Best Kids Mountain Bikes: 15 Brands that Deliver (2021)

You love mountain biking, and you want your kids to love mountain biking too.  There’s no better feeling than ripping some singletrack with your favorite little person or seeing the smile on their face when they make it to the bottom of a technical descent.

One of the biggest factors in how much enjoyment your kids are going to get out of mountain biking is how well their bike performs.  No, it doesn’t have to be the fanciest or most expensive mountain biking to be fun, but it does need to be lightweight, fit properly, and work well.

prevelo zulu three 20 inch mountain bike

Weight, in particular, is a huge differentiator in terms of how well a bike is going to perform for a child. Many kids mountain bikes are HEAVY; like, heavier than your mountain bike. 

And your kids weigh a lot less than you do which means the bike-weight to body-weight ratio is way off.  If your child is on a kids mtb that weighs too much they are probably going to get tired quickly, frustrated easily, and may give up on the sport altogether.

Other things we look for in kids mountain bikes are child-appropriate geometry, easy-to-reach and easy-to-operate brake levers and shifters, and decent components.  You don’t want to spend a fortune on a bike that’s going to be outgrown in a year or two, but you don’t want a bike that’s constantly dropping its chain and breaking either.

Over several years of testing and reviewing kids bikes, we’ve discovered that the BEST kids bikes are generally produced by kid-specific companies.  They’ve put the time, investment, and engineering dollars into focusing on what really makes a bike good for children. 

This holds true for youth mountain bikes as well.  There are a handful of brands creating fantastic mountain bikes for kids and they take the top spots on this list.

That said, we’ve been pleased to see some of the big bike brands recognizing the increase of young riders in the sport and improving their offerings.  While we still think the big brands lag behind, they do have some legitimate options, especially on the more affordable end of the spectrum.  When it comes to youth-sized 26″ and 27.5″ bikes, a few big bike brands (like Pivot) are also producing exceptional bikes.

trailcraft blue sky 20 in action

What follows is a list of what we consider the BEST mountain bike brands for kids bikes.  Many of these brands offer bikes across multiple sizes.  At the end of the article, we’ve also included links to our round-ups of the best mountain bikes in each size group (20″, 24″, and 26″+).

8Lil Shredder
10Early Rider


trailcraft pineridge

Trailcraft takes our top spot.  This kid-specific mountain bike company produces truly exceptional bikes for young riders.  These are the bikes you would want to be riding if you could go back in time and be a kid again.  Trailcraft calls their offering “category-leading bikes” and we agree.

They offer 20″, 24″, and 26″ hardtail and full-suspension offerings.  Their bikes are super lightweight and can be built with custom component packages.  And although it’s less important, we also like the bright color schemes.

The Bikes:

  • Trailcraft Blue Sky 20 (hartail) – read our review of the Blue Sky 20!
  • Trailcraft Pineridge 24 (hardtail)
  • Trailcraft Maxwell 24 (full-suspension)
  • Trailcraft Timber 26 (hardtail)
  • Trailcraft Timber 26 carbon (hardtail)
  • Trailcraft Maxwell 26 (full-suspension)
  • Trailcraft Maxwell 26+ (plus-sized hardtail)


prevelo zulu three heir 20 inch mountain bike

The Prevelo Zulu line offers real mountain bikes for even the youngest riders.  Even the 14″ Zulu One has disc brakes and knobby tires–the smallest one that we’re aware of. 

On the larger end of the spectrum, we’ve been super impressed by the Zulu Thee and Zulu Four HEIR. These bikes come with top-notch components including an adjustable airfork, Shimano ZEE derraileur with clutch, and thru-axles.

The Bikes:

  • Prevelo Zulu One 14″ (fully rigid)
  • Prevelo Zulu Two 16″ (fully rigid)
  • Prevelo Zulu Three 20″ (hardtail) – read our review of the Zulu Three HEIR
  • Prevelo Zulu Four 24″ (hardtail)


spawn rokkusuta_24

Spawn has long had a strong-hold amongst families that mountain bike.  Their smallest bikes are off-road worthy, but their true mountain bikes start at 20.”  Whether you are looking for a cross-country bike or a serious downhill rig, Spawn has something to offer. 

We appreciate that they’ve developed Brood, their own quality in-house line of components.  In fact, their Brood tires are so good we even recommend them to parents who have other brands of bikes.

The Bikes:

  • Yoji 16″ (fully rigid)
  • Kotori 20″ (hardtail dirt jumper)
  • Yama Jama 20″ (hardtail)
  • Rokkusuta 20″ (full suspension) – read our review of the Rokkusuta!
  • Yama Jama 24″ (hardtail) – read our review of the Yama Jama!
  • Kotori 24″ (hardtail dirt jumper)
  • Rokk 24″ (full suspension)
  • Kotori 26″ (hardtail dirt jumper)
  • Yama Jama 26″ (hardtail)
  • Rokk 26″ (full suspension)


commencal clash 20

Of all the larger bike manufacturer’s, Commencal has probably done the best job of building quality kids mountain bikes, particularly in the gravity category.  We also appreciate that they offer a 5-year warranty, which is probably way longer than your kiddo will fit on the bike.

The Bikes:

  • Ramones 16 (Fully Rigid)
  • Ramones 20 (Fully Rigid)
  • Meta HT 20 (Hardtail)
  • Clash 20 (Full Suspension)
  • Ramones 24 (Fully Rigid)
  • Absolute 24 (Dirt Jumper)
  • Meta HT 24 (Hardtail)
  • Meta HT 24 Power (Electric hardtail)
  • Clash 24 (Full Suspension)
  • Meta HT Junior (Hardtail)
  • Clash Junior (Full Suspension)


norco fluid 20 inch mountain bike

Norco has really stepped things up in the last two years. What used to be a mediocre kids line has just become LEGIT. From plus-sized hardtails, to dirt jumpers, to adult-quality full-suspension bikes, you are sure to find a good option here.

  • Fluid 20 (full suspension
  • Fluid HT+ 20 (hardtail)
  • Rampage 20 (dirt jumper)
  • Rampage 24 (dirt jumper)
  • Fluid 24 (full suspension)
  • Fluid HT+ 24 (hardtail)
  • Sight 27.5 (full suspension)

Flow Bikes

Flow Bikes Flow Carbon

Are you a bike geek?  You’re gonna love Flow bikes.  Their beautiful builds have customizable color kits and can be bought as a full bike or a frame/fork only so you can build up with the components of your choice.  They offer two sizes–16″ and 20″–although both frames accept wheels one size up.  So the Flow 16″, for example, converts to a 20″ bike when your child is ready for the larger wheels.  Pretty genius.

The Bikes:

  • Flow 16″ (hardtail)
  • Flow 20″ (hardtail)


meekboyz mega beast 26

Does your idea of fun include a lift-assist and some airtime?  If so, Meekboyz is your brand.  The best kids downhill bikes that we know of, Meeboyz creates pint-sized bikes that can handle some serious abuse.

The Bikes:

  • Mini Beast 20″ (Full Suspension)
  • Beast 24″ (Full Suspension)
  • Mega Best 26″ (Full Suspension)

Lil Shredder


Like Flow Bikes, the Lil Shredder mountain bikes are convertible (16″ to 20″ wheels).  This makes the high price tag a bit more digestible.  Their bikes can also be built up with different component builds to function as either a trail bike, dirt jumper, or a downhill bike.  Take the customization one step further, and choose a custom frame color.

The Bikes:

  • Icon 16″/20″ (Hardtail Dirt Jumper)
  • Prodigy 16″/20″ (Full Suspension)
  • Icon 24″ (Hardtail Dirt Jumper)
  • Phenom 24″ (Full Suspension)


pivot mach 4

While they are not known as a kids bike brand, Pivot offers some of the best bikes around that fit young riders.  For kids that can manage 26″ wheels, Pivot’s XS bike frames fit tiny riders exceptionally well.  Of course, Pivot bikes aren’t cheap but they will create kids that love the sport and can perform even at the highest levels of competition.

The Bikes:

  • Pivot Mach 4 27.5″ (full suspension)
  • Pivot Mach 5.5 27.5″ (full suspension)
  • Pivot Switchblade 27.5″ (full suspension)
  • Pivot Les 27.5″ (hardtail)

Early Rider

Early Rider Belter 20 trail

Early Rider creates beautiful bikes for bike snobs. Their brushed aluminum frames turn heads and the their component builds keep kids turning pedals. Expect to find high-quality components from brands like Ritchey, SRAM, and Maxxis.

The Bikes:

  • Seeker X 16 (hardtail)
  • Hellion 16 (hardtail)
  • Seeker 20 (fully rigid)
  • Hellion 20 (hardtail)
  • Hellion X 20 (full suspension)
  • Seeker 24 (fully rigid)
  • Hellion 24 (hardtail)
  • Hellion X 24 (full suspension)


woom off 4

The Woom OFF line of kids mountain bikes provides the best bang for your buck around. They are super lightweight and come in at unbeatable prices. These bikes also provide high-quality components like hydraulic disc brakes, high-volume Schwable tires, and thru-axles.

The Woom OFF sports a rigid carbon fork, while the Woom OFF AIR offers a high-quality air-sprung suspension fork.

The Bikes:

  • Woom OFF 4 (20″ rigid) – read our review of the Woom OFF 4
  • Woom OFF 5 (24″ rigid)
  • Woom OFF 6 (26″ rigid)
  • Woom OFF 4 AIR (20″hardtail) – read our review of the Woom OFF AIR 4
  • Woom OFF 5 AIR (24″ hardtail)
  • Woom OFF 6 AIR (26″ hardtail)


Frog MTB 62

Frog is a UK company that isn’t as well know here in the states as it should be.  In addition to making fabulous commuter and road bikes for kids, Frog also offers a few really nice mountain bikes.  Each of their models has Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Shimano drivetrain, and Kenda tires.

The Bikes:

  • Frog 62 24″ (hardtail)
  • Frog 69 26″ (hardtail)
  • Frog 72 26″ (hardtail)


Like Prevelo, Cleary has recently expanded their kids’ bike offerings to offer purpose-built mountain bikes.  The Cleary bikes are also unique in that their frames are made of 4130 Chromoly Steel and are as durable as they are beautiful. 

These are entry-level cross-country bikes that offer quality components (Suntour suspension fork, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Vee tubeless-ready tires) at a digestible price point.

The Bikes:

  • Scout 24″ (hardtail)
  • Scout 26″ (hardtail)


vitus 24 inch kids mountain bike

If you want a high-quality mountain bike, but don’t want to spend a fortune, check out the Vitus bikes. This UK brand (shippable to the U.S.) is a favorite amongst folks who love a bargain.

Expect to find high-quality components (Tektro disc brakes, Vee Tire Co tires) for a fraction of the price of other kids mountain bikes.

The Bikes:

  • Vitus 20+ (fully rigid)
  • Vitus 24+ (fully rigid)
  • Nucleus 24 (hardtail)
  • Nucleus 26 (hardtail)


transition ripcord 24 inch kids mountain bike

While limited in offerings, this list wouldn’t be complete without Transition. The Transition Ripcord is a pheonomenal adult-quality mountain bike sized for kids.

The Bikes:

  • Ripcord 24 (full suspension)


propain kids mountain bike

New for 2021, Propain is now selling their kids bikes in North America. Score!

These are high-end mountain bikes with top of the line components and child-appropriate slack geometry. If you get one of these for the kiddo, you might have to get yourself a new bike to match.

The Bikes:

  • Dreckspatz 20 (hardtail)
  • Frechdax 20 (full suspension)
  • Yuma 24/26 (full suspension)

The Best Youth Mountain Bikes by Size

Looking for some specific bike recommendations for your child?  Here are our favorite kids’ mountain bikes, broken down by size and bike type.

Does your child need a 12″ or 14″ mountain bike?  There are fewer true mountain bikes in these size offerings. 

Spawn and Prevelo offer smaller size mountain bikes, and Woom, Cleary, Islabikes, and Pello all make bikes that while not “mountain bikes” are durable and capable for off-road riding for younger kids.

More Reading

About Us

The Rascals are a family of three. Kristen (mom), Blair (dad), and Parker (kiddo). We started Rascal Rides when Parker was born and we didn’t want to give up our passion for biking. As we learned, we shared. Over the years, we’ve tested hundreds of kids bikes, helmets, bike trailers, and more.

Kristen is a USA Cycling certified coach and loves to share her passion for biking with other families. Blair is a bike geek, mechanic, and mountain bike junkie. Parker is our resident tester and inspiration.

If you see us out on the trail, make sure to say hi!

29 thoughts on “Best Kids Mountain Bikes: 15 Brands that Deliver (2021)”

  1. 8,000.00$$…that’s a bit excessive for a child’s mtb. They are not pro’s. Just looking for a safe MTB that will allow my child to cycle down a mountain and trails.

    • Some kids ARE pros. 😉 That said, there are plenty of options on here that cost under $1k. Good budget options include Frog, Cleary, Scott, Trek, etc….If those still aren’t in your budget, I would check out local bike swaps, FB swap and sell groups, etc. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get your child a decent mountain bike.

    • You think so, but thats not always the case. My 4 year old has his own pump track, we live beside one of the local trail systems which we hot lap on weekdays and we do lift access downhill on the weekends. So different strokes for different folks.

  2. My son wants a mountain bike for Christmas. I want to surprise him with one and not take him to a bike store so I am going to need to guess on size. What is the best way to find the right size for my little guy…who is 12 but on the small side.

    • Hi Pam, the best thing to do is measure him. Once you know his height (in inches) you can make an educated guess. The table in the post should help: He is going to be somewhere between a 24″ bike or a 26″ (XS adult bike). Once you have narrowed it down to a few bikes you are interested, you can also look at the size charts on their websites. Most of them should tell you the suggested height range for the bike. Hope that helps!

  3. Hi,
    What about Transition’s? I feel the Spawns are one of the best kids specific bikes going. But the price point and the only buying direct from Spawn turns people away. Regardless. Every time they put the Christmas sale on the Katori 20’s they are gone within hours! Overall, I think your list is great. And nice job on mentioning the UK brands. As far as dirt jumping. Europe and BC have it on lockdown. US has yet to embrace the full dirt jump laydown. Similar to 4x. And in my opinion, 4x and dirt jumping will put USA BMX out of business withing a week. hahaha!

    • Hi Radgar,
      Thanks for the kind words! We did include the Transition Ripcord on our list of 24″ mountain bikes, and it’s a sweet little bike! Just didn’t include Transition here, since they have such a limited offering for kids…..As far as dirt jumping goes, I totally agree. Our son and all the other kids we know, totally gravitate to the dirt jumps. In fact, I’ve had to step up my jumping game to try and keep up with the kids

    • Agreed! Seems like a sport that should be affordable for all but clearly not. What about families that want to buy their kid a nice mountain bike but can’t afford it. 80% of the general population can’t afford these price tags. I’m curious how much it costs to make these bikes? meaning how much is the markup.

      • The profit margins in the cycling industry are very slim. Local cycle shop owners I ride with barely make anything off selling especially the big-ticket items!

  4. My son is 4’2″, and quite slow growing. Odds are he’ll be on a 24″ bike for 5 years or more. Looking for a lightweight, quality bike for neighborhood rides and a bit of light trail. Been looking at something like the Rocky mountain vertex 24, but open to suggestions. Hoping for hydraulic brakes and 8+ speeds. Not tied to a front suspension, and willing to go without to save a few pounds. Thoughts?

  5. Any way to change the Commencial Meta HT 24 to a 140mm crank easily?

    Also, how are the rims on this bike? Would you downsize the tire to a 2.35?

  6. The weight of the bike seems important to me. But honestly how heavy is too heavy?
    My 6 yr old is ready to upgrade to a mountain bike; and not being able to test ride is making it tricky. He is very athletic so I’m sure he can manage most any properly sized bike, but I’m still without a clear anchor.
    So I’m going by best deal for a lightweight bike he can trail ride.
    Any other main considerations? Tips?

    • I have read a lot of reviews/ recommendations…. I will check out some of the links. Can you suggest you top 2 picks for a solid dirt jumper for a 7 year old boy who rides hard! Budget around 1k. This is new to us, dad does some mountain biking but not dirt jumping 🙂 Want to make sure we get a decent bike that will last and maybe if it survives hand it down to his brothers !!

  7. I want to buy a mountain bike for my son. He is 12 years old and 5.2″. My budget is $300 can anyone suggest me what mountain bike will be best in this budget. I researched many sites but I can’t find the best mountain bike. Suggest me some best mountain bike.

  8. hi this is Harvey I’m 10 and looking for a duel suspension and found one on this web its called the lil shredder and don’t know how much it is cuz I can’t seem to find the price thanks if you can tell me the price of the sick bike.


Leave a Comment