Best 20-Inch Bikes (for kids aged 6, 7 and 8 years) Plus Buying Guide

eric-awwy By Eric Awwy, 20 Jan 2020
guardian Ethos

Guardian Ethos 20" - Best Braking System

Woom 4

Woom 4 - The Best Multi-Terrain Bike

Guardian Original

Guardian Original - Best Bang for your Buck

12 Minutes Read

Few activities allow you to get fresh air, fitness, and fun all at the same time. Biking is one of them.

The great thing about biking is that both young and old can partake in this sport and reap health benefits.

But most people make common mistakes when it comes to riding, such as not checking for the right size before purchase or opting for a cheaper low-quality bike whose construction is questionable. If you do so, you will be left wondering why the experience isn’t as thrilling as it looks for other riders.

Here’s the thing; the concept of biking is straightforward; you need a correctly sized bike to ride correctly. So, needless to say, the features need to be just as superb as the bike's sizing. 

As avid bikers, we enjoy unearthing the best bikes, testing them, and comparing their features to discover the best. So why not do the same for young aspiring riders? 

Be sure to tag along for a more in-depth look at the best 20-inch bikes for your six, seven, or eight years old. But just in case you are in a hurry, here’s a table that lists these top-shelf 20-inch bikes.

If you want to understand more about gears on kids' bikes, read our guide on kids' bike gears

These are the best 20-inch bikes:

1 Kent Super 20- BEST OVERALL (Boy’s Bike)

Kent Super Bike
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If your child has outgrown the local streets and wants the freedom to ride and explore off-road, then the Kent Super 20 is a great choice for them.

To begin with, the red color of this bike exudes power and thrill, which is what your young boy will be sure to experience on this bike.

How so? Well, this bike is built tough. The steel frame used in its construction to its off-road tires and the suspension on the front wheel and seat.  

On the one hand, the steel frame can survive a hard beating from the youngster with no qualms! But, on the other hand, the front suspension fork attests to how this bike can take on extremely rugged terrain. And it will do so with enhanced control and smoothness on the go.

The kiddo is further assured of experiencing a smooth journey, especially with the bike’s seven-speed gearing that operates through an easy-to-handle twist grip shifting. With this, they won’t even flinch as they ride from smooth roads to rocky areas!

This bike is surely built to ensure safety, comfort, and durability. It does so through a super comfortable foam seat, multiple shock absorbers for bumpy terrains, reliable linear-pull brakes, and an easy-to-adjust alloy quick-release seat clamp.

As you can see, this hyper mountain bike from Kent is well-equipped for everything it claims to do. Moreover, with a lifetime warranty on the frame, it is every cycling parents’ dream.

Boys around 44-56 inches tall will definitely have a blast on this one! 

2 Woom 4 – Most Lightweight

Woom 4
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The Woom 4 is no exception to the top-tier quality reputation Woom has created for itself as a brand.

This bike is a must-have for young riders. This bike is a must-have for young riders, from lightweight construction to kid-specific components climaxed by a sleek aesthetic; this bike is a must-have for young riders!

Weighing a mere 16.9 pounds, the Woom 4 is the lightest in this list but also by far one of the lightest 20-inch bikes you will find in the market!

Its minimal weight is attributed to the extremely lightweight aluminum alloy material used to construct it.

Even more pleasing is that handling 20-inch bikes could never be easier for kids as it is with this bike. This is thanks to an upright geometry and well-thought-out child-specific components used to impact the feel of this bike.

Among these child-optimized features are wide ergonomic handlebars, easy-to-reach dual v-brakes, a comfortable and easy-to-adjust saddle as well as one of the lowest minimum seat heights.

With 8 gears and light Schwalbe off-road tires, the Woom 4 can properly handle long trails and rough terrains. Its tires are further enhanced with a reflective strip which improves visibility in low light settings.

Additionally, the SRAM X4 8-gear shifter it has, operated through a twist grip, requires very minimal manual power and has gear numbers along with the shifter for easier understanding.

Can it get any better than this? Yes, it can!

What further impresses us is the fact that this bike has a lot of customization accessories in addition to the kickstand that accompanies it. Be it a helmet, a bell, a rack, or even fenders, the store avails all these features for separate purchases.

Although not the cheapest bike, the Woom 4 compensates for this through an Upcycle program that allows you to trade in your bike for the next model easily.


Schwinn Koen Bike 20 inch
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Colors: blue, red, black

The Schwinn Koen is unlike any other 20-inch bike designed using Smart Start technology, a complete rethinking and redesign of kids’ bike frames for a better fit.

This redesign entails a lighter frame, narrower pedal position, smaller grip diameters, and child-proportioned seats. The result is that the bike provides more comfort and stability and an optimized fit which is especially important for kids who are just starting to ride.

The manufacturers of this bike were clearly aware of the abuse that young boys can put their bikes through. Thanks to its exceptionally sturdy steel frame design, this bike can definitely take a good beating from kids.

In reality, the bike will stay with your kid throughout the years, not just because of its sturdy frame but because other elements will ensure that the bike remains fitting for your child even as they grow. These include an adjustable saddle and seat tube, modified for a more comfortable riding position for both older and younger riders.

Another interesting feature of the Schwinn Koen is its combination of v-brakes and a built-in rear coaster brake. The v-brakes are operated by brake levers while the coaster brake is engaged through backpedaling.

Here’s why this is a great feature to have on a kids’ bike. First, it means that the child will have a seamless transition from the smaller coaster-brake-operated bike to a bigger hand-only bike.

Plus, there will be no chances of young riders getting into accidents as they have various safety options to explore.

With a full-coverage chain guard to protect little feet, a number plate for easy identification and a limited lifetime warranty, the Schwinn Koen has everything that you could ask for in a kids’ bike!

4 Diamondback Octane 20 – EASIEST GEAR SYSTEM

Diamondback Octane
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The Diamondback Octane is an outstanding beginner bike.

If your child is ready to graduate from a single-speed bike, then this is just the right tool to have them on. It is equipped for pavement and dirt road riding through a tough frame, beefy tires, and a 6-speed gear system.

This multi-geared bike is operated by an extremely smooth and easy-to-operate Shimano gear shifter. The kid-friendly trigger gear shifter is easy to master as it easily chooses from six gears. To prevent damage, its rear derailleur is protected by a guard. 

Additionally, its durable aluminum alloy frame will elegantly take all the abuse kids can dish out, while its 1.95 wide tires work to provide superior traction on the go.

Another interesting feature of the Diamondback Octane is that it is quite light for being a mountain bike. At 25 pounds, youngsters can easily navigate it.

The ease of shifting gears is what makes this bike stand out from its competitors. That, coupled with the sturdiness of frame and design's sleekness, makes the Octane 20 ideal for the rugged world of mountain biking.

5 Guardian Bikes Original 20 inch – The Best Braking System

Guardian Original
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You cannot talk about bread and fail to mention butter, just as you cannot mention bike safety and fail to talk about Guardian bikes!

When it comes to kids’ bikes, safety is always among the top priorities.

The manufacturers of Guardian bikes are keen on putting little riders’ safety at the forefront, and this bike is no exception.

With the use of Sure Stop technology, braking power is intelligently distributed to both wheels. This, in turn, ensures 44% faster stopping, thereby preventing accidents.

Additionally, this bike has striking designs on its frame to improve conspicuity. The obvious decals may seem highly cool to kids, but they are also a protective factor for kids.

Next to safety concerns is always the weight matter when it comes to kids’ bikes.

As such, this Guardian bike boasts of an ultra-lightweight aluminum design that sums to a mere weight of 21.5 pounds, an optimal weight that allows better control and easier starting by kids.

In comparison to the Ethos line, the Guardian Original is a more expensive and higher quality model. It is available as a single-speed or geared version for the more aggressive riders. The (6-speed) geared version sports a premium Shimano shifter which is much easier to engage when riding around hills.

Both models are, however, of high quality, especially when compared to department store bikes. This can be seen with the high-quality welds and finish of the bike, double-walled rims, and tires that offer premium traction.

Trust us; your kid can take this bike anywhere with them as its well-positioned low center of gravity and extended wheelbase allow improved stability and control.

With multiple colors for boys and girls to choose from and an ingenious safety mechanism, riding is sure to be safe and fun on this bike!

With such child-specific geometry, that makes the Guardian Original top one of the best kids’ bikes you will ever come across.

6 Diamondback Bicycles Insight 20- BEST pavement bike

Diamondback Insight 20 Inch bike
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Our reviewers only had good things to say about this unisex bike from Diamondback.

This multi-geared bike allows kids to tackle hills easily and even perform easy tricks and stunts on the go.

But that is just the beginning of this bikes’ impressiveness.

With a minimum seat height of 25.1 inches and a maximum seat height of 31 inches, you can rest assured that this bike will stay with your child even as they grow into more experienced riders.

Another clever feature of this bike is that it has mid-rise handlebars, which do a terrific job of helping the little rider to maintain balance and control of the bike. Although not placed as low as in most higher-end bikes, this bike’s handlebars are exceptional at their job compared to most high-raised department store bikes.

The icing on the cake is that it features a 7-speed trigger shift gearing system that is exceptionally easy for kids to learn and operate and of high quality as it sports Shimano parts. In addition, the 7-speed system features a gain ratio of 2.5 to 5.0, which is pretty standard if you compare it to high-end bike brands such as Woom, whose gain ratio goes up to 7.

Lastly, the Insight’s Kenda tires roll smoothly on pavements, but its medium tread 1.38 inches wide tires further prove that this bike is best for paved trails.

However, the most impressive element about this bike is that it provides all these high-quality features at an affordable price. Therefore parents don’t have to break the bank to deliver longer adventurous distances for their kids.

Our only qualm about this bike is that its stand-over height is higher than most hence it limits smaller riders. Nonetheless, the Diamondback Insight is a worthy investment for parents whose kids are ready to explore the streets.

7 Mongoose legion street freestyle BMX bike- Best Unisex BMX

Mongoose Legion 20 inch BMX bike
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When Mongoose sets out to design a bike, you can rest assured that there will be no stone left unturned.

First, Mongoose prides itself in having a broad line of bikes for beginner to advanced riders.  Among the Legion series is the Legion L10, one of the best introductions into the world of BMX for younger riders.

With 12 color options to choose from, each rider can have their own customized L10 bike and take it down the trails!

This bike will effortlessly take you down dirt trails based on a full hi-ten steel frame, has fully sealed bearings and U-brake aluminum brake levers, which provide precision speed control.  

Additionally, the Legion L10 is super light, fast, and easy for young riders to maneuver as it only weighs 26.75 pounds.

The Legion L10 further boasts of strong double-wall rims. Although they add to the bike’s weight, they also deliver extra structural support; thus, the bike can take punishment from those inevitable collisions without folding. Furthermore, this factor offers the best strength-to-weight ratio allowing the bike to be lightweight.

One of the best features of the L10 is its 20 x 2.25” wide tires, which offer great grip and durability needed for off-road riding.

With their ability to provide bikes for riders of all ages and ability levels, it is no wonder that Mongoose has been among the dominators of the bike industry for well over 45 years.

Considering this bike operates at a single speed, it is the perfect beginner bike for you if you are just getting into the sport of racing and stunt riding.

With that said, the best thing about a 20-inch BMX bike is that most adult BMX bikes also sport 20-inch wheels in the long run; this is a very worthy long-term investment!

8 Guardian ETHOS 20" - Best Mid-range 

Guardian Ethos 20 inch bike
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As aforementioned, the Guardian Ethos is a more budget-friendly version of the Guardian Original Line.

Just like Guardian Original, the most popular feature of this bike is the safer innovative brake system for kids. Through this technology, the little rider activates a single brake lever through which the rear brake engages and then activates the front brake. 

Another distinct feature that sets this bike apart from traditional bikes is that it is thoughtfully designed. This is evident in the double-wall rims, which provide extra strength, durable wheels, low center of gravity, and extended wheelbase, ensuring an extra stable ride.

Kids can ride with confidence as not only are they are safer, but the bike’s components are also customized for their fit. From the crank arms, pedals, handlebars, and grips, each suits a child’s proportions.

It differs from the Original not only based on the price but also the construction. This bike’s frame is made of steel, a factor that ensures its sturdiness but also makes it heavier.

Another difference between the two is that this bike uses a standard Shimano shifter that is harder to engage, although it actively allows kids to ride further.

A bike’s weight is among the main considerations (mentioned later in his article) before purchasing a bike.

As much as the Guardian's weight, Ethos is heavier than the Original line, this bike’s weight is still optimal at 23 pounds; it is significantly lighter than most department store bikes. Hence, children can easily pick up this bike and easily navigate it compared to its competitors.

From Shark Tank to the bike streets, the genius design of Guardian bikes is one that you don’t want your kid to miss out on!

9 Huffy kids bike Go Girl & Ignyte 20 inch – Most Stylish Girls Bike

Huffy Girls Bike
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The Huffy ignite just screams stylish and fun!

From the glossy design to the acid yellow rims and the pegs on the front wheel, no other bike exudes coolness like this one.

If your kids have mastered balance, braking, and accelerating, then this is just the bike for them. With no time, they will be pros at jumping and doing stunts on the bike.

This single-speed bike doubles on safety with a combination of a front handbrake and rear coaster brake. This combination is the ideal learning tool for riders who will eventually graduate to hands-only bikes.

The alloy quick release of the seat post enables easy height adjustment for the right fit, and with the included kickstand, the bike falling off will be the last thing on your mind once it has been parked.

Not only that, the chances of this bike’s components falling apart are close to none. The steel frame holds up really well against mishandling from kids and even nature’s elements.

As for assembly, because it arrives with tools, this bike only requires an easy 4-step assembly includes installing the front wheel, handlebar, seat, and pedals; and the rider is good to go.

From its onset in 1892, Huffy has always been terrific at delivering real riding adventures. Not exempt from that, this racy, aggressive bike will give your kid exploration as you’ve never experienced before! 

10 Dynacraft Magna Throttle - Affordable boys Bike

Dynacraft Magna Throttle 20 inch bike
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The Dynacraft Magna Throttle is a BMX street/dirt bike that is a must-have for boys between the ages of 6 and 10.

It is the perfect bike for street and off-road riding as it is adequately prepared for abuse by a tough steel frame.  Not only does the steel frame handle abuse elegantly, but its 20 x 1.95-inch beefy tires handle all terrains and especially rugged ones exceptionally.

This boys’ dirt bike matches the strength of its features to its looks. It features a sleek black color accentuated by red decals. In addition, Dynacraft Magna throttle has a black, well-padded, and easily adjustable seat that matches the black grips it is dressed in to finalize a clever combination of comfort, ease of use, and sleek styling.

But that’s not everything there is to this bike!

It further boasts of front and rear reflectors on the handlebars and spokes to increase the child’s visibility at night. As for braking, the coaster brakes instilled in this bike make stopping a breeze.

When not in use, your child can prop up the bike with the included kickstand.

The Magna throttle is the ideal example of style and versatility with a stylish set of wheels, cool graphics, and a 105-pound capacity.

Honorable Mentions

1 Woom Off- Lightest 20 inch Mountain Bike

Woom Off
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We are not Woom junkies, but we just love kids getting the best bikes that entice kids to forever be on the go on two wheels in their free time. After a long worry about what to switch to after beginning kids with the Woom line of kids bikes, parents have something to smile about after the launch of the Woom OFF series.

With the Woom OFF in the equation, your kids can finally have the best mountain biking experiences. For a stunning bike, it's kind, and the price tag is a bang for your buck. Besides, it is an ultra-lightweight 20-inch kids’ mountain bike that will inspire confidence in young kids (17.2 lbs - without pedals). At first glance, we equated it to the “Darth Vander bike from Star Wars.

This bike solves your worries about the best 20-inch mountain bike for your child. It is a great bike for both beginner mountain biking children and experienced mountain bikers.

The Woom OFF will exceed your expectations right out of the box. It is not your typical kids’ bike, but a bike with puffed wheels that will provide your kid a poignant and best trail riding experience. Its wide handlebars, long wheelbase, and wide tires add to its stability and comfort, enticing small mountain bikers.

The bike also has high-precision hydraulic disc brakes that help a kid stay safe in all conditions.  So, even when your kids get to the muddy and dirty trails, you are ever sure chances of them sliding are slim.

Instead of the common suspension fork system, the Woom OFF has a carbon fork that does a good job absorbing the shocks while riding. It makes a great difference if you are transitioning a child from 16-inch rigid bikes. There are plans to introduce the double suspension system for the bike in 2020. We can only wait to see the Woom OFF takes the day. The carbon fork contributes to its lightness.

The high-value tires (Schwalbe Rocket Ron tires) absorb vibration and make the ride comfortable with the best traction assured. The bike also comes with an SRAM 9-speed drivetrain, which is easy to operate. In addition, the shifters enable the kids to expend little energy while riding around.

To wrap up the Woom OFF, it comes with a modern mountain bike geometry featuring a long wheelbase, narrow Q factor, wide handlebars, and a flip-flop stem. Its pedals are also something to look up to as they are the right fit for a great mountain bike the Woom OFF is.

2 Huffy Cruiser Bike - Best for Big Girls

Huffy Cruiser Bike
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Huffy is well aware that for kids, it’s always the little things that matter the most. For example, if a bike is not comfortable, the chances are that the bike will remain hidden in garages for months on end. 

As such, the Cruiser 20 from Huffy banks on comfort, and that is what sells it.

Every little rider is bound to experience coziness while on this bike, from the seat to the grips and pedals. Its saddle is generously padded, while its dual-density Krayton grips are kid-sized, soft to the touch, and thus offer real comfort.

The Huffy Cruiser further boasts dual springs for shock absorption on bumps and other uneven surfaces. For an even more comfortable fit, even as the rider goes through the growth spurts, the Cruiser’s seat can be lowered or heightened through an alloy quick-release seat post clamp.

Thanks to its classic cruiser steel frame, this bike can withstand abuse from its rider. As for the rider’s safety, the incorporated coaster brake can easily stop the bike when the rider backpedals. 

The Huffy Cruiser is not only a safe bike but also fun and cool enough to encourage riding. Its cosmic cool patterns will ensure that your kid is the coolest one on the block.

Other than comfort, another great detail about this bike is that it is finished off with a matte black protective fender to prevent sudden splashes. Talk about getting your money’s worth!

3 Magna Girls Rule 20” Bike

Magna Girls Rule bike
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If your little girl is ready to embark on their own adventure and the aforementioned bikes are not appealing to them, then the Diamondback Magna Girls’ Rule is a great consideration.

Dynacraft recognizes that a bright and colorful ride is what fascinates most young female riders.

As such, this bike prides itself in its sturdy BMX frame coated with a purple deluxe paint finish. Additionally, the purple frame has custom graphics and lime green, hot pink, and white accents throughout the bike.

In addition to its sturdy steel frame, the Magna Girls’ rule has a well-padded and easily adjustable seat as well as handlebar pads for extra grip and comfort.

 To top it all off, this bike is embellished with coaster brakes for easy braking. You can expect nothing short of stellar for the young rider on the Magna Girls’ Rule.

The Ultimate Buying Guide for kids’ 20-inch Bikes

A high-quality bike is one of the best ways to foster a love for riding.

Kids' interest span can change suddenly due to either high quality or a low-quality product as quality heavily impacts the experience.

Quality, in itself, isn’t a sole role. In fact, it can be showcased through a number of features.

In this guide, you will find everything you need to know to avoid purchasing the wrong bike for your little one.

1. Size and Fit

There are several indicators of a bike's fit, but the child’s inseam measured against the seat and standover height are the most accurate. 

To get the correct size, simply ensure that there are about two inches of clearance between the standover height (height of top tube) and the child’s inseam (distance from the ground to crotch) when the child stands with both feet on the ground.

This clearance is important for easy mounting and dismounting and for avoiding crashing into the top tube in the event of an accident. For this reason, most bikes have slanting-top tubes. 

The minimum seat height should not be much more than the child’s inseam measurement.

Another indicator of the right size is the bike’s wheel size. Again, 20-inch bikes are the best size for kids between 6 and 8 years as they correctly fit their frame.

In addition, the length of the wheelbase (measured from wheel to wheel) also indicates whether the bike will fit your child. If they hop on it and appear cramped, or the cockpit seems to be maxed out, then the wheelbase is too short for them, and the bike isn’t the right size.

With these indicators, finding the right size shouldn’t be a problem.

2. Weight

Bike weight is another factor that affects the feel of a bike.

The rule of thumb when to comes to weight is that the bike should weigh between 25% and 40% for the child’s weight.

This is because it is easier for kids to maneuver a bike whose weight they can easily lift.

Consider the bike’s size, frame, and tire material and the presence of accessories such as a kickstand, as these greatly affect the weight.

3. Material

The most common material for bikes is aluminum or steel, which affects the bike’s weight and price.

Steel has the advantage of being highly durable, extremely sturdy, and also very cost-effective.

Although it is disadvantaged by being heavier and prone to rust when over-exposed to the elements.

On the other hand, aluminum material is significantly lighter, not prone to corrosion, thereby highly durable. Although all this usually comes at a more expensive cost.

4. Tires

Most 20-inch bike tires are either pneumatic or solid foam.

In addition to the tire type, the tread type is equally important.

For rugged off-road riding, tires with multiple tread patterns are more effective as they offer a premium grip. On the other hand, most road bikes have standard or slick tread patterns as they have less rolling resistance and result in faster riding speeds.

5. Brakes

With brakes, it is always a debate between coaster brakes and hand-operated brakes or a combination of both.

Coater brakes operated through backpedaling are more common on smaller kids’ bikes as the riders do not have enough hand strength to engage a hand lever.

Handbrakes are especially important for kids learning to ride a pedal bike for the first time. They eliminate the confusion that comes with backpedaling without the intent of braking.  

Additionally, they usually vary in terms of type. For example, you can opt for the more common v-brakes or mechanical disc brakes, especially if riding in wet conditions.

6. Gears

For most six to eight-year-olds, this is their chance to operate a bike with gears for the first time.

The advantage of gears is that they broaden the riding range and distance. But, unfortunately, most 20 inch bikes are either single-speed or six-to-seven-speed, with very few having 21 or 24 gears.

Single-speed bikes are lighter, have an easy-pedaling ratio, and are generally easier to navigate.

As the child gets more experienced and skilled, they might want multiple gears.

Generally, multiple gears are usually operated through a simple shifting mechanism on the handlebar for kids' bikes. However, if you decide to purchase a geared bike for your kid, consider the type of shifter that will work best for them, between a twist-shifter and a rapid-fire style shifter.

7. Value

If you are all out of options or not knowledgeable on bike terminology, visit a specialty store bike instead of department store bikes.

Although more expensive, specialty store bikes are more durable and give you value for money.

8. Type of Bike

The last but definitely not the least consideration you should have is the type of bike your kid wants.

Between the ages of 6 and 9, kids start coming into themselves and developing a sense of adventure.

For outdoor lovers, they always want to exercise this sense of adventure through cycling. With time, they then start to have preferences for road bikes, mountain bikes, or BMX bikes but not every parent is aware of the differences between these types of bikes, so here they are:

a) Road bikes - these are the most common types of bikes for kids and the ones you are most likely to see on the streets. They are known to be lightweight to enable easy and speedy riding. Most of them also feature hand-operated brakes, while some may have multiple gears.

b) BMX bikes are another popular option as they are known for fun experienced by allowing their riders to perform certain stunts. As such, they are preferred by the more adventurous kids. Most BMX bikes are single-speed and feature a rear coaster brake. But, again, most adult BMX bikes sport 20-inch wheels, so they are a worthy long-term investment. 

c) Mountain bikes – are characterized by the same features sported in adult mountain bikes, such as multiple gears and suspension at the front for shock absorption off-road. For 20-inch mountain bikes, most will feature a single cog and multiple gears at the back. Their operation is quite simple, often involving a simple shift system mounted on the handlebars. 

Ultimately, if you consider the above factors, you can easily get the right bike for your kid.

Happy riding!

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