By the time kids reach the 8 to 10 age- range, they are truly becoming capable of putting in some substantial miles on the trail with Mom and Dad. As you know, mountain biking is rough and taxing on the components of bikes and kids need a quality build too.
Below is an overview of some of the best 24” cross country mountain bikes available. We’ve grouped them into our “top 5” favorites and then a bunch of other bikes that are worthy of your consideration as well.
As you peruse the weight, price, and build info, you’ll probably notice a trend. The bigger brands are good at building bikes at an affordable price point, but don’t necessarily consider the bodyweight ratio of a child and their bike. The small boutique brands, on the other hand, are offering lighter frames with components designed to specifically fit little ones but come with a steeper price tag.
If you’re a bike geek, make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom to see our big comparison chart with specs.
Note: We’ve primarily stuck with hard-tail cross-country bikes on this list. If you’re looking for a downhill or more trail-oriented bike, check out our list of the 24 Inch Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes.
Top 5 24 Inch Kids Mountain Bikes
|Bike||What Makes It Special||Price|
|1||Trailcraft Pineridge||Super light build, Stans Crest MK3 wheels||$1,499+|
|2||Prevelo Zulu 4||Slack geometry, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes||$899+|
|3||Spawn Yama Jama 24||Rock Shox Reba 100mm fork, Brood 2.3 tires||$1,295|
|4||Orbea MX 24 Team Disc||Lightweight build, rigid fork, tubeless-ready||$649|
|5||Commencal Meta HT 24||Manitou 120mm fork, tubeless-ready wheels||$999|
With multiple build kits and color options, the Tailcraft Pineridge 24 is a versatile xc ripper for your young ones. We would probably select the cheapest full build available, but like any other bike, the higher end components are available…for a price.
At a mere 21.5 pounds, the Trailcraft Pineridge is one of the lightest xc kids bikes on the market. Trailcraft also offers a titanium version if your little person is SPOILED! Stans Crest MK3 wheels help round out a build with a quality component spec that will leave you drooling and wishing you had one too.
Read Review: Trailcraft Blue Sky 20 (smaller version of the Pineridge)
Price: $1,499 – $2,199
Prevelo Zulu 4
The Prevelo Zulu 4 is an eye-popping hardtail designed for small riders. The bike comes in two versions, a standard build and the Zulu 4 HEIR.
Both versions have a slack geometry design and plenty of plushness upfront to allow the mini shredder in your life to not only keep up but remain comfortable and really open up on the trail.
This bike is definitely a cross-country ripper with a Shimano drivetrain, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes and in-house components designed to fit kids. They’ve recently updated the bikes to include tubeless-ready wheels and internal routing for a dropper post should you choose to add one.
Read Review: Prevelo Zulu 3 HEIR (smaller version of the Zulu 4)
Spawn Yama Jama 24
Spawn has become nearly synonymous with children’s mountain bikes and for good reason. The creators of Spawn sought to create quality kids mountain bikes so their kiddos could ride with them and enjoy all the benefits of a nice bike.
The Spawn Yama Jama is their hard-tail trail ripper. With a Rock Shox Reba 100mm fork, SRAM drivetrain, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Brood (child-specific brand) components, and Brood 2.3 tires your little ones can cruise with the freshman NICA class and have enough beef in the bike to conquer chunky trails.
Read Review: Spawn Yama Jama 24
Orbea MX 24 Team Disc
There are plenty of reasons to choose a fully rigid bike for your child, but chief amongst them are weight savings and cost savings. The Orbea MX 24 Team Disc has tubeless-ready wheels, hydraulic disc brakes, and super compact geometry. For the price, it probably can’t be beaten.
Commencal Meta HT 24
Like it’s adult-sized counterpart, the Meta HT is a hard-tail steed capable of all-mountain and cross-country riding.
Commencal checks all the boxes with a 120 mm Manitou fork, SRAM drivetrain, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Alex rims, and Vee Tiro Co 2.6″ tires. A lightweight build with a progressive geometry design provides a ripping machine for pre-teen trail smashers.
Other 24″ XC Bikes to Consider
While these bikes didn’t make our Top 5, they are each worthy of consideration and some of them may be easier to find locally than the Top 5.
Early Rider Trail 24
These British bikes are absolutely beautiful! A solid component build includes SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes, Maxxis Snyper tires, and Spinner air fork.
The Early Rider Trail 24 was designed to help the preteen in your life to get after it on the trail.
Frog MTB 62
Frog Bikes makes amazing bikes for kids, and the Frog MTB 62 is no exception. The bike has 65mm of travel, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano drivetrain, and Kenda tires. At 24.9 pounds it’s not THE lightest mountain bike around, but for this price point it is tough to beat.
More Info: Frog’s Push the Limits Line
Cleary Scout 24
The Cleary Scout is a trail worthy rig thanks to the 80mm air fork, tubeless ready tires, and durable steel frame. For under $1,000 this bike offers quite a bit of bang for your buck. It also happens to look really good.
Norco Fluid 4.3+
Intended for conquering rocky trails, the Norco Fluid 4.3+ sports high-volume 2.6″ tires. Pair that with the Suntrour 80mm fork and your kiddo’s got a plush ride.
Others specs include a Shimano drivetrain and Tektro hydraulic dics brakes.
Pello offers a ton of value for the price of their bikes. The Pello Reyes comes stocked with brand-name components including a Cane Creek headset, tubeless-ready Alex rims, and a SRAM drivetrain.
The weight is also competitive compared to other bikes at this pricepoint at only 24 lbs.
Read Review: Pello Rover (smaller version of the Reyes)
Vitus Nucleus 24
Looking for a killer deal? Sit up and pay attention to the Vitus Nucleus 24. This bike offers a ton of bang for your buck.
The Nucleus offers a Spinner Grind 65mm air-sprung fork, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, and even internal routing for a dropper post should you choose to add one.
Trek Roscoe 24
One of the biggest bike manufacturers in the industry, Trek offers a whole line of kids’ bikes. The Trek Roscoe is their 24″ mountain bike offering. The bike boasts a quality build at an affordable price point.
The only bummer is the weight which is a bit on the hefty side for a rigid bike. Nonetheless, we like the mid- fat tires (2.8 inches) which can be ridden year-round and help add some cushion. The component build includes a Shimano drivetrain and Tektro mechanical disc brakes.
Scott Scale RC 24
Scott sponsors the biggest names on the cross-country race circuit which explains this race-oriented 24 inch bike. The front fork offers 50mm of air dampened travel, and Tektro disc brakes provide adequate stopping power. The aggressive geometry is ideal for young racers, and the bike manages to come in under 25 pounds at a decent price.
Rocky Mountain Vertex 24
With a similar build to many of the big names here, the Rocky Mountain Vertex also provides a decent build that will be durable and last. SRAM drivetrain, Shimano disc and Vee Tire Co rubber make for a fast-rolling bike. The only bummer is the weight penalty.
Specialized Riprock Expert 24
One of the largest, quality brands on the market, Specialized makes a good bike. The Specialized Riprock 24 is no exception.
As previously mentioned, the bigger brands offer quality builds but don’t necessarily consider how much weight the youth rider has to muscle around. This bike would make for fun trail riding with mom and dad and can certainly be run in a youth aged xc race (just with more effort than other bikes). 2.8 tires offer extra comfort and if the parent wants to save some weight they can certainly do it there.
Comparison Chart: 24″ Cross-Country MTBs
We know you’re probably a little nerdy for all the specs (we are too). Here’s how all the 24″ mountain bikes on this list stack up against each other. Read our tips for choosing below on help making sense of all this info.
Also, please note, manufacturers are constantly updating specs and builds. The info here is correct to the best of our knowledge as of the date we put it together. Use this as a starting point, do your own research before buying, and if you find an error please let us know (kindly) and we’ll update the table.
|Bike||Price||Weight (lbs)||Frame Material||Drivetrain/Shifters||Brake System||Suspension Travel (f/r)||Front Fork||Rims||Tires||Tubeless Ready?||Axle Configuration (f/r)||Routing for Dropper?||Crank Length (mm)|
|Scott Scale RC 24||$699||24.5||Alu Alloy||SRAM||Hydraulic disc brakes (Tektro HD-M276)||63 mm / NA||Air-Sprung (SR Suntour XCR)||Syncros X-20 Disc||Schwalbe Smart Sam|
|No||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No|
|Trek Roscoe 24||$520||25.75||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Mechanical disc brakes (Tektro M280)||NA / NA||Alloy Rigid||In-House||Cheng-Shin (24x2.8)||No||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No||152|
|Cleary Scout 24||$840||27.0||Steel||Shimano||Hydraulic disc brakes (Tektro HD-291)||80mm / NA||Air-Sprung (SR Suntour XCR)||Alex||Vee Tire Co Crown Gem (24 X 2.25)||Yes||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No||165|
|Commencal Meta HT 24||$999||25.5||Alu Alloy||SRAM||Hydraulic disc brakes (Tektro||120 mm / NA||Air-Sprung (Manitou Junit 24)||ALEXRIMS MD30||Vee Tire Co Crown Gem (24 X 2.6)||Yes||15mm TA / 9mm QR||No|
|Orbea MX 24 Team Disc||$649||24.5||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic disc brakes (Shimano M396)||NA / NA||Alloy Rigid||Mach 1 Klixx||Kenda 1047 (24x2.1)||Yes||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No||152|
|Rocky Mountain Vertex||$770||NA||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic disc brakes (Shimano MT200)||80 mm / NA||Coil-Sprung (SR Suntour XCM)||WTB SX17||VeeTire Crown GEM (20x2.25)||No||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No|
|Frog MTB 62||$880||24.9||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic disc brakes (Tektro HD-M282||65mm / NA||Frog Bikes Air||In-House||Kenda K1153 (24x1.95)||No||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No||127|
|Prevelo Zulu 4||$899||25.7||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic disc brakes (Tektro)||80mm / NA||Air-Sprung (SR Suntour XCR)||In-House||Kenda Small Block 8 Pro 24 x 2.1||No||9mm QR / 15mm TA||No||140|
|Prevelo Zulu 4 HEIR||$1,499||23.9||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic disc brakes (Tektro)||80mm / NA||Air-Sprung (Prevelo HEIR)||Stan's Crest MK3 Tubeless Ready||VEE Crown Gem 24 x 2.25 Tubeless Ready 120 TPI||No||15mm TA / 15mm TA||No||140|
|Spawn Yama Jama||$1,295||24.5||Alu Alloy||SRAM||Hydraulic disc brakes (Tektro)||100 mm / NA||Air-Sprung (ROCK SHOX REBA 26")||Brood||Brood Maxtion (24x2.3)||Yes||15 mm TA / 9mm QR||Yes||145|
|Specialized Riprock Expert 24||$1,299||27.8||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic disc (Shimano Deore)||70mm / NA||Air-Sprung (SR Suntour XCR)||In-House||Specialized Big Roller (24X2.8)||No||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No||152|
|Trail Craft Pineridge 24||$2,099||20.5||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic disc (Shimano XT)||80 mm / NA||Air-Sprung (Trailcraft TC30)||Stans Crest MK3||Schwalbe Rocket Ron (24x2.1)||Yes||9mm QR / 9mm QR||Yes||140|
|Early Rider Trail 24||$1,099||24.5||Alu Alloy||SRAM||Hydraulic Disc Brake (SRAM Level)||100mm / NA||Air-Sprung (Spinner Air 300)||In-house alu rims||Maxxis Snyper (24 x 2.0)||No||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No||155|
|Norco Fluid 4.3+||$699||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic Disc (Tektro HD-M286)||80mm / NA||Coil-Sprung (SR Suntour XCM)||In-House||Chaoyang (24 x 2.6)||No||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No||152|
|Pello Reyes||$739||24.0||Alu Alloy||SRAM||Mechanical Disc (Tektro)||55mm / NA||Air-Sprung (Spinner Air Grind)||Alex||Kenda K-Rad (24x1.95)||Yes||9mm QR / 9mm QR||No||140|
|Vitus Nucleus 24||$485||Alu Alloy||Shimano||Hydraulic Disc (Tektro HD-M290)||65mm / NA||Air-Sprung (Spinner Air Grind)||Shining||Maxxis Snyper (24 X 2.0)||No||9mm QR / 10mm QR||Yes||140|
Things To Consider When Choosing
This one should be obvious, yet we see way too many kids out on the trails riding mountain bikes that are WAY too heavy. In fact, many of the bikes on this list weigh more than my mountain bike, and I weigh double what most kids this age weigh. That’s a serious bike weight to body weight ratio issue.
Of course, the lightest bikes on the list are also the most expensive. Try to opt for the lightest bike you can afford.
You’ll thank me when your child is riding faster, having more fun, and complaining less.
Hydraulic Disc Brakes vs Mechanical Disc Brakes vs V-Brakes
We’ve intentionally NOT included any bikes on this list that have v-brakes. I’m sure your mountain bike doesn’t have v-brakes anymore and we don’t think your child’s should either. The benefits of disc brakes are too great, and the price has come down enough that they are reasonably affordable.
The question then comes on whether to choose hydraulic disc brakes or mechanical disc brakes.
The easy answer is to buy a bike with hydraulic disc brakes. They offer better stopping power and are much easier for small hands to pull without experiencing fatigue.
That said, the bikes on this list with hydros are more expensive so this is one area where you can cut some cost. Mechanical disc brakes are also easier to maintain, so if you don’t like working on bikes that’s something to consider.
Still, if you can afford it, go with the hydraulic disc brakes.
Ah, the great tire size debate. For some reason this issue causes more upset than any other, so I’ll prepare myself for the fire that’s sure to come.
We believe the best tire size for kids this age is between 2.1″ and 2.3″. This provides plenty of traction and volume without adding rotational weight. The biggest issue with plus-sized tires for kids is that they tend to be heavy and as we already established the lighter the bike, the happier the kid.
Still, there are some legit reasons to choose a larger tire. First off, a higher-volume tire is often a better choice than a sub-par suspension fork for creating a plush ride. Second, plus-sized tires create the ability to ride a bike year-round since kids are light enough to ride plus-sized tires even in the snow.
Coil Fork vs. Air Fork vs. Rigid Fork
Again, we come up against budget constraints, but whenever possible, choose a bike with an air-sprung fork. They are lighter and infinitely better performing than a coil fork.
Another option is to choose a mountain bike with a rigid fork. This is a super legit option especially for kids riding mellow or buff trails. A rigid fork saves a ton of weight and might be all your child really needs if they aren’t riding technical trails.
This stuff is less important….unless you’re a serious mountain bike aficionado (like I am). If you’re truly looking for the BEST mountain bike for your child, then don’t forget to pay attention to:
- Frame Geometry — What kind of riding is your child going to be doing? Pick a bike with appropriate geometry. Kids who plan on racing will be best off with a more aggressive design like that on the Trailcraft. If your kiddo is going to be spending most of their time at the bike park, look for slacker geo like that found on the Prevelo Zulu 4 HEIR.
- Internal Routing For a Dropper Post — Want to put a dropper post on your kiddos bike? A dropper can be hugely helpful for quick seat drops before a big downhill. But if you think you might add one, make sure to look for a bike that offers internal routing, because adding a dropper without routing, while possible, is a bit of a pain.
- Tubeless Tires — If it was up to us, every kid’s bike would have tubeless-ready rims and tires. It allows tires to be run at lower pressures for better traction. And nearly eliminates flat tires.
- Thru-Axle – Chances are, your mountain bike has a thru-axle. We think your kids mountain bike should have one too. Compared to a quick-release, a thru-axle provides greater stability and safety.
- Crank Length – The best crank length for kids this age are between 140mm and 150mm. The smaller you child and the shorter their legs, the shorter the optimal crank length. Anything over 150mm I would think twice about.