Kids Mountain Bikes are not Just Simple Bikes.
Remember those Good Old Days when you got your first Bike? Remember that Joy? Give your Child the Same
Exceptional thrill. That could be the description of feelings when I touched my first mountain bike. Millions of kids share this feeling. Your kid is no exception.
After they grown out their toy bikes and training wheel bikes be prepared to hear “I want a new bike! Just like mine friend John has. Now!”.
It’s an important wish and to my personal opinion much better than “I need iPhone for my birthday!”
However, just like iPhones change and upgrade every year, kids’ mountain bike must satisfy growing needs of your offspring.
Don’t save your money thinking that your kid grows fast and for a while he will feel just right on bike two or three sizes bigger than it should be. Comfort and health of your kid is at first place.
So, how to size up?
Unlike bike frame sizing for adults kids mountain bikes are measured different. Measure a bike wheel not frame.
Wheels should grow together with your kid (yes, dear dad, it means constant expenditures every two or three years…)
The size is OK if your kid is able to get on and off bike easily, without jumping or having his bike below his knees. Talking more exact…
These numbers may differ for each kid but most probably your young biker (4-5 years old) will cycle most comfortable with 16 inches (about 41 cm) wheel diameter.
Accordingly older young biker (6-10 years old) would like to roll on 20 inches (about 51 cm) wheels.
Teenagers? It depends. They will either use 24 inches (about 61 cm) wheels or…
Already feel comfortable on smallest sizes adult bike frames. Take a look at 13 – 15 inches (about 33 - 38 cm) mountain bike frames. Just keep in mind that adult frames weight more.
Just like kids’ clothing – smaller doesn’t mean cheaper.
The same applies to kids mountain bikes. And the question cool vs. practical arises. Be prepared to pay something similar just like you were buying simple mountain bike for yourself.
Surely, you can go cheaper and get decent hardtail for your kid. Just pay attention to bike’s weight. It’s very important issue since handling and overall cycling comfort depends a lot on weight.
That would be practical. But what about those little extras that make your child’s bike cool?
A hub gear (just like neighbors’ kid has) would be nice. And expensive. Full suspension? It is not necessary unless your offspring is already following his dad on downhill trails. Full suspension adds more weight and your kid doesn’t need that.
Instead of full suspension try to bargain suspension seat post and some nice extras as led lights or simple bike computer.
It will be more valuable and practical.
And when the lessons are learned and your kid is already a good companion of your Sunday biking trips, cheer him with more advanced bike. Gearing and “real” mountain bike brakes should be already installed.
Finally – I believe I don’t need to remember you to equip your kid with a decent helmet?
Don't buy your bike before you read this resource...
Find your perfect mountain bike trail! Enough riding in circles.
The more you get, the more you need. It’s time to improve your physical condition.
Cycling clothes – why are they so special? Find out here.
How many parts does your bike have? Let’s begin with the most important
Is it able to replace your one-man-powered ride with something more efficient? eBike offers you some interesting choices