Rider Spotlight: Gecko

December 07, 2015

Rider Spotlight: Gecko

Name: Ryder

Age: 2 yrs & 10 months

Height: 39" (in sneakers)

Inseam: 14” (from ground to groin, in sneakers) 

Reach: 13” (from his armpit to end of his thumb) 

Ryder’s Rig: Deep Blue Gecko Freewheel with a 160mm seat post

Gecko lightweight kids bike

Our First Spotlight: Ryder on a Gecko Freewheel

Ryder is just learning to ride, so we fit him on this Gecko in a slightly beginner position with our shortest seat post (160mm). He can extend his leg about 75% at the bottom of his pedal stroke, he can reach the handlebars with slightly bent arms and his weight is evenly distributed between his feet, bottom and hands. When he gets more confident, he’ll raise the saddle so he touches the ground with the balls of his feet rather than flat-footed and his leg will extend about 85% on the bottom of his pedal stroke.

This riding position offers Ryder leverage to climb hills. By having his hands at about the level of his saddle, he maintains weight over the front wheel. This means he can pedal as hard as he wants and his front wheel will stay straight instead of wobbling to either side.

If his hands were higher relative to his saddle, like many other children's bikes, his weight would slide too far back on climbs, unweighting his front wheel and rendering the bike unsteady and difficult to control. Try to pedal a cruiser bike up a hill and you’ll experience this.

The Gecko riding position makes descending safer because Ryder steers by putting weight on his inside hand and outside foot, similar to a skier instead of turning his bars side to side like a bus driver. It’s call counter-steering. It’s the single correct way to ride a bike, and it would be impossible for Ryder to do if his hands were up at his shoulder height.

The Gecko ships with a 220mm seat post because it enables the saddle to be raised several inches as your child grows, but we stock 160mm to 300mm length seat posts that can be used to customize the fit on any of our bikes.

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