Mountain Bike for Kids

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This topic contains 29 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  brianW 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #78181

    My 6 year old son is starting to come with me to the trails. It’s so great to see how he really enjoys riding them. He rides over small rocks, roots, he falls down when he hits what he calls “sand trapsâ€

  • #78182

    First off, I think it’s absolutely phenominal that you’ve got your 6 year old out there riding with you. I’ve got an 18-month-old daughter, and I can’t wait until she’s old enough to ride with me. So, great job getting your kid into riding.
    As far as whether or not it’s worth the investment of a more expensive bike…in my opinion I think it is. Even though the little one isn’t doing anything crazy right now, he’d still probably be better-served on a bit nicer, sturdier bike rather than a dept store bike. And after he outgrows it, you can always hand it down to another kid you know, or get a few bucks out of it on ebay or craigslist. That’s my opinion…I’m sure others will chime in with some fantastic advice. Good luck!

  • #78183

    Take a look at a Trek 220 – It’s a 24" but is adjustable to fit kids as young as 6.
    They include many "Dialed" Fit-Specific components which are adjustable to match the reach of various age kids. (This seems to vary somewhat depending on which flavor/year of the 220 you’re looking at.) For example, the stem on my son’s has a fully upright position (6 yrs) all the way to fully forward (10+.) Even the cranks have extra sets of holes to allow for the shorter pedal stroke length of younger legs. The brake levers too, are designed with smaller hands in mind. Though not adjustable, they require very little reach, making it easy for smaller kids to 1 or 2 finger brake.

    at ~$250 list (I think we dropped just under 200) it’s been a good value for us, and has withstood everything our son and the neighborhood kids could throw at it.

  • #78184

    I agree that it is great that you have your kid out there already. the coolest part is that as he gets older you will find that he is practically fearless. I also agree that it is worth the money to get him a better bike. They are better made and typically lighter which makes a big difference when you’re small. It also will allow you to take the oppurtunity to teach him about the bike and how to care for it. I would suggest looking at the Trek MT 60 or similar….

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/ki … _6_9/mt60/

  • #78185

    Thanks a lot for the suggestions. I actually found a local bike shop that has both the Trek and the Specialized in stock. I’m taking my kid to the store this weekend so he can try them out. I’ll let you know how it goes.
    Chili, you know what I ride, so you also know for which one I’ll be pulling for 😀 , but at the end it’s going to be his decision.
    I’m sure he’s going to thank you all everytime he’s out in the trails having a great time with his new rig.

  • #78186

    My 8 year old has been riding a Specialized Hotrock for the last year. I got it second hand on eBay. It’s only a 24" wheel. My son is not tall enough for a regular bike yet. Maybe in another year or so. The bike is or was about 30 pounds. I changed the seat and post and shaved 1/2 a pound off the bike.

    Change the picture of the bike here: http://www.bikinghikingwithkids.com/mou … sons-ride/

    I paid around $140. Except for one paint chip, the bike was like new. I saved on the shipping because the seller was close to my house and I was able to pick it up. I can probably resell it for around $100.00.

    Save money by buying your son a good quality second hand bike. he will enjoy riding it and when he outgrows the bike, you can resell it and recoup most of the money you originally paid.

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  • #78187

    We got our son an "X-Games Moto Bike" two years ago and he still hardly rides it. I think it is just too much work for him due to its heaviness and the fact that the seat is made like a moto-cross bike, so it sits up high.

    I found a Trek Jet 16 on Craigslist for $50. I wonder if it is worth a shot to get that (if still available) to see if he has a better time on it.

    My son just turned 6, and Trek’s site lists the bike for kids ages 4-6, so I have some concerns about him outgrowing it fast. Then again, it might be just what he needs to progress. Any opinions out there?

  • #78188

    My now 8yo daughter is a phenomenal rider. I started her at 6yo on a 20" 6spd Specialized Hotrock hardtail, and she currently has the exact same bike in a 24" 21spd.

    This bike is solidly built with "real" components that will easily last through 2-3 or more kids.

    It’s essentially a miniature Rockhopper.
    Image

    Current Boys’ Model

    Bottom line: get him a decent bike that’s comfortable and doesn’t break down on him. It will cost more, but he will be safer and he will have more fun, and therefore hopefully stick with it.

    Also, you can pick these up used on Craigslist or eBay for around $100

    Obligatory action shots: (from the 20")

    Image

    Image

  • #78189
    "fleetwood" wrote

    My son just turned 6, and Trek’s site lists the bike for kids ages 4-6, so I have some concerns about him outgrowing it fast. Then again, it might be just what he needs to progress. Any opinions out there?

    Yes, for a 6yo, the 16" will be too small soon, if not already. Go with the 20"

    **Speaking from experience, I currently have 6yo and 8yo girls**

  • #78190
    "foxrider71" wrote

    Goose, you know what I ride, so you also know for which one I’ll be pulling for 😀 , but at the end it’s going to be his decision.
    I’m sure he’s going to thank you all everytime he’s out in the trails having a great time with his new rig.

    My LBS also carries both, and my daughter rode both. IMO, the mini Specialized is a much closer approximation to the adult versions than the mini Trek.

    **This is not a reflection on Trek in general, so don’t flame me**

    foxrider71, you’ll see what I mean when you’re at the LBS, and I have run across other makes of kids bikes at places like Dicks Sporting Goods or Sports Authority that look very similar to the Trek, but for less $$

    Just keep an open mind is all I’m sayin’ 😉

  • #78191

    I just bought a Trek Jet 20 for my boy who just turned 7. He was on a 16" wally world special before this bike. Night and day difference in his riding ability. I would highly recomend a good quality bike for younger riders. The light weight is very impresive.

    Stephen

  • #78192

    yeah, my 8yo is already eyeing my Giant Trance and has indicated she wants a pink Yeti 575 when she’s tall enough.

    Heck, her inseam is only 4" shorter than mine, she can start riding the Giant pretty soon!

  • #78193

    Yeah, our riding out here is "XC with drops" more than straight freeride, and since they developed the Yetis on trails about 15 minutes from where I’m sitting…

    What I’m saying is Yeti is *the* Colorado technical singletrack bike, IMHO

    She’s old enough for a racing series they have up in the mountains, but she needs a little more singletrack under her belt first…next year I’ll enter her in it for sure.

  • #78194

    My oldest son is also 6 and loves to bike everywhere. I got him a rare 18 inch wheel bike at Canadian tire. It’s a great size for him, but the the gear shifter sucks( grip shifter ) so he has a hard time changing gears. But nothing makes you prouder as parent as watching your kids rip it up better than you could at that age or older. It almost makes up for them making me loose my hair.

  • #78195

    Hey everybody. I finally had the time to sit down and give an update. My son finished school last week, and as promised, thanks to his good grades, he got his new mtb. We finally went for the Trek MT 60. The determining factor for him to choose this one: "Wow, the black and blue color looks cooler dad!" 😃 . We went riding the next day after a big storm and he had a great time. What a difference. Only 25 lbs for this 20", that’s 2 lbs lighter than his old 16". A few of the climbs that he always walked with his old bike, he now made them look easy. He just went crazy across mud and sections with standing water, like if they weren’t there. He finally learned that he has to use the brake levers instead of the pedals to stop, thanks to a tree and then a fence that he rode into. He’s OK, he wasn’t really going that fast. Now he’s also figuring out the gears: "Dad, if I use # 1 and #2 to go up and #5 and #6 when it’s flat, what is #4 for? 😀 😀 .
    I didn’t have the camera with me that day, but here are a few action shots with his old bike. I’ll bring the camera with me next weekend.
    Image

    Image

    Image

    Chili, hope you feel better now. Sorry to hear about the Tillman trails. I rode the Wickham Park trails two weeks ago, got lost a couple of times, but had a fun time out there.

  • #78196

    Those are some great shots, Fox. Thanks for sharing. Best part of riding with the younguns is the memories you build for both of you.

    Couple questions… Where are you going to mount that cool number plate on a MTB? 😃
    And, why just kneepads? Reason I ask is: When my kid gets bloody from a bike spill, it has never once been the knees. Usually elbows and forearms from getting defensive. The legs are still tucked in with the bike. And in my own bloody spills, ditto. Arms, shoulders, hips, shins (pedals and branches,) and even my back, but never a knee. Plus, those straps on kneepads are just annoying…

  • #78197
    "maddslacker" wrote

    [quote="fleetwood":1m8okt30]My son just turned 6, and Trek’s site lists the bike for kids ages 4-6, so I have some concerns about him outgrowing it fast. Then again, it might be just what he needs to progress. Any opinions out there?

    Yes, for a 6yo, the 16" will be too small soon, if not already. Go with the 20"

    **Speaking from experience, I currently have 6yo and 8yo girls**[/quote:1m8okt30]

    Funny how things work out. A friend received a Trek Jet (16") from a relative and let me have it. I’ve hardly been able to get my kid off of it. It may be on the small side for him, but most importantly he is riding it and enjoying it a ton. We’re going for rides around the neighborhood together nearly every day. I need to get him out on a trail ride soon.

    We were at the LBS the other day and we were looking at the 20" Trek, which still looks a little big for him. I made him a deal though. If he can go a week without dumping the 16" bike on the asphalt, we will go back and test ride it. The boy is now on a mission. I figure by Christmas or birthday (May), we’ll probably have a new bike in the garage. 😃

    The Wal-Mart bike is for sale on Craigslist as of today.

  • #78198

    After an all day search taking out our son Christopher to all the bike shops looking at bikes in search of a 24" hardtail,some helpful salespeople said he may be ready for a small frame 26" and they were right,he does great and fits well after a few test rides.

    The ones that stood out were the Specialized Hotrock and a Fuju some model,gotta look it up.

    Little man growin up!

  • #78199

    Hi just found the web site and thought I would just say we just bought my 6 yr old son a black and yellow specialized hotrock 20. Christmas break we will be out breaking it in on the local trails. He is foaming at the mouth to get out and ride it.

  • #78200

    +1 for the Hotrock, both of my daughters ride them.

  • #78201

    Resurrecting this old thread to say I’ve outfitted my kids (girl 9, boy 7.5) with a couple of Trek MT 220’s and my dream of having them join me on the local single-track is nearing reality. We’ve still got some mounting and dismounting issues to iron out but they will get there. Sticking to the paved rails-to-trails greenways for now. As far as quality goes, the Trek is leaps and bounds better than the Walmart special I got them last year and i spent (CraigsList for $150 each) about the same.

  • #78202
    "Xerien" wrote

    why just kneepads? Reason I ask is: When my kid gets bloody from a bike spill, it has never once been the knees. Usually elbows and forearms from getting defensive. The legs are still tucked in with the bike. And in my own bloody spills, ditto. Arms, shoulders, hips, shins (pedals and branches,) and even my back, but never a knee. Plus, those straps on kneepads are just annoying…

    I bought my kids of pair of leather gloves, a helmet, and insist the wear a good pair of shoes. I might look into some elbow/forarm (dont slide when they meet your glove at the wrist) for them. I’m padded (POC is expensive but comfortable) from head to toe when I ride my 36" unicycle in high gear. 😮

  • #78203

    My boy is 4, he’s been riding his 12" with training wheels. It’s a wore out 4th gen hand me down, but he rides the piss out of it!! He just expressed intrest in taking off the tw’s so we are gonna work on that this weekend.

    I think Santa is bringing him a new bike this year……. He’ll be getting a 16". Do I buy a 100 dollar beater from walmart, or spend an extra $100 and buy him a nice one from the LBS? I figure he’ll outgrow it in a few years so surely a wally world bike would last, but are the nicer ones at the LBS lighter? What would be my justification to spend more on it? I’m not looking to resell it when he outgrows it either so resell value shouldn’t be a parameter.

  • #78204

    In my experiene the bike shop bikes are better to learn on for the little ones. The geometry is typically better (e.g. lower top tubes) and the weight is less. My son struggled with his first 16" bike, but as soon as he hopped on the Trek Jet he was unstoppable.

    A couple of pounds may not sound like much to you (except to the fanatical weight weenies), but how much does your kid weigh? A couple of lbs it’s proporationatly more weight for him to control.

    Look around online for a used one to save a few bucks. I was fortunate in that I didn’t have to pay for my boy’s 16", but I shelled out the bucks to the LBS for the 20". In the market for a 24" (or maybe XS 26er) now.

  • #78205

    Another bonus for going with the LBS is you know the bike will be put together properly.

  • #78206

    I stopped in the lbs today and checked them out….. definitely the way to go! My boys 12" bike weighs more than my bike, and my bike isn’t exactly a lean machine!

  • #78207

    Well guys I read your posts and you write very nice but I want a suggestion from you guys.
    I want to give a present to my younger sister on her birthday and when I see this forum I got the idea of mountain bike. But I am not familiar with bike so guys will you suggest me which bike I should buy for her. She is 9 year old and now she will turn into 10. So guys please give me some suggestion before 24th Oct.

    flexiglass canopies

  • #78208
  • #78209

    I looked around at everything out there last spring while looking for a good MTB for my 8 year old daughter. She is very tall for her age, so we needed a 24" bike for her and found lots of similar bikes as far as weight, quality frame and components, etc… If your sister is big enough, another really good option is to buy an XS 26" frame and then build it up with the components you want from there. We ended up getting her a Specialized Hotrock AS F1 which cost a little more than some of the others ($380 new at my LBS) but it has really been worth it. It is lighter than most of the other quality bikes and it has a bit better fork, better frame geometry, and as good or better components. But the best thing about it by far has been the granny gear. It has an extra large sprocket on the rear cluster(34T) that has made it possible for her to spin right up stuff she would never have had a prayer to do before. Consequently, it has been so much more fun for her to ride and her confidence has skyrocketed. By the end of the summer she did her first real MTB race in the under 14 age category. She had to ride 7.5 miles, all on singletrack with some technical sections here and there, and she did great. She has come farther than I ever could have imagined when I bought the bike.

    Bottom line: Get the lightest, best quality bike you can afford, and then give her the time and space to get comfortable and confident on it. A cheap, heavy, crappy bike will just frustrate her and she won’t want to ride it at all after a short time. Ebay and Craigslist have kid’s bikes all the time if you watch for them which can save you a bundle too. Good luck!

  • #78210

    Yesterday we picked up a Specialized Hardrock Sport with a 13 inch frame in very good condition for my 10 yo daughter off of Craigslist. We’re in the market for a 24" bike to upgrade her trek which was bought used and went through her older sisters already. it is her Christmas gift but……..she really likes it, fits good and she has some growing room for it.

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