Reviewed by: Amelia
Price (MSRP): $329.99
Best Use: Multi-Use
Where to Buy: Your Local Trek Dealer
Testing Location: Yellowstone National Park and surrounding area
Testing Environment: All conditions
The Trek MT 60 is a great entry-level bike for kids starting at about age 5ish (totally depends on the child’s size, of course.) As with their adult bikes, the Trek MT60 has comfortable geometry for an effective forward motion and, compared to many bikes out there, has a shorter stand-over height (though it is taller than both the Kona and WOOM bikes we reviewed). In general, we are fans of Trek bikes because of their quality build and attention to detail.
Before we had this bike in our possession, we put J on a TON of different brand 20″ bikes. The Trek was one of only two bikes that seemed to fit him as a kid just moving up to a bigger bike. We were particularly looking at his arm reach, the stand-over height, how upright he sat and how comfortable he was in general on the bike. A good-fitting bike can really be a make-it-or-break-it for a kids’ willingness to get on and ride. We take that fit very seriously, and are happy with the general fit of the MT 60.
The MT 60 does not have a quick-release seat post, and you need a tool to remove either of the tires also (which only is an issue if you are traveling or have a flat tire). As a note – Trek purposefully does not add in quick-release levers on their kids’ bikes for safety reasons. If they are not tightened correctly, it could result in disastrous riding. As a parent, I totally understand that, but do miss the convenience of them!
At 25 pounds (according to our scale), the bike is heavier than I would like, but that is a trade-off you make for a more affordable price-point.
Unique to this bike (among those we have checked out), you can change the position of the pedals to allow for a shorter or longer crank length. We found this very convenient for a growing child. For our average-sized 6 year old, we are just now ready to move the pedals and allow for a longer crank length.
Selling points of the Trek MT 60:
– Good geometry
– Front shock for trail riding
– Simple 6-speed system for an introduction to gears
– Adjustable crank length lets you change pedal position
– Comes in a “boys” and girls” model – slightly lower stand-over and different colors
– Covered chain to reduce risk of clothing, etc. being caught in it
Right out of the box, J was able to ride easily and had good control for off-road riding. While the bike is half his body weight, it being heavier actually is an advantage for downhill riding and riding on flatter trails. The weight helps it roll over obstacles on the trail (see video below).
I had high hopes for the front shock, but no matter what we did, his 50 pound body could not get it to move at all. So, basically, it is just “dead weight” for his riding. However, we had a 10 year-old, 75 pound friend ride it and he was able to get the shock to work to his advantage. The shock did stick a bit in all circumstances, so I really am skeptical as to whether its worth it to have on the bike or not.
Having 6 speeds is a great introduction to gears and is certainly better than no gears at all. But, on the bigger hills that we have around here, J was really wishing he had one more lower gear for climbing.
While it has become easier with more riding and shifting, for some reason J has a really hard time shifting down (shifting up doesn’t seem to be quite so difficult). We ride a lot during the winter, and this winter he couldn’t shift to those lower gears at all (with mittens/gloves on). To be fair, it’s hard to shift any gears with hand-coverings, but these were difficult even for me. We can’t quite figure out why – they are very similar to other bikes out there. This spring with greater hand strength, some growth in his hands AND the advantage of warmer weather, shifting has come easier. But, it’s still difficult enough that he doesn’t like to ride the Trek MT60 as much when he knows we will be riding up hills. We continue to ride the bike and use the gears as much as possible to hopefully get them to be more smooth.
The Bottom Line:
The Trek MT 60 is a very quality, well-built entry-level mountain bike. It blows away anything you would buy in the box stores and is worth the extra investment for happy riders. We do think it could be improved with easier-to-use shifters, softer shocks and quick-release wheels and seat, which is the reason we only gave it 4 stars.
Q- What’s your opinion of the MT 60 for a rider 7 years old who’s about 49.5″ @ 50lbs? Is there room for growth over the next few years? Right now she’s in a 16 inch Trek Mystic and seems to have outgrown it. Do you have a review of the MT 220 by chance? I am looking for one for my older 9y/o daughter who’s in a 20″ Trek Mystic.
A- Sorry I haven’t reviewed the MT 220. Check out my other reviews of 20″ bikes here though!
Trek generously provided us this bike (per our request) in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here.
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