Best 26-inch Wheel Mountain Bikes for Kids


26-inch wheel mountain bikes were the standard back when we first started mountain biking back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. There are not many companies making 26-inch wheel bikes anymore, but if you can find one, it might be a great fit for your pre-teen or teen rider. If your rider isn’t quite big enough for a full-sized mountain bike but is ready to graduate from a 20-inch or 24-inch wheel bike, a 26-inch wheel bike may be perfect. 26-inch bikes can last your rider 2-3 years and can definitely take your kid to the next level. Check out our list of best 26-inch mountain bikes for kids below.

The best mountain bikes for 8-11 year olds

Importantly, before you shell out the money on a new mountain bike for your kid, you’ll want to be sure that your kid 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.

Additionally, we recommend that you look for a bike that has the biggest wheels available for your kid’s stand-over height. Firstly, bigger wheels roll more easily over obstacles on the trail. Secondly, 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. Kids on the taller side may fit on a 27.5-inch wheel bike, so you might want to check out our list of and making a purchase.

Here is an overview of the best 26-inch mountain bikes for kids.  

Buy mountain bikes for the whole family
Prevelo Zulu Five 26 inch kids mountain bike

Prevelo Zulu Five – Kids’ 26-inch mountain bike

The Prevelo Zulu Five stands as a top-tier 26-inch mountain bike tailored for young riders venturing onto challenging trails. Engineered with Prevelo’s low and narrow geometry, it ensures riders remain balanced and in control. Additionally, featuring a slack head tube angle and short chainstays, the bike guarantees stability over rough terrain.

Crafted from lightweight aluminum and boasting custom-formed 6061 triple-butted tubing, the Zulu Five offers both durability and agility. Further enhancing its appeal are features like stealth cable routing and dropper post readiness, providing a sleek appearance while leaving room for potential upgrades. Moreover, its tubeless-ready wheels, 12mm Thru-Axle rear hub, and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes contribute to stability and reliable stopping power.

The integration of the Wide SpanMicroshift drivetrain and the kid-engineered HEIR direct mount crank maximizes pedaling efficiency. With 95% of assembly completed out of the box, minimal setup is required before hitting the trails. In summary, the Zulu Five offers young riders a high-performance mountain biking experience in a compact, ready-to-go package.

Buy this kids’ 26″ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size26
Min. Standover Height26.4 inches
Frame MaterialAluminum Alloy
BrakesTektro M280 Hydraulic Disc
Shifter(s)10 speed Microshift Advent X Pro
DerailleurMicroshift Advent X
ForkSpinner 300 26 AIR - 120mm travel
Live PriceWoom
Buy mountain bikes for the whole family
Woom OFF Air 6 26 wheel rigid mountain bike for kids

Woom OFF AIR 6 – Kids’ 26-inch mountain bike

The Woom OFF AIR 6 is a super-light and durable 26-inch mountain bike for kids. Tough terrain is no longer an intimidating obstacle but instead a fun challenge to overcome. The special chainring ensures that the chain stays in place no matter how rough things get. A love of cycling becomes a passion for mountain biking. This 1×9 bike has a great gear range for easy climbing and fast flats. The Woom OFF AIR 6 weighs only 24.3 lbs (without pedals). The SRAM components will keep your kiddo riding for days. PromaxDisc hydraulic disc brakes will keep them in control.

Buy this kids’ 26″ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size26
Min. Standover Height26 inches
Frame MaterialAluminum Alloy
BrakesPromax hydraulic Disc
Shifter(s)SRAM trigger
DerailleurSRAM X5
ForkHydraulic Air 90mm
Live PriceWoom

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 26 wheel hardtail mountain bike for kids

Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 26″ mountain bike

The DRT 1.0 is a 26-inch mountain bike for riders 4’9″ to 5′ tall who are ready to ride some singletrack. The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0 features 26 in. wheels, a versatile 3 x 7 drivetrain, and the solid stopping power of hydraulic disc brakes. The SR Suntour suspension fork’s aluminum lower is lightweight and provides 100mm of travel for a smooth ride. Shimano rear derailleur delivers smooth and precise gear changes. Tektro hydraulic disc brakes deliver reliable stopping power on or off-road, regardless of weather conditions.

Buy this 26-inch kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size26 inches
Min. Standover Height26 inches
Frame MaterialAluminum
Drivetrain3 x 7
BrakesHydraulic Disc Brake
Shifter(s)Shimano Rapidfire Plus
DerailleurShimano Tourney
ForkSR Suntour
Live PriceREI

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

Radio Bike Co Zuma 26 wheel rigid mountain bike

Zuma 26in Mountain Bike – Kids’

Radio Bike Co. offers the Zuma 26in Mountain Bike for kids. The Zuma is crafted with a lightweight feel and comfortable geometry that suits young riders well. Crafted with a lightweight aluminum frame and fork, the Zuma is highly durable for the aspiring rider. We like that this bike features components from Promax, KMC, FSA, and VEE Rubber, which are all optimally chosen for young riders. A comfortable geometry keeps them balanced over their ride and improves stability and handling for increased confidence.

Buy this 26″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size26 inches
Min. Standover Height27-inches
Frame MaterialAluminum/Alloy
BrakesPromax Mech Disk-310
Shifter(s)Promax BL-42
DerailleurPromax BL-42
Live PriceCompetitive Cyclist
Marin Rift Zone 26 inch full suspension mountain bike

Marin Rift Zone Jr Kids’ Mountain Bike

Marin designed the Rift Zone Jr 26-inch mountain bike, to provide young shredders with a fun full-suspension bike. Built around Marin’s Multi-Trac suspension system, the Rift Zone Jr. is Marin’s most playful and fun youth full suspension bike to date. The bike’s light aluminum frame creates a snappy feel that is equally at home on rolling hills as it is on steep downhill singletrack. Firstly, the 120mm X-Fusion Velvet and X-Fusion O2 Pro rear shock provide a supple and smooth ride. Secondly, the Deore 1×11 drivetrain provides all the gears you need to make it up the steepest climbs.  Thirdly, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes provide incredible stopping power when descending those steep chutes. Finally, the bike is rounded out with Marin Tubeless Ready wheels for fewer flats and incredible traction. Marin’s Rift Zone Jr is one of the best mountain bikes for kids who are ready for a full-suspension bike.

Buy this 26″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size26 inches
Min. Standover Height26 inches
Frame Material6061 aluminum
BrakesShimano MT 201 Hydraulic Disc Brake
Shifter(s)Shimano Deore
DerailleurShimano Deore
ForkXFusion Velvet RLC 120mm
ShockXFusion Velvet O2pro
Live PriceJenson
Trek Path 26 inch wheel kids bike

Trek Wahoo 26 Path kid’s bike

The Wahoo 26 Path is a versatile and lightweight bike ideal for encouraging kids to ride and develop their confidence. Designed with practicality in mind, it boasts smooth tires that enable faster riding while maintaining ample traction for both pavement and paths. Featuring a sturdy aluminum frame, the Wahoo 26 Path is built to withstand the bumps and jumps encountered during a child’s beginning cycling adventures. Its wide, smooth tires facilitate swift movement on pavement without compromising grip, making it suitable for journeys from city parks to greenways and beyond.

Equipped with 8 gears, young riders can effortlessly shift through various terrains, including conquering big hills with ease. We wish this bike came with hydraulic brakes for enhanced stopping power. Designed to accommodate riders between 58 and 63 inches tall, the Wahoo 26 Path offers a comfortable and tailored fit for children as they explore the world on two wheels. Overall, it serves as a fine choice for fostering a love of cycling and nurturing essential skills in beginner riders.

Buy this 26″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size26
Min. Standover Height23.2 inches
Frame MaterialAlpha Silver Aluminum
BrakesAlloy linear-pull
Shifter(s)microSHIFT Acolyte SL-M6285, 8 speed
DerailleurmicroSHIFT Acolyte M5180S, 34-38T max cog
Live PriceTrek

Trailcraft Maxwell 26

Trailcraft is known for designing some of the best mountain bikes for kids. The Maxwell 26 starts right around 26 pounds in our ELITE level build with best in category components.  That’s right, just 26 pounds and the PRO AXS level build is even lighter! This is a fun, playful, super flickable bike for all types of mountain bike riding.  The Maxwell 26 is built for next level riding with some key geometry features designed specifically for young riders. The Maxwell 26 features a Horst link suspension design which is active under braking and very plush over both small bumps and bigger hits.  Short yet stable 420mm chainstay length and a 1082mm wheelbase is the perfect 26″ trail bike for riders coming off a 24″ bike.

Buy this 26″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size26 inches
Min. Standover Height27 inches
Frame MaterialAluminum Alloy
Drivetrain1×10, 1×11
Brakes3 Options
Shifter(s)2 Options
Derailleur2 Options
ForkRock Shox REBA RL 27.5" 120mm - Boost
ShockMonarch RT - 120mm travel
MSRP$3,199.00 – $4,299.00
Live PriceTrailcraft
rocky mountain reaper

Rocky Mountain Reaper 26

The Rocky Mountain Reaper is a design that allows your young mtb enthusiast to send it big and pedal on demanding trails. It’s a full-suspension kids’ mountain bike that comes with all the bells and whistles. This bike includes a RockShox Recon Gold and a RockShox Monarch R shock each with 130 mm travel, to soak up the bumps and keep your kiddo rolling. The Reaper delivers full-sized trail bike levels of competence and composure in a kid-friendly package.

Buy this 26″ kids’ mountain bike from:

Wheel Size26 inches
Min. Standover Height27 inches
Frame MaterialAluminum Alloy
Drivetrain1 x 10
BrakesShimano MT4100 Disc
Shifter(s)Shimano Deore 10spd
DerailleurShimano Deore 10spd
ForkRockShox Recon Gold 130mm
ShockRockShox Monarch R
Live PriceRocky Mountain