10 Things To Know Before Buying A Kid’s Mountain Bike

Ten things to know when buying a kids mountain bike
Ten things to know when buying a kids mountain bike

Mountain biking with your kids is fun, challenging and healthy. Buying a kids mountain bike can be overwhelming. We all want our kids to love being out in nature on their bikes – but that enjoyment is dependent on having the right equipment. Choosing the best mountain bike for your kid can be difficult. Here’s our list of things to consider so you can choose the right kids mountain bike:

Quality Kids Bikes Can Be Expensive

Well-made kids’ bikes can be expensive! When our kids were finally old enough to join us on the trails, we were shocked at the sticker prices of the quality kids bikes.  $900 for a bike for a 7-year old?!? That’s more than I spent on my first car!

It can be hard to justify a spending large amount of money on a kid’s bike when  you could buy a bike with the same size wheels online for $99. You know that buying a mountain bike for your kid promotes fitness, time outside, adventure and family memories that last. But is it necessary to buy an expensive bike for that to happen?

What is the Real Value?

First off, let’s put the price of buying a kids mountain bike in perspective. A new Xbox costs $400-500 – even before you buy games at $30-$60 each (wouldn’t you rather be outside?) Or compare the price of a bike to what you might spend on sports teams or lessons. In our city, people will pay $190 for 8-weeks of gymnastics lessons ($1140 for a year of lessons!). Participating on a club soccer team can cost upwards of $1200 per year. $1200 would definitely buy a quality mountain bike to last your growing kid a while.

One perk of buying a good kids’ mountain bike is the potential to sell it that after your kiddo out grows it.  After you enjoy a season or two of quality family time and your kid grows taller from all the fresh air and exercise, you can re-sell your kid’s used bike for 50-75% of what you paid for it!

While the prices for new kids’ bikes still make me gasp, we have learned that a well-made bike can make all the difference in whether mountain biking is enjoyable for your kid. Good kid’s bikes are expensive because they have frames, geometry and components designed with to fit the needs of smaller riders.

When It Comes to Kids’ Mountain Bikes – Fit Is It!

There are many variables to weigh, but in our opinion, getting a mountain bike that fits your child is the most important element. Proper fit directly affects ease-of-use and safety. Although the temptation is understandable, we don’t recommend buying a bike for your son or daughter to grow into. If your kid cannot safely ride the bike, because she can’t reach the ground or comfortably squeeze the brakes, the financial “value” decreases dramatically. You’ll minimize crashing and increase fun by choosing a bike that fits your kid.

Things to consider when buying a kids mountain bike:

Stand-Over Height: Regardless of wheel size, your kid should be able to straddle the bike with both feet flat on the ground.

Wheel Size: Not all 7-year old kids are the same size, jus as not all 20-inch bikes are the same,. Geometry can be dramatically different. A bike that doesn’t fit your kid IS a waste of money, so don’t just go by the listed age of use. Bigger wheels roll over bumps more easily than smaller wheels. Look for a bike that has the biggest wheels available for your kid’s stand-over height. A bike with larger diameter wheels will be more stable and more efficient for longer rides than smaller wheels because they require less effort to keep their momentum going.

Seat height: Your child needs to be able to touch the balls of her feet on the ground while seated on the saddle.

Reach: Your kid should be able to comfortably reach the handlebars with elbows slightly bent when sitting on the seat. Handbrakes should be easily reachable and squeezable while seated.

Mountain Biking Ability/Experience

Although many bikes are marketed for kids of certain ages, age has nothing to do with selecting the right bike. At the same age, some kids may be able to balance, steer, pedal and brake, while others will still need time to work on balance alone. Knowing your child’s physical ability will help you choose the right bike for them.

Bike Weight

The first 20-inch bike our son rode was as heavy as my adult bike. When you consider the ratio of the weight of the bike to a kid’s weight, many kids’ bikes are more than one-half the rider’s weight. Weight makes a bigger difference to the enjoyment and control of a child’s bike than an adults, because kids are smaller and not as strong. We recommend buying as light a bike as you can. Luckily, more bike manufacturers are making lightweight bikes for kids.

Brake Options For Kids’ Mountain Bikes

Coaster brakes can make it easy to slow down or stop by back-pedaling. On the other hand, coaster brakes add weight and your child will still need to learn to use a hand brake when they move to the next size bike. Many kids’ bikes have a hand brake in addition to coaster brakes or just left the coaster brake off altogether in favor of hand brakes. Having both coaster brakes and hand brakes can be useful if your kid isn’t strong enough to only use hand brakes, but you want to get them started on learning how. Some bikes that have coaster brakes also have a freewheel option so you could take it to the shop to get rid of the coaster brake once your kid is fine with just using their hands.

Once your kid starts riding real trails, disc brakes can help them with increased control and stopping power. Kids’ hands can get fatigued easily if you’re riding trails with longer descents. Our favorite kids bikes come with disc brakes with levers engineered specifically for kid sized fingers. Both mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes stop faster and with less effort than V brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes are often more expensive, but require less maintenance and adjustment than mechanical disc brakes.

Suspension Options For Kids’ Mountain Bikes

If you mountain bike with a bike with suspension, you most likely appreciate the way it benefits your riding. Although many kids (and parents) like the looks/idea of a bike with a front shock, we recommend a rigid fork for most beginner and intermediate riders. Fully rigid bikes are great for teaching bike fundamentals and are lighter and require less maintenance.

Front suspension

Unfortunately, the suspension on most low to mid range kids mountain bikes is cheap, heavy and ineffective. Kids often don’t have enough mass to really compress a front shock. First, decide if your kid is riding the kind of gnarly single-track that would justify adding the weight of a shock to their bikes. If so, you may want to look into purchasing a shock and swapping out the one that came with the bike. High end bikes with the best components will be expensive. However, if your kid’s riding style necessitates a good fork, you can find them. Good front suspension can help your kiddo roll over bumps while keeping the wheel in contact with the ground. This can add stability and control and decrease rider fatigue. Better (more expensive) forks weigh less and can be tuned to your rider’s weight.

Full suspension

If your rider will be riding mostly cross-country trails, the added weight and expense of a full suspension bike may not make sense. The linkages and shock will add considerable weight to a bike which can make climbing uncomfortable. However, if your family rides advanced chunky technical trails, it may make sense to invest in a quality full suspension bike. Air shocks can be adjusted for you rider more easily than coil shocks.

Gears. How Many Is Too Many? Too Few?

For true beginners or those riding mostly in their neighborhoods, single speed bikes are great! Single speed bikes are easier to manage, lighter, and less likely to need mechanical fixes. Once you start to get on a trail with climbing and descending, gears can greatly increase the fun and decrease the work of getting up hills. You’ll see kids’ bikes with up to 27 gears which is both confusing and heavy. In our opinion, a 1x 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.

Shifters: Grip Shifters Vs. Trigger Shifters

It’s surprising how many gear shifters on kids bikes are difficult to operate. Look for child-sized components that can be operated easily by small hands. Kids have differences in motor skills and strength. We recommend you take you child to a bike shop to try out the different types of shifters. Our oldest son was able to use grip shifters easily, but our youngest struggled with the twist shifters and greatly preferred the trigger shifters.

Dropper Posts

This won’t apply to all young mountain bikers, but if you have a dropper on your mountain bike, you understand the difference in can make in your confidence and ability to climb, descend and maneuver on trails. There are not many kids’ mountain bikes that come with droppers. We added a used dropper post to our 11 year old’s bike last year and it made a HUGE difference in his riding.

Should You Buy A New Or Used Mountain Bike For Your Child?

There are many websites for buying and selling bikes, it’s not a bad idea to check them out. You might find a deal! Even if you buy new, consider the re-sale value when purchasing a kids’ mountain bike. When our kids were racing BMX, we often purchased a higher quality used bike for $300 and re-sold it for $200 after they grew into the next size. This resulted in us getting a much better value than purchasing a cheap bike for $100. Check out our Mountain Bike Real Cost Calculator.

Local Bike Shop Or Big Box Store?

If you’re purchasing a new bike for your child, we highly recommend buying a kids mountain bike from your local bike shop. A bike purchased in your local bike shop will have been built by a pro who will ensure it is safe. And if you’ve never tried to dial in V brakes, you’ll know that it’s something you’ll be happy the experts will do. When you have questions, the experts can give specific advice for choosing the best bike your child.

Ready To Find The Best Mountain Bike For Your Kid?

For little kids:

Best Bikes for Kids 1-3 years old (12-inch wheels)

Best Bikes for Kids 3-4 years old (14-inch wheels)

For bigger kids:

Best Bikes for Kids 4-5 years old (16-inch wheels)

Best Bikes for Kids 5-8 years old (20-inch wheels)

For pre-teens and teens

Best Bikes for Kids 8-11 years old (24-inch wheels)

Best Bikes for Kids 11-14 years old (26-inch wheels)


You may also want to peruse our kid’s mountain bike database. This database allows you to filter kids’ mountain bikes to find the perfect match. You can filter by by wheel size, manufacturer, cost, brake type, suspension options, standover height, shifter type, and other variants to help you find the best mountain bike for your kid’s needs!

Ten Great Mountain Bikes For NICA Kids

Mountain Bikes For NICA Kids

Best Bikes for NICA Racers – Your little mountain biker isn’t going to be so little much longer. If those years of waiting for her or him to keep up with you have not already gone by, don’t blink. It will happen fast.

As your kids get older they will continue to enjoy outdoor adventures and learning new skills on their mountain bikes with your family. However, since friends will become increasingly important in your pre-teen/teen’s life, you’ll want to be sure that your mountain biking activities include friends.

Hardtail Mountain Bikes for NICA Riders | Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes for NICA Riders

You may have already heard about the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Founded in 2009, NICA develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. American kids in grades 7-12 may 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.

Since 2009, participation in NICA has grown 30 to 40 percent each year. There is an element of competition and racing. However, the purpose of NICA is to support student-athletes in the development of strong body, mind, and character through their efforts on the bike. 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.

Best Bikes for NICA Racers – AYour little mountain biker isn’t going to be so little much longer. If those years of waiting for her or him to keep up with you have not already gone by, don’t blink. It will happen fast.

As your kids get older they will continue to enjoy outdoor adventures and learning new skills on their mountain bikes with your family. However, since friends will become increasingly important in your pre-teen/teen’s life, you’ll want to be sure that your mountain biking activities include friends.

Hardtail Mountain Bikes for NICA Riders | Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes for NICA Riders

You may have already heard about the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA). Founded in 2009, NICA develops interscholastic mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States. American kids in grades 7-12 may 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.

Since 2009, participation in NICA has grown 30 to 40 percent each year. There is an element of competition and racing. However, the purpose of NICA is to support student-athletes in the development of strong body, mind, and character through their efforts on the bike. 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.

Hardtail/Front-Suspension Mountain Bikes for NICA Riders

Santa Cruz Chameleon 29 D hardtail mountain bike for NICA

Santa Cruz Bicycles Chameleon 29 D Hardtail Mountain Bike

The Chameleon is an amazingly adaptable bike for high school mountain bikers. Your NICA rider can hit the trails, dirt jumps, or commute to school on this versatile hardtail. There are lots of things to love about this bike! First, the Chameleon 29 D has a slack 65-degree head tube and a low-slung top tube to help your high school-aged racer carry speed with confidence. Second, the short chainstays to maintain agility. Third, the 1×12-speed SRAM Eagle drivetrain offers a massive 11-50t cassette providing plenty of gearing for the steepest hills. Fourth, SRAM’s  Level brakes provide speed moderation and stopping power. Finally, the Chameleon boasts a RockShox Recon RL fork, tubeless-ready rim,s and top tier 29×2.5” Maxxis Minion DHF and Maxxis Agressor tires. Don’t forget, buying a Santa Cruz means you get their industry-leading lifetime warranty!

Buy this mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Salsa Rangefinder hardtail mountain bike

Salsa Rangefinder Deore 12-Speed 27.5+ Mountain Bike

Your NICA rider will have a lot of fun on this bike! The Rangefinder Deore 12 27.5+ has many features list that make it a good 27.5 hardtail bike for a decent price. First, the stable trail geometry will put your teen in a comfortable, confident position to take on new terrain and experiences. Second, the 120 mm suspension fork will help with the bumps. Third, the included dropper post will keep your NICA racer in the perfect position for climbing and descending. Fourth, the 2.8”-wide tires deliver awesome grip. Finally, Shimano’s Deore 12-speed build kit gives plenty of range for taking on steep climbs and speedy flats.

Buy this hardtail mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Niner 2-Star hardtail mountain bike for NICA

Niner Air 9 2-Star Mountain Bike

If your NICA rider is hoping for a super-light aluminum hardtail mountain bike, they will love the Niner Air 2-Star. The Niner Air 9 2-Star Bike is a light aluminum hardtail.  The frame features integrated frame protection and tire clearance for up to 29 x 2.4″ or 27.5 x 3.0″ tires. The 2-Star version of the Niner Air 9 RDO comes with a SRAM SX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain. The hill-crushing 11-50T gear range will make climbing and negotiating rocky mountain terrain much easier. SRAM Level hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power so your NICA teen can descend with confidence.

Buy this mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 Bike NICA

Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 Hardtail Mountain Bike

REI’s Co-op Cycles DRT 2.2 is a bike that will take your NICA rider wherever they want to pedal. This hardtail includes many great features for any high-school-aged racer. First, th front suspension features 120mm of travel on XS–S and 140mm on M–XL. Second, the 1×12 SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain enables swift, streamlined shifting. Thir, the  Shimano hydraulic disc brakes deliver reliable stopping power. Fourth, the wheels are tubeless-ready for fewer flats and more fun. Finally, the DRT 2.2 includes an X-Fusion Manic dropper seat post so your NICA rider is ready to handle whatever the trail throws at them.

Buy this cross country mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Orbea Alma hardtail mountain bike for NICA

Orbea Alma M25 Hardtail Carbon Mountain Bike

If your NICA racer is focused on getting on the podium, the Orbea Alma M25 might be the bike they’re dreaming of. The Alma M25 is ultra-light and stiff so your teen can climb as fast as possible and sprint when needed.  To start, the Alma M25 has an OMR carbon frame with 100mm of travel on the front. The frame also features internal cable routing, a chainstay protector, and Boost spacing. Importantly, the M25 version of the Orbea Alma comes with a Shimano XT 12-speed drivetrain. The cassette has a  10-51T gear range that will tackle any terrain. The Orbea Alma M25 boasts Shimano M6100 hydraulic disc brakes that provide excellent stopping power. Finally, DT Swiss X-1900 Spline 25c tubeless-ready wheels are paired with Maxxis Ikon tires for fewer flats and more fun!

Buy this hardtail mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Full-Suspension Mountain Bikes for NICA Kids

Orbea Oiz 2022 hardtail mountain bike

Orbea Oiz H30 2022 Full Suspension Mountain Bike

The Orbea OIZ H30 2022 is an ultra-light full suspension mountain bike that can handle the most technical trails with ease. Firstly, the Orbea Oiz H30 has a hydroformed aluminum frame that is designed for increased strength and stiffness. Secondly, the H30 Oiz comes with a Shimano Deore/XT 1×12-speed drivetrain. Thirdly, the hill-crushing 10-51T gear range facilitates climbing and riding in rough terrain. Fourthly, the Shimano M6100 hydraulic disc brakes provide excellent stopping power for confidence and control. Importantly, the Fox suspension on the front and rear creates a smooth and efficient ride.

Buy this full suspension mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Ghost SLAMR full suspension mountain bike for NICA

Ghost SLAMR 2.9 29″ Full Suspension Mountain Bike

Treat your NICA racer well with this fun full-suspension machine. The ghost SLAMR 2.9 has many great components and features. First, the stiff and strong hydroformed aluminum frame features progressive geometry for control on descents and a steep seat tube angle for an efficient riding position on climbs. Second, the 29 in. wheels provide a smooth ride and maximum speed over rough terrain. Third, the RockShox® Judy Silver fork provides 130mm of tunable travel with a lockout option for climbing. Fourth, RockShox Deluxe Select+ rear shock smooths out the trail with 130mm of rear-wheel travel and 3 firmness settings. Of course, the SRAM SX Eagle 1 x 12 drivetrain optimizes shifting performance. Finally, the JD dropper seat post provides on-the-fly adjustment for gnarly descents!

Buy this full suspension mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Santa Cruz Carbon Blur full suspension mountain bike for NICA

Santa Cruz Blur Carbon S Mountain Bike

The Santa Cruz Blur Carbon S Mountain Bike is a hyper-focused cross-country machine that promises to help your NICA rider leave it all out there on the racecourse. The progressive geometry and 19-inch tires will keep your young rider rolling over trail obstacles. The specs on this full-suspension mountain bike Blur don’t miss a beat. First, top-of-the-line RockShox components support season after season of hits. Next, the bike is decked out with the SID fork and rear SidLuxe shock to support the descents and climbs. Additionally, the drivetrain is fully kitted in SRAM Eagle GX components. Where the rubber hits the trail, Maxxis Aspen tires in the 2.4in width allow for superior grip and less rolling resistance. The Santa Cruz Blur Carbon is a mountain bike any NICA racer would covet.

Buy this full suspension mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Juliana Wilder Carbon full suspension mountain bike

Juliana Wilder Carbon R Mountain Bike

Ther Juliana Wilder Carbon R is a short travel 29er optimized for cross country racing. Juliana bikes are tuned for lighter-weight riders. The Wilder Carbon R has so many things that make it a great choice for your NICA racer. First, the carbon frame is built to be stiff yet not uncomfortable. As a bonus, the frame has room for two water bottles in the main triangle. Second, this full suspension mountain bike provides 115mm of rear travel driven by efficient Superlight suspension. Third, the NX Eagle 12-speed drivetrain will provide plenty of range to get your NICA rider up and over the climbs. Importantly, the SDG Tellis dropper post gets the seat out of the way on descents to improve speed and comfort.

Buy this full suspension mountain bike for NICA riders from:

Co-op DRT 3.1 full suspension mountain bike for NICA

Co-op Cycles DRT 3.1 Mountain Bike

The DRT 3.1 is an entry-level full suspension mountain bike made by REI. This MTB has a 1 x 12 drive train. Suspension is provided by  RockShox Recon Gold RL front suspension and RockShox Monarch R Solo Air in the rear. Both have external rebound adjust to keep the ride smooth and wheels glued to the trail. Size XS and S bikes have 26 x 2.8 in. wheels and 120 mm of travel front and rear; size M–XL bikes have 27.5 x 2.8 in. wheels, 140 mm of front travel, and 130 mm of rear travel. The DRT 3.1 comes outfitted with a remote-control X-Fusion Manic dropper seatpost to let your NICA rider adjust to terrain on the fly. Tires and rims are ready for tubeless setup.

Buy this full suspension mountain bike for NICA riders from:

For more lists of the best kids bikes, check out our Kids Mountain Bikes page

The Best Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids

The Best MTB Helmets for kids

Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids – Helmets are obviously useful to keep your young mountain biker safe on the trails. If you want your little rider to consistently wear their helmet, you’ll want to be sure it fits well and feels comfortable.

The Best MTB Helmets for kids

If your kiddo likes how the helmet looks, that will help, too. A few notes to keep in mind:

  • Size: To ensure the best fit, it’s recommended to measure your child’s head circumference with a tape measure just above the ears. You can then check this measurement against the listed size.
  • Adjustability: As you can generally expect your kiddo to have a growth spurt just following an expensive clothing/gear purchase, it may be a good idea to get a helmet that can be adjusted using a dial. This will keep your kid comfortable in his helmet for a bit and save you some cash for a while.
  • Ventilation: Having enough ventilation is important if you want your child to enjoy riding in the heat.
  • MIPS: MIPS safety technology can reduce rotational forces during certain impacts

Here is an overview of our top 7 helmets for mountain biking kids. Check out the comparison table at the end of the article to see all the sizes and other data in one place.

If your little ripper enjoys multiple mountain biking disciplines, you might want to check out Best Helmets for NICA Riders, Best Helmets for Enduro Kids, and Best Full Face Helmets for Kids.

Giro Tremor MIPS bike helmet for kids

Giro Tremor MIPS Helmet – Kids’

The Giro Tremor MIPS Helmet offers Giro’s best technology, sized down for smaller riders. Firstly, the Temor MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system) can redirect energy and provide more protection in certain styles of impacts. Secondly, the inside padding is easy to remove and wash after a hot day on the trail. Finally, the Tremor includes a RocLoc fit system for fast and secure fit adjustments.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Child and Youth Helmet

BellSidetrack II MIPS Kids Bike Helmet 

Whether your child is riding around the neighborhood or on mountain singletrack trails, they should be wearing a helmet. The Bell SideTrack II MIPS Helmet has many features that will make your kid want to wear it. First, it features an Ergo Fit dial that makes dialing in the perfect fit quick and easy. Second, the 14 vents will help your little rider will stay cool on hot days. It’s so comfortable, that your kiddo might even forget that they are wearing it! Third, the Bell SideTrack II is MIPS-equipped which helps redirect impact energy in the event of a crash. This helmet is safe! Fourth, additional features include a PinchGuard Buckle and a Snap-In Visor. Finally, and maybe most importantly to your discerning mountain bike kid, the Bell SideTrack II MIPS Helmet comes in a wide variety of colors!

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Specialized Shuffle MIPS mountain bike helmet for kids

Specialized Shuffle LED MIPS Bike Helmet – Kids’

Hit the trails or ride around the neighborhood with your young ones, while keeping them safe with the Shuffle LED Standard Buckle MIPS Helmet. A hybrid shell construction offers increased protection, and the added MIPS system helps protect against certain impacts and rotational forces. The Headset SX system keeps the helmet snug and is easy for kids to use to get a perfect fit. You’ll also love the LED light on the back of the helmet that keeps your kiddo visible on their way back home.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

POC ito Omne Spin Kid's Mountain Bike Helmet

POCito Omne MIPS Helmet – Kids’ 

Your little shredder inherited your love of two wheels, and with the POCito Omne MIPS Spin, they can sport matching protection while sharing your passion. Informed by the adult version, the Omne Air Spin, the youth version features a 360-degree size adjustment system that makes it easy to find the perfect fit even as they grow. EPS foam provides all-around protection, while vents draw air through the helmet for efficient cooling on warm days.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Lazer Gekko MIPS mtb helmet for kids

Lazer Gekko MIPS Helmet

When your young rider is ready to roll, it can be nearly impossible to get them to sit still long enough to tighten a helmet. Lazer’s Gekko MIPS Helmet provides a kid-friendly fit system to get your rider on the road quickly and safely. The AutoFit retention provides an even and secure fit without needing to fiddle with a dial, so they can get on their way with less hassle. Inside the helmet, the MIPS layer provides extra peace of mind as it helps dissipate forces of rotational impact. Finally, the pinch-free chin buckle helps avoid grumbles as your little shredder finally heads off on the trail.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Bike helmets for kids - Giro Scamp with MIPS

Giro Scamp MIPS Helmet

Giro designed the Scamp MIPS Helmet to offer top notch protection to the smallest riders. They use the same In-Mold polycarbonate shell and EPS foam liner in the Scamp as in its adult helmets, and includes MIPS technology. MIPS refers to technology added to absorb the brain-damaging rotational energy created in certain crashes. Another key point is the Roc Loc fit adjustment system. Roc Loc makes fit adjustments quick and easy. Your kid will also like the bright colors and sporty look of this helmet.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

smith wilder kids mountain bike helmet

Smith Wilder Jr MIPS Helmet – Kids’ MTB 

Your mountain bike kid will love wearing the Wilder Jr MIPS Helmet for their rides. This helmet combines the improved angle impact protection of MIPS with a lightweight, ventilated design that is just like Smith adult bike helmets. Firstly, a total of 21 fixed vents keep things airy and light. Secondly, the VaporFit dial system finds an optimal fit every time. The Wilder Jr has everything they need to bomb down their favorite trails with purpose and ease.

Buy this kids’ mountain bike helmet from:

Kids Mountain Bike HelmetShell Material / Impact FoamHead Circumference RangeManufacturer Warranty
Lazer Gekko MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate20in-22 inches1 year
Specialized Shuffle LED MIPS - Kids’ Bike HelmetPolycarbonate / EPS20.5in-22.5 inches1 year
POCito Omne MIPS Helmet - Kids’Polycarbonate18.9-23.2 inches1 year
Giro Tremor MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate / EPS19.75- 21.75 inches1 year
Giro Scamp MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate / EPS18.75-21.75 inches1 year
Smith Wilder Jr MIPS HelmetPolycarbonate / EPSlifetime
Bell Sidetrack II MIPS Bike HelmetPolycarbonate / EPS20-24.4 inches1 year

Mountain Biking Gloves For Kids


Mountain Biking Gloves For Kids – Mountain bikers of all ages, yes, including kids, wear gloves for a multitude of reasons. They protect the hands in case of accidents and falls. Gloves help your young riders grip the handlebars, providing plenty of needed support. In addition, gloves keep your hands warm on cold days and wick away sweat on hot ones. Extra protection against random tree branches and bushes that appear at just the right height on the trails is yet another reason. Basically, gloves are important. The best pairs are stylish, comfortable, made to fit small hands, and provide all of the required levels of protection. It may seem like the perfect pair is hard to find, but it’s out there. The ones that we’ve reviewed here are all contenders, so keep your specific needs in mind and check out what these pairs have to offer.

Mountain Biking Gloves For Kids Comparison Chart

ProductMSRPBuy from
Fox Racing Dirtpaw Glove - Kid’s$22.00Competitive Cyclist
Fly Racing Pro Lite Gloves (Youth)$29.95BTO
Dakine Prodigy Bike Gloves - Kids$22.00Amazon
PEARL iZUMiMTB Glove - Kids’$20.00Competitive Cyclist
GiroDND Jr. II Gloves - Kids’$19.95Competitive Cyclist
O’Neal - Element Gloves (Youth)$19.79BTO Sports
Specialized Long Finger Trail Glove - Kids’$20.00Competitive Cyclist
Troy Lee Designs Youth Air Bike Gloves - Kids’$25.00REI
Fox mountain bike gloves for kids

Fox Racing Dirtpaw Glove – Kid’s

Your young rider charges harder than most adults on the trail. Fox’s Dirtpaw glove delivers adult-sized features and protection for their hands, so they can keep riding all summer long in comfort. The soft palm offers padding for protection, while the breathable upper keeps hands cool on warm days. A touchscreen-compatible fabric ensures they can also text home when they’re finally on their way down the trail.

Fly Racing - Pro Lite Gloves (Youth)

Fly Racing – Pro Lite Youth Bike Gloves

Your mountain biker will love these ultra-lightweight minimalist race gloves. First, the single-layer perforated Clarino® palm improves airflow and provides a lightweight feel. Second, the woven four-way stretch finger sidewall provides flexibility, comfort, and airflow. Third, the adjustable synthetic leather wrist closure ensures a secure fit.

MTB Helmets For Kids

Make sure your kids have proper, well-fitting head protection.

Mountain Bike Helmets For Kids

G-Form knee pads for kids

Knee Pads For Kids

Knee pads are another level of protection for young riders.

MTB Knee Pads for Kids

Camelbak LUXE hydration pack for kids

Hydration Packs For Kids

Is your kid big enough to carry their own water and supplies?

MTB Hydration Packs for Kids

Dakine youth prodigy kid mtb gloves

Dakine Prodigy Bike Gloves – Kids

The Prodigy Bike Gloves by Dakine come in solid black, making it easy to match them with the rest of your child’s gear. In addition to the two sizes available, youth large and youth extra-large, these gloves include a number of comfort fit measures. They fasten at the wrists with a handy hook and loop closure, keeping them snugly in place no matter how bumpy the trails may be. In addition, the palm is made of a synthetic material that allows for breathability while enhancing the gloves’ gripping power. The back features a nose wipe section (for those with on-trail allergies), and plenty of stretchy, breathable fabric for comfort. Plus, the fabric contains odor control technology, so you won’t have to wash them so often.

Youth Pearl Izumi MTB gloves

PEARL iZUMiMTB Glove – Kids’

Getting your grom on the trail is one of life’s most rewarding things, but there’s no doubt that they’ll take inevitable tumbles from time to time. You’ll have them suited up with a helmet and pads, no doubt, but don’t forget to have them slip on a pair of the Pearl Izumi MTB Glove for Kids before hitting the trail. These low-profile gloves give the coverage they will need to avoid the sting of rough rocks and whipping tree branches on their hands, without adding so much padding that they’ll struggle to get a grip on the bars. The feature a breathable back of hand, with polyester and elastane that stretch, and pull away moisture, while a reliable palm stands up to hours on the bike, and offers solid grip for the ride.

Giro mountain bike gloves for kids

GiroDND Jr. II Gloves – Kids’

Giro’s DND Jr. II Gloves for kids have many of the same features of the adult-specific gloves that carry the same name. As adults, we’re grateful that the little guys didn’t keep the DND Jr. IIs’ four-way stretch, breathable mesh uppers to themselves. The same goes for the durable and ergonomically appointed AX Suede synthetic leather palm. After all, if these technologies hadn’t trickled down to us, we wouldn’t enjoy the same unimpeded bar feel that our kids do when they ride with their DNDs. If they keep sharing their tech with us, then maybe someday we’ll help them preserve their dignity by teaching them what the soft wiping surface on the thumb is for. Maybe.

O'Neal - Element Gloves (Youth) mountain bike gloves

O’Neal – Element Gloves (Youth)

These stylish gloves will be a favorite. The Element gloves feature a vented mesh top for increased airflow to keep your kids’ hands cool.  The adjustable wrist has a velcro closure for a secure fit. The stretch lycra side panels ensure comfort and flexibility.

Specialized mtb gloves for kids

Specialized Long Finger Trail Glove – Kids’

Just like mom and dad’s gloves, the Long Finger Trail Glove offers a lightweight and comfortable feel to improve bar control and keep your young ripper feeling confident on the trail. Stretch nylon moves with you and wicks moisture, while a suede palm with LifeLine construction keeps them gripped to their bars.

Troy Lee Designs Youth Air gloves kids mountain bike

Troy Lee Designs Youth Air gloves

Troy Lee Designs Youth Air gloves are mountain bike gloves with a fun design. TLD Youth Air gloves increase handlebar grip and protect against scrapes, without adding uncomfortable bulk. These gloves fit great with compression-molded cuffs with hook-and-loop closures. They will keep your kids’ hands cool with micromesh fabric for all-over ventilation.

Neck Braces For MTB Kids

The best mountain biking neck braces for kids
The best mountain biking neck braces for kids

Neck Braces For MTB Kids: Neck braces are an often overlooked part of any young mountain biker’s gear. They are designed to fit between the base of the helmet and the shoulders, preventing the neck from making any sharp movements in case of a fall. Most mountain bikers usually don’t wear neck braces unless they plan on doing difficult features or bike park laps. Of course, it helps that the newer models are lightweight to wear, as well as brightly colored, making them less cumbersome and more enticing. When it comes to safety gear, you can never be too careful – especially when young riders are involved. These five neck braces can help prevent spinal cord damage by letting the neck move, but not in an extreme manner. Thanks to these neck braces for kids, those damaging and sharp forward, backward, and sideways movements that occur in a crash are much less likely to happen.

Neck Braces For Mountain Biking Kids Comparison Chart

ProductMSRPBuy from
Leatt 3.5 DBX Neck Brace - Kids’$199.99BTO
Atlas Prodigy Neck Brace - Youth$224.99BTO
Leatt - 5.5 Neck Brace GPX Junior (Youth)$299.99BTO Sports
Atlas - Tyke Neck Brace (Kids)$199.00BTO Sports
Alpinestars Youth Neck Support$127.46Amazon
Leatt 3.5 DBX youth neck brace, mountain biking

Leatt 3.5 DBX Neck Brace – Kids

The Leatt 3.5 DBX neck brace for MTB kids gets its inspiration from adult versions, only on a scale designed to fit kids. This brace is lightweight, weighing a mere one pound, 1.6 ounces, so it won’t weight the rider down at all. With that said, don’t let its weight fool you, because this neck brace is extremely protective. It slides around the neck and fastens with the push of a button, which locks it into place. Double-barred segments go down the back and over the chest, providing plenty of neck support. The exterior is made of a hard shell PC, while the interior consists of polyamide-reinforced EPS. Since this fits over the shirt, you don’t have to worry as much about the comfort of the interior portion of the brace, although the ergonomic design and a little bit of padding prevent chafing. On top of the numerous safety features, this neck brace look great as well, thanks to the main aqua-colored and bright red logo.

Leatt 5.5 DBX kids neck brace

Leatt 5.5 DBX Neck Brace – Kids

For young riders who enjoy taking chances on the trails, or parents who are want to ensure that their children are properly protected, there’s the Leatt 5.5 DBX neck brace. Constructed of fiberglass-reinforced nylon and designed to cover quite a bit of the shoulders and upper torso, this neck brace leaves nothing to chance. The front section resembles football pads, while the back section includes a removable thoracic strut that protects the spine. This neck brace has a built-in emergency release system, making it simple to remove in case of a fall, after the emergency services personnel arrive, of course. Injected foam padding, as well as its fairly light weight, mean that your child will be more likely to wear the neck brace since it won’t weigh them down or cause any uncomfortable chafing. The available color combination consists of a bright green with plenty of white and black, making it easy to match with the rest of their gear.

Giro Disciple full face helmet - manufacturer photo - three quarter view

Full-Face MTB Helmets

Pair your neck brace with the proper helmet.

Full-Face MTB Helmets For Kids

Leatt 2.5 chest protector for kids

Chest Protection For Kids

Options from Leatt, Fox, and more.

MTB Chest Protection for Kids

Atlas Tyke neck brace for kids

Atlas – Tyke Neck Brace (Kids)

Atlas is one of the newer companies in the field of mountain bike protective gear, and they certainly make their presence known, thanks to the style and features on their Tyke Neck Brace. With several different colors to choose from, including white, black, camo, red, aqua, and orange on equipment that is built with ultra-flexible polymer construction, it’s easy to see why Atlas is making such an impact. This neck brace has a split-flex frame, allowing for plenty of protection and flexibility at the same time. It has an easy-open release system for those moments when it needs to come off in a hurry, and it weighs a mere two pounds. The Tyke Neck Brace for MTB kids is designed solely for young kids between the ages of five and nine, and it fits over their chest protectors and under their helmets with ease. There’s a reason why Atlas is becoming even more popular with mountain bikers – they know how to strike the balance between fit, style, and function.

atlas neck brace for mountain bike kids

Atlas – Prodigy Neck Brace (Youth)

The Atlas Prodigy truly lives up to its name. Created as the perfect stepping stone for teens and small women, the Prodigy bridges the gap for all those “in-between” growing young bodies searching for the best equipment. Features include a body-hugging frame shape to reduce brace movement and improve fit/range of motion, a simplified Easy Open release system, strong and stiff long-travel front suspension, back supports that appear smaller but increase surface area and an innovative wireless tether for longevity. Everyone deserves proper fitting equipment, even at those awkward “in-between” size stages in life. The Atlas Prodigy is engineered to be proportionately sized while maintaining all of the game-changing features that make the Atlas family of braces the best in the world. Enjoy growing up by moving through the Atlas Brace family and maintaining the experience you know and love combined with the peace of mind that comes with wearing a neck brace.

AlpineStars mountain biking neck brace for kids

Alpinestars Youth Neck Support

One of the better-known brands when it comes to mountain bike safety gear, the Alpinestars Youth Neck Support was designed specifically for young riders. Available in two different colors, including cool black and white and bright florescent yellow and black combinations, these neck braces look as nice as they fit. The safety features, including a rear stabilizer system that protects the back of the neck, help prevent major injuries. Made of an injected polymer compound that’s been impacted tested for the utmost performance, these neck braces certainly aren’t fooling around. The underside of the neck brace for MTB kids consists of a comfortable EVA foam that’s also lightweight. Over time, it will form to fit your child’s shoulder, chest, and back perfectly, adding yet another layer of protection. Even with all of these safety features, the Alpinestars support weighs a mere 1.32 pounds. Between the light weight and the comfort foam lining, your child will be more inclined to wear the brace, which is the entire point.