When kids begin dirt biking, you’re bound to be nervous. Both about choosing the right gear, but also the costs involved. Sometimes the cost of the protective gear can equal the cost of the bike itself, as is the case with a used PeeWee 50.
For total bare-bones, we recommend that kids riding dirt bikes wear a proper MX helmet paired with goggles, plus boots, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, plus a jersey and pants. To go a step further, you can also purchase a chest protector and wrist support.
Some parents like to purchase a neck brace which reduces the risk of spinal injury if your son or daughter crashes their dirt bike. Many parents decide against these braces since they make it harder for a child to turn their head properly, which could, in turn, increase the risk of a child crashing.
While not bullet-proof, remember that children are much more flexible than adults and are less likely to reach high speeds that could cause a spiral injury upon crashing. Then again – we do need to protect them, so let’s look at some of the most recommend dirt bike protective gear out there for kids.
Best dirt bike gear for kids
In creating this list, we looked at many factors that concern parents. In addition, we noted what existing parents have already done to protect their children out there on the trail.
1. Dirt bike helmet and goggles
It goes without saying – you need a good quality helmet paired with a set of goggles that fits the particular helmet. While much cheaper, a mountain bike helmet just doesn’t offer the same amount of protection that a dirt bike helmet does.
You can buy helmets from dirt bike shops or BMX stores. We never recommend that you buy these items online as you’ll want to be fitted properly. Plus heading to a real store gives your children a chance to window shop at all the very cool looking bikes and other apparel, while also getting to choose their own equipment.
Dirt bike protective helmets today have come along way over the years. They are now much lighter (often less than 1kg) while also providing lots of ventilation for the rider and superior protection. Let’s not forget the many cool matching google and helmet designs out there that junior dirt bike riders will absolutely love!
Again – resist the temptation to buy a helmet online for kids. Instead, head into your local store and let your children try on a few different designs. Get them to shake their heads to see if it’s the right fit. Chances are that they will really enjoy this experience and be more eager to develop in the sport.
2. MX riding boots
Unlike helmets, you can certainly buy children’s dirt bike boots online. Their sizes are almost always exact, despite the boots looking bigger on the outside. Remember – they have far superior protection and thickness than just about any other type of boot out there.
Instead of buying kids dirt bike boots online, some parents lookup listings on Craigslist or eBay. This is because MX boots are already expensive enough, and when your child needs a new set of boots every year, the costs can really add up.
You can often get a decent set of boots that haven’t been worn much for 90% less than you would’ve otherwise paid. While they will be a little dirty, a new pair of MX boots will be dirty enough after your child’s first ride on the dirt.
We recommend the more expensive brands since the boots last for longer and they have more flexibility and breathability. Plus the buckles which are the most common weakness in riding boots are often made stronger with the known brands like O’Neil and Alpinestars.
3. Knee pads and elbow pads
We’re now on to a bit of gear that your son or daughter won’t really like that much. But when they do fall, they’ll pick themselves up immediately with a pair of knee pads and elbow pads.
For many kids, it just feels weird having this ‘thing’ strapped around their legs and arms. And if they’re not wearing proper motocross pants or a jersey, then it certainly can cause chaffing of their skin.
For kids that are stubborn to wear dirt bike knee pads, you can get them to literally fall on the dirt with their knees first. Let them have that falling-to-the-ground sensation where there is zero pain, and in fact, it’s actually fun. You might find that they soon enjoy having these when riding.
Both of these certainly are one of the best dirt bike riding protectors for kids that is both cheap and easy to purchase online. A good set of brand new knee pads shouldn’t cost you more than $30, elbow pads for $20 and there is less importance on the right brand.
4. Dirt-orientated riding gloves
Your children will fall off their dirt bike regularly, despite their best intentions to stay upright. For that reason – you’re going to need a quality set of dirt bike gloves for your juniors. Please avoid cycling gloves as these will tear when your child lands on a loose gravel track.
These days there are numerous brands and many designs on the market, so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. The best part is that these are also inexpensive too, with parents often buying several sets at the same time.
When shopping, look for protection. Anything that looks like a light gardening glove isn’t going to provide enough protection. At the same time, you don’t want an adventure-riding glove that is thick because this will limit the movement for your children’s hands on the throttle and brake levers.
Fox and Fly are both great companies which offer MX gloves for both trail riding and racing. These are available for both little boys and little girls, with many sizes available.
5. Quality MX clothing
Lastly, we’re on to dirt bike clothes for kids. What you’ll want is a good quality jersey and pants for days out on the trails.
- Something that is well priced for your family budget knowing that you’ll need to upgrade the gear in 12 months
- A size that allows them to grow even further, but the sleeve size doesn’t interfere with their handlebar controls
- Your climate is taken into account. There are numerous MX winter and summer pants and jerseys available for kids
- Most importantly – gear that your kid loves the look of. Let them choose their favorite riding colors themselves!
Any of the major MX brands serve children with quality dirt bike jerseys and pants. The jerseys are very affordable but the pants are fitted with special materials which prevent burns from hot dirt bike engines. Keep that in mind and don’t forget to check out Craigslist for lightly used gear for significant discounts.
Wearing the gear
While it’s fun to shop for the gear, your biggest challenge is in getting the kids to actually wear it. You’ll see other kids out there on the trails or tracks wearing gear without a fuss, but you just can’t get your son or daughter to do the same!
We’ve noted previously that it’s best to take them shopping with you. Don’t let dirt bike protective gear be their birthday or Christmas present. This could lead to them being disappointed with the colors that you chose for them.
Taking them into the store gets them really excited. Often these stores feel like candy stores with promotional bikes and videos, plus cool music and a very helpful bunch of staff eager to help both adults and kids with new gear. You could treat it like a family day out!
Often one of the best ways for kids to start wearing their protective gear is to ride with others who do the same. Soon enough they will forget all about how much of a hassle the gear is, and will start bragging. Kids will get talking about where they bought their equipment and how it stopped them from having a big accident on the trail.
Lastly – we’ve found that watching dirt bike videos with kids ingrains in them that you can only ride a dirt bike once fully kitted up. Like putting on a seat belt in a car, children will quickly realize that they can’t hit the tail without their gear properly fitted.
In summary: Kids are worth it
While there is an upfront cost to buying children’s protection gear for the trails, hospital costs can far outweigh this.
Now let’s not forget the cost to your children’s confidence out there on the trails. If they have a big crash, they are far less likely to get back on their bike on the next trip.
You don’t need to spend a fortune. For many of these items, you don’t even need to buy them new. Kids and worth it and can be protected at any cost.
What’s most important is that you get the right gear that your child actually likes and therefore will treasure as much as their dirt bike.
Often this is their first foray into the world of offroad adventures. Make it a great experience for the long term by investing in the right gear early on.
If you need some more help choosing the right type of gear for your children, then reach out to us today here at Frontaer.