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Cheap but quality 26" and 27.5" kids mtb's for around £400
You might think trying to find a cheap kids mountain bike that doesn't weigh the same as a cross channel ferry is a tall order. Well, perhaps. But it shouldn't be, should it? Let's just stand back and think about this for a moment. We live in a time where interest on any savings you may have is negligible and where job security is flaky at best. Most people don't have several thousand pounds to drop on a new mountain bike for themselves, let alone their kids.
So does that mean that you can forget it? Are you're chances of heading out into the hills with your kids and having some fun are a non-starter? Nope. I've made it a bit of a mission to carefully pore over the offerings from each manufacturer, checking out the specs and identifying what I believe are the cheapest junior mountain bikes around about the £400 mark, that don't compromise on quality. At this price point, the list I've put together comprises a mix of fully rigid bikes plus some with front suspension forks.
If possible, get your hands on one - sit on it, ride on it, bounce on it to make sure your child weighs enough to compress the fork. Make sure it works for your child, else it's just additional weight. I've also taken wheel size into account, including both 26" and the newer 27.5, because as time passes the availability of 26" wheels, tyres and forks is sadly diminishing.
Ok, so let's be honest - they're not going to be featherweights covered in the latest bling components because that's just not possible in this cheaper price bracket. But if you're wanting a proper off road bike that will last, comes with a good frame and specification worth improving as pocket money funds allow, then look no further.
I hope you'll agree.
Orbea MX range
Over the last couple of years, Orbea have reinvented their kids and junior offerings to create a new and exciting range of bikes that cover all ages. For the 2019 range we're seeing Orbea phase out the 26er wheel size in favour of the larger and now more prevalent 27.5" in conjunction with appropriately proportioned XS frames.
The Orbea MX 60 comes in four great colour schemes and comes equipped with 100m travel front forks and a wide ranging set of gears. Okay, so it has a triple chainset giving 21 gears in total -probably too many to be honest.
With its modern geometry alloy frame, alloy components and being disc brake equipped it should prove to be a robust entry into the world of mountain biking.
The Orbea MX 60 has a retail price of £399.
Voodoo have developed a reputation for building good quality mountain bikes at a very reasonable price. The Nzumbi is no exception, with a pretty good setup for the price. There's a 9 speed single chainring setup with Shimano Altus shifters and rear mech.
An SR Suntour XCR magnesium air fork gives 120mm travel at the front, while braking comes courtesy of Tektro M286 hydraulic discs. A liberal smattering of own brand finishing kit here and there and you've got a stunning looking, very orange, proper mountain bike.
Hoy Bonaly 26 (RRP £465)
If slim and purposeful is how you like your bikes to look, then the Hoy Bonaly 26 may well tick all of the boxes. With a rigid fork and aluminium frame that looks mighty clean with its smoothed welds (having tried my hand at welding, I'm a sucker for these) the Bonaly has the looks of a pared down race bike. They say less is more, and with a single ring up front (32T) and an 9 speed 11-34T cassette at the rear the gearing is kept pretty simple with only the one shifter to operate.
Brakes are Shimano Acera, a hydraulic disc system with 160mm rotors that should give plenty of braking power when needed. There's plenty of Hoy branded components to finish things off, but the wheels comprise Alex rims, Joytech hubs and stainless spokes, something not always seen at this price.
BUY NOW: HOY BONALY 26 AT EVANS CYCLES - add code 5SPROG at checkout for 5% discount - valid until Monday 26th November 2018
Giant ATX 2
The Giant ATX2 is a lightweight aluminium framed mountain bike for juniors and small adults, and sports an SR Suntour XCT suspension fork with 100m of travel. This is an entry level fork that is best suited to forest trails and gravel tracks rather than crazy downhill runs. Giant have already released their 2019 models and these have got two great new colour schemes - neon orange and flash green.
The ATX2 has 21 gears and it uses Shimano Tourney thumb operated shifters for changing through the cassette. In addition there is a Prowheel triple chainset at the front - this isn't as simple as a single ring, but should suit kids confident in changing gear. An upgrade from some kids bikes is the addition of Tektro mechanical disc brakes. Other component such as the bars, stem and saddle are sourced from the enormous Giant 'own brand' parts bin.
So the ATX2 is an entry level MTB aimed at junior riders that are looking to get out and enjoy some moderate off road riding and it retails for £365.
Second Hand Treasures!
Trott Mtb 1
This is a cool looking bike - fact. I'm really liking the "less is more" approach that Mrs Kenny has applied to her range of women's bikes and the MTB 1 is no exception. Ok, it's not a child's bike. It is an extra small female frame with 27.5 wheels, but it is so compact that it is being bought and ridden by many happy girls aged from about ten years and up. Only problem is finding one, as they're no longer on sale new.
For the money the MTB 1 is a very well specified bike. Lightweight alloy frame - check. Air spun 120mm front suspension fork - check. SRAM 11 speed chainset with 11-42 rear cassette - check. Tektro hydraulic brakes - check.
From time to time the Trott MTB1 does come up on ebay and is well worth a bid!
There are many quality bikes available in this price range, so this article is just a snapshot to give you a flavour of what's currently available.
If you've enjoyed reading this then please check out some of our other articles:
- The best kids 26" wheel mountain bikes
- Black Friday Deals on Kids Mountain Bikes
- The best kids 27.5" wheel mountain bikes
- Best 26″ wheel kids bikes – last stop before an adult bike!
- Buying a kids mountain bike – things you need to know
- 12 things you need to know before buying a kids bike
- Kids clothing and gloves
- How to take kids and bikes on a plane
- Best Black Friday electric mountain bike deals
Affiliate disclaimer: some of the links in this post contain affiliate links. If you buy a cheap kids mountain bike via one of them, we get a very small commission, which will help us to continue to run the Cycle Sprog website. Thanks for supporting us in this way.
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