From my research the best mountain bike for short riders is the Cannondale Trail 6 2021 mountain bike because it is able to fit the shortest riders. All these bikes I have found have high star ratings and are arranged from shortest to short riders. You will learn about the features and benefits, plus find out what real customers think of these mtbs. Check it out below.
Review of the Best Mountain Bikes For Shorter Riders
1. Cannondale Trail 6 – 2021
The Cannondale Trail 6 is the best mountain bike for the shortest of riders. It can fit riders who stand 4 feet 6 inches tall to 5 feet 2 inches. Bikers will get a smooth ride because the frame is made of durable smartform C3 alloy which is very light.
You can shift into the right gear to handle steep climbs easily. It is equipped with Shimano M315 Rapidfire Plus 2 x 8 speed shifters. The shifting is smooth and efficient. For safety there is good stopping power and control from its Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
When going down hill your ride will be stable. This is because the slack is 68 degrees which creates very stable handling. Going over roots, rocks, and bumps is no problem due to its SAVE micr-suspension which has strategically engineered flex zones built into the frames rear triangle.
The tires are 27.5 inches, but the bike also comes in 29 inches tires. They are WTB Ranger Comp tires which are 2.25 inches wide so you will have maximum grip going around corners. For great control the handlebars have a 25mm rise, 8 degree sweep, and 6 degree rise. They are 720mm wide. The weight of the Cannondale Trail 6 is 32 pounds or 12.8 oz.
What do real owners think.
The first rider I found is experienced and rides many times per week. He was impressed with this bike as it rides like a sports car. He says it gets you to where you want to go easily. He found that the gears are tight and smooth. When he shifts there is no slippage. It turn tighter and sharper than bigger bikes.
The next rider is a casual mountain biker who rides around one time per week. He explained that the geometry of this bike fits him very well. It feels more comfortable to ride than the other bikes in this price range. It shifts and rides smoothly, plus the brakes are strong and the riding position is perfect.
The third rider said she does not have numbness in the hands or pelvic area anymore after riding this bike. When she pedals her legs feel evenly worked between the quads and the hamstrings. She says the gears are good for flat trails and the gears are very good for going uphill.
2. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.0
The Co-op Cycles mtb fits short riders who are 4 feet 9 inches to 5 feet tall. The frame is made of 6061 aluminum which is lightweight and enables you to go fast with ease. You get 100mm of travel due to its SR Suntour aluminum lower suspension fork which is lightweight and gives you a smooth ride over rough terrain.
Going up various inclines is pretty easy because you have 21 gears to choose from. This bike has a Shimano 3 x 7 drivetrain for 21 gears for all kinds of terrain. The tires are 26 inches which helps shorter riders to land on their feet if they are in a crashed as opposed to a larger tire size. For maximum gripping power the tires are 2.1 inches wide.
When you want to slow down or stop safely you can rely on the bikes tektro hydraulic disc brakes. They give you reliable stopping power whether you are on or off road and in all types of weather conditions.
This mountain bike only weighs 31 pounds so it is easy enough to carry over small streams if needed. 300 pounds is the total weight limit. This includes the bike, the rider, and any gear the rider may carry on the bike or on rider’s body.
The first rider is a woman who stands only 4 feet 10 inches. This was her first mountain bike and she got an extra small size mtb. She said it fit her perfectly. She is a beginner who rides many times per week. She likes that this bike has simple components.
The next rider is a female who is less than 5 feet tall. She is also a beginner rider and mountain bikes many times per week. She says the bike has amazing shocks and stability. She likes the wide handlebars it gives her excellent control. This bike has been very good for her lower back.
The third rider is an experienced mountain biker that rides many times per week. He has had this bike for over 3 years. He took it for a tune-up but other than that there has not been any other maintenance done. He likes the performance and durability of this bike as he rides on medium level trails.
3. Marin Wildcat Trail WFG 1 For Short Adults
The Marin Wildcat Trail is a good fit for shorter mountain bikers who are 4 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 2 inches tall. This bike is a cross between a trail mtb and a sport mountain bike. It is built with a Series 1 aluminum frame and has water bottle cage mounts and rear track mounts.
The aluminum frame is sturdy and lightweight allowing you to be able to climb hills fast. The water bottle cage mounts enable you to stay hydrated and the rear track mounts let you bring more supplies if you like.
You can climb up long hills by using the Tourney drivetrain which is 3 x 7 giving you 21 gears to choose from. For maximum stopping power the Wildcat is equipped with Power CX7 mechanical disc brakes. You can slow down just enough to zoom around corners without slowing too much.
On the front of the bike there is 100mm of travel so you can smoothly go over rough terrain. The tires are 27.5 inches and they are 2.25 inches wide. This width gives you good traction on all types of terrain.
For increased control the handlebars are fairly wide at 740mm. There is a 31.8mm riser and a 12mm riser for enhanced performance and comfort. The grips or bar tape for the bike is called Marin dual density. It helps you grip the handlebars without making your hand numb.
I was not able to find any owners of this mtb in order to research their experience with it. But if you are between 4’10 and 5’2 then give this bike a try because it will fit you which is most important. See how it feels for you and performs.
4. Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1
The Co-op Cycles DRT 1.1 is best for mountain bikers who are as short as 5 feet to 5 feet 3 inches. The frame is made of 6061 aluminum which is lightweight and durable. The frame can handle a total weight of 300 pounds. This consists of your bodyweight and anything else you are carrying on yourself and the bike.
The front wheel of the bike will give you a smooth ride over all types of terrain. This is because of its SR Suntour suspension fork which gives you 100mm of travel and additional control on technical trails.
Going uphill or downhill is no problem because it has a Shimano 3 x 7 drivetrain giving you many gears to choose from. Shifting is made smooth and easy due to its Shimano Tourney rear derailleur. You don’t need to worry about gear slippage or skipping gears.
When it is time to brake its Tektro hydraulic disc brakes provide maximum stopping power as well as finess braking when going around turns. This happens on or off road and in all kinds of weather conditions.
The tires are Kendra Kadre and 27.5 inches, plus the width of the tires is 2.1 inches. At 2.1 inches in width you can ride faster than tires that are wider. The handlebars are flat for control and the bike weighs 31 pounds 10 oz so it is not too heavy to climb hills fast.
The first rider is less than 5 feet tall riding this bike. He weighs less than 100 pounds and is less than 18 years old. He rides many times per day and is an experienced mountain biker. He says the bike is awesome, it is comfortable and easy to ride.
He had no trouble going on blue trails and a double black many times. He finds the bike to be good overall and he can do jumps with it very well. The only problem was it came assembled improperly.
The next rider is exactly 5 feet tall. He got the extra small size and it fits him perfectly. He thought the handlebars were too wide when he picked it up. Fortunately REI took off an inch of the handlebars right then and there.
He is a beginner and has ridden the bike so far on the road and on dirt trails. He says he is very happy with the bike and rides many times per week.
The last rider is 5 feet 2 inches tall. She is a casual mountain biker and rides multiple times per week. This is her first brand new mtb and thinks it is light and well built. She has ridden on a paved bike trail and dirt roads and says the bike handles great. She really appreciates the shocks.
5. Trek Slash 9.8 GX AXS 29er
The Trek Slash 9.8 GX AXS is designed so that it can fit short riders that are 5 feet to 5 feet 5 inches. This is a higher end mountain bike so the frame is made of OCLV Mountain Carbon. Carbon is very still and tough so it can handle big hits on the trails. It is also lightweight so you can go fast on all types of terrian and inclines.
The travel on the front of the bike is 160mm so you can handle serious hits and not get thrown off the bike. It has a RockShox super deluxe ultimate shock with an updated Thru Shaft damper. As you ride over rough terrain its RockShox ZEB fork which has 38mm stanchions will ensure you stay on your path line.
The Slash 9.8 is an enduro mtb which has 29 inch wheels. These wheels will roll over rocks and roots more easily than 27.5 inch wheels. Plus on flat ground you can go pretty fast. Get up to speed using its very quick SRAM GX Eagle AXS wireless electronic shifting.
Shifting into the right gear for various terrain and inclines is smooth, smart, and entirely wireless. It is all cable free with the SRAM GX Eagle drivetrain. There is a second down tube guard to protect the frame better from flying rocks, sticks, and the weather.
The wheels are Bontrager Line Elite 30 carbon wheels. They have a 108 tooth Rapid Drive hub for explosive acceleration when you need it at the right time. This carbon is strong, lightweight, and flexible so as to handle all types of terrain.
The seat tube is wider for more strength and stability. The dropper is wider as well, it is 34.9mm in diameter. It is stronger and more durable so you can move it up and down faster. The down tube has a big internal storage section so you can store any tools and gear.
Check Price and Reviews on Trek.com
6. Huffy Stone For Short Female Adults
The Huffy Stone is a women’s mountain bike which best fits riders who are at least 5 feet tall. The frame is made of steel which is very durable. It is backed by Huffy’s limited lifetime warranty. The frame is 17 inches and is a charcoal gloss hardtail frame.
You can climb uphill and ride downhill or just accelerate to full speed using its micro-shift twist shifter which gives you 21 speeds to choose from. The indexed Shimano rear derailleur provides smooth shifting with no skipping or slippage.
As you go faster you will need maximum traction for going around turns and corners. The wheels of this Huffy are 26 inches and the tires have knobs on them so you will grip into the dirt trails. When it is time to slow down or stop you have its linear pull hand brakes for consistent stopping power.
The seat is a premium ATB saddle that has stitched sides for long lasting durability. There is a quick release alloy lever which allows you to adjust the seat height fast. Holding on to the handlebars is easy using the Kraton grips which are very comfortable.
This first rider is a beginner. She says that the bike is lightweight even though the frame is made of steel. She found all the bike parts to be in good shape. It came with all the tools so she could put it together. She likes the paint job and found the bike easy to work on.
After 10 minutes of riding she did not find the seat comfortable so she will change it. She likes that there are 21 gears to use. A negative is the third major gear takes longer than the first two gears to hook onto the drivetrain.
The next rider said he found this bike easy to assemble and the price is affordable. When he rode it he said that it is like floating on a cloud. The ride is very smooth yet you can feel the mtb is built very solid. He found the gears to work smoothly and the brakes have good stopping power.
7. Diamondback Release 4D Full Suspension
The Diamondback Release 4D fits short riders that stand 5 feet 1 inch to 5 feet 4 inches tall. The frame is made of carbon which is very strong and yet very lightweight. It is considered a higher end frame in mountain biking. The front and rear triangle is made of monocoque carbon giving you a stiff and efficient ride.
This bike has full suspension for the smoothest ride. Its link level rear travel is 130mm and has Fox Float DPS Evol LV shocks. The front travel is 150mm and uses a Fox 36 Performance Float fork which will absorb all the bumps you can handle.
If you need to push down on the pedals aggressively you don’t need to worry about the jumping around. This is because it has a level link suspension system that isolates chain forces from the trail impact. The chain remains level when going down technical trails.
You have 12 speeds to choose from when shifting the Diamondback Release 4D. It has a SRAM NX Eagle 12-speed single ring drivetrain for consistent and reliable shifting. Going uphill is made easier due to its 50-tooth granny gear.
For maximum stopping power this mtb uses hydraulic disc brakes. It uses SRAM G2 R brakes which include 4 piston with 180mm in the front, and has rear centerline rotors. You will be able to stop and slow down with great accuracy to handle any technical turns.
The wheels are 27.5 inches in diameter. They are Maxxis Minion DHS wheels and the tires are 2.3 inches wide. So you will have good traction on dirt trails and going around corners. The handlebars are made of DB35 aluminum and they are 780mm wide for maximum control and stability.
8. Schwinn Mesa
The Schwinn Mesa is built using a small frame which best fits mountain bikers who are 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 6 inches tall. The frame is made of mountain tuned aluminum which is lightweight and durable.
The suspension is at the front of the bike. It uses a Zoom HL565 aluminum suspension fork so you can glide over dirt trails and gravel paths. The impact from rocks, roots, and bumps are absorbed into the suspension for increased comfort.
Changing gears is easy and accurate using its Shimano EZ-FIRE shifters. They are supported by a Shimano Tourney 21 speed drivetrain. When it comes time to stop the Mesa uses Aluminum mechanical disc brakes. This is for all-terrain and all-weather stopping power. Finally the wheels are 27.5 inches in diameter and are wide enough for maximum traction on dirt trails and corners.
The first rider I found using the Mesa said he found the bike to be lightweight and well made. Right out off the box he put the bike together easily. He thought the grips and the saddle were too hard so he will replace them. Plus he added an extender to raise up the handlebars.
The next rider like all the main components of this bike. The drivetrain is good and the 21 gears are great as he explained. The brakes work very well, though he had to adjust the disc brake calipers so that they would contact the rotors evenly. He only needed to assemble the front wheel, handlebars, and seat.
The third rider explained that this bike is quiet, tight, and feels high end. He likes the paint job and the rims are pretty good. He likes the look and shape of the grips but they are hard and provide no give. He didn’t like the saddle and replaced it with a WTB Silverado.
9. Schwinn Bonafide
The Schwinn Bonafide has a 17 inch frame which fits short riders from 5 feet 3 inches to 5 feet 7 inches tall. The frame is made of aluminum so it is lightweight and flexible in order to absorb trail impacts.
The Bonafide has more gear choices than many other bikes with its 24-speed trigger shifters. There are front and rear derailleurs which make shifting gears smooth and easy. No need to worry about slippage or gear skipping.
The disc brakes are mechanical for the front and back wheels. This gives you all-condition stopping power. Steady gearing is ensured due to its durable alloy cranks. This also results in less maintenance time.
The Bonafide is a 29 inch hardtail mountain bike. The rims are high profile double wall alloy rims. They are light and strong for increased durability. The tires are 2.25 inches wide and have knobs on them so you can absorb all impacts from rocks, roots, and bumps.
The first rider said this bike worked great right out of the box. He loves the 29 inch wheels. He found that some of the midrange gears were jumping. So he flipped over the bike and discovered the cable needed adjusting. Just turn the rear derailleur in or out to get the chain exactly in the middle of the gear.
The next rider thought the look of the Bonafide is great. After taking out the bike from the box there were no scratches. Putting the bike together was easy for him. The front and rear derailleur shifted perfectly on his first ride. He says this is a great entry level mountain bike.
I hope you are able to find the best mountain bike for a short mountain biker among this group of bikes. Just match your height to one of these mtbs for a good fit.