Trailcraft Timber 26 Review

Trailcraft Timber 26 review

The Trailcraft Timber 26 is a premium hardtail mountain bike for kids who have grown out of a 24-inch wheel bike and are not quite ready for an extra-small adult sized bike with 27.5-inch wheels. When our oldest son was in this size range, we ended up purchasing a used older brand originally available in 2010 with 26-inch wheels. He fit the bike fine and used it as it was designed, but it was on the heavy side. The thing weighed over 30lbs and a lot of the time, he’d bonk and hit the wall when we were on rides between 5-10 miles. The MSRP for a complete Timber 26 build ranges from $1,699 USD to $3,399 USD

Trailcraft Timber 26 review

Compare any other kids’ bike against a similar model in the Trailcraft line-up and you are going to notice that Trailcraft bikes are (A) lighter and (B) can be spec’d out with wheels and components that other brands just don’t offer.

Our friends at Trailcraft have trimmed the Timber 26 down to less than 22lbs and it’s perfect for kids who like to get on the pedals and rack up the miles.

Ginger and Brett Rosenbauer, the company’s founders and owners really do care about making bikes that embolden young riders to have fun and build the foundation to become mountain bikers for life. Here is a video that will give you a glimpse into why they chose to start Trailcraft.

The proper ergonomics for a child are carefully considered and implemented for all the Trailcraft frames and this is on display with the Timber 26. It is meticulously designed to fit a younger rider though her/his geometric specs in the age range of 8-13; 4’6″-5′ tall; with a minimum inseam of 25″. Having the right size bike enables control [for safety] and comfort [for fun].

Trailcraft saddle and KS Lev dropper post
Trailcraft Timber 26 - Schwalbe Rocket Ron tire and Stan's Podium rims

When our demo arrived, it was easy to assemble. Out of the box, you only have to…

  • Attach the front wheel
  • Attach the handle bars
  • Install pedals

From here, you can cut the bars, adjust the angle/spacing of the brake levers and shifter lever, set up the fork, adjust the height of the saddle, and inflate the tires properly. Do a bolt check to make sure everything else is good to go and you’re set.

If you’re not comfortable setting up the bike yourself, swing by your local bike shop and pay a small fee to have it done professionally.

standover height icon


24 inches

drivetrain icon


1 x 11

wheel size icon


26 inches

weight icon


21.75 lbs

age icon


Approx. 8-13

Bars and stem - Trailcraft Timber 26 mountain bike for kids
Cassette on the Trailcraft Timber 26

Let’s Geek-Out On The Geometry And Specs For The Trailcraft Timber 26

Chainring and crank - Trailcraft Timber 26
Rock Shox Reba 26 - Trailcraft Timber 26 review
Trailcraft Timber 26 - Shimano XT brakes
Air fork lock out on the Trailcraft Timber 26

We received a Timber 26 with the Pro [Shimano] XT M8000 build and a 32t front ring. Here are the numbers for this build…

Seat Tube Length-Center to Top338mm
Top Tube Length (Horizontal)525mm
Top Tube Length (Actual)533.8mm
Chainstay Length419mm
Bottom Bracket Height285mm
Seat Tube Angle (Actual)74º
Head Tube Angle68º
Wheel Base1026mm
Standover Height610mm (24 inches)
FrameDouble butted 7005 series aluminum tubing with a super stiff hydroformed down tube, tapered head tube, forged dropouts, and post-mount disc brake mount
ForkRock Shox Reba 26
HeadsetTrailcraft Precision Sealed Cartridge
Rear DerailleurXT M8000 11 Speed GS
ShifterXT M8000 11 Speed I-Spec
BrakesXT M8000
CranksTrailcraft direct mount 152mm; alloy spindle; 26, 28, 30, 32t Option
BarsTrailcraft Pro
GripsTrailcraft Lock-On
StemTrailcraft Superlight 85g
PostTrailcraft 27.2
DropperOptional. You can get a KS LEV Si 100mm dropper post pre-installed when you order your bike online for an additional fee.
CassetteXT M8000 11-42 11 Speed
WheelsetStans Podium rims, Superlight hubs, 32 DB Spokes
Chainstay protectorLizard Skins
TiresSchwalbe Rocket Ron 26×2.1"
Weight21.75 pounds

The Timber 26 is a great looking bike with internal cable routing, water bottle cage mounts on the down tube, and it’s available in several colors. You can choose from: blue, neon green, lava, orange, or turquoise. When you order online, you can also select a chainring with 26t, 28t, 30t, 32t.

Be sure to see all the build options for the Timber 26 on the Trailcraft website. You can even purchase just the frame. Or, the frame, fork, wheels, and cranks.

Additional Trailcraft Bike Reviews

If you’re on the hunt for a full-suspension bike suitable for rougher terrain, you’re going to want to take a look at additional Trailcraft offerings.

Trailcraft Maxwell 26 getting put through its paces

The Trailcraft Maxwell 26 is a great full-suspension bike for kids 4’7″ – 5’2″ tall. Our kid really liked getting loose on it.

The Trailcraft Maxwell 24 is one of the best mountain bikes for kids

Wouldn’t it be rad if there was a smaller version of this full-squish bike for kids? Click to see the Trailcraft Maxwell 24

Riding The Trailcraft Timber 26

We perched 2 different lads on the Timber 26 and each of them had good time riding the bike. To change things up a bit, our first rider was not an experienced mountain biker and we had to instruct him on how to change the gears, use the dropper and brake evenly. Nonetheless, he was very impressed with how easy it was to pedal uphill due to the bike’s geometry and components.

After his second ride on the bike, he was able to build some confidence and ride across some narrow elevated terrain and techy stuff that was challenging on his first go.

Getting familiar with the Trailcraft Timber 26

The Trailcraft Timber 26 is suitable for beginning mountain bikers through experts. Kids with limited experience are going to shorten the learning curve because the bike is light and easy to handle.

Trailcraft Timber 26 review - descending on rocks

Everyone needs a little time to get used to a new mountain bike. Once you get a few rides in the bag, you can start to improve your skills.

This 24 inch mountain bike for kids doesn't shy away from rough terrain.

The Trailcraft Timber 26 doesn’t shy away from the rocks. It has a Rock Shox air fork that you can set for your rider’s weight and ability.

Climbing a hill with the Trailcraft Timber 26

Intermediate through expert riders are going to know how to put a premium bike to use – and that was the case when our second rider got on the Timber 26. Coming straight off a downhill race, our rider fell in love with how light the bike was. He didn’t pooh-pooh the hardtail configuration and he truly enjoyed climbing hills. The bike’s short chainstays make it a responsive and stable machine, quick to abide by whatever the dude or dude-ette aboard wants to dish out.

The 26 inch tubeless-ready Stans Podium rims are an integral part of how the bike rides and handles. You simply cannot find a lighter, more responsive hardtail in this category.

Getting the Trailcraft Timber 26 in the air

Getting the Trailcraft Timber 26 off the ground fit our second rider well. He threw the quick-shifting drive train into the right gear and railed into the pump track with ease. To really make things quick, take advantage of the lock-out on the air fork and firm up the ride. Your rider will really be able to “pump’ the track when the suspension fork no longer sucks up the terrain.

Riding the Trailcraft Timber 26 at the pump track

The optional KS Lev dropper for the Timber 26 may be a wise choice if your kid needs to get that saddle out of the way in a hurry. This is a hard-tail mountain bike that will suit a lot of kids no matter what type of terrain they like to ride. Need a XC race-quality machine? Check! Want to hit the dirt jumps? Check! Techy singletrack? Check! Ready to roll the pump track? Check!

The Trailcraft Timber 26 is one of the best 26 inch mountain bikes for kids

Transferring power to the drivetrain through the 152mm long cranks is easy-peasy. Add your own platform pedals or pedals with clips to claim every joule of energy. Although parents have been known to tinker with these bikes when they arrive, the Timber 26 comes standard with a set of well-suited Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires.

The Trailcraft Timber 26 Is A Great Bike

As with most Trailcraft bikes, options abound for the Timber 26… component group, frame color, front chain ring, optional dropper. If you want to start small and build up your own bike, Trailcraft offers a ‘frame only’ option for the Timber 26.

Don’t hesitate when buying a Trailcraft bike for your kids. A quality, premium bike maintains its value. Our children have had bikes for just a season so we could make sure we have had the deck stacked in our favor when it comes to climbing hills and spending a long time in the saddle out on the trails.

The Timber 26 is not only a good climber, it’s durable aluminum alloy frame is designed to take a beating. It’s maneuverable and the bike’s Rock Shox fork, Shimano components, and other youth-sized features are made to go on long rides, dirty dirt jumps, and sweet single track with family and friends.

Anna Newkirk Interview

Anna Newkirk interview
Anna Newkirk interview

Anna Newkirk had several podiums last year in the women’s junior downhill category through the 2019 UCI World Cup series including a win at Ft. William. This year, she’s moving up to the elite classification and will be competing against the fastest women on the planet. As part of the Young Guns Racing Team based in Europe, this American is ready for launching into a season full of opportunity and excitement.

Follow Anna Newkirk on Instagram @annanewkirk_
Anna Newkirk is sponsored by: Canyon Bikes | Maxxis Tires | DT Swiss

Note: this story originally mentioned an ankle injury that was from an interview with another athlete. That erroneous text has been removed. Anna is healthy and ready to go.

Can you tell me a bit about growing up in Salt Lake City? I was born in Salt Lake and I grew up there racing BMX. We used to go ride at Rad Canyon a lot and we tried to race every race. My brothers and I raced a lot of national BMX races in the US. Tell me about how your parents supported you over the years? They've always been my biggest supporters. Always helping me when I need and introducing the bikes in the first place. Especially just supporting me in general, mental support. Always believing in me. They've definitely been the biggest part of my whole racing career. Do you have dual citizenship and can you speak German? I don't have dual citizenship yet. I'm working on getting my Swiss passport, but yeah, I am fluent in German and Swiss German. How did you transition from BMX to downhill? I think it was just a natural thing that happened – mainly because of my little brother, actually. When we lived in the US I remember my first mountain bike. It was a Marin with 20 inch wheels. I did a little bit of mountain biking there, and then moved to Europe and we didn't really have a lot of options of riding BMX or racing BMX. My brother started riding downhill and mountain bikes and I thought, "Well, he's doing it, I’m also going to start doing it." I started riding downhill bikes mainly through my brother.
Tell me a bit about your win in Ft. William last summer. Yeah, that was a really cool experience. It was funny because the weekend itself at the beginning didn't start off really well. In practice I had a pretty nasty crash and I messed up the ligaments of my toe and I couldn't really put any pressure on it. I didn't know if I was even going to be able to race or ride. Then on qualifying or qualifying day, I was able to ride and it was all good. I crashed in my qualifying round again and hurt myself a little bit more. I guess on race day, everything just came together. I was super focused throughout the whole run – and even though there were still two riders left, I was just super stoked on the run. I didn't expect that I was going win. I remember sitting on the hot seat and looking at the time board. First, they were green. Vali Holl, she was ahead of me at the splits, and then they were red. From there, I was really nervous. I couldn't watch anymore. It was really a cool experience.
Anna Newkirk on the podium at Ft. William
Do you have any other tracks that you really like other than Ft. William now? I like a lot of the courses. I really liked the one in Croatia last year. Andorra is always fun. Les Gets is super fun. Mont Saint Anne was a lot of fun. So is Snowshoe. All of them. I guess I like all of them. Do you prefer fair weather compared to riding in wet conditions? Honestly, I didn't think I was very good in the wet, But in Ft. William, it was raining and it was really wet. I guess it just depends on the course. I wouldn't say I'm good or bad. It just is what it is. Talk a bit about riding enduro with Isabella Naughton and Lauren Bingham in the Trophy of Nations last year. That was really cool and a lot of fun. I was able to learn a lot from both of them about riding enduro and racing enduro. It was important to pace myself and not just to go all-out at the beginning. I wasn't as nervous when I was racing with them as I was at the first EWS I did in Zermatt. There, I was really nervous and I crashed almost in every single stage. Then in Finale at the Trophy of Nations, racing with them – I was a lot more calm. It was just a lot easier to do. What have you been doing in the offseason? What are you working on differently than last year, if anything? I don't think I've been doing that much differently from last year. Maybe some small things, but nothing that's like, "Oh, I'm in the elite category next year, so I have to do this and this differently." It's been mostly the same. On Monday, I don't do training. On Tuesday, I'll go to the gym in the morning, and then if I have enough time and enough sunlight, I'll go ride in the afternoon. Wednesday, I'll also go to the gym in the morning, and then I'll go ride in the afternoon and do sprints. On Thursday I'll go to the gym in the morning and if I have enough time and sunlight, I'll ride in the afternoon. Then on Friday, I do sprints and ride. Saturday and Sunday are just riding. Do you have a personal trainer or just the team trainer? Do you train as a group or do you have individual workouts? I work with a gym in Basel with them. It's called the Medical Fitness Center and I have a personal trainer there who helps me out in the gym. Mainly, the training and stuff, the gym workouts and sprints and stuff, I'll do by myself or with him. When I ride enduro, I’ll either go with friends or groups, and sometimes by myself. What do you enjoy doing when you're not on the bike? I like hiking and climbing and just being in the mountains enjoying the sun, good weather Are you a skier? I used to be. I mean, I really enjoy winter sports, skiing and snowboarding, but it's really expensive – especially here in Switzerland. I haven't been in a really long time, but I'd love to get a pair of skis soon because I really enjoy doing it.
Boris Beyer - photographer

Photos throughout this post are used courtesy of photographer Boris Beyer. You can follow Boris on Instagram @maddogboris to see more of his work. Boris was also featured in an episode of Maxxis Tires’ Rubber Side Down video series.

How do you handle it when things don't go your way when you know you could have done something better in a mountain bike race? That's the worst, especially when you've just finished a race and you just think that you know and you just know that you could have done better. First, I'll just become disappointed in myself. I like to be alone for a bit, and then I guess afterwards, just reflect on the race and think what I could have done differently and what I need to change for next time. Aside from the UCI stops, do you have any other events on your calendar that you're looking forward to? I always look forward to the Crankworx stops. I don't know if I'll be able to make it to any events this year, but I really hope I'm able to hang out a lot of fun. Also excited for the EWS races in Val Di Fassa [Italy] and Petzen [Slovakia].
American DH racer Anna Newkirk
What do you want to earn or achieve this year? I want to race as best as I can. Just mainly put down runs and earn results that I'm content with. Based on your experiences, what would you like to say to parents who have kids that are getting into racing I’d say don’t put any pressure on your kid and never make your kid feel like they have to finish first or finish on the podium. If they don't, don't be disappointed. Never make your kid feel like they could disappoint you. Tell me about your Young Guns Team? What you guys are about? What are your expectations and responsibilities are that go along with being part of the group? The Young Guns Racing Team is all about just pushing young racers up to their second year in the elite category and World Cups. Just helping them out, giving them support, and trying to make them into the best rider they can be. I think it's really cool. I learned a lot last year. I had a really good time with everyone. One thing that I think is really cool about it all is they don't put any pressure on us.

The Best 24″ Wheel Mountain Bikes For Under $500

Best 24inch mountain bikes for less than 500 dollars
Best 24inch mountain bikes for less than 500 dollars
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 and stay-near-home guidelines, kids' bikes have become very popular and a lot of manufacturers cannot keep inventory. You may wish to see our Kids Bikes For Sale - October 2020 post.

Best 24-inch Wheel Kids Mountain Bikes under $500: Want to get your kiddo on the trail without breaking the bank?  We’ve created a list of our favorite 24″ wheel kids mountain bikes for less than $500.  A few notes about the bikes on this list:

Mountain Bike Suspension

You’ll notice that 4 out of 5 of our recommended mountain bikes for kids have no suspension fork. Unfortunately, the suspension on most low to mid-range kids mountain bikes is heavy and ineffective. Kids often don’t have enough mass to really compress the front shock. Fully rigid bikes are are lighter and require less maintenance. Thus, they are great for beginning and intermediate riders.

Drivetrain And Gears

The kids’ mountain bikes on our list have a maximum of 8 gears. If you’ve been shopping around, I’m sure you have seen kids’ bikes with up to 27 gears. In our opinion, a 1 x with 7-9 gears is enough to give your kid the range to make it up steep hills and still pick up some speed when its flat. a 1x set up will make shifting more intuitive and save some serious weight.

Fit Is A Key To Success

We’ve listed the stand-over height for each bike on our list. Importantly, before you shell out the money on a new mountain bike for your kid, you’ll want to be sure they can straddle the bike with both feet flat on the ground (for beginners) or on tip toe (for more advanced riders). Get a good stand-over height measurement by measuring your child’s inseam.

For more tips on buying the best mountain bike fo your kid, check out: 10 Things To Know Before Buying A Kid’s Mountain Bike.

Our list of the best 24-inch wheel kids mountain bikes under $500…

Norco Storm 4.2 - 24 inch wheel bike for kids

Norco Storm 4.2

The Norco Storm 4.2 mountain bike for kids is made for fun on the trails. The x6 aluminum frame and SR Suntour XCT Jr. fork is built to conquer the trails. This bike even has a quick-release seat post clamp.

Buy this kids’ 24″ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size24 inches
Min. Standover Height23.74 inches
Frame MaterialAluminum
Drivetrain7 speed
BrakesTektro Alloy V-Brake
Shifter(s)Shimano Tourney, 7-Speed
DerailleurShimano Tourney TY500
ForkSR Suntour XCT Jr. Coil Spring, 50mm
Live PriceJenson USA
REI Co-op Cycles REV 24 inch wheel bike for kids

REI Co-op Cycles REV 24 Plus Kids’ Bike

The REI Co-op Cycles REV 24” wheel mountain bike is a great option to get your kids out on the trails for under $500. The REV 24 has several nice features that your kid will like.  First, the REV 24 boasts plus-size tires (2.6 in. wide) to soften the little bumps and stick to the trail for a smooth, stable ride. Second, 1 x 7 shifting keeps it simple. Third, mechanical disc brakes provide confidence-inspiring, responsive braking.

Buy this 24″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size24 inches
Min. Standover Height24 inches
Frame Material6061 aluminum
Drivetrain1 x 7 Shimano Tourney, 14/34
BrakesMechanical Disc Brake
Shifter(s)Shimano Tourney Revo Twist
DerailleurShimano Tourney
ForkRigid Aluminum
Weight28.2 pounds
Live PriceREI

Trek Rosco 24 inch wheel bike for kids

Trek Roscoe 24

The Roscoe 24” is a mountain bike designed to help kids build confidence on the trail. This bike features 2.8˝ mid-fat tires to provide great traction and stability. The 1x drivetrain with a wide-range cassette make for comfortable and intuitive climbing. Additionally, the mechanical disc brakes make controlling speed a breeze. The Roscoe is an excellent bike for little riders who want to build skills and have fun. This 24” wheel kids mountain bike will fit kids 4’3”- 4’11” tall.

Buy this kids’ 24″ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size24 inches
Min. Standover Height23.6 inches
Frame MaterialAlpha Aluminum
DrivetrainSunRun cassette, 8 speed , 11-34
BrakesTektro MD-M280 mechanical disc, 160mm rotor
Shifter(s)Shimano Altus M310
DerailleurShimano Tourney TX80
ForkRigid Roscoe 24”, alloy
Weight25.1 pounds
Live PriceTrek

Prevelo Alpha 4 24 inch bike for kids

Prevelo Alpha 4

Prevelo designs every aspect of their kids’ bikes to inspire confidence and make riding fun. Firstly, the 24″ Alpha Four offers an 8-speed Shimano drive train. The 11-34T wide range gearing gives growing riders truly usable gear range. Secondly, at only 21.2 pounds with pedals, this bike is exceptionally light, helping to make bike control and climbing easier. Thirdly, the Shimano Acera Rapidfire Plus shift lever is easy for small hands to operate, has an indicator display, and operate just like shifters on high performance bikes. Finally, the Alpha 4 boasts unique low and narrow geometry to keep your rider rider low, balanced and in control.

Buy this 24″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size24 inches
Min. Standover Height23 inches
Frame Material6061 aluminum alloy
Drivetrain1 x 8, Shimano 11-34T
BrakesTektro V Brake
Shifter(s)Shimao Acera Rapidfire Plus
DerailleurShimano Altus
ForkRigid Aluminum alloy
Weight21.2 pounds (with pedals)
Live PricePrevelo Bikes
Norco Storm 4.1 24 inch wheel mountain bike for kids

Norco Storm 4.1 – 24-inch Kids Mountain Bike

The Norco Storm 4.1 was created for epic outdoor adventures. This 24” wheel kids’ mountain bike features a lightweight X6 aluminum frame. The SR Suntour XCT Jr fork will smooth out the bumps. Additionally, shifting is intuitive and easy with the Shimano Altus 7-speed Rapidfire shift system. Importantly, the Tektro mechanical disc brakes will help your little ripper help control their speed safely.

Buy this 24″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size24 inches
Min. Standover Height23.7 inches
Frame MaterialAluminum
Drivetrain1 x 7 Shimano HG200 Cassette 12-32
BrakesTektro Mechanical Disc Brakes
Shifter(s)Shimano Altus Rapidfire 7spd Shifter
DerailleurShimano Tourney TY500
ForkSR Suntour XCT Jr. Coil Spring Suspension, 50mm
Weight?? not published
Live PriceNorco
Woom 5 mountain bike for kids

Woom 5

The Woom 5 is a beautifully designed light-weight 24 inch wheel bike for kids. It doesn’t have disc brakes or a suspension fork, but its ergonomics are geared towards making the bike easy to ride and therefore allowing your child to develop a strong foundation of bike handling skills. We did an in-depth review of the Woom 5 and absolutely loved it.

Buy this 24″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size24 inches
Min. Standover Height26.38 inches
Frame Material6061 aluminum alloy
DrivetrainSRAM X4 8-speed
BrakesV-brakes. The levers are suited to fit small hands.
Shifter(s)SRAM grip shifter
DerailleurSRAM X4 derailleur
Weight18.08 pounds
Live PriceWoom Bikes

Tyler McCaul Interview

Freeride mountain biker Tyler McCaul / T-Mac

We had the opportunity to talk with mtb freerider and Redbull Rampage athlete Tyler “T-Mac” McCaul last weekend. After taking an injury last month, he was on crutches and hanging out in the GT Bicycles team tent at Bootleg Canyon. So, without further ado…

Has it been a year since you moved to Utah? Almost, I moved in April last year, so 10 months. What's a typical day like in Toquerville while you're on the mend? Lately, I've been doing physical therapy and doing a lot of stretching on my ankle. I got a trainer for my road bike, but I just set up downstairs so I can look at the hills and bring it in it and kind of spin out on that. So, finally I’m able to get some exercises. Today's been a month. I couldn't do anything other than ice and elevate. But now, I can actually get going. I’m trying to stay healthy and get it moving and keep it working. Is it hard to keep the diet going too, just because you're not burning all those calories all the time? Yeah, I’ve tried to lower my caloric intake but it's tough because food can cheer you up when you're bummed and it's a bummer to be sitting on the couch. Lots of movies? Yeah, lots of movies and then there’s a guy named Paul who reached out to me on Instagram, he's a trainer and physical therapist. He gave me kind of a workout routine I can do while I'm on one leg. So, I don't just sit there and wither away. That’s pretty good. Is he local or is he working from afar? He’s in Colorado. I've never met him or anything, he’s so cool. He just reached out and said he wanted to help and gave me a routine I can do on one leg and try to not waste away completely. Do you have cabin fever yet? It just is what it is. It happens. It’s part of the territory and I did it to myself. It's just tough because we moved there in April and then it’s summer – and summer’s here are so hot. So the whole time I'm just looking forward to winter. And right now is prime-time. The best weather all year. I’m bummed to be missing that, but obviously it could be worse. It's petty to dwell on that kind of stuff. I'll be back when I'm back and now that I live in Utah, I’ll catch the next winter. Do you work with a sports psychologist? No, just my lady telling me to stop complaining. What's your physical therapy like? Right now I'm doing two days a week. And we just do an hour there. The therapists grab it, twist it, pull on it, do all kinds of crazy stuff. And then I just do some on my own at home; certain exercises they gave me and I try to do those pretty regularly. Do you ever skip any of those, like brushing your teeth every day? Right now I'm trying to do anything I can to get riding again. When will you be good to go? They don't know, actually. It's a weird injury. I bruised a bunch of bones in my ankle, which I've never had before, I had no idea how painful that could be. It hurts more than when I broke my right ankle and this is my left one, but it's getting better. It's been a month and I’m getting to the point where I can put weight on it. So, I'm hoping it'll just keep getting better quick. But, yeah, they're not too sure how long it will be. Was surgery ever an option or a possibility? No, not for something like that. I thought I tore some ligaments or achilles tendon maybe but all that was stretched and inflamed but intact, so that's good. Would you be racing here [at Bootleg] if you were healthy? I would like to race. I used to when I was younger. I think the last time I was here was 2010. It’s been a long time since I’ve raced but I think it'd be super fun. Talk about Jaxson Riddle for a moment. That kid is the future. He's incredibly talented, motivated, down-to-earth. He’s a full package. I'm hoping he gets in Rampage this year, which I think he will. He’s been working super hard and I think he's gonna raise a lot of eyebrows. A lot of people are going to take note that he's gonna make a great name for himself and for freeride. He's definitely leading the younger generation of riders. That’s for sure.
How good is it to have the wild wild west outside your door now? What projects have you been working on? I started digging before I got hurt for a video project. I did one last year it’s called Handbuilt. I was going to do chapter two in Utah, had some really cool stuff picked out to build. I was hoping to be filming right around now. We may have to postpone it until next winter, but we’ll see. Do you have a favorite filmmaker that you work with or just local talent? I did my first one with Calvin Huth, he's from BC, super talented filmer and easy to work with. He can help me on the shovel too if we need to make last minute adjustments. He's who I'm going to film next for this next one, and we might bring in Pete Jamison as well. That'd be a really good team. Tell us about how the Proving Grounds event provides the opportunity for additional talent to get on board. I think Proving Grounds is definitely something that needed to happen. It's fairly controversial just because you can't really replicate that kind of [Rampage] terrain. But the idea is there. It’s something tangible to rank people on and see what they can do other than the video part because some people could have more money and more time to put into a video part than others. But it's called Proving Grounds for a reason. You're competing against each other. And it's not exactly like it is in Southern Utah. But at the same time, it's big features and it’s a competitive environment. You can see how riders do under pressure in a contest format, all that stuff I wouldn't be surprised if they started doing it in different countries, it seems logical. They've been talking about it. But there's nothing set in stone that you know of? Not yet. You've been on GT for quite a while, how long? I think this is my 12th year. That must be a record. It's been awesome. They've supported me through everything I've ever done. Before I signed with them I was doing a little bit of racing and slopestyle and they brought me on to be their slopestyle guy. I've switched full focus to that and then have gone back-and-forth. Sometimes I will race and they will support that. And then I stopped doing slopestyle and settled on and focus on speed and style, which they fully supported. Now I moved to Utah, I'm spending most of my time on a downhill bike which they support. So, it's great to have people that believe in me and give me the freedom to pursue what I feel is right at the time. Tell us about the gigantic drop you had in your Rampage line last year. That was the Triple Dipper. And this is on Chili’s menu? Hah! Yeah, that's right. You gotta have stuff in the back of your head for what the next thing is going to be, right? That's part of the fun of writing this thing, because you get to name the features after you make them. We used to name the big drops after margaritas at Chili’s and those ran out in 2017. In 2018 I was driving to Virgin with my friend Alex who digs with me every year and he asked, “If we find a big drop what are we're going to call it?” And I said, “I don't know, pull up the Chili's menu.” So, he pulls it up on his phone and says, “The only margarita left is called tropical sunrise or something.” I said, “Well, we're not going to name it that because that's just not cool.” And then I said, “Well my favorite appetizer at Chili’s is called the Triple Dipper, but we can't name it that unless there's a landing in between, so it’s like a triple.” So, we found this big drop. I was dead set on putting that in my line. And then Brandon [Semenuk], the feature he ended up flipping; the flat-flip to lily pad, that landing was in between the takeoff and landing of our drop, so it looked like a triple. So, then we were like, “Okay, cool, its triple dipper, it meets all the criteria.” You're always smiling and it's wonderful. It trickles down for sure among all the other riders and fans. Thanks for the talk. I really appreciate it. Thank you, too.

Tyler’s Instagram Account: @tylermccaul

Best Seattle Mountain Bike Trails for Kids

Seattle area mountain biking for families

Best Seattle Mountain Bike Trails for Kids: There’s nothing more exciting than getting your kids hooked on an activity you love. But for mountain bikers, that can be a bit of a challenge. It can be really hard to find good beginner trails for kids that keep them interested and help them progress, without being too challenging and overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to the best mountain bike trails in the Seattle area for kids. These trails are all easily accessible, with optional features that kids can challenge themselves on. They’re well signed, so you won’t run into any surprises, and most cater to beginners specifically, so you won’t have more aggressive riders coming up behind and passing. And most of all, they’re fun. Your kids will have a blast exploring and riding all of these trails – whether they’re riding a strider, or riding their mountain bike harder than you.

Duthie Hill Bike Park

Duthie Hill is a huge bike specific park, with something for everyone. While it’s got plenty of bigger intermediate and expert terrain and features, what really sets it apart for kids and beginner riders is how the whole park is designed for progression. There are trails and features designed to help riders of any ability level grow. So younger kids can just get a feel for pedaling and cornering on dirt, and as they progress, there are easy building block features that will challenge them without being overwhelming.

Even really young kids who are still on balance bikes can get a feel for singletrack riding at Duthie. And most of the trails at Duthie are designated as directional, so everyone will be going the same way. That’s especially helpful for kids who can struggle with stopping and starting again when they meet riders coming the opposite direction. Duthie Hill made our list of best Seattle mountain bike trails for kids because it provides a fun, safe environment to grow as riders.

Duthie Hill mountain biking 01
Duthie HIll mouintain biking 02

Palouse To Cascades Trail

The Palouse to Cascades Trail, formerly known as the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, is the perfect option for kids who want to ride a little further, but aren’t as interested in technical terrain. It’s a wide, mostly gravel trail that follows an old railroad bed, and even goes through a tunnel. The tunnel is an adventure not to be missed, and the mellow riding means you don’t even need a bike with real mountain bike tires. Because it’s on the railroad grade, the climb and descending are very gradual, so even kids who just learned to pedal or use hand brakes can stay in control.

The whole trail is over 100 miles long, we recommend riding shorter sections and setting up a shuttle with multiple cars so that they can ride point to point in the downhill direction of the trail. Our favorite section of trail for kids starts at the Iron Horse State Park and drops West towards Cedar Falls. From Iron Horse to Cedar Falls is 23 mostly downhill miles, but you can cut it shorter depending on how much energy your kids have. This section is mostly gently downhill, and includes a railroad tunnel so bring lights and headlamps. The John Wayne Pioneer Trail is the perfect place for kids to build confidence and experience for longer, more technical rides. This is definitely a big adventure, so grab your mountain bike shoes, put on your bike shorts, and get ready for a fun day!

Palouse to Cascades Trail
Palouse to Casades Trail

Black Diamond Open Space (BDOS)

The Black Diamond Open Space is a conveniently located trail network with a high concentration of great beginner and intermediate trails. Located close to Henry’s ridge, Black Diamond Open Space is flatter and less demanding than much of the riding in the Seattle area, and its densely packed trails make it easy to stack small loops of riding and cater to any skill or endurance level.

Like Duthie Hill, the BDOS trails are optimized for progression with plenty of optional features, and a variety of blue and green trails. Kids can build skills on easy trails, and then quickly step up to more technical trails in the same area. And there are plenty of more interesting intermediate and expert trails for parents and older kids. BDOS is a great place to go ride with your kids and learn about what kinds of trails they prefer, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley’s trail system isn’t quite as tightly stacked as Duthy or BDOS, which means there’s more riding between intersections. And there aren’t any really big climbs or descents, instead it’s mostly flowy up and down riding that helps build endurance and bike handling skills for kids.

Most of the trail at Paradise Valley is beginner or intermediate, so don’t worry about taking a wrong turn and ending up in over your head. Instead, you can plan bigger loops and ride continuously with your kids. It’s not quite as easy to progress to more technical trails or bigger features here, instead it’s an ideal place to just solidify all-round bike handling skills and fitness.

Child mountain biking in the Seattle area

About The Author

We are evo Seattle, a mountain bike shop with an emphasis on invitation & getting everyone out having fun on the trails. evo is a one stop shop for all things bike repair while also offering mountain bike rentals.

evo explores the collaboration between culture and sport by seamlessly joining art, music, streetwear, skateboarding, snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, and wakeboarding. Our aim is to bring all things relevant to the urban, action sports lifestyle into one creative space. Whether it is on the website, on the phone or in our stores, our aim is to make all who come into contact with evo feel welcome and excited about their experience.

Check out our Destinations and Trails page for more fun places to ride and visit! We’d love to hear about your favorite places to ride bikes with your family, too. Share your faves with us on Instagram or Facebook