A real bicycle in every sense, the Cleary Gecko 12 has front and rear brakes, the option for a freewheel that a child can quickly turn over, and crankarms that will not scrape when pedaling through turns. Available in Very Orange, Cool Moss Green, Sorta Pink and Deep Blue, the bike weights 15 pounds with the freewheel option, or 17 pounds with a coaster wheel. The Gecko 12 also comes with a compact vegan leather saddle with integrated seat post designed to accommodate the earliest of early riders. Best fit for riders with 15″ to 18″ inseam
Watch their confidence and coordination improve as your kid masters gears with the Cleary Bikes Owl 20” 3-Speed. Lightweight construction and reliable components create a bike that’s ready to guide your little shredder around the neighborhood, bike path, and trails as they explore on two wheels. The Owl frame is built to withstand anything your kid can dish out, and its geometry is optimized to position smaller riders between the bar and the saddle creating a bike that ideally responds to steering inputs while remaining stable.
A reinforced steel fork adds durability without the weight. Cleary wisely chooses a 3-speed internal gear rear hub to perform shifting duties. First, there isn’t a derailleur to bend or break. Second, there are only three gears so it isn’t overwhelming and they can shift without pedaling. It’s a feature we’re sure young riders will appreciate as they learn the ropes of riding with gears. Best fits young adventurers with an inseam measurement between 19” to 23”.
The world of kids’ bikes has been turned upside down in the past decade. Training wheels are out, balance bikes are in. There’s a slew of small bikes with suspension forks and disc brakes for little rippers. And even basic bikes have evolved to make riding easier to learn, more fun, and safer.
To take advantage of these advances, there are a couple key features to look for when picking up a new kids’ bike. Getting the size and fit right is important too; it will make sure your little one gets the most out of their new ride. Here’s what to look for, and 15 of our top recommendations, reviewed and evaluated by our test editors and proven on the road and trail by our crew of test groms.
It is hard to decide what to like best about the Cleary Hedgehog–the beautifully painted steel frame, the top-notch componentry, or the way the little bike performs out on the trail. Fortunately, you don’t have to choose. Your child can have it all: form and function.
The Hedgehog is Cleary’s 16″ bike, sized for kids ages 4 to 6. The geometry and design make it look and perform like a real (albeit tiny) mountain bike. That said, it performs just as well on rides around town and on the kindergarten commute as it does on singletrack.