Mountain Bikes for Kids: Top Bikes for Junior MTB Riders

kid jumping on mountain bike

As a mountain biking parent, you’re probably thinking of introducing the sport to your kids. If you want them to take to those trails with you someday, the key is to make sure that they’re at least mildly successful when they first try it. To do that, you need to equip them with the best mountain bikes for kids that can handle whatever bumps they tackle. (Also, pick trails that don’t freak them out at first.)

It’s time to introduce your little ones to the world of mountain biking. With our selection of mountain bikes for kids, you should be able to narrow down your choices and find a bike that is suitable for your little ones.

Here are our top 6 mountain bikes for kids.

Trek Roscoe

Trek Roscoe 24 kids mountain bike
Trek Roscoe 24 source:

Price: $499-$560

This site is about mountain bikes, so we begin this roundup with a trail capable bike. The Trek Roscoe is meant for kids who are going to bike around the neighborhood, but also try out bike parks and local trails.

The Trek Roscoe features a lightweight aluminum frame, mechanical disc brakes, and quality Shimano drivetrain components. Following the direction of adult bikes, the Roscoe uses a 1x gearing set-up, reducing weight and complexity. Another move to reduce weight is in skipping the suspension fork, an element that doesn’t usually add any performance advantages on kids bikes.

Where to buy

Raleigh Bikes Rowdy & Diamondback Lily ( also Raleigh Bikes Lily)

Raleigh Rowdy kids mountain bike

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Price: $250-$310

The Raleigh Rowdy and Diamondback/Raleigh Lily line appear to only be available from Amazon, and might be disappearing. That is a shame, because they are some of the best options out there if you really want to get your kids into cycling. They stand out by being some of the lightest kids bikes around, no matter the cost. That means it will be easier to get moving and much easier to pedal up hills.

With the Rowdy and Lily, they make a better bike by doing less. There is no mostly useless, but heavy suspension fork. The frame is aluminum, and they have clearly used lighter components than on many kids bikes.

To us, the only negative (other than the mid-range cost) is that they use a grip shifter. Grip shifters are fairly easy for kids to learn shifting on, but make learning to bunny hop and jump harder, if you are trying to teach your kid to go hard. Some kids report issues with the reach to the low flat handlebars. If you encounter this, swapping for riser bars is an affordable and easy fix.

Where to buy

Decathlon Rockrider ST100

Decathlon BTwin Rockrider ST100 kids mountain bike
Decathlon Rockrider ST100 20 inch – Source:

Price: $99-$150 (current sale prices)

The Decathlon Rockrider ST100 is everything you need in a kids bike, and nothing you don’t. Despite the steel frame (indestructible), they manage to keep the weight down to well under that of most kids bikes. The Rockrider ST1000 comes in 20 inch, 24 inch and adult 27.5 inch sizes. The features change as they get larger, but all are simple bikes that will withstand rough treatment by your kids.

Decathlon is one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the world, but for most of North America, online ordering via Walmart or the Decathlon site are your only options. Their own branded lines tend to be very high value with quality at low costs.

Where to buy

Guardian Lightweight Kid’s Bike

Guardian Lightweight Kid’s Bike

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Price: $280-$350

Guardian are focused on kids bikes and have some nice advantages, starting with the lowest weight of any bike on this list. These are more like adult hybrid bikes than true mountain bikes, however. As The Two Wheeling Tots blog points out, the front and rear brakes are linked, which simplifies things for your kids, but isn’t right for the fine adjustments and developing techniques (more front, less rear) that you want on a true MTB trail.

Guardian Bikes have been specifically designed for kid’s proportions rather than adapting adult sized components onto a smaller frame. Weighing 21.5 lbs, the bike is lightweight, which translates to more comfortable handling as well as better control and safety. Also, it is engineered to have a lower center of gravity to help kids balance and make tip-over accidents less likely. The award-winning Surestop Brake System distributes braking power to both wheels, allow kids to stop faster, although they look like pretty standard budget brakes.

With all these safety features, it is billed as one of the safest mountain bikes for kids on the market.

Where to buy

Trailcraft Blue Sky 20 Mountain Bike

Trailcraft Blue Sky 20 Mountain Bike

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Price: $1,499 – $2,000

This bike is pretty steep. A lot of parents will probably scoff at the price tag, but the price reflects the quality of the bike build and the ride. If you are getting the kids out on serious trails already, then a Trailcraft might be the right bike.

This kid-specific mountain bike company produces exceptional bikes for young riders. Trailcraft Blue Sky is one of the best mountain bikes for kids. The 20-inch bike weighs a mere 19 lbs. while offering all the goodies – Shimano Deore drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, Stans tubeless wheelset, 80mmof air sprung travel and beefy Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires. It also comes in two different component builds, two different chainring size options, and three different frame colors.

Where to buy

Tips for buying mountain bikes for kids

With the mass of mountain bikes for kids available, choosing the ride one for your child can be a daunting task. Fit and size are the most important factors to consider when buying a mountain bike for your child. It can be tempting to get a bigger bicycle, thinking that your child would easily outgrow the bike. We understand that you want to get the most out of the bike, but getting the wrong size would compromise the child’s performance and enjoyment during the bike. Worse, the child will feel overwhelmed and intimidated by the massive bike and would never ride it. As such, it is vital to get the size right bike size for your kid.

You know the bike is a good fit when the child can comfortably grab the handlebar without having to overreach, reach the pedals from the saddle or stand across the frame. Get the right mountain bikes for kids, and you’ll have no trouble keeping them riding.

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