Choosing a mountain bike is never an easy task, and especially not, when it's a bike for a young lady. We must pay attention to even smallest details, expecting each and every of them to satisfy all their needs. We want their mountain bike to be as light as possible, and yet durable and absolutely reliable. Equipped with only high-end components, but inexpensive and easy to assemble. And of course, it simply has to be beautiful. In this article, though, we're going to point out to most important issues while choosing a mountain bike for girls and pick best models from every price range.
An increasing popularity of various disciplines connected with cycling and development of bike manufacturing industry which followed it, may make choosing a bike quite a difficult task, especially for beginners. Before you even get to picking a particular manufacturer or model, you have to answer a question what type of bike do you really need.
Unless you're planning your child to kick off a career in road cycling right away, a mountain bike is usually the best answer. The most practical from all bike types, allows you to cross the most demanding mountain trails, as well as to commute in the city or hit the road for a family trip.
Even though incredibly versatile, mountain bikes were designed to do well in the most demanding, steep and harsh terrain, still ensuring a safe and enjoyable ride. Here are the most important features to pay attention to while choosing a mountain bike:
Here you have to choose between disc and V-style brakes. The former are more reliable, sharper and better for extremely demanding conditions, but much more difficult in maintenance. If you're not experienced in assembling equipment for you and your children, we highly recommend choosing the latter.
The very first question you need to answer is whether you prefer a hard tail type of a mountain bike, or a one with a full suspension. Hard tails are equipped with only front shock, what makes them mechanically simpler, easier in maintenance and cheaper. They are also lighter, of course – a real matter while choosing a bike for children, but for that reason usually are being chosen by more advanced and professional mountain bike riders as well.
Full (dual) suspension mountain bikes have some significant advantages too, though. More expensive, slightly more difficult to assemble and heavier, they are much easier to handle and thus are highly recommended for children and those beginning their adventure with the discipline.
Full suspension makes rides on even the hardest trails more comfortable and definitely should be your choice if you're suffering from any back problems. And it must be pointed out that they're faster too – at least when going downhill!
Choosing a right size of the bike it is an absolute must in order to make everyday rides enjoyable. It is tempting to choose a little bit bigger frame for a constantly growing daughter, but you must keep in mind that such equipment will be much harder to control. Too small bike shouldn't be an option either, as it will make it impossible to keep a proper position and thus will provide your child with a lack of comfort.
While choosing a wheel size in adults' mountain bikes must be a reflection of their experience and expectations, in bikes for children it's simply connected with their age and body size.
We have informed you about most important features to look at while choosing a mountain bike for a girl, and pointed out to various models available on the market, in two wheel sizes and different price ranges. Making a final choice, please remember that a safety is just as important as a cute design a young lady will fall in love with, and that riding even the most durable and reliable bike still requires a helmet.
Being grown enough to comfortably sit on a 20 inch mountain bike is a big moment in young lady's life. For the first time it allows her to ride a bike which not only looks like the one for adults, but also shares many features with such. Just for that reason, it must be chosen wisely.
Novara Pixie 20'' is a good looking and extremely light budget hardtail trial bike for young girls. It is equipped with an aluminium frame and basic-level components (Shimano, 6 speeds), but weight only 9.8kg, what makes it over 2 kilos lighter in average than most of the models available. With its beautiful light blue colour, comfortable seat and very competitive price (below 200$), it's a good choice for a first mountain bike for a girl.
Merida Dakar is not the most alluring mountain bike for girls, at least not at the first sight. Some of her disadvantages simply cannot remain unnoticed: for a 20'' inch model is relatively heavy (12.13kg), suspension is average and minimum saddle post height is tall. These reasons make Merida Dakar 620 difficult to handle for youngest girls and it shouldn't be recommended for a first mountain bike. With good components (Shimano RS35, 7 speeds), very popular design and high durability, it will make a perfect bike for a transitional period for a little bit heavier girls, not grown enough to sport a 24 inch bike yet. A middle range price (slightly above 200$) seems fair for that model designed by a popular Italian bike manufacturer.
Designed by one of the world's leading bike manufacturers, Scott Contessa JR 20'' is a serious mountain bike for all young girls dreaming of making a career in mountain trails. Contessa JR is equipped with a titanium frame and Shimano Tourney components (6 speeds), and weights 11.95kg. Even though performed tests revealed that its seat is slightly uncomfortable, at the same time it has the lowest possible seat post height from all 20 inch models available on the market, what makes it a perfect choice for a young girl. The biggest advantage of Scott Contessa JR is its extremely effective front suspension, making even difficult trials highly enjoyable. With all mentioned features and a very eye-catching graphic design, Contessa JR is a sweet bike worth its price (300 – 400$).
Saracen Tufftrax Jnr 24 inch is a very serious device, and it's extremely beautiful at the same time. Its lightweight frame and high-end Shimano components (SL35, 7 speeds) make it stand out from other models in this price range (250 – 300$), with V-style brakes being the most significant disadvantage. A good frame geometry allows to keep a lower seat and thus increases confidence and control while riding through an undulating terrain.
Diamondback Tess is a perfect budget bike among 24 inch models for girls. Its basic-level components, including a steel frame and Shimano Touney gearing (7 speeds), are comparable with these more expensive models are equipped with. Diamondback Tess comes in a very elegant design as well as highly competitive price (slightly above 200$), but it requires some experience to assemble it properly.
Even though Trek Superfly hardtail is an unisex model, for its quality and high-end components assembled it shouldn't be omitted while discussing 24 inch bike models for girls. Trek Superfly is equipped with an aluminium frame, Shimano Tourney gearing (7 speeds) and extremely effective front shock. What's a big advantage of that model, you can choose between V-style and disc brakes. As an unisex mountain bike, Trek Superfly 24 inch has a slightly bigger frame which would suit taller girls, and toned-down black and blue colorscheme. The price range for this model is 450 – 600$, depending on a choice of brakes.
If you're looking for a high-quality but more sweet girls' mountain bike from Trek, you should check Trek MT 200 Girl's.
If after going through all models of mountain bikes for girls we've picked you're still feeling uncertain which one to choose, we have few more helpful tips. When it comes to models for younger girls (20 inch) it seems wise to buy a budget bike (Novara Pixie or similar) in order to find out whether mountain biking is their thing in a first place. If the answer is positive, such bike still will be good enough to start their adventure with that discipline, and they will grow out of it quickly enough to invest saved money in high-end 24 inch model.
Discussing 24 inch mountain bikes for girls, Saracen Tufftrax seems to be a perfect choice. This model will serve all purposes, from riding round the block and going for family trips to doing some more serious mountain trails, while its design is truly alluring. If a girl is motivated to ride mountain trails competitively, though, we recommend picking a high end model like Trek Superfly or similar.