Last Updated: October 2016
If you’re looking to get out and about with your kid and enjoy some wonderful scenery and some physical challenges, then mountain biking is the way forward. If your child is not used to being on a mountain bike, then you may want to think about buying a level entry one.
A lot of people are put off from buying a good beginner mountain bike because they think they are expensive, where as in reality, they’re not as costly as you may think. You can easily get your hands on a good quality bike that has some great features and is built to last. The trick is to know exactly what you’re looking for, and of course, what you need.
While you’re shopping for a good starter kids mountain bike, you should be on the look-out for those that seem to cut corners, to make sure you don’t buy a duff bike.
There are some beginner kids bikes out there that are very cheap, but they’re cheap for a reason. If you’re planning on lots of cycling and fun days out, you’ll need a bike that’s up to scratch.
Look for a bike that has a good reputation (Read the customer reviews if there are any), and one that isn’t too cheap. Those very cheap mountain bikes are not likely to last as long as you’d hope, so be prepared to spend a little bit more on a new mountain bike.
The Best Kids Mountain Bikes Reviewed
Here are 5 of what I consider to be some of the best kids mountain bikes around right now:
Overdrive Sport Mountain Bike by Diamondback Bicycles
A Diamondback mountain bike is thought to be one of the better types of bikes out there. This is because they are hardy, and you don’t generally get many problems with them.
The Overdrive Sport comes with impressive 29-inch wheels that make riding over a variety of terrains easier than you think. What’s more is the sheer size of the wheels also helps you to rely less on the suspension to get you over those rocks and ditches. The larger the wheels on a mountain bike are, the better your riding experience will be.
Shimano Acera rear derailleur
The Shimano Acera rear derailleur is a nice piece of equipment that has been added to this mountain bike in order to ensure you can change gear with ease. The rapid fire shifters that come with this bike as standard, ensure that you have no trouble switching between gears as and when you need to.
The disc brakes
You’ll find that a lot of older mountain bikes came with rim brakes, but these weren’t always reliable. When you’re cycling in wet or muddy conditions, you need to be sure that your brakes won’t fail you. The addition of disc brakes gives you better results and ensures that you’re much more likely to stop or slow down when you need to, keeping you in control.
This mountain bike is a little steep. You will be getting what you pay for, but if you’re looking for a starter bike, a cheaper one may be your best option.
When you first start biking, you’re not likely to need and all-singing-all-dancing model, a basic one with good brakes, gears and derailleur will probably do just fine. If you want to pay a premium price for this bike, you might want to make sure you use it a lot so you get your money’s worth.
- Good looking bike
- Great derailleurs
- Disc brakes that keep the rider in control
- Good sized wheels
- The handle bars can be too low for anyone over 6 foot
- Pretty expensive
Cobra Junior Boy’s Mountain Bike by Diamondback Bicycles
Again we have another Diamondback mountain bike, but this one is geared towards boys who may have recently discovered how great mountain biking is.
Heavy Duty Frame
The heavy duty frame adds extra strength, which is what we want when we see our children go all out on their new bike. The steel that the frame has been constructed from also adds a touch of durability too, which means your kid can keep pedaling and enjoying the outdoors.
This junior boys’ mountain bike comes with 7 speeds, allow your son to go as fast as they need to, so he can keep up. The derailleur on this particular model isn’t bad at all, and it allows for a quick change of gears as and when they are needed.
This mountain bike comes with front and rear brakes as standard, but they are not known for their efficacy, and it’s likely that you will need to adjust them, or perhaps get them replaced if you can.
- Nice color
- Good suspension
- Good derailleurs
- The brakes aren’t as good as they should be
- Chain has a tendency to rust
Beyond B24 MTB 24 inch Mountain Bike
If you’re looking for beginner mountain bikes, then you may want to consider the Beyond 24 inch bicycle. While this is not the biggest bike around, it has been made for children, which means your kids can come with you when you want to enjoy a day out cycling up a mountain or two.
24 Inch Tyres
As far as children’s mountain bikes go, this one has some impressive tires. The bigger the tires are, the easier it will be to get over anything that’s in your kids’ path. Smaller kids may struggle to use the bike, so it’s worth checking to see if your children can sit on a bike with 24-inch tires.
The lightweight frame makes the bike easier to handle, which will encourage your child to keep going. Bikes that are heavy can be quite cumbersome to use, so choosing a lighter one will go down well.
Incredibly, not all mountain bikes come with a kickstand, however, this model does, which means when it’s time to take a break, the bike can be supported with ease. Again, this feature makes it easier to use, which makes this model one of an ideal mountain bike for beginners
- 24-inch tires
- White color, which shows dirt easily
- More expensive than some bikes
Mantis Boy’s B 24 Raptor Hardtail MTB
Another bike that could be considered the best mountain bike for the price is the Mantis Boy’s MTB Bike. This bike is considerably cheaper than some, which could leave you wondering why.
Many child’s mountain bikes come with just 7 speeds, but this model has an impressive 21. This bike is known as a ‘Starter’ mountain bike, but it’s not clear as to why there are so many gears available. Those who are beginning to go mountain biking for the first time are unlikely to need so many gears, but this could well be a feature that attracts a lot of interest.
Shimano Tourney TZ rear derailleur
The good quality derailleur that comes with this bike as standard ensures that a change of gear is fairly easy. This is ideal if you’re tackling hills or other terrains that require a little more effort.
24 Inch Tyres
A lot of level entry bikes have smaller tires, which makes these 24-inch tires a bit of an added bonus. The larger sized tires make it easier to tackle many different terrains, and that in itself ensures a better riding experience.
- Low price
- Good size tires
- A lot of gears that are unlikely to be used
- Linear brakes that may not respond to well in wet conditions
Tess Junior Girl’s Mountain Bike by Diamondback
The Diamondback Junior Girl’s mountain bike is a good looking bike that has become quite popular. With its heavy duty steel frame, you can be sure that it will last a long time and give your daughter the confidence she needs to enjoy cycling.
40mm Suspension Fork
The 40mm suspension fork allows for comfortable biking over hilly and stony terrains. The fork responds reasonably well, ensuring a better riding experience.
Although a lot of bikes come with more speeds, 7 should be enough to ensure your daughter can keep up with you. The steeper the mountain or track, the more likely the gears will need to be changed, but this shouldn’t be a problem for the derailleur that has been designed to cope with those frequent changes.
24 Inch Tyres
The size of the tires is pretty standard, and although they are not the biggest, they will help to make terrains easier to cross. If you’re looking for bigger tires, then you may want to consider buying a bigger mountain bike, or one that is targeted towards boys or adults. Alternatively, you may have to wait until your daughter is a little more experienced so that she can ride a bike that has larger tires with ease.
- 7 speeds
- 24 inch wheels
- Heavy duty frame
- A little expensive
- Linear brakes
- No kickstand
So Who’s The Winner?
When we consider all of the above mountain bikes, it’s clear to see that the Diamondback Overdrive Hardtail MTB is the best kids mountain bike. Although this particular model is geared towards adults, taller/older children may find using it a little easier than a child’s model.
The sheer number of impressive features, as well as the lack of downsides, proves that the Diamondback 2014 Overdrive is well worth the money. The disc brakes and the size of the wheels all add to the user experience and allow for a smoother and more secure and safer ride. What more could you ask for?
If I was to put a bike in second place, I would suggest that the Beyond B24 MTB 24 inch Bicycle is worth of its position, simply due to its ease of use and a good number of features, such as the kickstand, lightweight frame and good sized tires.
Wrapping It Up
As you are probably aware, there are a lot of mountain bikes available on the market right now. This can present a bit of a problem if you’re looking for the best mountain bikes for beginners. Not only are you swamped with a huge choice of bikes, but you’re also told that each bike you consider is ultimately the best.
When it comes to choosing the right mountain bike for you, you need to consider what you’re going to use it for, and how much you’re willing to spend on it. If you take these two factors into consideration, you’ll narrow down your choice.
For example, if you’re looking for a starter bike, but you don’t intend to climb any mountains, then you won’t need one that has 21 gears and really great suspension. If you’re looking to spend less than $300 on a bike, you won’t end up with the best quality bike around, but you should be able to come home with something pretty decent.
When you’re shopping for the mountain bike in question, regardless of what you’re using it for, please make sure that it has a good reputation. This is especially important as far as the brakes are concerned.
Some cheaper models do not have great brakes, so you may want to avoid them or figure out a way you can tighten or replace the brakes. If you buy a new bike that uses good quality brakes (Preferably disc brakes), then you’re onto a real winner.
Lastly, please don’t forget to take your time to shop for the right entry level mountain bike, as you may later regret a purchase that you didn’t put much thought into. The quality of the bike can have a huge impact on your enjoyment of mountain biking, so please carefully consider any purchases that you do make.
Start looking for beginner mountain bikes today, so that you can enjoy the outdoors and the thrill of cycling that only mountain bikes can give you.