6 Best Kids Mountain Bikes in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

In yesteryears, it would have made no sense to talk about the “best kids’ mountain bike” because of the dearth of bike options. However, that isn’t the case anymore; modern tech has helped bike manufacturers mass-produce quality dual-suspension kids´ mountain bikes in record time.

These days, all the features present on adult full-suspension mountain bikes also come in miniaturized bikes to accommodate younger talents. 

I’m of the opinion that age shouldn’t play a factor in restricting one from their mountain biking ambitions. Also, if your kid has an insatiable thirst for adventure riding, you should do everything within your financial means to make the path easier for them.

I wouldn’t blame your kids for loving mountain biking. After all, it is so much fun!

Answer me this, wouldn’t it be enjoyable to rip the singletrack with your little one alongside you?

For those who don’t have the time to conduct their own research, I have just the list for you. These best kids’ bikes, which are available in every budget range, have been carefully selected to meet the different requirements of young riders.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Kids Mountain Bikes

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the kids’ mountain bikes that most people buy).

  • Commencal Meta HT 20 Top Pick
  • Trailcraft Cycles Blue Sky 20 Runner-up
  • Transition Ripcord Kids Runner-up

Top 6 Best Kids Mountain Bikes – Our Reviews:

1. Commencal Meta HT 20

The Commencal Meta HT 20 is officially recognized as the miniaturized model of the adult version with the same name, and is available for purchase in a couple of sizes including 20-inch and 24-inch wheel size.

The Commencal mountain bike comes laden with a plethora of features. Some of its notable components include huge Tektro brakes with 180 mm rotors both at the front and back, offering phenomenal stopping power, an SRAM NX1 by 11 drivetrain that ensures uphill climbs are as easy as can be, and internal cable routing to keep the bicycle lines clean and simple.

I also like the integration of the Manitou Junit 2 100 mm travel fork onto the bike; this travel fork has been specifically designed for light riders. Plus, the short axle to crown length ensures that the bike features a good geometry for kids.

I must also mention that the Meta HT 20 is versatile enough for smooth rides on a variety of terrains, including single desert tracks filled with chunky rocks, fast and smooth single tracks, and high alpine trails. This hardtail even performs exceptionally well as a downhill bike.

Pros

  • The Commencal mountain bikes are versatile enough to perform well on all types of tracks
  • Powerful Tektro mechanical disc brakes with 180 mm rotors both in the front and back
  • Well-performing travel fork helps absorb all kinds of shocks and vibrations
  • Perfect trail bike for the early rider
  • Steep seat tube angle

Cons

  • Priced a bit too steeply for my liking

2. Trailcraft Cycles Blue Sky 20

Designed to be ridden by 5 to 8-year-olds or those standing between 3’8″ to 4’8″ tall, the Trailcraft Cycles Blue sky 20-inch truly offers value for money. Weighing less than 20 pounds, this bike is one of the lightest around.

I’m also very happy that the bike comes with internal cable routing, ensuring a snag-free ride for little ones. The bike also enjoys a contemporary geometry with its 7005 series aluminum tubing frame.

You can also customize the Trailcraft Cycles Sky 20-inch mountain bike to best suit the local terrain, taste, and skill level of your young one as it’s available for purchase in three colors, two chainring sizes, and two build levels.

I’m a huge admirer of the bike’s TC30 suspension fork too. Featuring 80 mm of travel, carbon alloy lowers, and cartridge air damper, you can fully expect the fork to absorb all the shocks and vibrations felt on rough terrains.

Other notable features of the mountain bike include Shimano Deore hydraulic brakes and drivetrain, Stan’s tubeless wheelset, and stocky Vee Crown Gem tires.

Conclusively, I can say that the Trailcraft Cycles Sky 20-inch is one of the best 20-inch trail-oriented/cross-country mountain road bikes in its price range.

Pros

  • For a bike with suspension and disc brakes, the BlueSky 20 has an extremely light bike weight
  • Comes equipped with Stan’s tubeless wheelset
  • Features an air-spring 80 mm suspension fork
  • Customizable in the official bike shop to suit local terrain and the taste, skill level of your child
  • Great for off-road riding
  • The Trailcraft mountain bikes Best suited for an 8-year old

Cons

  • The pedals may need an upgrade
  • Doesn’t have thru-axles
  • There’s no routing for a dropper post
  • Some may be repelled by its high price tag

3. Transition Ripcord Kids

Why should you get a Transition Ripcord Kids bike for your kid? Well, this kids’ bicycle can travel long distances with ease, climb steep uphill trails efficiently, and offer plenty of control on singletrack descents.

However, I must admit that it has less travel than some of the other bikes on the list. To be precise—the Transition Ripcord Kids bike comes equipped with only 100 mm of front and rear suspension travel.

The Ripcord kids’ bicycle is also renowned for offering a balanced steering geometry. With its 710 mm handlebar and 67-degree head angle on a pair of 24-inch wheels, you can expect this kids’ bicycle to offer max support on climbs and plenty of steering leverage on the technical sections of the trails.

I also like that the kids’ bicycle offers a low standover height for the convenience of young kids.

I think this kids’ bicycle does a phenomenal job of upgrading the skills of a rider. Without too much suspension travel to rely on, kids will be forced to depend on their natural skillset to get by on the bike.

Other notable aspects of the bike include an SRAM GX 1 x 10 drivetrain, powerful Shimano brakes, and RockShox 30 fork, and Monarch R shock.

Get this bike for your kids if you want them to grow substantially as a rider.

Pros

  • The Ripcord mountain bikes come equipped with high-quality Maxxis Minion tires
  • Offers a fine balance of suspension travel and frame geometry
  • One of few good  kids mountain bikes in its price range
  • Easy to operate brake levers

Cons

  • Doesn’t have internal cable routing
  • The brakes can’t be adjusted without tools

4. Cleary Bikes Scout

The Cleary Bike Scout brings plenty to the table. Available in both 24-inch  and 26-inch wheel size, this bike is equipped with all the features you’d expect in a premium kids´ mountain bike.

Blessed with the integration of Suntour Air fork with 80 mm of travel on the 24-inch and 100 mm on the 26-inch, this bike is well-capable of absorbing all the shocks and vibrations felt on rough terrains. Also, if that weren’t enough, even the steel frame of the bike has shock-absorbing properties.

You needn’t worry about your kid going fast on this bike either as the Scout comes equipped with powerful hydraulic Tektro brakes. As for the drivetrain, the bike has 10-speed trigger shifters with a Deore derailleur.

This bike is best suited for kids who already have experience riding on dirt and are willing to take their adventures further by participating in longer, rougher rides.

Although the Scout excels in all departments, I do have a small complaint. I don’t think the tires on the Cleary are wide enough to provide optimum comfort on bumpy rides.

Leaving that small complaint aside, if you’re looking for a fun, durable mountain bike for your kid, the Scout will work like a charm.  

Pros

  • The scout mountain bikes feature powerful Tektro disc V-brakes
  • Well-performing Suntour Air suspension with 80 mm of travel
  • Available in both 24-inch and 26-inch wheels
  • One of the few good kids’ bikes in terms of overall performance

Cons

  • Tires aren’t wide enough to provide optimum comfort on bumpy rides

5. Woom Off

There are many things that make the Woom Off bike brand a standout performer in the “kid’s mountain bike” section.

First of all, this bike comes in a variety of wheel sizes—20”, 24”, and 26”—to accommodate young riders of every size. It is also equipped with high-volume, wide Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires that can tackle any terrain including trail riding.

Plus, for the safety of your junior rider, the makers have integrated powerful hydraulic disc brakes onto the bike. As for the drivetrain, the bike has 9-speed trigger shifters and SRAM derailleur.

One look at the bike and you’ll quickly notice that the bike has a fairly contemporary geometry design that isn’t as aggressive as other kids’ bikes. Although the Woom Off boasts a lightweight aluminum frame, don’t bet against the Woom Off to survive the test of time as the bike is loaded with only the finest quality components.

Although the Woom Off doesn’t feature a suspension fork, it’s still able to offer a comfortable, bumpy-free ride largely on account of its wide tires. For the front suspension option, you’d have to go for the AIR version.

While the Woom Off with its rigid carbon fork is ideal for riders who primarily ride on smooth dirt trails, the Woom Off Air is better suited for aggressive rides on technical trails.

Pros

  • Lightweight beyond belief
  • Comes equipped with powerful hydraulic disc brakes
  • Features thru-axles both in the front and rear
  • Has high-volume, wide Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires
  • One of the few good mountain bikes for kids

Cons

  • The cables aren’t internally-routed
  • Doesn’t have a quick-release seatpost collar

6. Rocky Mountain Reaper

Equipped with a high-shock suspension system and wide 24-inch wheels, the full-suspension bike, Rocky Mountain Reaper, is certain to boost the confidence of young riders. The suspension system has 120 mm travel on the front and 130 mm at the rear, which should be enough to ensure a smooth, bumpy-free ride.

Why is there more travel at the back? It’s because kids are known to put their weight more on the rear end than the front fork.

What’s great about the full-suspension Mountain Reaper is the fact that the frame of the bike can also be converted to operate 26-inch wheels. So, if your little one grows quicker than anticipated, you can always upgrade the full-suspension bike to suit their height and skill level.

Moreover, for the safety of junior riders, the Mountain Reaper features Shimano hydraulic brakes and 180 mm rotors both at the front and rear, which should be enough stopping power for even the most aggressive riders.

Overall, the Rocky Mountain Reaper full-suspension bike offers full value for money, so you can go for this bicycle without any hesitation.

Pros

  • The Mountain Reaper bikes feature Shimano hydraulic brakes and 180 mm rotors both at the front and rear
  • Can accommodate both 24-inch wheels  and 26-inch wheels
  • One of the best mountain bikes for kids

Cons

  • Only suitable for the experienced junior rider

What to Consider When Buying the Best Kids’ Mountain Bikes?

Now, you must think carefully before investing in a kid´s mountain bike.

You must take into account the fact that your kid will outgrow his ride in a couple of years. Unless you are rich enough to burn through cash, it wouldn’t make sense to splurge on exorbitantly priced kid´s balance bikes.

Also, look into the fit and size of the bike. Too big a bike and your child will lose interest in a matter of days.

It’s also important to pay attention to the bike geometry and ensure the bike gives your little rider confidence through the ease of handling.

As for frame material, there’s no need for you to go big with a carbon fiber balance bike. As long as the mountain bike frame is durable and lightweight enough for your 10 or 8-year-old child, it will serve well.

For the tires, you can either opt for solid tires or your standard air-filled tires.

Go for solid tires if you want zero maintenance and don’t want to face the possibility of a flat tire. However, understand that such tires will not offer as much grip and cushion as air-filled tires.

Conclusion

If you don’t like the mountain bikes for kids reviewed above, you’re free to conduct your own research and find a suitable bike for your child. However, if you’re looking for a recommendation, I’d point you towards the Meta HT 20 bikes.

As is the case for the best mountain bikes, this bike for kids comes laden with a plethora of features including huge Tektro disc brakes, a well-performing travel fork capable of absorbing all kinds of shocks and vibrations, and an SRAM NX1 by 11 drivetrain that ensures uphill climbs are as easy as can be.

This hardtail even performs exceptionally well on steep downhills.