Below is a response we had to a post on @MTBR regarding why a parent purchased a geared 20" bike from another brand as opposed to a Cleary Owl 20" singlespeed bike. We do love gears, but...
We went with a singlespeed drive train on our bikes because we found kids derailleurs are really cheap and failure-prone. Also, almost every child we tested on a geared bike rode with his chain crossed over. Why they do this is a total mystery to us, but they all do it. Our Owl 20" has a 32x19 gear on it. Mixed with the low bottom bracket and true 19lb weight, the bike climbs really well. We've heard from parents that their kids climb better on their Cleary singlespeed than they did on a previous geared bike. Proper positioning, low weight and smooth chain line go a long way.
And...We are testing a 24" bike that will use a 1x9 drivetrain. By the time a kid is old enough for that bike, we believe she will be able to use gears more appropriately. We'll offer two component choices, race and town. Stay tuned!
Air filled tires are simple and amazing invention, so much so that today we take them for granted. But before Scottish inventor John Boyd Dunlop invented the pneumatic tire we were all suffering through cobblestones and rough roads on solid rubber, wooden or metal tires. Think of a horse drawn cart, with its rigid wooden and steel wheel. That’s how uncomfortable early bicycles were.
The kids are going back to school! If you’re like me, the parent of a Hedgehog rider, you likely woke up this morning to find that your four-year-old crawled into bed with you last night and is softly snoring into your face. Pre-K is a sweet age. My little son wants to be a big, independent kid - and he’s not quite there yet. My son goes to sleep on his own, for instance, but he still ends up crawling into our bed before morning.
Today is bike to work day. If you learned this just now, chances are you didn’t ride in. That’s ok. Tomorrow would be a great day to start.
A few years ago, I had to travel to a meeting in downtown Los Angeles. My best friend lives in LA, so I planned to stay with him the night before. For years, I’d hassled him for not biking to work. I rode everywhere by bike in San Francisco, so I brought my bike to LA expressly to bike commute to downtown LA and prove how simple it was.