MSRP: $400. Direct Price: $329
Our bike tester, Miguel is seven years old and had a pretty decent bike. It was a 7-speed Schwinn Mesa with a front shock and an aluminum frame. But when we started tackling some hills, 7-speed just wasn’t enough.
So I looked into getting a front derailleur and converting the bike into 21-speed. But these kids bikes weren’t meant to be upgraded and it was difficult to attach front chainrings to the bike.
So I got on Google and searched ‘kids mountain bike’. An obscure site called mtbr came up with user reviews on bikes:
I sorted by number of reviews and this bike Ibex Alpine 320K showed up on top. 11 reviews with a perfect 5.0 rating. I read the reviews and holy cow, this was worth a look.
So the bike arrived in a box and first impression is the packaging is incredible. Everything was wrapped and tied to ensure the bike arrived safely. Most high-end bikes we get are not packed this good! We put on the seat, pedals and handlebars and we were good. The wheels were true and the the cables were adjusted. What a concept! Most kids’ bikes are so poorly assembled these days that there is so much drag in the wheels and cables.
First impression was, ‘Wow, this is a real mountain bike!’ It has normal parts that are interchangeble with full sized bikes. The saddle, cranks, BB, Stem, skewers, pedals were all standard size. The frame has a matte textured paint finish that looks like the anodized finish on most high-end bikes. The wheel size is 20-inch and seems ideal for 6-9 year olds. A model with a 24-inch wheel is available from Ibex as well.
Comparing this to our old Schwinn mountain bike, the differences were appreciated. The shifters and brakes operated flawlessly with little resistance. Wheels and saddle were quick realease and not bolt-on. The pedals were aluminum. And the tires were real knobby Kenda brand. Another appreciated component is the Spinner front shock. It seems to really work and does not suffer from a lot of stiction. Also important is that it is an air shock and can be adjusted to the rider’s weight. A lot of kid’s shocks are elastomer and not adjustable.
Weight on the bike is 25.83 with the kickstand. This compares favorably to most kids mountain bikes that are over 30 lbs.
So how is it on the trail? Well, our tester has tackled three significant rides on this bike. He’s definitely gone a lot higher and farther with this. Gearing is low enough with smooth, reliable shifts. Braking, is awesome, right out of the box. Most kids’ brakes are heavy and take a long time to bed in and build up braking power. The riding position is great with the bar low enough to get weight on the front tire. And the Kenda tires are confidence inspiring with their cornering, braking and traction.
So the 11 perfect reviews at mtbr were right. This is a real mountain bike. A great kids bike!
5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
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