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Introducing the Marin Bikes Donky Jr Kids Bike Range

Born in Japan, made for kids everywhere, it's the Marin Bikes Donky Jr kids bike Range!

Love Your Bike

Choosing the best bikes for kids is probably even more important than picking them for yourself.

If your little ripper’s bike is too big, too heavy or too uncomfortable, they’ll ride it less and love it less. As we know from our How to Take a Kid Mountain Biking story they need all the encouragement that they can get!

But find a kids bike that fits them, is easy to ride and feels great they might well discover a love of cycling that lasts a lifetime. And we all know that the way to teach a kid to ride a bike is by making it fun, first and foremost.

It was this desire to pass on his love of cycling that made Marin’s CEO in Japan, Fumiaki “Donky” Okayama, decide to develop his own range of bikes for kids.

“The reason behind the Donky Jr range was simple - my eldest son was born".

Introducing Donky

Donky is an old-school legend in the BMX freestyle world, appearing in videos and taking part in world-famous competitions like Japan’s Flat Ark. When he became a dad, he wanted to create kids bikes that were perfectly suited for the next generation of riders.

The first bikes in the range, the Donky Jr 16” (a kids 16 inch bike) and the Donky Jr 18” (a kids 18 inch bike were aimed at the youngest riders, from around age 3 and up. They’ve since been joined by a kids 20 inch bike and kids 24 inch bike, by way of the Donky Jr 20” and Donky Jr 24”, filling the gaps all the way up to adult sizes.

When his son showed up, Donky noticed that lots of the kids bikes available in Japan are aimed at the Western market. They’re designed for taller children and are bigger and heavier than they need to be. He wanted to make the best kids bikes for the young rippers he knew and loved.

“For me, the most important elements were a low saddle position, good posture when holding the handlebars, and lightweight” he told us.

So the Marin kids bikes in the Donky Jr range feature low standover heights, quality lightweight alloy frames, and handlebars shaped for comfort. Perfect for Donky Jr and perfect for his friends and the other kids around Japan.

Boy riding a Donky Jr on a path, Japan.

Big in Japan

Japan is known for its eclectic, anything-goes attitude to custom bike building, which sees road, BMX and mountain bike components mixed and matched. So the smaller bikes in the range draw heavily on BMX for inspiration, with bombproof three-piece handlebars and single-speed drivetrains. Like a fusion of a kids BMX bike and a kids mountain bike, to create an awesome-fun combo.

The larger sizes of bikes take their cues from the mountain bike world, with flat bars, twist-shift gears and fat but fast-rolling tires that won’t waste the rider’s energy on smoother surfaces.

Contact points like brake levers and pedals are designed to be as friendly as possible for little people’s hands and feet. All the bikes have easy-to-maintain V-brakes and the 20 inch kids bikes and 24 inch kids bikes have Shimano drivetrains for smooth, reliable shifting.

How To Size Your Kid's Bike

Wondering how to measure bike size for a kid? That's an easy one, and we've made it super simple with the Marin Bikes Donky Jnr kids bikes.

To keep it super-simple, each Donky Jnr kids bike model is available in one size only. The wheel sizes, starting with 16", dicate the size of the bike. 16" is for the smallest kids, through 18" and 20" and then up to 24" for bigger kids.

As a rough guide, we've made this kids bike size chart for Marin Kids Bike sizes. Simply measure your child's height and match it to the wheel size below.

16" wheels for kids sized 3'1" to 3'9"

18" wheels for kids sized 3'4" to 3'11"

20" for kids sized 3'7" to 4'3"

24" wheels for kids sized 4'1" to 4'9"

Marin Bikes Donky Jr Kids Bike 16 profile.

Marin Donky Jr 16"

Your kid's first 'proper' bike, the Marin Bikes Donky Jr 16" will be the ideal stepping stone up from their balance bike.

Made to be easy to ride and set them up to fall in love with two-wheels, the Donky Jr 16" has a lightweight aluminum frame, smooth-rolling tires and reliable brakes that won't trouble little hands. It's one of the best kids bikes with training wheels around, according to our junior test pilots anyway!

Training wheels are supplied, but can be removed when the time is right.

Marin Donky Jr 18"

For when the training wheels come off!

The Marin Bikes Donky Jr 18" is built around easy-to-ride 18" wheels, a lightweight aluminum frame and powerful brakes that'll keep kids safe and set them up for the future.

No training wheels this time, the Donky Jr 18" is for your kid's first proper taste of freedom.

Marin Donky Jr 18 profile.
Marin Bikes Donky Jr Kids Bike 20 profile.

Marin Donky Jr 20"

Congratulations! You just found one of the best kids mountain bikes in the biz.

The Marin Bikes Donky Jr 20" is your kid's first 'big bike' with the look and feel of a grown-up's ride, just shrunk down a little. Perfect for mountain bike kids everywhere

Built around BMX-bike sized 20" wheels, the Donky Jr 20" is ready for the ride to school, to the park or out on your first proper trails.

It has a lightweight aluminum frame, a comfortable steel fork, powerful brakes and a top-quality Shimano 6-speed drivetrain.

Marin Donky Jr 24"

The big bike in Donky's collection, the Marin Bikes Donky Jr 24" (and Donky Jr 24" Ltd) is the ultimate ride of your tweenage dreams.

24" wheels are fast, tough and fun and the aluminum frame, Shimano 6-speed drivetrain and fast tires will fly around the block, the BMX track, the dirt trail or anywhere your kid wants to go.

Marin Bikes Donky Jr Kids Bike 24 ltd edition profile.
Kids riding Donky Jr kids bikes on a path, Japan.

Thanks Donky!

Of course, in Japan, it’s not just about how your bike rides, how it looks is important too.

The Donky Jr range has a wide choice of colours inspired by Tokyo’s custom bike scene. There are also some super cool limited-edition paint schemes. Your junior rider can choose from polka dots, glow-in-the-dark details, and the Donky Jr 24” even comes in a cosmic ”Space” edition that sure to fire up some imaginations.

Donky has been part of the bike industry for over 20 years, but his signature range of bikes is one of his proudest achievements. As he puts it: “I didn’t make the Donky Jr bikes for sales, I made them to see smiling kids". No arguments here!

The Marin Bikes Donky Jr range is available in North America now - just speak to your local Marin Bikes dealer to get yours.

Girl pushing a Marin Donky Jr bike, Japan.

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