How to Prepare for Pedal To Progression Kids MTB Sessions!

Our MTB sessions are fun filled and include opportunities to explore a huge range of options on the trails!

In order to make the most of your child’s time with us, we have created a comprehensive guide to ensure your child is prepared!

What type of bike do I need?
We see a wide variety of bikes however a mountain bike is more suitable that others. Below are a few examples of good quality bikes that we see at each of our graded sessions.

  • BLUE – A wide range of bikes are suitable however a light and correctly sized bike will help small humans ride the less technical terrain. The most common bikes we see are FROG or Islabike hybrid bikes.
    Simple upgrades can be made to enhance them for offroad including wider off road tyres, and bigger platform pedals.
  • RED – The level of technical riding in these sessions is higher and in a wide range of conditions so we recommend a standard hardtail mountain bike ideally with disc brakes.
    Cheaply built and heavy bikes are common but they will only hinder the kids riding – ineffective brakes and heavy components make for an unsafe ride that will wear out and start to fail very quickly, making for poor safety, huge energy consumption and a false sense of economy.

    A well-specced bike without suspension will often provide a much more enjoyable experience, better skill development and provide a better economy even in the short term.
    Full suspension bikes are not required and can often hinder skill progression for the additional expense.

  • BLACK – Due to the highly technical nature of these sessions we recommend a high quality hardtail at a minimum (disc brakes) or a high quality full suspension bike.
    Frames and components begin to take a pounding at this level so maintenance and servicing are key – brake pads, bearings, pivots and even tyres will all need to be replaced fairly regularly as the riding gets more demanding. Staying on top of bike maintenance is essential to prevent any avoidable failures during our sessions. We can help with discounted parts and service for Academy riders!
    It is critical that riders carry spares specific to their own bike (mech hangers, inner tube, brake pads etc) due to increased risk of damage during the session, as well as riding in more remote locations where it’s a long way to push a bike to get back to civilisation. We will help share the knowledge to fix any issues to get them home.


Make sure your bike is in good mechanical condition before turning up! The less time we spend checking and adjusting bikes, the more we can go riding – it is very unfair on the other riders who take the time to prepare their bike if you turn up unprepared!

If you are unsure please consult us prior to coming to the session – if your bike is deemed unfit for use, we cannot offer refunds.


A safety check, in the shape of the letter M, will be carried out before the session begins. This is mainly for safety and efficient riding, but also encourages the children to be self sufficient, able to identify faults and be able to perform a basic check of their equipment before riding anytime!


Tyre pressure is dependant on the type of tyre, bike, rider and terrain so please make sure it is set appropriately. If tyres are too hard they will have no grip and feel very bumpy, and if they are too soft they will be prone to puncturing and have a lot of excess friction making them very difficult to pedal and consume a lot of energy.

As a very rough guide, if riding on road, tyres should feel like an Apple, for off road they should squeeze like a lemon.
If you prefer a more accurate measurement for younger riders, typically 10-15psi in the front tyre, and 15-20 in the rear is adequate, and for older riders, it would be 15-20psi front, 20-25psi rear.



On a flat surface, pedal up to speed and ensure the brakes can safely and effectively bring you to a stop. Ensure your child can comfortably reach and pull BOTH  brakes on their own – often the levers are too far away or too stiff for them to pull. On a flat surface pedal your bike around and ensure all of the gears are changing smoothly and correctly – ensure your child can easily change the gears while riding.



A properly lubricated drivetrain will last a lot longer, avoid premature failure and stay quiet so as not to irritate everyone by squeaking during the ride.
Make sure you degrease and clean your drivetrain and then re-oil your chain to ensure it works properly and lasts. We highly recommend Smoove chain lube and use it on all our bikes!


Handlebars should NOT have any holes in the ends. If uncovered, handlebar ends are extremely dangerous (acting like an apple-corer!) and therefore a bar-plug must be inserted at each end to keep the rider safe.

This is a very common occurrence as bikes are dropped, crashed and laid down it tends to wear through the rubber ends and expose the holes. We can provide you with end caps at our sessions to avoid any injuries if we discover your child’s bike doesn’t have one!


The helmet is there to protect you, and it needs to be fitted properly to do its job. The helmet can be adjusted in two places; the tightening mechanism located on the rear, and the chin straps.

The helmet should be tightened using the mechanism to the correct level. Double-check it’s tight enough by ensuring the helmet, tightened by the mechanism alone, doesn’t come loose when shaking your head side to side. Avoid overtightening wear the helmet is pulled back and exposing the forehead. There should be a two finger gap between eyebrows and the helmet on your forehead.

If more than two fingers fit between their chin and strap, it needs to be tighter.


We like to empower kids to make their own decisions based on risk/reward – although a helmet is compulsory and we highly recommend full finger gloves, along with long sleeves and trousers to protect the elbows/knees from falls and scratchy vegetation.

On our higher grade sessions kneepads and full face helmet are recomended for peace of mind. Whilst optional some riders find these too restrictive during a ride and therefore choose to risk not wearing them – we all have our own preferences and reasons!


We encourage independence and age appropriate self sufficiency. Here’s what we suggest:
BLUE – Weather appropriate clothing and a drink.
RED – Ideally a back pack with a spare inner tube, weather appropriate clothing, drink, snacks.
BLACK – A hip or hydration pack along with waterproof jacket, snacks, drink, multitool, tyre lever, spare inner tube, pump and spare mech hanger for bike.


If you have made sure you have covered the minimum requirements, you are prepared and ready to come along and ride! You can book onto any of our sessions using the button below.

If you have any further questions, it’s worth checking our FAQs but if you’re still stuck feel free to contact us.