Best Kids Mountain Bike- Top 10 Review: Get Them Early

by Daniel T
by Daniel T
Last Updated: 26/09/2019

Sharing your love of MTB with your kids is a special moment. In this buyer’s guide, we help you keep them interested in riding for a long time to come.

Mountain biking is tremendous fun. Watching your children take up the same hobby is just as enjoyable. Read on, for advice on how to keep them engrossed in riding. Find the best children’s mountain bikes here and what one that suits your son or daughter.

You’ll discover bikes for all age ranges, you just need to pick out the correct wheel size, weight and frame.

Enable your little one to embrace the adventures of the outdoors with a new mountain bike that they’ll love. Our team have spent hours of research and trialling. Unravel the best mountain bikes for your kids.

What is the Best Children's Mountain Bike?

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Vitus 20 Kids Bike
  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Alloy
  • Wheel Size: 20”
Click for Best Price
Vitus Nucleus Kids Mountain Bike
  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Alloy
  • Wheel Size: 24”
Click for Best Price
Specialized Hotrock Kids Mountain Bike
  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Aluminium Frame
  • Wheel Size: 24”
Click for Best Price

Top 10 Bikes for Kids

1.
Vitus 20 Kids Bike

Specifications

  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Alloy
  • Wheel Size: 20”

Can we let you in on a secret? Whether you’re a first timer, expert or wish to buy a mountain bike for your kid- you can’t go wrong with Vitus.

We’re always testing the best brands, and one of our favourites has to be this one.

This particular kid’s mountain bike is cheaper than many of its counterparts. We believe this to be the best all-round package. It is affordable yet lightweight, easy to ride and can be enjoyed whilst your child improves their cycling skills.

The problem with getting a small or limited bike, is that they’ll soon outgrow it, whether that is physically or in terms of skill level.

The Vitus 20 Kid’s bike is equipped to go up against all terrain and has a Shimano 7-speed drivetrain.

Other features worth a mention include, a light alloy frame, Tektro brakes, thumb shift gearing and 20” quick release wheels.

This selection is ideal for children around the ages of six to nine, there are other, bigger models available for those that are older.

Reasons to Buy

  • Can be used for all terrain
  • It’s lightweight
  • Great for beginners and more experienced kids alike
  • Available at a great price

Reasons to Avoid

  • There are better options, if you’re willing to pay more

2.
Vitus Nucleus Kids Mountain Bike

Specifications

  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Alloy
  • Wheel Size: 24”

If you’re a keen rider, then you’ll know this is one of the favourites in the adult range. If you have a child who’s eight years or older then you’ll find a lot of junior bikes that are almost identical to the adult versions.

This Vitus Nucleus kid’s mountain bike, offers a lot of stability whilst also providing nimble steering and a lot of grip.

It shares similarities with its bigger brother- as it imitates the adult Nucleus model, providing versatility for various terrains.

If your little one is around 8 years old and wants to enjoy off-roading, then this is the perfect bike to buy. It will last for years to come and is dropper post ready, to accommodate their growth.

Reasons to Buy

  • Offers lots of versatility for different terrains
  • Long fork travel and wheelbase for kids
  • Equipped with powerful brakes
  • Trusted and well-recognised Vitus Nucleus model

Reasons to Avoid

  • Some parts are average
  • It isn’t cheap

3.
Specialized Hotrock Kids Mountain Bike

Specifications

  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Aluminium Frame
  • Wheel Size: 24”

This creation by Specialized has ticked all the boxes. They’ll be able to confidently ride around on their new favourite mountain bike in no time.

Your child will be sure to love this Hotrock. It’s equipped with great handling, a lightweight frame and a selection of gears.

It hasn’t been made complicated. It has been designed with the innovation that we come to expect from Specialized.

Ideal to take off-road, thanks to the 50mm of fork travel. It also comes complete with a lightweight aluminium frame. Our little ones tend to grow rapidly and that’s why we welcome the adjustable rim brakes, that can be altered as your child grows.

The seven-gear range enables the chance to learn, with plenty of scope to climb hills, steer downhill and enjoy riding the block.

Reasons to Buy

  • Versatile bike for home, the local park and beginner trails
  • Super lightweight
  • Robust aluminium frame
  • Impressive parts including the fork
  • Available in numerous colours

Reasons to Avoid

  • Most of the parts are average quality

4.
Schwin Elm Kids Bike

Specifications

  • Type: Smart Start Bike
  • Material: Aluminium Frame
  • Wheel Size: 12”

You’re in for a winner, with Schwin. The recognised brand has produced the perfect bike for children of 2 to 4 years old. It fits children who are 28-38” tall.

This mountain bike is ideal to start with, once they have mastered the wheel balance bikes they’ll be eager to show off their skills on this mountain bike.

Schwin Elm bike comes at great value and features the innovative smart start design, assisting the initial pedal set-off. Making it easy for them to learn.

It has been perfectly designed for their needs, with a rear coaster and front calliper brakes, help the transition for use of hand brakes. Also provides safety features such as a chain guard.

Comes with saddle handle and training wheels.

Reasons to Buy

  • Ideal for first bike
  • Has lots of safety features to ease them in
  • Stylish design
  • Great value

Reasons to Avoid

  • May not last long, as they’ll grow out of it quick.

5.
Commencal Ramones 16 Kids Bike

Specifications

  • Type: Smart Start Bike
  • Material: Aluminium Frame
  • Wheel Size: 12”

For youngsters of the sport, this junior version of the Commencal Ramones is astounding.

As you’d expect for the price, it attacks steep hills, trails and has everything that your kid needs to improve their talent.

As previously mentioned, it is not cheap and for that reason, you will want to buy it for your child that is already in love with cycling.

This mountain bike is the junior version and brandishes innovative parts, high-performing brakes and 120mm fork travel, for a floating feeling and a lengthy wheelbase.

Reasons to Buy

  • Ideal for first bike
  • Has lots of safety features to ease them in
  • Stylish design

Reasons to Avoid

  • May not last long, as they’ll grow out of it quick.

6.
Fuji Dynamite 24 COMP INTL Bike

Specifications

  • Type: Full Suspension
  • Material: Alloy Frame
  • Wheel Size: 24”

Have you got a keen off-roader on your hands?

Then you’ll want to ensure they have the bike that suits them. If you have a young boy trying to keep up with the family then you should take a look at the Fuji Dynamite.

When this stand-out bike exploded onto the scene, we were eager to test it. The colour of the frame is what first caught our attention, but we now remember this pick for its ability.

Comes with a solid frame, easy gearshift and it is durable. It’s the perfect addition to enjoy over trails and off-road routes.

The frame is a light alloy A1-SL, whilst the fork and the drivetrain has a Shimano cassette.

This is one of our favourite trail specialist bikes for juniors.

Reasons to Buy

  • You can choose the size frame
  • It’s a striking, aesthetic bike
  • Is perfect for off-road trails
  • Great value

Reasons to Avoid

  • The bright green may not be to everyone’s taste

7.
Commencal Meta HT 20 Plus Kids Bike

Specifications

  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Alloy Frame
  • Wheel Size: 20”

This bike could arguably, be placed at the top of the list.

The reason for its appearance at the bottom half of the rating is due to its cost.

You’ll be lucky to get this bike for under £800, we have managed to find the best price on the market.

It replicates the technologies that we saw on the adult version of the Meta model. Complete with Prodigy Enduro forks, a mid cage rear and a lightweight design, it’s perfect for riding hills.

It’s equally as awesome riding back up the hills as it is going down them. This is a bespoke mountain bike that is ideal for children who already have some experience. This is for a little one that’s honing their skills in MTB.

There are a variety of wheel options with 20”, 24” and 27.5” sizes. It also has a RockShox Recon RL fork with 100mm travel, and a 100mm dropper seatpost for the perfect angle during steep routes. It features a SRAM NX 1x 11 drivetrain, short 155mm cranks with an 11-42 cassette, and a small 30T ring.

For smaller children that are around 115cm/3’9” tall.

Reasons to Buy

  • It’s equipped to take on steep hills
  • Feels light and easy to steer
  • Is a versatile choice
  • Very high quality from parts to engineering

Reasons to Avoid

  • Not cheap

8.
GT Stomper Ace 20

Specifications

  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Alloy Frame
  • Wheel Size: 24”

The GT Stomper is another edition for smaller children. It has been perfectly designed for kids to pick up the off-road skills.

What stood out to our team is how many quality parts it has built in. You won’t expect any bespoke integrations that the Commencal features, but nonetheless, it displays awesome parts for the cost.

The resilient bike has a green frame, thick tube wheels for all routes and also has the ideal seat angle for climbing hills.

Its specifications include GT Rigid forks, Tektro V brakes, seven speeds and 30mm reach. It is easy to control and enjoy on various terrains.

Reasons to Buy

  • Available at great value
  • Off road wheels
  • Robust design
  • Child specific cranks

Reasons to Avoid

  • There are better bikes on the market, if you’re willing to pay more..

9.
Hoy Bonaly 24 Inch Kids Bike

Specifications

  • Type: Mountain Bike
  • Material: Treated Alloy
  • Wheel Size: 24”

The Hoy Bonaly 24-Inch is an interesting choice.

Let us tell you why. It goes against the grain, and doesn’t offer suspension. This is not necessarily a bad thing. This comes down to preference.

Suspension adds weight, complexity and even more to the cost. Most kids rarely need it. They barely use it on the small trails.

Despite the lack of suspension, it is perfect for off road, various trails and on hard ground. This 24” version is the top of the range with disc brakes and also brandishes 8 speed, Shimano Acera M360, a lightweight frame and Tektro brakes.

There are different sizes available. The 24-Inch version is for a minimum height of 4”2. The other options include 16”, 20”, 24” and 26”.

Reasons to Buy

  • It is lightweight and easy to ride
  • Can be enjoyed on numerous trails
  • Sturdy frame and overall design
  • Easy to replace parts

Reasons to Avoid

  • It has no suspension

10.
Carrera Kraken XL Frame Junior

Specifications

  • Type: Hardtail
  • Material: Alloy Frame
  • Wheel Size: 27.5”

Elegant, smooth and affordable, this Carrera Kraken is available in three sizes.

It can be acquired in small, medium, large or XL. This brand is one of the top players when it comes to MTB. They often offer affordable bikes with sleek designs.

They’re more than simply aesthetic-based, they ensure that the bikes are practical.

In red, this junior mountain bike comes lightweight and durable. It’s armed with 120mm fork travel, front suspension and 27.5” wheels.

The different frame sizes accommodate for heights of 5’3” up to 6’4” allowing everybody to enjoy this mountain bike.

Reasons to Buy

  • It is lightweight and robust
  • Displays a stylish frame
  • Simple to ride
  • Available for kids of all sizes
  • Ideal for both newcomers and experienced MTB lovers

Reasons to Avoid

  • It isn’t the cheapest option for a hardtail

Kid's MTB Buying Guide

Best Bike for Ages 2-4 Years Old

The best start to MTB is with a wheel balance bike. They are perfect for children beginning their cycling journey.

If your kid is between the ages of 2 and 3 years old, then you should consider buying the best wheel balance bike.

It’s a great invention; it comes with no pedals and allows them to gain initial key skills. Rather than making your child reliant on stablisers, it gives them tools for balance and steering. They will push off the floor and bring their feet up whilst wheeling around.

You can find a comprehensive list of the best balance bikes here.

Best Bike for Ages 4-6 Years Old

Once they have learned the elements of balancing and steering, it’s time to get a real bike. You’ll tend to find simple bikes with brakes, pedals and a small range of gears.

The size of the bike should be around 105cm-115cm and the wheels will be between 14-16″.

If they are still unsteady, then they can use stabilisers to offer more confidence when riding.

Best Bike for Ages 6-10 Years Old

Take a look at bikes with wheels in the range of 18-20″ and a height of 115-135cm. These sizes are perfect for children around the age of 6-10 years old. Choose from front suspension and other features.

Best Bike for Ages 10-13 Years Old

Bikes for this age range, will mimic that of adult bikes. They will just be a smaller version of mountain bikes. The height will generally be around (height 135–150cm / 4ft 5in–5ft) and you will get an abundance of options.

Pick from a number of bikes, for off-roading we’d suggest that you look for wide tyres for extra grip, a small number of gears and stable wheelbase.

FAQs

What size bike should I get for my child?

If you’re unsure on what size bike your child requires, then take a look at our advice above. We will help you understand what type of bike is best for specific ages.

Something our experts at MTB Britain advise, it is to refrain from buying too big. The reason we allude to this, is because it is tempting to buy a bike our kids can ‘grow in to’ but this doesn’t help the development of our future MTB stars.

A big bike is heavy and hard to handle, ensure that you get the right size for your little one. You will sometimes find bikes that can be altered and changed or accommodate for some growth, but by deliberately buying a size up, you’ll be harming their skills when learning.

Find out more about bike sizes on this page and also take a look at our pick of balance bikes, specifically for young children.

Lightweight Childrens’ Bikes

One of the main features we tend to search for, when looking for the best mountain bike for kids, has to be the weight.

We’ve consciously unravelled the best lightweight childrens’ bikes here. A light frame and long reach, makes a great bike to handle.

Essential Advice for Junior Mountain Bikers

If you have a young one, who is yet to ride then you will find plenty of balance bikes on the link above. This will enable you to push them around during a commute or ‘school run’.

Other key things to note, include buying the right size bike and also picking up a helmet. Safety is integral and as you’d expect, there may be some hiccups during their first years riding.

If you take them off road, beware of going for steep hills right away.

Choosing to ride alongside your children, is quality time that cannot be beaten.

Have fun and enjoy the great outdoors with your family!

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