Mountain biking with kids is an amazing experience if you are thinking about bringing them on the trails with you to develop early age love for the sport it will be great however there are certain age barriers and you would be concerned about them as well.
Kids need to be at least 6-8 years old to start mountain biking or in better terms 45 inches- 50.5 inches before riding however they should be at least 9-10 years old/55-59 inches tall to ride a proper mountain bike with gears and suspensions.
If you are thinking of bringing your kids to the trails with you that’s a jolly good thing, kids love the outdoors and love exploring though you know better than me, bringing them with you from an early age is a good thing and they will love it as well.
what size bike should you get for them :
A single cog 10-inch bike will do fairly well for a 6-8-year-old, you can switch the bike when your kid is a little bit older and pass the bike on to the younger ones or sell it off to someone, For kids older than 9- 10 years you can try getting your hands on 13-14″ inches or get them to try one I am sure they will love it at that point.
Kids grow at a tremendous speed before you know it they are your height already especially from 12 to 13 years they grow so fast that you can see them getting closer to your height in no time by that time you would be switching bikes like crazy or getting a little bit bigger bike to start off so they won’t easily outgrow them for a few years. It’s crazy how fast they grow.
How to Start and where to start :
Kids bike parks :
If you are hesitant about trails and bringing them with you there you could try kids bike parks they are great you can find one near you easily, They could be a good starting point they are safe your kids can also have company so they won’t be bored as much and enjoy a bit of climbing descending little jumps and bumps and almost all of the kids bike parks have no admission fee so that’s a plus point as well.
I would highly recommend starting from bike parks rather than trails Because in the beginning builds stamina or skills are irrelevant they need to first develop the interest for themselves and start from there, but still, trails are a good option as well and you can increase there interest on trails as well.
For starters since it would be their first time or they will be just starting out take them with you on some mild trails like green trails and start off from their green trails are usually really simple in nature a perfect point to start off from and to stick to it for a while, Explore some wildlife try enjoying your time with them take little adventures do some hiking with them to build a little bit of stamina and they will instantly start loving it.
From there take baby steps especially if they are younger than 10.
Saftey measurements and tips to keep in mind :
Kids can be on the wild side of things sometimes and it’s not just your’s trust me everyone has seen their own, these little devils fly like crazy once you take your eye off of them finding them doing something crazy again but then again nothing can be done about that it’s just one of the reason why we all love them so much right?
Still, safety is the number one priority and the most concern able thing for a parent but try not to worry so much so that you start scaring them as well that would be a bummer here are some safety measurements and tips when you are riding with your kids on the trails or in bike parks
- Always keep an eye on your kids
- drive behind them rather than driving in front
- keep something handy on you for scratches or mild injuries
- Teach them to respect nature and show them an example
- don’t rush them into learning faster
- keep calm and patience
- take water and snacks with you for dehydration and hunger
- stay on clear trails with less traffic
- always stay near your vehicle in case of an unfortunate injury
- Always stay prepared for anything.
I wrote about driving behind your kids, it for them to build a little trust in themselves while still knowing you are with them it also builds confidence in them.
Teaching your kids to respect nature is all of us parents duty so they grow up to be respectful of nature and know-how it protects and provides for us I think this is everyone’s moral duty and we should all try teaching our kids this early on.
Safety Gear to consider :
Kids can be on the wild side of things and as parents sometimes we can be on on the overprotective side of things as well which is a good thing but sometimes we are too much and who doesn’t, Still we need to let them be themselves and enjoy a with a little bit more freedom and safety gear can do that for us, but there are some important things to consider about that as well.
Safety Gear tips :
- A helmet is just fine.
- if you had like more just in case their arm and legs protection is more than enough
- Light gear, So that it doesn’t become a hassle and they start hating it.
- Do not even leave your home without a helmet.
- Make safety gear fun rather than imposing it on them
- Trying saying you look cool with that helmet and safety gear etc
Different approaches to things can make wonders building interest in your kids to wear safety gear does much more than asking them to wear it because it is necessary for their safety.
Lighter safety gear for kids can be more supportive and not so apparent as well if they have 3 to 4 kilos of safety gear on them how come you think they will enjoy their ride so it is light and mild,
Little scratches are part of the sports whether it be mountain biking, football, or any other sport so don’t think of mountain biking differently.
how to select bike and trail for your kids :
Assuming your kids are bigger or once they will get bigger bike selection will eventually become essential, Well for kids you don’t need top natch heavy lifter mountain bikes, For starters
Herer’s what to look for in a kids mountain bike :
- 6 or 7-speed bike with a single cog on the front
- don’t choose or buy a bike with 3 front gears it will get confusing for them
- A light hardtail (hardtails are light and perfect for kids)
- but you should try finding the lightest according to your kids physic
- Good comfortable reach and standover height
- Upgrades are not so much necessary but if you had like you could get a proper post and better fork which suits his weight better
Trails Selection :
Again Assuming they are bigger in height at this point or around 10-12 you stick with green trails with little jumps and bumps try some bike parks which have little hurdles and like planks and something mild yet interesting so they can have that sense of accomplishment as well as learns a bit about trails and of course for safety as well.
you should not bring them with you on any red or triple red/black trails, of course, you won’t but
Stick with mild trails with less difficulty and find trails with lesser traffic.
Gear/safety equipment :
Again something that’s light buy gear that’s a bit on the lighter side while still providing good safety at this point you should consider this gear.
- knee protection
- Elbow protection
This should be enough again don’t go crazy on protection stuff as your kid will be handling his weight, bikes weight and the weight of his gear all of these gears weight may add up to be an increased burden so as long as the safety gear is light and it doesn’t become an extra burden you can try anything.
Teaching trail rules :
If you are taking your kids to the trails with you remember to teach him some mountain biking terms and tell him all the necessary information that should help him again don’t go overboard and bore them being too geek about them keep feeding them that information over the course of the year or two.
Relative questions :
Can you mountain bike with your toddlers :
Well the simplest answer to the question would be
Yes, you can bring your toddler with you while mountain biking, there is plenty of equipment like a mac ride to seat the child, while for some people it may not seem ideal but you can do it, let’s take a deeper look.
While some people may think it is not ideal to take their toddlers with them on rides but it is ideal and there are not a few people out there who do it, in fact in recent years the numbers are increasing
Mac Ride is a company and they ship their products across many countries including Uk and Canada, if you are interested you can check them out.
While this was not our topic but I hope it summarises enough info for you to get a clear answer and information.
mountain biking with toddlers is fine as long as you stay on mild tracks with fewer technical trails.
Taking kids on mountain bike rides with you from an early age is a good thing in this digital era it is especially a great thing if you haven’t tried it yet try it but always remember to take the safety measurements that I mentioned above so that you can enjoy some quality time with your kids while pursuing your own passion.
Let me know if this article was helpful and let me know if I miss something and your own thoughts on ridings with your kids.