• This topic has 13 replies, 10 voices, and was last updated 3 months ago by igm.
Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • mtb oriented bikes for younger kids
  • Premier Icon opusone
    Free Member

    Wondering about people’s experiences with MTBs for kids

    My 5 year old is loving mountain biking – we live in the Tweed valley so there’s f all else for him to do – and I’m thinking about getting him a more MTB oriented bike. We have only ever bought islabikes for him and he is currently on a cnoc 16, i.e. 16 inch wheels. When we were out on the trails last weekend I was starting to notice that with the weather changing he would benefit from disc brakes (as would my state of mind), however it doesn’t look to me that you can fit disc brakes on any of the smaller kids’ islabikes. He’s on the wee size for his age, meaning that he’ll be on the smaller ones for while.

    He also might like wider tyres but I’m less bothered about that.

    Anyway, just wondered if anyone had any good experiences with wee bikes for wee kids.

    Premier Icon susepic
    Free Member

    Did the Islabikes thing and it works for kids. Moved from a Cnoc to a Beinn 20, then to a Creig 26.
    Beinn 20 at 5-6 years with MTB tyres worked well on the downs locally and got him down descents in the alps – no issues with rim brakes at that age.
    The resale value works to bring down the overall cost of ownership

    Premier Icon a11y
    Full Member

    If you’re on Facebook, check out the ‘Little Rippers’ group for inspiration – some serious spenders on there but they’re a minority, generally great advice on there.

    My 6 and 8 yr olds moved from Cnoc 16 to Beinn 20 and currently on Vitus Nucleus 24 and a Cube 24″, both with discs and suspension forks. Mine are both tall for their age though (132cm on 6th birthday…). Added an even wider 2.35 Smart Sam (I think, could be Nobby Nic) on the front of both which has helped a lot off road, as have the discs. Much more capable than the Islabikes which are more hybrid.

    Only mentioning the Vitus as I know about them from experience and reckon they’re great for the money. Not aware of any 16″ MTB-orientated bike they do, but 20″ with fat tyres and discs if yours is tall enough to fit it: https://vitusbikes.com/collections/kids-bikes/products/vitus-20-plus-kids-bike

    Premier Icon drinfinity
    Free Member

    Early Rider do a 16” wheel disc brake bike. There is an Islabike Creig 20 with discs, although it would be easier to find a pair of unicorns. Nuke proof Cub Scout 20 is another option.

    Disc brakes are very useful for younger riders. My daughter would complain of her arms getting pumped on a long descent with rim brakes, which would mean she had a stiff position on the bike. Once she was on discs, she could relax, and was faster and more comfortable.

    Premier Icon opusone
    Free Member

    All useful stuff thanks

    What I probably didn’t make clear is that my son is wee for his age – he generally will fit a bike that is for a child 1-2 years younger than him – and I don’t want him to be held back by this. I don’t reckon he’ll be ready for 20in wheels for another 2-3 years.

    The 16in early riders look great – I might have to think seriously about one of those

    Premier Icon daviek
    Full Member

    One of our daughters has always been very short but I’m sure she was 6 when she got a beinn 20 small. Might have been closer to 7 though if it was for christmas rather than her birthday. worth checking if you havent already

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Full Member

    I pretty much agree with this:

    Moved from a Cnoc to a Beinn 20, then to a Creig 26.
    Beinn 20 at 5-6 years with MTB tyres worked well on the downs locally and got him down descents in the alps – no issues with rim brakes at that age.

    My memory is somewhat faded but my son did Saalbach and loads of UK stuff on a Bheinn 20 with no issues. Seemed ok at the time. Obviously the Creig was better, and the Trek even betterer, but for that age range it was ace.

    Premier Icon susepic
    Free Member

    If your lad is not so big you do prob should think about the weight of the bike. Found that Islabikes are light enough that we could do longer loops and he could pedal all the way and up hills. Some friends’ kids had heavier bikes and ended up having a tough time keeping up or abandoning. You prob need to think about the kind of cycling your lad will be doing.

    Also did find that with growing confidence our lad was able to move up to a bigger bike sooner, and just under the bottom of the Islabikes inside leg recommendation

    Premier Icon susepic
    Free Member

    age 6 haivng fun just above Val Thorens – quite easy and appreciate the horizon may not be quite true.
    also did some local family XC loops with him

    Premier Icon keefezza
    Free Member

    My son got a Vitus 20″ bike with big fat 2.8″ tyres, cable disc brakes and correctly proportioned bars/grips/levers. Really rate this bike and he absolutely loves it. He got it a month before he turned 6. No suspension so relatively light for what it is. Highly recommend and it looks brilliant, well made. He has no trouble riding anywhere and is trying to jump things now.

    Premier Icon sandboy
    Full Member

    Kids on bikes is just great!! My two both went through Islabikes and now as teenagers still love riding. I know there’s a lot more choices out there now but as already mentioned, the resale value means that they are very much worth buying.

    Premier Icon gavstorie
    Free Member

    Your best bet would be to go up to buzzards nest on a Saturday when the kids clubs are meeting up. have a look at the kids around the same age/size as yours and see what bikes they are riding. Also speak to the parents and see what the general consensus is with regards to bikes etc. Because they are riding the same trails as your kids you should get a good idea of what works and what doesnt.

    Premier Icon igm
    Full Member

    This work for some folk – maybe not all.

    From Hope (Shimanistas can get their coats)

    https://www.hopeacademyuk.com/about

    When ours were younger they had Islabikes until they were 7 or 8, but we shoehorned 2.1” tyres in. Done carefully (the right tyre tread and carefully brake tinkering) it works and size for size is like an adult on a fat bike.

    Then they went onto a heavily customised and lightened Kona Stinky 2-4 full suss, then Orange 5 XS.

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.