Best Mountain Bikes For 12 Year Old Boys (Top 5)

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Mountain bikes are perfect gifts for 12 year old boys. It’s a great way to keep them active, and they’ll be excited to use their new toy. But, if you’ve never bought a mountain bike for kids before, it can be confusing. Determining which style of bike and which brand to buy can seem impossible. Here are some of the best mountain bikes for 12 year boys and everything else you need to know when shopping for one.

Best Mountain Bikes for 12 Year Old Boys

Top 3 Picks

Best for beginners

Co-op Rev 24

Buy On REI.com

Polygon Relic 24

Buy On BikesOnline

Value Choice

Schwinn High Timber

Buy On Amazon

1. Co-op Cycles REV 24 Plus Kids’ Bike

Best for Beginners

Features

  • Aluminum frame
  • 7 gears
  • 120lb weight limit
  • 24 inch wheels
  • Slant Six Sport Tires
  • Weighs 28 pounds
  • Mechanical Disc Brakes
  • 2.6in tire width

This is the ideal bike if your 12 year old is new to mountain biking. The Rev 24 is really a trail bike, which is fine for someone who’s just getting into the sport. It’s easy to ride and operate and it can handle anything appropriate for beginners, especially young ones.

It’s understandable if the price tag gives you pause, but you get what you pay for. This bike is far better than anything you’ll find cheaper at the big box stores. It’s lighter, better made, and more durable. The biggest issue with it is the small frame size, which can make it difficult to attach a water bottle.

Buy on REI.com


2. Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike

Budget Pick

Schwinn High Timber Youth/Adult Mountain Bike, Steel Frame, 27.5-Inch Wheels, 21-Speed, Black

Features

  • Steel frame
  • 24-inch wheels
  • Twist shifters
  • Rear derailleur
  • Quick release seat post
  • All-terrain tires
  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • Rigid suspension

For a more affordable bike that won’t cut corners on quality or performance, the Schwinn High Timber is an excellent choice. It still has all the basic features you want, and much of the cost savings from the steel frame rather than an aluminum frame. That will add a bit of weight, but it’s steel a fairly light bicycle.

A common criticism of Schwinn’s mountain bikes is poor quality, but this is usually in comparison to much more expensive bikes at bike shops. Compared to the cheap bikes at the big box stores, the Schwinn is a massive upgrade.

Buy on Amazon


3. 2021 Polygon Relic 24 – Kids Mountain Bike

Premium pick

Features

  • AL6 Alloy Frame
  • 8-speed drivetrain
  • 60mm Suspension fork
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Lifetime warranty on frame
  • Weighs 30.4lbs
  • 24-inch wheels
  • Can be upgraded to 26-inch wheels

This is the top-of-the-line bike for your 12-year old. Everything on this bike is premium quality and well-thought-out. The suspension has 60mm of travel to smooth out the ride over rough ground, the 24-inch wheels are perfect for young riders, and you can swap them out for 26-inch wheels as your child grows.

Having 8 gears makes it easy to ride, even for inexperienced riders, and it handles uphill and downhill rides well. Polygon bikes are known for their quality, and this children’s model is no different. The alloy frame is strong and light, and everything is designed with young riders in mind.

Buy at BikesOnline.com


4. 2021 Polygon Relic 26

Best for bigger 12 year olds

Features

  • AL6 Alutech Alloy Frame
  • 80mm suspension fork
  • 9-speed drivetrain
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Lifetime warranty on frame
  • 26-inch wheels
  • Weighs 29.9 pounds
  • Double wall alloy wheels

Some kids hit their growth spurts early, and it’s always a challenge to shop for them. They’re in that awkward state where they’re too big for things designed for kids but still not quite big enough for things designed for teenagers. That’s where the Polygon Relic 26 comes in.

Slightly larger than the Relic 24, and with larger wheels, it’s an ideal size for 12 year old boys who are ahead of the growth curve. Buying a bike that’s the right size for the rider is essential, not only for comfort but also for safety. Riding a bike that’s too large or small can lead to injury.

Buy at BikesOnline.com


5. Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike

Huffy Hardtail Mountain Bike, Stone Mountain 24 inch 21-Speed, Lightweight, Dark Blue

Features

  • 24-inch wheels
  • 14-inch frame
  • Steel frame
  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • Kickstand included
  • Hardtail- no suspension
  • Also comes in smaller, 20-inch wheel, 13-inch frame size
  • 6-speed drivetrain on smaller size

The Huffy Hardtail is a good option if you need something very affordable. In addition to the price, one big advantage is that it comes in two sizes appropriate for children, which means it’ll be a good fit for more people. It’s easy to ride, and at this price you won’t be too upset if it gets beat up a little.

Remember, though, that you really do get what you pay for. Huffy makes good bikes, but the build quality won’t be as good as the other bikes on this list, and it may not last as long. Durability isn’t a huge issue when you’re buying a bike for someone who’ll outgrow it in a couple of years, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Buy on Amazon


What to consider when shopping for a mountain bike for a 12 year old boy

As with anything else, there are certain things you should always be looking for when shopping for mountain bikes, and they’re not all specific to children’s bikes. If you’re a mountain bike enthusiast, you may not need much help, but if you haven’t done much mountain biking yourself, here’s what you need to know.

1. Bike Size

One of the most important factors in choosing a bike is making sure to get a bike that’s the right size. A bike that’s too large or too small is going to be very uncomfortable to ride, no matter how good the suspension is. Worse, it can actually lead to serious injuries.

That’s because your joints are forced to move at weird angles and your posture will be poor, which can strain your back. By contrast, a properly sized bike will actually strengthen the back muscles and keep the joints healthy.

2. Wheel Size

Mountain bike wheels can be 29 inches or 27.5 inches. The larger tires give you more momentum and can handle uneven terrain better. Smaller wheels are a bit tougher and tend to be more responsive, making the bike more agile.

For a 12 year old, the wheels will need to be smaller. 24 inches is the most common size for kids of this age, and for most of them this is the ideal size. Taller children will benefit from a larger, 26-inch wheel.

3. Try the Bike Out in the Store

For your first bike, trying it out in the store is vital. It’s not just about getting the size right, although that’s important. This is also you’re only chance to test out the seat, grips and handlebars to see if they’re comfortable for your child.

Some stores may even let your child take the bike out for a short test ride to see how it handles. This is ideal; you’re about to spend several hundred dollars, on the bike, so getting to actually ride it first is a good idea. Of course, if you’re buying the bike as a gift, you may have to guess at these things first and make changes later.

Even then, if you can take your child to the store and let them try out a few different bikes, and find a way to surprise them with the bike they like best, do it. You’ll be glad you did.

4. Don’t Let the Price Tag Scare You

It’s tempting to buy cheap bikes for your kids. They’ll outgrow them quickly and the bike is likely going to take a beating, so for many of us our instinct is to buy cheaper bikes that are easily replaced. Don’t give in to that temptation.

All mountain bikes are built to take a beating and keep on going. The more expensive ones are actually quite a bit tougher than cheaper models. The build quality is higher and the materials are better. You’ll probably find that if buy cheaper bikes you’ll end up spending more money on repairs or replacements than you would have if you just bought the more expensive bike in the first place.

5. Don’t Forget Other Equipment

To safely ride a mountain bike, your 12 year old boy will need a helmet, gloves, reflectors on the bike and on their clothing, and more. Don’t make the mistake of budgeting just for the bike, and forgetting all of this other vital equipment.

Instead, plan on buying all of this stuff. Set aside enough money to pay for the bike and everything that your child will need to ride it. You’ll spend more money, but you’ll get more peace of mind as your child is out riding.

6. Check to See What’s Included With the Bike

It seems counterintuitive, but more expensive bikes usually don’t come with all parts included. Pedals and kickstands, especially, are treated as aftermarket products. This is because most people investing in a great bicycle want to customize it as much as possible. It’s a nice touch for many, but it can also be an unpleasant surprise if you’re not prepared.

Before you order your bike, check to see if the pedals and a kickstand are included. If not, you’ll need to order those separately.


Conclusion

When looking for the best mountain bikes for 12 year old boys, make sure and do your homework. You can’t go wrong with any of the bikes on this list, but each is best for certain people. If your boy is a beginner, you’ll want to buy him the Co-op REV 24. The Schwinn High Timber is a great choice if you need to save a little money, while the Polygon Relic 24 is great if your boy is an experienced rider who wants the best bike possible.

Most of those bikes will be a little small if your child is on the taller side, though. If your boy’s growth spurts have come early, consider the Polygon Relic 26. It’s larger and will fit taller children more comfortably.

I'm Jesse, I run this place. I spend as much time outside enjoying nature as I can. When I'm not camping, hiking, canoeing, or biking, I'm trying a new outdoor activity or working on this website.

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