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If your family is serious about mountain biking, you know that investing in great bikes is one of the best things that you can do to help your kids fall in love with the sport. Having a bike that makes the days out on the trail as easy and seamless as possible goes a really long way. If you’re ready to get your kid the best 20” mountain bike on the market, look no further than the Trailcraft Blue Sky.
Trailcraft Blue Sky Details
Microshift 9 Speed Drivetrain
Shimano MT201 Hydraulic disc brakes
TC30 superlight 80mm travel fork
Superlight direct mount cranks with 28-tooth chainring
Fits a water bottle!
PRICE: $1499 + Customization Options
Lightweight Bike Builds for Kids by Trailcraft
The weight of a kid’s bike matters SO MUCH! I cannot emphasize this enough. Putting little kids on heavy bikes is just a recipe for disaster. Trailcraft makes the lightest kids mountain bikes that we’ve found, and it makes such a difference.
The Trailcraft Blue Sky 20, weighs 19 pounds, which is almost unheard of for a kids mountain bike. Compare that to other kid’s mountain bikes, and it’s 2 pounds lighter than the 20” Woom Off Air, 4 pounds lighter than the 20” Prevelo bike, and 6 pounds lighter than the Trek Precaliber 20”.
Considering that my 6-year-old son who is riding it weighs 39 pounds, an extra 5-6 pounds (about 30% heavier), can make biking significantly harder on a heavier bike.
Lightweight bikes make climbing easier for kids, help them have more control on the descent, and generally are just easier for kids to maneuver and haul around.
Our Experience with Trailcraft Bikes
Our family LOVES to bike. It’s one of our favorite things to do together, and you’ll find us out on the trails multiple days a week when the weather is good. Our biggest problem has been that as our older kids get better and faster, it’s become really difficult to do rides all together as a family. We have a 10-year age gap between our 5 kids, and with our oldest racing Varsity for his high school team, and our youngest being in 1st grade, we’ve got a pretty major skills gap.
Since we really value spending time together on the trails (instead of just all splitting up), our goal was to find a bike for our youngest that would give him every advantage possible on the trail, so that we could spend more trail time together as a family.
The thing that immediately sold me on Trailcraft was the weight. We buy A LOT of bikes in our family, and the first thing that I always look for is the weight. I was shocked when I saw that Trailcraft had a 20” bike that weighed just 19 lbs.
When the bike arrived, we spent about 30 minutes putting it together with our 6-year-old son. The bike was about 90% assembled but still required us to put on the brake levers and shifters. Many other kid’s bikes come with these already installed, but putting them on ourselves allowed us to customize the placement for our son, which is a step I usually skip (until one of the kids starts to complain about something). While it did take a little more time, it was 100% worth is since now the front end of the bike fits him perfectly.
Note: In the past, Ethan has always struggled with braking and shifting, but with our customized placement of his brakes and shifters, he hasn’t had a single problem. Regardless of the bike you get, it’s worth customizing the placement for younger kids!
We also took a little bit of time to adjust the front fork for his lightweight and the dropper post (he didn’t weigh enough to get it down initially).
He was so excited after the bike was assembled that we headed straight to our favorite trail. In the past, we’ve had some issues doing this with other bikes needing mechanical adjustments but we didn’t have any issues (like the time one kids seat fell off on the first ride with another bike, or when another needed a massive derailleur adjustment and the bike was barely ridable). I attribute this to the bikes not being mass-produced on an assembly line, but being custom-made one at a time. The attention to detail was very apparent on those first rides when we didn’t have to make a single adjustment or even tighten down any bolts more.
Immediately, Ethan’s confidence skyrocketed with that new bike feeling. He was charging features and terrain that he would normally have walked around so that boost was awesome. While I don’t think that suspension is really necessary for most kids his age, it was a blast for him to put it to the test on a skills trail with his 16-year-old brother. Of course, anything that big brother tried, Ethan had to do as well, so it was a good test (thankfully he didn’t hit anything big). Having that front fork adjusted to his weight just made his overall ride smoother and seemed more controlled. We only rode a few miles on our first day, but it was a great start.
After our initial few rides in our valley outside of Park City, we started to travel all over Utah, and took the bike with us to test it in different conditions. We rode it in the central deserts of Manti, the bookcliffs of Eastern Utah, and then again in Southern Utah in Zion, St George, and Cedar City. When it comes to diverse mountain bike terrain, Utah has a lot of it, and we took this bike on it all.
It’s probably going to come as no surprise, but it did nothing but SHINE!
Likely, my favorite moments were when we were riding up Zion Canyon, a day with about 22 miles of cycling for the whole family, along the roads of Zion National Park up to The Narrows. Normally, a ride this long would be too much for his little legs (we planned to hop on the shuttle as a fallback), but he did so well. In fact, most of the ride, he was up in the front, keeping pace with our teens.
Looking for more bike reviews? Check out these next.
- Best Lightweight Mountain Bikes for Kids
- Prevelo Kids Mountain Bikes
- Woom Off Air Review: Lightweight Mountain Bike for Kids
- Best Lightweight Bikes For Kids
- Guardian Bikes Review – Airos 20″
- Best Kids Moutain Bikes Hardtail and Front Suspension
- Balance Bikes vs Training Wheels for Kids
- Best Balance Bikes for Older Kids
Shifting the Trailcraft Blue Sky
In the past, Ethan has struggled with shifting. It has given him so much anxiety to use grip shifters, and after several shifting-related crashes, we stopped asking him to shift and would just set his bike up in a middle gear.
As soon as he got on the Blue Sky, I casually mentioned to him how the shifters worked and he gave it a shot. It was basically the easiest thing ever. He started shifting up and down all along the trail, and life just got easier. I was curious to see if it was just a mental block for him, so I threw up the Blue Sky, his previous bike, and his brother’s Woom Off Air on the bike stand to test out the shifting. The Blue Sky Trailcraft bike actually shifted easier and better than any of the other bikes. It was shocking. The triggers were easy to push, and the shifting was so smooth!
Customizing the Trailcraft Bule Sky
When you purchase a Trailcraft bike, you can select an already built bike, where you just customize the colors and a few components, or you can get a Trailcraft bike that’s fully customized. We love that you can customize the chainring size, get a tubeless setup, and even put on a dropper post. If you want to really dial in a few things, getting a custom Trailcraft bike is the way to go.
After some debating, we got our son a bike with a dropper. He’s got short little legs, and even when he’s standing on level pedals, he doesn’t have much clearance between his bum and the seat. The dropper really helped him to have a better downhill riding position, and to get his seat up in a better position for the climbs. Like I said, we’re all about giving him every advantage, so that we can ride more as a family, and a dropper helped a lot.
High-Quality Bike Builds from Trailcraft
If you’re serious about getting your kids the best bikes, I really don’t think you can go wrong with Trailcraft. The quality is outstanding, and far ahead of what we’ve seen from other kid’s bike manufacturers. Our older teens are competitive mountain bike racers, so we’ve learned a lot about bikes through their racing, and this bike right on par with what we look for in a race bike for our teens, but built for their youngest brother.
About Trailcraft Bikes
Trailcraft is a small bike brand based out of Colorado. The founders are Brett and Ginger, who were on a mission to make the best bike possible for their son. Brett previously worked at Niner Bikes, so brought his wealth of experience over to Trailcraft. Their first bike was a 24” bike, but they’ve since gone on to build 20”, 24”, 26” and even 27.5” bikes for kids. All of these bikes have customizable components and parts, making them really tailored to each child and the type of riding they do.
Overall Thoughts on Trailcraft Bikes
We have been nothing but impressed with our son’s Trailcraft bike. In fact, since getting it, we’ve talked to so many other families who have had a similar experience with their kids on Trailcraft bikes too. We’ve been testing out a lot of kid’s mountain bikes and so far, Trailcraft has been the best we’ve found. They come with a higher price tag, but if you’re serious about getting your kid the best lightweight mountain bike, then we highly recommend getting them a Trailcraft bike!