How To Choose A Kids Mountain Bike | Tips For Buying The Right Kids Bike

– From balance bikes to
proper mini super bikes, kids’ bikes have come a long long way. So many options out there, we’ll try and help you
navigate that minefield so you end up with the right
bike for your little person. (upbeat music) Kids’ bikes these days are so good, it makes me seethe with jealousy. Back in my day, you road a heavy BMX, your brakes that didn’t
work, and that was that but arguably, getting the right kids’ bike is more important than getting
the right one for a grown-up. The fitment, comfort and
usability of the bike will make a big difference in how capable it is on proper terrain but also it’ll make a massive difference to how much the kids
actually enjoy riding them and if you’re watching
this you’re probably into riding bikes yourself, so you want the kids to ride
it, love it, and get hooked. So for this video we’ve
teamed up with Commencal to talk you through the ins and outs when buying a mountain bike, what you can get and what
you need to consider. (upbeat music) Before we get into the sizing, the features and much much more, the first thing to remember, is that riding a bike should be fun; of course, the same for the kids. The bikes shouldn’t be a struggle to ride. They shouldn’t be heavy,
ill-fitting, too big, have adult-size components or
even heavy gearing on them. If they are, it could mean that
your kids aren’t going to enjoy riding them as much as
they otherwise would. So, let’s get started. (upbeat music) Contrary to what many people believe, age doesn’t determine
size of bike, height does. Just like it does for you and me and most kids’ bike brands
will help you navigate their range based on
height rather than age. Getting the right sized
bike for your child is really important of course so your child can ride
confidently and comfortably. It’s important to be able to
get both feet on the ground so kids can develop their skills quickly and have a lot of fun. (upbeat music) Here’s how you can measure up, get your child standing in
their socks against the wall with their back straight and
their heels on the ground. Put a book on their head
so it touches the wall. Mark with a pencil where
the bottom of the book touches the wall. Measure from the mark up to the floor then match their height
with the manufacturer’s recommended sizes on their website to make sure they’re safe and comfortable. Some brands also use the
inside leg measurement to help size your kid’s bike correctly. Again, get your child
to stand in their socks against the wall with their back straight. Place a book between their legs as if they were sat on a saddle. Move your child away from the wall and measure from the floor
to the top of the book. It can be really tempting to buy a bike that’s too big for your
child so they grow into it but there’s two real reasons
to try and avoid that. The first one is that
having a bike that’s too big is going to be harder to handle, also even getting on and off of things will be more difficult. The second reason is that
many bike manufacturers, Commencal included,
have designed the range with different sized wheels
so you can leapfrog one. So, they got the Ramones 14, 16 and a 20. You can go straight for the 14, miss out the middle on and go to the 20. Some bike brands even design
bikes that grow with the child. So, armed with this info,
get on to the manufacturer’s website and look for the bike that fits. (upbeat music) Which brings us on to
different types of bikes. You’ve got balance bikes, starter bikes, kids’ mountain bikes, and
junior mountain bikes. Commencal’s range is
fully-focused on the off-road, 100% mountain bikes from
the 12 inch balance bikes down there, up to 14 and then
you’ve got 14, 16, 20 and 24 starter mountain bikes on to
the junior mountain bikes, proper hard tails again, 20, 24 and 27.5 and then look at these bangers, proper full suspension trail bikes, 20, 24 and 27.5 wheel options. (upbeat music) Commencal use their pro racers people like Amaury Pierron and Myriam Nicole to develop their adult bikes and just like that, within the walls of the Commencal office, there are plenty of parents. So they use their kids to
help develop these bikes and they say that they concentrate
a lot on the ergonomics and geometry of the bikes to make sure they’re
great for off-road riding. Other kids’ bikes are available, things like E-bikes, road
bikes, and all-purpose bikes. (upbeat music) Whichever type of bike you go for, there are some key hallmarks
that mark this bike out as different from a bicycle-shaped object and proper kids’ mountain bike and the first one is lightweight
frames and components. Lighter means an easy and
more effortless and fun ride. Aluminum is king for kids’ bikes. Ergonomics for kids, so there
are plenty of components that are really designed around kids, things like the smaller down
to bars, check that out, shorter reach brake levers so
little hands can reach them. Shorter cranks and a narrow Q factor so the pedals are closer together, all make up a bike that is
designed for kids to ride. Comfortable and confident
geometry so kids’ bikes are designed to be more upright just so they’re not stretched out as much. It’s more comfortable. Also low-bottom brackets
have center of gravity make the bike super stable. (upbeat music) No need for pedals when you’re this young, kids on balance bikes
can just use their feet, scoot along and really
get used to riding a bike and that balance. Also, when they get a bit better, they can start putting their feet up on that little platform. Designed for sort of
two to three year olds, my three year old boy still
loves his balance bike he’s a little way off
going to pedals I think. There are also different
wheel-size options here if you fancy it, 12 or 14. Balance bikes actually sort
of take away the need for a kids’ bike with stabilizers
’cause kids will learn how to ride on a balance bike, learn how to lean in to
corners and things like that. So, hopefully when they go to pedals it should be a bit easier as well. Narrow bars, upright position, actually, this bike got knobbly tires and, if you really fancy doing it, you can stick a disc brake on the back. Set the saddle height
so that the kid’s feet are flat on the floor, still with a bit of bend in the knee. There’s even a balance bike
world championships out there you need to check out. Expect to pay somewhere between the range of 80 to 200 pounds
for a brand new balance bike. (upbeat music) Balance bikes versus bikes with stabilizers or training wheels. Many people now go
straight to balance bikes, they are great for getting kids to learn how to make speed with their
feet and balance on a bike, whereas stabilizers do help
kids get up to speed quicker and they can get used to pedalling and go faster, if you
think that’s a good thing, but then you’ve got that
massive leap of faith when you take your stabilizers off and the kid has to do it all for themself. So, nowadays you’ll probably
find that most people tend to go towards balance bikes. I think they’re a great way of kids learning how to fall off
a slow speed as well. Inevitably they will start
to go fast these things, so you might think about
then sticking a brake on it. Although I have heard from some parents that their kids love
their balance bike so much they’re reluctant to start pedalling, but every kid’s different. (upbeat music) Now, on to the starter bikes. These are the first bikes
you’ll find with pedals on them. They’ll be single speed for simplicity so kids don’t have to learn
about gears at the same time. Also, with an upright position
so kids aren’t scrunched up and they can see where they’re going. With saddle height now, you need to get the kid sat on the saddle with one foot on the floor
and with the pedal in bottom, make sure the knee is slightly bent, but make sure they can really
touch the floor confidently. Most of these bikes
will have a chain guard to make sure that is all hidden away. Away from interested fingers where kids might start putting them. Also, many brands will
have a larger version. So this is the Ramones 14 Commencal, we got the Ramones 16 as well. So a bigger frame, bigger
wheels, same simplicity. (upbeat music) Quality components. Now go to your local hardware
superstore or even supermarket and you’ll probably see some very bright, stick-it-up cartoon themed bikes, or at least they look like bikes, but they’re actually bike-shaped objects. When you see a proper kids’
bike from a proper manufacturer, you’ll see a massive difference. You’ve got aluminum frames and components will make the bike much more capable. The use of proper kids components that are designed specifically
to suit the ergonomics are the real hallmark of a
proper kid’s mountain bike. Now Commencal say that the
cockpit is really important suits more hands, things like bars, the size of those, the levers,
the grips and the shifts, it’s all designed to make
it really usable by kids. Contact points, the saddle,
handlebars and grips should be the right
size for little bodies. In the case of bars and grips that means having a smaller diameter so
that little hands can get grip. They shouldn’t be cut
down at odd-sized parts. Brakes should be designed specifically to be closer to the bars
for a shorter reach. Some will have a noticeably
lighter action too, making braking almost
effortless for little hands. Crank length is also in proportion for correct saddle height and to get a low bike with
plenty of crank clearance from the trail. So it’s paddle height,
the lower the better. The narrower the Q factor, the horizontal distance
between cranks, the better. This means that smaller rider’s legs will go up and down
efficiently as they pedal, rather than being bowed outwards. (upbeat music) Kids’ mountain bikes, now they’ve jumped up a bit in size a bit but they’re more recognizably
a mountain bike shape. Most of these bikes are
probably going to be rigid, although you can get options
with suspension forks, probably an air suspension fork, so they’re lighter and
they’re easily adjustable with changing riding weight. We’ve also now gone from one gear to many so it opens up the terrain
you can ride these on. (upbeat music) Commencal have the Ramones 20 and 24, both seven speed bikes. These kids’ mountain bikes
start at about 350 pounds up to about a thousand. (upbeat music) These are proper mountain bikes
designed for proper riding. Also, a couple of these
might be a good option for smaller adults that
can’t fit an adult bike. The Meta Junior are really quality bikes with brands you’ll recognize
from the smaller-wheel bikes you’ve got (mumbles) suspension forks, going up in travel to the Junior bike, this is the 27.5 inch wheel bike. The rock shocks recon fork on there. Sram gears on all these bikes. (upbeat music) The Meta Hardtails are available
in 20, 24 and 27.5 inch so a big range of height
difference in riders. On to probably the coolest
bike I’ve ever seen, of course bikes, that’s the Clash. This one especially it’s a 20 inch. So say wheels I got from the Clash, that is a very small big-hitted bike. (upbeat music) Up to the Junior, absolutely
no compromise made here, 27.5 inch wheeled bike, 160
mil travel front and rear, you’ve got big brakes,
you’ve got the Sram guards, the 200 mil front router, 180 rear. This bike could do some pretty big, pretty impressive riding. (upbeat music) Even the suspension
internals have been designed to give kids the best stuff,
scaled down to suit them. As Commencal explained, the Kinematic is designed to
fit very low-weight riders by using a very high ratio, we can have a decent air pressure in the shock and standard hydraulics. Without this, it would be impossible to have a bike made for kids. Expect prices to range
from about 600 pounds up to two and a half thousand. Yes, that’s a lot of cash, you won’t find many bikes in your life that keep their value as
well as a good kids’ bike. As soon as yours grows out of it, someone else’s will probably grow into it. Well, cheers for that
riding Billy and Louis that was absolutely amazing, proper mini shredders. Hopefully you’ll find
that information useful if you’re going to buy a kids’ bike. If you want to see another
video with a big child, then over there for a video with Blake. Give us a thumbs up if
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