Our friends at Momentum Magazine featured Cleary Bikes in this recent article.
Teach a Kid to Brake Early, and They’ll Bike for Lifetime
Cleary Bikes Makes Lightweight Children’s Bikes With Rear & Front Hand Brakes
Riding a bike is ageless. We feel empowered and free every time our feet begin the rotation of our pedals. And we wouldn’t be anywhere if we hadn’t spent countless hours riding up and down alley ways or around parks practicing with an older sibling, parent, or friend. It is a whole new world the moment you realize that a downward slope means more speed, more momentum. Cleary Bikes, a relatively new children’s bike brand to hit the market, is all about these first experiences on bikes.
When most of us were kids, we just used whatever bikes were around – a sibling’s hand me down trike, a family friend’s old mountain bike – we learned. Now there are a lot more tools and thought going into children’s bikes. Cleary is emblematic of this trend, building kids’ bikes with the proportions and attention to detail of adults’ bikes.
They make five models: The Starfish (12″ Balance Bike), The Gecko (12″ Single Speed), The Hedgehog (16″ Single Speed), The Owl (20″ Single Speed), and The Meerkat (24″ Bike).
Each model is meant to take your child through a new stage on their bike path (so to speak), so that when they finally reach the end of the trail, they can glide away easily and forge their own new routes with finesse and confidence.
A notable feature of the Cleary line is that every bike (including their Starfish balance bike) includes hand brakes, optimized for tiny hands. In this way, kids learn braking even before they begin pedaling.
Braking is an integral part of bike riding. It is important to know the difference between your front and rear brakes – knowing when to use which lever, and when to use both, can prevent life threatening accidents. Learning the difference between the brakes early and becoming accustomed to using your primary brake, allows for easier hand signaling, and less of a chance of making a mistake and getting hurt.
In short, we like the idea of kids learning how to use their brakes. The sooner they learn brakes, the sooner they can build their bike riding confidence, and the sooner we can see them out in the world enjoying their independence, and their bikes!
Two Wheeling Tots Reviews The Cleary Gecko
One of our favorite websites, Two Wheeling Tots, has published a wonderfully detailed review of our Cleary Gecko. Below are some of the highlights.
A well-built, thoughtfully designed 12″ bike is hard to come by. With limited space for cranks and pedals and with tiny legs to maneuver them, most 12″ bikes are poorly designed, hard to ride and are generally a waste of time. As a result, we never recommended 12″ pedal bikes, until now.
For the smallest of riders, who are eager to ride, the Cleary Gecko is their knight in shining armor. When used with the optional shorter seat post, the Gecko has a minimum seat height of 15″ (the smallest on the market, as far as we know) and allows kids in as small as 3T clothes, to simply hop on and pedal away.
Having only used a balance bike for a day, our four-year-old tester demonstrated just how easy it is to learn to ride on the Gecko. After battling his cheap 12″ bike with training wheels for months, he eager jumped on the Gecko, and after a few pushes from his older brother, simply rode away. Within a few weeks, he was eagerly and confidently jumping curbs without second thought. As a testament to the Gecko, it took him a good week or so, before he could ride his old bike without training wheels.
Weighing at a mere 15 lb., the Gecko is truly light and nimble, making it a great first pedal bike for the youngest of toddlers. The optional freewheel (no coaster brake) is also a huge benefit for toddlers as kids naturally tend to pedal backwards when learning to pedal.
During his first attempt to pedal (not on the Gecko), our three-year-old balance bike pro quickly became frustrated by the unanticipated stops when accidentally pedaling backwards. As a result, he refused to try to ride again. With some reassurance, his second time around was much more successful. With the Gecko’s freewheel option (no coaster brake) he soon felt comfortable pedaling again, but is still hesitant to ride on his own.
For those timid riders, the seat post of the Cleary can also be reversed to allow for a more upright body position. By doing so, however, the rider is placed directly over the cranks, making pedaling slightly more difficult and less efficient. For less aggressive riders, the Cleary also sells a riser handlebar, but it is almost three inches wider than the standard flat bar and is therefore not recommended for young riders.
Compared to others, the Gecko is also slightly heavier, but not significantly. Our three-year-old testers, weighing in at 32 lb., had no problems with the 15 lb. Gecko.
The Bottom Line
The Cleary Gecko is the smallest and the greatest 12″ bike on the market. Too small for most preschoolers in size 5 clothes and up, the Gecko is best suited for young balance bike graduates who are ready to ride!
FTC Disclosure: Cleary Bikes provided a Gecko to help facilitate this review. No monetary compensation was provided and all opinions given are that of Two Wheeling Tots LLC. Two Wheeling Tots LLC is not an affiliate of Cleary Bikes.
Mountain Flyer Magazine
The Cleary Hedgehog was featured in Mountain Flyer Magazine:
Bicycle Times Magazine
The Cleary Owl was field tested by Bicycle Times Magazine. Here are a few excerpts from the article:
Check out this great review on the Cleary Owl in Bicycling Magazine called Itty Bitty Badass.
Two Wheeling Tots
The Cleary Hedgehog was field tested and reviewed by Two Wheeling Tots. Here are a few excerpts from the article:
MTBR & Road Bike Review
MTBR and Road Bike Review did a review on our Cleary Owl 20″ kid's mountain bike. Here are a few excerpts from the article:
Cleary Bikes' Decent Kids Mountain Bikes That Won’t Break The Bank
Our friends at Bike Rumor did a review of our selection of kids mountain bikes. Here is an excerpt from the article:
Remember that feeling of freedom as a kid? Bikes empower kids to learn about our world in a way that is free of a screen. Cleary Bikes recognizes that kids become engaged when they have the independence to ride around wherever they choose.
Designed to be fun, not stressful and scary, Cleary bikes roll smooth, quiet and provide a thrill for kids. The 4 bikes that have really cool names, Owl, Hedgehog, Gecko and Starfish. The intent with the bikes was to make them simple enough to last through the abuse a kid can inflict, yet also be enough of a “real bike” to teach them proper riding techniques and keep the weight down.
More Cleary Bikes Press
Click on the links below to see more articles and press on Cleary Bikes.