It’s very easy to throw money away on children's presents, which can sit unused before being eventually given away to neighbours, friends or recycled as presents for other kids… there are however a number of staple items which every kid not only needs, but really benefits from owning.
Kids Mountain Bikes are one of these items, offering your child the opportunity for greater freedom, fun, enjoyment as well as exercise. There are however, a number of considerations to make before purchasing a kid’s mountain bike, to ensure that you are buying a bike that your child will want to use, one which will not be wasted - sitting in the garage neglected. All too often, cheap kids mountain bikes are designed to look just like a ‘proper’ mountain bike, whilst not offering any of the performance and quality of a genuine mountain bike, for example - a lot of kids mountain bikes, have ‘show’ full suspension, which is locked out and does not operate - which can have devastating consequences for off road use.
One of the first things to consider when purchasing a kid’s mountain bike - is the size of the bike. Although thrifty parents may be tempted to buy an adults mountain bike and stick their kids on it, riding a bike which is too big for your child can take away all confidence and enjoyment. All of the bike manufacturers that we work with, issue sizing guides - which typically use the inside leg measurement for getting sizing right.
One of the other key considerations when purchasing a kids mountain bike, is weight. Cheaper mountain bikes are incredibly heavy, built with a frame likened to a scaffolding frame. Proper Mountain Bike Brands such as Giant, Scott and Cannondale, all manufacture kids bikes at a weight which means that the bikes can be ridden. So if you pick your child’s bike up and think ‘That’s heavy’ just imagine what it is like for them riding it and pushing it.
A great quality mountain bike, which is fit for purpose for your child - can be purchased for around £400 - which is a relatively small amount, considering this budget gives you access to the very best mountain bike brands. If however, this budget is still too high - try a hybrid bike which is often available at a lesser amount. A hybrid bike still gives your child a go anywhere ability, and an enjoyable ride.
Gearing on kids mountain bikes varies, and some of the most advanced kids mountain bikes have up to 24 gears. Whilst 24 gears are needed for the most able riders, we recommend that you stick to a single chainring at the front and eight gears at the back - meaning your child can change gear with just one hand, not having to worry about changing gear with the left hand. It’s also worth checking how these gears work, some gears work on a trigger operated by the thumb - whilst others work with twist handlebars, which can be more challenging to use.
Suspension wise, there are three main options to choose from - full suspension kids mountain bikes, hardtail mountain bikes with front suspension forks, and hardtail mountain bikes with rigid forks. What suspension setup you choose, will depend upon your requirements - but we find that a hardtail mountain bike with front suspension forks is a good starting point, providing the ability to try obstacles, without having to spend the extra on a full suspension setup.
The components on a kids mountain bike varies according to cost, with all of the kids mountain bikes that we supply, providing a good base level of components - which we trust to perform reliably and safely. One of the biggest differences with regards to components, is the braking system of a child’s mountain bike - which is the age old choice between V-Brakes and Disc Brakes. Disc Brakes add stopping power, but also cost.
Kids Mountain Bikes Brands
At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a massive range of kids mountain bikes from the very best brands, including Giant, Mondraker, Scott and Bergamont, all of which are available in a range of sizes from 20’’ to 26’’. You can view the full range across our site, and as always - please do get in touch if you have any questions at all about the collection. As well as stocking these bikes - we are also able to offer expert advice, meaning that you find the very best kids bike to match your requirements.