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The best full suspension kids mountain bikes - 2019
With full suspension becoming more popular on adult mountain bikes, it's not surprising that there is a growing demand for kids sized full suspension MTB's. In this article we're taking a look at some of the best full suspension kids mountain bikes with 26" wheels or bigger that are currently avaialble for older kids and teens (about aged 10 plus) at the moment. As you'll quickly see, they don't come cheap - but in each case you're getting a lot of bike for your money.
Does my child need a full suspension mountain bike?
Now, some will argue that your Cycle Sprog should be learning their skills on a fully rigid or hard tail mountain bike before moving onto the comparative luxury of full suspension later in life (when the bones start creaking and muscles need warming up before a ride!). Others will retort that if it means their Cycle Sprog can get up and down whatever the trail throws at them, then it's a great thing, and means your family mountain biking can reach exciting new levels (assuming you can keep up!).
The best full suspension kids mountain bikes
Before we start - let's just ask why a pre-teen or teenager shouldn't just jump on an adult mountain bike. Yes, it's possible to get an XS or S adults MTB, but often they're not designed with kids in mind. Those aged between about 10 and 14 tend to have smaller hands, narrower shoulders and aren't as strong as adults, so need a bike designed specifically for them. Here's our pick of those full suspension kids mountain bikes designed with the junior rider firmly in mind.
Cube Stereo 140 Youth MTB (RRP £1699)
Cycle Sprog reviewed and recommended
Cube bikes have a broad range of bikes, such that pretty much there's something for everybody, regardless of age or type of riding. They've recently added to their collection the Cube Stereo 140 Youth - a full suspension 27.5" wheel bike that comes in three different frame sizes to cater for most pre-teens and teenagers.
The Cube Stereo 140 Youth is a proper off road tool with SR Suntour Aion forks that give 150mm of travel at the front, while suspension duties at the rear are provided by an SR Suntour DUAir shock giving 140mm of travel. There's a RaceFace 1x chainset with an 11 speed SRAM NX drivetrain with great gearing options. Magura provide the braking with 180mm rotors giving plenty of bite!
We've been lucky enough to have been testing one of these bikes out this year, and have been very impressed. You can read our review to see what 12 year old Tester N thought of the Cube Stereo 140 Youth here.
Check sizing availability and price of the Cube Stereo Youth 140 at:
- Tredz (who offer a price match so if you find it cheaper elsewhere they'll refund the difference)
- Hargroves Cycles
Norco Fluid FS 26 (RRP £1125)
Hotfooting it out of British Columbia is the Norco Fluid FS 26 that is a full suspension kids bike for ages 10 and up. It's fitted with a RockShox Silver air fork to give 120mm of travel at the front and complemented by a Rockshox Monarch R shock at the rear.
There's a decent 10 speed drivetrain using Shimano's excellent Deore range for the shifter and rear derailleur, while SR Suntour provide the 30 tooth 1X chainset that marries up to a SunRace 11-42 cassette.
Braking comes courtesy of a Tektro hydraulic system with short reach levers and 160mm rotors.
The Norco Fluid FS 26 also comes ready fitted with a dropper post with remote lever.
Mondraker Factor (RRP £1,995)
Mondraker are based in Alicante, Spain and have been making full on mountain 'bicicletas' since 2001. The Factor 24 and 26 take everything they've learnt and boiled it down to a size suitable for pre-teens and teenagers.
The Factor 26 is not a downhill monster of a bike but is set up with a more XC bias having a 90mm RockShox Monarch R shock and a RockShox Gold TK Solo Air 30 air fork giving 100mm of travel.
The specification for the Factor 26 suggests that Mondraker have fitted Shimano's MT501 4 piston brakeset to the bike, which should give supreme braking power.
There's also a tasty drivetrain too for this updated 2019 model, with a SRAM NX 11 speed groupset being used for the crank, shift lever and rear mech. We've had good experiences with the SRAM NX groupset, so it's reassuring to see it being used here.
It's also interesting to note that Mondraker have made use of branded high quality items throughout, such as the OneOff bars and stem and saddle from SDG, rather than using in-house products. But then again, when you're paying a significant sum of money you do, quite rightly, expect more than a smattering of top kit for your investment.
Marin Hawk Hill Jr (RRP £1,350)
DEAL OF THE WEEK ==> GET 10% OFF WITH THE CODE SPROG10 AT TREDZ!
Now the Hawk Hill Jr from Marin is an interesting concept as it starts out as a 24" bike that, when the time is right, can grow with your child as it accommodates 26" wheels (it's worth pointing out that Mondraker also do similar with their smaller Mondraker Factor 24).
The Marin Hawk Hill is another 120mm travel rig, but this time using X-Fusions excellent Velvet fork with thru-axle and their O2 Pro shock at the rear which, being air, allow for precise tuning to take account of varying weights at the age range the bike is intended for. The frame on the Hawk Hill Jr is lightweight T6061 aluminium with internal routing for the rear mech and also for a dropper post should you wish to fit one.
Braking comes form the budget but very well respected Shimano M315 hydraulic system which in this guise uses a 180mm rotor at the front and a 160mm at the rear to give great stopping power for lighter riders. The 10 speed drivetrain comprises an 11-42T cassette and makes use of the Shimano Deore range for the rear mech and the shift lever, while Marin use their great in-house range for the 30 tooth crankset and finishing kit on the bike.
All in all a great looking bike with the added functionality of being able to grow with your child.
In terms of the upgrade to 26" wheels we have confirmed with Marin that they need to have the following axle spec:
Front Wheel - 15x100 axle
Rear Wheel - 12x142 axle
==> BUY THE MARIN HAWK HILL JR FROM TREDZ FOR £1350 PLUS USE THE CODE SPROG10 TO GET AN EXTRA 10% OFF AT CHECKOUT
Whyte T-130 (from £2,250)
The Whyte T-130 is an award winning full suspension enduro machine, featuring state of the art technology in both it's frame and components. Whilst it isn't a junior specific machine Whyte have produced smaller sizes with the youth age categories in mind.
Two versions of this 27.5" wheel bike are available in the XS frame size - the T-130S shown above, featuring a 1x12 single ring coupled to a massive wide-ranging 10-50T cassette at the rear(!), and the slightly lower specced but still incredible T-130SR shown below. The XS frame for both models is designed for those youth riders who are 145 – 160 cm tall (4'72 - 5'3") and the Small frame is suitable those 160 - 168 cm (5'32 to 5' 6").
The Whyte T-130S retails for £2750 but at the time of writing was on sale at Leisure Lakes Bikes
The Whyte T-130SR retails for £2250 but at the time of writing was reduced at Leisure Lakes Bikes
If we've missed out your favourite full suspension kids mountain bikes, then do please let us know in the comments section below. We'd also love to hear which bike you bought and what your Cycle Sprog thinks of it.
Other posts you should check out whilst you're here:
- Buying a kids mountain bike - things you need to know
- Black Friday Deals on Kids Mountain Bikes - discounts available already
- The best kids 26" wheel mountain bikes - hard tails
- Best 26" wheel kids hybrid bikes - last stop before an adult bike!
- Review of Cube Action Essentials mountain biking shorts
- How we became a mountain biking family in just one year
- Review of the Islabikes Creig 24 and Creig 26
- Tredz Bikes discount code for cheap kids bikes and helmets
- Things to know when buying a mountain bike (for a child or an adult)
Affiliate disclosure: Here at Cycle Sprog we are trying to make a living out of writing good quality articles about cycling with kids. In order to do this, we belong to a number of affiliate marketing schemes, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking on some of the links on this page, we may get a small commission, which helps us keep going. Thanks for your support.
This article was first published in December 2018 and updated in March 2019 to reflect availability of the bikes featured.
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