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Best 20″ Boys’ Bikes for 5-to-9-Year-Olds

By Sam Millers   /  Last updated - November 16, 2023   /  Best-Of-Reviews, Kids, Mountain Bikes

boy jumping a mountain bike

Children grow up quickly, which means they may need a new bike every 2 or 3 years. Just like with adults, it’s important to fit the right bike size for kids so they avoid strain or injury and get the most enjoyment out of bike riding.

The correct 20-inch bike age is usually somewhere between 5 to 9 years old, and once children reach 5 years of age, they have usually learned to pedal and balance on their own. At this point, you can upgrade from a 16-inch training bike 20 is a mid-range REI kidsto their first real 20-inch bike.

Why Get A Mountain Bike for Boys?

Boys tend to be rough with their toys and they like getting dirty, so a mountain bike is a perfect answer. Best kids’ mountain bikes are built tough to handle abuse and have thicker tires for better shock absorption, so they’ll want to ride more often. Statistics show that kids who ride bikes have a far less chance of developing obesity in adulthood.

BMX vs Urban Bike vs Mountain Bike

BMX bikes are designed specifically for use in parks to do tricks and jump on ramps and half-pipes. Although they can be ridden elsewhere on streets and in nature, they usually aren’t as comfortable as mountain bikes over long distances. BMX bikes usually only have one gear so it can be difficult to ride up long hills with them.

You won’t be able to do the same tricks and jumps on mountain bikes, but you can tackle varied terrain, explore the mountains and charge downhill with front suspension.

Urban bikes have lighter frames and thinner, smoother tires than mountain bikes, so they’re easier to ride on pavement. However, they are weaker and rarely have any suspension, so they aren’t as fun for off-road riding.


  • Best Equipped Hardtail MTB: Norco – Storm 2.1
  • Most Popular: Cannondale Trail 4
  • Best Value: Co-op Cycles – REV
  • Best 20″ BMX bike: Mongoose – Legion

For best quality, you can’t beat the Cannondale Cujo Race. It has the best selection of parts and will provide the most fun ride. However, it is the most expensive.

For the best value for money, I’d choose the Specialized Hotrock. This bike provides a host of excellent components that will last a long time and provide top performance.

Check out the full reviews below!

Norco – Storm 2.1

Best overall value

norco storm 2.1

MSRP: $459
Jenson USA

This high-quality 20-inch bike from Norco is an affordable kids’ hardtail and best suited to boys who are serious about their riding. The 6-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain has Revoshift shifters with a 14-28T cassette and a 30T alloy sprocket. Sadly, the groupset doesn’t expand to the brakes, featuring only Tektro mechanical discs. 

Upfront, you get an SR Suntour XCT coil-spring fork with 40mm of travel, enough for some big jumps. The wheelset is fairly basic, featuring standard alloy rims and 20×1.95 tires. Other notable features are the child-specific Norco Jr saddle and Jr MTB Soft Krayton Rubber grips. 

40mm travel / 6-speed Shimano Tourney / Mechanical disc brakes

Buy from Jenson USA

Co-op Cycles – REV 20″

Best Value!

boys 20 inch mountain bike

MSRP: $339

The Co-op REV 20 is a mid-range REI kids bike that would make a great introductory MTB or an upgrade from a 16″. It’s light, simple, and affordable without coming across as cheap and has everything a kid needs in his first MTB.

The 6061 aluminum frame hosts a basic 6-speed Shimano Tourney gearset with Logan mechanical disc brakes and simple Revo twist shifters. There’s no suspension so clearly, this is not intended for downhill or park riding but will provide hours of entertainment riding around local parks and trails.

6-Speed Shimano Tourney / Mechanical Disc Brakes / 2.6″ extra-wide tires

Maximum weight limit: 80lbs 

Buy from REI

Cannondale – Trail 20″

cannondale trail 20 mountain bike

MSRP: $450

This 20″ mountain bike from Cannondale is an excellent introductory MTB from a well-known and trusted brand. It features a quality C2 alloy frame and Suntour suspension fork with 40mm of travel. This is great for kids wanting to hit ough trails and experiment with some basic downhill riding.

  • Kickstand
  • 20 x 1.95″
  • V-Brakes

The drivetrain is fairly simple – a 7-speed Shimano Tourney with a single Revo twist-shifter which is more than enough for a kids’ bike. However, the use of alloy V-brakes rather than disc brakes is a bit disappointing, especially on a mountain bike.

7-speed Shimano Tourney Revo / 40mm travel / 3 different designs

Recommended Age Range: 5-9

Buy from REI

Specialized – Hotrock

hotrock 20 specialized kids

MSRP: $449

The Specialized Hotrock may be the best 20-inch bike on our list, with a lightweight A1 Premium aluminum frame and SR Suntour XCT-JR, coil spring 40mm fork suspension. The reliable Shimano Tourney 7-speed drivetrain is another solid feature.

  • Renegade 20 x 2.1″ tires

The only issue with this bike is the basic 2.1″ Renegade tires on alloy rims and v-brakes. Otherwise, this bike offers excellent value for money.

7-speed Shimano Tourney 

Recommended size range:  41″ – 52″

Buy from Mike's Bikes

Diamondback – El Oso Nino

el oso nino diamondback kids bike

MSRP: $675

This boy’s 20-inch fat tire mountain bike from Diamondback looks very professional with its brushed aluminum finish and 4″ tires. It doesn’t mess around with cheap parts either, featuring a killer Shimano Tourney FT35 7-speed drivetrain.

  • 20 x 4″ Chaoyang tires
  • Shimano Tourney FT35 7-speed
  • Steel frame

This is complemented by Apex mechanical disc brakes set on Jr Fatty alloy rims. Finished off with child-specific touchpoints, this is a unique bike with a high-quality feel.

7-speed / Mechanical Disc Brakes / 160mm disc rotors

Recommended Age Range: 4 – 9 / 44″ – 54″

Buy from REI

Quietkat – Ripper

quietkat ripper kids ebike

MSRP: $2,499

QuietKat wanted to be able to equip the whole family with quality E-MTBs.

The ripper is a children’s E-Bike that’s no less capable than their adult models. Designed with extra fat 20”x4” tires, the Ripper works well as a kids electric hunting bike because of it’s ability to take down different riding surfaces.

A 100mm fork softens things up and helps younger riders manage difficult terrain. With a maximum range of 42 miles, it’s a great ride for young adventurers getting out onto their first expeditions.

The Ripper is a perfect introductory E-MTB for riders up to 5’6” looking for fast-paced fun.

Buy from QuietKat

Cannondale – Cujo Race

boys blue full-suspension mountain bike

MSRP: $810

The Cujo is a rigid 20-inch mountain bike from the leading brand Cannondale. It’s a great way to introduce young boys to the trails. The lightweight SmartForm C3 aluminum frame is kitted out with huge Kenda Slant 6 20 x 2.6″ tires that absorb much of the trail noise and provide plenty of grip in varied conditions. 

  • Cannondale disc lightweight alloy double-wall wheels
  • Promax hydraulic disc brakes
  • 20 x 2.6″ Kenda tires

At this price, you’d expect quality and you won’t be disappointed. A top-range 10-speed SRAM X5 drivetrain is complemented by Promax hydraulic disc brakes. That’s a lot of bike for a little kid, hopefully, they deserve it!

10-Speed SRAM X5 / Rigid fork / Promax hydraulic disc brakes

Buy from REI

Mongoose – Argus

mongoose boys fat tire bike

Mongoose has long been a leader in BMX and MTB bikes and now they’re breaking into the popular fat bike scene. This new boy 20-inch fat tire bike is perfect for cycling on any terrain, from snow to sand. 

The Argus features a steel frame with a 7-speed Shimano Tourney gearset and mechanical disc brakes. You don’t get any suspension but the fat 4-inch tires will provide more than enough padding on bumpy trails. The Fat Bike scene is getting more popular every day because it’s a great way to explore the new territory where normal MTB bikes can’t go – get involved!

20 x 4″ / 7-Speed Shimano Tourney

Recommended height range: 4′ – 5′ (6 years and up)

Buy on Amazon

BMC – Twostroke AL 20

bmc twostroke al 20

MSRP: $739
Mike’s Bikes

The BMC Twostroke AL 20 is an off-road bike with wide 2.4″ Kenda Booster tires that aren’t too heavy, making it ideal for exploring some wild terrain without sacrificing pedal power. Fat tire bikes can be notoriously heavy to pedal so this makes for a nice middle-ground introduction to bigger tires for smaller riders. 

It has a lightweight Twostroke AL 20″ Aluminium frame with a durable powder coat finish, a rigid fork, and an SRAM X4 8-speed drivetrain. The Tektro hydraulic disc brakes also add a lot of control, while the wheelset includes basic alloy rims.

8-Speed SRAM X4 / 20 x 2.4″ / Hydraulic disc brakes

Recommended height range: 43 – 53″ / 5-8 Years

Buy from Mike's Bikes

Marin – Hidden Canyon

marin hidden canyon kids

This kids’ 20-inch mountain bike from legendary manufacturer Marin would make an excellent new bike for a budding rider. The Series 1 6061 Aluminum frame includes an steel rigid fork and a 7-speed Shimano Tourney drivetrain.

  • 20 x 2.125″ tires

The Hidden Canyon has Power CX7 Mechanical disc brakes that provide excellent stopping power no matter the weather. The 2.125″ all-terrain tires are decent quality and overall it’s a nice bike although it lacks any outstanding features.

7-Speed Shimano Tourney / Mechanical disc brakes / Steel fork

Buy from Jenson USA


GT – Mercado Team Comp

GT Mercado Team Comp BMX Bike

MSRP: $610

Available in a sleek multi colored paint job, the Mercado Team Comp is built on a comfortable and durable Cro-Mo steel frame and fork. GT is known for making dirt jump and BMX bikes so there is more than enough to rely on the brand.

The bike has got a 3-piece GT Power Series Cr-Mo crank with double-wall rims for a more aggressive street-style riding. If you think your kid really wants to evolve in cycling, this could be the right tool to get him to the next level!

Buy from Gravity Coalition

Mongoose – Legion Freestyle

Park / Street / Dirt

boys black bmx bike

This kids’ BMX bike from Mongoose looks cool with army-brown tires and grips on a black, steel frame. The 25T alloy chainring drives a 9T rear cog on aluminum rims with 2.3″ tires. 

12 Best BMX Bikes in 2024: Top Models in Racing and Freestyle Categories

Dirt, Vert, Skatepark, Pumptrack, Street, and Flatland - there's quite a variety of ways to master the skill on this ...

  • 20×2.3″
  • V-brake on the rear
  • Hi-Tensile steel frame
  • 25x9t gearing

A single rear U-brake provides precision stopping and speed control and the 50mm stem and threadless headset gives maximum steering performance. All you need to do is bring the style!

Suggested rider height: 5’0″ – 5’6″

Buy on Amazon

Elite – 20” & 16″ BMX Bicycle The Stealth Freestyle Bike

boys bmx bike

This boys’ 20 inch BMX bike looks awesome, with a gunmetal black paint job and eye-catching blue tires. It’s made from hi-tensile steel which is a bit heavy but super strong. It’ll handle anything the park or dirt jumps can throw at it.

  • Steel frame
  • Includes 1 set of pegs

The single-speed drivetrain has a 25T sprocket matched with a 9T rear cog, giving you quick and instant power. On the wheels are fat 2.5″ tires and with only a rear caliper brake you won’t accidentally go over the handlebars.

Buy on Amazon


Priority – Start 20″

priority bicycles 200

MSRP: $369
Priority Bicycles

Priority Bicycles are a no-nonsense brand of high-quality, belt drive bikes from New York City. This top-of-the-range kids belt drive bike is the perfect hassle-free 3-speed hybrid bike for your young one to get out and get exploring.

  • 3-speed internal gearing
  • Kickstand
  • Dual hand-brakes

It has thick tires for urban and gravel terrain plus front and rear V-brakes and an awesome Gates Carbon drivetrain which is super easy to clean and maintain. Lightweight, rust-proof, and comfortable, it’s the perfect bike for adventurous city kids.

Fits riders with inseam: 22″ – 28.5″

Buy from Priority Bicycles

Cannondale – Quick 20 Kids’ Bike

cannondale boys mountain bike with a rigid fork

MSRP: $380

This bike for 6-year-olds is the perfect upgrade from training wheels and introduction to gears. The simple 1×7 drivetrain is easily controlled by Shimano’s REVO twist shifter, with easy braking from Promax V-brakes.

  • Shimano Tourney 7-speed derailleur
  • Kickstand
  • Fast 20 x 1.5″ tires
  • V-brakes

The KT Alloy freehub allows you to coast along, absorbing bumps with the 1.5″ Kenda Small Block tires and light Cannondale 20″ rims. An impressive first hybrid bike for kids that should provide them many years of fun cycling.

Buy from REI

Co-op Cycles – REV 20 Kids’ Bike

rei co op kids bike

MSRP: $209

This Co-op kids city bike is a great introductory bike for getting around town, enjoying the parks, and visiting friends. It’s lightweight aluminum frame and steel fork are tough enough for urban streets, while the 1.75″ Kenda Kontact tires keep you safe from punctures.

  • Chainguard
  • Single-speed
  • Steel frame
  • Reflective tires
  • Kickstand
  • V-brakes

Single-speed pedal power is provided by a 36T alloy crank and 16T KT coaster hub with a Tektro rear caliper brake. It’s a decent introductory bike for simple trips around the neighborhood.

Max weight limit: 80 lbs

Buy from REI

Batch – The Kids 20″

batch the kids bike

This stylish Batch kids’ bike will have heads turning as your son rolls down the road on it. The super-cool, BMX-style riser handlebars and bright finish make it look like an old skool prop from a 90’s MTV music video.

  • Chainguard
  • 6061 aluminum frame
  • Single-Speed

The steel frame rolls on fat 2.125″ tires and uses a single-speed drivetrain with a simple coaster brake for stopping. It sticks to the classics, using comfortable parts for an enjoyable ride feel.

Height range: 3’9″ – 4’4″

Buy on Jenson USA

Electra – Sprocket 20 Kids’ Bike

electra boys black cruiser bike

MSRP: $320

This Electa kids 20-inch bike has a funky beach-cruiser style, great for slow and comfortable rolling around town. The hi-tensile frame has a single-speed freewheel hub running 18T off a 32T crank, with both front and rear rim brakes on alloy rims.

  • Single-speed
  • Aluminum frame & steel fork
  • 20 x 2.15″ tires

The 2.15″ tires are puncture-resistant, saving you effort and money on repairs and giving you more time for fun. All you need to do is head out and explore the world!

Recommended Age Range: 5 – 8 (3’8″ – 4’5″)

Buy from REI

Electra – Firetail 1

red electra bike

MSRP: $340

Oh wow, look at this funky machine! Your son will be the talk of the town on this stylish. 20″ boys cruiser bike in eye-catching metallic red with dragon decals.

  • Steel frame
  • 20 x 2.15″
  • Kickstand

The steel frame has a comfortable, low-slung geometry and extra-wide 2.15″ tires, making it the coolest, smoothest bike in town. With only one 1-speed, it’s best suited to slow, easy rides along flat town roads. Includes a coaster and rim brake, plus a comfy sprung-saddle and a noisy bell to wake the neighborhood.

Buy from REI

Huffy – Stone

blue boys mountain bike

This Huffy kids bike comes with a 6-speed Shimano drivetrain so your young cyclist can tackle hills and pick up speed on the flats. The strong steel frame will handle all sorts of terrain and the 1.95″ tires eat up vibration for extra comfort.

  • 20 x 1.95″
  • Steel frame
  • 6-speed

The adjustable handlebars and seat make it easy to fit kids from 5 to 9 years old, meaning it’ll provide you with many years of service. An excellent bike for school commutes, play dates, or recreational weekend rides.

Recommended age range: 5-9 / 44-56″ in length

Buy on Amazon

Cleary – Owl 20″ 

cleary owl 20" kids bike

MSRP: $500
Mike’s Bikes

The Owl kids’ bike is a fun upgrade from a kids’ bike with training wheels. You get all the fun of a full-size bike with child-specific components and a 3-speed drivetrain to begin mastering shifting. 

  • Available in three colors
  • Steel frame & fork
  • 20 x 1.9″

Kids can be comfortable zooming down the street with reliable Tektro junior v-brakes. The most notable component is the Sturmey Archer trigger shifter and internal geared hub drivetrain which will last a long time and reduces the need for maintenance. 

Buy from Mike's Bikes

About the Author

Sam Millers

Sam Millers is the guy behind Bikexchange.com. From the early days of three wheels to conquering challenging mountain trails, Sam's love for cycling knows no bounds. With a background in web development, Sam seamlessly combined two of his greatest passions – cycling and technology. As the creative force behind Bikexchange.com, he shares insightful stories, expert tips, and engaging content for fellow cycling enthusiasts. When he's not exploring new biking routes or tweaking website codes, Alex enjoys sipping on a post-ride espresso and planning his next cycling adventure. 

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