Kids mountain bikes enable young riders to explore new trails or ride off-road places that regular bikes can’t go. Both girls and boys alike will enjoy being able to go off road with their bike..
Getting the best kids mountain bike for boys or girls does not have to cost a fortune to allow them to ride comfortably and safely.
With a mountain bike they can work off energy, go on uphill and downhill adventures or follow the biking passion of their parents even if it’s offroad!
Quick Answer: The 10 Best Mountain Bikes For Kids
- HASA 18 Speed Kids Mountain Bike
- Diamondback Bicycles Cobra Kids Mountain Bike
- Mongoose Ledge 2.1 Boys’ Mountain Bike
- Raleigh Tokul 24 Complete Mountain Bike
- Diamondback Bicycles Sync’r Kid’s Mountain Bike
- Raleigh Bikes Eva Kids Mountain Bike
- Mongoose Girls Exlipse Mountain Bike
- Pacific Girl’s Tide Mountain Bike
- Avigo Air Flex Girls Mountain Bike
- Schwinn High Timber Kids Mountain Bike
Best Kids Mountain Bikes
|HASA 18 Speed Kid's Mountain Bike||Raleigh Bikes Eva Girl's Mountain Bike||Diamondback Sync'r Boy's Mountain Bike|
|For:||Boys & Girls||Girls||Boys|
|Gears:||18 speeds||7 speeds||9 speeds|
|Size/Weight:||20", 25 lbs||24", 28 lbs||24", 30 lbs|
Kids Mountain Bike Reviews
We have reviewed the best kids mountain bikes for boys and girls for 2018 and our guide will show you how to select the right model. First we’ll cover the boys mountain bikes followed by the girls and our buyers guide. Let’s get to it!
Best Boys Mountain Bikes
- Size & Weight: 20″, 25.5lbs
- Best For: Ages 7-9
- Frame & Fork: Alloy 6061 frame with 20″ wheelset, 20″ alloy suspension fork
- Tires: 20″ x 1.95″ Innova
- Gears: 18 speed (3×6), Shimano Tourney drivetrain
- Brakes: Artek M207DG rim brakes
The HASA 18 speed is our editor’s choice for the best kids mountain bike and offers high quality parts at a very affordable price.
This 20” bike features a very slanted frame made from aluminum alloy and optimized for riders 6 to 9.
With a suspension fork, aspiring mountain bikers can take the HASA 18 on bumpy trails and rocky terrain. 18 gears leave plenty options for uphill pedaling and downhill speeding with all Shimano parts.
The tires are standard width with an all-terrain profile. The rim brakes will allow your child to stop quickly.
With three crank wheels in the front, climbing will not be a problem and riding is smooth even for younger kids with weaker pedal power. Also, compared to other bikes of a similar price, the parts and components are higher-grade.
The gears are straightforward, but one or two front gear wheels instead of three probably would have been sufficient.
The HASA 18 speed kids mountain bike is available in either black or white and comes almost completely assembled: you’ll have to put on the front wheel, stem, seatpost and pedals.
You also get a limited one-year warranty on parts and a lifetime warranty on the frame.
- Size & Weight: 20″, 28lbs
- Best For: 4-9 years, 44″-54″ tall
- Frame & Fork: Hi-Ten Junior Boy’s 20″ frame, HL Zoom 20″ suspension fork with 40mm travel
- Tires: 20″ x 2″ Jr ATB Knobby
- Gears: 7 speed (1×7), Shimano drivetrain and M310 trigger shifter
- Brakes: Alloy rim brakes
The Diamondback Bicycles Cobra is a 20” boy’s mountain bike designed for younger riders. Despite the wheel size, the recommended age is 4 to 9 years with a rider’s height from 44” to 54”.
This is due to the frame design: the standover height is 19.5”, whereas the top tube is only 16” long. This allows shorter riders to comfortably reach the handlebars.
Diamondback Bicycles uses a steel frame, which can take lot of abuse, but makes for a heavier bike.
At 2” width, the wheels are slightly thicker and feature a great knobby profile, perfect for all sorts of terrain and good traction. The suspension fork shocks have 40mm of travel.
Shifting is straightforward because there is only one crank wheel with a double chain guard. The system uses all Shimano parts and the total of 7 gears are plenty for most hills and speed.
The Cobra offers good value for a low price with durable parts and makes mountain biking easily accessible for adventurous riders and off-roaders.
Small downsides are that it’s less suitable for taller kids and that the handlebars seem to require maintenance in the form of tightening now and then. Overall it’s one of the best mountain bikes for kids for a very reasonable price!
- Size & Weight: 24″, 35lbs
- Best For: 9-12 years, 4’6″-5’5″ tall
- Frame & Fork: Aluminum suspension frame, aluminum suspension fork
- Tires: 20″ knobby
- Gears: 21 speed (3×7), Shimano cassette
- Brakes: Alloy rim brakes
The Mongoose Ledge 2.1 boys mountain bike is a budget option that nonetheless features technical components such front and rear shocks.
At 24”, it’s suitable for riders from 9 years to 12 years and up with a height of 4’6” to 5’5”.
All the extras make this a heavier, rugged model and the aluminum frame can accommodate riders with a wide range of heights.
With a total of 21 gears, kids can easily pedal uphill or for speed. Shifting is simple thanks to grip shifters and the sidepull brakes provide plenty of stopping power.
The Mongoose Ledge 2.1 comes about 90% assembled, yet needs a few adjustments for individual riders. Riding is very smooth with the dual suspension and plenty of gears
The durable design is paired with safe components such as a chain guard on the crank wheel.
Downsides are the extra weight and a slightly inferior chain. Keep in mind, at such a budget price, you have to realize that components such as the suspension are also of lower quality.
- Size & Weight: 24″, 28.1lbs
- Best For: 8-12 years, 53″-61″ tall
- Frame & Fork: Low standover 6061 aluminum frame, SR Suntour XCT suspension fork with 50mm travel
- Tires: 24″ x 1.95″
- Gears: 7 speed (1×7), Shimano drivetrain
- Brakes: Alloy mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors
The Raleigh Tokul is a slightly higher-priced kids mountain bike that offers good value for the money.
This 24” model weighs around 28 pounds and comes with a low standover height of 25.1”. Recommended ages are 8 to 12 years with a rider’s height of 53” to 61”.
The frame is made from aluminum with a very slanted top tube, paired with a suspension fork with 50mm of travel to make any trail less rocky.
The tires are 1.95” wide that can attack any terrain, and the 7 speeds ensures sufficient gears yet easy shifting with Shimano parts. This bike pays attention to detail with a chain guard on the crank wheel.
This is the only model around $300 in our selection that comes with disc brakes. They are mechanical and provide plenty of stopping power, making the Tokul mountain bike perfect for young downhill riders.
At the same time, this feature is a minor downside since they require more initial setup and a little more maintenance than rim brakes in order to function properly.
All in all, this is one of the best boys mountain bikes in it’s price range the price. Due to a low frame height, boys as young as 8 years can ride this bike, and use it for years because the seat height can be raised quite a bit to accommodate them as they grow!
- Size & Weight: 24″, 30lbs
- Best For: 10-12+ years
- Frame & Fork: 6061 aluminum alloy frame, R Suntour XCR suspension fork with 75mm travel
- Tires: 24″ x 2.1″ Schwalbe Rocket Ron
- Gears: 9 speed (1×9), SRAM drivetrain, SRAM shifter
- Brakes: Tektro Auriga hydraulic disc brake with 160mm rotors
The Diamondback Bicycles Sync’r sits at the higher end of the price range and offers a complete 24” solution for young mountain bikers who want to shred trails. This model fits taller teens with large cranks and a wide handlebar.
The frame though is low slung and made from aluminum. Paired with a suspension fork with a long travel of 75mm, bumps and shocks get smoothed out.
The SRAM drivetrain features a relatively small front crankset with a versatile cassette for a total of 9 gears. Plenty of options to choose from for hills, trails and paths as well as relaxed riding.
The tires of 2.1” width are wider than the others on our list and can handle just about any terrain. With hydraulic disc brakes, Diamondback Bicycles prove that this is no toy bike!
The Tektro Auriga brakes provide powerful stops at high speeds. Be advised that you should do a few tests with your child and let them learn braking technique with this.
The downsides of this powerful bike are the higher price and the more complicated maintenance that comes with having hydraulic disc brakes and a suspension fork. If you can afford to spend more, the Diamondback Sync’r is the best kids mountain bike!
Best Mountain Bikes For Girls
- Size & Weight: 24″, 28lbs
- Best For: 8-12 years, 53″-61″ tall, light trails
- Frame & Fork: Low standover 6061 aluminum fork with SR XCT Suntour suspension fork with 50mm travel
- Tires: 24″ x 1.95″
- Gears: 7 speed (1×7), Shimano drivetrain, Shimano Revo shifter
- Brakes: Promax mechanical disc brakes
The Raleigh Bikes Eva kids mountain bike is our editor’s choice for the best girls mountain bike. It has a sleek design and impressive features at an incredible price.
With a 24” low standover frame, it is recommended for riders between 8 and 12 years with a height from 4’6” to 5’1”. It performs well on light trails and at medium distances.
With comfort in mind, Raleigh combines a durable yet lightweight aluminum frame with a high-grade suspension fork with 50mm travel to smooth out bumps.
The saddle is specifically fit for girls and padded for comfort. The standard mountain bike tires can handle dirt paths and light trails well, and shifting is simple with 7 gears and a dual chain guard with Shimano components.
A nice touch are the mechanical disc brakes by Promax for safe, quick stops.
The Raleigh Eva kids mountain bike delivers a high-quality suspension fork, disc brakes and a nice design for a price below $300. A minor drawback is the slightly heavier weight for young riders.
- Size & Weight: 24″, 30lbs
- Best For: 8-11 years
- Frame & Fork: Steel frame with shock absorber, suspension fork
- Tires: 24″ x 1.95”
- Gears: 21 speed (3×7), SRAM shifter, Shimano cassette
- Brakes: Rim brakes
The Mongoose Exlipse girl’s mountain bike is a budget model but even at its low price point it features a full suspension with front and rear shock absorbers on the steel frame.
Recommended for ages 8 to 11 years, this mountain bike is perfect for first off-road experiences, general cruising and light trails.
The durable steel frame makes makes for a slightly heavier bike and has a lower standover height. With a total of 21 gears pedaling there is a gear for any situation.
The front crankset is protected by an outer chain guard, and a Shimano cassette in the rear provides smooth shifting. The SRAM grip shifters are straightforward and easy to use for kids while the linear side-pull brakes provide plenty of stopping power.
The Mongoose Exlipse girl’s mountain bike is a great everyday ride for a low price.
Cons for the bike are the extra weight due to the steel frame, and the fact that the dual suspension needs more maintenance than a rigid frame model. Overall, it may be the best 24 inch mountain bike in its price range!
- Size & Weight: 24″, 27lbs
- Best For: 8-12 years
- Frame & Fork: Steel frame, suspension fork
- Tires: 24″ x 1.95″
- Gears: 18 speed (3×6), Torque twist shifter, Torque cassette
- Brakes: Rim brakes
The Pacific Girl’s Tide mountain bike is a bargain at less than $150. This is not a high-end mountain bike, but this model is agile and resilient and will take abuse on all sorts of terrain well.
With large 24” tires, this bike fits girls 8 to 10 years or slightly older.
The steel frame is rugged and durable. Paired with a suspension fork, riding over curbs works as well as attacking small rocks on the trail. The design of the frame allows for a comfortable, athletic riding position with easy pedaling.
The 18 gears are comprised of 6 gears in the rear and 3 in the front. Torque grip shifters make handling the gears simple and easy. Standard rim brakes are provide sufficient stopping power.
This is a no-frills mountain bike for girls with a sturdy and reliable design and straightforward features.
A child cannot accompany you on advanced downhill trails on this, but they will enjoy the great outdoors on dirt paths, backroads and light trails with the Pacific Tide kids mountain bike.
- Size & Weight: 20″, 26lbs
- Best For: 7-10 years, 22″-25″ inseam
- Frame & Fork: Steel suspension frame, suspension fork
- Tires: 20″ knobby profile
- Gears: 7 speed (1×7), twist shifter
- Brakes: Rim brakes
The Avigo Air Flex kids mountain bike is competitively priced and geared towards girls with a nifty design in pink and black and comfort features.
Easy shifting, a dual suspension system and smooth riding, this 20” model is built for girls aged 7 to 10 years with an inseam of 22” to 25”.
The steel frame comes with a shock absorber in the rear and a suspension fork. The tires feature a knobby profile for good traction in any environment.
The seat can easily be adjusted to find the right riding position.
The crank wheel comes with a dual chain guard, and a total of 7 gears allows for a variety of pedaling with sufficient speeds. Thanks to a simple twist shifter, young riders can easily learn the technique of shifting.
The rim brakes in the front and rear making stops reliable and safe. For slightly more than $150, the Avigo Air Flex is a kids mountain bike suitable for beginners as well as more advanced girl riders.
- Size & Weight: 24″, 29lbs
- Best For: 8-12 years
- Frame & Fork: Steel frame, suspension fork
- Tires: 24″ x 1.95″ all-terrain profile
- Gears: 21 speed (3×7), SRAM twist shifter, Shimano cassette
- Brakes: Alloy rim brakes
The Schwinn High Timber kids mountain bike is great for young trail enthusiasts. At 24”, this bicycle is made for girls 8 to 12. It comes with front suspension and many small features that make it a good value for just under $250.
Schwinn uses a low steel frame that is nearly step-through for this mountain bike, which results in a very low standover height and almost a city bike look.
Yet the features of this bike tells you it’s ready for mountain biking: the suspension fork will smooth out rough trails, and the seat is athletic yet comfortable. The standard mountain bike tires provide traction thanks to an all-terrain profile.
With 21 speeds, shifting through the large number of gears is easy with the high end SRAM grip shifters. Both wheels and seat can be adjusted quickly without tools for height adjustment on the go and varying pedal positions.
With the Schwinn High Timber, girls can enjoy riding to school, trails, gravel, mud and pavement adventures with one of the best kids MTB!
Kids Mountain Bike Comparison Table
|Kids Mountain Bike||For||Ages||Gears||Size/Weight||Brakes||Rating|
|HASA 18 Speed Kids Mountain Bike||Boys||7-9||18 speed||20", 25 lbs||Rim||4.6 / 5.0|
|Diamondback Bicycles Cobra Kids Mountain Bike||Boys||4-9||7 speed||20", 28 lbs||Rim||5.0 / 5.0|
|Mongoose Ledge 2.1 Kids Mountain Bike||Boys||9-12||21 speed||24", 35 lbs||Rim||4.3 / 5.0|
|Raleigh Tokul Kids Mountain Bike||Boys||8-12||7 speed||24", 28 lbs||Disc brakes||4.6 / 5.0|
|Diamondback Bicycles Sync'r Kids Mountain Bike||Boys||10-12+||9 speed||24", 30 lbs||Disc brakes||4.7 / 5.0|
|Raleigh Bikes Eva Kids Mountain Bike||Girls||8-12||7 speed||24", 28 lbs||Disc brakes||4.8 / 5.0|
|Mongoose Girls Exlipse Kids Mountain Bike||Girls||8-12||21 speed||24", 30 lbs||Rim||4.4 / 5.0|
|Pacific Girl's Tide Kids Mountain Bike||Girls||8-12||18 speed||24", 27 lbs||Rim||4.1 / 5.0|
|Avigo Air Flex Girls Mountain Bike||Girls||7-10||7 speed||20", 26 lbs||Rim||5.0 / 5.0|
|Schwinn High Timber Kids Mountain Bike||Girls||8-12||21 speed||24", 29 lbs||Rim||4.6 / 5.0|
How to Choose the Best Kids Mountain Bike
- Deciding on the Right Model
- Size & Fit
- FAQs: About Kids Mountain Bikes
Deciding on the Right Model
Size and fit of the bike are the most important aspects, so the child can handle the bike securely and ergonomically. We’ve noted the recommended height and age for each model.
Apart from wheel size, also pay attention to components such as frame and fork, tires, gears and brakes.
It’s most important to get the size right for a kids mountain bike. Compared to adult bicycles, these models are already more affordable, so there is no need to attempt to get a better value by letting a child “grow into a bike.”
This will only overwhelm them with an unwieldy machine they can’t control. Less is more, which goes for other features as well. Children don’t need all the fancy extras adult bikes have – a lower weight is better.
Size & Fit
For kids bikes, the wheels largely determine the proportions of the bicycle, more so than for adult bikes. Bike sizes specified in the review above refer to wheel size.
Models for children range between 12” and 24”, with 26” being the standard adult size. The bike is a good fit if the rider can easily stand across the frame, comfortably reach the pedals from the saddle and grab the handlebar without having to overreach.
The saddle is too high if the child is “squirming” in the seat while pedaling, that is if they have to move their and the legs are straight or overextended on the downturn.
|2-3 years||12” wheels|
|3-4 years||14” wheels|
|4-5 years||16″ wheels|
|6-7 years||20″ wheels|
|8-10 years||24” wheels|
|12+ years||26” wheels|
|Tall teenagers & adults||26”, 27.5”, 28”, 29” wheels|
The frame is the largest part of any kids mountain bike, and it adds considerably to the overall mass. For children, that can easily make up a significant percentage of their bodyweight.
A too heavy kids mountain bike becomes unwieldy to push, difficult to handle and clumsy to ride. Most manufacturers strike a balance between durability and weight by selecting aluminum or aluminum alloy as a strong yet light material.
It comes with good flexibility for absorbing bumps, is lightweight and resistant to corrosion and quite affordable. Steel parts are heavier and even stronger, but a full steel frame is rare for a kids mountain bike.
You basically have the choice between a rigid or suspension fork for a kids mountain bike. Suspension makes for a smoother ride, but really is only called for if your child will move on to more technical trails over the lifetime of the bike.
For cross-country riding, a rigid fork is absolutely sufficient. A suspension fork is great for steep downhill paths with many bumpy patches. But keep in mind that a rigid fork teaches young riders to look for the “smoothest” path.
The tires on a kids mountain bike influence comfort and stability. A wider tire means more surface area and more contact with the ground, as well as more cushion.
The profile should fit the terrain the child will encounter most, whether that is gravel, dust and dirt paths, wet mud or rocky trails.
While it’s useful to have gears on a kids mountain bike, it can confuse the youngest of riders, especially the finer notions of shifting.
An array of gears will make it that much easier to pedal uphill or sustain a higher speed over time, but not knowing how to shift properly can introduce stress on the chain or make it jump the wheels.
The most common configurations for kids mountain bikes are either a triple chainset or a single gear wheel in front, with a larger cassette in the back, resulting in drivetrains such as 1×7, 1×9, or 3×7, 3×8, and 3×9.
With only one wheel in front, shifting is simplified to only one shifter for one hand. Selecting the right gear becomes considerably easier for children that way, while still giving sufficient options for any terrain.
Mountain bike commonly use either rim brakes or disc brakes. With rim brakes or linear brakes, you pull to apply rubber brake pads directly on the metal rim of the wheels.
Disc brakes feature rotors mounted on the wheels with special brake pads. Pressure is applied by hand or pneumatically. While disc brakes are technically superior, they tend to be overkill for a child’s bike.
Kids bikes have been fine with regular brakes for a long time. Unless your child is going on very technical trails, fast downhill paths or is en route to become a true mountain biking professional, you can forego disc brakes for now.
FAQs: About Kids Mountain Bikes
Q: How do I know which kids mountain bike size to get?
A: Matching children with a mountain bike is straightforward if you go by wheel diameter: with increasing age, they’ll need a larger size such as 12, 16, 20 or 24 inch.
As for standover height: measure the inseam of their pants, add an inch, and compare it to the specification some models have. An inch clearance over the top bar allows a child to stand comfortably over the mountain bike.
- 2-3 years: 12” wheels
- 3-4 years: 14” wheels
- 4-5 years: 16″ wheels
- 6-7 years: 20″ wheels
- 8-10 years: 24” wheels
- 12+ years: 26” wheels
- Tall teenagers & adults: 26”, 27.5”, 28”, 29” wheels
Q: When will a child outgrow their bike?
A: Depending on their size, metabolism and growth spurts, children tend to outgrow their bicycles from one year to two and half years. It can vary with age and bike size, and you can’t really plan for nature.
Q: Should I get a slightly larger model to allow for some growing room?
A: Same as with shoes and clothes, it can be a pain to see a child outgrow something quickly, especially when it’s a slightly more expensive item such as a kids mountain bike.
But same as with clothes, your kid will be uncomfortable with something too big. Don’t compromise their safety and confidence – the size and weight of a mountain bike should be adequate for a child so they can handle and ride it well.
This is doubly important if you go riding together and they’ll be matched with your skill and larger size.
Q: Does a kids mountain bike need gears?
A: Gears make it easier to pedal uphill and more comfortable to ride long distances. It’s good practice to learn shifting early and approach riding with the versatility mountain bike gears give you.
Children commonly have little problems learning how to handle shifting and most shifters on kid mountain bikes are design so the rider doesn’t have to take their hands of the bars.
Q: Is a suspension or rigid fork better for children?
A: In terms of safety, both versions are suitable for kids. A suspension fork or a suspension system can take the bumps and shocks out of more rocky terrain, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go off-road with a rigid fork.
What matters is that children learn to approach trails and their parts bit by bit and slowly build their skills. When riding together, you can help through uphill or trough muddy terrain by lowering their saddle slightly beforehand, making it easier to pedal.
A rigid fork is great for learner as it gives you direct feedback.
Q: Should I put training wheels on a kids mountain bike?
A: Everyone has an opinion about training wheels. Training wheels are not inherently bad. Properly mounted training wheels on any bike allow a kid to focus more on pedaling instead of having to pedal and balance at the same time.
But each child is different, and today many children learn balancing on wheels from balance bikes and scooters long before they sit on their first bicycle saddle.
Learning to ride a bike without training wheels seems much easier that way: a toddler running around with a balance bike at one and a half years can be pedalling at age two and half or three.
With our selection of top mountain bikes for kids, we present you with a variety of choices for different ages and in diverse styles. With our guide, you should be able to narrow it down and pick a model that’s best for your boy or girl.
Remember to diligently choose the correct size and fit and determine the mountain biking activity they’ll primarily do. From there you can work out individual features that are important to them.
Finally, when you go cycling together, always encourage young riders to go outside their comfort zone bit by bit, but don’t push them beyond what’s safe or adequate for their age, bike, and skill level.
If they can go at their own pace, they’ll be asking for challenges soon enough and will want to go on longer and more adventurous rides with you.
I hope this guide was helpful for finding the best kids mountain bike to fit your child’s needs. If you want to comment or recommend a bike I didn’t include, please use my contact form to get in touch.