the metal pedals, the 2.3inch tubeless tires, the 80mm air shock and the overall super durable design, it’s still my top pick. Bang for the buck, it’s very difficult to beat. The Trailcraft is superior in most ways and certainly faster for XC riding. The YamaJama arguably has slightly better geometry for maneuvering and jumps. I may be slightly biased because we almost immediately upgraded the YamaJamas with Stans Crest wheels, 140mm cranks, 28 and 30T chainrings, carbon handlebars, Spank Spoon pedals and Ashima rotors. Most of those things were to offset the fact that my girls are pretty light when they first got the bikes and any weight savings is a big advantage. And of course pushed the total cost beyond an entry level Trailcraft build. 1.5yrs down the road and those modifications are still paying dividends. But straight off the shelf, it’s still an great bike. The only component that “failed” is the bottom bracket bearing. For $25 each, I replaced them with a Shimano XT which rolls quite a bit smoother as well. That’s a pretty good track record considering I’ve watched both bikes cartwheel down a trail and flipping down a rock wall. The only damage was a $12 derailleur hanger.

  6. We are looking at either the Yama Jama 24 or the Prevelo Zulu 4 Heir. Based on what I’ve gathered from research the Zulu 4 has slacker geometry and has a little more stable ride.
    We do mostly up and down single track, but our kids are increasingly enjoying the jump parks and jumps in general while riding. I lean towards the Zulu 4 but also want to make sure it will allow the kids to progress with their jumping, etc. Does anyone have any thoughts on which bike would be a better choice?

  7. Good review. I really like this bike but for my money I just ordered a 2020 DiamondBack Sync’r 24. $800 and pretty similar specs.

    My son just turned 10 but is not tall for his age. He’s outgrown his Frog 55 (great lightweight bike BTW). We live in Denver, CO but mostly do easier fire roads, dirt paths and local pump tracks. He’s just so light and the bike was so light whenever we’d try any DH type stuff on the Frog he had a hard time stopping. The bike would tend to bounce rather than stop. It threw off his confidence and I’m trying to help him build it back up.

    Like many ‘big name bike brands’, Diamondback bikes for kids seem like they can be hit or miss, but comparing the components and geo to the Spawn, Prevelo, Commencal etc. it seems like a great bargain. SRAM 1×11 drivetrain, Textro Auriga discs F/B, i30 double wall wheels, decent SunTour XCM shock (can’t really tell if this is air adjustable, but I think it is). The one thing I’m not super keen on is the bigger 24×2.8 tires. The Vee Crown Gem plus size tires seem to be kind of heavy but from talking to friends they do inspire confidence. Especially since my kid has had a few washouts on corners and occasional soft sandy trail spots. The weight difference between them and a smaller 2.4 is only about .35% of the total combined weight of him (62lbs) and the bike (~27.5 lbs from what I’ve read). If rotational weight becomes a problem I can always drop down to Maxxis Minion DHF 24×2.4 and shed a few hundred grams.

    Geometry seems good. Stack ratio is a neat 1.5:1. Chainstay is 410mm and TT length is 500mm. Not sure what size cranks they use on the NX Crankset upfront. 155mm is the smallest available I’ve seen available. Hopefully it comes with that. If too long I can swap them but hopefully he’ll adapt and get stronger.

    For only $800 it seems like a pretty good bang for the buck and at this crazy time of Covid- it’s actually one of the few good kids MTBs that’s available for purchase. Seriously, the LBS’ have nothing – but even then most of them tend to carry big name ‘junk’ – Specialized Rip Rocks, Trek Pre-calibers etc, everyone online is out of stock. It’s crazy. So, my hand is kind of forced if I don’t want to wait until Fall. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Anyhow, don’t mean to hijack the post but thought I’d share another option for people who may not be reading around, looking for 24″ MTB and want good specs and geo but don’t want to spend over $1000. Bike should be here tomorrow. I think I’m more excited than he is. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Shawn,
      Let us know how it ends up working out for him! And if you want to write a review for the site, let me know. (We pay–a little bit). ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Thanks Kristen. Will do. After having the bike for a few days, my son really likes it. But I am envious of the RockShox Reba on the Yama Jama. The Suntour XCM on the Diamondack is mediocre at best, and the short cranks on the Yama Jama are enticing. My son doesn’t seem to care about specs though. He just wants to ride. I’ll see if I can put something together for you. Cheers.


Leave a Comment