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The Top 4 Mountain Bikes for Your Kids

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Biking is a fun way to get in shape and can teach your child some great life lessons. It can also be a great way to bond with the family.

One of the best things about biking is that you can do it anywhere, anytime. You don’t need to worry about getting sweaty or dirty when you bike around. It’s also much easier on your joints than running, making it perfect for people with injuries or problems like arthritis in their knees.

Mountain bikes are perfect for kids because they’re designed to help them balance during downhill rides and give them more control over their speed and direction.

The one question is always what bike to get for your kids. It needs to fit your kids and work well, and price isn’t always the way to tell what bike is best.

The 5 Things You Need to Consider When Buying a Mountain Bike for Kids

The safety of the kids is imperative when it comes to mountain biking, but there are other factors to consider before deciding on a bike for them. Here are five things you need to consider when buying a mountain bike for kids.

  1. What size bike does your child need? The size of the bike depends on the age of the child and their height. The best way to find out what size is best for them is by measuring their inseam and then looking at our Kid’s Bike Size Chart.  You’ll need to determine the bike size as well as the wheel size as part of this.

  2. What features do you want your kid’s bike to have? Is it durable, lightweight, or easy to pedal? It all depends on whether you are buying a mountain bike or a hybrid bike. Kids will also need something more durable so they can take on tough terrain while learning how to ride.

  3. How heavy is the bike. It needs to be light enough to easily handle.

  4. Is the geometry correct so that your kids can ride the bike properly and reach the pedals and brakes fine.

  5. Price. Money is always a factor, but in this case it’s because you don’t want to spend tons of money on a bike the kids will outgrow in a couple of years.

Remember also that it’s not just the bike that you need to get.  You’ll need to get some bike gear to go with it like a helmet to ensure your kids have a safe, fun ride.  If you buy a bike helmet online, just be careful.  Not all of them have been safety tested.  I have an article on how to identify that a bike helmet has been properly tested if you’d like to read more about it.

The Best Mountain Bikes For Kids

With that criteria in mind, let’s look at what bikes are the best choices for a recreational kids bike:

Diamondback Cobra Youth

SIZE: 24″


SUSPENSION: 40mm Front

MORE INFORMATION: Get Current Price on Amazon

This bike was a real hit with the kids.  It has 21 speeds to choose from so there is always a perfect gear to get up those steeper hills.  It has a 40mm front suspension so not only will it absorb the hit from the rocks and roots, but it makes it far easier to keep this bike in control.

The brakes have adjustable levers as well which go a long way to dialing this bike in to fit your kid.

Raleigh Rowdy

SIZE: 16″/20″/24″



MORE INFORMATION: Get Current Price on Amazon

The Raleigh Rowdy is a top choice for kids for many reasons.  For one, it comes in 16″, 20″, and 24″ sizes so it’ll fit many kids.

Second, this bike has a lightweight aluminum frame and a front suspension so it’s easy to get moving and keep control and running over rocks and tree limbs is no problem with the advanced design.

Raleigh has been making kids bikes for many years and they are very good at making bikes that cater to kids and help them to use and truly enjoy their bikes.

Guardian Ethos

SIZE: 16″/20″/24″



MORE INFORMATION: Get Current Price on Amazon

The Guardian Ethos is one of those hidden gems in the mountain bike world.  Guardian has puts lots of extra features in there to make the bikes safer for kids like their SureStop Technology where one brake lever works both the front and rear brakes at the same time so the bike is more stable in braking.  The bike stops faster but also avoids the dangerous front-brake-only issue.  This is a really great thing in a kids bike.

The Ethos comes in 16, 20, and 24″ sizes to fit most kids and it really is pretty simple to put together. It comes mostly assembled so it’s up and going in minutes.

Mongoose Exlipse MTB

SIZE: 15/24″


SUSPENSION: Full suspension, front and rear

MORE INFORMATION: Get Current Price on Amazon

Mongoose is a name that has been making quality mountain bikes for as long as I can remember.  I was thrilled to see they are making kids mountain bikes now with all of their years of experience.

This bike is available in both 15″ and 24″ sizes to cover a wide range of kid heights.  The 15″ size is interesting as it allows for slightly younger kids to use it compared to other youth mountain bikes.

It has all of the normal equipment you would expect like the Shimano derailleur and such.  It is made to the same quality as the adult bikes, but in a smaller form factor.  You really can’t go wrong with a Mongoose.



About the Author

Tony K

Senior Technical Writer,

Tony K is a technical editor at He has a focus on downhill bike riding but still loves xc bikes too.

With more than ten years of mountain biking experience and more than 5 years testing mountain bikes, Tony has ridden and tested hundreds of different bikes and products, everything from XC to enduro bikes. Tony regularly competes in mountain bike races while seeing how long those compontents can hold up which gives me a lot of insight.

When he isn't shredding down a mountain or camping out, he is writing reviews for Mountain Bike Experience.

Rides: Surly Lowside, Canyon Exceed