The Best Mountain Bikes for Kids 11-14 Years Old

label
The best bikes for kids 11-14 years old

26-inch wheels mountain bikes used to be standard on adult mountain bikes, but it has been several years since 27.5in and 29in wheels became the norm. Luckily, there are a few manufacturers still making bikes with 26inch wheels because they can be a perfect fit for young riders who are not quite tall enough for a full-sized bike. These bikes might be the best bet for your 11, 12, 13 or 14 year old rider.

Here is an overview of our top five 26-inch wheel bikes for 11, 12, 13 or 14 year old kids. Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the size, cost and other data in one place.

The best bikes for kids 11-14 years old
Giant Trance Jr. 26 mtb for kids

Giant 2019 Trance Jr 26 Full Suspension

2019 Giant Trance Jr is built on a lightweight ALUXX aluminum frame with 120mm of Maestro rear suspension technology.  This 26” wheel bike is is perfect for young riders between 4’9″ and 5”3″ tall. It features a low stand-over height and high-volume 2.3-inch tires (clearance for up to 2.8-inch tires). The 2019 Giant Trance Jr, comes with a 120mm suspension fork and performance components, making it a truly unique trail bike to elevate the experience for any young trail rider.

Buy this 26″ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height27 inches
Drivetrain1 x 11
Frame MaterialALUXX grade aluminum
BrakesShimano BL-M315 hydraulic disc
Claimed Weight?
ForkRockshox Recon RL SOLO Air, 15x110mm
ShockRockShox Deluxe RT trunnion, 120mm
ShifterSRAM NX, 1×11
Cleary Bikes Scout 26 in bike for kids

Cleary Bikes Scout 26in Bike

Cleary Bikes Scout 26-inch Bike is an excellent hardtail mountain bike for introducing young riders to trails. The Suntour fork gives your rider 100mm of travel and locks out for varied riding. Shimano Deore drivetrain for confident shifting of the 1×10 drive train. Hydraulic disc brakes with junior sized levers provide confident stopping power.

Buy this 26″ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height27.3 inches
Drivetrain1 x 10
Frame MaterialChromoly 4130
BrakesTektro Hydraulic disc
Claimed Weight?
ForkSuntour XCR LO 26; 100mm
Shocknone
ShifterShimano Deore M6000
Giant XTC Jr 26+ kids bike

Giant XTC Jr 26​+ Complete Mountain Bike

The Giant XTC Jr 26+ Complete Mountain Bike sports hefty 26″ wheels with fat tires to roll over trails with ease. The 9 speed drivetrain keeps shifting simple and short finger friendly hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power.

Buy this 26-inch wheel mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height?
Drivetrain1 x 9
Frame MaterialALUXX SL Aluminum
BrakesTektro Hydraulic Disc
Claimed Weight?
ForkRigid
Shocknone
ShifterShimano Acera
Raleigh Redux 26

Raleigh Redux 26

Designed for riders 12-16 years old, with a lightweight frame and integrated aluminum fork, the Redux 26 is light but durable. Featuring 7 gears and mechanical disc brakes, this bike is smooth shifting and low maintenance with serious braking power for all trail conditions.

Buy this 26in mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height24 inches
Drivetrain1 x 7
Frame Material6061 Aluminum
BrakesV hand
Claimed Weight?
ForkRigid
Shocknone
ShifterShimano Revo
Co-Op Cycles DRT 1.0 mountain bike for kids

Co-Op Cycles DRT 1.0 Bike

The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 features 26-inch wheels and was designed for riders less than 5 feet tall The DRT 1.0 has a 3 x 8 drivetrain.  Responsive hydraulic disc brakes will help your rider adjust speed precisely and stop quickly. The SR Suntour XCT 26 suspension fork provides 100mm of travel for a smooth ride.

Buy this 26″ wheel mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height?
Drivetrain3 x 8
Frame Material6061 Aluminum
BrakesTektro hydraulic disc
Claimed Weight31.5 pounds
ForkSR Suntour XCT 26
Shocknone
ShifterShimano Altus

Comparison chart: Best 26-inch wheel mountain bikes for 11, 12, 13 or 14 year olds 

Standover
Height
DrivetrainFrameBrakesClaimed
Weight
ForkShifterShock
Giant Trance Jr 2627 inches1 x 11ALUXX aluminumShimano hydraulic disc?Rockshox Recon RL SOLO Air, 15x110mmSRAM NX, 1×11RockShox Deluxe RT trunnion, 120mm travel
Cleary Scout 2627.3 inches1 x 10Chromoly 4130Tektro Hydraulic disc?Suntour XCR LO 26; 100mmShimano Deore M6000none
Giant XTC Jr 26+?1 x 9ALUXX SL AluminumTektro Hydraulic Disc?rigidShimano Aceranone
Raleigh Redux 2624 inches1 x 76061 AluminumV hand brakes?rigidShimano Revo 7spdnone
Co-Op Cycles DRT 1.0 Bike?3 x 86061 AluminumTektro hydraulic disc31 lbsSR Suntour XCT 26Shimano Altusnone

Best Mountain Bikes for Kids 5-8 Years-old

label
The best mountain bikes for kids 5-8 years old

Hoping to get your kid a bike they can take out on the trails this year? The 20-inch bikes on our list might be a great fit for your 5, 6, 7 or 8 year old rider. Bike fit is an essential aspect of choosing the right bike. Look for a frame with a stand-over height that will allow your kid to stand astride the bike with both feet flat on the ground, for optimal comfort and safety. To determine the stand-over height, find your rider’s inseam measurement by measuring the length of the leg on the inside from crotch to ankle.

The best mountain bikes for kids 5-8 years old

20-inch wheels give young riders plenty of control and nimble turning, but without being too small to roll over rocks and roots on the trail. Luckily, there are many good 20” wheel kids bikes to choose from. Check out Ten Things to Know Before You Buy a Kid’s Mountain Bike

Here is an overview of our top seven 20-inch wheel bikes for 5, 6, 7 or 8 year old kids. Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the size, cost and other data in one place.

Prevelo Zulu Three kids mountain bike

Prevelo Zulu Three

If you’re looking for high performance mountain bike features on 20-inch wheel size package, the Zulu Three is a great option. Each component is the real deal and has been carefully chosen to provide the best performance and fit for young riders ready to tear up the trails. Low and narrow Prevelo geometry keeps the rider low, balanced and in control. Tektro front and rear hydraulic disc brakes make speed control and stopping easy. Specially designed Shimano ZEE 10-speed drivetrain and derailleur that features a clutch that can be turned on with the flip of a switch to eliminate derailleur bounce over hard terrain and reduce chain drops.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height22 inches
Drivetrain1 x 10
Frame Material6061 Aluminum/Alloy
BrakesTektro hydraulic disc
Claimed Weight22.2 pounds
ForkSR Suntour XCM Air SL 20 - 80mm travel
ShifterShimano DEORE RAPIDFIRE Plus
Cleary Owl 20 Single Speed kids bike

Cleary Owl 20 Single Speed

The 20” wheel Cleary Owl Single speed is an amazingly lightweight kids bike at just 19 lbs, The Owl includes front and rear Tektro V-Brakes designed specifically for little hands. The slim, junior race-style vegan leather saddle is designed to maximize a rider’s range of motion. Cleary designs bikes for kids of every size and ability to ride safely and comfortably. Note: steel is strong and tough. Cleary bikes have no rider weight limit and are able to survive anything your kids can dish out. This bike is also available in a 3-speed model.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height19.3 inches
Drivetrainsingle speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesTektro V-Brakes
Claimed Weight19 lbs
Forknone
Shifternone
Early Rider Trail T20sc

Early Rider Trail T20SC Complete Bike

The Early Rider Trail T20SC Complete Kids’ Bike is a trail-worthy hardtail built with high-quality parts. The Early Rider Trail T20SC designed with a 6061 aluminum frame to be lightweight and durable. This bike comes with SRAM’s 1 x 9 drivetrain for a wide range of gears. The Spinner Grind Air 50-millimeter fork smooths and the powerful hydraulic disc brakes help your kiddo stop safely and quickly. These 20-inch aluminum wheels are rolling on Maxxis Tires for aggressive grip, which is one area that cheaper kids’ bikes are usually lacking.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height21.5 inches
Drivetrain1 x 9
Frame Material6061Aluminum Alloy
BrakesHydraulic disc brakes
Claimed Weight17.8 lbs
ForkSpinner Grind Air 50mm fork
ShifterSRAM X5 trigger
Salsa Timberjack 20 kids mountain bike

Salsa Timberjack 20

The Timberjack 20 was designed with plus-sized 3″ tire kids’ bikes to improve trail grip and rider comfort. Made with 6061-T6 heat-treated aluminum, the frame is light and strong. This bike comes with durable componentry including mechanical disc brakes. The Timberjack 20 geometry was designed with smaller riders in mind. Additionally, the mounts on the forks allow for extra water bottles or light gear.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height18.4 in
Drivetrain1 x 8
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesPromax Mechanical Disc
Claimed Weight23 lbs
Forkrigid
ShifterShimano Tourney Revo
Woom 4 kid bike

Woom 4

The Woom 4 is a light 20” wheel bike that can be your kids first introduction to gears. The Woom 4 includes a SRAM X4 8-gear shifter to help your rider tackle varying terrain and grades. This bike was designed for ages 6 to 9 years with a height of 45″-51”inches. The 8 gears and light Kenda off-road tires make it a great bike for exploring and longer rides Mini V-Brakes with levers suitable for small hands make stopping safely easy.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height19.5 inches
Drivetrain1 x 8
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesV-brakes
Claimed Weight16.9 lbs
Forkrigid
ShifterSRAM X4 Grip
Diamondback El Oso Nino

El Oso Nino 20

El Oso Nino is a fat bike made for kids who want to monster truck over everything in their path. El Oso Nino’s frame and fork are made from tough hi-tensile steel. It’s got a seven-speed Shimano grip shifter to charge up hills, and powerful disc brakes for controlled descents and stopping. Four-inch-wide tires sit atop 20″ wheels, making for a unique style and ride. Designed for riders from 45-56 inches tall.

Buy this kids’ fat bike from:

Saddle Height22.7 inches
Drivetrain1 x 7
Frame MaterialHi-Ten Steel
BrakesMechanical Disc
Claimed Weight?
ForkShimano RS-35 Grip Shift
Shifterrigid
Raleigh Rowdy 20

Raleigh Rowdy 20 / Lily 20

The Rowdy 20 ,“designed for boys”, and the Lily 20 “designed for girls” are essentially the same bike with slightly different frames and gender designated colors. (Does this matter?). The Rowdy and Lily 20” bikes feature a lightweight aluminum frame made to fit kids 44”-54” in height. The included Shimano grip shifters allow your rider a choice of 6 speeds. The Raleigh JR Mountain saddle and JR grips are designed to fit the proportions of a growing child.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height19.5 inches
Drivetrain1 x 6
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesV-brakes
Claimed Weight20.4 lbs
Forkrigid
ShifterShimano Revo 6spd Grip

Comparison chart: Best 20-inch wheel mountain bikes for 5, 6, 7 or 8 year olds 

Standover
Height
DrivetrainFrameBrakesClaimed
Weight
ForkShifterShock
Prevelo Zulu Three22 inches1 x 10aluminumTektro hydraulic disc22.2 lbsSR Suntour XCM Air SL 20 - 80mm travelShimano DEORE RAPIDFIRE Plusnone
Cleary Owl 20 Single Speed19.3 inchessingle speedSteelV Hand19 lbsrigidnonenone
Early Rider Trail T20SC21.5 inches1 x 96061 Aluminum AlloyHydraulic disc brakes17.8 lbsSpinner Grind Air 50mm forkSRAM X5 triggernone
Salsa Timberjack 2018.4 inches1 x 86061Aluminum AlloyPromax Mechanical Disc23 lbsrigidShimano Tourney Revonone
Woom 419.5 inches1 x 8Aluminum AlloyV Hand16.9 lbsrigidSRAM X4 Gripnone
El Oso Nino 2022.7 inches1 x 7Hi-Ten SteelMechanical Disc?rigidShimano RS-35 Grip Shiftnone
Raleigh Rowdy 20 and Lily 2019.5 inches1 x 66061 Aluminum AlloyV Hand20.4 lbsrigidShimano Revo 6spd Gripnone

Best Bikes For Kids 1-3 Years Old

label

Looking for the perfect bike for your 1½, 2 or 3 year old? These 12-inch wheel bikes are made for the smallest riders. Our list includes four balance bikes and one pedal bike. Why? A balance bike is an excellent first step to help your kiddo learn balance and steer on two wheels. No pedals means that your rider will have an easier time learning to balance and will build confidence quickly.

Balance bikes: If you are looking for a first bike for your 1-3 year old, we’re true believers in the magic of the balance bike. Balance bikes are the best first step to help your kiddo develop the coordination to balance and steer without having to think about pedaling. Be sure to choose a balance bike that will fit your little one: the minimum seat height should be low enough for your kiddo to sit on the seat with both feet touching the ground. You’ll want to measure your child’s inseam length to determine minimum seat height and then look for a balance bike with the largest diameter wheels that will accommodate your child.

Pedal bikes: If at 2-3 years old, your little rider has already mastered the balance bike, but is still small enough, the Cleary Gecko 12 is an amazing first pedal bike.

Note: Taller 2-3 year old kids may fit better on a 14-inch or even 16-inch wheel bike. Check out our lists of Best 14-inch bikes and Best 16-inch bikes before making a purchase.

Here is an overview of our top five 12-inch wheel bikes 1, 2 and 3 year old kids. Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the size, cost and other data in one place.

Prevelo Alpha Zero

The Alpha Zero balance bike is a great ride to help little ones learn balance before they jump on a pedal bike. The Alpha Zero features a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame. The Alpha Zero comes with Tektro rear v-brakes with small reach brake levers to help your kid learn to brake before they learn to pedal. Prevelo goes the extra mile to engineer bikes for kids to be confidence inspiring, easy, and fun to ride as possible. Prevelo bikes feature low minimum seat heights and low bottom brackets. This geometry places the rider close to the ground (lowering the center of gravity) to help kids feel more confident, learn easier and ride better.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height11.5in - 15.6in
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame Material6061 Aluminum/Alloy
BrakesRear V-Brakes
Claimed Weight8.5lbs

Strider 12 Classic Balance Bike

The Strider 12 Classic is the traditional entry-level balance bike. There are no unnecessary bells and whistles on this simple and durable balance bike. The Strider Classic 12” balance bike is lightweight to help make learning to ride easier for first time balance bike riders. The Strider classic utilizes the basic characteristics as the top-selling Strider 12” Sport at an affordable price for the budget-minded family.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height11in
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesNone
Claimed Weight6.7lbs

Giant 2019 Pre Run Bike

The new 2019 Giant Pre features a redesigned frame to give it a new footrest feature and a more sporty look for young riders. The lightweight ALUXX aluminum frame features the “Gear On” accessory that allows you to add a drivetrain when your rider is ready to graduate from the balance bike platform.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height?
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesNone
Claimed Weight?

Woom 1 Balance Bike

The Woom 1 Balance Bike features a high quality and light weight frame and components. Woom 1 has an extremely low step-through height and an adjustable seat height to fit the smallest riders. Woom designed this bike for ages 18 months-4 years or height 32″-39″. The Woom 1 comes with high quality V-brakes to enable easy braking at an early age.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height10.2in - 14.5in
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesV-brakes
Claimed Weight7.4lbs

Cleary Gecko 12 Single Speed

This 12” single speed bike weighs just 15 lbs for the coaster brake or 13 lbs for the freewheel option. The Gecko single speed includes front and rear child-specific hand brakes on both coaster brake bike, and freewheel option. The saddle, grips, handlebars and brake levers are designed for little riders. Cleary designed the bike geometry to enable riders to sit on the seat with their feet safely planted on the ground. Both seat height and reach to the handlebars are adjustable with one bolt, to easily optimize the fit.

Buy this balance bike from:

Saddle Height?
DrivetrainSingle Speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesV-brakes
Claimed Weight13lbs

Comparison chart: Best 12-inch wheel bikes for 1, 2 or 3 year olds 

Prevelo
Alpha Zero
Strider 12 Classic
Balance Bike
Giant 2019
Pre Run Bike
Woom 1
Balance Bike
Cleary Gecko 12
Single Speed
Saddle Height11.5-15.6 inches11 inches?10.2-14.5 inches?
Drivetrainbalance bikebalance bikebalance bikebalance bikesingle speed
Frame6061 aluminum alloyaluminum alloyaluminum alloyaluminum alloyaluminum alloy
Brakesrear V brakesnonenoneV brakesV brakes
Claimed Weight8.5 pounds6.7 pounds?7.4 pounds13 pounds

Prevelo Bikes – Our Chat With Jacob Rheuban

label
Meet the Rheuban family and Prevelo Bikes

Mountain Biking With Kids had the opportunity to chat with Jacob Rheuban from Prevelo Bikes. Based in California, Prevelo is a somewhat recent entry into to the kids’ bikes marketplace and they have established a firm footing in the industry. They’ve done this by offering great looking quality bikes for kids which are also innovative and reasonably priced. You can see our reviews for the Prevelo Alpha Two and the Prevelo Zulu One to learn what we thought about them. Read on to learn about one of America’s best new kids’ bike companies and how 2018 went for Prevelo.

Meet the Rheuban family and Prevelo Bikes

MTBK: As an entrepreneur, tell us why you chose to make kids’ bikes as opposed to choosing another venture.

The decision was driven a lot by my personal passions. I love bikes. I’m a dad and I love seeing my own kids on bikes. I’ve also always be attracted to product development. I like designing and building something tangible. I like the direct sales model – I like dealing directly with customers and I like eCommerce. I wanted a business that was wholesome and fun. I wanted something that my whole family could be involved in. I like traveling overseas and spending time at factories seeing everything get made. I like working in a shop that smells like new tires and coffee. Prevelo really wraps up everything that I love and really wanted in one package.

Perhaps I should have focused more on good business judgement than following my passions. But it’s too late for that now.

MTBK: Can you describe what you’ve learned over the last 12 months. Throw in some highs and lows.

I’ve learned thousands of little things. I’m not sure where to start. I learned what an ISF filing is, how to align the heating element on a strapping machine, not to run untested code on a live site, and how to say “bottoms up” in Taiwanese.

In terms of larger business philosophy stuff – always stand behind your product and take excellent care of your customers. I want my customers to know that I have their back.

Beyond that, the experience has been humbling. I used to be a sort of armchair entrepreneur – I’d look at brands and think how I would do things better. Now that I’m in the thick of it, I have tremendous respect and admiration for the hard working founders of other brands.

Also, I should listen to Sarah (my wife and business partner) more. If I had we wouldn’t have run so short on inventory in 2018. Early this year I was focused on strategically feathering the throttle on our young family business and Sarah was like “Sell the house, make more bikes.” We ended up selling the house.

Sarah and Jacob Rheuban of Prevelo Bikes
Building up a kids' bike

MTBK: What do you want Prevelo to get better at?

I think there is a lot of work to be done in improving the direct to consumer bike purchasing experience. For example, since there is often no bike shop between Prevelo and our customer, we check and tune every bike prior to shipping it. But I think there is still work to be done to improve the entire experience – things like making unpacking and assembly easier and better website features to help people get a good fit on bikes that they can’t see in person.

MTBK: What are the ups and downs of running your own business in the bike industry?

Ups: Seeing a smiling kid riding a bike that we built. The look on a parent’s face when their kid first learns to pedal. Messages from parents saying they and their kids love our bikes. Posting goofy stuff on Instagram and Facebook and calling it “marketing”. The incredible community of supportive customers. The satisfaction of building something. Meeting so many great people.

Downs: I have to deal with international trade issues. Getting inventory right is always a challenge. Bookkeeping.

MTBK: What was your top selling model of 2018 and why do you believe that bike was so popular?

The Alpha Two is our top seller. I think it’s a size that doesn’t get a lot of attention from the mainstream brands. So there’s an opening in the market there that Prevelo and other kid’s bike specialty brands slot into.

MTBK: Are you going to tweak any of your bikes’ geometries for the next round of production?

We just finished a long year of product development with the Zulu Series. While we’re definitely not going to sit on our hands for very long, we’re going to take a breather before we dive back into product improvement. I might have a more satisfying response in a couple of months.

Prevelo Zulu Four - a 24 inch wheel kids' mountain bike
Working hard at Prevelo Bikes

MTBK: Tell us about the new Zulu Four.

We’re very excited about the entire Zulu Series. When we first started Prevelo, the Zulu Series was sort of a passion project within a passion project. I built the Zulu Three because my oldest son was asking for a mountain bike and I wanted him to ride a Prevelo. But I didn’t expect it to be a huge seller. It ended up being the first bike that we sold out of. So we were like ”Wow, people like our mountain bikes” and there’s a market for mountain bikes with kid centric design. We decided to really dive into it and try to make the best mountain bike we could.

We redesigned the Zulu Three and Zulu Four with a new stronger and lighter frame and modern trail bike geometry (67 degree headtube angle and 74 degree seat tube angle) but we kept our low bottom bracket. We built in features that we feel are really kid appropriate. Kids lay their bikes down a lot more that adults, so we kept the rear caliper protected by using a flat mount caliper and nesting it between the rear stays. We made custom direct mount cranks with short crank arms and narrow Q factors. And we made the bikes available with features like a custom built air fork with a carbon fiber lower and thru-axles.

We’re also pretty excited about the new Zulu One and Zulu Two. We listened to feedback from dads that wanted true trail bikes for very young riders. There are some fantastic 14-inch and 16-inch bikes on the market, but they almost universally have BMX/dirt jump type geometries. We designed the Zulu One and Zulu Two to be legit trail bikes. They have long, low and slack geo and hydraulic disc brakes. They are ultra stable and forgiving rides, which I think is useful when you have a young rider being challenged by terrain. We also wanted to make the Zulu Two available with an air fork. Some people were building up 16-inch bikes with 20-inch air forks. But we wanted a real 16-inch fork to keep the geo correct and the bike manageable for small riders. So, we had 16-inch air forks custom made for the Zulu Two.

Ripping a trail on a Prevelo

MTBK: You’re just like any other dad when it comes to watching your children grow and progress their bike skills. Are there any big accomplishments or benchmarks that have impressed you over the last year?

I’ve simply been impressed that my oldest (7 years old) can basically ride non-stop for 7 hours at the downhill park. My younger son (5 years old) melts my heart when he asks to join me on my rides.

But we get a pretty special bike family experience. My sons have had the uncommon life experience of being part of a family starting a kids’ bicycle company. It goes without saying that they were the inspiration for Prevelo (and are our primary prototype testers). But they have also become students of the bicycle industry.

Our business is simple enough for a child to understand (we make a product that children are familiar with and we sell it). Yet it touches on an incredibly diverse range of industrial topics: design, engineering, manufacturing, importing, warehousing, marketing, sales, fulfillment and customer service. These two boys observe a whole lot of it, are eager to be involved (as much as they can) and understand far more about how the bicycle business works than most kids their age. They have a sense of ownership in the company. They are proud of our product. I’m really proud of them.

MTBK: What are your plans and goals for 2019?

I’d like to ride more. I also want to try roasting my own coffee beans at home. I’ve heard the trick is to use a popcorn popper and pay close attention to the bean color.

The Prevelo boys
Prevelo Bikes
Prevelo website icon
Prevelo Facebook icon
Prevelo Instagram icon

2018 Ultimate Holiday Gift Guide For Mountain Bikers

label
2018 holiday gift guide for mountain bikers
Holiday Gift Guide For Mountain Bikers

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR MOUNTAIN BIKERS

Holiday gifts for mountain biking kids, moms, dads and everyone else

We’ve made our lists and checked them twice in order to compose our Holiday Gift Guide For Mountain Bikers. You will find everything from eclectic stocking stuffers and white elephant gifts for co-workers – all the way through full-sized mountain bikes for everyone in the family.

Looking for mountain bike gifts for less than $30, the best enduro mountain bikes for kids, or a mountain bike for your high school NICA racer? We have suggestions for balance bikes, your kid’s first pedal bike and quiver killers for teens.

Holiday gifts for mountain biking kids

Make your little ones’ first experiences on the bike memorable with these selections.

Five Ten MTB shoes for kids

Some of the items on this list for mountain biking kids include shoes and knee pads.

Deity Compound Pedals

Need gifts for your pre-teen? Look at our picks for bikes, protective gear, and more.

Alchemy Arktos 29er enduro bike for kids

Our holiday gift ideas for teen mountain bikers will keep ’em stoked all year long.

Bell Super 3R Mountain Bike Helmet for Mom

Among our choices for mom – we have clothing, gear upgrades, bikes, gloves, and tools.

Holiday gifts for the bike dads

Help the old man keep his mountain bike habit going with our holiday gift list for dad.

Holiday gifts for mountain biking families

The items in this list were chosen so your entire family can mountain bike together.

Best stocking stuffers for mountain bikers

We hope you find these stocking stuffers for mountain bikers a relief and affordable.

Holiday gifts for enduro mountain bikers

Here’s our holiday gifts ideas that will help keep your enduro mtb kids race ready.

Holiday gifts for NICA racers

Get your NICA league MTB racer something useful and/or rad for the upcoming season.

Holiday gifts for downhill mountain bikers

Downhill mountain biking is fast ‘n furious. Lots of protection choices make the list.

Gifts for dogs - softshell jacket

Although we own kids instead of dogs, we included items for your furry friend(s).

Moab Mountain Bike Trails For Beginners

label
Beginner mountain bike trails in Moab for families and kids

Moab is home to some of the best mountain biking trails on the planet! But before you take on The Whole Enchilada, Slickrock Trail, Captain Ahab, and others with your small kids or beginner mountain bikers – you gotta start small and start safe. This list of beginner mountain bike trails for families in Moab was put together so you can still get a dose of what this amazing area has to offer. One of the best things about mountain biking in Moab is that there is plenty to do. You can introduce your kids to mountain biking with one of these short rides and hike surreal desert landscapes on the same day. As your skills and your children’s mountain biking skills increase you can return to Moab and go on longer, more technical rides.

MOAB MTB WEATHER

Jurassic Trail
Area: Klondike Bluffs | Distance: 3.2 miles one way 

The Jurassic Trail is a beginner-friendly smooth singletrack trail with very little elevation change. This hardpacked dirt trail skirts the edge of a mesa. The Jurassic Trail is located in the Klondike Bluffs mountain biking area, a network of 50+ miles of singletrack located 20 minutes north of Moab.

The Jurassic trail begins half a mile north of the south parking area and can be reached via Inside Passage (single track but more climby) or on the 4×4 Klondike dirt road (boring but flat). The Jurassic Trail is a smooth singletrack trail with almost no elevation change. Jurassic follows the edge of the mesa to the west of the Copper Ridge road. There are no difficult climbs (7% max grade) and nothing technical to make beginners uncomfortable.

We’d recommend this trail for beginners, although riders of any ability level might enjoy it. Intermediate riders might choose to opt for the Dino Flow trail that adds some more technical challenges.

Beginner mountain bike rides in Moab

Getting To Jurassic Trail In Moab, Utah

The Jurassic Trail is most easily accessed from the South Klondike Trailhead in the Klondike Bluffs area. To reach the trailhead from Moab, drive north on Hwy 191 for 16.0 miles to the signed junction for Klondike Bluff Road. Turn right onto Klondike Bluff Road and continue 2.9 miles on the unpaved road to the South Klondike Trailhead. NOTE: There is no water available in the area, so be sure to plan ahead!

The Great Pyramid Loop
Area: Dead Horse Point – East side trails (Intrepid Trail System) | Distance 4.2 miles 

The Intrepid Trail System was designed for riders of differing skill and fitness levels. The Great Pyramid Loop is a fun loop for families with beginner riders who have some experience riding on dirt. The Great Pyramid is technically easy and mostly flat with some gentle climbing on first half of the loop, so you get to end on a downhill.

The trail system starts at the north end of the Dead Horse Point visitor’s center parking lot. After a short length of two-way trail (Intrepid), it forks into a loop. The Great Pyramid Loop (Intrepid – Great Pyramid- Raven Roll) is easy to follow. You’ll find signs at each intersection and rocks and logs define the trail. The trail is mostly well-packed dirt with a few rock and very short sand sections. There are no true technical areas to speak of, but you’ll come across a few small rock steps (2-5″ in height) that true beginners might choose to walk over. Although the trail has great views, it is more than 50 feet away from the cliffs so parents can relax while biking with kids. Be sure to take the time to hike out to the marked overlook points (Colorado River Overlook and Pyramid Canyon Overlook) along the trail.

NOTES: Dead Horse Point altitude is around 6000 feet. It’s usually at least 10 degrees cooler there than in Moab. There are bathrooms and water available in the visitors center at the trailhead and at the group picnic site. The Great Pyramid Loop trail flows well and is a super fun ride. Riders of all ability levels will enjoy this loop.

Great Pyramid Loop - beginner mountain bike trail in Moab

Getting To The Great Pyramid Loop Trail In Moab

About 10 miles north of Moab, turn west off Highway 191 towards Canyonlands National Park on Highway 313. Drive 14 miles and turn left toward Dead Horse Point. Four miles later, pay your entry fee ($15 per car in 2018, significantly higher than most Utah state parks) at the gate house and drive another two miles to the visitors center. The trailhead is at the north end of the parking lot.

Lazy-EZ Loop
Area: Moab Brand Trails System Distance | 3.1 miles 

Take note that this ride is best suited for competent beginners and intermediate riders. A fun loop for competent beginners and early intermediate riders. This loop is a bit more challenging than the Bar M trail for beginner riders who are hoping for a little bit of challenge. The Lazy EZ Loop is a 3-mile singletrack loop made of two different trails – Lazy is the eastern trail and EZ is on the west. This loop has is designated as a one way loop, which makes for less trail congestion.

Prepare for around 150 vertical feet of mild climbing.

To get to the start of EZ/Lazy, take the double track Short Loop 1/10 of a mile from the main parking area. This loop is designated as a one-way ride starting with EZ, so take a right at the trailhead.

EZ offers nice views of the Wingate cliffs to the west. EZ trail skirts the edge of a small ridge and is mostly smooth hardpacked dirt with a few slick rock sections. There are a few rock outcrops that are mellow enough for beginners to ride with little concern. After about 1.5 miles, you’ll come to the Lazy Trail.

Lazy has more downhill than up and is fun to ride. From Lazy, you’ll enjoy views of the La Sal Mountains and Arches National Park The loop travels over rolling desert terrain, with long views into Arches National Park to Balanced Rock, the Windows and the Klondike Bluffs. We especially enjoy the swoopy downhill section near the end.

Get out there and enjoy the ride! The Lazy-EZ loop is a nice trail for riders of all skill levels. Beginner riders will find it mildly challenging. Not only is Lazy EZ a nice loop in itself, it also accesses other trails so you can extend your ride if you choose.

Lazy EZ Loop - beginner mountain bike trail in Moab, Utah

Getting To The Lazy EZ Trail In Moab

To get to the Moab Brand Trails System, drive 7-miles North of Moab on Highway 191. Turn east onto a gravel road – opposite from the Gemini Bridges turnout. You’ll see Bar M signs advertising a cowboy dinner. After getting off the highway, immediately turn right and continue down the road as it curves left into a dirt parking lot. The ride begins here.

Bar M Loop
Area: Moab Brand Trails System North of Moab | Distance: 8 miles 

This ride is best suited for true beginners and intermediate riders who would like a warm-up ride. Bar M Loop is a super easy well signed mostly double track ride with beautiful desert scenery. There is hardly any change in elevation. T Many families ride this trail, including baby trailers and trail-a-bikes. he loop is eight miles long, but does have several escape trails throughout the area in case you need to get back to the parking lot quicker than planned.

The east side of the loop has a few non-technical slickrock spots to play around on. It’s a great area to give true beginners a taste of what slickrock riding is all about. There are also a few short downhill sections to get the amazing feel of flowing effortlessly through the desert on your bike. Here you can pick up speed and blast down through the sand and stone to see what your bike is capable of. Fear not though, there’s nothing technical here.

The views also become more dramatic as you can see Arches National Park in the distance. Keep an eye out for spur trails that lead to overlooks for even better vistas.

The ride consists of mellow singletrack with a few low-threat technical sections for beginners to test their meddle (but if anything is still too hard, there’s no shame in walking.) Other than these few rocky spots, the path is smooth, well marked, and excellently maintained.

Beginning mountain bike trails in Moab - Bar M trail

Getting To The Bar M Loop In Moab

To get to the Moab Brand Trails System, drive 7-miles North of Moab on Highway 191. Turn east onto a gravel road – opposite from the Gemini Bridges turnout. You’ll see Bar M signs advertising a cowboy dinner. After getting off the highway, immediately turn right and continue down the road as it curves left into a dirt parking lot. The ride begins here.

Moab Canyon Pathway and Highway 128 path (paved)

The Moab Canyon Pathway follows the former path of Highway 191. This path has been re-paved and extended so it forms a nice paved bike path from the north end of Moab to Highway 313. Connecting to this trail at the Colorado River is the paved path along State Route 128.

Moab Canyon Pathway

This trail can be ridden as a destination in itself or as a connection to Brand Trails, Gemini Bridges or Highway 313. The path begins at the pedestrian/bike bridge that crosses the Colorado River on Highway 128, just north of Moab. The super smooth blacktop snakes through 2 miles of the red rock canyon to the entrance of Arches National Park. The path continues past Arches National Park for another 6.5 miles, and 525 vertical feet of climbing, crossing under Highway 191 to the beginning of Highway 313.

Parents can pull their babies behind their bikes in trailers and all ages can enjoy the pathway, even if it is just for a leisurely stroll. Kids can try their new bikes on the flat sections on either end, since only the middle 4 miles have noticeable grade.

Mountain bikers can use the paved bike path for direct access to the multiple trails at the Moab Brands Trail System and Gemini Bridges area (near mile 6) which adds a great warm-up on pavement to the trail and slickrock rides. From there, mountain bikers can access unlimited miles of dirt and slickrock routes including the Sovereign Trail, Bartlett Wash and Monitor & Merrimac areas.

The Moab Canyon Paved Path has got to be one of the most scenic bikeways around. It connects the Courthouse Wash trailhead near Arches National Park with Highway 313 that leads to Canyonlands National Park. Along the way, the trail provides access to the Bar M trails and the Mag 7 trails (Gemini Bridges).

Beginner mountain bike trails in Moab for families and kids

Helinox Two Camping Chair Review

label
Helinox camp chair review - featured image

Mountain biking with your family gives you lots of opportunities to sit outside including pre and post-ride meals or drinks at the car, camping, and hiking to watch friends and family members participate in mountain biking events. For years, we used inexpensive camping chairs purchased from a big box store. However, we were constantly dealing with broken frames or torn fabric that made the chairs unusable and felt terrible throwing away such large pieces of equipment.

Helinox camp chair review - featured image
Gifts for Mountain Bikers
Best gifts for mountain bikers

Last Christmas, we decided to purchase some quality camping chairs as our family gift. Our two main criteria were durability and comfort.

After lots on online research we purchased Helinox Chair Two camp chairs for our family in the hopes that these chairs that would be durable and continue to be usable for years even as our kids grow.

We purchased 4 different colors (yellow, black, blue, orange) so everyone gets to take care of his/her own chair.

Some Of The Numbers

Weight: 2.6 lbs.
Size (set up): 21.5 in wide x 25.5 in deep x 33 in tall
Size (packed): cylinder; 18 in x 5 in
Seat height: 13.5 in
Weight capacity: 320 lbs
Manufacturer Warrantee: 5 years
Price: Click button below

Helinox Chair Two review - set up
Detail of Helinox camping chair
Storage bag attached to back of Helinox camping chair

These Helinox Chairs Are Comfortable And Durable

Compared to the popular Helinox Chair One, Chair Two is slightly wider, deeper and adds a taller back that gives comfortable back support. The tall back rest also means the carry bag can be filled with padding (clothing or a towel) and attached to the chair back as a neck pillow.

We’ve been impressed with the quality and durability of these chairs. They have survived almost an entire year of camping including a summer of solid use and abuse by a group of wild 11-15-year old boys. The thick nylon mesh fabric is built to last. The fabric on the corners is the thickest and stiffest where you connect the chair to the frame.

Everyone in our family agrees that the Helinox Chair Two is very comfortable. The back is supportive and allows you to sit comfortably while eating, sitting around a campfire or gazing at the stars. The storage bag can be used as a pillow if you put a t-shirt in it and use the Velcro to attach it to the head rest. These chairs are low to the ground, but they are not hard for us to get out of. We actually like being closer to the fire on cool camping evenings.

The Helinox Chair Two camping chairs are comfortable
Lake day with the Helinox Two camping chairs

The Helinox Chair Two Camping Chairs Are Easy To Set Up And Take With You

Our Helinox Two chairs are compact and light taking up about half the space of our old heavy foldable camping chairs. This not only helps when we road trip in the minivan, but also makes it possible to put them into a backpack for short hikes. Additionally, the carry bag has two large loops and webbing ladder to attach to the outside of a pack if needed.

These chairs assemble easily. The single shock-corded design makes setup quick. Our kids can have their chairs built in less than a minute. They are also easy to roll back up and our kids fit their chairs back in the bags with no problems.

Helinox Chair Two chairs posing on the rocks
The Helinox Two Chair is compact and easy to travel with

The only factor that may influence your decision to buy the Helinox Two camping chair is the price. Don’t let this hold you back. Our old camping chairs were purchased from a big box store for about $20 each, so that makes these Helinox chairs more than 5x the cost. However, we have learned that the the durability of these chairs will pay off in the long run. We strongly recommend the Helinox Chair Two chairs for mountain biking families and kids. These chairs do an excellent job of balancing lasting comfort and ease of transportation.

The Helinox Chair Two camping chairs are comfy

Prevelo Zulu One Review

label
Prevelo Zulu One review - featured photo

The first item we took note of when we started our Prevelo Zulu One review was the Tektro HD M276 hydraulic disc brake set. The second feature we noticed was the internally routed rear brake cable. It spans a whopping 7.25 inches from port-to-port along the top tube of this 14 inch wheel kids’ bike. The third thing we liked on this bike right away was the bash guard protecting the 25t front gear ring and chain. With such a low profile, the addition of a the ring guard is a pretty smart move.

You can purchase one of these for your 3-5 year old for $459.00 USD on the Prevelo website.

Prevelo Zulu One review - featured photo

Assembling The Prevelo Zulu One

We love it when bike manufacturers include all the necessary tools to get your kids rolling. And, that’s the case with the Prevelo Zulu One. They include a pedal wrench and the appropriate hex keys to assemble the bike. Prevelo also makes sure that all the assembly that can be done with this bike- is done when you take it out of the box. This is a big deal if you have ever had to set up disc brakes. Not to worry with the Zulu One because the bolt-on wheels are already attached to the fork and BOXT rear drop outs.

At a minimum you only have to attach the pedals, and affix the handlebars to the stem. If your child is on the small end of the fit range for this bike, you can swap out the installed seat post for the included shorter option. If you get in early with this bike, it means it could fit your child for well over 18 months.

After our 12 year old got this aluminum/alloy framed bike ready to go and it passed QA testing, mom exclaimed “Wow. I wish my bike was that color.” It’s true. The semi-luminescent gun-metal gray paint job with red accents make this bike a looker. The photos can’t quite capture the slight reflective paint job, but it’s attractive.

Where to adjust the Tektro brake levers

Oh yeah, did we also mention the reach for the brake levers is adjustable? Take a look at the illustration from Tektro to see where a 2mm hex key will allow you to adjust the distance your kiddo needs to wrap their paws around the brake levers.

The claimed weight for the Zulu One on the Prevelo site is 15.9 lbs and we confirmed this using the tried-and-true bathroom scale method. A 520mm wide Heir handlebar with 35mm rise and 25.4mm – 19mm taper will allow you to adjust the bars for your child’s reach. Kid-sized grips are also a feature of the Zulu One.

The Prevelo Zulu One, At-A-Glance Numbers

standover height icon

SADDLE HEIGHT

16in – 25in

drivetrain icon

DRIVETRAIN

Single Speed

wheel size icon

WHEEL SIZE

14 inches

weight icon

WEIGHT

15.9 pounds

age icon

AGE RANGE

Approx. 3-5

The 14 inch aluminum wheels are paired with 2.1 inch wide Innova tires. The tread on the tires is impressive for a bike this small because they’re definitely not street tires. A 85mm long crankset was spec’d to accommodate your your 3-5 year old’s inseam.

The minimum seat height is 16 inches and the maximum seat height for the Prevelo Zulu One is 25 inches. Again, this is due to the 2 seat posts included with the bike. We strongly encourage you to check out the rest of the measurements on the Prevelo website under the Zulu One page’s SPECS tab to confirm this bike is the best kids bike for your child.

Tektro brake lever on the Prevelo Zulu One
Stem detail on the Prevelo Zulu One
Prevelo Zulu One, Innova tire detail
Rear hydraulic disc brake detail - Prevelo Zulu One
Bashguard crank and pedal - Zulu One
Internally routed brake cable on the Prevelo Zulu One

Riding The Prevelo Zulu One

After a few minutes of getting used to the Zulu One, our rider was standing up and pedaling like a pro. We even rotated the brakes on the handlebars so he could stand up at speed on the pedals in a race position.

Introducing the Prevelo Zulu One

Fit is paramount when selecting a mountain bike for your child. A proper fitting bike allows your kid to ride safely and utilize all the features a bike has to offer. The end result is more fun for everyone. And, that was certainly the case with this little guy and the Prevelo Zulu One. He definitely approved of the disc brakes and learned how to feather them evenly. He was crushing corners like a boss in no time.

Riding a curved bridge on the Prevelo Zulu One

Our test rider loved the Prevelo Zulu One right away because he is an experienced BMX rider. The combination of the bike’s features and our rider’s skill set were a perfect fit.

Like with full-sized adult bikes, the geometry of a kid’s bike is important. The ergonomics of the Zulu One’s frameset and crank length allowed our little shredder to comfortably ride in the saddle and dance on the pedals through the berms.

Standing up on the Prevelo Zulu One was comfy for our rider
The Prevelo Zulu One is coming at you
Taking a fast turn on the Prevelo Zulu One

The 2.1 inch wide Innova tires loved the pump track and gripped the dusty wood features at the bike park without slips or slide-outs.

Son and dad riding together

Our Ultima Parola On The Prevelo Zulu One

Of course this single-speed kids’ bike can be ridden on the sidewalks and paved trails, but its quality construction and build deserve more. Simply put, this bike wants to get messy. The disc brakes and grippy tires yearn to gobble up dirt as your family gets off-road for the first time and begins to build new experiences fit for a real mountain biking family. We’re happy to state the Prevelo Zulu One is going to be a wonderful first mountain bike for a lot of children in the years to come.

As an added bonus with this bike (if you don’t already know how), you may wish to learn how to change brake pads and bleed brakes with your kids. Owning this bike means additional maintenance and it introduces the opportunity to do yet another bike related activity with your kids. This is just another example of how owning and riding bikes together can help you bond with your little ones and spend some quality time together.

7 Of Our Favorite Mountain Biking Movies

label
7 Of Our Favorite Mountain Biking Movies

We had no idea mountain biking movies existed until our first Canada road trip close to ten years ago. We were at a small café in Kamloops and Follow Me was playing on a wall-mounted monitor. The kids were nothing short of enthralled. Most of the movies from this genre are very well shot and produced. A lot of the entrenched mountain biking moms and dads are well-aware of Life Cycles and many other earlier films, but for us- this was like discovering pizza or sushi for the first time. If your history with these movies is on the short side, download one now and get started on your extended education.

Arrival, MTB movie by The Coastal Crew

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

Arrival 

The Coastal Crew – Step into our world, as we bring you a raw look at the talents of the next wave of mountain bike riders and photographers. Come face to face with our diverse styles as we take on new lines and new places. ARRIVAL is all about what is happening…

Follow Me - Mountain biking movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

Follow Me 

Darcy Wittenburg, Jonathan Schramm, Darren McCullough, Colin Jones & Ian Dunn – The filmmakers who brought you the Collective, Roam and Seasons present a new mountain bike film, Follow Me. Shot in high definition, Follow Me takes the viewer inside the action, capturing the unique perspectives and imagery the Anthill Films…

Life Cycles mountain biking movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

Life Cycles 

Ryan Gibb & Derek Frankowski – Life Cycles is a true adventure film. Over 5 years in the making, and using the bicycle as the vehicle, Life Cycles takes you on a journey through natures most beautiful, dramatic, and sometimes unforgiving landscapes. Shot in Ultra HD, and with…

NotBad mountain bike movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

NotBad 

Darcy Wittenburg, Darren McCullough & Colin Jones – This is a tale of epic adventure. A tale of seven brave riders who set out from the four corners of the globe to gather together under one roof in a town located at the ends of the earth. A tale with no beginning and no end but where a few things…

Seasons - mtb movie from The Collective

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

Seasons 

Jamie Houssian & Darcy Wittenburg – Seasons is a film that follows seven of the world’s top mountain bikers through the course of four seasons of one year. The film explores what it means to be a full time rider as told through the lives of downhill racers, slopestyle competitors,…

Strength In Numbers mountain bike movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

Strength In Numbers 

Anthill Films – Viewed at a distance, the world of mountain biking is a disjointed network of seemingly similar but disconnected communities. Freeride. Downhill. Big Mountain. All Mountain. Dirt Jump. Slopestyle. A sport of individuals, equally defined by their…

unReal mountain bike movie

Click the image and watch the trailer on iTunes

unReal 

Anthill Films – unReal is for those of us who escape. A film that celebrates breaking free from the confines of reality and venturing into a boundless world. This place isn’t remote or hard to find, and yet many never see it. Here, glacial walls transform into…