9th November 2017

Why treat your child/teenager to a real mountain bike?

Rachel Atherton, the first British woman to win the Elite Downhill World Championship, began mountain biking when she was 11.

If you enjoy mountain biking, think how much your young-un would love it too.

As with any bicycle, but especially if it’s for your child, there are five things to look for in a mountain bike.

  1. Does it fit properly?
  2. Are the controls (brakes and gears) easy to use?
  3. Does it have a decent fork that absorbs shocks?
  4. Is it light enough so it’s easy to steer and climb?
  5. Has the bike been put together properly so it’s ready to roll?

It’s safe to say that supermarket mountain bikes almost never tick all five boxes, with the sorry result that the youngster’s initial excitement of acquiring a new bike quickly diminishes. More on this.

That’s why we suggest you check out a proper bike shop that puts together a kids/teenagers’ bike range that matches our adult bike offer. And since we’re Britain’s Best Bike Shop as voted by cyclists, we know what to look for! Here then is a quick review of this year’s best buys.

SARACEN MANTRA HT 2.0 2018 £399

What is it?

This 20” wheeler is an amazing intro to mountain biking for kids as young as 5/6 years old.

What makes it stand out?

• Lightweight butted aluminium frame – an essential if you want a bike that can actually get the wee-one up hills
• The name brand Spinner suspension fork is air damped so no fear of pogoing when your young one negotiates rutted downhill tracks.
• The real Shimano Altus one-by Rapidfire gear shifter makes it super easy for the learner to get the hang of clicking through the 8 hill-taming gears
• Child friendly short-reach alloy levers operate the V-brakes
• The grippy name-brand Kenda Small Block 8 20 x 1.75″ tyres are equally at home on the streets
• Made by a British company with over 30 years experience designing quality mountain bikes

SARACEN MANTRA HT 2.4 2018 £579

What is it?

This 24” wheel version of the Mantra is up-spec’d for 8 to 12+ year olds.

What makes it stand out?

• High performance/low maintenance hydraulic disc brakes – now considered a near-necessity for off-road riding. Why opt for hydraulics?
• Longer travel (80mm) suspension fork as befits older, more adventurous riders
• The Shimano Altus 1×9-speed Rapidfire shifter and Alivio rear derailleur deliver a wide range of gears via a 12-36 cassette without resorting to the complications of a double or triple chainset transmission
• Built and spec’d to the same standard as you would expect from a similarly priced adult MTB
• NB – the Mantra HT 2.4 is not in stock yet but due to arrive any day now, so you can order with confidence

WHYTE 403 2018 £599

What is it?

The 403 is a Whyte hardtail MTB, scaled down with a 13” frame and 26” wheels to make it perfect for riders from 125 to 152cm (4’ 1” to 5’).

What makes it stand out?

Whyte hardtails are our best selling mountain bikes with both our customers and staff, thanks to their fantastic handling, courtesy of Whyte’s dialed-in geometry. The Whyte 403 delivers the same trail-taming confidence-enhancing ride – your best guarantee that your youngster will really get into mountain biking. Why we’re in love with Whyte bikes.

WHYTE 405 2018 £950

What is it?

The 405 is like the Whyte 403 – same size and all – upgraded (like many of the best MTBs) with a SRAM 1×11 drivetrain. Why this is good.

What makes it stand out?

We admit it. When Whyte released a £950 hardtail for youngsters we wondered if it would fly – until Whyte 900 Series-owning parents volunteered that if they wanted their kids to enjoy riding the trails, the least they could do is get them bikes that made it easier for the youngsters to keep up.


GENESIS CORE 26 2017 £399 (was £549)

What is it?

Genesis, like Whyte, are a British company dedicated to making quality bikes their own idiosyncratic way. We’re really excited about being able to offer this 13” frame / 26” wheel mountain bike at such a great price.

What makes it stand out?

With its lighter weight rigid CrMo fork and its single shifter Shimano 1×9 gearing, you can tell that Genesis love to keep their bikes simple. Then there’s the brakes. Offering a mountain bike with decent hydraulic disc brakes at this price is pretty remarkable. Delivering the Genesis Core 26 with real Shimano stoppers – famed for being the lowest maintenance hydraulic disc brakes – for under £400 is unheard of. Until now.

Snap up this bargain while you can.

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