Kids mountain bikes rigid vs suspension

Kids’ mountain bikes


No two kids’ mountain bikes are the same. Suspension models are normally about 1.5 inches taller because of the suspension fork and that changes the geometry. It turns out rigid models are ideal for smaller lighter kids (age 5-7). Small children are often too light to get the suspension fork to engage. Additionally rigid forks are much lighter, and easier to control. Make sure to keep low air pressure (around 35psi ) on rigid bikes to soften the ride for your child. Suspension models are perfect for bigger kids (age 7-11), they will appreciate the softness of the suspension, and they require a taller frame. Keep in mind the rigid models can be used by kids as young as 4, however you may need to invert the stem to bring the handlebars back to their body. Smaller and lighter bikes are easier to control, so keep your kids on their older ( smaller ) frames as long as possible by installing longer stems and taller bars. However older kids between 11-15 are ready to move to a bigger bike with 24 inch wheels. 


Overall, smaller and lighter bikes are preferred for kids. Therefore, I recommend that you try to stretch the use time of the older smaller frames instead of buying a new taller bike. Our Race bikes come with 90mm angle adjustable stems so they can be lengthened as the child grows, by adjusting the angle. Standard stems come in sizes up to 150mm long, buying a longer stem for a growing child may be better than buying a new bike. Additionally, as your child grows make sure to pull the saddle far back on the seat post to accommodate for their leg length.


©2018 Dr. Yan Lyansky