Kids Mountain Bikes – Tips On Kids Bike Sizes

kids mountain bikes

You know what your kids want for their next birthday, they have been dropping hints all year long. They have their heart set on a new mountain bike…But How Do You Choose The Best Kids Bike Online ?

I do have to admit a bias’s, I believe buying online is the way score a cheap bike.

Even though you will find hundreds of bikes for sale at great prices – it is not as simple as  it seems – not all bikes are created equal before you buy online you need a basic understanding of the essential features that any good bike should have…

Making sense of the more detailed descriptions without a sales person explaining the detail can be confusing… one thing you must get right is the correct frame size for your child, as well, there are a few other important features to look out for that define a good quality bike.

Don’t be tempted to just use the highest ticket price or a recognizable brand name as the only indicator of quality ? This is not a reliable way to choose a bike…

Our article and video will help ease the confusion and answer a few of  your questions… we list the main features you should look for when buying kids mountain bikes online or in a store, as well as, we have an excellent easy to follow video on how to choose the correct bike sizes for kids.

When choosing a bike,  keep in mind your child will out grow their bike every 2-3 years – so don’t over spend, allow for the fact you may be giving the bike to a friend or donating it to a charity organization in a couple of years.

Kids Bike Sizes :

One important factor when choosing a bike for your child is to understand the difference between adult bike sizing and kid’s bike sizing.

Adult bikes are sized by their frame. Children’s bikes are sized by the diameter of their tires. It goes as follows.

Height=Tire Size.
• 42-48 inch tall child = 18-inch Bike diameter ( usually, ages 6-9)
• 48-56 inch tall child =  20-inch Bike diameter (usually, ages 8-12)
• 56-62 inch tall child =  24-inch Bike diameter ( usually, ages 13-15)

You can generally base the size of bike your child needs, off of their height.

How To Choose A Mountain Bike For Kids:

Most bike brands will try to offer 7-speeds for children’s mountain bikes but the reality is your child is unlikely to even notice that 7th gear, let alone use it. If your kids are under 15 years old they aren’t going to be jumping off the side of a mountain, or at least we hope they aren’t, so they won’t require that higher gear shift…

What Are The Best Mountain Bike Frames and Components :

    • The aluminum frames cost more but are noticeably lighter plus don’t corrode as easily as steel frames
    • Almost all kids bikes have bolt on wheels ideal if you plan to put the bike in a car? but it requires easy wheel removal, then spending a little more for a bike with quick release wheels is recommended or allow for the extra cost of fitting a quick release.
    • The more aggressive the tread on your the tires, the more effort it takes to pedal a bike, choose less aggressive tires for predominantly road use and knobbly tires for off-road and wet muddy trails.
    • Bike companies will have you think a 7-speed bike is better than a 6-speed bike, but don’t let the  number of gears influence you too much, but if possible look for Shimano or SRAM derailleurs they tend to the best quality, whatever the model.
    • An indicator of better quality bikes, are the quality of materials used in the components these are normally listed in the bikes description when buying your bike online the good manufacturers/wholesalers will always provide full and accurate descriptions – if the bike description is very short, be very wary of that bike. (there is probably a reason they can’t find anything good to say about the bike they are selling !?)
    • Buy bikes with metal brake levers, not plastic, plastic will always snap with just average use.

Components such as brakes are obviously a very important feature to consider. Hand brakes allow your child to control when their bike stops by using their hands. Coaster brakes are engaged when your child peddles backward. You should go with hand brakes if your child is older and coaster brakes if your child is still quite young.

Kids Mountain Bikes are generally designed to be gender neutral except for colors and vanity features. The frame of the bike comes down to comfort for your child the seat height is adjustable which allows for fine tuning and further adjustment as the child grows taller, as long as you choose the right frame size your child will find their bike comfortable…

To Sum Up : a few of the most important things to look for when choosing a mountain bike, is the safety factors such as good brakes (metal brakes not plastic) and reflectors on wheel spokes, bike frame and pedals, as wells as, as we have mentioned does the bike fit reasonably well (allowing room for your child to grow into their bike)

There are two must-have accessories for every kid’s bike, that is a good quality bike lock and a properly fitted helmet.

About the Author Ian

Ian is the Chief Editor here at OnlineBikesShop, a reformed Cycle Traveler... now a dedicated stay-at-home dad of a very active 5 yr old, a keen mountain biker with a passion for all types of bikes, the outdoors, and keeping fit...

Phil says

Thanks for this post! I’m going to forward it to my brother in law. He’s trying to buy a bike for his son this holiday season, and is not sure how to go about it. I guess it’s been a while since any of us were kids, and we’ve forgotten how to pick a bike!

okere918 says

Hi Phil, its great you found the post useful – there is a greater range of bikes to choose from now which is great of course, but it makes the job of buying a kids bike a little more difficult – glad to help.

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