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Trying to find quality kids 20" wheel mountain bikes is no mean feat, as at this size most bikes are not really designed for such a purpose. Thankfully, there are a number of manufacturers that have realised that it's not just the big girls and boys that like riding through the muddy stuff!
In this post, we take a look at our selection of some of the best kids 20" wheel mountain bikes that are currently on sale in the UK for kids around 5 years of age.
We've also had some fantastic feedback on our bike selection via the Cycle Sprog Facebook page. Sophie asked if we could include weight, and if we have access to it we certainly will. Also, on the bike front we had some little gems put forward that need to be added to the list. Consider it done!
If your child is going to be riding on all types of surfaces, such as grass, tarmac and road, then a mountain bike might not be suitable for them, so please take a look at our article on the best 20" wheel hybrid bikes, which will probably be more suitable.
Saracen are a company are a company with heritage. Richly steeped in UK mountain biking history, not only do they create bikes that are suitable for the climes of these shores but they also do it very well.
The Mantra 2.0 is a compact bundle of fun, with a lightweight custom butted aluminium frame and a 20 inch wheelset at its heart. A Shimano Altus shifter and rear derailleur are matched to a single 32T chainset up front and a 12-34T cassette at the rear giving the Mantra a good spread of gear ratios from its 8 speed setup.
Saracen have specified v-brakes rather than discs as they say they give enough power and are nice and light. They also reckon kids love to mess with brakes, and fingers and discs don't mix well.
The Saracen Mantra 2.0 is available to buy from Tredz and retails at £349.99.Tredz - Saracen Mantra 2.0
Well, the Mantra 2.0 isn't exactly lardy but Saracen have decided to build an even lighter version, with the same spec but having rigid forks rather than the weight adding suspension forks. The bonus here is that the Mantra 2.0R can be purchased for a very keen £299.99.
The Saracen Mantra 2.0R can be purchased at TredzTredz
Specialized have been big on the kids bike scene for many years, with the Riprock taking influence from the adult bike sector to produce a pint-sized ripper intended to deliver big fun.
With its 2.8" plus tyres, 7 speeds and SR Suntour XCT front suspension fork the Ripper should be capable of clambering across just about anything in its path. Plus there's a set of disc brakes fitted to bring you to a halt when you get to the other side.
Specialized have been advocates of low standover heights on their kids bikes for years, and the Riprock is no exception. This should give kids plenty of confidence when standing, as little feet will be planted firmly on the floor.Tredz Evans Cycles
Update. These are hard to find in stock, so if you want one grab it when you can!
Stock is, shall we say, variable The Early Rider Belter is a stunning design with it's brushed aluminium frame and high end componentry. At the front is a 50mm travel air suspension fork to soak up the bumps, while Maxxis Daddy tyres have been specified to give good grip on the rough stuff.
Cable actuated disc brakes are fitted fore and aft and Ritchey finishing kit makes this a very nice place to be indeed. Gearing is courtesy of a 3 speed 'belt drive' system, which is cleaner, quieter and requires less maintenance than its chain driven brethren, so all in all a very high spec machine.
The Early Rider Belter 20 inch Trail can be purchased from Evans Cycles.Evans Cycles - Early Rider Belter 20
I have a soft spot for Orbea - the bike builders from the Basque country - as I have owned, ridden and loved one of their road bikes. I also like the fact that they take kids bikes seriously, and are creating some fine examples that are scaled to suit. The MX24 series features in our 24" wheel selection of kids mountain bikes, so it seems only fitting that it's pint-sized sibling should be featured too.
The MX20 disc just oozes purposefulness, with it's black paintwork and 2.1 inch tyres back and front it looks desperate to be let off the leash.
The specification for the MX20 Team is good, with a smattering of own brand components in the usual areas (bars, stem, seatpost) matched to named components such as the Shimano Acera hydraulic discs, that have a strong reputation for good performance at a palatable price. The drivetrain comprises a 9 speed setup with Shimano Altus Shadow rear mech and shifters, and matches a 34T single chainring up to an 11-36T cassette to give a good spread of ratios.
Shimano updated their groupsets earlier in the year, and in doing so the technology from the higher in the pecking order XTR an XT trickles down to those below, making them really great value. This is a good move by Shimano and gives the MX20 bang up to date kit, which is great to see on a 20" wheeled bike.
The Orbea MX20 Team has a retail price of £389 and is available at Cycle Surgery.Cycle Surgery
The Trek Superfly 20 has been updated for 2018, but still retains it's flyweight position which, according to the Trek website, comes in at 8.16kg. We would say the Superfly 20 has less of a mountain biking focus than say the Orbea MX20, but it's still a bike that has been designed with the rough stuff in mind whilst being perfectly home roaming the streets.
The Superfly has 6 gears that are operated via a Shimano Tourney twist grip, with a 32 tooth single chainset at the front and a cassette with a 14-28T range, while braking is provided by a tried and tested v-brake system.
The 2018 version of the Trek Superfly 20 retails for £340 and can be purchased from Rutland Cycling.Rutland Cycling - Trek Superfly 20
Sticking with Specialized, the Hotrock seems to have been around forever in one guise or another. It is quintessentially a classic kids bike model that has evolved greatly over its 20 years plus production life. The 2018 version sports a lightweight aluminium frame and SR Suntour front fork with 50mm of travel. Seven speeds are available to get you moving while v-brakes will scrub off the speed when required.
Kona are back on it. Fact. Up until the last couple of years, Kona had started to get a bit of a reputation for not really moving the goalposts, seemingly pedalling tried and tested formats while newcomers were hitting the market with new designs, styles and colours. Then couple of years ago - bam!!!!!! Like a breath of fresh air, nope, a tornado ripping through the Company they started to re-energise themselves and start clambering back to the top of the mountain.
The Kona Shred 20W is built around an aluminium frame with a Spinner Grind 1 suspension fork offering 5mm of travel. Shimano Tourney provides a six gear system with a revoshift twist grip, a 36T chainset at the front and a 14-28T cassette at the back. Cable-actuated disc brakes from Tektro with 160mm rotors should provide plenty of retardation as and when required.
I'm also liking the matt blue paintwork as the black components compliment it nicely.
The Kona Shred 20W is currently available at the Cyclestore.Cyclestore
High volume tyres are making an appearance all over the trail, and the Scott Scale Jr is bang on the button for the younger rider in the family. The philosophy behind the use of big balloon tyres is that they provide a degree of extra float that helps smooth out the trail and get over obstacles. They also provide a high level of grip on loose material and give a bit more comfort to the ride. I guess they sit in the middle between standard tyres and the monster ones we see on fat bikes.
Gearing comes in the form of 7 speeds controlled by a Shimano revoshift twist grip on the bars, with a 32 tooth chainset at the front and a 14-28T cassette at the rear. Ideal for most trail manoeuvres and to get some decent flow going.
The Scale Jr Plus is brought to a halt courtesy of 160mm disc brake rotors by Tektro. With an alloy frame and forks, the Scale Jr Plus weighs in at 10.4kg.
The Scott Scale Jr Plus is available at Tredz.Tredz - Scott Scale Jr Plus
So there you have it. A great selection of kids 20 inch wheel mountain bikes that will have them tearing up the trails in no time. This is just a small selection of what is currently available, so if you feel another bike should be added to the list, please get in touch via Facebook as we'd love to hear from you. Happy riding!
Please check out some of our other articles:
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