If your kids are already competent bike riders and they are looking to get into mountain bike riding (MBR), there is a lot to consider. Of course, your kids can ride bikes, and a mountain bike will enable them to expand on their control skills, and when looking to buy a mountain bike for a child, you are advised to buy one with front and back suspension, for a smoother ride.
Of course, safety is paramount, so your children must have suitable MTB helmets, plus elbow and knee pads, which can be found online at Sendy Gear, a leading Australian MTB accessory store where you can find everything you need. Gloves and boots with ankle support are also essential, along with riding shorts that allow the skin to breathe and decent riding tops with pockets for essential items. Polarised sunglasses are also recommended, as they will not only cut out the glare, they will also protect their eyes from insects, which you can run into, causing the rider to be temporarily blinded. The wraparound style is recommended, as this offers more protection that regular shades, while some kids prefer goggles, which are fine.
Choosing a Mountain Bike
While there are specialist bikes that have zero suspension, you are advised to stick to a full-suspension bike, as this offers a smoother ride, which your kids will appreciate. Of course, a lot depends on the type of riding you will be doing, whether cross-country, which is very demanding, or trail, the most popular style of riding that would be suitable for kids. Trail riding offers inclines and slopes, with obstacles to be navigated, and if you are going out as a group, search online for trail information that will help you to plan the ride. There’s nothing wrong with a good second-hand mountain bike, and when your son or daughter is more competent, they can select a perfect bike with some confidence. If you are looking to lose weight, mountain bike riding is ideal, as it works all the major muscle groups.
Of course, speed is governed to how fast your kid can peddle, although they must learn how to handle downslopes and descents, as you can reach 50-60 kph on a descent, which is not advised for a beginner. You should brief them about the terrain they will face, warning of natural obstacles, then ride behind so you can observe their riding, and this experience will stand them in good stead.
No Solo Riding
Any child under the age of 16 should always be with an adult, and you can explore together, rather than letting them out of your sight. It is very unlikely that any issues would arise, but if they did, there’s no one to offer assistance, so it is best to be safe. Even when out riding together, you should always have your child in view, which reduces the risk of an accident. Here is some Australian government information on cycling, which you might want to read.
There’s no beating riding for experience and as your child grows and becomes a better rider, they can choose an adult bike when they are ready, and you can all enjoy some great rides together, making it a family outing.