Best Mountain Bikes For Kids – Guide & Reviews

Buying a mountain bike for your kid is all about getting the right size that will be safe and comfortable to ride. You also need to get something sturdy that will withstand years of riding on all kinds of terrain.

Note that a mountain bike is different from a road bike, a cruiser bike and a BMX bike.

A mountain bike has special suspension and a sturdier design for riding on bumpy surfaces. It’s generally ideal for older kids starting from around 6 years of age.

With a mountain bike, kids can explore many more places beyond the backyard and the neighbourhood. There are plenty of kid-friendly mountain biking trails you can take them to. They offer plenty of fun and are a great way to keep kids physically active.

Finding The Right Size For Your Kid’s Age

It is extremely important that you buy the right size. This not only ensures they will be comfortable while riding; it also goes a long way towards safety especially on tough trails.

Your child should be able to comfortably straddle the bike while standing. If their feet can reach the ground, it means they can avoid a bad fall if the bike slips or loses control.

Unlike adult bikes that are measured using frame size, kids’ bikes are measured by their wheel size.

Because mountain bikes are targeted towards older kids, most of them are 24” in size. They are ideal for ages 8-14.

But there are also several 20” mountain bikes that are ideal for 6-8 years of age.

Basically, you only have two size options when it comes to mountain bikes for kids: 20” and 24”.

Below 20”, they are not really mountain bikes. That’s where you’ll find training bikes with stabilisers, simple starter bikes for the backyard and balance bikes for very young kids starting at around 2 years.

If your child is between 5 and 7 years, get a 20” mountain bike. It’s small and light enough for them. If your child is already 8 years old, try out a 24” bike that they can grow with to around 14 years of age. After that they can get an adult-sized 26” MTB.

Do not just look at the age because different kids have varying physical characteristics. You may have an 8-year old who is rather short.

That’s why you should also measure their inseam. This is the length of their leg on the inside. The aim is to make sure their feet can reach the ground when sitting on the bike.

If it’s between 19” and 23”, get a 20” bike. If it’s between 24” and 27”, get a 24” bike.

What to Consider When Buying a Mountain Bike for Kids

Once you know what size is best, focus on getting a good quality and long-lasting bike from a trusted brand.

Don’t worry so much about features like number of gears, type of suspension or brake technology unless your child is involved in serious mountain biking competitions.

Most bikes will feature a front suspension, multiple gears and V brakes, which are good enough for kids.

As long as it is comfortable, well-made, not too heavy and easy to ride, you are good to go.

Best Mountain Bikes for Kids [UK Market]

1. Flite Maniac Boys’ Kids Bike Blue, 20”

This is the best first mountain bike for boys.

With a 20” wheel size and an 11” frame, it is ideal for ages 5-7 and inner leg measurements of 19-23 inches. It’s lightweight (14.5kg) to make it easier to ride and steer especially over hilly terrain.

A 6-speed gear system allows easy handling going up and down a slope while steel fat blade forks provide effortless control on tricky trails.

The 1.9” MTB Sure-Tread tyres, strong but light alloy rims and hardy steel hubs ensure the bike can take anything thrown at it from rocky trails to gravel and anything in between. This ensures complete safety and durability.

The 54cm handlebars are made from steel to handle bumpy trails and have grooved ends to provide a strong grip.

The saddle is comfortable and of course adjustable. You can also adjust the handlebar depending on your kid’s height.

The brakes are simple V-brakes that are powerful and easy to maintain.

The overall design looks great with cool decals that your child will love.

What we like about it:

  • Sturdy but lightweight design.
  • Perfect for beginner mountain bikers.
  • Easy to assemble and maintain.
  • Cool aesthetics.

2. Ammaco Gladiator Boys Kids Mountain Bike, 20″

This is another simple and affordable option for kids who are transitioning from a single-speed bike.

It has a rim size of 20” and an 11” frame, making it ideal for 5-7 year olds and 19”-23” inseam sizes.

At just 11.8kg, the Ammaco Gladiator is even lighter than the Flite Maniac one above. So it should be easier to ride especially on slopes.

A hi-tensile steel frame provides robust support no matter the terrain. It can handle years of use without any damage. The frame is complemented by heavy-duty forks.

Powerful V-brakes on both the rear and front wheels ensure safety.

I personally love V-brakes on kids’ bikes because they are so easy to maintain and are really powerful. Just keep an eye out for wear and replace the pads as soon as they start losing their grip.

6-speed Shimano gears provide better pedalling control when going up or down a slope.

The thicker 2.125″ MTB tires provide a strong grip on all terrains whether it’s in your backyard on grass, around the neighbourhood on paved paths or outdoors on rocky trails.

What we like about it:

  • Cool glossy red finish with beautiful decals.
  • Padded and adjustable saddle for comfort.
  • Sturdy but lightweight design.
  • Easy to assemble (it comes 90% pre-assembled).

3. Falcon Aurora Kids’ Mountain Bike, 24”

If you are looking for a good mountain bike for your older kid (8-12 years), this is one of the best. It has a rim size of 24” and a 13” frame.

The 18-speed gears provide greater control on different types of terrain from flat trails to steep slopes.

A rigid steel frame ensures the bike can handle rough riding and last long. The fork is rigid (no suspension) to provide more agility and keeps the bike light. But even without suspension, it’s able to absorb vibrations from the ground for a more comfortable ride.

For all-terrain riding, the Aurora is fitted with 1.95” MTB wheels. They have a strong-grip tread that provides safer and better riding on tricky terrain and during bad weather.

As with most bikes you can adjust the saddle and the handlebar. With the Aurora, you can go one step further. A rail adjuster allows you to move the saddle backwards or forwards for better seating.

Overall, a great bike for older kids who have outgrown starter bikes but are not yet ready for full size 26” adult bikes.

What we like about it:

  • Cool design and decals.
  • Durable.
  • Lightweight.

4. Arden Peak Dual Full Suspension 21 Speed Kids Mountain Bike, 24”

If you want something a bit more advanced for your kid – maybe for competitions or to handle tougher terrains – get this 21-speed bike by Arden.

It is a 24” bike with a 14” frame size and is recommended for ages 8+.

It’s designed for better performance on the trails and paths.

The 21-speed gears provide better control on all kinds of tracks, allowing full power and efficiency at all times. The index gear shifters are easy to use.

Then there’s the dual suspension setup that provides better cushioning on bumpy trails. It makes the bike heavier but more comfortable than rigid bikes.

The suspension frame is high-grade and designed to last a long time without any deterioration.

For the best stopping performance, the Peak is fitted with front and rear V-brakes that are easy to maintain.

Tyres are thick (2.125”) and with deep treads for a better grip on different types of surfaces.

What we like about it

  • Beautiful purple design.
  • Adjustable seat and handlebars.
  • Dual suspension that can handle rougher terrain.
  • Easy assembly.

5. Concept Outlaw Boys Full Suspension Mountain Bike, 20”

If you are looking for a beginner dual suspension mountain bike, this is a great choice.

The 20” wheels and 10” frame makes it ideal for 5-7 year olds.

It’s a great beginner MTB with simple features that are easy to use and maintain.

It’s fitted with a 6-speed gears and a 36-tooth chain set with a chain guard. The brakes are V-brakes; strong, reliable and super easy to maintain.

For better control on all kinds of terrain, the bike features wide MTB tyres, non-slip pedals and strong handlebar grips.

Depending on how tall your kid is, you can adjust both the saddle and the handlebar.

The aesthetics look really cool with a beautiful black and orange combo. The handlebar grips and saddle are colour-matched for a complete look.

What we like about it:

  • Looks great.
  • Dual suspension.
  • Easy to assemble and maintain.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. At what age are kids ready to ride a mountain bike?

The earliest age to introduce a mountain bike to your kid is when they are six years old. By then, they should have learnt how to pedal, balance and steer on a smaller kids bike.

Depending on your child’s bike riding skills, you may wish to wait until they are eight years old before you hit dirt trails with a mountain bike.

2. What size is a kids mountain bike?

Kids mountain bikes start at 20 inches, which is suitable for 6-year olds. For eight year olds, get a 24-inch mountain bike.

3. Where is the best place to ride a mountain bike?

There are plenty of bike trails in the UK that are perfect for mountain biking. Look for those that are kid-friendly. They’ll be fairly even and not too steep.

As your child gets older, tackle tougher trails together.

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