How do you choose a kid’s bike?


Many parents want to introduce their children to mountain biking from an early age. Sometimes it’s the little ones themselves who want to imitate their idols. Parents, however, do not always have the right starting point when it comes to buying a child's first MTB or when it comes to upgrading to a bigger one. We’ve put together this guide which has all the necessary information you need!

“The most important thing for the little rider is to have fun behind the handlebars of their bike. After all, mountain biking should be a fun game, not a chore.” This is what all specialists say when asked about a kid’s relationship with mountain biking. Indeed, sometimes getting a child started is not easy. To start in the best fashion, it’s obvious to start with a suitable frame. But finding the right one is not always an easy task, whether it's a balance bike for beginners or a real MTB for when the child gets a bit older.


One thing we do know is that there are suitable bikes out there for all ages and all sizes. We usually talk about the size of the frame and the diameter of the wheels when it comes to specifics. Our complete range means that you can follow the full growth process for the entire time your kid is growing up, from almost before they can walk properly, to teenage years and into adult life. Each model also has its own characteristics. Not all are planned for the same type of riding or discipline therefore the geometry differs, as does the suspension and components. This way, our kids bike range choices are varied and can be easily matched to technical level, the discipline/style as we said, or the budget.

Here is our full complement of models and the height recommendations that our Engineers stipulate to go with them.

RAMONES PB

Wheel size: 12-inch or 14-inch
Child’s height: 90-105cm

You have to start one day! The balance bike, a small 12'' or 14'' pedal-less bike, is the best way to learn the basics of bikes! Without stabilizers, it allows little people around 1m tall to learn to control the feel of handlebars and develop their balance. The RAMONES PB (Push Bike) are perfect frames to prepare for the future and become the next Amaury Pierron! Their large 2.25 section tyres make the bike more stable. They also provide security and insurance to the child and when they start to pick up speed, the disc brake kit is ready to be installed!

Discover the Push Bike range



RAMONES 14

Child’s height: 95-110cm

The RAMONES with 14-inch wheels is available in two versions; as a push bike without pedals and a pedal bike with pedals! Our PB version is obviously aimed at children who learn riding later than those starting on a 12-inch. Like its little brother, it’s is perfect for learning balance and discovering the basics of bike riding. It also has wide, grippy tyres to improve stability, grip and comfort on all terrain. The RAMONES 14 is also the first model in our entire range to have pedals. It’s intended for children who already have some experience riding a balance bike and who feel ready to take the big step. For those who are not completely ready or not yet comfortable with balance, the bike comes with stabilizers! Finally, the bike is equipped like its counterpart, with large and grippy tyres as well as disc brakes to stop the bike as soon as it takes too much speed!


Discover the RAMONES 14



RAMONES 16''

Child’s height: 105-120cm

The RAMONES 16 comes in close to the 14-inch. With larger wheels, it can work well for a growing child. Also fitted with disc brakes and wide grippy tyres, it’s the ideal platform for learning to pedal confidently and safely.


Discover the RAMONES 16



20''

Child’s height: 115-135cm

20'' MTBs are generally aimed at children aged 6 to 7 years old.These are the first in the range where you’re able to choose suspension and transmission with several variations. As the RAMONES 20 is always intended for recreational practice, the most experienced can ride on a platform with large travel already.

The CLASH 20 has 130mm front and rear suspension and is ideal for starting out in bike park. A successor to the SUPREME Kids, it is better adapted to the body shape of the child and above all, more versatile. In this sense, it’s not just for downhill, it’s also capable of lengthy enduro rides too.

In the spirit of a child’s first MTB, we find the META HT 20. It’s a hard tail with 100mm travel and equipped with a 5-speed transmission and disc brakes. Even if it doesn’t have rear suspension, its large 2.6 tyres ensure grip, comfort and perfect control of this machine. Its tried and tested geometry and cockpit which is adapted to small hands, it’s perfect for the kids to take wherever they want to ride!


Discover the 20'' range



24''

Child’s height: 128-150cm

The 24'' is the biggest size of wheels your child can choose before switching to ‘adult-size’ 27.5, put together with a small frame.These models are generally intended for children over 8 years old, when they are between 1.28 and 1.50 metres tall. In this category, children can find specific models in the range that will allow them to specialize in the discipline(s) of their choice.

The CLASH 24 features 145mm of travel and is fitted with Manitou suspension. It has a versatile SRAM NX 11-speed transmission in anticipation of all terrain. Tektro 180mm brakes and 2.4 tyres allow perfect peace of mind before descents.

More accessible, the META HT 24 has a 120mm RIDE ALPHA fork specific for children and also features 2.6 tyres that provide comfort and safety. Equipped with a 9-speed cassette, it gives everyone the chance to tackle the steepest climbs, whilst its versatility enables the option of longer rides too.

Finally, the fully rigid RAMONES 24 is also fitted with 2.6 tyres for maximum comfort and grip. The 7-speed cassette and Tektro disc brakes mean the kids can attack the uphills and downhills.


Discover the 24'' range



An Alternative? META HT 24 POWER

The children's e-bike market is growing and it’s understandable why. Our META HT 24 POWER gives any child of the correct height, the chance to be able to follow their parents with greater ease during family outings, and even be able to keep up with them on the most difficult hills. Now the tables have turned!

Tested by the French magazine VéloVert, they say, “The children were thrilled by this new way of mountain biking, the ease with which the bike climbs, its easiness downhill (…) With this META HT 24 POWER, COMMENCAL is undoubtedly one of the benchmarks in the segment with a lot of seduction capital."


JUNIOR

Child’s height: 145-160cm

Welcome to the big leagues! Now a teenager can start riding on a mountain bike of the same calibre as their parents. The JR has the same characteristics as an adult size mountain bike, the only difference is that the geometry is adapted to the body-shape of a small person, over the height of 1.45 metres.

The CLASH JUNIOR features 160mm of travel and has a SRAM NX Eagle transmission and Guide T brakes with 200 and 180mm discs.

The META HT JUNIOR is more affordable because of its hard tail frame. There’s 140mm of travel on the front and an 11-speed SRAM transmission. The generous geometry, suspension and its specifically adapted components make it a particularly versatile model, as good for pedalling as downhill and ideal for technical progression.


Discover the JUNIOR range



Where to test our bikes?

If your child is in-between two sizes of bike or if you, he or she doesn’t know which model is best suited, you can come and test them for a day, at different points around the world…

Andorra, USA, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Australia, New Zealand… During the summer seasons, at our many partner stores in countries and legendary spots, it’s possible to test a COMMENCAL mountain bike! If you buy the tested model, the rental price will be deducted from the price of the bike. Remember to check the availability of bikes as not all are available depending on the country or time of the year.


Test a bike



How to choose the right bike size?


If your child is trying a bike, it’s a good idea to watch whilst they ride for the first time. Evaluate their position on the bike, listen to their comments and feelings... The goal is to guide them and build some confidence. If possible, start with easy playful areas so that they get off to the right start. It is imperative that the child is not afraid of the size of the bike. If they are not comfortable, it may slow down the learning process.

When testing a MTB for the first time, you must also adjust it correctly: seat height, handlebar height and width, suspension adjustment (if any) and tyre pressure… As young children starting out (don’t you remember?), it’s important that their feet can touch the ground when they stop, then naturally they are more confident.

A balance bike - the best way to start


A balance bike is the best way to learn the basics of mountain biking. Without stabilizers, it means the kid can control the handlebars and they develop balance skills from the outset. With our RAMONES PB, we do everything so that the first rides of mountain bike happen place in the best way. Equipped with wide and well-clipped tyres, the bike is stable and has excellent grip so that the child can venture on any terrain with confidence. The child has time to get used to the feel of the bike, picking up speed etc. and then they’ll be ready to step on the pedals!


When should you change their bike?


Several components of the bike can be changed or adjusted over time to ‘enlarge’ it. These include the length of the seat post and/or the stem. However, there are limits that should always be adhered to, like for example, seat post length. When you see that the child is up to the last indicator line on the seat post and that their knees are very close to the bars when he rides, this could be a good indicator for the bike becoming too small! Obviously, it is advisable to follow the indications given above concerning the model sizes adapted to the size of the child.


RAMONES, CLASH or META HT ?


If you don’t live in a particularly mountainous region where small wheels might make things difficult or if your child simply does not have enough riding time to need a model with suspension, opt for a more versatile MTB. It’s not always necessary to have the most sophisticated model to learn to ride a bike.

A versatile mountain bike like the RAMONES does the job perfectly. It allows you to touch-base on everything, to progress technically and makes rides fun by simplicity. It also gives the child more riding time to work out if bikes are for them at all... It’s a great starting platform whatever wheel size and is features grippy 2.6 section tyres. They provide an ideal shock absorber quality and a good dose of comfort!

The META HT Kids range is more geared towards specific disciplines and mid-mountain riding. Even if it it is a hard tail frame, the range of gears, generous geometry and its effective front travel make it an excellent bike to do everything! There’s no lack of playfulness that’s for sure!

As for the CLASH Kids, like its adult big brother, we find a bike capable of going literally anywhere. Its long travel, a geometry and high-end components adapted to kids’ body shapes, make it the perfect choice for the competitive ones who know their enduro from their DH and want to hit the bike park. On top of that, the CLASH Kids goes uphill with ease too!


Why choose large tyres?

If you look closely at our kids bikes, our RAMONES range of rigid models are fitted with larger tyres than the META HT and CLASH. When a child starts mountain biking, suspension is not necessarily essential. This is the reason we give our RAMONES and our META HT larger section tyres - 2.4 to 2.6. This choice allows, firstly to avoid children having to use stabilizers with the balance bike and secondly, it also brings comfort, cushioning and grip when they learn the art of riding.


When to shift to gears?


We have chosen to fit gears on our children's range from 20-inch models upwards. We believe that before a certain age and a number of hours spent riding a bike, gears are not necessary. It’s only when the child has a good command of steering and control and after their hands have developed, that gears should be considered. For this reason, come into play without a front derailleur, only on our RAMONES 20, META HT 20 and CLASH 20. Models intended for competitive use or where the profile of the terrain practiced can vary.


Don’t forget our older models and used bikes!


If you’re not yet convinced that your child is passionate about mountain biking, if you’re afraid that they will grow up too quickly or simply if your budget is limited, take a look at our older models! You may be able to find there the rare jewel in there or simply get a really good deal!


See our used bike range


 
 


       

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