Best 20-inch Mountain Bikes: Ultimate Off-Road Machines (2023)

(Last updated on March 6th, 2023)

Kickstart your youngster’s passion for cycling as early as possible with our top picks for 20” kids’ mountain bikes. We’ve upped the ante and selected the best trail-ready models that outshine standard kid’s bikes for aspiring cyclists aged 6 to 9. 

After sifting through the numerous models on the market, we’ve curated a list of seven kids’ mountain bikes that are sure to enhance your child’s experience off-piste, ranging from fully rigid frames to hardtails and plush full-suspension builds. If your little one has caught the mountain biking bug, it’s time to upgrade their two-wheeler and watch their skills develop!

boy on green Scott mountain bike in forest1
Boy on green Scott mountain bike in forest. Slater Bikes

How Did I Decide on the 7 Best Models?

Each year, more kids’ bikes are available than ever, which is great for consumers, but it can make choosing the perfect two-wheeler tricky. I’ve researched dozens of 20” mountain bikes and their manufacturer specs, user reviews, and expert opinions to determine if they make the cut. 

I prioritized trusted brands with predictable inventory and components that will last. After all, your young rider will eventually grow out of the bike, and you may want to resell the bike and put the cash towards the next size up. I gave a rating to each of the seven models featured below according to the following criteria:

Trail Performance

MTBs have to stand up to the use and abuse out on the mountain, including rolling over rocks and roots, absorbing impacts, and getting a grip in tricky spots 


High-quality parts from name brands perform better and last longer than cost-cutting equipment. If the bike is still in good shape when your child outgrows the frame, you could even resell it for cash!


Kids’ bikes shouldn’t break the bank and need to be a worthwhile investment for the few years their growing bodies will fit the frame. The pricier models on this list bring serious upgrades that dedicated youngsters can take advantage of.

Compare the Best 20” Mountain Bikes at a Glance

Woom OFFBest Overall 20” Mountain BikeSRAM X5 9-speedYes, OFF AIR optionHydraulic disc9.5/10$700
Prevelo Zulu ThreeBest Hardtail BikeMicroshift 9-speedYes, 80mm forkHydraulic disc 9/10$1,019
Trek Roscoe 20Best Kids’ Fat Tire Mountain BikeShimano Tourney 8-speedNoMechanical disc8.5/10$499
Priority Start 20Best 20” Bike for Recreational Riding3-speed Shimano Nexus belt driveNoRim V-brakes7/10$379
Co-Op Cycles REV 20 PlusBest Budget 20” Mountain BikeShimano Tourney 6-speedNoMechanical disc8/10$399
Norco Fluid FS 20Best Full-Suspension ModelSRAM GX 10-speedYes, 120mm fork and rear shockHydraulic disc9/10$2,019
Specialized Jett 20Best Rim Brake ModelShimano Altus 7-speedNoRim V-brake8.5/10$399-500

Best 20-inch Mountain Bikes in 2023

Best Overall 20” Mountain Bike

1. Woom OFF and Woom OFF AIR

20 inch mountain bike2
20-inch mountain bike. Woom

Our Rating




DrivetrainSRAM X5 9-speed
Frame Material6061 aluminum
BrakesPromax hydraulic disc brakes
Claimed Weight17.2 lbs
ForkRigid carbon
Tires20 x 2.25″ Schwalbe Rocket Ron


  • Amazing components
  • Hydraulic brakes
  • Carbon fork


  • Expensive
  • Black is the only frame color

With the OFF 4, the kids’ bike experts at Woom demonstrate that quality specs aren’t just for adult-sized bikes. This impressive 20” mountain bike is tricked with a carbon fork, 9-speed drivetrain, and knobby tires ready for anything. If you’re looking for a serious trail machine for your little one, the OFF 4 boasts one of the best all-around parts packages.

There’s a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame, Premix hydraulic disc brakes (yes, hydraulic!), and SRAM X5 trigger shifting so kids can take their trail shredding to the next level. Youngsters who require even more off-road capability can check out the Woom OFF 4 AIR which has a 60mm front suspension fork. That upgraded model comes at a steep $949 but has the high-end performance to back it up. 

The kinked top tube makes it easy to mount and dismount the bike, increasing safety on the trails. Woom is also a great one-stop shop for any additional accessories or apparel you’ll need for your little rider. This bike is almost faultless, but it misses out on full marks due to its high cost. For such a top-notch bike, I would have liked to see at least more than one color option. 


Trail performance4/5


An excellent all-rounder for young MTB riders with great specs and optional suspension. 

Best Front Suspension Bike

2. Prevelo Zulu Three

Prevelo Zulu Three 20 inch mountain bike3
Prevelo Zulu Three 20-inch mountain bike. Prevelo

Our Rating




DrivetrainMicroshift Advent 9-speed
Frame Material99M Series heat treated aluminum alloy
BrakesTektro hydraulic disc brakes
Claimed Weight22.96 lbs 
Fork80mm travel
TiresVEE Crown Gem 20 x 2.25”


  • Long-travel 80mm fork
  • Tektro hydraulic disc brakes
  • Geometry


  • Pricey
  • Heavy

There aren’t many 20” kids’ mountain bikes with front suspension on the market but the Prevelo Zulu Three claims the title as one of the best. The Prevelo brand only manufactures children’s bikes, so they understand the unique geometry and componentry needs. They’ve decided to offer this high-end trail machine with an 80mm front suspension fork. 

Trail-tough parts continue with the Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, Microshift 9-speed drivetrain, and 20×2.25” grippy tires. It’s an impressive package that’s a rare sighting for such young riders, but that extra performance comes at a premium— the high price lowers my rating, and the bike is heavier than others on this list. 

If you are looking for a more basic option from the same brand, I recommend the Prevelo Alpha Three. And for riders who can spare the extra cash, the more expensive Zulu Three HEIR ($1,299) boasts a better fork and rims than the standard Zulu Three model. Built to inspire confidence in riders aged 6 to 9, the Prevelo Zulu Three range is their ticket to mountain bike prowess.


Trail performance5/5


A tricked-out hardtail with 80mm of front travel and hydraulic disc brakes.

Best Kids’ Fat Tire Mountain Bike

3. Trek Roscoe 20

Trek Roscoe 20 20 inch mountain bike4
Trek Roscoe 20 20-inch mountain bike. Trek Bicycles

Our Rating




DrivetrainShimano Tourney 8-speed
Frame MaterialAlpha Silver Aluminum
BrakesTektro mechanical disc brakes
Claimed Weight23.54 lbs
TiresChen-Shin, 20×2.80”


  • Mid-fat 2.8” tires
  • Cool paint jobs
  • Trigger shifting
  • 8-speed drivetrain


  • Fat tires not for racing
  • Heavy

Trek has paid attention to recent trends in fat bikes and higher-quality kids’ bikes and decided to combine them into the Roscoe 20. This all-terrain beast is a mid-fat kid’s mountain bike with impressively wide 2.8” tires so your little one can go anywhere and build confidence on the trails. The 20” wheels and Alpha Aluminum frame are perfectly sized for riders between 45-52” tall.

This model is the most similar to the Co-Op Cycles REV 20 Plus on this list but comes with even wider tires and a wider gear range thanks to the Shimano Tourney 8-speed drivetrain. If your youngster has a knack for the rough stuff, the Roscoe 20 is the right choice and is available with some killer color options. However, the increased weight and extra-wide tires aren’t the best for racing or flat-out speed, so I have to limit my overall rating. 


Trail performance4/5


An affordable and fun fat bike for kids designed for mud, sand, and off-road exploring.

Best 20” Bike for Recreational Riding

4. Priority Start 20

Priority Start 20 20 inch mountain bike5
Priority Start 20 20-inch mountain bike. Priority Bicycles

Our Rating




Drivetrain3-speed Shimano Nexus rear hub and belt drive
Frame Material6061 T6 Aluminum
BrakesDual Hand V-Brakes
Weight22.96 lbs 
TiresKnobby Multi-Terrain


  • Belt drive
  • Budget-friendly
  • Multi-surface tires


  • Only 3 gears
  • Not for rough terrain

The Priority Start 20 is a multi-surface kids’ bike that’s designed to traverse bike paths, neighborhood streets, and some light off-road trails. While not a dedicated mountain bike, this model is finely tuned to the typical routes of riders aged 6 to 9 when they want to keep up with mom, dad, or older siblings.

The key feature of this bike is the belt drive hooked up to a 3-speed Shimano Nexus internally-geared rear hub. This durable setup is super low maintenance and simple to use, reducing the possibility of a mechanical issue or rust. There are only 3 gears, which is a much narrower range than other models, so I have to lower my rating slightly. 

Rim brakes and multi-surface confirm this bike as a great all-rounder as long as you steer clear of big rocks, roots, and steep trails. At only $379, the Priority Start 20 is the most affordable bike on this list and a worthwhile investment as your child grows.


Trail performance3/5


A recreational 20” bike for tamer riding and fun adventures, complete with a  low-maintenance belt drive.

Best Budget 20” Mountain Bike

5. Co-Op Cycles REV 20 Plus

Co Op Cycles REV 20 Plus 20 inch mountain bike6
Co-Op Cycles REV 20 Plus 20-inch mountain bike. REI

Our Rating




DrivetrainShimano Tourney 6-speed
Frame MaterialAluminum
BrakesLogan mechanical disc
Weight24 lbs.
TiresSlant Six Sport, 20 x 2.6”


  • Wide tires
  • Affordable
  • Great intro to shifting


  • Only 6 gears
  • Heavy

Parents are always on the hunt for an excellent deal, and the Co-op Cycles REV 20 Plus kids’ bike fits the bill. This affordable 20” mountain bike keeps things simple with a fully rigid frame, 6 gears, and mid-tier components that are plenty durable for off-road adventures. While it doesn’t have all of the bling of the Prevelo Zulu Three or Woom OFF, this model is a fraction of the cost and a smart investment for growing riders. 

A stand-out feature of the REV 20 is the extra wide 2.6” tires that’ll smooth out bumps and berms on the trails. There’s no front suspension, but those tires’ additional grip and air volume make a noticeable difference to all-terrain riding. Unfortunately, it’s a heavy bike that weighs more than some suspension models, and there are only 6 speeds to choose from, which is knocking my rating down slightly.

I’m content with the mechanical disc brakes that keep the price down and offer more than enough stopping power. Also, the twist grip Shimano Tourney shifting is super intuitive for young riders who may not yet be familiar with trigger shifting. If you’re like me and have an REI membership, you can take advantage of points and other deals to make this model even more of a steal on wheels.


Trail performance4/5


A kids’ mountain bike with plenty of bangs for your buck and wide 20” tires.

Best Full-Suspension Model

6. Norco Fluid FS 20

Norco Fluid FS 20 20 inch mountain bike7
Norco Fluid FS 20 20-inch mountain bike. Norco

Our Rating




DrivetrainSRAM GX 10-speed
Frame Material6061 Alloy Frame
BrakesShimano BR-MT500 hydraulic disc
ForkManitou J-Unit 20″, Expert Air,Alloy Steerer, 120mm Travel
Rear shockFox Performance FLOAT 3 Position, SV/EVOL, custom light tune
TiresVee Rubber Crown Gem or Schwalbe Smart Sam 20×2.25″


  • Full suspension
  • SRAM GX 10-speed
  • Dropper post


  • Most expensive

The Norco Fluid FS 20 mountain bike breaks the mold and delivers high-end performance to young riders ages 7 to 10. Who says great components and off-road specs are only for adults? This impressive model is the exception to the rule and outfits a 20” mountain bike with both front and rear suspension, meaning your little one can shred just about any trail they desire.

The suspension specs are out of this world and include a Manitou J-Unit 120mm fork and Fox Performance FLOAT 3 rear shock within a 6061 alloy frame. There’s even a dropper post for ultimate on-the-fly adjustability! Of course, these pro parts come at a premium and send this bike’s price upwards of $2,000 which forces me to knock off a point for affordability.

To make this list, this model was in close competition with the well-rated Commencal Clash 20 which is another full-suspension 20” mountain bike that impressed me. If your wallet can handle the steep price tag, the Norco Fluid FS 20 delivers unbeatable trail performance so your young rider can soar to new heights.


Trail performance5/5


A trail-ready full-suspension bike for adventurous kids who require the extra travel.

Best Rim Brake Model

7. Specialized Jett 20

Specialized Jett 20 20 inch mountain bike8
Specialized Jett 20 20-inch mountain bike. Specialized

Our Rating




DrivetrainShimano Altus 7-speed
Frame MaterialA1 Premium Butted Aluminum Alloy
BrakesRim V-brakes
Weight17.6 lbs.
TiresPathfinder Sport, 20×2.0″


  • Shimano Altus
  • Lots of colors
  • Lightweight


  • Rim brakes
  • Narrow tires

One of the most trusted names in cycling, Specialized produces the Jett 20 designed for aspiring young mountain bikers. To be honest, this model has pros and cons, but it’s no coincidence that the Jett is one of the most popular kids’ bikes on the market. 

Compared to some of the other models on this list, the Jett 20 is built for lighter terrain, meaning it soars over bike paths and streets while still handling calmer off-road trails with ease. It’s outfitted with rim brakes instead of stronger disc brakes, and the relatively narrow 2.0” tires aren’t ideal in rough or wet conditions. These component choices lower my rating a bit but where the Jett 20 really shines is switching between smooth pavement and dirt trails..

Big pluses on the Jett 20 are the Shimano Altus 7-speed gearing, tons of color options, and the lightweight build that weighs in at a slim 17.6 lbs. While it’s not the cheapest model on this list, the competitively priced Jett 20 is a sure bet for versatile young cyclists who want to pedal in style.

This is the kind of Bike that went unnoticed by the ride-conscious Bike dads


Trail performance4/5


A budget-friendly mountain bike with rim brakes and great colors to match your style.

Buyer’s Guide

What Is a 20-Inch Mountain Bike For?

A 20” mountain bike refers to a kid’s bike rated for trail riding with wheels that measure 20” across. 20” wheels are the ideal size for young riders typically between 6 to 9 years old or who are around 45″ to 52″ tall. This category of trail-ready bikes comes with grippier tires, more powerful brakes, and suspension options to keep your youngster safe, in control, and having fun on thrilling off-road routes.

While there aren’t many electric kids’ mountain bikes, riders can convert them to electric power with conversion kits. Taller tweens and teenagers can roll around on the Ride1Up 700 electric bike, too.

Is Suspension Necessary?

The more aggressive and bumpy your riding, the more you require suspension travel. The list in this article has a model for every rider’s needs, from fully rigid frames to hardtails and full-suspension setups. A fully rigid mountain bike is efficient and speedy if you stick to relatively smooth trails and paved surfaces. 

Kids’ hardtails come with a front fork with between 60mm to 120mm of travel, depending on how rough of riding you expect. For the riders who love the steep-and-chunky, there are a handful of full-suspension bikes, such as the Norco Fluid FS 20 with a rear shock for ultimate trail shreddability.

If you have a knack for more extreme riding, you might also be interested in kids’ dirt bikes.

How Many Gears Do I Need?

Almost all 20” mountain bikes have a 1x drivetrain, so the real decision is how many gears you want on the rear cassette. The more gears you have, the easier it is to find the right cadence on steep climbs and flat-out, speedy sections. I recommend between 7 to 10 gears for kids’ mountain biking. Some models with fewer gears will work; the upshot is their more affordable price tag.

Are Disc Brakes Better?

The simple answer is that disc brakes are always better than rim brakes, but they come with a slight price bump. Still, rim brakes offer plenty of stopping power and are perfect for calmer or more recreational riding. However, disc brakes are definitely the safer choice if you expect to ride trails at higher speeds or in wet and muddy conditions.

Hydraulic disc brakes apply more force and don’t have any exposed cables that could get rusty or dirty, making them more predictable and requiring lower maintenance than mechanical disc brakes. Hydraulics is a worthwhile splurge for dedicated riders willing to drop the cash, but the mechanical option is a sure bet for mountain biking.

Final Thoughts

Quality mountain bikes aren’t just for adults anymore— kids between 5 to 8 years old can hit the trails on excellent 20-inch mountain bikes. Whether you’re after full suspension or a more street-style option, the product roundup includes the best picks that are of great value. Get your young one on a kids’ mountain bike and inspire the next generation of cyclists! 

Frequently Asked Questions

What age is a 20-inch bike suitable for?

Bicycles with 20” wheels are appropriate for young riders aged 5 to 8 years old. These bikes are a step up from smaller 12” and 16” sizes and come with a lot more features to help your child develop their skills.

How tall should you be for a 20-inch bike?

The recommended rider height for 20” bikes is around 45″ to 52″ tall. This will depend on your child’s own measurements and proportions, so it’s always better to go for a test ride first. 

Is a 20-inch bike too small for adults?

The bikes featured on this list are children’s mountain bikes, but there are also bikes with 20” wheels meant for adults, such as BMX models. Adult BMX bikes are strong enough to handle adult riders’ extra weight and power as they pedal and do tricks. 

What’s bigger than a 20-inch bike?

As children move up in bike sizes beyond 20 inches, they can ride bikes with 22” or 24” wheels. 24” bikes are the most common youth size before they jump to adult-sized models with either 26”, 27.5”, or 700c wheels.

Can I put training wheels on a 20-inch bike?

Most 20” bikes are not compatible with training wheels. Young riders learning on a 20” bike are often old enough and have sufficient coordination to start riding without training wheels. If you require training wheels, ensure the bike can accept the extra accessory.

What size child does a 20-inch bike fit?

If your child is around 4’ tall, they are the right size for a 20-inch bike. Kids grow fast, so it might be worth sizing up if their height is already above 52”, but make sure they feel comfortable. In control on any bike they are riding.

What size is a 20-inch mountain bike frame?

In the realm of kids’ bikes, a 20” bike means a bicycle with wheels that have a diameter of 20 inches. However, an XL adult-sized mountain bike with a frame that measures 20” is a mountain bike. Labeling bike size by frame length is an outdated metric, and most modern bike brands simply classify frames using alpha sizing (XS, S, M, L, etc.). 

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