Kids mountain biking is an exciting sport that is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. If your son or daughter is chatting constantly about bunny hops, grunts, kick-outs and nose wheelies, it’s probably time you start thinking about investing in proper mountain bike gear for them. With the right gear they will be able to get much more out of the sport and will be much safer in doing so.
If you’re worried about their safety out on the trails you could sign them up for an introductory kids mountain bike course to teach them everything they need to know to get them started in their pursuit to be a top mountain biker.
Or if you are in doubt whether your child will fall in love with mountain biking or if it will just be a passing phase, hire a mountain bike for the day and take them to one of the UK’s mountain bike parks to let them try it out and see how they take to it.
Best Mountain Bikes For Kids: Specialized Hotrock 24w Boys/Girls 2015 Junior Bike
Suitable for 9-11 year olds but boasting all of the features of an adults bike, the Specialized Hotrock comes in black and white for boys and purple and white for girls.
The 21 gears can be easily switched using the twist gear shifters making this a great bike for kids ready to get to grips with mountain bike gears. The Specialized Roller tyres roll smoothly over the roads but have all the grip needed to race down dirt tracks and mountain trails too.
Best Mountain Bikes for Kids: Frog 60 Mountain Bike
Frog currently has one variety of mountain bike for sale, the Frog 60 in purple. This is the ideal introductory off-road bike for eight to ten year olds with an inside leg measurement of at least 60cm.
Its tough but lightweight design is durable and easy for children to get to grips with. It also comes with a bell, reflectors and mudguards as standard to make riders more visible and prevent their clothes getting too dirty as they race through puddles and zoom down muddy tracks.
Best Mountain Bikes for Kids: Cannondale Trail 24 Boys Bike 2014
The ultralight Cannondale Trail mountain bike is designed specifically for boys who like to pick up some speed on the trails. The custom comfort saddle and vibration absorbing seat keeps longer rides enjoyable and the simple lime green design appeals to boys of all ages.
Best Mountain Bikes for Kids: Trek MT 60 Boys/Girls Bike
Available in blue for boys or pink for girls, the Trek MT 60 bike is made from high quality, durable parts ensuring that this bike can be passed down from child to child as it is outgrown. Suitable for 6 years and up, many of the components are also adjustable so that it can grow with your child. The light frame and knobbly tyre combination is perfect for a kids first mountain bike and it even has a kickstand so it can easily be propped up during trail breaks.
Best Mountain Bikes for Kids: Islabikes Creig 24/26 Mountain Bike
Islabikes specific mountain bike, the Creig, is available in lime green in a choice of two sizes: 24" for eight years and up, and 26" for nine years and up. The ten speed gears and Continental Explorer tyres are perfect for hitting mountain bike trails and the child specific design, including short reach brakes, means your kid will be comfortable and safe whilst doing so.
Kids Mountain Bike Sizing + Where to Buy
When choosing a mountain bike for your son or daughter, you’ll need to pick one with a slightly smaller frame than you would if you were buying a road or hybrid bike.
Kids bikes tend to be categorised by wheel size rather than frame size ( 6-9 yrs = 18", 8-12 yrs = 20" and youth = 24")
However, on a mountain bike your child will need maximum clearance and so may require a smaller frame size than normal. If possible take your child to a bike shop to try out a few mountain bikes for size. Straddling the bike with their feet flat on the ground they should be able to clear the crossbar. For a road bike you would want there to be about an inch of clearance but for a mountain bike two or three inches would be better.
As a general guide, a child between 152-158cm in height will require a mountain bike with a 13-14inch frame. If you’re unsure which size bike your child will require, it’s always best to take them to a shop for a proper fitting.
Kids mountain bikes can be bought from most shops that sell adult mountain bikes including Halfords, Pearson Cycles and Evans Cycles. They can also be bought online if you’re certain of what size your son or daughter needs. Great online retailers include Wiggle, Trek and Cycle Store.
If you’d prefer to purchase a second hand kids mountain bike there are lots of great bargains to be found on eBay. Just remember that whenever possible it’s a great idea to arrange to view and test ride a second hand bike before committing to purchase.
Kids Mountain Bike Helmets
Like any cycling discipline, mountain biking can be dangerous and so it is vital that you kit your kids out with the right gear. The most important item on the gear list has to be a top of the range helmet. This is one item that you don’t want to skimp on as it really could save your child’s life.
Choose between a regular helmet or a full face one depending which you and your child feel would be safer for them. If they are planning on doing lots of jumps and tricks and advanced mountain bike trails a full face one would be the best choice. But if they just want a mountain bike to do some gentle off-road trails a regular shaped helmet is likely to be sufficient.
Kids Mountain Bike Clothing & Gear
After the actual bike and the helmet the next thing to consider is whether your child will need proper mountain bike clothing and gear. If they are wishing to head out on trails and play around at mountain bike parks they’re likely to need at least the following basic kit:
- eye protection
- a wicking jersey
- padded shorts or tights
- cycling socks
- a buff, bandana or skull cap
- arm and leg warmers
All of this kit is easy to come by. Freestyle Xtreme has a great range of mountain bike specific gear and clothing and all of the major cycling websites and shops have a range of kids bike jerseys and clothing.
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