Best Mountain Bikes For Small Riders [Review] in 2020
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This guide has been written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Mountain bikes have been around for ages, bringing an amazing sport to life. People all around the world love to bike, and what better way to introduce your children to the sport than with a mountain bike designed specifically for them. Mountain bikes for kids have been around for quite some time now, and it is important to have knowledge on which ones to go for when you are in the market for them. Making the right decision will not only benefit the smaller rider, but also help you save money for a long time before having to replace it.
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Our Best Mountain Bikes for Small Riders
Raleigh Bikes Tokul
Top Choice Item
Raleigh comes out with a mountain bike designed specifically for kids from 8 to 12 years of age. The bike has a cool light blue color, very kid friendly. It stands out from other bikes and your child will absolutely love it. The bike has an aluminium frame which is durable and lightweight. It is also rust-free for ease of mind while washing. The painted frame is also low to the ground, making it easy for your kid to get on and off the bike. Suntour suspension fork featured in the bike, offers 50mm of travel which allows for bumps in the terrain to be absorbed, enabling a smooth ride. Mechanical disc brakes on both tyres allow for easy quick stops. Pedals are included in the box, and the original owner gets a warranty which is valid for as long as he owns the bike.
Low height for small riders
Lightweight and rust-free
Tube for the seat could be better quality
Latest deal: Raleigh Bikes Tokul
Diamondback Bicycles Cobra Youth Mountain Bike
Best Value Item
Cobra by diamondback offers a full steel build. The material choice is good as steel is heavy duty and also very durable. This makes the bike sturdy and strong for years to come. The frame size is normal 24 which makes it convenient for the kids to hop on and off the bike. The bike offers twister gear shift mechanism with 21 speed setting. The gear shifting is smooth and reliable. Bike has linear pull breaks which provides enough strength for a safe brake whenever required. It has a 40mm travel fork which makes it smooth on bumpy terrains. The bike does not include a kick stand and a water bottle holder, but is a good buy for the price.
Strong and durable steel frame
24 frame size for easy on and off
21 speed gear system
40mm suspension fork
No kick stand and water bottle holder
Latest deal: Diamondback Cobra
Prime Picked Item
Mongoose brings you a sleek looking mountain bike, stylish for all kids to love. The bike has a funky color scheme going on with black, blue and green thrown in the mix. The frame is aluminium. It is lightweight and durable. Also rust-free for easy wash. Braking mechanism is amazing with hydraulic disc brake, which allow for a very safe and secure instant braking experience. SR Suntour XCT-JR 100mm travel fork allows for an extremely smooth riding experience. Flies over bumps with minimal to no imbalance. The bike has shimano trigger shifters and derailleur with 9-speed drivetrain which enable smooth and consistent gear shifting. Aluminium double wall rims add lightweight strength to the tyres. This makes the tyre sturdy and allows it to withstand strong conditions.
Aluminium bike frame
Shimano gear shifters
Hydraulic disc brakes
100mm travel fork for smooth rides
No kick stand
Latest deal: Mongoose Tyax
20" Mongoose Ledge
Mongoose ledge 2.1 is a mountain bike for boys. With a very low profile understated vibe on the black color, mongoose tries to grab attention of the youth. And is successful as doing so as the color scheme is absolutely amazing. The bike features an aluminium frame which is well-known for being lightweight and durable. It has quickly become the number 1 choice for many bike manufacturers as it is also rust-free and enabled high performance. The bike also features shimano derailleurs and precise gear shifters for smooth and uninterrupted gear shifting. Linear pull brakes provide a good pull on the tyres for a safe braking system, and the tyres are broad which provide more grip on the road thanks to increased surface area. The seat is padded and the handlebar is made of steel, adding strength to the overall bike. This one is a great choice for kids.
Smooth gear shifters and derailleur
Wide tyres and steel handlebar
Rear suspension has no adjustment
Latest deal: Mongoose Ledge
Huffy Summit Ridge Kids Hardtail Mountain Bike
Huffy kid is a hardtail mountain bike for kids that comes in a shocking metallic cyan color. The color is bold and speaks to a lot of children. But it does not stop at just that, as the manufacturer has an array of other colors to offer also. These are solar flare, purple, red, charcoal and denim blue. All colors contrast with a different color in them which keeps it interesting. The bike frame has an ideal height for kids and is made out of steel which keeps it strong and durable. Shimano derailleur and micro-shift twist shifters make for a smooth ride when shifting gears. Slight rise in handlebar allows for an upright ride, and the linear brakes are good for quick stops. This bike gets the stamp of approval for being one of the best mountain bikes for smaller riders.
Shimano micro-shift twist gear system
Bike chain comes off easy
Latest deal: Huffy Summit Ridge
Guardian Ethos Kids Bikes
Guardian ethos is a well-built all around mountain bike for kids. It has different color offerings for both boys and girls. It comes in blue/black, pink/aqua, red and blue, purple, black and light blue color. The bike comes equipped with SureStop technology which allows for a powerful braking mechanism, enabling kids to stop 44% faster than they would on a normal braking system. This helps prevent a lot of head over handlebar injuries. The frame is made out of steel which is very strong and durable. Adds to the longevity of the bike. It has a 30 day trial for the bike which gains your trust. The bike comes together easily and is an amazing option for your kid.
Many color options
Steel frame; strong and durable
SureStop technology for safe braking
Easy to assemble
Chain could be better quality
Latest deal: Guardian Ethos
Mountain biking as a sport:
What comes to mind when you think about mountain biking? A person going over obstacles in a muddy terrain. While that is true, the bike can also be used for a casual leisurely time. While there are many people who get a kick and thrill out of the sport, many do it for a good time when they are free from all worries. So the bikes have to deliver in terms of comfort and convenience. Mountain biking can be performed on any off-road surface, however people prefer going to the mountains for the full experience. Hence the tyres and suspension of the bike have to be spot on. There is a reason why the sport is loved so much all over the globe and no amount of words can truly describe how amazing and utterly beautiful the experience is.
Benefits of mountain biking experience for kids:
Most people prefer introducing their children to the sport by getting them appropriately sized mountain bikes. This is very important since kids need to have proper control on their bike when riding, to be able to fully enjoy it.
Many kids first introduced to the sport, do not have much experience in mountain bike riding. Hence learning to ride one can be challenging. But it’s the challenge that builds their confidence and sparks joy in their hearts to keep it going, ultimately making them more confident.
- New friends:
New activity outdoor means meeting new people who also happen to enjoy the sport. This interaction with other kids means new friends for your kid. And who doesn’t want their kids to socialize?
- Life-long hobby:
Mountain biking is a hobby that grabs the interest of the kid from a very early age and retains it. And when introduced to new and better features when they grow up, it only sparks more interest in the hobby. It is a very active and good hobby for the children to take on and pursue.
All the manufacturers brought their A-game today, absolutely crushing it in the mountain bikes for small riders department. Some of the bikes we took a look at today had aluminium frames for a lightweight and durable frame, while others had steel which is also very strong but not as light. Some offered options in color while others provided with broad tyres which increases surface area and hence the grip on the road. Some had mechanical disc brake solutions while others had combined braking, all of which enabled quick, easy and safe stops when needed. The derailleurs and gear shifting systems on all bikes were reliable. All manufacturers kept their target audience in mind, and hence made the bike frame low for it to be more approachable for kids. Comfort and quality was kept a high preference as you can see with all these bikes. So no matter which one you lay your eyes on, you will not go wrong.
Alex Bristol - Cycle sport content expert
Alex is London Cycle Sports Head of Content and specialises in road bike accessories and general cycling. Alex scours the internet finding the latest product that matches the needs of cyclists across the world. Alex looks at the best bike set ups and sources the newest tech in the cycle industry. Whether its a buyer guide, product review or a general post about bikes, Alex is a trusted source for everything cycle sport.
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