Even a few years ago, the options for quality performance bikes for kids was limited. But thanks to brands like Trailcraft and Cleary, that’s changing rapidly. Trailcraft’s family just grew by a few new members, including a lightweight full-suspension model and a Plus hardtail with a dropper post that’s made for play.

The Maxwell full-suspension will come in three wheel sizes: 24, 26 and 26 Plus. The aluminum frame uses a Horst Link-style rear suspension linkage (most recognized as the basis for Specialized’s long-running FSR platform). The three wheel sizes offer compatibility for riders down to well under five feet tall. Because they’re smaller, kids benefit from lighter bikes they don’t have to muscle around as much; the Maxwell 24 will weigh in at 24 pounds, with flat pedals. Complete bikes will start at $2,199 and frames will sell for $1,100 if you have older parts you want to install to keep the price down.

Trailcraft Maxwell

On the hardtail side, the Big Mesa is a Plus-size hardtail made more for fun trail riding than racing. It will come in two sizes to fit riders down to 4’9” tall and comes with a dropper seatpost, for $1,999.

 Big Mesa
Those are undeniably expensive for kids bikes, but the Trailcrafts come with high-quality parts kits, including Trailcraft’s own size-specific crankarms (140mm in smaller bike sizes and 152mm in larger sizes). The parts kits help ensure durability (and enhance resale value when kids outgrow them), and picks like Stan’s rims help keep weight manageable for smaller riders. The Big Mesa will be available in June, and the Maxwell models in August.