Rocky Mountain Reaper Review

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Rocky Mountain Reaper Review

Let’s get off to a fast start. The full-suspension Rocky Mountain Reaper will fit kids with a standover height ranging from 22 inches all the way through 32 inches. How in the world is this done? It’s feasible because the Reaper comes in three frame sizes specifically designed for junior mountain bikers. You can jump to this comparison chart and view standover heights, wheel options, and price.

Rocky Mountain Reaper Review

The bike we’ll be reviewing is the middle sibling – the Rocky Mountain Reaper 26. Our test rider is 12 years old, 60 inches tall, with a 28 inch inseam. In addition to putting flat pedals on the bike, we added an external dropper post so he could max out his leg extension and put all of his stick man muscle on the cranks when we made him to ride uphill and go on longer rides.

Despite the 3 frame sizes available for the Rocky Mountain Reaper, be sure not to size up and have your kid grow into a bike. If you’re still between bike sizes, we suggest going with the smaller size so the bike can be controlled and stopped safely. When you have a proper fitting Reaper, it allows your child to use all of the components as intended and focus on the fun.

Specifications For The Rocky Mountain Reaper 26

Rocky Mountain Ride-9 adjustment system
Here is what dimensions/angles are adjustable with the RIDE-9 adjustment system.

Geometry Overview

As the name implies, the Reaper 26 comes with 26 inch wheels – but it’s also compatible with 24 inch wheels. That’s pretty darn clever. The spacing on the rear axle is 135mm so you can see if your kid’s old hubs are good to go.

The Reaper also boasts the RIDE-9TM adjustment system. This allows subtle tweaks to the bike’s suspension and geometry with a couple of allen wrenches. Click here to view how the system works.

Rocky Mountain has designated the settings as: Slack, Neutral, and Steep. Click on the chart thumbnail to enlarge the graphic and see all the numbers. To be exact, the standover height of the Rocky Mountain Reaper 26 ranges from 28.62in to 28.74 inches. The head tube angle in the middle “Neutral” position is 64.6º and can vary (+) or (-) 0.7º when adjusted. The wheelbase of the bike in the neutral position is 21.53in.

Suspension Set Up

A RockShox Sektor RL 130mm fork smooths out the front end of the bike and a RockShox Monarch R shock helps keep bike’s rear end stable. Setting up the suspension was a cinch. Our rider weighs a mere 75 lbs with gear and we set the fork at just 60psi for technical riding. I don’t even think he ever locked out the fork when climbing.

There are 6 settings for controlling compression on the top of the fork. We set the rear shock at 155psi and although you can’t lock it out, there are 11 settings for rebound damping. Rebound damping is the speed at which a shock re-extends after it’s compressed.

Rocky Mountain Reaper, fork compression control knob
RockShox fork detail
Rocky Mountain Reaper, RockShox Monarch R shock

The combination of settings for RIDE-9 adjustment system, fork, and rear shock will allow suspension geeks to dial in the Reaper just right. This is a great benefit if your kid is hucking big jumps in the bike parks, tearing up advanced technical trails, or just doing a bit of all-mountain riding.

During our time on the bike, we just set it for our kid’s weight and did not touch anything over the span of weeks and several rides over all types of terrain. Additionally, the frame’s linkage for the rear suspension is not over-designed and it functioned beautifully.

Cockpit And Saddle

Because the Reaper 26 does not have a front-derailleur, the cockpit of the bike is clean and neat. The bars are 28.7in wide and our rider was comfortable with the reach. He was able to control the bike very well. The bike’s cables are externally routed. Although some may think this is not optimal, we like this. It allows for easier DIY maintenance. The cables for the rear brake and derailleur run along the top of the down tube.

Rocky Mountain Reaper saddle
Reaper front view
Reaper logo on the seat tube

The saddle is sized down appropriately and there is a quick-release seat collar for the 30.9mm seat post. We cannot fathom why any kids’ bike does not have a quick-release seat collar, but there are still a few out there.

Brakes, Drivetrain, Wheels and Tires

Shimano MT 400 hydraulic disc brakes make the Reaper 26 slow down and stop. The drivetrain is made up of a Deore rear derailleur/shifter, Shimano HG-500 11-42T cassette, and a 165mm long Race Face crankset with 30T front chainring.

Shimano MT 400 hydraulic brakes on the Rocky Mountain Reaper
Rocky Mountain Reaper drivetrain
Thru axel detail, Rocky Mountain Reaper
Maxxis Minion DHF tires on the Rocky Mountain Reaper

WTB SX19 rims are laced to Shimano hubs; a MT400 Boost 15mm in the front and a TX505 hub on the rear end. The spoke count is 32 if you want to rummage through your parts box and see if you can do upgrades. As per our research the SX19 rims are not tubeless compatible. However, we have had success with DIY tubeless set ups on similar rims.

The rear wheel has a quick release skewer. The front wheel has a thru-axel so to remove the front wheel, you will need a hex key. In addition, a set of Maxxis Minion DHF tires on our Reaper helped the wheels go round.

Rocky Mountain Reaper Comparison Chart

Reaper 24Reaper 26Reaper 27.5
MSRP$1,949.00 USD$2,349.00 USD$2,849.00 USD
Wheel Sizes (in)
* factory set up
24*, 2626*, 2427.5*, 27.5+
Standover Height (in)
RIDE-9 settings, l-r
Slack, Neutral, Steep
27.24, 27.32, 27.3628.62, 28.70, 28.7431.18, 31.29, 31.37

Riding The Rocky Mountain Reaper

Grafton Mesa, Rocky Mountain Reaper

Our rider was very excited to put the Reaper through its paces because the bike is designed for the rough stuff.

Jumping the Rocky Mountain Reaper
Manual on the Rocky Mountain Reaper

On chunky rides we made sure the fork was set to full send and the bike behaved like a boss. The wheelbase and geometry of the Reaper allowed it to tackle steep rock gardens and technical rock rolls without making our rider lose focus. On a very steep roll from a flat entry, I thought he could bash the chainring – but the bike cleared it without issue.

Rocky Mountain Reaper review - in the desert

Our rider said, “The Reaper’s suspension and brakes let me ride the bike on tech without getting too tired.” Quality components make a difference.

Rocky Mountain Reaper - pedaling close

Using the tried-and-true bathroom scale method. Our bike set up with pedals and a dropper weighed in at 29.3 lbs. On a few technical ascents, we sessioned them until our rider was able to make the climbs. The 42 tooth rear cog on the cassette makes a difference when climbing.

Steep rock roll with the Rocky Mountain Reaper

Our test rider was very impressed with how the bike fit him. He was able to shift his weight to back of the bike when the terrain became steep and bumpy. In corners, the bike’s frame size allowed our kid lean into the curves and let the tires do the work.

Bootleg Canyon, Rocky Mountain Reaper

The Reaper 26 is best suited for technical trail rides, bike parks, shuttle runs and downhill/enduro races. The factory build on the Reaper provides for a wonderful riding experience.

Climbing with the Rocky Mountain Reaper
Taking a corner on the Rocky Mountain Reaper

At the Snake Hollow Bike Park in St. George, Utah – our guy was able to smoke the jump lines and a few advanced features with ease. Where the bike’s weight could be a factor on longer pedals, it was a benefit in the jump park.

Getting in the air on the Reaper 26
Step up with the Rocky Mountain Reaper 26
Snake Hollow Bike Park - ramp jump
Small drop - Rocky Mountain Reaper
Desert rock roll on the Rocky Mountain Reaper

Rocky Mountain Reaper Wrap Up

The Rocky Mountain Reaper 26 is a purpose built mountain bike for kids who like to get rowdy. The Reaper boasts a proprietary RIDE9 frame system and RockShox suspension package. Obviously, advanced jumps and drops are the modus operandi. The Reaper is more than capable for getting everyone out together on technical rides. Thus, this full-suspension mountain bike may be just what your little ripper needs!

Do your research, look at the numbers, plan your rides. Are you more likely to be out on cruiser laps through the neighborhood and 20+ mile XC rides? Or, is a season pass for the bike park and enduro racing in your young one’s future? If your schedule is geared towards the latter, the Rocky Mountain Reaper is going to make your kid very happy.

Coast Gravity Park with Kids

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Coast Gravity Park featured image

Coast Gravity Park with Kids – Like many of you, we found out about Coast Gravity Park while watching the movie Arrival a few years ago. Coast Gravity Park is located near the town of Sechelt in British Colombia. Cliche warning: they say ‘getting there is half the fun’ and that is certainly true when it comes to CGP. At the very least make a weekend of it. Chances are you have to ferry in from Vancouver.

Coast Gravity Park featured image

Helpful Information About Coast Gravity Park

Day Passes: $65 CAD at the park | $58.50 CAD if you buy at least 24 hours in advance online.

Website: www.coastgravitypark.ca | You will find a lot of additional travel information as well as where to stay on the CGP website.

Phone: 604-989-5431

Ferry Travel: It takes a total of about 2.25 hours to get from West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal to the Coast Gravity Park. If you are planning your trip from a less-common destination, please see the maps and schedules at www.bcferries.com

SECHELT WEATHER

This mountain bike park was the inception of The Coastal Crew. Coastal Crew was originally composed of Dylan Dunkerton, Kyle Norbraten, and Curtis Robinson. These 3 mountain bikers chose to create their own bike park experience. One which could be utilized and enjoyed 12 months out of the year. During the “slow season” from August 30th – May 15th, the park is only open on Saturdays and Sundays (weather permitting).

Coast Gravity Park trail legend sign
Bikes on shuttle

Need to plan the ultimate birthday party and solidify your position as the best parents ever? At the present time, you can reserve the entire park starting at $929.49 CAD a day. There are no lifts in the park – just shuttle vehicles. You are encouraged to buy your tickets online several days prior to your visit. This will ensure that the facility can have enough staff and vehicles on site to accommodate riders. Visitors who purchase passes at least 24 hours in advance also save 10%.

Canadian flag and shuttle at Coast Gravity Park

Coast Gravity Park Trail Map

About The Bike Park

There are 12 trails in the park. That was enough to keep our familia very happy. Everyone in our clan is at least a solid intermediate mountain biker. Consequently, we got to experience most of what the bike park had to offer. To get acclimated, cruise down the trail Mr. Green so you’ll get a sense of the slope and terrain. After this warm up run, you can ramp it up on the intermediate through the pro-line runs if you’ve got the skills.

Our kids really liked the trail Lift Off because of a table jump that would huck them for several feet. If you’re ready for a little hike-a-bike, you can push your bike above where the shuttle drops you off and ride the advanced trail Dynamite Panther. During our visits, all the trails we rode were in excellent condition.

Hitting a jump on Lift Off

If you choose not to pack a lunch and drinks, you can take a advantage of the outdoor Coast Gravity Grill. The food is very good and made fresh every day.

Coast Gravity Park - tacos
Cruising through the trees at Coast Gravity Park

The vibe at Coast Gravity Park is very family friendly and low key. We’ve had the opportunity to ride CGP a couple of times. On both occasions the other riders and all the staff were very helpful and courteous. Keep in mind that Coast Gravity Park is kind of rustic. That’s just our way of saying there are only portable restrooms on site. If you need to rent bikes, be aware that you will have to pick them up in Sechelt, Vancouver, or elsewhere.

We highly recommend visiting Coast Gravity Park with kids! Visit our MTB Destinations and Trails page find more kid and family friendly adventure recommendations.

CGP is easy on the eyes

The Best Enduro Helmets For Kids

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The Best Enduro Helmets for Kids

These enduro helmets for kids were selected because they are specifically designed for the multi-race format. The enduro mountain bike race format is gaining popularity from coast-to-coast and this means a growing need for the right type of gear.

The Best Enduro Helmets for Kids

Several well-known manufacturers are designing enduro specific helmets which allow riders to either remove the chin bar, or use a light, well-ventilated one-piece helmet without compromising rigorous standards for safety. Our family has used these helmets for years because of the safety and comfort they provide. Please be sure to get a helmet that fits your kid(s) properly. Too loose of a fit is downright dangerous. Too tight is uncomfortable.

If your little ripper rides many types of trails, you might want to check out Best Helmets for Mountain Biking Kids, Best Helmets for NICA Riders, and Best Full Face Helmets for Kids.

Here is an overview of our top 8 helmets for mountain biking kids that focus on Enduro riding or racing. Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the size, cost and other data in one place.

Bell Super DH enduro helmet

Bell Super DH MIPS Helmet

The Bell Super DH MIPS helmet is a great choice for enduro racers because it combines top notch safety with a protective chin-bar which attaches and removes easily with no tools. Most important, Bell designed the Super DH MIPS to be super safe in the event of a crash with MIPS Spherical built into the helmet between two different layers of dual density EPS foam. In addition, the GoggleGuide adjustable visor system allows your rider utilize goggles. The Super DH MIPS helmet has 19 vents with an additional 4 chin-bar vents and 2 brow ports to keep your rider cool and collected.

Buy this Enduro helmet for kids from:

Leatt 3.0 DBX enduro helmet for kids

Leatt – DBX 3.0 Enduro Helmet

Leatt is already well-known for their neck braces, but they offer several other items in the protective gear marketplace. To begin with, the Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro Helmet features the patented 360º Turbine Technology to significantly reduce rotational acceleration impact forces. Importantly, this helmet is AS/NZS 2063:2008, EN1078, CPSC 1203 certified and tested. Certainly, the Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro helmet is stylish and lightweight. The chin-bar on this model is removable, too

Buy this Enduro helmet for kids from:

Troy Lee Designs Stage MIPS enduro helmet

Troy Lee Designs Stage MIPS Helmet

Troy Lee Designs enters the enduro mtb specific helmet category with their Stage MIPS helmet. MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. In a nutshell, this means during impact, a MIPS helmet is designed and constructed to limit the rotational forces during specific collisions. Although the chin bar is not removable on the TLD Stage helmet, do not expect any sacrifices for comfort. The helmet has 25 total vents. We especially like the oversized vents in the chin bar.

Buy this Enduro helmet for kids from:

Fox Racing Proframe enduro helmet

Fox Racing Proframe Helmet

Fox Racing’s MIPS-equipped Proframe Helmet provides DH-level protection with a super-light design to make enduro racing more enjoyable. Accordingly, Fox has included 24 Big Bore vents to increase airflow and help your rider to feel cool on the climbs. The Proframe’s shell includes dual density EPS and a MIPS inner basket for top of the line protection.

Buy this Enduro helmet for kids from:

100 Percent Aircraft mountain bike helmet

100% Aircraft DH MIPS Helmet

The 100% Aircraft MIPS Helmet has a carbon and KEVLAR shell that delivers light-weight protection. Basically, the MIPS inner basket is designed to absorb brain-damaging rotational energy created in certain crashes. The Aircarft MIPS helmet will keep your rider cool with 25 vents and break-away cheek pads for a consistent flow of air into and out of the shell. This helmet includes a soft, washable liner as well as an adjustable visor.

Buy this Enduro helmet for kids from:

Giro Switchblade enduro helmet

Giro Switchblade MIPS Helmet

Giro’s Switchblade MIPS Helmet has a removable chin-bar that snaps on and off quickly. The Switchblade includes excellent ventilation from Giro’s Wind Tunnel design. Giro’s tried-and-true Roc Loc Air fit system makes fit alterations a breeze. The MIPS technology will absorb the brain-damaging rotational energy created in certain crashes without compromising the helmet’s lightness.

Buy this Enduro helmet for kids from:

MET Parachute enduro helmet

MET Parachute Helmet CPSC US 2018

The MET Parachute is a great helmet for Enduro racing. Firstly, his helmet is extremely light weighing just 700g. Secondly, the Parachute has excellent ventilation make it comfortable to wear on climbs. Thirdly, the MET Parachute is equipped with Safe-T Advanced fit system and removeable cheek pads of various thicknesses provides excellent fit and comfort.

Buy this Enduro helmet for kids from:

HelmetShell Material / Impact FoamHead Circumference RangeCertificationsClaimed Weight
Bell Super DH MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate/EPS and EPP foam20.5-25.6 inchesASTM F1952-00, ASTM F2032-06, CE EN1078, CPSC Bicycle850g
Leatt DBX 3.0 Enduro Full-FacePolycarbonate/3D in-molded20.9-25.52 inchesCPSC, EN 1078750 g
Troy Lee Designs Stage MIPSPolylite / dual-density EPS co-molded with EPP21.4-24-4 inchesCPSC 1203, CE EN1078, ASTM F1952, ASTM F2032, AS/NZS 2063-2008680 g
Fox Racing ProframePolycarbonate/EPS20.5-25.25 inchesASTM735g
100% Aircraft DH MIPScarbon, KEVLAR® composite20.9-24.4 inchesASTM, CPSC, CE, AS/NZ?
Giro Switchblade MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate/EPS20-25.5 inchesCPSC, EN-1078, ASTM-1952-DH?
MET Parachute Helmet CPSC USPolycarbonate/EPS21.25-24.4 inchesCPSC700 g

The Best Mountain Bike Helmets For NICA Riders

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The best mountain bike helmets for NICA athletes, riders, racers and kids

Best Mountain Bike Helmets For NICA Riders – The National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States.  As of 2018, NICA has 25 state and regional leagues, and 6,450 coaches who are working with over 14,500 student­-athletes from nearly 800 high schools in the United States. Since 2009 participation in NICA has grown 30 to 40 percent each year.

The best mountain bike helmets for NICA athletes, riders, racers and kids

Although there is an element of competition and racing, the purpose of NICA is to support student-athletes in the development of strong body, mind, and character through their efforts on the bike.

American kids in grades 7-12 have the opportunity to join a NICA mountain biking team. Participating on a NICA team leads to making new mountain biking friends and having even more fun on bikes. NICA is a great experience for young riders.  Here are 10 bikes that may work for your young rider as they become a NICA racer.

Here is an overview of our top 10 helmets for NICA racers. Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the size, cost and other data in one place.

If your rider enjoys multiple mountain biking disciplines, you might want to check out Best Helmets for Mountain Biking Kids, Best Helmets for Enduro Kids, and Best Full Face Helmets for Kids.

Troy Lee Designs A! - helmet for NICA kids

Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS Helmet

The A1 MIPS Helmet provides bomber protection in a lightweight package. Importantly, Troy Lee designed this helmet with extended protection at the back of the head and around the temples. TLD also steps up the safety with the inclusion of the Multi-Directional Impact Protection (MIPS) system. In addition, the A1 MIPS boasts a total of 16 large vents to encourage constant air movement to keep your rider cool. Finally, the A1 MIPS helmet also incorporates a three-position adjustable retention system for a custom, easily dialed fit.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA riders from:

Giro Montaro MIPS helmet for NICA kids

Giro Montaro/Montara MIPS Helmet

One of our favorite bike helmets for NICA kids. Firstly, Giro’s Montaro (and Montara) MIPS has a deep shape with extended coverage along the lower part of the head. Secondly the reliable In-Mold construction and MIPS system to keep your rider protected in case of a spill. Thirdly, the Montaro/Montara Helmet will keep you rider’s head cool and comfortable with 16 vents and plush padding to keep air moving and sweat away from the eyes. Finally, Giro’s Roc Loc Air fit system will ensure your NICA racer gets just the right fit quickly.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA racers from:

Fox Flux mtb helmet for kids

Fox Racing Flux MIPS Helmet

The Fox Racing Flux MIPS Helmet is a lightweight, affordable bike helmets for NICA riders. The Flux MIPS features extensive rear coverage to provide valuable protection to the vulnerable areas on the back and sides of the head and MIPS to protect from rotational forces. In addition, the Flux’s lightweight EPS foam protection includes 14 strategically-shaped vents to keep your NICA rider cool-headed on race day. Simultaneously, the Flux includes a dial-actuated retention system for a customizable fit.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA riders from:

POC Tactal mountain bike helmet

POC Tectal Helmet

The POC Tectal is designed with extensive coverage along the temples and rear of the helmet increases protection to vulnerable areas. Overall, this helmet is super safe. POC designed the Tectal for safety. This helmet has the following safety certifications: EN 1078, CPSC 12.03, and AS/NZ 2063:2008. Unquestionably, the Tectal helmet is also comfortable – it includes range of vents to ensure air stays moving throughout the helmet. You can adjust the fit by a simple turn of the dial at the back of the helmet.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA racers from:

6D ATB 1T mountain bike helmet

6D Helmets ATB-1T Evo Helmet

6D Helmets has recently joined the mountain bike from the motorsports industry. Importantly, this helmet has Omni-Directional Suspension which is engineered to dissipate incoming force by separating two layers of EPS foam with 26 elastomeric isolation dampers that compress and rotate subtly when external force is applied. In short, this technology helped the helmet earn multiple safety certifications (CPSC 16 CFR, EN 1078) and ensures greater impact absorption from multiple directions i.e. the types of forces experienced when falling on a mountain bike. The ATB-1T Evo Helmet has a moveable brim, adjustment fit dial, and sculpted vents.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA riders from:

Bern FL-1 MIPS mountain bike helmet

Bern FL-1 XC MIPS Helmet

The Bern FL-1 XC MIPS Helmet features 18 large vents, to maintain comfort in the warmest conditions. Additionally, the FL-1 XC offers the security via an in-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS foam for the best of impact absorption. MIPS technology enhances the real-world functionality of this helmet by using an elastomeric liner to reduce rotational forces. This helmet has a comfortable, customizable fit using the Boa 360 system.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA racers from:

Bell Super 3 MIPS helmet for NICA kids

Bell Super 3 MIPS Helmet

The Bell Super 3 MIPS Helmet has been engineered using in-mold polycarbonate and an EPS foam shell and includes MIPS technology. This helmet has 23 vents in helmet’s body, plus 4 additional channels along the brow. As a result, the Super 3 MIPS is light and cool. One-handed fit adjustment will keep your NICA athlete comfortable on-the-go and the adjustable visor can accommodate goggles if desired.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA riders from:

Smith Session mountain bike helmet for NICA athletes

Smith Session MIPS Bike Helmet

The Session is an excellent bike helmets for NICA racers. Firstly, itis designed using patented Koroyd-style construction to be super light yet strong. Secondly, fifteen large airports and internal channeling create airflow for ventilation. Thirdly, the Session MIPS Bike Helmet comes with a focus on adjustability with the VaporFit™ Adjustable Fit System. Finally, the Smith Session MIPS helmet includes an adjustable 3-point visor and sunglass and goggle integration.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA riders from:

Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS helmet for NICA racers

Sweet Protection Bushwhacker II MIPS Helmet

The Bushwhacker II MIPS Helmet is a lightweight, well-ventilated helmet with MIPS technology to dissipate angled or rotational crash forces w protecting your kid’s head. Your rider will stay cool with Sweet Protection’s Superficial Temporal Artery Cooling Channels andnumerous exhaust ports at the backside of the helmet. The Occigrip mechanism provides quick adjustment with the twist of a rear-mounted dial.

Buy this mountain bike helmet for NICA riders from:

HelmetShell Material / Impact FoamHead Circumference RangeVentsCertifications
Troy Lee Designs A1 MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate/EPS21.3 - 24.8 inches16CPSC 1203, CE EN 107B, AS/NZS 2063
Giro Montaro MIPSPolycarbonate/EPS20.0 - 25.5 inches16
Fox Racing Flux MIPSPolycarbonate/EPS21.5 - 23.8 inches14
POC Tectal HelmetPolycarbonate/EPS20 - 24.4 inches15EN 1078, CPSC 12.03, AS/NZ 2063:2008
6D Helmets ATB-1T EvoPolycarbonate/EPS20 - 24.75 inches15CPSC 16 CFR, EN 1078
Bern FL-1 XC MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate/EPS20.5 - 24.4 Inches18CPSC, EN1078
Bell Super 3 MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate/EPS20 - 24.4 inches23CE EN 1078, CPSC Bicycle
Leatt 3.0 All Mountain HelmetPolycarbonate/EPS21.6 - 25.2 inches18EN 1078, CPSC 1203
Smith Session MIPSPolycarbonate/EPS20 - 26 inches15CPSC & CE EN 1078 Certified
SWEET PROTECTION Bushwhacker II MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate/EPS20.78 - 24 inches10CE EN 1078, CPSC 1203

Best Bikes for Kids 3-4 Years Old

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The best bikes for 3-4 year olds, 2019

Bikes for Kids 3-4 Years Old: Although there are lots of kids bikes available online, many of these bikes are super heavy with cheap full-sized components which make them hard to ride safely. MTBwithkids recommends choosing a bike designed specifically with 3 and 4 year old riders in mind. Our list of top bikes for 3-4 year olds includes balance bikes, pedal bikes and bikes that are designed to transform from balance to pedal bikes. These bikes all have 14-inch wheels and span experience and skill levels form true beginners to little rippers.

The best bikes for 3-4 year olds, 2019

Balance bikes

If your 3-4 year old is just starting to ride, we’d highly recommend choosing a 14-inch wheel balance bike for their first bicycle. Balance bikes are an excellent first step to help your kiddo develop the coordination to balance and steer without having to think about pedaling. When choosing a balance bike, it’s important to be sure that the minimum seat height is 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 3 or 4 years old, your little rider has already mastered the balance bike, there are a few manufacturers designing 14-inch wheel kids bikes that are well made, lightweight and fun to ride.

Note: kids on the taller side may fit on a 16-inch wheel bike, so you might want to check out our list of Best 16-inch bikes  before making a purchase.

Here is an overview of our top five 14-inch wheel bikes for 3 or 4 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.

Early Rider Trail Runner kids' bike

Early Rider Trail Runner XL

The Early Rider Trail Runner XL is an excellent choice for the first bike. Importantly, the Early Rider Trail Runner XL includes a light 6061 aluminum frameset to keep weight to a minimum. Additionally, it comes with large 14 x 2.5 “ tires to improve grip and ride comfort for your young rider. Finally, this balance bike is a looker! The Early Rider Trail Runner XL is clear coated hand brushed silver aluminum. It also has a faux leather seat. This is one of the best looking balance bikes around!

Buy this 14-inch wheel balance bike from:

Saddle Height15.3 – 19.3 inches
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame Material6061 Aluminum/Alloy
Brakesnone
Claimed Weight8.26 lbs
Strider Balance Bike 14x Sport

Strider 14x Sport Balance Bike

The Strider 14x Sport is an amazing bike that designed to grow with your child. Firstly, the 14x comes with a fully adjustable seat and handlebars to grow with your growing kid.  The 14x starts off as a balance bike, which helps riders gain confidence and balancing ability. Importantly, once your kiddo is ready to pedal, just attach the Easy-Ride Pedal Kit. Converting the 14x from balance bike to pedal bike is quick and easy. The Strider 14x Sport will fit riders 37-49 inches tall (Inseam (16-23 in). This is one of the classic bikes for kids 3-4 years old.

Buy this 14″ wheel kids bike from:

Saddle Height16-23 inches
DrivetrainBalance Bike
Frame MaterialSteel
BrakesNone
Claimed Weight12.5 pounds
Prevelo Alpha One kid bike

Prevelo Alpha One

The 14″ Alpha One is the smallest pedal bike in the Prevelo lineup and fits most 3 to 4.5 year olds. The Alpha One is packed with features to get little riders off to the right start. Firstly, Prevelo included confidence inspiring low and narrow geometry. Secondly, this lightweight bike is made of 6061 aluminum frame with custom formed tubing with an aluminum alloy fork with chromoly steerer. Finally, stopping is easy with Tektro front and rear v-brakes with small reach brake levers and a rear coaster brake (removable with optional freewheel kit). You will appreciate this kids bike!

Buy this 14-inch wheel kids’ bike from:

Saddle Height15.6-17.5
DrivetrainSingle speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesTektro aluminum V-brakes & coaster brake
Claimed Weight14.4 pounds
Woom 2 kid bike

Woom 2

The Woom 2 was developed specifically for kids that are new to or have only recently begun pedaling. Importantly, this bike is designed with short cranks and a low bottom bracket to enable your child to put their feet on the ground without losing balance. The Woom 2 is a great transition from balance bike to pedal bike and enables fast learning. Woom 2 was designed to fit kids 37″-43” inches tall. A separate freewheel kit is available for purchase.

Buy this 14-inch wheel kids’ bike from:

Saddle Height16-19 inches
DrivetrainSingle speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesCoaster and v-hand brakes
Claimed Weight12 lbs 3 oz.
Prevelo Zulu One kids' bike

Prevelo Zulu One

This bike has to be seen to be believed. It is truly one of the bikes for kids 3-4 years old. See our Prevelo Zulu One Review for photos of this bike in action.  The Prevelo Zulu One packs high performance mountain bike features into a tiny 14-inch wheel size package. Each component is carefully chosen to provide the best performance and fit for young riders ready to mountain bike with mom and dad.

Specifically, the Prevelo Zulu One comes with front and rear disc brakes! Your kid will be safely able to modulate speed and stop quickly when needed. In addition, this amazing little machine features a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and BOXT™ rear stays and forged rear dropouts. Additionally, this 14” bike ships with a bonus short seat post for additional height adjustment and the tool required to change the seat post. All things considered, you can’t go wrong with the Pevelo Zulu One.

Buy this 14-inch wheel kids’ bike from:

Saddle Height16-25 inches
DrivetrainSingle Speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesTektro hydraulic disc
Claimed Weight15.9 lbs

Comparison chart: Best 14-inch wheel bikes for 3 and 4 year olds 

Early Rider
Trail Runner
XL
Strider
14x Sport
Balance Bike
Prevelo
Alpha One
Woom 2Prevelo
Zulu One
Saddle Height15.3-19.3 inches16-23 inches15.6-17.516-19 inches16-25 inches
Drivetrainbalance bikebalance bikesingle speedsingle speedsingle speed
Frame6061 aluminum alloysteelaluminum alloyaluminum alloyaluminum alloy
BrakesnonenoneV brakes and coasterV brakes and coasterhydraulic disc
Claimed Weight8.26 pounds12.5 pounds14.4 pounds12.2 pounds15.9 pounds

The Best Bikes For Kids 4-5 Years Old

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The best bikes for 4-5 year olds, 2019

Bikes For Kids 4-5 Years Old: Have you been searching for the best bike for your 4 or 5 year old?  You’ve come to the right place! Our list of the top 5 bikes for 4-5 year olds includes bikes suitable for beginning riders to young rippers.

The best bikes for 4-5 year olds, 2019

You’ll find loads of “kid’s bikes” online, most of which are heavy and hard to ride (or even dangerous) due to ill fitting components (especially brake levers). Our list of best bikes for 4-5 year olds only includes bikes that were specifically designed for small riders. For each of our featured models, special attention was paid to the weight of each bike. We also considered the  design of the components to improve the chances that your child can maneuver safely and confidently. These two aspects can have a hue effect on enjoyment of  riding.

Above all, remember that fit is of utmost importance for safety and fun. Even if your kiddo is comfortable pedaling, they should feel comfortable straddling the bike with both feet on the ground. Check the listed stand-over height against your rider’s inseam measurement (length of the leg, measured on the inside from crotch to ankle) to be sure you’ve got the right size. Note that kids on the taller side might fit better on a 20 inch wheel bike.

Here is an overview of our top five 16-inch wheel bikes for 4 or 5 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.

Cleary Hedgehog 16 children's bike

Cleary Hedgehog 16 Single Speed

The Cleary Hedgehog 16” single speed is an excellent choice. Firstly, this is a light weight kids bike that weighs just 16 pounds. Secondly, the Hedgehog includes front and rear child specific hand brakes with a freewheel rear hub. Thirdly, the child-specific geometry centers your rider’s weight between hands and seat, creating a stable, agile bike. Fourthly, the seat, grips, handlebars and brake levers were designed for small riders. Finally, the flip flop rear hub enables two freewheels to be mounted at once, and a cog range from 13 teeth to 18 teeth to adjust to your local terrain.

Buy this kids’ bike from:

Stand-over Height16.5 inches
DrivetrainSingle speed
Frame MaterialSteel
BrakesV brakes
Claimed Weight16 lbs
Prevelo Zulu Two kid bike

Prevelo Zulu Two

Is your young mountain biker ready to tear up the trails? If so, check out the amazing Prevelo Zulu Two. This 16” wheel bike was designed with high quality components to provide the best performance and fit for mountain biking kids. Surprisingly, the Prevelo Zulu Two features a lightweight 60mm travel airfork with adjustable rebound, lockout and compression to help smooth out the bumps.In addition, the front and rear disc brakes will help your little ripper control speed comfortably and stop safely. In conclusion, Zulu Two is definitely one of the best mountain bikes for kids 4-5 years old.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike from:

Stand-over Height16.5 inches
DrivetrainSingle speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesTektro hydraulic disc
Claimed Weight17.95 lbs
Woom 3 kids bike

Woom 3

The Woom 3 is a lightweight, high-performance package for your growing rider. Specifically, this bike was designed to have a low center of gravity to help your kiddo to further improve their riding skills. Additionally, the Woom 3 has a front and rear V-brake for easy sopping and speed control. Woom designed the 3 for kids 41-47 inches tall. Importantly, everything on this bike is designed with kids in mind. This includes the long wheel base for stable riding, the optimized geometry for an upright riding position, and the narrow pedals and the length and width of the Woom cranks are purposefully designed to match the ergonomics of a child.

Buy this kids’ bike from:

Stand-over Height16 inches
DrivetrainSingle speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesV hand
Claimed Weight12.7 pounds
Raleigh Rowdy 16 kids' bike

Raleigh Rowdy 16/ Lily 16

Raleigh gives us two 16 inch bikes for our list. The Rowdy 16 ,“designed for boys”, and the Lily 16 “designed for girls” are essentially the same bike with slightly different frames and gender designated colors. (Come on, Raleigh – it’s 2019). These bikes are designed for kids 3-5 years old or 39”-45” in height. They both have a lightweight aluminum frame and a single speed drivetrain. The front and rear V brakes ensure safe stopping. The saddle and grips are designed to fit kids.

Buy this kids’ bike from:

Stand-over Height16 inches
DrivetrainSingle speed
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesV-brakes
Claimed Weight19.2 lbs
Strider 16 Sport kids' bike

Strider 16 Sport Bike

The Strider 16 Sport Kid’s Bike is the largest Strider model – designed for taller kids who are learning to ride a bike. Strider bikes have no cranks which helps kids learn side-to-side balance which is essential to learning to ride a bike.  The Strider 16 has all-terrain tires to provide comfort and confidence over grass, gravel, dirt, and pavement. The handlebar-mounted brake levers transition children from stopping with their feet to stopping with the Strider 16’s front and rear V-brakes.

Buy this kids’ bike from:

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

Comparison chart: Best 16-inch wheel bikes for 4 and 5 year olds 

Cleary
Hedgehog 16
Single Speed
Prevelo
Zulu Two
Woom 3Raleigh
Rowdy 16
Lily 16
Strider 16
Sport Bike
Stand-over Height16.5 inches16.5 inches16 inches16 inches?
Drivetrainsingle speedsingle speedsingle speedsingle speedsingle speed
Framesteelaluminum alloyaluminum alloyaluminum alloyaluminum alloy
BrakesV brakeshydraulic discV brakesV brakesV brakes
Claimed Weight16 pounds17.95 pounds12.7 pounds19.2 pounds13 pounds