Mongoose makes great kids’ bikes. They’re safe, cool and always get great customer reviews online. Mongoose has a good selection of bikes for kids, and I’ll go over the key factors you’ll want to consider in order to choose the right Mongoose bike for your kid.
I’ve also included a list of Mongoose bikes for kids by height, so you can quickly see which bikes are the most suitable for your child.
I’ll finish the article with my recommendations for the best Mongoose kids’ bikes in each height category. By the end, you should know exactly which Mongoose bike is right for you and your child.
Factors to consider when buying a Mongoose Bike for your kids
There are a few considerations you want to keep in mind when you’re buying a kid’s bike. Finding the right bike is important because it plays a huge role in whether or not your kid will actually want to ride their bike. If it’s not right for them, chances are it will be left in the garage, gathering dust.
A kid can get a lot of fun and good experiences out of their bike, and the better the bike suits them, the more they’ll get out of it. Have a look at the following factors to keep in mind. Hopefully, they’ll help you narrow down your search to finding the perfect Mongoose kid’s bike.
One of the first bike features you need to decide on is the size. Bike sizes often come in three different measurements – wheel size, height, and inside leg. Buying a kid’s bike isn’t like buying clothes, you don’t want to buy one that’s too big that the child can ‘grow into.’ Riding a bike that is too big is dangerous and will definitely result in more falls than a bike that’s the correct size.
When picking the right size bike for your kid, it’s a good idea to stick to the wheel size. Here’s a handy comparison guide you can stick to:
2’8” – 3’3”
3’3” – 3’6”
3’5” – 4’0”
3’11” – 4’3”
4’2” – 4’8”
4’7” – 5’2”
When it comes to choosing the right size of bike for your child, here are some tips to make sure you get the right one.
Their feet should easily meet the pedals without them having to completely straighten their legs or slide off the seat. Their hands should comfortably reach the handlebars and they should be able to turn the bars each way easily without locking their elbows.
Kids’ bikes tend to be a lot heavier compared to their relative body weight than adults’ bikes. While most adults’ bikes weigh around 20% of their total weight, a good kid’s bike should weight around 40% of their total weight. Any heavier and they’ll struggle and tend to fall more often.
When it comes to a bike’s weight, lighter tends to be better but will cost more. Be wary of light, inexpensive bikes, as the manufacturers have probably sacrificed strength and components as opposed to using higher quality, lighter materials.
Most bikes have steel or aluminum frames. Steel is stronger but heavier. Aluminum is lighter, and still relatively strong, and I would recommend trying to get a bike with an aluminum frame.
Another key thing to remember when it comes to the weight of a kid’s bike is the fact that, especially if your child is young, you will probably end up carrying the bike for at least while on most bike rides, so do yourself a favor, and get your kid a nice and strong, but light, bike.
There are two types of brakes on kids’ bikes. Small and lower-end kids’ bikes tend to have a single coaster brake. A coaster brake is activated by backpedaling. Coaster brakes work pretty well and require little maintenance, but they do pose potential problems when your kid moves up to hand brakes.
Hand brakes are more effective at stopping a bike, though they do require a little more maintenance than coaster brakes. Most kids can master how to use them quickly, and, if you can, I would recommend getting a kid’s bike with handbrakes for their superior performance.
With hand brakes, there are generally two different options, calipers, and discs. Calipers tend to come on cheaper bikes and are easier to maintain. Disc brakes tend to come on high-end models and have superior stopping power.
When you’re buying a kid’s bike, you’ll have to decide whether or not it has gears. Gears make it easier to ride at different speeds, as well as alter how you pedal going up or down hills, but they are relatively complicated and most bikes with wheels smaller than 20” only come with a single gear.
With bikes with wheels bigger than 20”, there is a choice of how many gears and what type of shifter to get. Some bikes come with grip shifters, where you twist the grip with the palm of your hand. Other bikes have trigger shifters where you pull or push a lever with your fingers.
Some kids’ bikes come with suspension. More often than not, it will be front suspension with only a couple of inches of travel. Most kids, especially younger kids, aren’t heavy enough to need suspension as they are often too light for it to activate.
For bigger, older kids, it might be worth getting suspension if they are planning on using the bike for mountain biking. It’s a good way to get them used to a slightly different riding style that comes with suspension.
With more features comes more maintenance and potential for breaks and malfunctions, and it’s no different with suspension. If you’re going to get a kid’s bike with suspension, I would recommend spending a little bit more, as cheap suspension is often more trouble than it’s worth.
The right price for a kid’s bike is, ultimately, up to you. My recommendation would be to go with the best bike you’re able to afford. The quality of bikes varies hugely, and cheap bikes can be awful, so it’s better to spend a bit more now in order to save in the future.
Kids’ bikes tend to hold their value, as well, so when your kid outgrows their bike, you can always sell it on. Similarly, if your budget is tight, take a look for a second-hand bike. People quite often put a low price on good bikes just because they don’t need it anymore.
Top 5 Mongoose Kids Bikes
Here’s a list of Mongoose bikes for kids. I’ve arranged them in ascending height order and give my recommendation for the best Mongoose kid bike for each height. I hope you find it helpful.
Up to 3'5''
For young kids, the Mongoose Mutant is a great first bike. It comes with removable training wheels, so it’s a great bike to learn to ride on. The black and orange color scheme looks sweet. The single-speed drivetrain makes it simple and easy to maintain. Plus, it has good front and back handbrakes, and it feels really safe.
Click here for pictures, prices, and reviews of the Mongoose Mutant.
3'5'' – 4'0''
It is a super cool BMX bike that comes in 16”, 18”, and 20” wheel options. For a smaller rider, I’d recommend the 16”. As it’s a BMX style, even though it as 16” wheels, it’s still a good size for smaller kids. If your kid is a little older and bigger, the 18” version would be great for 5 – 7-year-olds.
The Legion has a steel frame and fork, which makes it feel sturdy and solid, though it makes it a little heavier. It has a single-speed drivetrain and one rear hand brake. The light alloy rims help keep the bike from getting too heavy with its steel frame.
There are six color options, so you’ll be able to find the perfect Mongoose Legion for your child. I’d definitely recommend it for kids, especially if they are going to use it in the city. Its BMX style makes it perfect for street and sidewalk riding, though it wouldn’t be that great on the mountain.
Click here for pictures, prices, and reviews of the Mongoose Legion.
3'11'' – 4'3''
The Mongoose Cipher is a superb transition bike for kids who are learning how to ride a bike with bigger wheels and more than one gear. It’s also a mountain bike, so if your kid wants to ride the trails, I’d recommend getting the Cipher instead of a BMX bike like the Legion.
The Cipher comes in 20” and 24” models. For shorter riders, I’d recommend the 20” wheels. The low frame design makes it easy for kids to learn how to ride a ‘big bike.’ It has a 7-speed derailleur and has a grip shifter, which is a nice feature as it’s easier to use than a trigger shifter. It has an aluminum frame which keeps it nice and light, which is great for smaller kids.
Click here for pictures, prices, and reviews of the Mongoose Cipher.
4'2'' – 4'8''
The Switchback is another great first mountain bike for kids. It also comes in 20” and 24” models, and for this height bracket, I’d recommend the 24” wheels. For extra comfort on the trails, the Switchback has front suspension with 3” of travel.
The aluminum frame keeps the bike light while maintaining its strength. The high-quality 8-speed Shimano derailleurs and shifters make operating the gears simple and straightforward. One of the upgrades of the Switchback compared to the Cipher is the disc brakes on the Switchback which have greater stopping power than the caliper brakes on the Cipher.
Overall, the switchback is an excellent all-round mountain bike for younger riders, providing strength, safety and comfort even on bumpy mountain trails.
Click here for pictures, prices, and reviews of the Mongoose Switchback.
4'7'' – 5'2''
While the range of choice increases substantially once you get into 26” bikes, I’ve included the Mongoose Fireball because it’s an awesome bike designed for urban riding, dirt jumping, and slopestyle. If your kid wants something tough, the Fireball is an excellent choice.
The aluminum frame is light and strong. The front suspension has 4” of travel to help soak up the impacts of jumps and drops. There’s a single-speed drivetrain, so it’s not great for cross country, but ideal for street riding and dirt jumping.
The mechanical disc brakes help add a feeling of safety with their added stopping power and the wide handlebars feel great and give riders excellent control. If your kid wants to learn how to dirt jump, the Fireball is one of the best bikes in its class.
Click here for pictures, prices, and reviews of the Mongoose Fireball.