How to Choose Mountain Bike for Children

How to Choose Mountain Bike for Children: When selecting a mountain bike for children, it’s crucial to consider two key factors: size and age. The size of the bike is measured in inches, which refers to the diameter of the wheels. Generally, taller children will find larger wheel sizes more suitable for mountain biking.

It’s important to choose a bike that is tailored to the child’s size and age. It ensures they can maintain a comfortable riding position and pedal smoothly. If the cycle is not the right size for the child, they may experience short fatigue and discomfort, potentially leading to pain in their lower back or legs.

How to Choose Mountain Bike for Children: Here is How?

What wheel size for a children’s mountain bike?

The child’s height and age determine the wheel size of a children’s mountain bike. Generally speaking, children’s mountain bikes come in wheel sizes of 12, 16, 20, and 24 inches.

  • 12-inch wheels are for children ages 2-4. They are designed for balance and stability and are not commonly used for off-road riding.
  • 16-inch wheels are for children ages 4-6. These bikes are typically designed for basic off-road riding and can be used on trails and in parks.
  • 20-inch wheels are for children ages 6-8. These bikes are for more advanced off-road riding and can be used on more challenging trails.
  • 24-inch wheels are for children ages 8-10. For adult-style mountain biking can be used on all types of trails.

It is important to note that these are just general guidelines. The best way to determine the right wheel size for a child is to have them sit on a bike and see how comfortable they are. The child should be able to reach the handlebars and the pedals comfortably and have enough legroom to extend their legs fully when pedalling.

When choosing a wheel size, it is also important to consider the child’s age and skill level. Younger children may be more comfortable on a smaller bike, while older children may be able to handle a larger bike. Children new to mountain biking may want to start with a smaller bike and then move up to a larger bike as they get more experience.

Here are some additional tips for choosing the right wheel size for a children’s mountain bike:

  • Consider the child’s height and age.
  • Have the child sit on the bike and make sure they are comfortable.
  • Ensure the child has enough legroom to extend their legs when pedalling fully.
  • Consider the child’s skill level.
  • Start with a smaller bike and then move to a larger bike as the child gets more experience.

The other criteria for selecting a children’s mountain bike


Children’s bikes often have a different weight than adults’. Choosing the lightest mountain bike possible is nevertheless essential to help the child overcome the steepest hills and to facilitate vehicle braking. Aluminium frames are more lightweight than steel frames. The weight of a children’s bike generally varies from 9 to 14 kilos.


It is a particularly important criterion, especially if it is your child’s first bike. Indeed, who says learning necessarily says falls? With a steel frame, the bike is more robust.

By choosing branded components, especially for brakes and gears, you also opt for more reliable and stronger mechanisms for a mountain bike that will stand the test of time.

Ease of shifting gears

The shifting mechanisms of adult mountain bikes involve letting go of part of the handlebars to operate the shifters. It can be a challenge for a child learning to ride a mountain bike. Choose a bike with twist shifters to make it easier for him to shift gears.

Effective braking

Because braking rhymes with safety, choosing good brakes for your child’s mountain bike is essential. With pad brakes, the braking will be progressive. This type of brake is suitable for very young children or beginners.

Disc brakes, mechanical or hydraulic, provide more powerful braking, particularly suitable for children who are progressing and are used to going on more rugged terrain.


In addition to the kickstand and mudguard, many other options are available on children’s mountain bikes. A basket, wheels, bottle cage, horn, padded saddle, and many accessories can increase bicycle comfort. Choose the equipment for your child’s bike carefully, making sure to choose accessories adapted to their practice of the discipline.

Should I buy a bigger mountain bike for my child?

Children grow up fast, and their bikes quickly outgrow them. Therefore, It can be tempting for parents to buy a larger mountain bike for their children to make their investment profitable. This temptation is quite understandable.

A bike size not adapted to the children will not help him progress. On the contrary, it will only discourage him, creating a feeling of discomfort and frustration at not being able to master an ATV that was not designed for his age.

When the legs are too stretched, pedaling is difficult, and knee pain soon appears. Therefore, there are better ways to pass on your passion to your child than a larger mountain bike. Never fear; the bike can easily be sold or passed on to younger siblings once outgrown.

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