The 5 Best 24″ XC Mountain Bikes for Kids

best 24 inch xc mountain bikes for kids

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 body weight 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.

The 5 Best 24 Inch Cross-Country Mountain Bikes for Kids

Trailcraft Pineridge

trailcraft pineridge

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.

Price & Where to Buy:

Islabikes Creig 24 Pro

Islabikes Creig 24 pro

The Islabikes Creig 24 Pro actually deserves the “cross-country racer” title.  This bike is ridiculously light (19 lbs), has top-notch components, and a beautiful build.  It boasts a 80mm Rockshox fork, Avid hydraulic disc brakes, Stan’s tubeless-ready wheelset, and more.  When our son gets big enough, this is probably the bike we’ll buy him.

Price & Where to Buy:

Prevelo Zulu 4

 

prevelo zulu 4

The Prevelo Zulu 4 is an eye-popping hardtail designed for small riders. A slack geometry design, combined with an 80 mm Suntour fork, provides enough plushness up front 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 drive train, Promax hydraulic disc brakes and in-house components designed to fit kids. The Prevelo Zulu is one of the cheaper bikes on this list but provides serious quality in the build.

Price & Where to Buy:

Spawn Yama Jama

Spawn has become nearly synonymous with childrens’ 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 Yama Jama is their hard-tail trail ripper. With an X-Fusion fork, SRAM drivetrain, Tektro 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.

For more information, read our detailed Spawn Yama Jama review.

Price & Where to Buy:

Early Rider T24 Works Edition

early rider t24

Early Rider offers two builds of the T24 but we have listed the only one currently available.  These British bikes are absolutely beautiful! A solid component build with a SRAM drivetrain and brakes combined with various in-house parts keeps the quality level high. The T24 was designed to help the preteen in your life to get after it on the trail.

Price & Where to Buy:

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.

Cleary Meerkat 24

Cleary Meerkat Kids Mountain Bike

Though one of only two fully rigid bikes included here, the Cleary Meerkat is quite trail worthy with a lightweight build that would allow many young riders to demolish a xc race course. With the ability to upgrade from fully rigid to a suspension fork this bike has the weight, geo spec and component build to offer your son or daughter a fun xc bike. Even without suspension this bike can easily tame buff singletracks while enjoying time with mom and dad.

Price & Where to Buy:

Commencal Meta HT 24 and HT 24+

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 100 mm Ride Alpha fork, SRAM drivetrain, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Alex rims, and Kenda Slant plus-sized tires. A lightweight build with a progressive geometry design provides a ripping machine for pre-teen trail smashers.

Price & Where to Buy:

Frog MTB 62

Frog MTB 62

Frog Bikes makes amazing bikes for kids, and the 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 pricepoint it is tough to beat.

For more info, read our article on Frog’s Push the Limits line of mountain bikes.

Price & Where to Buy:

Woom 5

woom 5

The Woom 5 is not intended for cross-country mountain biking, but nonetheless it presents itself as a capable option. With a listed weight of 18.8 pounds the Woom 5 is far lighter than anything else listed here – due in part due to a lack of  front suspension. If your child is going to be riding mostly smooth, tame singletrack, the Woom is worth a look. Just add some fatter tires before taking it out.

Price & Where to Buy:

Ghost Kato Kid 24

ghost kato kid

If you’ve got a big REI dividend coming, you might want to consider the Ghost Kato Kid.  This 24″ steed is a little heavy, but has a nice build and a digestible price tag (especially if you have one of those 20% off REI coupons).  It has a 50mm RST Capa suspension fork, Tektro disc brakes, and Shimano drivetrain.

Price & Where to Buy:

Trek Superfly 24

trek superfly 24" mountain bike

One of the biggest bike manufacturers in the industry, Trek offers a whole line of kids’ bikes. The Superfly 24 is their xc racer.  The bike boasts a quality build at an affordable price point.  The only bummer is that is has v-brakes rather than disc brakes.  Nonetheless, the bike is more than adequate to help your child learn the ropes of xc riding and racing. The component build includes a Shimano drivetrain and an SR Suntour 50 mm fork.

Price & Where to Buy:

Scott Scale JR 24

scott scale

A similar build to the Trek but with disc brakes for the same price (score!). Scott sponsors the biggest names on the cross-country race circuit but, unfortunately, their kids bikes are not quite as xc friendly. At nearly 29 pounds, the build on the Scott Scale JR is solid but ridiculously heavy for a 9 to 12 year old. Despite the attractive pricetag, if you’re serious about having your kiddo enjoy trail riding they will probably need a lighter bike. As with any bike, a lighter build is a heavier dent on the bank account and that is one of the selling points of the Scott–it is a quality build at an affordable price.

Price & Where to Buy:

Orbea MX 24 Trail

orbea mx 24

Orbea’s adult bikes are absolutely beautiful. The MX 24 has an appealing look but, as with many children’s bikes it seems to be an afterthought to their adult bikes.   As for the component build, it’s top notch with Shimano components down to the Shadow Plus derailleur and internal cable routing.  Disc brakes and an aggressive frame geometry make it a top contender for a kids 24” xc build.

Price & Where to Buy:

Rocky Mountain Vertex 24

Web_Vertex_24_Profile

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. Shimano drive-train and brakes in addition to WTB rims and Schwalbe tires make a nice rolling bike, but there is probably a weight penalty. One can assume, with similar builds and designs that the weight is comparable to that of other big brand names. The overall build is quality and ready to ride though.

Price & Where to Buy:

Transition Ripcord

transition ripcord

Like the Kona, the Ripcord is a 100 mm full suspension rig. Transition makes some beautiful bikes with an ever-growing hold on the adult trail/all mountain segment. This bike shows that same understanding and provides a handsome bike with the ability to really shred all over the place. Being that it’s full suspension, the weight won’t be as light as some of the hard tail rippers listed here, but the Ripcord as quite capable of enduring some xc racing with your kids in the cockpit.

Price & Where to Buy:

Specialized Riprock Expert 24

specialized-riprock-expert-24-

One of the largest, quality brands on the market, Specialized makes a good bike. The Riprock 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.

Price & Where to Buy:

Norco Fluid 24

Norco Fluid

Norco has a quality lineup of mountain bikes and the Fluid 24 fits the bill. Full suspension adds a little weight for cross country duty but provides a plush ride for your little one’s riding pleasure. Travel range is reasonable enough that they can still enter into some XC racing while enjoying a few days at the bike park during the season. Rockshox suspension, a Shimano drivetrain, Tektro disc brakes, Alex rims, and Maxxis Snyper tires offer a nice component build that will last far beyond one childs use and hopefully allow a hand-me-down to the next child or two.

Price & Where to Buy:

Kona Stinky 24

kona stinky 24" mountain bike

A full suspension rig with 100 mm both front and back makes the Kona more of a trail bike and can even serve some bike park duty if your kiddo is into that. The Stinky name has been with Kona for some time now and for good reason. Kona makes awesome bikes that shred down the mountain. Though a bit heavier than other bikes listed here, this ride is still light enough to serve xc duty on course, albeit in a very fun fashion.

Price & Where to Buy:

Lil Shredder Phenom

lil-shredder-phenom-

Though more conducive to DH riding, Lil Shredder’s full suspension Phenom can most certainly serve as a cross country ripper with it’s progressive geo design. Sold as a frame and shock, the build options provide the opportunity to create a fairly light ride for your budding singletrack buddy. Full builds are an option too.

Price & Where to Buy:

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.

BikePrice (MSRP)Weight (lbs)Geo ConfigurationFrame Material/DesignDrivetrain/ShiftersBrake SystemSuspenion Travel (f/r)Front ForkRear ShockRimsTiresAxle Configuration (f/r)Addt'l Componentry24 to 26Addtl Features
Woom 5$449.0018.8HTAlu AlloySRAMV-brakesNASteel RigidNASupa Dupa Hoops (In-House)Kenda Small Block 8Bolt on Allen KeyIn-HouseNoNo
Scott Scale JR 24$490.0028.7HTAlu AlloyShimanoTektro50mm / NASR SuntourNAAlexKenda9mm QR / 9mm QRMixNoNo
Trek Superfly 24$490.0025.5HTAlu AlloyShimanoV-brakes50mm / NASR SuntourNABontragerBontrager XR19mm QR / 9mm QRMixNoNo
Cleary Meerkat 24$560.0024.0HTSteelNATektroNASteel RigidNANANANANANoNo
GHOST Kato Kid$629.0026.5HTAlu AlloyShimanoTektro50mm / NARST CapaNAAlex Rims DCInnova 1.959mm QR / 9mm QRIn-HouseNoNo
Commencal Meta HT+ 24$969.0025.7HTAlu AlloySRAMTektro100 mm / NARide AlphaNAALEXRIMS MD30KENDA SLANT 6 2.6"9 mm QR / 9mm QRRide AlphaNoNo
Orbea MX 24 Trail$729.0024.6HTAlu AlloyShimanoShimano63mm / NASR SuntourNAMach 1 KlixxKenda9mm QR / 9mm QRMixNoInternal Cable Routing
Rocky Mountain Vertex$770.00NAHTAlu AlloyShimanoShimano65mm / NASR Suntour XCMNAWTB XS 17Schwalbe Black Jacks9mm QR / 9mm QRIn-HouseNoNo
Frog MTB 62$790.0024.9HTAlu AlloyShimanoTektro65mm / NAFrog Bikes AirNAIn-HouseKenda K11539mm QR / 9mm QRIn-HouseNoNo
Prevelo Zulu 4$899.0025.7HTAlu AlloyShimanoPromax80mm / NASpinner SR/Suntour XC 24NAPreveloKenda Small Block 99mm QR / 9mm QRPrevelo/MixNoNo
Transition Ripcord$999 - $1699.0028.7TrailAlu AlloySRAMShimano100 mm / 100 mmRochshox Silver TKRockshox Monarch RJalco DD28Kenda Kinetics 24 2.3515 mm / 135x10MixYesNo
Spawn Yama Jama$1,150.0024.5HTAlu AlloySRAMTektro80 mm / NAX-Fusion VelvetNABroodBrood Maxtion15 mm / QRBroodYesNo
Specialized Riprock Expert 24$1,299.0027.8HTAlu AlloyShimanoShimano70mm / NASR SuntourNAIn-HouseIn-House9mm QR / 9mm QRIn-House/MixNo2.8 inch tires
Trail Craft Pineridge 24$1499. 00 - $2000.0021.5HTAlu AlloyShimano/SunraceShimano100 mm / NARST First 24NAStans Crest MK3Schwalbe Rocket Ron?Trailcraft/MixNoCustomizable Options
Early Rider T24 works edition$1,536.00NAHTAlu AlloySRAMSRAM100mm / NARST SnyperNAIn-house alu rimsMaxxis Snyper 24 2.09mm QR / 9mm QREarly Rider/RitcheyNoNo
Norco Fluid 24$1,699.00NATrailAlu AlloyShimanoTektro100 mm / 100 mmRockshox ReconRockshox Monarch RAlex Rims DP21Maxxis Snyper 24 2.0QR / QRMixNoDropper Post
Kona Stinky 24$1,899.00NATrailAlu AlloyShimanoShimano100 mm / 100 mmRockshox XC 30 TK Solo AirFastrax AirAlex DM 24Maxxis High Roller 2.59mm QR / 9mm QRMixNoNo
Lil Shredder Phenom$3495.00 (full build)NADH and TrailAlu AlloyShimanoShimanoNAFox FloatFox FloatSunringle EnvySchwalbe Fat Albert15 mm / 142x12MixNoNo
Islabikes Creig 24 Pro $2,99919.5HTAlu AlloySRAMAvid80 mm / NARockshox NAStan's NoTube

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10 thoughts on “The 5 Best 24″ XC Mountain Bikes for Kids

  1. Cleary Meerkat 24: the gear hanger is not replaceable, which is a bad idea, if it gets hit it can damage the frame, you can’t simply replace it. a bad crash can result in useless bike quite fast by this flaw. but it can be fixed by a frame builder, but not really a good choice in my opinion.

  2. Hi, what about the Canyon Exceed cf 24 or even the Grand Canyon Al 24 ?
    What would make you choose the Islabikes over the Trail Craft, please ? (all the more since you live in the US)

  3. HI,

    Just bought a Orbea MX24 team disk for my son. I weighted it in at 24.6 lbs stock. This has the straight fork.

  4. no problem Kristen, x

    The Orbea /MX24 trail you list above has the Suntour shock. His MX24 team disk has a regular fork so it weights less. That was one of the reasons I got the “team disk” and not the trail. It might be a pound heavier….not sure.

    Thanks for this awesome list.

    Andy

  5. Hangers on steel frames, like the Meerkat, can be realigned if bent with little impact on longevity, but alloy frames would do better with replaceable hangers. Have Cleary Hedgehog, great bike.

    Also, I like the looks of the 24+ category, eg Giant XTC Jr 24+.

  6. Great info, thanks so much for putting this together! I’m thinking we’ll get my daughter the Creig pro 24 as her next bike in a few months. She started on a balance bike at 2, and has been hooked ever since! She moved on to an islabikes cnoc at 4 years old, and a little over a year ago (at 5ish) moved up to a beinn 20 that we had them put blackjack trail tires on before shipping it to us. I was also considering the possibility of getting her a full suspension bike, but I just don’t think the extra weight makes sense for her body type especially since she’s not riding any true downhill (yet, anyway!). A couple of those full suspension bikes just look so freaking cool, but I know she really probably needs the lightest weight possible rather than a softer/ squishier ride. At 6.5 years old, she’s 50″ tall with (just over) a 23″ inseam and only weighs 41-42#… so she’s extremely tall and slender, and most of even the really good kids’ bikes just seem like they’d be too heavy for her. Neither my husband or I have ever been big into mountain biking, even when we’ve lived in mountain towns that are hallowed ground for bikers. In our case, our kid has been dragging me – riding on my very old gary fisher hardtail – out onto the single track as often as she possibly can. That makes it a bit hard for purchasing decisions since I’m having to start from scratch on all my research, as I knew next to nothing about bikes. The extent of my expertise was basically just knowing the difference between v brakes and disc brakes, along with the difference between no, front, and full suspension. That said, do you happen to have any advice for pedals, because if we get her the pro model I’m going to have to find someone to walk me through that. Ha! Thanks again for all the info… it’s been super helpful to me as I navigate and try to weigh out (literally and figuratively) our options.

  7. According to the Scott website, the SCOTT SCALE RC JR 24 DISC BIKE weighs in at ~22 lbs. By far and away the best deal out there for a light weight24-inch wheel bicycle considering the component spec. I believe you are showing the Scale RC Jr image instead of the Scott Scale image.

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