Kids’ mountain bikes generally have wider, knobbier tires and can have front shocks to soften the impact when they’re cruising down rough terrain. Plus, fatter tires stabilize the bike, which can help prevent spills. The more gears a bike has, the more choice the rider gets in terms of speed and climbing power going up and down steep hills. Our picks for the best mountain bikes for kids are light but tough. They come with reliable brakes, smooth shifting, and legit suspensions that add up to a positive introduction to an active, nature-based hobby.
The Best Kids’ Mountain Bikes
We like that this mountain bike includes both a rear coaster brake and a front caliper brake, which helps kids transition to a hands-only brake when they're older. You may be looking for the best entry level mountain bike, especially if you aren't sure if your kid will get into the sport — if so, this is a solid option for a beginner whose parents don't want to throw down a ton of cash. This bike is easy to ride and has an adjustable saddle and a slack seat-tube angle that let the bike to grow with your child. It was specifically designed to wobble less, and make kids six and up feel more confident and in control. The bikes range in size from 12 to 20 inch wheels.
This is a great all-around bike that won't break the bank. Sturdily constructed, with steel frame, but light enough for kids to handle with ease, it's a bike that builds beginners’ confidence on the trail while also letting kids get essential hands-on practice in gear-shifting over rough terrain. Top-notch Shimano gears give kids power on steeper climbs, and a shock-absorbent travel suspension smooths out roots and rocks on a speedy descent.
Here's a single-speed that's great for beginners who are ready to sharpen their skills and strike out into new territory on two wheels. The Prevelo Alpha Two is designed to be lower to the ground, helping kids master and fine-tune their balance. The double-chain ring guard protects against bumps on the trail. Customized cranks mean pedals will be perfectly placed to build speed and power, while right-sized Tektro hand brakes will help them stop with confidence. There's even a bonus seat for additional height adjustment, so this bike can grow with your kid.
Fat-tire bikes are pricier, but they open up lots of new terrain to more experienced and adventurous young riders. The 24-by-4-inch tires smooth out bumpy trails, and let kids detour through sand and snow without coming to a lurching halt. Despite the aluminum frame, be aware that this still weighs in at a hefty 44 pounds.
This single-speed Raleigh mountain bike couldn't be easier to ride, so it's a great choice for older kids who are learning to ride or who want to tackle trails once they get the hang of things. It has 2.125-inch tires for a smooth ride over rough terrain, a low standover frame, and soft PVC grips that make longer rides super comfortable. Think of it as a mini bike for kids: The low standover frame means it's easy to mount and dismount this ride, and the lack of gears means that kids still nervous about riding won't have to worry about shifting. We dig the overall styling, which looks like an adult mountain bike in a smaller package, but confess we don't love the neon frame. The downside of a single-speed bike is that getting up hills can be tricky — save this one for flatter terrain.
This mountain bike is designed for a smooth ride, thanks to its shock-absorbing features and crisp linear pull brakes. It has a rigid, heat-treated steel frame, and is robust without being unwieldy. It doesn't have a kickstand, which is something to bear in mind.
The SureStop brake system activates both brakes with one lever, greatly reducing both stopping distance and the odds of your kid going head-over-handlebars on a quick stop, making it perfect for beginner bikers. The Ethos 16-inch is lightweight, so kids don't need to pedal as hard to fly down the trail and most kids can lift and carry the bike themselves. This bike also arrives almost completely assembled so even the least handy of parents can get their kid up and riding quickly, with just the handlebar and pedals to install. If you have an accident-prone kid, this is the bike for them. It's billed as the safest bike in the world, which isn't a claim we can verify, but we can tell you that it's loaded with features designed to keep kids safe no matter what kind of trail they're on. It's engineered to have a lower center of gravity, a feature that makes tip-over accidents less likely.
This is a great transitional bike for kids who are ready to make the leap from training wheels to freewheeling on uneven terrain. As a basic, transitional bike, it's practically designed to be outgrown, but its very simplicity lets kids focus on balance and building confidence — it's a single-speed, so no gears to fumble with, and it has coaster brakes, so it's easy and intuitive for kids to stop just by pedaling backwards. For kids 6 to 8.
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