You may think, “Why would my kid want to start mountain biking? They’ve already learned how to bike and are happy enough playing Fortnite and they get enough physical activity in gym class.” This is all wrong. Kids do get physical activity in gym class, but when they come home and just play video games, they’re not getting enough. Mountain biking is an amazing way to keep kids active, and for more reasons than you may think.
Kids love biking. Given the opportunity, they will likely pass up on video games to get on their bike. Taking biking to the next level and exploring mountain bike trails makes it even more of an adventure. Kids may soon be begging parents for more biking time than screen time.
Kids can learn to bike at any age, but the earlier the better to build their skill and agility. Investing in a quality bike from the beginning may help them enjoy biking, as it can increase comfort and ease of peddling, changing gears, and using breaks.
If you live in Wisconsin, check out Wisconsin Off Road Series website – a directory of events, races and tracks in the Wisconsin. The are the largest state mountain bike race series in the US. Remember, kids should always wear a helmet when riding.
3 Reasons Why You Should Get Your Child on a Mountain Bike.
Happiness. Kids can get depressed from video games just the same as people can get depressed by drugs. The side effects have startling similarities. When kids are playing video games they appear to risk losing the ability to stay happy with non-screen activities, similar to how drugs affect the brain. Do you ever wonder why your kid is grumpy and refusing to do stuff that they used to love and enjoy doing it with you? It’s probably from all those video games that they have been playing.
Kids who develop a passion for mountain biking experience the thrill of trail riding while also reaping the benefits of fresh air. Mountain biking is a fun activity that kids can enjoy with their friends, family, and even on their own.
Physical activity. When your child is on a screen too much you will be able to tell. They will no longer want to go outside to play catch or jump in the leaves. They are more inclined to sit inside and complain of being bored because they’ve been pulled them off their device. It’s time to get moving and get outside.
Regular mountain biking improves muscular strength, balance, and agility. Let mountain biking become their new addition, in a good way.
Confidence. Whether a kid has never ridden a bike or can ride a bike but stays on asphalt, mountain biking can improve their skills and build their confidence. When kids feel they’ve impressed their parents, their friends, and themselves they suddenly feel their confidence skyrocket and develop a sense that they can do anything. That increased sense of confidence allows them to feel that they can try new things in other areas of their life.
These are just some of the advantages of encouraging kids to mountain bike. The next time your kids want to jump on their screen, redirect them to jump on their bike.
Best Mountain Bikes for Kids
Bikes listed below are in no particular order.
When it comes to kids mountain bikes, Prevelo has you covered with the solid build of the Alpha 4. All Prevelo bikes feature frames that have low and narrow geometry. Prevelo geometry keeps the rider low, balanced and in control. A must for the budding junior mountain bikers. The lightweight 6061 aluminum frame, alloy fork and a smooth Shimano drive-train make riding the trails effortless for kids.
Prevelo offers youth mountain bikes in both 20 inch and 24 inch sizes. Both models feature Tektro front and rear v-brakes, replaceable derailleur hanger and 3 piece cranks. If you are looking to go one step further, check out the Zulu line form Prevelo that features disc brakes and adjustable air fork.
Ridgeback is a storied brand from the UK that is similar to what Trek is the USA. They offer a full line of balance bikes, kids mountain bikes; as well as adult road and comfort bikes. With over 35 years of engineering and quality manufacturing history; they put a lot into their line of bicycles. The triple butted, heat treated aluminum frame is fitted with Shimano components, Promax v-brakes, alloy handlebars and aluminum rims. The bike weighs in at 20.9 lbs and is made for smaller riders with 20 inch, 24 inch and 26 inch sizes.
Coined as the safest and highest rated kids mountain bike in the world. That’s a bold claim and we were curious to find out how a kids bike could garner such a feat. The signature feature and Guardian’s claim to fame is their SureStop brake system. The Sure Stop brake system reduces stropping distance, automatically distributes the correct amount of braking power to both wheels and all being done with a simple “single” lever system. Pretty much like anti-lock brakes on car. When mountain biking I can see these brakes being a lifesaver. No more accidental hard front wheel braking that can cause a forward flip of the bike or skidding out and losing control.
Now that I explained why Guardian brakes are safer than the rest, I can move on to why the entire bike is top notch. The Guardian weighs 22.9 lbs and is not the lightest of the 20 inch kids bikes we reviewed but still within the sweet spot of lightweight bikes. The bike features a strong steel frame with frame and components sized proportionately for kids. All bikes are 95% assembled and can be fully assembled and cruising in 5 – 10 minutes. Cruise the trails and pavement with ease with a 6-speed grip shift system on the 20 inch model and a 7-speed on the 24 inch model.