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The Best Mountain Bikes for Kids Who Are Ready to Rip Up the Trail

Is the singletrack calling to your kids? These kids mountain bikes are the answer.

Is your child ready to graduate from biking around the neighborhood to tearing up the trail on a kids mountain bike? Road bikes and tree roots don’t mix, so you’ll want to get ahead on researching the best mountain bikes for kids. And if your kid is making the switch from a scooter to a two-wheeler with this bike, you’ll want to focus your search on mountain bikes for beginners.

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.

GT made this 24-inch hardtail for the aggro kid, the kid ready to ride alongside. Its multispeed design teaches them proper shifting mechanics for ascending and descending, but it's not so core that it doesn't include a kickstand. If your little mountain goat is ready to step up to more serious (and specific) MTB rides, this is a solid first mountain bike.

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 mountain bike was specifically designed for younger kids who want to transition from more juvenile BMX bikes to a multi-speed bike like this one with larger wheels. The twist shifter is easy for beginners to master, and two types of brakes—Nexus Inter3 with coaster hub as well as front and rear v-brakes—give parents peace of mind. You can get this bike with either 20 inch wheels or 24 inch wheels, depending on your kid's size and needs. It has seven speeds, single-wall aluminum rims, and large tires for extra balance and stability.

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.

Ideal for kids ages 5-10, this bike has front-wheel suspension, which makes riding more stable. The bike's coaster brakes work on the rear wheel, and the hand brake works on the front wheel. The chain is fully enclosed, for less friction. The adjustable saddle grows with your kids. Note that this bike is single-speed only, which makes it great for beginners.

Training wheels are so last year for your little ripper. This big boy and girl bike features a coaster-brake design and is a single speed, which eases their transition to the trails. Underside its saddle, there's a built-in handle for easy lifting on and off car racks as well as some slight assurance as he or she gets used to singletrack.

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.

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