Best Mountain Bikes for Kids 3 to 6 Years Old

You are buying a lifelong passion, not just a bike.

Bike Austria’s ultimate goal is to give kids the best possible experience on a mountain bike.  We want them to love it as much as we do.  We have seen a lot bikes in our After-School Training Program and can assure any parent that buying one of the best mountain bikes for kids is an important part of this formula.

The “be happy with what you have” approach is a tall order when a small child is riding a super heavy poorly functioning bike.  Cheap brakes alone make it nearly impossible to a child to develop the sense of security and self-confidence required to progress on the mountain bike.

While Bike Austria focuses on the best mountain bikes for kids, the tips below also apply to kids bikes in general.

Best Mountain Bike for Kids 3-6

Bikes Built for Kids

The kids bikes coming from larger brands are often simply a shrunken down adult bike.  The only thing that isn’t much smaller is the weight.

In recent years, companies like Islabikes, Early Rider and Woom have sprung up that focus entirely on making awesome bikes for kids.  The geometries, components and materials are all designed specifically for the next generation of riders. The result is a lightweight bike that fits and functions perfectly, providing a confidence inspiring riding experience.

Early Rider is currently making the best mountain bikes for kids.  While they do make bikes for around town like Woom, the stability of their slacker geometry makes the mountain bikes vastly superior for all kids planning to ride trails.

You can also find companies like Mondrake with a long history of high quality mountain bikes for adults, that are now producing some of the best mountain bikes for kids. Priced more competitively, they do use slightly heavier materials, but utilize the geometries and components necessary for kids to develop their mountain biking skills.  Additionally, their Leader 16 offers 6 gears, which should be considered if riding in hilly terrain.

The Correct Size is Critical

Correct Size Mountain Bike

At the Bike Austria Summer MTB Training Camps and After-School Training Program we are all to familiar with kids being on bikes that do not fit for one of two reasons.

  1. The bike was just bought and is too big so that the kid can “grow into it”.
  2. The bike is a bit older and too small, because the parents are trying to get one more season out it.

Both of these scenarios are terrible if the goal is to have kids develop a passion for riding. Here are the reasons why:

  • Most significantly, an improper size reduces rider control, increasing the risk of having an accident.
  • A bike that is too small shifts the rider’s center of gravity forward, increasing the risk going over the handlebars.  The child feels this and develops insecurity while riding.
  • An improper size is uncomfortable to ride.
  • Due to the improper geometry, riding is very inefficient, tiring kids more quickly
  • Children are unable to master more advanced riding techniques

Every manufacturer produces recommended sizes based on child height or even better inseam length.  Adhering to these guidelines is strongly recommended.

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